Best air fryers 2023

Best air fryers 2023

The Versatility and Fun of Air Fryers: A Guide to Choosing the Right One for Your Kitchen

Are you hesitant to buy yet another kitchen gadget that will end up gathering dust on your countertop? Well, fear not! The air fryer, a versatile cooking appliance that has gained popularity in recent years, might just be the perfect addition to your kitchen. But before you make your decision, let’s dive into what an air fryer can do and what you should consider when choosing one.

“First of all, let’s clear one thing up: it’s not frying. Not really. Air fryers are more like smaller convection ovens, ones that are often pod-shaped. Most work by combining a heating element and fan, which means the hot air can usually better crisp the outside of food than other methods. They often reach higher top temperatures than toaster ovens – which is part of the appeal.”

The air fryer is not just limited to frying; it functions more like a convection oven. And unlike traditional ovens, air fryers can reach higher temperatures, allowing for better crispness. While it might not replicate the exact taste of deep-fried food, it combines the best parts of various cooking methods into one energy-efficient appliance that can be used for any meal of the day.

So what should you look for when choosing an air fryer? Let’s break it down into two types: convection ovens and pod-shaped air fryers.

Convection Ovens

“Convection ovens are usually ovens with air fryer functions and features. Most convection ovens are larger than dedicated air fryers, defeating some of the purpose of those looking to shrink cooking appliance surface areas. However, they offer more versatility with multiple cooking functions and finer controls for temperatures, timings, and even fan speed.”

If you have enough counter space, a convection oven with air fryer features could be a great choice. It not only air fries but also allows you to roast, bake, and handle larger food items like whole chickens or tray bakes. The downside is that they take up more space and require traditional oven accessories.

Pod-shaped Air Fryers

“Pod-shaped air fryers look like cool, space-age kitchen gadgets. They are bigger than a kettle but smaller than a toaster oven. Most use a drawer to hold ingredients while cooking. With a few exceptions, most require you to open the drawer while cooking to ensure even distribution of heat and airflow.”

Pod-shaped air fryers offer a more compact and convenient option. They come with a drawer-like design, allowing you to easily access and flip the food inside. Some larger models even offer two compartments, allowing you to cook two different items simultaneously. However, they may lack a window to check on your food’s progress and require additional accessories for optimal use.

“Beyond the strengths and weaknesses of individual models, air fryers are pretty easy to use from the outset. They come with convenient cooking time booklets for beginners to master. One of the early selling points is the ability to cook fries, wings, frozen foods, and other delights with less fat. As air fryers work by circulating heated air, they also drain excess oil and fat, resulting in crisper and healthier food.”

Using an air fryer is relatively easy, especially with the cooking time booklet provided. It offers a healthier alternative to deep frying, as it requires less oil. The circulating heated air allows for efficient cooking while draining excess oil and fat from the food. Plus, air fryers are generally more energy-efficient than traditional ovens.

“However, there are a few drawbacks. Air fryers take time to master as cooking times vary depending on the model. The limited space of air fryers can be a challenge when cooking larger quantities. And for dishes like whole chicken or roasts, a meat thermometer is necessary to ensure proper cooking.”

Mastering an air fryer may require some trial and error to adjust cooking times. Additionally, the limited space can be a disadvantage when cooking large quantities, and certain dishes may require additional monitoring to ensure thorough cooking. But overall, these drawbacks are outweighed by the convenience and health benefits of air frying.

To enhance your air frying experience, there are several useful accessories worth considering, such as silicone-tipped tools, silicone mats to prevent sticking, and silicone trivets for resting cooked food. Additionally, proper cleaning is essential to maintain your air fryer’s performance and longevity.

“When it comes to finding air fryer recipes, the manufacturer’s instruction manual often provides cooking guides and suggestions. There are also numerous recipe sites and portals that offer a wide range of air fryer recipes. And if you have a unique recipe or use for your air fryer, feel free to share it with us!”

Experimenting with air fryer recipes can be both exciting and rewarding. Start with the manufacturer’s suggested recipes and explore various online platforms for inspiration. You’ll be amazed at the diversity and creativity available for air fryer cooking. Don’t forget to share your own discoveries with others!

Now that you have a better understanding of air fryers, let’s explore some top picks for different budgets and needs.

Best Overall: Instant Vortex Plus

The Instant Vortex Plus with ClearCook and OdorErase is a top pick for its intuitive controls, easy-to-clean nonstick drawer basket, and spacious interior. It also features a clear viewing window to monitor your food while cooking and an odor-removing filter. This air fryer is perfect for those seeking versatility and convenience.

Best Dual-Zone: Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer

The Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer stands out with its capability to handle two different foods simultaneously. With independent heating zones, it allows you to cook two distinct items with different cooking modes. It’s an excellent choice for those who often cook for larger families or host gatherings.

Best Budget: Instant Vortex Mini

The Instant Vortex Mini is not only budget-friendly but also perfect for small kitchens with limited countertop space. It offers the essential air frying functions and is easy to use with its simple controls. Despite its compact size, it can still accommodate a variety of foods for individuals or couples.

Best Multi-Purpose: Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro

If you are a cooking enthusiast or frequently entertain guests, the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro is worth considering. Its large capacity and multi-purpose functions allow you to cook a whole range of dishes. It’s an investment that provides versatility and convenience for those serious about their culinary adventures.

In conclusion, with the versatility and health benefits they offer, air fryers have become a popular choice for many kitchens. Whether you opt for a convection oven or a pod-shaped air fryer, the possibilities are endless. So why not bring some excitement and healthier cooking into your kitchen with an air fryer?

This article was inspired by the original content from CNET, written by Ry Crist.