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Air fryer buying guide: Everything you need to know about this kitchen appliance


The right air fryer has the ability to deliver the taste and texture of fried food with much less oil, making it a healthier alternative. Whether you’re curious about air fryer benefits, pondering the air fryer price, or wondering how to buy the right air fryer, this guide will cover it all.

In this buying guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about air fryers. We’ll delve into what an air fryer is, the different types available, and the wide variety of foods you can cook in it. So, if you’re ready to make healthier choices without sacrificing flavour, let’s dive in!

Let’s first understand what an air fryer is.

What is an air fryer?

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance designed to cook food by circulating hot air around it, similar to a convection oven. However, unlike a convection oven, an air fryer has a fan positioned at the top of the appliance, much closer to the food. This fan blows hot air rapidly, creating a crispy outer layer while cooking the food quickly and evenly. This method uses very little oil compared to traditional frying, making it a healthier option for enjoying your favourite fried foods.

 

Types of air fryers

Before buying an air fryer, we must get acquainted with the types of air fryers available in the market. Here are the 4 types of air fryers:

Basket style air fryers

Basket-style air fryers are small and compact, ideal for limited counter space or those needing a portable option. They have a smaller cooking capacity than countertop or toaster oven models but can still cook various foods. They are easy to clean because the basket and tray can be removed and washed separately.

Check out this basket-style air fryer on Amazon: PHILIPS Air Fryer

Toaster-oven air fryers

Toaster-oven air fryers are similar to countertop models, but also have features for toasting and baking. This makes them a versatile, all-in-one kitchen appliance. They come in various sizes and have settings for cooking different types of food.

Check out this toaster-oven air fryer on Amazon: AGARO Regency Air Fryer For Home

Multi-cooker air fryers

Multi-cooker air fryers are the most versatile type, also working as pressure cookers and slow cookers. They can cook a wide range of foods, including meats, vegetables, and grains. Ideal for those who want an all-in-one appliance that does it all.

Check out this multi-cooker air fryer on Amazon: Billord Air Fryer for Home

Countertop air fryers

Countertop air fryers are the most popular type and sit on your kitchen counter. They come in various sizes, perfect for cooking large amounts of food. These air fryers have settings for different foods like chicken, fish, and vegetables, and usually include racks and trays for easy cooking.

Check out this countertop air fryer on Amazon: Ninja SP101 Digital Air Fry Countertop

What can you cook in an air fryer?

Air fryers excel in crisping up a variety of foods, from classic chicken wings and potatoes to fresh options like zucchini fries. Best choices include proteins such as chicken, salmon, shrimp, tofu, and steak, along with firm veggies like zucchini, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes. For optimal results, cut food into smaller pieces, lightly coat with oil, and ensure meat or fish skin is dry before air frying.

You can make a variety of vegetarian foods in an air fryer, including:

Vegetable chips, roasted vegetables, stuffed mushrooms, tofu and tempeh, falafel

vegetarian burgers, vegetarian spring rolls, air-fried pizza, stuffed peppers, vegetarian quesadillas

You can make a variety of non-vegetarian foods in an air fryer, including:

Chicken wings, fish fillets, shrimp, meatballs, chicken drumsticks, pork chops, sausages, steak, lamb chops

Also read: Best air fryers are your go-to option for healthy cooking: Top 8 options

Who should buy an air fryer?

An air fryer is beneficial for anyone looking to enjoy healthier versions of their favourite fried foods, cook quickly and conveniently, save space in their kitchen, simplify clean-up, experiment with new recipes, or utilise advanced cooking features.

Things to keep in mind while buying an air fryer

So, how to buy the right air fryer? Here are 5 things to keep in mind before buying an air fryer:

1. Air fryer size

It is crucial to consider the size of an air fryer before buying one. If you are a small family you can opt for models with 2 to 3 litres capacity. If you are a large family, you may find 5 to 6 litres more suitable. Select the size that best meets your cooking needs.

2. Air fryer capacity

In addition to size, it’s important to consider the power capacity of the air fryer. Choosing one with higher wattage means faster cooking times. Opting for a model between 1000-1500 watts is generally ideal for quicker cooking results. Always check the power capacity to ensure efficient cooking.

3. Air fryer price

Before purchasing an air fryer, it’s essential to consider your budget. They can be a bit pricey, so choosing wisely is key. Assess your needs and select one that fits within your budget. For occasional use, a basic model may suffice. If you plan to use it frequently, investing a bit more can be worthwhile.

4. Air fryer controls

Make sure that the air fryer controls are user-friendly and straightforward. Most models come with intuitive buttons or touchscreen interfaces that make them easy to operate. Common controls include settings for temperature, cooking time, and specific cooking modes like frying, baking, or roasting. Overall, they are designed to simplify cooking processes and provide convenience for users.

5. Is the air fryer easy to clean?

Cleaning kitchen appliances can indeed be frustrating, and air fryers are no exception. When purchasing an air fryer, it’s crucial to consider how easy it is to clean. Look for features like a removable basket, which simplifies cleaning and prevents food residue build-up inside the fryer. Dishwasher-friendly parts are also beneficial, offering convenience and ensuring thorough cleaning after use. These features contribute to a hassle-free experience and help maintain the air fryer in good condition for longer.

Also read: 32L microwave ovens: Top 5 cooking solutions for heavy cooking

 

Features to look for in an air fryer

Here’s a checklist of the important air fryer features before you buy one.

  • Pre-programmed settings: This air fryer feature helps cook meat, chicken, fish, and frozen foods with preset functions effortlessly. It is perfect for quick, hassle-free meals tailored to different types of food.
  • Automatic switch off: This feature ensures safety and convenience by automatically turning off the air fryer when cooking is complete, preventing overcooking and saving energy.
  • Power/heat indicator: This air fryer feature clearly indicates when the air fryer is powered on and heating up, providing visual cues for cooking progress and readiness.
  • Ready notification: This feature alerts you when your food is cooked and ready to serve, ensuring you don’t miss the perfect moment to enjoy your meal.
  • Additional accessories: Enhance versatility with included accessories like a grill rack for steak, pan for wings, skewers for kebabs, and a turning paddle for crispy fries, expanding your cooking options.
  • Recipes: This helps you access a variety of recipes designed to inspire and guide you in using your air fryer creatively, making it easier to explore new dishes and flavours.

 

What are the benefits of using an air fryer?

Why should you buy an air fryer in the first place? What are the benefits of an air fryer? Here are some perks of using an air fryer

  • Less amount of oil used in cooking: Air fryers require significantly less oil compared to traditional frying methods. They use hot air circulation to cook food, which crisps the outside while keeping the inside moist. This results in healthier meals with less oil absorption.
  • Less fat and calorie intake: By reducing the amount of oil used, air fryers help lower fat and calorie intake in your meals. This makes them a healthier alternative to deep frying, as they promote better heart health and weight management.
  • Safe to use: Air fryers are generally safer than traditional deep fryers because they eliminate the risk of hot oil splattering. The enclosed cooking chamber and automatic shut-off feature ensure safety during operation, making them suitable for families with children.
  • Versatility: Air fryers are versatile kitchen appliances. Besides frying, they can roast, bake, grill, and even reheat food. This versatility allows you to prepare a wide range of dishes, from crispy fries to tender meats and even desserts, all with one appliance.
  • Less messy to use: Cooking with an air fryer is less messy compared to traditional frying methods. There’s no oil splatter to clean up, and many parts of the air fryer, such as the basket and trays, are often dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. This convenience makes meal preparation and cleanup simpler and quicker.

Also read: Top 10 grill microwaves, convection microwaves & otgs: Grill anyway you want

Is an air fryer healthy?

Yes, air fryers are healthy.

They are a healthier cooking option compared to traditional deep frying. They achieve this by using hot air circulation to cook food, requiring only a fraction of the oil typically used in deep frying. 

This significantly reduces the fat content and calorie count of fried foods, making them a better choice for those looking to reduce their fat intake and maintain a healthier diet. Additionally, air frying retains more nutrients in foods compared to deep frying, as it involves lower cooking temperatures and less exposure to oil. 

While moderation and healthy ingredient choices are still important, air fryers offer a convenient and healthier alternative for enjoying crispy, fried-like foods without guilt.

How much oil does the air fryer use?

The amount of oil used in an air fryer can vary depending on the recipe and personal preference. Generally, air fryers require significantly less oil compared to traditional frying methods. For most recipes, you typically only need to use a light coating or spray of oil on the food’s surface to achieve crispy results. This minimal amount of oil helps reduce fat and calorie intake while still providing the texture and flavour of fried foods. Some air fryer models are designed to cook with as little as 1 tablespoon of oil or even less for certain foods, making them a healthier option for cooking.

Also read: Microwaves under 25,000: Top 10 affordable choices

What is the difference between an air fryer and a deep fryer?

An air fryer and a deep fryer differ primarily in their cooking methods and the amount of oil used. A deep fryer submerges food in hot oil, cooking it quickly and creating a crispy exterior. This method results in food that is typically more indulgent but also higher in fat and calories due to the amount of oil absorbed during frying. Deep fryers are ideal for achieving a deep-fried texture and taste but require more oil and can be messy to use.

On the other hand, an air fryer cooks food by circulating hot air around it at high speed, mimicking the crispiness of fried foods with significantly less oil. Air fryers use only a fraction of the oil that deep fryers require, making them a healthier alternative. They achieve a crispy texture by evenly distributing heat and often require just a light coating of oil or cooking spray. Air fryers are versatile, allowing you to not only fry but also bake, roast, and grill various foods with less mess and easier cleanup compared to deep fryers.

Do air fryers help in weight loss?

Yes, air fryers can potentially support weight loss efforts due to their ability to cook food with significantly less oil compared to traditional frying methods. However, whether air fryers directly lead to weight loss depends on various factors, including overall dietary habits and portion sizes.

While air frying can contribute to a healthier diet by reducing fat intake, it’s essential to also consider the types of foods cooked and portion control. Incorporating a balanced diet and regular physical activity are crucial aspects of any weight loss regimen. Therefore, while air fryers can be a helpful tool in promoting healthier eating habits, they are one part of a broader approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Also read: 10 best countertop microwaves: Compact solutions for your modern kitchen

 

What are the the best air fryer brands in India 2024?

Air fryer brand is another crucial factor to consider when looking for the best air fryer to buy. Here are some top-selling air fryer brands for every budget.

  • Philips: Known for high-quality build and reliable performance, Philips air fryers offer advanced features like rapid air technology for crispy results with minimal oil.
  • Havells: Combines stylish design with practicality, Havells air fryers are versatile, with adjustable temperature settings and rapid air technology for healthier cooking options.
  • Pigeon: Budget-friendly with compact designs, Pigeon air fryers feature easy-to-use controls and sufficient capacity, making them ideal for smaller households or beginners.
  • Agaro: Offers cost-effective air fryers with essential features like temperature control and timer settings, designed for efficient cooking and ease of use.
  • Morphy Richards: Known for innovation and performance, Morphy Richards air fryers feature large capacities, digital controls, and multiple cooking presets, catering to diverse cooking needs with convenience.

 

Best air fryers in India 2024

 

1. Pigeon Healthifry Digital Air Fryer

The Pigeon HealthiFRY Digital Air Fryer uses advanced 360° high-speed air circulation technology to cook delicious snacks with up to 95% less oil than traditional methods. It features a digital display for easy menu selection and monitoring of cooking times and temperatures. With 8 preset menus including French Fries, Pizza, and Cakes, it takes the guesswork out of cooking. The 4.2-litre capacity stainless steel, plastic, and aluminium basket ensures easy food release and durability. Powered by a 1200W motor, it offers rapid heating and operates quietly for a pleasant cooking experience.

Specifications of Pigeon Healthifry Digital Air Fryer:

Capacity: 4.2 litres

Material: Stainless Steel, Plastic, Aluminium

Special Feature: Digital display with 8 preset menus

Wattage: 1200W

Pigeon air fryer reviews: What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers appreciate the Pigeon air fryer’s sleek design and user-friendly interface for easy, healthier cooking. However, concerns include technical issues and durability problems like damaged handles and non-stick plates, affecting overall satisfaction and value.

2. PHILIPS Digital Air Fryer

The Philips Digital Air Fryer HD9252/90 in black offers a large 4.1-litre capacity and uses up to 90% less fat compared to traditional frying methods. It features patented Rapid Air technology with a unique starfish design pan for even cooking results without flipping the food. The touch panel includes 7 presets and a Keep Warm function, allowing for easy cooking of various dishes like fries, aloo tikkis, roast chicken, and muffins. It’s equipped with an auto-shut off function when the basket is removed and has a dishwasher-safe design for easy cleaning. With a long 1.8m cord, it’s convenient to place in any kitchen.

Specifications of PHILIPS Digital Air Fryer:

Capacity: 4.1 litres

Material: Plastic

Special Feature: Touch panel with 7 presets and Keep Warm function

Wattage: 1400W

Philips air fryer reviews: What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers praise the Philips air fryer for its quality, practicality, and effectiveness in aiding weight loss. They find it ideal for health-conscious cooking, producing juicy and tasty food with an impressive design.

3. AGARO Regency Air Fryer For Home

The AGARO Regency Air Fryer is a versatile kitchen appliance designed for home use, featuring a large 12-litre capacity and robust, 1800W power. It utilizes 360° heat circulation technology with a temperature range from 80°C to 220°C and a timer ranging from 1 to 90 minutes, ensuring even cooking results. This air fryer offers 9 preset recipes including French Fries, Roast, Pizza, and Chicken, along with 3 assist cooking functions like Reheat and Defrost. Made from durable stainless steel, it includes multiple accessories like a rotisserie fork and recipe book, making it a comprehensive choice for various cooking needs.

Specifications of AGARO Regency Air Fryer For Home:

Capacity: 12 litres

Material: Stainless Steel

Special Feature: Digital display with touch control panel

Wattage: 1800W

Agaro air fryer reviews: What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers appreciate the Agaro air fryer for its ease of use, quality, and delicious results. It’s praised as beginner-friendly with easy installation, a range of accessories, and good value for money.

Also read: 10 Best microwaves under 30000: Top-rated picks for the Indian households

4. Havells Grande Air Fryer

The Havells Grande Air Fryer is a feature-packed appliance designed for convenient and healthy cooking at home. It features a 5-litre food basket capacity and 6.5-litre pan capacity, made from durable Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) material in a sleek black colour. The air fryer includes a digital touch control panel with an LED display for easy operation, offering 10 auto-preset options for various dishes. With a temperature control up to 200°C and a power of 1700 watts, it’s suitable for precise cooking needs. The air fryer also comes with a 2-year warranty, making it a reliable choice for gifting on special occasions.

Specifications of Havells Grande Air Fryer:

Capacity: 5 litres (food basket), 6.5 litres (pan)

Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

Special Feature: Digital touch control panel with LED display

Wattage: 1700 watts

Havells air fryer reviews: What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers value the Havells air fryer for its size, easy cleaning, efficiency, and oil-free cooking capabilities. It’s noted as spacious for small families, simple to operate, and appreciated for its healthy cooking convenience.

5. Morphy Richards Digital Air Fryer For Home

The Morphy Richards Digital Air Fryer offers convenient and healthier cooking at home with its 5-litre capacity and 1500W power. Made from durable plastic in a sleek black design, it features digital controls for easy operation and includes 8 preset menus for versatile cooking options. Dual fan technology ensures efficient heat circulation, distributing heat evenly for perfectly cooked meals. Adjustable time and temperature controls allow customisation according to your preferences. Safety features like voltage fluctuation protection ensure safe operations, while a non-stick-coated basket and accessories simplify cleaning.

Specifications of Morphy Richards Digital Air Fryer For Home:

Capacity: 5 litres

Material: Plastic

Special Feature: Digital control with 8 preset menus

Wattage: 1500W

Morphy Richards air fryer reviews: What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers appreciate the Morphy Richards air fryer for its quality, user-friendliness, and value, describing it as high-performing and stylish, offering good taste and efficient oil consumption.

Top 3 features of the best air fryers from top brands

Best air fryer Capacity Wattage Special feature
Pigeon HealthiFRY Digital Air Fryer 4.2 litres 1200W Digital display with 8 preset menus
Philips Digital Air Fryer HD9252/90 4.1 litres 1400W Touch panel with 7 presets and Keep Warm function
AGARO Regency Air Fryer 12 litres 1800W Digital display with 9 preset recipes
Havells Grande Air Fryer 5 litres 1700W Digital touch control panel with Aero Crisp Technology
Morphy Richards Digital Air Fryer 5 litres 1500W Digital control with 8 preset menus

Choosing the right air fryer hinges on balancing capacity, wattage, and special features that align with your cooking needs and lifestyle. Whether aiming for healthier meals, convenience, or versatility, understanding these factors ensures an informed purchase that enhances your culinary experience while promoting a healthier lifestyle.

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FAQs

Question : Can you cook frozen foods in an air fryer?

Ans : Yes, air fryers are great for cooking frozen foods like French fries, chicken nuggets, and fish sticks. They cook these foods evenly and crisply without thawing.

Question : Are air fryers noisy during operation?

Ans : Air fryers generally operate quietly compared to traditional deep fryers. While they do produce some noise from the fan and heating element, it’s typically minimal.

Question : What kind of foods can you cook in an air fryer?

Ans : Air fryers can cook a wide variety of foods including meats (like chicken and pork chops), vegetables (like broccoli and potatoes), frozen snacks, and even desserts like cakes and muffins.

Question : Do air fryers emit any odours while cooking?

Ans : Air fryers produce minimal odours compared to deep fryers. Any smells during cooking are usually mild and related to the specific ingredients being cooked.

Question : Are air fryers safe to use?

Ans : Yes, air fryers are safe when used according to manufacturer instructions. They have safety features like automatic shut-off, overheating protection, and cool-touch handles to prevent accidents.

Disclaimer: At Livemint, we help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and products. Mint has an affiliate partnership, so we may get a part of the revenue when you make a purchase. We shall not be liable for any claim under applicable laws, including but not limited to the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, with respect to the products. The products listed in this article are in no particular order of priority.

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Published: 28 Jun 2024, 05:27 PM IST



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