Is an Air Fryer Healthy?
Air fryers have taken the cooking world by storm and their popularity comes as no surprise. They are convenient, easy to use, and can cut cooking time in half.
But if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Is there some sort of trade off when it comes to cooking foods in an air fryer?
With all the negative associations of fried foods, Im sure youve wondered, are air fryers healthy?
Below we will discuss some of the pros and cons of using air fryers.
How do air fryers work?
Air fryers operate like convection ovens. They push hot air (up to 400 F) around whatever food item you place inside of them. This air circulates, crisping the outside of the food while keeping the inside soft.
Pros of Using an Air Fryer
They save time
Air fryers cook food at a much faster rate than the traditional oven or stovetop would. This is because they are able to generate heat quickly and retain it. In fact, almost none of the heat escapes from it during the cooking process.
This causes the heat to only intensify while the air fryer is cooking. But it can pretty much halve the cooking time of any regular recipe.
They are energy efficient.
Air fryers are very energy efficient because of their small, compact size. This means less area needs to be heated up before cooking, whereas heating up your whole oven takes much more energy.
They make healthier foods
Conventional deep frying results in foods that wouldnt be considered healthy. On the other hand, air fryers use very little oil to fry food. Any excess oil is also drained away during the process, significantly cutting back the oil content in some of our favorite fried foods and snacks.
They save space
Counter space can be valuable real estate, especially if you live in a small apartment or condo. Air fryers are compact and dont take up more space than a toaster would (and theyre more useful!)
Theyre easy to use
Working an air fryer isnt rocket science. In fact, if youre capable of pushing just a few buttons, you can access all of the appliances best features. All you have to do is input the correct settings, put your food in the basket and let it do its job.
Cons of Using an Air Fryer
While you might believe air fryers are the greatest kitchen appliance ever invented, they arent without their flaws. These are some of the disadvantages of using an air fryer:
They burn food easily
Most people who transition to using air fryers are not used to the shorter cooking times and usually overestimate them resulting in burnt food. Since your air fryer is usually frying food at 300 to 400F, even being one minute off could result in something inedible.
They can only cook small amounts of food
Because of its compact nature, there are limits to how much food you can safely fry in an air fryer. If you need to cook for a larger family, then youll need to do it in batches rather than just one session. However, you can find bigger-sized air fryers like this one made by InstantPot.
So are air fryers healthy?
Cooking food using an air fryer does carry a few benefits when compared to traditional deep frying. These benefits include:
- Making fried food using an air fryer can cut down on harmful fats and oil otherwise used in traditional methods.
- Foods that are air fried have less calories than deep fried food. Making the switch can result in weight loss.
- Air-fried foods can reduce harmful compounds that are normally found in deep fried foods.
With that being said, research on the effects of air fryers is still limited because air fryers are a relatively new invention. Health practitioners will generally recommend that you stay away from eating too many fried foods. But if you do decide to indulge, then using an air fryer could be the better option.