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Air fryers have become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. These handy kitchen appliances allow you to enjoy the much-loved taste and texture of fried foods with just a fraction of the associated oil and calories. And since there’s a wide range of recipes that can be made in an air fryer beyond the traditional deep-fried foods, air frying is something everyone needs to try.  

However, like any kitchen appliance, air fryers also have their drawbacks. So in this blog, Kitchenways explores the pros and cons of cooking with an air fryer, so you can decide if this impressive gadget is the right choice for your kitchen. Whether you’re a health-conscious foodie or just looking for a new way to cook your favourite fried chicken recipe, read on to discover the benefits and drawbacks of cooking with an air fryer.

Air Fryer Pros

Air fryers have been marketed as an alternative to deep fryers since their rise to popularity in 2015. However, they’re capable of so much more than making healthier “deep-fried food”. Here are some of the best benefits of air fryers:

  1. Healthier cooking: First, we have their most popular pro – air fryers require little to no oil, so you can enjoy your favourite fried foods without the deep frying part, resulting in less fat and calories. This is great for those who are looking to reduce their fat intake or maintain a healthier lifestyle.
  2. Speedier cooking times: Air fryers work by circulating hot air, which cooks meals faster than other cooking methods. This can be especially useful when you’re short on time or need to cook a meal quickly!
  3. Easy to use and clean: Air fryers are famed for their ease of use, with simple controls and pre-set cooking options. They also require minimal cleanup, as most have dishwasher-safe baskets, and the non-stick surface is easy to clean.
  4. Versatile cooking options: Air fryers can cook a wide range of foods, including vegetables, meats, fish, and even desserts. This means you can make air-fried food for multiple meals throughout the day, from breakfast to dinner to snacks.
  5. You can still enjoy traditionally fried foods: When aiming for healthy alternatives and a balanced lifestyle, we often have to turn away from our classic favourites. However, by using an air fryer, you can still enjoy traditional fried foods, like french fries, chicken wings, fish sticks, etc. The only difference is, you can enjoy these delicious meals and snacks with fewer calories and far less oil. This is, as we’re sure you can imagine, one of the most popular air fryer advantages.

Air Fryer Cons

Unfortunately, it can’t all be good. After all, an air fryer is a kitchen appliance that was designed for a specific purpose, and this can frustrate a cook who is accustomed to the versatility of an oven, a pan and a pot.

So to balance out our pros, here are our cons:

  1. Limited cooking options: While air fryers can cook a wide range of foods, they cannot make everything that a traditional convection oven can. For example, an air fryer can’t really be used to bake a cake or cook a large roast. If you were to try, you’d likely end up with a crispy exterior and uneven cooking in the centre. 
  2. They have limited cooking capacity: Air fryers are available in a variety of sizes, designed to suit anything from individual cooks to entire families. But even so, even the largest models have a limited cooking capacity. This means that you may need to cook food in batches, which can be time-consuming.
  3. Can be a little noisy: Air fryers use a fan to circulate super hot air, which does make a bit of noise. However, the noise level will depend on the model you choose. 
  4. Expensive: Air fryers can be more expensive than other kitchen appliances, such as toaster ovens or slow cookers. However, the cost can vary depending on the size and features of the air fryer.
  5. Requires worktop and storage space: Air fryers can be bulky and require counter space when in use, which can be a challenge if you have a small kitchen. Also, when not in use, you may want to pack your air fryer away, requiring cupboard space too.

Conclusion on Air Fryer Benefits and Disadvantages

So there you have it – air fryers are a super useful, versatile option for making healthier meals, whether they’re replacing a deep fryer or a convection oven. Air-fried foods are delicious, crispy and a healthier alternative to their traditionally fried counterparts. However, air fryers also take up extra space and can be noisy. 

It’s not all green ticks for the air fryer – but we find, as do most modern cooks, that the pros outweigh the cons, and this is a worthy investment into your kitchen and cooking options.