Is air fryer healthy when compared to its 15 benefits with 4 side effects?
According to the latest research published by Statista Research Department on March 17, 2022, retail sales of air fryers in the United States have increased more than four times since 2015. Why have air fryers become so popular? You must wonder what the benefits of air fryers are, today we will reveal the secrets of air fryers. There is also a famous meme “Clearly you don’t own an air fryer” which comes from people who own an air fryer, they think everyone should get an air fryer! Did you get it?
What are the key factors driving the growth of the air fryer market in the United States in particular and the world in general? An increasing health consciousness about following a healthy diet and increasing demand for fried foods are the major factors supporting this market growth.
Air-fried foods are more healthful because they contain lower fat than deep-fried foods. But some people are concerned about using air fryers because of fear of cancer and toxicity, while others do not totally believe in their alleged benefits.
In this article, we look at air fryers in detail. And when compared with the deep fryers, what are the 10 differences between them? Come along, you’ll have a smooth ride!
What is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a cooking appliance that uses little or no oil to cook food. It can significantly reduce up to 80 percent of fats better than a deep-fryer. Air-fried food contains lower amounts of calories.
It is a food cooking technique that cuts down on the harmful effects of oil frying. The air fryer does not emit radiation like other traditional ovens. Rather, it leverages the power of radiated (convection) heat to rapidly distribute the hot air around the food item, thereby creating crispy textured food.
How Does an Air Fryer Work? The Working Principle
The working mechanism of an air fryer is straightforward. The air fryer works by distributing hot air evenly around the food item with a fan. The force of the hot air produces a convection current that cooks the food and makes it crispy while using a spritz of oil. However, the device makes use of little quantity of oil which the hot air heats to create the browning.
Air frying produces a chemical reaction called the Maillard effect just like many other cooking methods. This Maillard reaction produces a unique golden brown color and also improves the flavor of the food so fried.
In other words, air fryers use hot air that consists of clean oil droplets to remove moisture from food items. In the end, it produces fried foods with significantly less quantity of fat. They remove high fat or calorie from the cooking process.
Food sits in the perforated or wire basket in the air fryer providing room for every side of the food item to make direct contact with the hot air. The circulating hot air cooks it quickly, making it crispy along the way.
15 Benefits of Using an Air Fryer
One of the key benefits of air fryers is that they use less oil to dry foods making the dried foods healthier than the ones cooked in a deep-fryer. There are many health benefits of using an air fryer to dry your food. These advantages are enumerated below, check them out:
1. Air fryers are mess-free and safer to use
Deep frying can pose a health risk because it entails heating a big vessel of smelt oil. Some of the risks associated with deep-frying include oil spilling, splashing, and even accidental touching of the scalding oil. Consequently, you must mop the kitchen floors and countertops and even wipe off those oil splatters.
On the other hand, air fryers do not get hot but use a system of closed cooking. The air fryer has a cover and food items are cooked inside it. Its safety features make it easy for teenagers and even children of eight years to use it conveniently.
2. Air fryers are easy to clean
If you treasure cooking but hate cleaning your cooking appliance, don’t worry. An air fryer has removable parts that you can safely wash in a dishwasher. After cooking, all you have to do is remove the cooking bowl, basket, and drip pan. Then wash them in your dishwasher.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a dishwasher, just soak the parts in soapy water and gently scrub the cooking surface with a sponge to remove any food particles found. The only thing you can do is operate the machine carefully and adhere to instructions to ensure safety.
3. Using air fryers reduces the incidence of toxicity
Frying food items in oil can lead to the formation of toxic compounds such as acrylamide. This compound is developed in certain foods during deep-frying that involves high-heat cooking. Some of these harmful substances can cause cancer in the body.
Research conducted by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has suggested that acrylamide – a substance that forms during deep-frying in some carbohydrate-rich foods, could lead to the formation of cancers.
Though such findings are mixed and more research is required, people can reduce the risk of having acrylamide or other toxic substances in their food by opting for air frying.
4. Air Fryers offer automated cooking
If time is of the essence and you have many tasks or chores in your hand, an air fryer is your best bet for cooking. Perhaps you want to toast the sandwiches or brew coffee and still keep everywhere clean, go for the air fryer. The air fryer device is hands-free.
Just put the food item within the fryer including the ingredients and get the right temperature and timer settings. The air fryer will conveniently cook the food for you. You can go ahead and brew the coffee. The food is ready when the timer goes off.
5. Air fryers do not need to preheat, it has quick cooking
The air fryer does not need preheating nor does it give room for waiting just to allow the fryer to warm up. Maybe you have frozen potato chips or French fries, just put them inside the fryer in their frozen state, adjust the temperature and timer accordingly, and the food will be ready in less than 20 minutes or thereabout.
What about your leftover food? Reheating it for about 10 minutes in your air fryer will keep it crispy. Still, you don’t have to worry about cleaning any oil drippings. Besides, the air fryer cooks very quickly and is very easy to manage, too.
6. Air fryers are multipurpose cooking devices
Your air fryer is a versatile cooking appliance. That means they perform multi-cooker operations. A cooking appliance that fries, bakes, cooks, roasts, and grills. It combines the powers of an oven, a grill, a deep fryer, a toaster, and a skillet to form one compact resourceful machine.
You can perform these cooking operations with one air fryer, from toasting some sandwiches for early morning breakfast to frying chicken wings for lunch and probably grilling pork chop for dinner.
A highly versatile air fryer is what this fast-moving generation needs to make the cooking process easy, convenient, and trouble-free. So, anyone who doesn’t like to cook can manage their life very effectively.
7. Air fryers are more healthy than deep fryers
Air fryers offer a healthier option than the deep-fryer because you’ll use less cooking oil in the process. Thus, your food won’t be as oily as it would be with the traditional deep-fryer. According to research, the use of air fryers can lead to significantly lower fat content foods.
This conservative way of frying can pique your interest in frying different food items in your kitchen. It will even make you want to cook more healthy foods in your home as it makes cooking an interesting hobby.
Air fryers make it easier to fry chicken wings, fish, roast pork chops, and meat patties in hot air and they still retain their healthy delicious tastes. Better still, you can cook raw meat without adding any oil. What the fryer does is circulate its hot air evenly and rapidly on every side of the meat while the excess fat will drip into the greased pan.
8. Air Fryers Are Versatile and Have Various Functions
Air fryers are the most versatile kitchen appliance you can ever own. These appliances have various functions that allow you to cook everything you want. Other than air frying, air fryers allow you to dehydrate, bake, broil, roast, and many more.
With less oil and circulation of hot air, you can make crunchy and crispy chips, chicken, and even fish. And it is easy using the many functions in the air fryers. Also, when you get used to it, you will get hooked up to baking, roasting, and more.
So, if you want to do more than air frying, the air fryer is one of the most versatile appliances to consider. You will enjoy spending more time in your kitchen cooking and saving some time.
9. Air fryers are easier to use
With air frying, constant babysitting of what you’re cooking is history. You don’t even have to worry about any difficult steps in using an air fryer. It is set to automatically power off, has a timer, and regulated temperature. Just set these buttons to your desired settings and you’re good to go.
The Tefal Actifry type is even easier to use. You don’t need to find out the right temperature at which to cook your food, the temperature has already been set. Just set the timer and cook on the go.
Most air fryers come with already-set programs so your duty will be to press the button that corresponds to the food you’re cooking. You can press the chicken button if you’re cooking chicken and the cooking will take place fast and hassle-free.
10. Air fryers are efficient and will save your time
Air fryers are a blessing to you if you’re a busy parent who may not have the time to cook or even turn on your oven after a busy day’s chore. You can hurriedly cook food with your compact air fryer so that you can have more time to rest. The hot air circulation makes the food cook faster in air fryers thereby reducing the cooking time.
11. Make Food More Crispy and Delicious.
I love when my meals are crispy and delicious, and an air fryer offers what I want. An air fryer is common because it can fry meals like meat, potato chips, and pastries. And this appliance does not disappoint when making meals crispy and crunchy.
Also, the air fryer does not interfere with the taste of your favorite meal. And you will receive a perfect texture you will love.
I am happy that the air fryer baskets are designed to keep the food’s nutrients. Also, the air fryer basket allows more airflow around the food for the best tasty result.
12. Air Fryers are Convenient for Reheating Food
No more throwing leftovers with an air fryer on your countertop. The air fryer allows you to reheat your food and restores yesterday’s texture, flavor, and taste. Besides, it is easier and faster to reheat using air fryers than microwaves.
For the best outcome, use low temperatures to reheat to prevent your food from drying up. You will love how it turns out delicious each time you reheat it. And since reheating takes fewer minutes, keep an eye on your meals to prevent burning.
In other words, air fryers are a more convenient way of reheating food than microwaves. And your food will be crispy rather than soggy. But it’s good to reheat meals like stews, pasta, and soups in a microwave.
13. Air Fryers Help Loss Weight Because of Less Oil
Air fryers use less oil to achieve the perfect crispy result you desire. It means your foods will not absorb much oil like deep fryers. Due to that, you will consume fewer calories, lowering obesity and weight loss risks.
Many air fryer brands on the market promise to reduce oil content by 75%. In other words, you will only need a drop of oil to prepare your meals and receive a delicious and soft inside.
So cooking with an air fryer is fifty times better than a deep fryer. The air fryer will lower the oil content in your ingredients. And less oil content makes air fryers healthier options and ideal for weight loss.
14. Air Fryer Can Preserve More Nutrients
Air fryers work by circulating super hot air around your food, making it crispy. This air frying process ensures that no nutrients are escaping from your food. And so, if you want to keep your food’s nutrients, an air fryer is all you should have on your counter.
What am I trying to bring out? Yes, air fryers can destroy the food’s nutrients, but it is not as much as cooking and other methods will. Air fryers have many functions, such as grilling, baking, and steaming.
Why is this true anyway? The air fryers have a frying basket that prevents heat from reaching your food directly. Due to that, it will preserve more nutrients than any other cooking method you can mention.
15. Air Fryer has Less Harmful Compounds
I am happy that air fryers do not reuse oil like deep fryers. Due to that, they have fewer harmful compounds, unlike deep fryers.
But what are these harmful compounds? Here is a list of harmful compounds that form in deep fryers:
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Heterocyclic amines
These harmful compounds can lead to many diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and many more. And they form when using high heat.
Unlike deep fryers, air fryers produce fewer acrylamide amounts. According to research, air fryers reduce acrylamide by 90% more than deep fryers. But you should remember that other harmful compounds can form in the air fryer.
4 side Effects of the air fryer
Air fryers are safer and healthier than deep fryers, but no appliance is perfect, you should know something about their disadvantages. Here are some of the drawbacks of using an air fryer.
1. It is a small-capacity machine usually
An air fryer is suitable for family use. But most of them cannot cook food for a larger household of 10 or more people. Even the biggest XXL air fryer, can cook for only 5 to 8 persons usually.
If manufacturers introduce a large capacity pan than the one currently on the market, it will lead to lower cooking results. The air circulation will no longer be strong enough to fry your food the way it does with a small-capacity machine.
Luckily, there are some new types of big air fryers on the market, that can cook for more than 10 people, WEESTA air fryer is our recommendation, it has 24QT while most air fryers only have 3-10 QT
2. An air fryer can be loud and noisy
Just like your hairdryer, you can hear your air fryer when you turn it on. It uses a ventilator to absorb air which distributes within the pan when the hot air leaves through the exhaust. This action generates noise and can even be loud depending on the model of the air fryer. However, this noise might not be annoying in most cases.
Still, certain air fryers generate loud beeping sounds which might be uncomfortable to contend with.
3. It costs extra money to buy
As air fryers are versatile and more healthy than other kitchen appliances, it is a little pricey and usually cost from $50 to $200. It also serves as an alternative for a baking pan and small oven. As a multifunctional machine, you can use it to prepare different kinds of foods. Consequently, an air fryer is worth the extra cost you pay to own it.
4. Air Fryers have Lower Cooking Speeds.
Yes, we know air fryers cook faster, saving you some time. But even if they cook faster, their speed is low.
Normally, you will need to preheat your air fryer for about five minutes for the best result. And the highest time you can wait for your meal to cook in an air fryer is twenty minutes.
Remember, heat does not reach meals in the air fryers directly. So, it will take more time for your food to be ready while maintaining the nutrients.
If you compare an air fryer’s cooking speed with a deep fryer, you will realize that a deep fryer is faster.It will only take three to five minutes to cook once you submerge your food in hot oil. Thus an air fryer has a lower cooking speed.
Are Air Fryers Healthy?
In general, air fryers offer a healthy cooking alternative to deep fryers because they use a small amount of oil which translates to tasty foods with a low amount of fat and fewer harmful substances. More so, low calories can lead to less inflammation thereby reducing the likelihood of severe cardiovascular diseases.
For example, you may just need only a teaspoon of oil for air frying which adds about 40 calories to your food. But, just one tablespoon of oil you add during deep frying will be absorbed by the food adding about 120 calories. So, using an air fryer to fry your food instead of a deep fryer may help your weight loss efforts.
Air-fried foods don’t produce harmful substances found in deep-fried foods. Thus, reducing caloric content through air frying is a great health benefit as it increases the level of antioxidants in your food. For instance, when you re-use the oil used previously in deep frying, the quality goes down drastically. As a result, the antioxidants in the food will reduce and the cooking will produce toxic reactive oxygen chemicals.
So, if you want to eat fried food, the air fryer is a better cooking appliance to use. The air fryer can be an excellent tool to add more varieties to your cooking experience, you can start testing it with some potatoes, vegetables, and many more.
Air Fryer Vs Deep Fryer: the 10 differences.
What differentiates an air fryer and a deep fryer? In this case, air fryers use less oil with rapid hot air circulation to cook meals to crispy. And on the other side, deep fryers use oil and high temperatures for cooking food.
The above information makes air fryers a healthier option than deep fryers. The air fryers use less oil and do not expose your meals to direct heat, risking your health. Let’s learn more below.
1. Deep Fryer Cooks Food Faster
Even if air fryers reduce the cooking time, they are slower than deep fryers. But, the cooking time between the two appliances may vary depending on your meal.
Foods cook faster once the oil in your deep fryer reaches an appropriate temperature. In less than 5 minutes, your meal will be ready. And for the air fryer, you will have to wait for at most 20 minutes.
The only difference is that deep fryers use oil, and air fryers use rapid air circulation. All the same, they cook faster, although the deep fryer is unbeatable.
So, although people are much into air fryers for healthy purposes, deep fryers save more time. Moreover, they give the best result that you will love.
2. Both of Their Taste is Delicious, But the Deep fryer is better.
Whether deep or air frying, you will want a tasty meal. Fortunately, the deep fryer and air fryer offer that.
Meals from an air fryer do not taste like those from a deep fryer. The air-fried meals taste extra crispier, just like the oven-roasted meals. If you rank health, air-fried meals are ideal.
Here is what you need to know, meals from the deep fryer taste like restaurant food. Anyway, who does not love restaurant-style meals? Those meals taste extremely best, which is why many people take restaurant meals.
Meals from the deep fryer come out crispier outside and fluffy on the interior. Due to that, they taste better than air-fried ones. Moreover, you will love the texture once it drains the extra oil.
3. Deep Fryer has More CALORIES.
Do you want to lose weight? Good news for you; air fryers work by circulating hot air around a meal, making it crispier with less oil. Also, most air fryers promise to cut fat content by75%.
On the other side, you will submerge your food in oil when using a deep fryer. It means that your food will come out dry but with oil. So a deep fryer will add more calories to your body than an air fryer.
The calories in a deep fryer come from the coating of batter, flour, and oil that sticks to the food. From this information, you can tell that a deep fryer has more calories than an air fryer.
4. Deep Fryer has Fewer Functions.
It is always good to get a single appliance with many functions. But a deep fryer has few functions.
Although a deep fryer is versatile and can cook anything, the only thing it can do is fry. Nowadays, we want to bake, roast, toast, grill, and more, and a deep fryer does not offer these functions.
Unlike the deep fryer, an air fryer features many functions making it more versatile. You can air fry, bake, roast, toast, grill, dehydrate, and reheat.
The air fryers have a heating element at their base, heating food from both sides. And with it on your kitchen countertop, you can try as many recipes as you wish.
5. The Deep Fryer is Hard to Clean
Cleaning after cooking is a big problem and cleaning a deep fryer is more hectic than an air fryer. So you want to ensure that you get a kitchen appliance that is easy to clean.
But why? an air fryer features many removable dishwasher-safe parts, making cleaning a breeze. And most parts in the air fryer are non-stick as well.
Although there are many sizes of air fryers, their sizes are not that huge to make cleaning difficult. In other words, you will enjoy its easy cleaning.
On the other hand, a deep fryer needs more effort when cleaning. Remember, this appliance uses more oil to cook. So you will need to clean the edges thoroughly.
If you miss anything when cleaning, you will end up reusing oil, and your food may smell terrible. In other words, it is difficult to deal with reused oil.
6. Deep Fryers Use More Oil and will spend More Money
Health is a priority. If you reuse oil many times, you risk your health. As discussed earlier in this article, harmful compounds form in a deep fryer.
Deep-fried foods absorb more oil leading to high calories. And we know that deep fryers use more oil for cooking food to crispy while air fryers use less oil. And if you take meals from a deep fryer for a long time, it can cause many diseases.
What am I trying to communicate? It is important to watch your health by choosing the right appliance, ‘an air fryer.’
And remember that cheap is expensive. You risk using a deep fryer more often, you risk using more money to treat yourself.
7. Deep Fryers are Usually Cheaper
When you think of getting an air fryer for your family, prices send you away. Due to that, you will prefer getting something cheaper that can serve you just like an air fryer. And the only option is a deep fryer.
Due to the deep fryer sizes, you may think it’s super expensive until reality hits you. They are not; instead, they are the cheapest appliances you can find on the market.
You can find a standard air fryer at as low as 60 dollars, all up to 200 dollars. Also, you can find a deep fryer as low as 30 dollars, although they run up to 700 dollars.
It is relatively cheaper to buy a deep fryer than an air fryer. So if you are much into saving, the deep fryer is ideal.
8. Deep Fryers Need More Maintenance.
Unlike an air fryer, it is hard to maintain a deep fryer. This machine is so huge and uses more oil to cook, and oil may stick to it, which is harmful to your health.
So you need to do maintenance once a week or a month to keep it in good condition. It means you will boil it to remove oil from the tank and heating element.
If you fail to do that, the corrosion can affect the performance of your deep fryer, making it worse for your health. On the other hand, it is easy to maintain an air fryer since it has many removable parts and it uses less to no oil to cook.
The high maintenance cost of a deep fryer can be a major drawback to many who do not want to spend more energy cleaning.
9. Deep Fryers are More Dangerous.
When cooking, we want to stay safe throughout the process for a peaceful mind. And in our case, deep fryers do not offer that.
Since a deep fryer uses a lot of oil, it may cause unnecessary accidents when it gets hot. Hot oil is so dangerous as it may even start a fire.
Other than the physical dangers, it is dangerous to your health. Recycling oil may cause carcinogens such as acrylamides which are dangerous.
Safety issues in a deep fryer are a major drawback to many as they want to keep safe. So go for an air fryer if you rank safety and health. The air fryer is safe and secure for even a kid to use; in other words, it will give you peace of mind.
10. Deep Fryers are Quieter
Noise can be a big bother sometimes, and some air fryer models produce a lot of noise while working. Air fryers feature a power fan at the top, which circulates hot air around your food. Due to that fan, the air fryer will be a bit louder as it works.
Even if the noise from the working air fryer is not distracting, it can be a bother to some people. On the other side, a deep fryer does not feature a fan, a reason why they are quieter. It is ideal for people that don’t want that fan noise.
Are Air Fryers Worth Buy?
Yes, an air fryer is a worthy kitchen appliance and it is worth every penny you’ll spend on it. Even if you have an oven, an air fryer can be an excellent addition to your kitchen collections. Though it’s a bit pricey, the many functions it performs cannot be neglected. Therefore, if you want to purchase a good air fryer on a budget, just look through the ones recommended here, you won’t be disappointed.
An air fryer has proven to be the best and most healthy alternative to a deep-fryer for frying food items. As a very popular low-fat frying machine, the air fryer is also ideal for reheating food leftovers, roasting, and preparing your breakfast quickly. It is a great tool for dieting and supports weight loss by cutting down your fat intake. So I think it’s time to have your own air fryer, just buy one from our recommendations.
Do you have any suggestions if we forget any benefits, leave a comment here to tell us what are you thinking now!
My love for food was influenced by my brother, a chef at a 2-star Michelin restaurant, and we often exchange food knowledge together. It’s been 12 years since I first stepped into the kitchen, and with my vast experience and expertise, I will share many ideas on how to make dishes more delicious!