Air fryers have actually been around for a few years now but they’ve recently resurfaced as the popular, must-have kitchen appliance. If you’re not familiar, you might be asking what is an air fryer anyways?
It’s a convectional device that fries your food with either none to a small amount of oil. It’s received a lot of praise for this and has been deemed a healthier version of fried food.
Sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, but we’ll get to that later.
Should you get one? Let’s go over some facts and math to find out!

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For the most part, it’s pretty simple! You just place your food in a basket whether it’s fresh or frozen, set the temp and time and let it cook.
Most air fryers can bake and roast but depending on the model, they can also preheat, reheat and keep your food warm!
What makes an air fryer unique compared to deep-fried food is that it uses convectional cooking. It has a powerful fan located on top that rotates the heat evenly to produce super crispy food in a short amount of time. This also keeps food super juicy on the inside!
This is a huge perk to me since I can’t stomach deep-fried foods and roasting things in the oven can often dry them out.
Most air fryers without a preheat function claim that you don’t even need to preheat at all. However, lots of reviews and FAQ’s mention if you’re cooking with frozen food it helps to preheat for about 5 minutes and then cook the full time as suggested.
This is not a huge set back in my opinion, considering most air fryers only take up to 20 minutes to cook your food! This saves a lot of cook time and they’re pretty easy to clean up. Most of the baskets are dishwasher safe and the insides can be easily wiped out after the air fryer has cooled off.
If you’re skeptical about putting the parts in the dishwasher, you can always check out a dish brush to get those stubborn spots. I recommend this Casabella dish brush set which can also just come in handy for cleaning around the house.
On to the fun part where we talk about what all you can cook in your air fryer!
One thing to note is that air fryers come in different sizes. This means that the larger your air fryer the more complex foods you can whip up.
Air fryers were intended for quickly producing frozen fried foods like chicken wings, chicken nuggets, tater tots, fries, etc.
But now people are getting creative.
Nowadays you can find recipes from croutons, to veggie chips, cookies, s’mores and even a whole chicken!
What you don’t want to cook in it is anything that is dipped in batter. Stick to frozen or fresh foods only.
Well it sounds great for frozen processed foods but I eat a lot of dairy free and meat free things at home. So my next question was, is it even worth it for vegans to consider?
Surprisingly enough, yes!
Believe it or not vegans like their fair share of junk food too. And if you’re a meat eater who has converted to a vegan lifestyle, you might be missing some of those flavors.
No worries, the air fryer can handle it and much better than your oven can! (Unless is convectional, of course.)
You can whip up crispy chickpeas that aren’t dried out from oven cooking, cheesy potato wedges using nutritional yeast, roasted garlic, bow tie pasta chips, zucchini chips, really any kind of chips you can think of!
It’s also great for cauliflower steaks and wings, but what really got me is seeing the results of how crispy it got tofu without turning them into tiny bites of brick.
However, I think the most asked question is, is it actually healthier for you?
Most air fryers claim to produce food that cuts 75% of fat content from deep-fried food. Some even say up to 85% which sounds pretty good to me!
With regular deep frying you need at least 3 inches of oil. That is easily 4 to 6 cups of oil. Inside one cup of olive oil alone is about 1909 calories and 216g of fat.
Now of course you’re not consuming that many calories because you’re not drinking one cup of olive oil plain, but with deep frying, your food absorb
s some of this oil. It’s typically only about a tablespoon or two, but still. If you’re looking at an air fryer, chances are this is big factor in your decision-making.
With air frying, you only need to toss your food in one to two tablespoons of oil and sometimes, none at all. So it terms of calorie and fat gram consumption, it cuts down quite a bit by using an air fryer.
Now if you’re comparing to oven baking and roasting, you’ll still only use one to two tablespoons of oil, but remember the air fryer will produce a different quality of texture and even cooking the food vs your oven which can easily dry things out.
Oils that are recommended to use with your air fryer are avocado, light olive oil, peanut and sesame. Definitely check with your specific air fryer first before just using any old oil though because there will be a difference. 
If you’re at the point in your shopping process where you’re ready to buy an air fryer you are certainly not alone. They are filling up kitchens left and right and I’ve even researched skeptics who have now purchased one and absolutely love it.
But there are so many to choose from. It’s almost overwhelming when you log on to Amazon to read about different ones and you just aren’t sure which one to buy.
Lucky you, I’ve researched a handful and came up with a list of comparable stats that I thought were important to help you in your decision-making process.
One of the biggest things to me that stuck out were the different sizes. Depending on how many you’re cooking for at home, this should be the first thing you consider. There are air fryers that are designed for 1-2 people and all the way up to 4-6 people.
Then there’s the battle of the brands. Do you go with a trusty name brand because you’ve seen it before or used their other products or do you check out the products that have an interesting design that you’ve never heard of before?
I’ve got both for you!
Backhand Index Pointing Down Emoji (U+1F447)Check out the list below with all the specs I’ve listed out for you that I thought would be most helpful in your hunt for the perfect air fryer.Backhand Index Pointing Down Emoji (U+1F447)

Black and Decker Air Fryer

  • Size: 2L
  • Servings: Good for 2 people.
  • Style: Analog knobs for timer and temp.
  • Includes basket separator to cook two foods at once.
  • Basket and separator are both dishwasher safe.
  • Unsure if a recipe book is included.
  • Must pause to shake about every 5 minutes.
  • Currently priced at 51% off.

 

Dash Tasti-Crisp™ Digital Air Fryer

  • Size: 2.6QT
  • Servings: Good for 2 people.
  • Style: Digital
  • No basket separator.
  • Basket is dishwasher safe.
  • Settings include an auto-shut off as well as 3 custom presets for your frequently cooked foods.
  • Recipe book is included.
  • Must pause to shake about every 5 minutes.
  • Currently priced at $79.99.

 

Philips Analog Air Fryer | Viva Collection

  • Size: 1L
  • Servings: Good for 2 people
  • Style: Analog knobs for timer and temp
  • Basket separator sold separately.
  • Basket is dishwasher safe.
  • Includes a recipe book with 150 recipes.
  • Must pause to shake about every 5 minutes.
  • Currently priced at 26% off.

 

Instant Pot Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer

  • Size: 6QT
  • Servings: Good for up to 4 people
  • Style: Digital
  • Basket separator sold separately if available at all.
  • Not dishwasher safe. Handwash only.
  • No recipe book included.
  • Must turn food halfway. Do not shake.
  • Currently priced at $99.99.

 

Cosori Air Fryer Max XL

  • Size: 5.8QT
  • Servings: Good for 3-5 people.
  • Style: Digital and available in black, red and white.
  • Basket separators are sold separately.
  • Basket is dishwasher safe.
  • Recipe book included with 100 recipes.
  • Includes 13 cooking functions as well as an automatic shake reminder.
  • Square frame saves counter space and square basket creates larger cooking surface.
  • Currently priced at $119.99.

 

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Air Fryer

  • Size: 8QT
  • Servings: Good for 4-5 people.
  • Style: Digital
  • Includes two separate baskets.
  • Plates are dishwasher safe but baskets are not.
  • Recipe book included with 15 recipes.
  • Includes 6 cooking functions.
  • Includes DualZone Technology features Smart Finish feature for cooking 2 foods 2 ways that finish at the same time.
  • Must pause to shake about every 5 minutes.
  • Currently priced at $179.99.

Let me know if you check any of them out in the comments, I’d love to hear want you think.
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Remember to be brave in trying new things and always cook with a dash of love!
Until next time,
Haley | Creator of Haley’s Kitchen

14 Comments

  1. It sounds like the “Cosori Air Fryer Max XL” or the “Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Air Fryer” are for me. We have 3 large eaters in this household. What are basket separators? Does that mean you have to buy the basket separately? That seems silly.

    Nope I ‘ve changed my mind the “Cosori Air Fryer Max XL” is the one for me. 100 recipes! Great!
    No shaking the basket either!

    1. Hi Brianna,

      The Cosori seems like a good fit for me too. There’s me and my partner in my household and we usually make four portions for dinner so we can have leftovers for lunch and the space the Cosori has definitely seem to fit our needs!

      A basket separator is just so you can cook two things at once (as seen in the picture of the Ninja). All air fryers come with a basket included but not all come with a separator!

  2. This is exactly the kind of review I was looking for! Thank you! Several friends at work are looking to get one. Well written! Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Eric!

      Air fryers are definitely a hot commodity right now and I’ve done a lot of research on them. Hopefully you were able to find one to fit your needs and if your friends have any questions be sure to send them my way! I’d be happy to answer any questions you or they may have.

  3. My friend always uses to say to me that I should buy an air fryer in case of cooking on the stove with oil, cause it can save me more oil and make my cooking healthier. As everything comes to you in this world, I never thought I will get into a great article like this that really gives me what’s exactly an air fryer. I love it thanks for sharing this great article.

    1. Hi there!

      It’s true! Not only does cutting back on oil cut back on fat and calories for those that are counting, but it also helps you to save money when it comes to oil because you’re not using as much. Let me know if you have any questions that I may not have answered and I’d be happy to help!

  4. I recently read an article about air fryers, which was the first time I heard of it. I do love fried foods, but I don’t eat them often, because it’s not healthy. With an air fryer I think I could make more friendly foods, since there is little to no oil involved.
    I like the Black and Decker and the Cosori air fryers, but the Ninja one is also good, because it allows you to cook two different foods at the same time. It’s hard to choose which one is best for me 😉 They all look great!

    1. Hi Christine!

      Air fryers are super popular right now but it’s funny because they’ve actually been around since 2010! They’re just suddenly more affordable now and people are going crazy for them. I love fried foods too, but they don’t always settle well with my stomach.

      What I’m most excited about cooking in an air fryer is veggies! I can’t wait to make cauliflower wings, perfect fries and all sorts of veggie chips to snack on! I’ve also seen some people are now making grilled cheese sandwiches inside of their air fryers.

      It really is hard to choose! None are bad, it just depends on what size you need and the price increases with the digital interface vs the manual. So honestly, it’s just personal preference on how much you want to splurge on a new appliance!

      The Black and Decker is a great option and fries food just as well as the Cosori would, just with less space and less features.

  5. Hi Haley, Your article comes in time. I was already busy with the idea of buying an air fryer. I am a healthy eater, and I still love potato wedges. Using an air fryer is really convenient.
    Is an air fryer nearly the same as a dehydrator? Because I have been busy with a dehydrator as well, I am asking myself this question. If you would write a review comparing them, I would be the first one reading it to hear the difference or non-difference. Consuming organic food and keeping all the nutrients, I ask myself if the air fryer keeps them or destroys them. Do you know? I would very much appreciate your answer! Thank you very much for this informative article!

    1. Hi Sylvia!

      I’m glad I was able to help! I am excited to use mine for potato wedges as well!

      An air fryer is not the same as a dehydrator. However, you can find some hybrid appliances. Here is the Instant Vortex which can both air fry and dehydrate and it is 4QT. If you want a large and in charge appliance, here is the Cosori Air Fryer – Toaster Oven – Dehydrator Combo and it is 25L.

      That is a great follow up article idea and I will jot that down!

      Most meats and veggies when cooked lose up to 40% of their nutrients. But with the air fryer, it claims to retain most of the nutrients because it cooks by circulating hot air vs direct hot air by grilling, boiling, poaching etc.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  6. Hi Haley,

    This is one of the best articles I have seen so far from you. The reason being is, I need an airfryer desperately. All the things that I could cook in an airfryer will impress my family and friends so much. It would make life a lot easier for me too because of my limited cooking skills 🙂

    They don’t seem to be terribly expensive either, so it makes 100% sense that we should get an airfryer.

    I will let you know which one I get and how well I’m doing with it. I love coming across your articles because I get excited about what you’re talking about next.

    Thank you so much for sharing and keep up the amazing work you do.

    All the best,

    Tom

    1. Hi Tom!

      Thank you so much! You are so sweet!

      I was a skeptic at first, but after doing my research and talking to some friends I’m right there with you. I need one of these! It would make life a lot easier. I cook in the oven a lot, but I’ve learned I don’t necessarily care for my oven unless it’s for baked goods or casseroles. And I hardly make either of those. Everything else I cook can easily be done in an air fryer and without burning the food!

      Honestly, they’re extremely reasonably priced! They used to be way more expensive which is why I’m assuming they weren’t as popular in the past. Please do let me know! I’ll edit an update once I get mine as well.

      Have a great day!

  7. Thanks for this overview of air fryers, my girl friend and I have been talking about getting one of these for some time now.

    I have heard of them but I have never tried any food that has been made in one before. I love my chicken wings but man they amount of grease that goes into frying them in a traditional fryer is scary and clearly not healthy.

    I think the time has come to pick one of these up!

    1. Hi Rob!

      Let me know if you end up trying one of these out! The grease build up on chicken wings can definitely be too much at times. The air fryer will absolutely help you cut back on oil!

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