Why is everyone talking about air fryers?

15 January, 2021

Should you make room on your kitchen benchtop for an air fryer?

If there’s one kitchen gadget that everyone was raving about last year, it’s the air fryer. There are even Facebook groups devoted to them, full of tips, tricks and advice on which model to buy. But is the trendy appliance worth all the hype? Or is it destined to end up gathering dust at the back of your cupboard? Let’s chew the fat.

What is an air fryer?

So, how exactly can you fry with, er, air? Essentially, an air fryer is like a mini convection oven which uses a powerful fan to circulate hot air to quickly cook while producing a crisp coating. 

The reason for their popularity is, unlike a deep-fryer, they only need a small amount (sometimes none at all!) of oil to “fry” foods. Which is obviously a win on the calorie, smell (if you’ve ever used a deep fryer you’ll know it can sometimes take days to get rid of the pong!) and clean-up front (most air fryer racks and baskets are dishwasher safe).

What can I use my air fryer for?

As well as the obvious (did anyone say hot chips?), this versatile little sucker can be used to cook everything from frozen foods and vegetables to chicken, steak, pork chops, salmon, and even brownies. 

Although some meats only require a season of salt and herbs and spices before cooking, brush lean cuts of meat, or foods with little or no fat, with a small amount of oil. (Vegetable or canola oil is recommended because of its higher smoke point). Vegetables should also be tossed in a little oil. 

Need more air fryer inspo? Why not try?

Is there anything an air fryer can’t do?

Look, it’s a kitchen appliance, so it can’t find world peace or a cure for COVID-19. It also isn’t recommended for large roasts, whole chickens or anything with a wet batter. (Sorry tempura lovers, it’s still the pan of boiling oil for you!)

Is cooking with an air fryer healthy?

Eating air-fried food is obviously healthier than its deep-fried cousin and can reduce the amount of fat and potentially-harmful compounds in your diet. But regularly eating any fried food could have adverse health effects. So, use it for occasional treats rather than every day.

How to choose the right air fryer?

Consider the capacity you’ll need.  If you’re only using it to cook for one or two people, a smaller model is fine. But if you want to use your air fryer to prepare food for several people, go for a larger capacity. Also, think about whether you want straightforward manual controls or a more expensive digital interface with pre-programmable settings. 

Where to buy an air fryer?

Air fryers are available online and in department stores (the Kmart range of air fryers have a cult following). Woolies also stock a 3.5 litre version (there’s a Woolworths Metro at Chatswood Interchange). 

Have you got an air fryer?

Are you a fan of the air fryer? Let us know some of your favourite things to cook in it.