Air fryers are a relatively new appliance on the market, but there is still a lot of confusion about how do air fryers work and if they are actually healthy for you.
An air fryer is an interesting kitchen appliance that is a cross between the convection oven and a deep fat fryer, and it simply works by circulating hot air around the food, which helps crisp up all of the pieces evenly.
There are a ton of articles online about “how does an air fryer work”, but most of them are unnecessary technical.
This article will explore what air fryers are and how do air fryers work in simple terms. Later we will discuss if air frying is healthy for you and if air fryers are worth the money.
So make sure to stay with us till the end.
- (The Technology Behind Air Frying Is Pretty Simple!)
- How Do Air Fryers Work Without Oil?
- Do You Put Oil In An Air Fryer?
What Is An Air Fryer?
And How Does It Become So Popular?
Are you worried about the health effects of cooking with oil? Does the thought of eating fried food make you feel guilty?
If so, then an air fryer might be the perfect solution for you. But what is an air fryer?
Air fryers are air-heated cooking appliances that use hot air for cooking food. You can roast, bake, cake, or even grill your favorite food with them.
As a patented appliance by Philips, the air fryer is more finely tuned than the average run-of-the-mill convection oven. This small appliance mimics the results of deep-frying (but note that there is a difference between air fryer vs deep fryer), it uses little to no oil at all, and you won’t be left with greasy residue on everything.
Air fryers have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people are starting to look for healthier and faster ways to cook their meals.
One air fryers data speaks about the peak of air fryers sales, where just in 3 months in the period of April-June 2020, 2 million air frying devices were sold just in the USA.
Currently, we are seeing more and more health-conscious individuals who opt for oil-free foods that limit their cholesterol levels.
As a result, the demand for air fryers surges to an all-time high. And according to the research papers, the air frying industry will continue to rise significantly in the years to come with a projected $1.2 billion market size by 2026.
Now let’s see how does an air fryer work, and what’s the magic behind those crispy, fat-free fries your friends have been bragging about…
How Do Air Fryers Work?
(The Technology Behind Air Frying Is Pretty Simple!)
First, let’s get some things clear. The air fryer doesn’t actually “fry”. Frying means cooking the food in hot fat, which the air fryer is not about.
Here’s how the air fryer works:
- First, you place your food in the nonstick, perforated basket with small holes.
- Once the appliance is turned on, the air is heated up by a heating element that’s placed on the top of the cooking chamber.
- The fan that’s above the heating element blows the hot air in a rapid, circular motion with an even temperature.
- Then the air goes over your food with concentrated, radiant heat which cooks the food evenly from all sides and removes its moisture. This makes the food crispy on the outside and soft on the inside (without the need for oil).
That’s simply how Rapid Air Technology that powers the air fryer, actually works.
There is no magic involved whatsoever 🙂
Of course, knowing how the air fryers work is not enough. You also need to know how to cook in an air fryer properly, but that’s a story for another time.
Now, you may ask yourself:
How Do Air Fryers Work Without Oil?
Air fryers use high heat (around 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit) to cook food. This will result in a fast cooking time, but also a crisp finish on your dishes.
This high heat and convection technology leads to the chemical reaction known as the Maillard reaction, which is responsible for the beautiful golden brown color and crispy exterior of your air-fried food. This reaction in air fryers occurs very fast in the presence of hot heat, rather than hot oil.
But does that mean you don’t need to use oil at all when working with your air fryer? This leads to our next question…
Do You Put Oil In An Air Fryer?
Although not necessary, many recipes you will meet online recommend that you should toss or spray a little oil on your food.
It’s true that a small teaspoon of oil can help with the crisping of your food, but the food can come out just as crispy, even without it. So, it’s a matter of personal preference of whether to use a little or no oil at all. The difference can be negligible.
Now let’s see if air frying is healthy for you.
Is Air Frying Healthy?
Air frying is a healthy way to cook your favorite foods, but it can be hard to know if air fryers are safe and healthy without any proof.
We all know that eating fried food is delicious, but it’s also unhealthy. Most of the fat in traditional deep fryers comes from cooking oil, and so far, it has been hard to find a healthy alternative that still tastes good.
Deep frying has long been the traditional way of preparing snacks like French fries, chicken wings, and mozzarella sticks. However, deep-frying is not only unhealthy but also messy to clean up afterward.
The air fryer comes as a healthy revolutionary alternative to deep-frying that uses hot air instead of oil, so you can enjoy your favorite fried treats without all the added fat and calories!
While many recipes for deep frying require up to 750 ml of oil, air-fried food only needs about 15 ml or one tablespoon. That’s a significant decrease of the fat content by 50 times.
Now let’s take a look at some actual facts related to the healthy side of air frying…
Are Air-fried French Fries And Air-fried Chicken Healthy?
One case study shows how air-fried French fries contain substantially less fat than deep-fried fries.
Another laboratory research concludes that air-fried chicken wings have 55% less trans fats than the deep-fried version.
The same study shows reduced saturated fat from 38% to 53% in food such as chicken wings, fish, and French fries.
As a result, the reduced intake of fat from oils will help you in reducing the risk of conditions like heart disease and inflammation.
So we can say with confidence that air frying is healthy for you if you prepare your food right, without overcooking it. Otherwise, it may lead to the formation of harmful compounds!
Is Air Fryer Cancerous?
Fried food is infamous for creating potentially dangerous and carcinogenic compounds like acrylamide (besides the unhealthy fat and calories)
However, air-fried food is proven to reduce the acrylamide content by 80% to 90% of your fried foods as opposed to the deep fryer.
Also, note that harmful compounds can still build up in the process of air-frying (depending on the food and the way of cooking).
There is still more research that needs to be done in this field, but for now, make sure to choose your air-frying food carefully and avoid overcooking it.
Are Air Fryers Worth The Money?
TOP 6 Air Fryer Benefits That Might Convince You…
There are many benefits to air fryers that make them worth the money:
- Air fryers are easy to clean.
- Air frying is a healthy way of cooking.
- Air frying requires less fat than traditional deep-fried foods.
- Air frying food can be cooked in less time than cooking with other methods.
- Air fryers have an extended warranty of up to 1 year, according to most manufacturers.
- Air fryers use less electricity to operate than other cooking appliances (so you will save money, which will justify the air fryer’s price)
Even with a low-priced, turbo-powered air fryer such as COSORI Air Fryer Max XL, you can get all of these benefits and cook your favorite fried foods like French fries, chicken wings, and mozzarella sticks without all the grease!
With today’s top choice: COSORI Air Fryer, you can use no oil or as little as 15% of what you normally use.
Just put your food inside, choose one of the 13 cooking functions and wait a couple of minutes for the rapid 360° air circulation to produce crispy golden perfection every time.
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We hope you’ve found this article helpful, and now you are finally less confused about how do air fryers work and whether they are worth it.
To recap, today we’ve given you a brief insight into what is an air fryer, how does an air fryer works, is air frying healthy, and whether air fryers are worth the money.
For the end, make sure to check our best air fryer recommendation for today and start cooking crispy and healthy French fries, air fryer frozen chicken wings, onion rings, and more with this revolutionary new kitchen appliance!
Related Readings: Best Air Fryers in 2021: My Honest Review