What’s So Special About Air Fryers That Everyone Wants One?
Shopping for an air fryer? Here are 5 brands that will fit any budget.
When it comes to preparing meals, your cooking appliances are just as important as the ingredients you use. Obviously, you want those which will make your life easier, and over the years, quite a few innovations have become popular. In recent months, air fryers have become even more popular than when they were first introduced a few years ago. So, why are people raving about this product?
A versatile appliance is always a good buy. A multicooker, for instance, can cook, bake, saute, and keep your food warm. With an air fryer, you can also experiment on different cooking methods and whip up healthier meals more efficiently.
The air fryer works by convection, or spreading heat around your food, creating a crisp coating while keeping the meat juicy and tender. It is also known to reduce the food’s calorie and fat content without sacrificing taste.
Alvin Calicaran, an IT consultant, has been using an air fryer for over five years now. He uses it for “frying” meats -- mostly chicken and fish -- as well as baking lava cakes and muffins.
“A lot of people say that it’s just a smaller and ‘more hyped’ version of what we used to know as a turbo broiler and I think it’s partially true, functionally speaking,” he shares. “But, the air fryer’s small size is really what helps it achieve what turbo broilers cannot.”
Alvin shares that in 2020, several months into the lockdown, he was consuming mostly only air-fried meals, which had a positive effect on his low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or the “bad” cholesterol. “Basically, I eat healthy without depriving myself of food that would have otherwise been greasy,” he says.
The trendy air fryer is often compared to other kitchen appliances like the turbo broiler and convection oven. Indeed, how different are these three?
Air fryers vs. Turbo broilers
A turbo broiler features a big glass pot with a fan attached to its lid, where hot air comes from. This is then dispersed inside the oven, allowing the meat to cook while dissolving the fat, making it juicy and tender. You can also bake, fry, and steam with a turbo broiler.
In the same way, air fryers have a built-in fan to cook the food evenly and speed up the process of meal preparation. The dial, however, usually indicates various presets for specific kinds of food instead of temperature or time. A typical air fryer’s small size also limits the types of dishes you can cook with it.
Air Fryers vs. Convection Ovens
A convection oven’s design makes it look like a bigger toaster oven, but the built-in fan spells the difference. It slowly circulates hot air inside the oven to create that convection effect and make cooking time shorter. It cooks meats evenly, improving the taste and texture of the food.
An air fryer, on the other hand, is smaller, more compact, and stands vertically. It has a built-in fan, a detachable food bucket, and a basket where the food is placed. The rapid flow of hot air inside makes it possible for food to cook more quickly in an air fryer than in a convection oven.
While an air fryer shares commonalities with turbo broilers and convection ovens, its size is what sets it apart. It looks great on the kitchen countertop with its unique shape and minimalist design. And because of its ease of use – put the food in, set the dial, and wait for the ‘ding!’ – it’s no wonder homemakers love the air fryer.
If you are on the lookout for budget-friendly air fryers, here’s a roundup of affordable brands you can purchase online.
Kyowa KW-3810 Air Fryer
This barrel- shaped appliance has a 3-liter capacity and five functions: bake, fry, grill, roast, and toast. It includes a non-stick basket with a residue collector for easier cooking and clean-up afterwards, an automatic shut-off safety feature, and a temperature control up to 200°C. The KW-3810 comes in black and rose red.
Available for Php 3,220 on Lazada.
Cherry Digital Air Fryer
With a capacity of 4.5 liters, this egg-shaped machine features a digital easy-touch panel that lets you choose from among its seven cooking programs like bake, chicken, fish, fries, meat, shrimp, and thaw. It also has a 30-minute timer and a bottom heat flow technology, which lessens fat and oil content up to 80%.
Available for Php 3,990 on Lazada.
Xiaomi Liven G-5 Oil-free Air Fryer
This sleek air fryer helps you stay on track in your journey to healthier eating. It uses hot air to evenly cook food so that you still get that "deep-fried" texture, but without using oil. It has a 2.5-liter capacity, 60-minute timer, an auto shut-off function, and a cool-touch housing for safety.
Available for Php 5,199 on Lazada.
American Heritage Air Cooker Pro AHACP-6216
Make cooking effortless with the Air Cooker Pro. By convection it cooks the food on all sides evenly. The infrared heat ensures food cooks properly from the inside out, while halogen heat gives you that golden brown crisp. It has a 4.5L capacity, a 60-minute timer, and temperature control up to 250°C that doesn't require preheating.
Available for Php 5,999 on Lazada.
Russell Hobbs RHAF3C Healthy Air Fryer
This air fryer from a popular UK brand cooks your food up to 80% faster than conventional cooking. It has a 3.5-liter capacity, a 60-minute timer, temperature controls of up to 200°C, and a simple yet elegant design.
Available for Php 8,995 on Lazada.