Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Is Cooking with an Air Fryer Healthy?

Air fryers are marketed as a tool to achieve crisp fried foods without having to use harmful fats and oils. This kitchen appliance works by heating the air around the food; a built-in fan uses convection to circulate hot air through the unit making the food crisp. Referred to by some as ‘health fryers’, they are a healthier alternative to deep fryers as they replicate a similar end product.

These machines aren’t only a substitute for the conventional fryer, they also can be utilized as a small oven—able to bake a variety of products both savoury and sweet, from the obvious French fries to vegetables, chicken, bacon or even brownies.

They are also best suited to frozen foods or dry items which would generally be fried, similarly to deep fryers it is not suitable for cooking any liquid foods. The recipes—such as soup, sauces, batters or cheese—won’t crisp in the air fryer and instead only make a warm mess.

 Health Benefits

It has been shown that on average of the use between 70-80% less fat than traditional frying methods. The health advantages of consuming less fat to achieve a balanced diet includes reduced risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and some cancers. Most recipes cooked within an air fryer do benefit from some additional fat which helps to further crisp the foods.

For this reason, they wouldn’t be considered a healthy method of cooking but certainly better than deep frying and suitable if used within a balanced diet.


Top 3 Recommendations

(1)           Ninja AF100

The Ninja 3.4L prides itself on saying ‘hello to guilt-free fried food’. With the use of little to no oil, the Ninja boasts multi-functionality, as well as air-frying the unit can roast, reheat and dehydrate foods.

This model is also extremely easy to clean, with the compact frying unit dishwasher-safe or easily removed, rinsed and replaced. Along with the appliance comes a Ninja cookbook, which is full of suggestions and recipes to make the most of your air fryer.


(2)         VonShef 5-litre Air Fryer

The VonShef is ideal for feeding the whole family with its 5-litre capacity. This model is also more affordable with the majority of the product ranging from £50 - £300.

The VonShef offers settings for deep fry, roast, bake and grill with a temperature setting reaching to 200°C. It’s hard to argue with the guarantee of ‘all the taste of deep fat frying with up to 80% fewer calories.


(3)         TEFAL ActiFry Genius XL 2-in-1

This model is at the higher end of the price range due to the ability to air fry two dishes at once. The TEFAL ActiFry Genius XL 2-in-1 includes two separate cooking areas, one bowl and one tray. The TEFAL quotes that the ActiFry requires ‘99% less added fat’ while the settings include 9 Intelligent Programs for a variety of recipes.

To research more reviews, you can find them here.

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