What is Air Fryer? Everything You Need To Know Before Choosing.
Air fryer is gaining a lot of traction these days in social media.
You may be wondering what is air fryer? What is that thing?
Well, here’s the answer. An air fryer is a kitchen appliance which is invented for the purpose of frying.
So you might ask, we already have deep fryers, then why should we buy an air fryer?
Well, the answer is pretty straightforward.
Air fryers fry food items with very little (or zero) oil whereas a deep fryer needs a lot of oil.
If you are someone who is concerned about your oil intake but doesn’t want to avoid crispy fried foods, then an air fryer can be your best friend.
How Does An Air Fryer Work?
Air fryers have three main components: heater, fan and a removable basket. The upper part holds the heater and fan while the bottom part holds the food basket.
The basket is either drawer type or top opening where we fill the food which has to be fried.
And once the temperature and timer is set, the heater will produce heat and the fan will circulate the hot air throughout the air fryer.
This rapid circulation makes the food crisp, much like deep frying.
But if you want to make food items a little more crispy, you can add a few drops of oil and shake the basket periodically.
How to choose an Air Fryer?
Compared to other modern kitchen appliances, air fryers are new to Indian market.
If you are new to air fryers, then you will be having a truck load of questions on choosing the perfect one for you.
Here we are presenting you with all the points and data you need to consider before purchasing one.
Be patient and read every point because spending some time on research is always better than wasting money on the wrong product.
Types of Air Fryers
Like every other product, air fryers come in different types. But the majority of the models available in India are called Basket Air fryers.
They have a removable basket with a handle which functions like a drawer.
You can load the food by pulling the basket and close the fryer by pushing the basket back.
Majority of the models come with detachables baskets and they allow you to clean very easily.
It is recommended to look for stainless steel baskets or nonstick coated materials because they last longer than other materials.
Basket Air Fryers can be further classified into round basket air fryers and square basket air fryers based on the shape of basket.
It is more of a physical difference and you can choose whichever models please your eyes.
Other than basket air fryers there are few other prominent types that are famous in other countries. That includes Air Fryer ovens, halogen air fryers, paddle air fryers, etc.
Recently, air fryer ovens are also getting some traction in Indian market.
Havells and a few other brands released some models and got some positive response, but still Basket Air fryers rule the Indian market.
It is a choice you need to make depending on how many members are there in your family.
The capacity of the majority of the models in India fall in the range of 1 litre to 4 litres.
As a general rule of thumb you can follow the below table to choose the capacity.
|Bachelors or Couples||1 – 2 litres|
|Medium sized (3-5 members)||2 – 3 litres|
|Large families (5+ members)||3 – 5 litres|
If you are often visited by guests then it is advised to buy a 4 litre model because it can save a lot of time.
Power, Timer and Temperature
Power consumption is directly related to how quick the heat is generated. Majority of air fryers in India have their power consumption in the range of 1200 watts to 1500 watts.
If you want to cook things really fast then go for an air fryer with 1500 watts power, but higher power will always lead to higher electricity consumption.
All the air fryers allow you to control both time and temperature to meet your cooking style. Majority of models have temperature control from 80 degrees to 200 degrees.
But timer control varies with models. So models offer only 30 minutes of timer control, whereas others offer 60 or even 90 minutes of control.
In our opinion 30 minutes is more than enough for the majority of operations, if you have a 1300+ watts air fryer.
Cooking tough items like chicken legs might need up to 60 minutes but 90 minutes is generally not at all needed.
Air fryers in India come with two types of control panels, either analog or digital.
Analog models have two rotary knobs fto control both timer and temperature which you can adjust by rotating.
If you have a tight budget, you have to go with anula models because of their cheap price compared to digital.
But one major drawback of manual knobs is that they are not precise in locking temperature and time.
Majority of latest generation air fryers come with digital control panels where you can adjust temperature and timer with the help of digital microcontrollers.
Digital control panels are very accurate and more expensive compared to analog models.
Every digital air fryer comes with an LED display and either touchpad buttons or full glass touch screen for easier control.
Latest generation of air fryers come with a lot of pre-programmed cooking modes which can be activated with just the press of a button.
When you choose a preset, the air fryer will automatically set the timer and temperature to make things easy for you.
Even some of the modern analog mode air fryers have preset modes.
The majority of air fryers in India have multiple safety features to protect both food and the user from any mishaps.
If the heat inside the air fryer reaches a dangerous level, the fryer will turn off the heater automatically to decrease the temperature.
Once the temperature is brought back to safe level, the heater will be turned on to continue cooking.
Automatic Shut Off
It is a common feature found in a lot of kitchen appliances nowadays.
Once the air fryer reaches the time you have set, it will automatically turn off to protect the food from getting over cooked.
If the air fryer has a warm mode, it will turn on and keep the food warm until it is served.
It is also a common feature found in electric appliances.
Air Fryers come with a voltage protection circuit which consists of a fuse that will be tripped in case of voltage fluctuations and save the fryer from fire or other severe damage.
Most of the air fryers have either non-stick coated or stainless steel baskets and the pan makes sure that food items are not sticking to the base.
Also, it helps in cleaning the parts.
And if you have a dishwasher, then you don’t need to worry about cleaning at all because every part in an air fryer is dishwasher friendly.
The outer body can be wiped with a dry or wet cloth once the air fryer cools down completely.
Warranty & Support
Having longer warranty provides a peace of mind for consumers and air fryer brands in India provide a minimum of 1 years and maximum of 2 years warranty.
These warranties cover only manufacturing defects and do not cover physical damage and normal wear and tear.
Customer support is really an important point you need to consider before purchasing any product.
Many people purchase products from reputable brands because of the trust in their customer services.
But it really depends on your location. The customer support of a brand in Delhi might be good but you can’t expect the same in Hyderabad.
So when you choose a product, check for their service center near your location and read as many reviews about the center from google reviews or similar platforms.
Best Air Fryers – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Whenever you are ready to purchase a new product, it is natural to have a lot of doubts. And, in this section we’ll answer some of the commonly asked questions about air fryers on the internet so that you don’t need to search elsewhere.
What is an air fryer?
An air fryer is a kitchen appliance used in western countries to fry food items with the help of hot air with very little (or zero) oil compared to deep fryers.
Is air fried food healthy?
Yes, air fried foods are considered to be healthy compared to their deep fried counterparts. It is because air fryers use very less oil, thus you are not consuming fat and cholesterol which are considered to be dangerous in the long run.
How is an air fryer different from an oven?
Ovens use an element to produce heat whereas the air fryers use rapid air technology to produce and transfer heat.
Rapid air technology helps air fryers to heat up much quicker than conventional ovens. And the smaller size of air fryers helps circulating air quickly and even compared to ovens.
What are the disadvantages of an air fryer?
The main disadvantage of air fryers is difficulty in cleaning. Even though parts are dishwasher friendly, cleaning the basket is a task if the food you prepared was sticky.
Also, air fryers are on the higher side of expense and not everyone can afford one.
What are the best foods to cook in an air fryer?
Majority of air fryers in India are capable of flying, roasting, baking and grilling. So any food ite requiring these four processes can be done very effectively with an air fryer.
Specifically, dishes like chicken nuggets, french fries, cheese pizza, tandoori grill, etc can be cooked with the help of an air fryer.
What can you not cook in an air fryer?
It is not recommended to put over seasoned food items, wet batters, cheeze, etc in an air fryer because they might stick to the grill or fan and cleaning becomes a tedious task.
Can you put aluminium foil in an air fryer?
Yes, you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer but it is NOT recommended. Aluminum foils will block the air circulation and reduce cooking speed.
Can you open an air fryer while it’s cooking?
Yes, you can open an air fryer while it’s cooking. When you open the air fryer while cooking, it will pause and when you close back it will continue from where it stopped.
It is a good practice to open the fryer mid way to shake the basket a few times so that cooking will be uniform and even.
Can you put water in the bottom of the air fryer?
Yes, it is recommended to put water in the bottom of the air fryer while cooking fatty products. Adding water to the drawer underneath the basket helps prevent grease from getting too hot and smoking.
What kind of oil does an air fryer use?
You can use any type of cooking oil in an air fryer. IOt is recommended to use healthy oils like avocado oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, grape seed oil, sesame oil, olive oil, etc.
Can air fryers catch fire?
No, air fryers won’t catch fire because they are equipped with multiple safety features. If you are using the fryer with proper care and maintenance, you don’t need to worry about catching fire.
How often should you wash the air fryer?
It is recommended to wash your air fryer after cooking every type of food. Because if you cook multiple rounds of different food items without washing, food may end up having a mixed bad odour.
Are air fryers supposed to smoke?
Yes, smoke coming from air fryers is not an abnormal thing. Some air fryers have dedicated smoke vents.
Can an air fryer overheat?
No, the majority of air fryers come with overheat protection which will turn off once the temperature exceeds the acceptable level.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll reply to you as fast as possible.
With that being said, we’ve covered almost everything you need to know about air fryers.
Now you know what kind of air fryer is perfect for your use cases. Next step is to choose the best model that gives maximum value for the money you pay.
Have a look at our dedicated air fryer articles to select one from our expert reviewed models.
For now, thanks for reading.
Have a great day and happy shopping experience.