What to consider when buying an air fryer

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If you have decided that you want join the bandwagon and get the ever-popular kitchen appliance - the *air fryer then you might be wondering what you need to consider when buying an air fryer. There are actually quite a few things you may not have thought of when it comes to the options available.

What is an air fryer and how does it work?

Air fryers are a great addition to your kitchen. They use the power of hot air to cook food. This is a much healthier alternative to deep-frying, where you can end up adding too much oil and fat to your diet. Air fryers are also more efficient than ovens or microwaves, which means you can save on electricity costs in the long run. We've not actually used a traditional oven in a good few years as we use both an air fryer and halogen oven instead. This is something that works well for the 3 if us as a family.

Will using an air fryer save you money?

Part of the reason why air fryers are gaining popularity is that they can save you money as they are cheaper to run than traditional ovens. Since air fryers are smaller they also sometimes cook food alot faster than a oven, meaning the running cost is a lot less than using a traditional oven. This is definitely important right now with the cost of living crisis.

Not only are you saving on energy costs you will be using less oil when cooking with an air fryer. Instead of using large quantities of oil to cook your favourite foods, you will be using little to no oil. With the price of oil increasing, this can also add up to a considerable amount that you are saving.

Some people might be hesitant about buying an air fryer because they think it will be too expensive in the long run. But if you look at how much money you would spend on a takeaway or fast food every week, it might make sense for you to buy an air fryer instead!


Buying an air fryer - what size should it be?

Air fryers come in different sizes, with the capacity to cook different amounts of food at once. The capacity of an air fryer is measured in litres, and the higher the number the bigger the capacity.

If you are cooking for yourself or with the occasional second person then a smaller capacity will suit you just fine. However, if you are cooking for a family or a large number of people then you will need an air fryer with a bigger capacity. We opted for a 4.3 liter one which we found to be the ideal size for our needs.

Do you need dual cooking?

Some of the newest air fryers on the market offer *dual cooking - This is either in the form of multiple baskets for cooking or trays.

If you want to cook an entire meal then you might want to consider an air fryer that offers dual cooking. For example, with dual cooking, you could cook chicken in one basket/tray, and chips in the other basket/tray.

If you are likely to just be cooking one thing at a time in your air fryer then you won't need to consider a dual cooking function.

Basket or trays in your air fryer

Air fryers either cook food in a basket or on trays like a traditional oven.

The basket-style air fryers are typically tall air fryers which feature the main unit with heating elements and fans. There are slide-out baskets that slot into place inside the air fryer. 

Basket-style air fryers usually have a smaller cooking area than oven-style air fryers. This is the style of fryer we opted for. The basket-style air fryers often require the food cooking inside the basket to be shaken during cooking to ensure even cooking.

*Oven-style air fryers use fan or convection technology to cook the food on flat trays. These trays slide into the air fryer, like you would an oven.

Whilst usually bigger than a basket-style air fryer, the benefit is that you can cook a variety of foods at the same time on separate trays.

Oven-style air fryers also often come with extra features, for example a rotisserie function.

Are there any special features that you want?

Did you know that some air fryers are jam-packed with special features?

Some air fryers come with a rotisserie feature, allowing you to cook whole rotisserie chickens at home, and others have in-built cooking settings to help you to cook a variety of ingredients. The one we have has functions that enables us to fry, grill, bake or roast our food.

Your budget for buying an air fryer

Air fryer prices start from around £40 for a basic air fryer up to £200 for a more higher end one that has alot more features.

Your budget is an important factor in deciding which air fryer you buy. Some people choose to start off buying a cheaper air fryer to see if they actually use it and if it meets there needs before deciding to upgrade. Whereas others go straight in at the top end and buy a more expensive air fryer from the start. There is no right or wrong budget for an air fryer, it's what works out for you.

Of course, you can save money by keeping an eye out for sales especially around Black Friday. Or there is the option to buy a second-hand air fryer from places like eBay or Facebook Marketplace. 

Storage space for your air fryer

Air fryers come in various sizes, and the higher the capacity the bigger the air fryer is. With this said you will need to think about not only it fitting on your kitchen sides when in use but also if you are planning to store your air fry away in a cupboard when not in use. Some air fryers would have difficulty fitting into a cupboard in your kitchen. As we have a fairly small kitchen we don't have anough room anywhere other than on the side.

Will you actually use an air fryer?

It is time to get serious with yourself - will you actually use the air fryer you have purchased?

If your air fryer will become another kitchen gadget that sits in a cupboard never to be used then buying one isn’t right for you.

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