Imagine eating chicken nuggets, sausages, kebabs, and bacon that are fried but healthy! A dream come true, right?
Air fryers can do that! They can replace the use of oil for frying by using heating elements to circulate air inside the basket to fry food. Hence, it does not add calories but helps in reducing them!
This article will discuss the functioning of air fryers and compare them with other cooking and frying alternatives.
Are Air Fryers Good For You?
It’s always fun to binge on fried food items that are crispy and moist at the same time. Who can say no to french fires? But is it healthy?
According to research, deep frying food in oil can result in various health hazards like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cholesterol, etc. Hence, not so healthy. Gone are the days
In this generation where millions of people are getting health conscious, it is only fair to have a device that can replace oil frying. It may seem too good to be true, but air fryers are a reality! These devices have revolutionized the food industry by cooking food without adding oil and yet giving it the same texture and crispiness!
Do Air Fryers Add Calories?
Air fryers can cook food with the help of a fan that circulates heated air. This blast of hot air gives the food its unique taste and crispiness. Since no oil or butter is used in the process, this unique countertop device cannot add calories.
If you are frying a heavy-calorie item like greased sausages or meat, rest assured the overall calorie will equal the number of calories in the item, and no extra calories will be added post-air frying.
How Air Fryers Can Alter Calories
Often, people prefer to brush oil or butter on their food items to give them extra crispiness. In such cases, there is a possibility that the overall calorie count will increase.
For instance, while air frying beef, pork, fries, chicken nuggets, frozen vegetables, etc., some people prefer to spray oil on them before air frying them. Since this step is optional, one can choose to skip it.
In deep frying oil is the medium used for cooking food and giving it a brown texture. In air fryers, heated air is used to get the food cooked. Since oil is not required, naturally, the overall calories you will consume will be much less.
In terms of calories, 100 grams of oil has roughly 884! Even if you use oil in air fryers, the maximum amount you need is one teaspoon, which accounts for 40 calories. Hence, air fryers help reduce calories and promote a healthy eating pattern.
How Many Calories Does an Air Fryer Save In Comparison To a Deep Fryer?
Conventional deep frying requires a lot of oil! Under the influence of heat, the oil gets absorbed in the fried item. Hence, the fat count of a deep fry item goes high due to the use of a high-calorie ingredient.
The oil required in an air fryer is almost 40 times less than deep frying! Hence, you save up on calories by switching the mode of cooking.
Does Air-Fried Food Taste As Good As Deep-Fried Food?
Air fryers work on the principle of Maillard Reaction. Hence, the food gets a distinctive flavor and taste. Naturally, food cooked in oil tastes better, but one might choose to forgo the oil if they are concerned about its detrimental health effects.
In addition, an air fryer can grill and roast food items, which are far superior to deep-fried foods in terms of flavor. Imagine having roasted broccoli that tastes divine! With air fryers, that is possible.
Pros and Cons of an Air Fryer
Before deciding if an air fryer is the best for your kitchen and can complement your lifestyle, let us look at some advantages and disadvantages of the equipment.
Advantages of an Air Fryer
Listed below are some advantages of an Air Fryer
Easy to Use
The most important thing while purchasing an electronic device is its design; air fryers are designed to simplify life without having too many complicated instructions and buttons.
It is a relatively easy-to-operate machine that can give you crispy and crunchy food every time. All you have to do is plug it in and set the timer!
Air fryers do not require oil while cooking food. Hence, it helps cut down calories, thus losing weight and graduating towards a healthy lifestyle.
In contrast to microwaves or convection ovens, air fryers are small appliances that can effectively perform the same task. Because the gadget is very small, less energy is needed to operate it. Hence, you save up on energy by investing in an air fryer.
We all love a multi-purpose device! Air fryers are excellent at frying foodstuffs! However, it can roast, bake, grill, and even reheat food items. Since it offers such versatility, one can use them to make various recipes with chicken, fries, vegetables, meat, etc.
How many times have you burnt yourself due to the heated oil in deep frying? Rest assured, since oil is not used in an air fryer, you won’t end up with burned fingers or wrists!
Furthermore, unlike microwaves, the radiation emitted by air fryers is negligible; hence, no hazardous health risk.
Air fryers are compact devices that can fry items without leakages and splats. Since the machine has an inner basket to place the food item while frying, one does not have to use tons of glassware and utensils to fry food.
Disadvantages of an Air Fryer
I always like to discuss both sides of the coin. Hence, let us look at the disadvantages of an air fryer.
If you have a large family or are planning a gathering, cooking in an air fryer can be difficult. Since every air fryer has a specific capacity, it could be challenging to fry food in large quantities in one load.
It is recommended to position the items at a uniform spacing to guarantee that the food is cooked effectively; therefore, one may need to load many batches to complete the task, which can take a long time.
Air fryers are perfect for every kitchen but are not cost-effective. Even the most basic Air fryers cost about 300 USD, whereas advanced options may range from 800 USD to 1500 USD.
One major complaint with air-fried food is that it lacks moisture. Since hot air is used for cooking the food, it may deprive the food of its moisture. To avoid this, users are advised to brush the surface of the food with oil or butter.
Air fryers require maintenance much like any other electronic gadget. The machine may overheat if it is used for an extended period. In addition, if you use oil for cooking, you need to be careful that it doesn’t interact with the heating element because that could lead to smoke and a burning smell.
Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer
Since air fryers don’t require oil for cooking, they are ideal for those with high cholesterol, kidney problems, diabetes, or who are obese.
Air-fried food absorbs the oil, and deep-frying meals can be an extremely unhealthy cooking method. A diet heavy in calories might cause weight gain and other problems.
Air fryer vs. Microwave
Unlike microwaves, air fryers produce heat by using electromagnetic radiation. Over the years, research has highlighted the various harmful effects of these radiations on overall health, especially the eyes!
Since the heating mechanism of air fryers involves a heating coil and fan, it is presumably safe for human health.
Air Fryer vs. Baking Oven
There is no need for oil when cooking with an air fryer; the same is true for baking. One can use either way depending on their needs because they are both healthy.
Large ovens can cook a lot of food at once or in bulk. Since air fryers are very small, they cannot be employed to fry food in large quantities.
FAQ 1: Do air fryers reduce nutrients?
Answer: There is no report suggesting that air frying can reduce or alter the nutrient value of food. Since heated air is used for cooking food, there is a possibility that the food may lack moisture and taste.
FAQ 2: Is air frying a good way to lose weight?
Answer: Air fryers are perfect gadgets for weight loss. The food cooked in air fryers does not require oil; hence, it is a healthy alternative to other cooking methods. Furthermore, anything from french fries to kale can be fried in air fryers! The variety makes weight loss and diet easy!
FAQ 3: Can you put frozen items in an air fryer?
Answer: Yes, frozen food can be cooked in an air fryer. However, it is recommended to brush frozen food with oil or butter before loading it into the air fryers to prevent its drying.
Countertop air fryers are ideal if one wants to change to a healthy lifestyle. Unlike deep-frying, these appliances can bake, grill, roast, and cook meals without using oil.
Since oil is not needed, the total calorie count of the food prepared in an air fryer is significantly reduced. This help in weight loss and muscle building.
However, if you live in a large family, these gadgets may be very small to suit your lifestyle. In such cases, you can opt for a baking oven to meet your demands.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.