Yes, you can now enjoy crispy and delicious French fries without the guilt of eating fried food because you have an air fryer. The best advantage of using the product is that it does not emit a lot of oil compared to deep frying. Most air fryers come with preset time and temperature settings, meaning that making a snack is now easy as pressing a button.
Now, if you are shopping for one or thinking about getting yourself one, here are 25 tips to help identify your best air fryer:
Your first consideration should be how much food a unit can make it a go. Going for a large capacity will not be a problem if you want to cook for more people in batches, especially if you have guests over often. However, if you live alone and rarely cook for guests, then a tiny capacity fryer will be enough to meet your needs.
2. Preparation time
You should ask yourself how long it takes for a unit to heat up before cooking begins. If you are working on a tight schedule, go for one that heats up faster than those that take longer before getting ready. This may also affect how long your food will stay hot after being cooked because using the appliance always implies that it gets turned off after use.
3. Temperature settings
The number of presets available with the product is an important consideration, especially when you find it hard to determine what temperature or cooking time works best for certain types of food you want to cook. Such information is usually provided by manufacturers’ on-air fryers’ instruction manuals.
You should not be mistaken in thinking that all products with the same capacity have the same airflow, which circulates food while cooking. Some air fryers give the entire basket a complete blast, while others may focus on one side of the basket while leaving another part untouched. If you do not know why this issue matters, it means that some parts of your snack will turn out crunchier than others since they get heated more during the cooking process. Look for a unit with adjustable settings so you can get complete control over what your food looks like at the end of cooking time.
If you like using high-power appliances, make sure that you buy will not blow up when in use. However, simple plug-in models will do if you are on a budget and looking for an economic unit to serve your cooking needs.
6. Noise level
You may end up with neighbors making noise complaints if the appliance’s fan is too loud while in operation. If possible, try out different units so you can figure out which ones are quiet even when running at maximum speed.
7. Basket shape and size
Since air fryers are meant for small families who rarely cook for guests or large groups of people, most manufacturers ignore basket shapes and sizes in their products’ design because it will just add to the cost of production.
The material from which a fryer is made should be non-reactive with foods to avoid chemical reactions during the cooking process. Some products use anodized aluminum, porcelain-enameled steel, and stainless steel for this purpose. Enameled models are easy to clean, especially when hot oil splatters on the surface. In contrast, stainless models need regular polishing to keep them shiny and rust-free after long usage periods.
9. Warranty offers
When looking for the best air fryer deals, look out for offers that include a warranty because such information can help determine how long your unit will last before it gets damaged or stops working altogether. Check out for warranty periods that are long enough to ensure you have peace of mind while using your appliance. You do not want something expensive breaking down or failing after just a few months!
10. Number of accessories
Some companies include all accessories needed to perform air frying tasks in their product package, while others prefer to sell these items separately. This means you may have to spend more money buying cooking racks, filters, baskets, and other things that come with a complete set. However, purchasing these accessories is a good idea as they will expand the usefulness of your air fryer, especially when going for recipes that require multiple utensils and tools.
11. Other features
Some air fryers offer exclusive features missing from most products available on the market. This may include digital timers, special racks for cooking cakes or even baking bread, nonstick coating on baskets for easy cleaning and transportability, etc.
If you are working on a limited budget, make sure to consider the total amount that comes with the unit plus accessories before making your final decision. These appliances usually cost between $80 to $160 depending on size, color choice, and other features you select. Some units come with detachable baskets, while others feature digital displays, among many other attractive options you can choose from.
13. Cleaning up
Once the food is well cooked inside it, an air fryer gets filthy dirty in no time because oil remains splattered all over its surfaces after use. Make sure you choose a unit with removable parts so cleaning is easy and can be done in no time.
14. Number of baskets
Buying an air fryer that comes with a multi-basket option is advantageous, especially when cooking different batches of food simultaneously. However, these units are usually pricier than single basket models, and they also need more storage space because they take up bulkier footprints on your countertop
15. Operating temperature
Lower operating temperatures mean that most processes involved in cooking or warming up foods will happen faster, which means you save more time using an appliance like this one. Make sure manufacturers offer warning signs to indicate oil may overflow when heating denser foods like fries or hot dogs.
16. Cooking temperature
Most air fryers allow you to set the temperature between 120-200 degrees Celsius, which is considered ideal for fries, chicken nuggets, and other similar foods. However, it is essential to note that some models do not come with heating elements like this one, meaning your food will only get hot because of direct contact with hot oil or metal grills on their surfaces.
17. Availability of recipes
While some air fryers come with their recipe books, others rely on websites or manufacturers to offer downloadable guides and tips for cooking different dishes in this appliance. If you are a beginner, make sure you research for detailed information online before spending money on an expensive unit from brands that do not provide ample support for advice on how best to use the product.
Most people prefer to buy air fryers that come with color choices such as red, green, black, and chrome. Make sure you choose a shade that matches most appliances in your kitchen because this will make them look more consistent and unified, especially when placed side by side on your countertop or storage cupboard.
19. Food safety
Most of the available models come with a nonstick coating, so foods do not stick onto surfaces and burn at high temperatures, which can be dangerous. However, some models lack advanced warning systems to indicate overheating or excessive usage, so check user manuals before buying one for yourself or family members who need help preparing healthy meals every day.
Consider buying an air fryer that comes with unique handles or rotatable cooking baskets with lids to make transport easy when moving it from one kitchen shelf to the other, especially if you are taking it outdoors for camping or tailgating at stadiums with friends or family members.
21. Available colors
If you plan on buying a new air fryer, make sure it comes in different colors to add more style and value when displayed in your kitchen or dining room, especially if you have been using the same color scheme for years now. If not, go for choices that match most appliances at home because this can help improve their overall look.
Most air fryers come with unique handles that make them easy to carry, especially when taking them outdoors for camping or tailgating.
23. Cord length
While most air fryers come with short cords that are less than 4-feet long, some models are designed with long lines that allow more flexibility when it comes to their placement on the edge of kitchen cabinets or countertops.
24. Locking mechanism
This component is usually a simple latch that secures cooking baskets when releasing hot smoke or steam from inside the unit. However, make sure it is made from sturdy materials to prevent accidents when opening the appliance after cooking food.
25. Customer support
Some brands provide excellent customer support, especially if you have questions on how best to use their products or clean them after cooking certain dishes. You can read reviews and feedbacks from previous buyers before deciding to buy one for yourself or family members.