Air Fryer: Is It Worth The Hype?
With the rising number of Zumba classes, salad shops and detox diets, it is no surprise that Singaporeans are jumping onto the healthy living bandwagon.
And one of the latest products to cater to this hype? The air fryer. Well, technically anything 'fried' isn't healthy, but an air-fryer that uses a hot air mechanism to 'fry' foods can reduce the amount of oil used to very little - or nothing at all.
But with prices ranging from $70 – $400, is this gadget a worthwhile buy, or are you better off indulging in a deep-fry every other cheat day? We delve into the pros and cons, as well as some tips on making the most out of your air-fryer.
What Are Prices Like?
We found prices of different air fryer models at electronics stores island wide:
Clockwise (From L to R):
• PHILIPS Viva Collection Airfryer (HD9220): $164.98 at Lazada
• PHILIPS Avance Collection Airfryer XL (HD9240): $279 at Lazada
• TEFAL ActiFryer Family 1.5kg (AW9500): $359 at Lazada
• EUROPACE Air Fryer (EAF 333Q): $77.90 at Lazada
What Are The Pros?
Healthier alternative to traditional fryer
The main benefit of getting an air fryer is this. Using 70 – 80% less oil than food cooked with normal fryers, the air fryer helps you cut a large proportion of fat from your meals.
Lesser burns and injuries
Admit it - we all make a 100-metre dash upon dropping food into a pot of oil! No one wants to get splashed with burning hot oil! With an air fryer that completely eliminates oil and keeps any messy stuff covered in its confines, you won’t have to worry about searing yourself when frying.
Easier maintenance and cleaning
Think cooking is difficult? Wait till you get to cleaning up! Luckily for us, air fryer parts are non-stick, allowing a hassle-free clean. Goodbye to days of laboriously scraping the bottom of a pot or pan! Air fryer parts are removable and dishwasher friendly, making them quick and easy to clean. The cherry on top? All the frying is contained within the appliance so there won’t be any oil spills to clear.
Fry, grill, roast and bake - the air fryer can do it all. Once you know the right temperatures and timing to set, you can leave it to do the magic! In particular, Philips and Tefal's range of Air Fryers provide a collection of air-fryer recipes complete with recommended timings and temperature settings. Unleash your inner domestic God or Goddess and explore all kinds of meals, with a healthy twist of course.
Here are some examples of foods you can cook using an air fryer:
Air Fry: Frozen snacks such as French fries, onion rings, chicken wings
Air Grill: Seafood, vegetables
Air Bake: Muffins, cupcakes, brownies and bread
Air Roast: Meats (Example: chicken, seafood, pork, beef) and vegetables (Example: potato, cauliflower, corn, kale)
What Are The Cons?
Longer cooking times
Compared to normal frying which takes approximately 5-10 minutes, expect an air fryer to take at least 15-25 minutes. Just like any frying, you will need to warm up an air fryer for several minutes before using it.
Many air fryer models such as the Philips Viva Airfryer HD 9220 have a small capacity. That means if you are cooking for a large group of people, you will need to use the Air Fryer in several batches.
Luckily for us, there are several models available which have a contain a larger quantity. For example, Philips Avance XL Airfryer has 50% more capacity compared to the Viva model and Tefal ActiFry So if you have more mouths to feed, you know which model to go for.
Our Verdict: Get An Air-Fryer
Offering healthier meals and the ability to fry, grill, bake and roast, the air fryer proves to be a worthwhile appliance that will soon be a staple in any home. Its growing popularity also means that air-fryer models have become increasingly affordable, with prices starting from $70 or so.
Expect some trial and error when using an air fryer, as you will need to determine what is the best temperature and timings to achieve your desired results.
However, it's important to note that an air fryer is not exactly a deep fryer. Don’t expect your end product to look or taste identical to how you normally fry.
Ultimately, if you want to keep healthy, but be able to indulge in your favourite oily treats, the air fryer offers a convenient solution for guilt-free fried food snacking.
Air Fryer Tips
1. Don’t put too many food items in an air fryer. Ensure there is sufficient space for food so that air can circulate effectively.
2. Rotate and stir food in the container every 5-10 minutes to allow even cooking.
3. Pat foods dry before cooking in an air fryer to avoid splattering and excess smoke.
4. Coat food items with a light layer of oil to make sure they don’t stick to the basket.
5. Empty fat from the bottom machine especially when cooking food high in fat such as chicken wings.
T-fal ActiFry; Philips Singapore; Harvey Norman; Amazon; Mega Discount Store
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