Air fryers have become a hot item as of late. After all, who wouldn’t want to recreate the glorious fried taste of fries, onion rings, and chicken wings for a fraction of the price? But are air fryers deserving of all the hype, and what are the top pros and cons of air fryers?
Air fryers are great because they can reduce your calorie intake by up to 80% when compared to deep-fried foods. On the other hand, they can be limited in what they can cook, are bulky, and can often be quite expensive to buy.
I recently purchased GoWise USA air fryer and tried it out. After testing it out for a few weeks, I discovered a few PROS and CONS with air fryers that I wanted to share with you.
There are a lot of things to consider before jumping on the air fryer bandwagon. The rest of this article will walk you through all of the top pros and cons of air fryers.
Pros of Air Fryers
Air fryers are popular for good reason—they let you make delicious food with a fraction of the calories right from your kitchen.
Makes Delicious Food
The best part about air fryers is that they can not only replicate restaurant-style food, but you can also customize your own meals to incorporate the air fryer. Meats, seafood, vegetables—if you can name it, you can fry it.
Related: GoWise Air Fryer Review
Getting that perfect crispy flavor on a chicken wing can be pretty easy to figure out, and lots of models even have settings for different foods that will cook them up for you. There are also lots of accessories you can add to air fryers like cake pans, racks, and pizza pans to make a variety of rich, delicious foods.
Whether you want a small pound cake or a homemade deep dish pizza, an air fryer isn’t short on options when it comes to making great food.
Cuts Down on Fat and Calories
Another great benefit of owning an air fryer is that it can reduce fat and calories. Of course, you should take this with a grain of salt.
Yes, an air fryer reduces the number of calories in a meal since air frying uses way less oil than frying in a vat of oil; however, nutritionally starved foods (like French fries) aren’t healthy, whether you’re using a deep fryer or an air fryer.
With that being noted, air fryers can certainly create some healthier alternatives if you want to enjoy a crispy side or main dish from time to time. Most recipes only require up to a tablespoon of oil for best results, which beats eating out any day of the week.
It’s Quick, Easy, and Cheap
Air fryers are dead simple to use. Layer your food of choice in the pan, add oil if needed, and choose the appropriate setting. That’s it. There’s far less risk of oil jumping and burning you like with a deep fryer, and most meals can be air fried within 30 minutes.
It also saves you money compared to a restaurant visit, and once you get the knack for using it, you can replicate many of your favorite restaurant foods with an air fryer!
Makes for Simple Cleanup
Cleaning up after using an air fryer is as simple as unplugging it and removing the basket, tray, and pan. Wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
Use a damp cloth to wipe down the main unit (do not immerse in water) and give the heating coil a quick clean. Be extremely careful when cleaning the heating coil and ensure that the fryer has had plenty of time to cool down before touching it.
Cons of Air Fryers
For all their wonderful benefits, air fryers also have some downsides. They can get hot on a countertop, are bulky, and can have a hefty price tag. I picked up a GoWISE USA Air Fryer for about $150 on Amazon.
Here are my top CONS when it comes to air fryers.
One of the biggest problems with air fryers is that they produce a lot of heat. The top and back of the unit can get pretty hot, so you should avoid putting it under a cabinet or against a wall to avoid damaging your home.
I noticed a lot of steam rolling out of mine, and it was causing condensation to form under my cabinets.
The heat isn’t dangerous so long as you’re careful, but it’s certainly a negative feature of air fryers.
Can be Bulky
In addition to the heat produced, air fryers have a pretty bulky profile on the kitchen countertop. They take up a fair amount of space compared to other appliances like a toaster or coffeemaker. I am used to having a portable ice maker on our countertop, so it’s not overly bulky for me, but it can be overwhelming.
This isn’t necessarily a problem in some homes, but if your kitchen countertop space is already pretty tight, then an air fryer is going to make a full kitchen turn into a crowded one.
Has a Big Price Tag
This is only partially a con. Air fryers can be cheap, but their quality will be reflected in that price. Your average Walmart or Target air fryer isn’t going to cut it if you want to create a variety of dishes with your air fryer, and cheaper models are more subject to breaking down sooner.
If you want a good air fryer, you’re probably looking to drop $50-100 on one. To some degree, this depends on the amount of versatility you want in your air fryer, but the fact that air fryers tend to run so expensive can put some people off buying them.
Isn’t Great for Health
As mentioned before, air fryers are healthier than deep fryers, but they aren’t truly healthy by any stretch of the imagination. Most recipes still call for a lot of oil, which is loaded with fat and calories.
You can certainly opt for healthier oil choices, but if you’re using an air fryer a lot, you run the risk of overdoing it with the oil. Similarly, your food options for an air fryer—wings, fries, cakes—are often not the healthiest either. It’s always going to be healthier to bake or roast your food, and whole foods at that.
I recently purchased the GOWISE Steam Air fryer, and it’s a great choice for more healthier meals. I love steaming my vegetables, or even cooking steamed salmon.
The taste of an air fryer can certainly be versatile, and once you’ve had some practice, you can make great home fries with them; however, if you want to perfectly recreate your favorite restaurant foods, an air fryer will probably disappoint you. In truth, an air fryer works more like a convection oven, blowing hot air over the food rather than submerging them in oil.
As such, the food isn’t as evenly heated or as richly imbued with oily goodness as a deep fryer. There are limits to what an air fryer can replicate, and the small size of the basket can also prevent you from making large-scale dishes (like a pie bigger than 10 inches).
Foods will also need to be cooked in batches if you have more than two or three guests, making the air fryer an impractical solution for larger gatherings.
Air fryers are a great piece of technology that can imitate some of our favorite fried foods with fewer calories and reduced cost.
Just a little practice with an air fryer can make you a master of homemade fries; however, there are also a few cons to air fryers too, including the bulky size, lack of large-scale frying options, and the purchase price.
Regardless of whether you’re a fan of air fryers or not, it’s clear that this technology might not be right for everyone.