Evolution of the air fryer

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The air fryer does more than just frying food. Depending on the model you purchase, it can also bake, broil and even dehydrate foods at the touch of a button.

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Which air fryer is best?

The first air fryer became available in the fall of 2010, and they surged in popularity in 2016 when Oprah Winfrey named them as one of her favorite kitchen appliances. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know what an air fryer is, and most kitchens have some kind of air-frying appliance.

An air fryer cooks food by circulating superheated air around the oven with a fan. They cook food without using fat and claim to reduce the amount of fat in your fried foods by 80%. The result is crispy, light, and crunchy food without the heavy feeling that comes with eating greasy food.

Air fryers have come a long way in the last decade, and the technology involved has only improved with age. While people had some familiarity with them, it wasn’t until 2021 that they went viral. This is likely due to the pandemic since everyone was cooking their meals at home during quarantine. That said, there are many factors to back up the fad, and some combination air fryer/toaster ovens have even become a cornerstone appliance.

If you want the most convenient air fryer at the best price, check out the Ninja SP101 Foodi Counter-top Convection Oven. It has eight effective cooking and baking functions for an incredibly affordable price.

Why is an air fryer convenient?

The air fryer’s circulating hot air can make healthy fried food in minutes and induces a chemical reaction called the Maillard effect, which browns the outside and creates an exquisite taste. This mimics frying and cooks food incredibly quickly. And most air fryers have other functions as well, such as bake, broil, and even dehydrate.

However, not all air fryers are created equal, and it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you make your purchase. Ask yourself how many people you’re cooking for and how often you’ll use it to make meals. If it’s only once in a while, you may want to opt for a smaller fryer. If you imagine you’ll use it most nights, choose one with a lot of functionality.

Air fryers can be large and may take up a lot of counter space. That said, the convenience may outweigh the size, especially with a two-in-one model that combines a toaster oven and an air fryer. Since you can prepare all kinds of foods in different ways with this combo, it’s easy to crisp up fries, bake pizzas, fry wings, and cook frozen food quickly. Either way, take a look at your counter space before you make a purchase so you can find something that will fit in your kitchen. 

Also, remember you need to clean your air fryer regularly as they will get dirty and greasy on the inside. Some air fryers come with multiple trays, so you can rotate and clean them after each use. Others have dishwasher-safe parts that make cleanup a breeze. Take time to think about how you want to clean your air fryer so you can find features that suit your needs. 

The popularity of the air fryer

Everyone was stuck inside during the pandemic, and plenty of people spent their time making new and different meals. Whether it was sourdough bread starters or whipped coffee, people had time on their hands and used it for new culinary explorations. This led consumers to buy more specialized appliances so they could make all kinds of food at home.

Air fryers cook all kinds of food in varying sizes. From a handful of fries to a full rotisserie chicken, this handy appliance can tackle all kinds of dishes. And air fryers cook meals very fast, which is always appealing to those with limited time and energy. This is why air fryers maintained their iconic status even after the pandemic began to calm down and people began to revisit their favorite restaurants. 

From budding solo chefs to large family households, everyone seemed to fall in love with the air fryer. And they are likely to continue to be a kitchen staple for years to come. If you don’t already have an air fryer in your home and are curious what all the fuss is about, here are a few recommendations to consider.

What are the best air fryers to buy?

Ninja SP101 Foodi Counter-top Convection Oven

Ninja SP101 Foodi Counter-top Convection Oven

This powerful machine has eight different functions, from air frying to baking and dehydrating. This sleek yet powerful oven takes up 50% less counter space than other air fryers due to its storage-friendly design. It’s large enough to fit a 13-inch pizza and cooks it twice as fast as a conventional oven. If you’re worried about cleaning, this air fryer has an easy-open back panel that makes cleaning a breeze.

Sold by Amazon

COSORI Smart 12-in-1 Air Fryer Toaster Oven Combo Convection

COSORI Smart 12-in-1 Air Fryer Toaster Oven Combo Convection

This state-of-the-art oven has smart control that controls the temperature, monitors cooking, and notifies you on your smartphone when your food is ready. It has 11 different functions and a large capacity to fit everything from pizzas to rotisserie chickens.

Sold by Amazon

Phillips Kitchen Appliances Premium Digital Air Fryer

Phillips Kitchen Appliances Premium Digital Air Fryer

Phillips created the original air fryer, meaning they have some of the best fat removal cooking technology on the market. It has a three-quart capacity capable of cooking four servings of food at once. It also features multiple settings, including bake, grill, and toast. 

Sold by Amazon

Cuisinart Air Fryer

Cuisinart Air Fryer

This stainless steel beauty has enough space to make multiple racks of food at the same time. It cooks faster than most ovens and has seven functions, including convection baking. There’s an easy pull-out sheet at the bottom of the oven for simple cleaning.

Sold by Amazon

Dash Tasti Crisp Electronic Air Fryer

Dash Tasti Crisp Electronic Air Fryer

For the price, this air fryer is unbeatable. The only downside is that you might need to get a replacement after a year or so. This air fryer will fry food with 75% less fat. It holds enough to serve four people, yet is compact and can fit on almost any countertop.

Sold by Amazon

 

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Sam Bramlett writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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