The warm weather is fast approaching and air fryers are popping up for sale everywhere you look. These miracle machines claim to fry food crisp and golden using air instead of oil. But how do they work? Is air frying any different from cooking in a convection oven, a microwave, or a deep fryer?
Air Fryers vs. Convection Ovens
Regular ovens use both heating elements and a built-in fan to deliver even, slow heat to a large-volume area. Air fryers have a fan that’s designed to circulate heat at a faster speed inside a smaller cooking space, so air frying is a great way to make food crispy in a short amount of time. For recipes that require slow roasting, like a large rib roast, a regular oven may work better depending on your taste buds.
Air Fryers vs. Microwaves
There are some similarities between air fryers and convection ovens, but microwaves are actually a lot different. Microwaves work by heating water molecules inside your food, while air fryers surround food with fast, hot air. Microwaves are probably best for cooking and reheating wet and liquid foods, and less than perfect for solid foods that don’t contain a lot of moisture.
Air Fryers vs. Deep Fryers
Deep fryers require enough oil to completely submerge the food you’re cooking. Deep fryers are used exclusively for deep frying. Most air fryers claim there’s little to no oil required for frying food. Instead of oil, air fryers have a built-in fan at the top that blows air all around the food using a heating element. Most air fryers have more functions in addition to air frying like grilling or rotisserie. The Power AirFryer Oven instructs its customers not to pour any oil into the unit. The instruction manual states “you may spray or cook your food with oil as desired for added flavor.”
Some of us are trying to undo the damage we’ve done this winter, while others are looking to start a healthier lifestyle in general. Either way, who wouldn’t benefit from finding healthier replacements for our favorite deep fried food?