How to choose the best air fryer? If you have intended to buy a new air fryer, you might be thinking about what to look for when making the decision. In this article, I will guide you on how you can buy the right air fryer for your home. There are a lot of factors that we need to consider before the purchase. Each of the factors may be different for different individuals. For example, if you are living in a small family, the size of the air fryer that you need should not be the same as that of the person living in a big family.
Size – Choosing the best size of an air fryer
The size of an air fryer is determined by the size of the food basket. Generally, the unit that is used to measure the size of the basket is either quart or liter. In the united states, ‘quart’ is the most common unit that you will see on the label of an air fryer. If you are a single person or living in a family of 2, then the smallest air fryers will be sufficient for you having 1.5 to 2.5 quarts of basket size. If you are living in a family of 4 people, then a basket size of 3.5 to 4.5 quarts will be sufficient. For the largest family, an air fryer with a 5 to 6 quarts basket will be sufficient.
Portability – What to look for in a mobile air fryer
If you are a traveler or camper, you may need an air fryer that can be moved conveniently. Not all air fryer has equal portability. To get the highest level of mobility, you will have to consider the size. Generally, air fryers having basket size ranging for 1.5 to 3 quarts weight around 7 to 9 pounds. You will not have any air fryer which weighs less than that. Air fryers for medium to big families have weight as much as 20 pounds that will not be suitable for portability in any way.
Dimension – How does it impact the buying decision
If you are not concerned about the weight and portability, you may still need to think about the dimension of the air fryer. Although an air fryer looks like a coffeemaker, it may have other dimensions as well. For example, some combo cookers can be used as an air fryer, convection oven, and toaster oven as well. These kinds of air fryers are may have a square or rectangular shape instead of the conventional shape. If you do not have enough space on the countertop then these are not the right products for you. If we compare the dimension of bigger and smaller air fryers that have the conventional shape, we find that although the difference in the weight is huge, the difference in dimension is not that much.
Built-quality – Ease of cleaning
Some of the air fryers have glossy finishing and some are matte. Everyone has her preference. Therefore, design and aesthetics do not have any parameters to say good or bad. But the quality of the material that has been used to build the air fryer needs to be checked twice. For instance, the food basket has to be non-stick and dishwasher friendly. This is very important during cleaning the basket. If the metal is not of high quality then the longevity of the food tray or rack will not be that much.
Price – Ensure the best value for the money
The price of the air fryers ranges from 40 to 180 bucks. A basic air fryer for a small family having two members will cost you the least. You will have a small basket that will be enough for cooking for a maximum of 2 persons in a budget air fryer. There will not be any other advanced function. It will have a manual dial to control the temperature and time. On the other hand, an air fryer that costs more than 100 dollars will be sufficient for a medium to large family. It will have digital dials with many preset cooking options. Apart from air frying, you might have options to grill, dehydrate, bake, or roast foods. It will have a digital control panel with so many options.
Purpose – What is the reason of the purchase
What you intend to do with your air fryer? If you have no intention other than air frying, then you should not think so much about it. But if you need to roast, grill, or bake apart from air frying then check whether your air fryer can do these or not. These multi-functional air fryers have controllable blower fan speed that makes it possible to cook food in different ways. When you purchase any of these kinds of air fryers, check whether you are getting a sufficient amount of free accessories
Control panel – Digital vs Analog
This is an important aspect of an air fryer that you must check before buying. A budget air fryer may have an analog dial control panel where you can change the temperature and time manually. The problem with a manual dial is that you do not have precise control over the parameters. On the other hand, with a digital control panel, you will be able to change the temperature and time within 1 unit. Digital control panels may also give you some preset options so that you can cook foods without knowing the exact temperature and time settings.
Do I need an air fryer if I already have a convection oven?
The working principle of an air fryer and a convection oven is almost the same. Both of these kitchen accessories use convection air to cook food. However, an air fryer has faster fan speed that can ensure even distribution of hot air. Therefore, even though the convection oven can be used as an air fryer, this will not be as effective and fast than an air fryer. But if you do not want to purchase an additional kitchen appliance because of limited space, then the convection oven will be just sufficient for air frying but not the best one.
Can I dehydrate food with my air fryer?
A dehydrator is a kitchen appliance that is used to remove water from the food. By removing water, it makes the food good for preserving for a long time. The dehydration process requires a lower temperature and higher cooking time. The challenge of dehydrating food with an air fryer is that the ordinary air fryers can not provide temperature lower than 170°F. The ideal dehydration process may require temperature as low as 130°F. Heating at a higher temperature may destroy to structure of the food. The second challenge is heating time. Most of the air fryers do not have the option to set the time more than 1 hour where it may require as long as 24 hours to complete the dehydration process. Therefore, you can dehydrate apples or other foods with your air fryer but the result will not be as good as with a dehydrator.
What is the best electric power for an air fryer?
The wattage of an air fryer varies between 800 to 1500 watts. The rule of thumb is that higher is better. Air fryer with lower wattage may take a longer time to reach the expected level of temperature. Therefore, when you are choosing between different wattage of air fryer, go for the higher one. However, check whether the electrical requirement matches with the electric arrangement at your home.
I think the guide above will help you make the right decision during your purchase of the best air fryer. Always know your requirement first. Then check for all available options and make the decision. If you find this article helpful, you can share it with others so that everyone gets benefited from it. You can also share your kitchen experience with us through the comment section. Happy cooking!