How do Air Fryers Work?

Air Fryers are one of the biggest kitchen appliances now being sold on the market. When it comes to wanting to buy an air fryer, you may wonder how they actually work, and what the pros and cons are. So, how do air fryers work? 

How does an air fryer work?

An air fryer can roast and cook dishes at an extremely fast rate, faster than what an oven or a microwave can. 

An air fryer works by placing your food into a perforated basket and the appliance cooks the food by circulating hot air around it. 

An air fryer is made with a built- in heat mechanism and a fan which is built into the top. The air fryer then rapidly heats up and creates rapid circulation which cooks the food that is in the basket.

Diagram on how an air fryer works

What can you cook in an air fryer?

The most popular food that is cooked in an air fryer are fries – they crisp perfectly and take a lot less time to cook in an air fryer compared to an oven. Air fryers can cook a large amount of foods ranging from fries, chicken and different meats. 

One con of an air fryer is you are limited to portion sizes due to the fact that an air fryer can only hold a certain amount of food. 

Many people say that foods that are coated in liquid batter are not able to go in an air fryer, such as fried chicken, due to the fats and oils seeping through the holes of the basket, though there are inserts you can add to your air fryer to contain this mess.

Are air fryers healthy?

Air fryers are beneficial in the sense that they may help with weight management, as air fryers use a minimal amount of oil compared to a deep fat fryer.

Air fryers are a lower-fat method of cooking because they use minimal amounts of oil – this is good for cooking foods like fried chicken and fries. Air fryers are both easy and convenient.  

Do air fryers need oil?

Most foods use a capacity of 75% of oil to ensure that it is thoroughly cooked properly. Air fryers do sometimes use oil, because a lot of foods need oil to cook properly; however, they can cook plenty of foods without added oil and overall, use a less amount of oil than a deep fat fryer, making them a more healthy kitchen appliance. 

Some foods already contain the oil it needs for cooking, so always check the packaging before getting the oil out. Using oil with your food in an air fryer prevents your food from sticking to the metal basket – a spray of oil leaves your food a golden crispy brown colour. 

How does an air fryer actually cook?

An air fryer cooks food by heating up and blowing hot around the food that is placed in the basket. Believe it or not, an air fryer does not actually fry food; it ensures it is thoroughly cooked the same way an oven would, just at higher speeds, which also means less energy. 

Due to the hot air being swirled in a circular direction, this creates a golden crisp look. Another thing that makes a big difference with an air fryer is the fact that the food is placed in a small space, which means that air does not have much room to move around – this allows the food to cook quicker. 

Does an air fryer actually fry food?

The common answer is no, an air fryer does not actually fry food – it circulates hot air through your food which is in a small basket, cooking it quickly and leaving you with delicious, golden and crispy food to enjoy.  

With the word ‘fryer’ being in the appliance name, many people think that an air fryer actually fries your food. However, the process of an air fryer is more like baking rather than frying, but many people use air fryers to cook fried foods, such as fried chicken and fries.

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Liv Vining

Liv is a part-time barista with a passion for coffee and writing with an in-depth knowledge of commercial machinery and quality coffee. She's also an English and Maths tutor for home-educated children who are excited about learning and exploring, hence the passion for writing quality content!

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