Buying an appliance can be complicated if you don’t know what you are looking for. And with diverse brands available in the market today, it’s even 2x harder to choose.
There is a great demand for air fryers nowadays as it promotes low-fat or even oil-free cooking resulting to lesser-calorie meals at home. If you and your family is into healthy living and would like to invest into a cooking appliance to minimize the calories and fat intake then air fryer is a great investment!
Air fryer is an amazing appliance and very convenient to use as it offers hassle-free cooking through the use of super-hot air which dries out the exterior to come out with crunchy textures yet fluffy in the inside like those of traditional deep-frying minus the oiliness.
If you are planning to buy your own air fryer, these are the factors that you have to bear in mind in choosing the best one for you:
- Type: There are three general types of air fryers in the market and they are the following:
- Dynamic Air Fryers: This type of air fryer has a rotating paddle feature which stirs the food and cooks through the hot air. This is cheaper than the halogen type.
- Halogen Air Fryers: Instead of the usual heating coils to cook meals, halogen air fryer uses a halogen bulb, hence its name. It has a bright light and comes with transparent glass covers so you can see how your meals are being cooked without the need of opening its lid. This is the most popular among the three types of air fryers.
- Static Air Fryers: It has a feature where hot air circulates all around the food that you are cooking while it remains static, thus the name static air fryer. This is the least popular although it offers great cooking with less or no oil at all.
You have to pick the one that will best match your cooking needs.
- Capacity and Design
You have the option to choose between a small or large capacity air fryer depending on you and your family’s cooking needs.
There are models with small capacity that ranges from 1.8 to 2.6 pounds only and 3.2 until 22 pounds for larger cooking.
Some small capacity air fryers look bulky and wouldn’t seem good for small kitchens so choose the one which is compact and sleek in design & yet of great quality.
- Timer Settings and Preset Programs
There are air fryers that come with analog buttons or digital, easy touch screen icons while others come with preset programs.
If you are challenged with the dialog dials, then you can choose the digital model with the LED features. Most of the air fryers have the timer setting which is an important feature to consider.
Preset programs are highly recommended as it can easily be programmed depending on what you are cooking. Great thing about it is that you just have to wait for it to beep or set an alarm indicating when your meal is ready.
- Temperature Features
Please remember that air fryers with preset time goes hand-in-hand with the cooking temperature. Different foods require different temperatures to cook.
Temperatures in most air fryers range from 200°F – 400°F and have plenty of variations which are programmable to cook a variety of foods like chicken, steak, meat, fish, chips etc. There are corresponding icons with temperatures already set so all you have to do is just press it until the meal is cooked to its optimal temperature.
If you are on a budget then price is a factor to take note of. Just to set proper expectations, some air fryers that come in cheaper models may not be very durable. While the expensive air fryers can be a bit pricey but they last longer and the quality of the machine is unquestionable.
If you can afford to purchase the pricey one, please invest in that as it guarantees durability. You can also go with the moderate price. Assess your buying capacity and find the best one that is worth the price tag.
- Cleaning and Maintenance
You have to choose the air fryer that works conveniently for you. Check the features if they’re easy to manage and understand the proper way of cleaning the parts.
Proper cleaning and maintenance of air fryer adds greatly to its lifespan so learn how to take good care of it and its proper use. This information usually comes from the manual.
Since air fryer is a cooking appliance, be mindful of its safety. The best thing about the air fryers available in the market today is that they come with safety features. Always read the manuals on how to use them in order to avoid parts falling off and how to properly shut them off once the timer expires.
Check if it is designed with an alerting option to remind you when the meal is done. Also verify if it keeps smoke from building up in order to avoid a smoke or even a fire.
Before you even use it, test first if it is working fine, if the parts are intact or if there are indications of being defective so it can be replaced easily. Also learn the warranty period so you are aware of how long your air fryer is covered for.
- Accessories and other Features
Depending on the model and the brand, there are brands where accessories are given along for free when you purchase the air fryer while others will let you buy the accessories separately.
The common air fryer accessories are the following:
- double layer rack
- grill pan
- cake pan
- baking dish
- rotisserie fork
- fry cage
- steak cage
- steamer rack
- high and low broil
Air fryer accessories and add-ons may or not be important to you although some prefers to have them to make the cooking experience more convenient.
Air fryer is a great cooking appliance that makes your meals enjoyable and your cooking experience fuss-free and comfortable. Either you grill, bake or roast it; you can be assured that it is with less oil or even oil-free for a healthier lifestyle. Just make sure that you remember the factors discussed as a guideline and bring home the best air fryer for your family.