What are the Pros and Cons of an Air Fryer?
Given the trend and popularity of air fryers over the past few years, it is becoming obvious that people like using air fryers and enjoy eating the food they make in them.
Air Fryer Pros and Cons
Every kitchen appliance has its pros and cons, and that applies to air fryers too!
People enjoy a lot of different fried foods. Being able to air fry some of them at home, to get that fried food taste, crunch and satisfaction, is a tough task for one small cooking appliance.
Listed below are 10 pros and 10 cons of using an air fryer. Hopefully, the pros outweigh the cons, and you want to purchase an air fryer to cook your family meals quickly!
The Pros of Using an Air Fryer
Almost everyone I know owns an air fryer, so there must be some merit to all of the hype about them!
Below are 10 ways you can benefit from using an air fryer.
Food Cooks Quickly
Air fryers get to cooking temperature (usually 350-400° F) within minutes. This means you don’t have to wait 10-15 minutes waiting for a regular oven, toaster oven or deep fryer to preheat. In addition, the circulated heated air cooks food very fast inside of an air fryer. Air fryers cook faster than a conventional oven, but cook slower than a deep fryer once the oil is at cooking temperature.
Healthier Meals and Appetizers
One of the most important benefits to using an air fryer over deep fat oil fryers is the food is healthier, or at least not as unhealthy!
Since air fryers require little or no oil to cook food, then that means the food isn’t soaking in all of the unhealthy cooking oil. This also means the food has less calories when you eat it!
This is especially true when cooking appetizers because so many of them are traditionally deep fried, which is why they taste so amazing!
Here are some appetizers and snacks you are used to deep frying that taste great when cooked in an air fryer!
- Mozerella sticks
- Chicken wings
- Onion rings
- Chicken nuggets
- French fries
- Jalepenos poppers
- Chicken fingers
Be sure to check out this list of more things you can cook in an air fryer!
Many Recipes Available
Due to the popularity of air fryers, people are creating and sharing their delicious recipes for others to try for themselves!
Air fryers are extremely helpful for more restrictive diets such as keto and other low carb diets.
Inexpensive to Use
Here are a few reasons air fryers are inexpensive to use.
- Air fryers heat-up very quickly.
- An air fryer can cook food very quickly.
- Air fryers only need to heat a very small volume.
- Air fryers do not require lots of expensive cooking oil.
Therefore, the small initial price of the air fryer is really they biggest cost in owning and operating the small kitchen appliance.
Simple and Easy to Use
Air fryers come with either analog or digital controls. The majority of air fryers have digital controls with lots of cooking settings for selecting the temperature, cooking time and the type of food being cooked, like fries, chicken, pizza or re-heating foods.
It takes a little time to determine how hot and how long to cook food. However, air fryers are one of the simplest and easiest small appliances to learn how to use.
Safe to Use
Air fryers are extremely safe to use, which is one of the major advantages of using one!
The small appliance comes with several safety features built-in to make them safe to use for anyone, even kids!
Firstly, air fryers only turn on when the basket is fully inserted and turned on. This means that the unit can’t get very hot without being completely closed, which is is during normal operation.
Secondly, air fryers have timers on them and they shut off after the time is over. This feature is useful if you get distracted or forget about having the small appliance on and it won’t keep cooking or burning the food and starting a fire!
Thirdly, air fryers do not use radiation to cook the food, like a microwave oven does. It is thought that microwave frequencies may possible damage the food or harm people close to them, so therefore, that is not an issue when cooking with air fryers!
Lastly, air fryers do not use boiling cooking oil to cook food, which is very dangerous to do. Deep fat fryers can easily splatter hot oil onto the person cooking with it and cause burns on their hands, arms, face or other exposed body parts.
Safety should always be a considering when purchasing a small kitchen appliance, and air fryers are one of the safest to buy and use!
No Nasty Odors
One of the worst things about deep fryer food is the fried food stench that lingers in your home afterwards!
Air fryers allow you to get nearly the same fried food crispy, taste and texture, without that nasty fried odor.
After you cook food in your air fryer you will smell the fried food, but it’s not the same, overwhelming stench that you get with deep fat fryers.
Doesn’t Warm the Kitchen
While air fryers get warm inside of the small appliance when cooking food, they don’t warm the kitchen!
A convection oven or conventional oven get very warm by radiating the heat out into the kitchen.
This might be desirable during the cold winter, but not on a hot, humid, summer day!
Hence, air fryers are great for cooking and not heating the kitchen at the same time!
Quick and Easy to Clean
Cleaning kitchen appliances can be a challenge depending on the food and appliance used.
Fortunately, air fryers are quick and easy to clean! The fry basket is easily removable from the pan, and both can be soaked, scrubbed and washed with little effort.
Most of the time, you don’t even have to clean your air fryer if you are cooking things like fries, mozzarella sticks or other items that don’t drip grease into the drip tray or pan.
As far as kitchen appliances go, air fryers are one of the easiest and fastest to clean!
Air fryers are consider a compact appliance, just like a convection oven .
They come in small 2 quart sizes all the way up to 16 quart sizes.
The average air fryer is around 1 foot cubed, or about the size of a Keurig coffee maker.
They are small enough to be put away after being used. Or you could leave them on the countertop, as they do not take up much space.
Along with being small, compact, kitchen appliances, air fryers look great!
Amazingly, this air fryer oven even comes with a rotisserie option in such a small appliance!
The Cons of Using an Air Fryer
Not everyone loves their air fryer, and they definitely are not able to cooking every type of food for any size of family or gathering.
Below are 10 things people may view as disadvantages to using air fryers.
Easy to Burn Food
When cooking food in an air fryer at 350° – 400° F, air fast circulating air, it doesn’t take long to burn food.
Without an air fryer recipe to follow, it is easy to go from uncooked, to done, to crispy, to burnt very quickly using an air fryer.
Unfortunately, there aren’t recommended cooking times or temperatures for every food or meal. This leaves people to guess at the cooking settings, which can lead to burnt food.
Baked goods also burn very easily in air fryers, so you have to be very careful when baking with them.
To help prevent burning food in air fryers, there are many air frying cooking times charts.
Food Dries Out Quickly
Some foods do dry out quickly when cooked in an air fryer.
Some of this is caused by the fact that foods are already dry when they are put in the air fryer. Hence, after being air fried they get really dry. Sometimes this is acceptable, and other times it is not.
This can be prevented by soaking foods in a brine or marinade to help them absorb a lot of liquids.
If this is a concern, then you might consider purchasing an Instant Pot for cooking.
Food Tastes Different from Deep Fried Food
One common complaint is that air fried food doesn’t taste the same, or as good, as deep fried foods.
While the taste can be different, that doesn’t mean air fried food tastes bad! Sometimes air fried foods tasted even better than foods cooked in a deep fryer because they aren’t soaked in deep fryer oil.
It is common to spray a light coat of cooking oil onto your food when air frying using an oil sprayer. This helps make it crispy and tasty, so it is a good compromise to the taste problem!
Small Volume for Large Meals
It is very difficult to cook a large meal with an air fryer.
Sure, you can do batches of food to get more cooked. However, this takes much longer to do and might not be practical for large gatherings and meals.
You can even cook different types of food at the same time! But a lot of times you can’t due to different cooking temperatures and cooking times.
Something like an air fryer oven , convection oven or deep fat fryer might be faster and better for large meals.
Air fryers can cook a lot of different sized meals, but most of them can’t cook a large turkey or ham.
Fortunately, there are special oilless turkey fryers available to help cook them, or hams if you wanted.
A Philips air fryer is a popular medium sized option for small families!
Heavy to Move Often
Smaller air fryers are not very heavy at all, so moving them after you are done using them shouldn’t be a big deal.
I know my 5.8 quart GoWise air fryer is a little heavy to move, so anything large than that could be difficult to move on a regular basis.
Much of this comes down to preference and how often you plan to use and move your air fryer. Most people leave it on the countertop permanently!
Trial and Error Cooking
Most food packages do not have recommended air fryer cooking times on them. Fortunately, this is slowly starting to change for some frozen items.
Hence, this leaves the cook with having to guess the cooking times and temperature! This can lead to a frustrating trial and error cooking experience.
The best solution to this is to look for recommendations online for the type of meal you are air fryer, or get an air fryer reference cooking chart on Amazon.com.
Appliance is Hot After Cooking
The outside of air fryers gets warm to the touch after they have been on for more than 5 minutes.
However, the cooking basket and pan get extremely hot after air frying some food, so you need to be extremely careful when handling them afterwards.
Any small appliance that cooks food will get hot during use, so this problem is not unique to air fryers.
Easy to Burn Your Hand
It’s very easy to burn your hand or arm when removing food from the air fryer basket, so I recommend using some silicone tongs or spoon to remove the fried food!
This problem is more common with larger air fryers as the basket is deeper and you have to reach in further to get the food out.
Using the proper air fryer accessories should make this a non-issue!
A quick look on Amazon.com for air fryers and you will see hundreds of different brands, most of which you have never even heard of.
There are many knock-offs and small companies trying to get in on the air fryer trend.
This leads to a lot of design shortcuts, and then the quality sometimes isn’t very good. You have to remember that the cheaper brand names don’t have big reputations to uphold.
In fact, you can check out a Gourmia air fryer review here to see how great they are!