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What to consider when buying an air fryer

If you have decided to brace the ever-popular kitchen appliance – the air fryer then you might be wondering what you need to consider when buying an air fryer. There are many important things to take into consideration, so let’s delve into some of them.
What is an air fryer and how does it work?
Air fryers are a great addition to any kitchen. They use the power of hot air to cook food. This is a much healthier alternative to deep-frying, which can add too much oil and fat to your diet. Air fryers are also more efficient than ovens or microwaves, which means you can save on electricity costs in the long run.
Will using an air fryer save you money?

Part of the reason why air fryers are gaining popularity is that they are cheaper to run than traditional ovens.

Since air fryers are smaller and sometimes cook food faster than an oven, the running cost is a lot less than using a traditional oven.

That is before you also consider how much less oil you will be using when cooking with an air fryer. Instead of using a large quantity of oil to produce your favourite fried foods, you will be using much less – usually a tablespoon or less.

With the price of oil increasing, this can add up to a substantial amount of money saved.

Some people might be hesitant about buying an air fryer because they think it will be too expensive in the long run. But if you look at how much money you would spend on take away or fast food every week, it might make sense for you to buy an air fryer instead!
Buying an air fryer – what size should it be?

Air fryers come in different sizes, with the capacity to cook different amounts of food at once.

Air fryer capacity is measured in litres, and the higher the number the bigger the capacity.

If you are just cooking for yourself and the occasional second person then a smaller capacity will suit you just fine, however, if you are cooking for a family or a large number of people then you will need an air fryer with a bigger capacity.

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Do you need dual cooking?

Some of the newest air fryers on the market offer dual cooking – either in the form of multiple baskets for cooking or using trays.

If you want to cook an entire meal with sides then you might want to consider an air fryer that offers dual cooking. For example, with dual cooking, you could cook fish in one basket or on one tray, and chips in the other basket or on the other tray.

If you are likely to just be cooking one thing at a time in your air fryer then you don’t need to consider a dual cooking function.

Basket or trays in your air fryer

Air fryers either cook food in a basket or on trays like a traditional oven.

The basket-style air fryers are typically tall air fryers which feature the main unit with heating elements and fans. There are slide-out baskets that slot into place inside the air fryer.

Basket-style air fryers usually have a smaller cooking area than oven-style air fryers.

Basket-style air fryers often require the food cooking inside the basket to be shaken during cooking to ensure even cooking.

Oven-style air fryers use fan or convection technology to cook the food on flat trays. These trays side into the air fryer, much like an oven.

Whilst usually bigger than a basket-style air fryer, the benefit is that you can cook a variety of foods at the same time on separate trays.

Oven-style air fryers also often come with extra features, like a rotisserie function.

Are there any special features that you want?

Did you know that some air fryers are jam-packed with special features?

Some air fryers come with a rotisserie feature, allowing you to cook whole rotisserie chickens at home, and others have in-built cooking settings to help you to cook a variety of ingredients.

Your budget for buying an air fryer

Air fryer prices have a dramatic range, from around £40 at the lower end and up to £200 or more at the higher end.

Your budget should play an important factor in deciding which air fryer to purchase.

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Some people choose to buy a cheaper air fryer to see if they actually use it before deciding to upgrade, whereas others go straight in at the top end and buy a more expensive air fryer from the start.

There is no right or wrong budget for an air fryer.

Of course, you can save money by looking to buy a second-hand air fryer from places like eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

Storage space for your air fryer

Air fryers come in various sizes, and the higher the capacity the bigger the air fryer is.

This means that you need to take the size of the air fryer into consideration – not only for your kitchen sides but also if you are planning to store your air fryer in a cupboard when not in use. Some air fryers would have difficulty fitting into a cupboard in your kitchen.

Will you actually use an air fryer?

It is time to get serious with yourself – will you actually use the air fryer you have purchased?

If your air fryer will become another kitchen gadget that sits in a cupboard never to be used then buying one isn’t right for you.

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