6 things to keep in mind when choosing an air fryer
We all love an air fryer, right? They have become one of the fastest growing pieces of kitchen technology, with many households in the US and UK joining the low-fat frying fun.
Curry alone (in the UK) reported a 133% jump in air fryer sales earlier this year as we all look for faster and healthier ways to bake and cook our favorite foods. But what if you have yet to jump on the air frying bandwagon?
Since I recently joined the TechRadar team to oversee our home appliance stuff, I can shamefully say that I don’t have an air fryer. really; I’ve never tried one—and I’m getting some serious FOMO (fear of missing out) after reading up on some of our best air fryers.
Like anything, it can be difficult to know where to start when trying to choose the best air fryer. This appliance isn’t for everyone, so regardless of the hype, when looking to find an air fryer for your home, there are a few things you’ll want to consider first—some of which may surprise you more than others. Huh.
Then, once you’ve decided that an air fryer is for you, there are also a few criteria to help you narrow down your search before finding ‘the one’ – and this guide will walk you through it all. is here to help. Important factors to consider before making the leap to healthy frying. From price to function, we’ve got you covered.
best air fryer deals
Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. If you want, you can buy an air fryer here now, or if you choose to buy later, it is also quite reasonable.
6 things to keep in mind when choosing an air fryer
Some of these may seem like obvious factors when choosing an air fryer, but there is a method amidst the madness, especially when combining these key considerations. So if you work your way through this relatively common sense approach, you’ll have an air fryer in no time in your life.
It goes without saying that this is where your search should begin, so be sure to set a budget and (try to) stick to it. Prices start at around $122/£100, and you can spend up to a few hundred on a top-class option. There are usually some great deals to cash in, but if you’re stopping by for a sales event like Amazon Prime Day, you’ll be off the mark sooner because air fryers don’t hang around for long—even if They’re marked down only slightly.
It’s a lot to think about because it will determine how much you can cook, and what you can cook. As a rule, if you’re cooking for a family of two you should aim for a 3 quarts/5 liters (as a minimum) air fryer and 5 quarts/4.73 liters (as a minimum) if You’re a family of four. Some air fryers have just one large drawer, and others have multiple tiers built-in – when buying online, I find the product images are enough for me to judge it. Imagery and description are also good gifts, so reading these can avoid frustration.
The larger the capacity, the larger the size generally, and the air fryer is not the smallest — or lightest — countertop device. Imagine having it sitting at your workplace, imagine using it to feed the kids, and most importantly, imagine carrying it around if you’re short on countertop real estate. You’re getting closer to finding your air fryer if it’s not in the way and will be easy to reach by dinner time.
Design features like viewing windows and pre-programmed settings are what evolve your search, and these can really make a difference in your air fryer experience. A viewing window is useful for checking cooking progress, which will also save you having to open the air fryer and vent the heat. The pre-programmed settings are useful for seamless cooking, and some models have alerts to let you know when it’s time to move your tray or the time in the air fryer is up (easy!).
All air fryers will make chips and cook frozen food, but if you also want to bake, roast, dehydrate, and slow cook (yes, you can do this in an air fryer) look for removable inserts. A rotisserie is one such example that would be perfect for cooking chicken or any other meat addition. With the inserts removable, you can cut and turn what you cook in the air fryer on a daily basis which will add versatility to your kitchen setup.
How it looks on my kitchen worktop is an important criterion for me because it describes how easy it is to use (the fewer dials, the easier), but also if it compliments the microwave and toaster. . Some come with retro styling like Swan Retro 6L Manual Air Fryer (opens in new tab) and others with one touch buttons and an attractive design like Tower Express Pro Combo 2000W 11L 10-in-1 Digital Air Fryer Oven with Rotisserie (opens in new tab),
Choosing an air fryer doesn’t have to be a daunting task—it should be an exciting one. I’m definitely looking forward to trying some recipes, and though it probably won’t replace our range cookers anytime soon, the air fryer will be a cool piece of technology.
Are air fryers worth it?
If you want to improve your eating habits, an air fryer can help do that. It cooks food quickly and with less oil—or no oil at all—by simply circulating hot air around the foods and drying out surface-level moisture to create a delicious crisp. It’s perfect for couples, but families who need to cook more can go hungry if they choose to rely entirely on the air fryer to sort out meal times.
By circulating that hot air around the food, you can cook foods you may have previously fried such as chips in a healthier way – plus, you can fry a meat joint or cake in an air fryer. Can bake too. There aren’t many things it can’t cook. We’ve found that you can grill cheese in an air fryer, for example. Yes.
Of course, considerations like bread thickness and type of cheese should be taken into account, but the trick is to nail down the method and settings of the air fryer—we found it, anyway. Team TechRadar has learned many other neat tips and tricks since we started working with air fryers.
Other recipes you can try include baking ice cream and perfecting the crunchy skin every time you cook pork belly.
In addition to cooking various snacks and meals, an air fryer can save up to 50% on your energy bill compared to a conventional oven. It can do this because it uses less electricity than just an oven, and it can cook food faster.
What can’t be cooked in an air fryer?
I’ve done some research on this and the main lesson that jumped out at me is not to put in the air fryer and attempt to cook anything with a wet batter. It would just create a mess, as the batter wouldn’t have a chance to cook before coating it – which makes sense, I guess.
It’s all a bit of trial and error as of things – Team TechRadar has learned some valuable lessons in our time with the air fryer so far. As you read, we have (with success) tried to cook ice cream. Others on the Internet have reported frying eggs, cooking meats, baking cakes and breads… the list goes on.
Are there any reasons not to buy an air fryer?
They can cook foods at a speed that’s great, but it can come at the cost of your foods and crisps if you’re not watching or the timer is set incorrectly. Most of our own home tests haven’t experienced this, although I’ve read and heard it can so it’s something to consider.
The units themselves can also be heavy and obviously, the larger air fryer you choose, the more space they will eventually take up.
Some air fryers have multiple layers and components that may not be suitable to pop in the dishwasher, so keeping it clean can be a bit tricky—but nothing is more of a challenge than cleaning and wiping down a microwave, if you have one. One is.