Air Fryer vs. Competition

In today’s new world, there is a never-ending competition to see what can make food better.  Whether it’s trying to make it taste better, healthier, or faster, it’s a cycle that doesn’t have an end.  The newest piece of cooking technology is the air fryer, a device that can cook your food differently.  It’s a new invention from Philips that produces healthy and tasty food with less oil than other appliances.  It uses circulated heated air to cook food instead of high-fat oil.  Any food that is cooked in deep fat or oil can be prepared using the air fryer.  It cooks with Rapid Air Technology while heating up to 200C.  It perfectly browns and crisps food up to 80 percent less fat than traditional cooking appliances.

How it Works

air fryer working principle

The way the air fryer is designed to operate through the cooking chamber.  Heat radiates from a heating element that is close to the food.  This process cooks the food appropriately and efficiently.  The air circulates through an exhaust fan above the cooking chamber.  The food is cooked all around and thoroughly, not just the outside of the food.  The removable tray is wide, and it is similar to a rice cooker.  Food can be cooked within twelve minutes, and leaves it with a delicious crisp.  The amount of oil that goes into the air fryer is miniscule, compared to fryers that need a lot of heated oil.  It makes the food healthier and give it an excellent texture.

air fryer working principle

It can cook a broad range of foods including chicken, fish, beef, and potatoes.  It can double as an oven and cook baking products; such as cakes or muffins.  The exhaust system controls temperature through internal pressure that builds up.  Any air that is left over is filtered, preventing any gasses or aerosol into the environment.  Since it can become scalding, it has a built-in cooling system.  A fan that is mounted on a motor axis controls the internal temperature to bring the air fryer to a cooler state.  The fan is wonderful to ensure that the internal parts of the air fryer are clean.  Fresh air passes through the filters from the top to the bottom to cool throughout the machine.

The air fryer is a lot safer than standardized home fryers because it doesn’t require a lot of oil.  The cooling system also helps the fryer to cool down quickly and protect its parts.  The benefits of the air fryer are listless.  Since it can fry food without making a mess and it won’t become a fire hazard, it is an excellent alternative to a lot of its competitors.  Some of the appliances the air fryer will be going against include a deep fryer, microwave, oven, oil fryer, and a convection oven.  Understanding the differences can result in deciding what would be a better choice to use for frying food.

Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer

deep fryerDepending on the model of the deep fryer, you may wind up with one that you like.  Some fryers have a removable oil tank, extra oil filters, adjustable heat controls, automatic timer, and a see-thru window.  A deep fryer and an air fryer can have the same features, but the deep fryer is a lot of work to cook and clean.  You will need to keep track of the time that food is cooking in the deep fryer to make sure it does not overcook or burn the food.  Some of the deep fryers come with cooking presets to prevent overcooking, but they may be more expensive.

The scent that a deep fryer leaves, especially for burned or cooked food, can be nauseating.  Deep fryers are available that have an odor control, and they use charcoal filters to combat the smell.  A removable container with an oil pour spout will assist in the cleanup of a deep fryer, but it has the potential to spill.  Once you get the oil out of the deep fryer, you will then have to find a place to take the used oil, costing you time.  Digitals timers with an easy-read display is a useful feature for the deep fryer.

The size of the air fryer is smaller than a deep fryer, due to the amount of oil you need to put into the deep fryer.  Deep fryers can take up a lot of space on a countertop and may be better suited for a garage or patio.  A deep fryer is not a healthier option to the air fryer, due to the oil.  They both have the ability to work for an extended period of time with regular use and maintenance.  They can typically last for a few years before showing signs of wear and tear.  The price for the deep fryer is less than an air fryer as well.

Verdict

I recommend the air fryer over a deep fryer.  Using a deep fryer can be a daunting task, even if you have been using one for a long time.  The air fryer may be more expensive, but if you are looking for a healthy way of eating, the air fryer is your best bet.  The cleaning process for the air fryer is more convenient than the deep fryer.  Plus, you won’t get the burning oil smell either.  Discarding the oil from the deep fryer can also be a challenge if you don’t have anywhere to put it.  The air fryer takes this round.

Air Fryer vs. Halogen Oven

The halogen oven is known for versatility, speed, and economy.  The ability to cook food quickly is one of the main features of the halogen oven.  Depending on the brand you have, you can watch the food cook.  Its see-thru window is excellent for seeing when your food will be ready.  It can cook to the correct specifications to get the right texture and will cook evenly.  It is similar to the air fryer, but you can add attachments, depending on what you are cooking.  Since it cooks your food evenly, you don’t have to worry about stirring your food around.

Halogen ovens perform well and are economical.  If you want to have the attachments for it, they will cost extra since they are not included.  The dials on some models are user-friendly and can be set to your needs.  Though the air fryer and the halogen oven share a lot of similarities, there are some key differences between the two.  The halogen oven has a bigger capacity than the air fryer.  They are larger and can cook more food than the air fryer.  The larger size is excellent if you are frying a more substantial portion of food.

The halogen oven can have some issues with frying certain foods, such as chips.  There are frying shelves available for a halogen oven, but they are sold separately.  Both the air fryer and the halogen oven do take a lot of power to use.  Both of them do feature a timer and some programs to make your frying experience more convenient.  Halogen ovens typically do not have a rotating paddle to heat evenly.  It can be an issue for someone who wants their food to heat evenly without the need to stir.

Verdict

I would give a slight edge to the air fryer because of the way it fries your food.  The halogen oven is an excellent compromise, but since it lacks in some necessary items, it is not truly a fryer.  The halogen oven wins in the capacity amount, but it is great if you are looking at frying larger items.  The air fryer can perfectly cook chips or fries without the need to go to the store for more parts.  The air fryer is also easier to store and put away if you don’t want it out on the counter.  For these few reasons, I recommend the air fryer over the halogen oven.

Air Fryer vs. Oil Fryer

The oil fryer is the same type of machine as a deep fryer.  The deep fryer has a higher capacity compared to the oil fryer, which can be stored at home.  The oil and deep fryer use a lot of oil to cook the food properly as well.  One of the biggest issues is getting rid of the oil in the for the oil fryer.  It is a health hazard to reuse oil that has cooked other food, especially if there is food remaining in it.  An oil fryer isn’t healthier compared to the air fryer, but it does provide a crunchy skin for chicken.

The air fryer, when used for frying chicken, drips the excess oils and fats out to provide a leaner piece of meat.  The chicken will be less crispy than an oil fryer, but it will still be moist.  If you want to cook chips, the oil fryer is capable of doing it, but it can leave smaller bits of chips floating around.  It can be a hassle to try and get all of the chips together in the oil fryer.  The excess pieces can stick to the walls of the oil fryer, thus making cleanup a lot more difficult.

As for cleaning, the air fryer is more convenient to clean.  You only have two parts to the air fryer, which is the cooking and drip pan.  They can be put in the dishwasher without needing to be scrubbed.  Oil vapor from the oil fryer can settle on countertops or cupboards, which means more cleaning.  Some oil fryers do offer splash guards, but there is always a chance the oil vapor will not be caught.  Trying to get the excess food out of the oil fryer is always a chore and almost more work than it is worth.

Verdict

I still recommend the air fryer due to its convenience for cleaning and healthier eating.  An oil fryer needs a lot of maintenance, and you can never be sure if your food is thoroughly cooked.  I would recommend the oil fryer if you are planning on frying a lot of food, but if you’re not, you wind up cleaning more than anything.  The oil fryer does give fried food that extra crisp and flavor to certain foods, but it is not a good idea to always eat fried food.  I give the air fryer this one as well.

Air Fryer vs. Microwave

Microwaves are excellent if you need to cook food quickly.  They heat the water content stored in the food, and that is why it is able to cook quickly.  The biggest issue with a microwave is that it will make your food dry, and it won’t fry the outside.  Microwaving food is perfect for heating up leftovers, but will not fry any food.  Though there are programs that will assist you with microwave cooking, not a single program is made for frying.  The air fryer may take a little bit longer to fry your food, but at least, it will be fried, rather than cooked.

There is a microwave that can fry your food, but it is very expensive.  At $470, Samsung’s microwave claims that it can fry your food.  That’s a lot of money for something that may not turn out as good as the air fryer. One benefit of the microwave claims you don’t need to add any oil. A lot of microwaves have the tendency to make food soggy since it is pulling out the excess water in food.  When the food is heated from the inside out, it is impossible to get a good crunch on anything without ruining it.

Even when you microwave food that has previously been fried, it can still come out soggy.  Fried chicken doesn’t hold up well when it is microwaved.  Some of the programs on the microwave allow you to microwave food for an extensive period, but it will not taste the same.  The air fryer can help keep the crispiness of food so that it can be enjoyed.  Microwaves are excellent if you need to heat something up quickly. Otherwise, it is not worth even trying to fry anything in the microwave.

Verdict

The air fryer by a long shot.  Microwaves do have their place in the kitchen, but trying to fry food is not a very good idea.  You would be better off using the stovetop on your oven to fry your food.  Since heating food up from the inside takes a lot of water with it, the food becomes dry.  I try not to use the microwave too much, but it works well for heating up spaghetti.  I don’t know what you can try to cook in the microwave, but I am sure there are some things, like TV dinners.  The microwave doesn’t stand up to the air fryer for fried food.

Air Fryer vs. Convection Oven

The convection oven is similar to a turbo boiler because it uses a fan to circulate air.  This process helps the air move around the food as it’s being cooked.  The air fryer is similar to the convection oven, but there are some key differences.  The convection oven can trap the moisture in the food better than the air fryer.  It leads to a better quality of the food and gives it a crispy crunch. You have the ability to toast bread in the convection oven. However, the air fryer excels at chips and fries.

A convection oven can hold more food for cooking. The capacity of the air fryer is about half of what a convection oven can hold.  For cooking times, the air fryer works faster and is better for reheating food.  They are similar in price, and they appear to use the same amount of electricity.  They both work very well to make crunchy food, but the convection oven is better for meats, such as chicken or fish.  Both of these items have a lot of the same features and qualities to consider.

When you need to clean, the air fryer has the convection oven beat.  Unless your convection oven can clean itself, you will need to scrub to get the grease and grime out of the oven.  The air fryer is easier to clean and is dishwasher safe.  Another point to consider is that the convection oven will radiate to heat the food up, so your fried food will not be as crispy.  The air fryer is also versatile for not only frying but for baking and grilling as well.  The faster cooking time for the air fryer is also an excellent feature.

Verdict

Both the air fryer and the convection oven have their unique qualities, but I would recommend the air fryer.  The ability to be able to fry, grill, and bake gives the air fryer an enormous advantage.  It is easier to clean than a convection oven.  The convection oven is perfect for frying up chicken and beef, but the cleaning process and the lack of versatility doesn’t stand up to the air fryer.  The convection oven is an excellent choice as well for the type of foods you want to cook, but the quality is the difference.  While both of them are convenient for cooking since you don’t always have to watch your food, the air fryer is the choice I would make.