Air fryer vs Deep-fat fryer: Nutrient preservation, calories and health facts
Air fryers have been around for a decade, but they have only become very popular now. Most people who have air fryers cite the health benefits of using them to fry food over using a deep-fat fryer or an oven. Some have even become popular on social media networks like TikTok, just from sharing air fryer recipes.
In this article, we want to answer a few questions you might have about air fryers and their advantages. Is an air fryer really that much healthier than a deep-fat fryer? Why is air frying so popular?
Why are Air fryers so popular?
In general, food cooked in an air fryer is a healthier option than deep frying because it contains fewer calories, which, compared to food cooked in a deep-fat fryer, can result in less inflammation and a decreased risk of chronic disease in future. An air fryer works through the circulation of hot air around food to produce a crispy exterior with a tender inside. There are various models and makes of air fryers that cost $89-400, with different features, styles and colours.
Some of the great benefits of using an air fryer:
It’s safer and easier to use
An air fryer doesn’t take up much space in your kitchen, as it is similar in size to a conventional coffee maker. Meals don’t take hours to cook, most recipes will be ready in under thirty minutes, and a full roasted chicken can cook in under an hour.
All you need to do when cooking using an air fryer is to place your uncooked items in the basket or on the rack set the timer and wait for the food to cook. Some air fryers have preset buttons already for popular dishes, so you don’t have to worry about constantly checking on the food until it’s done.
Air fryers are self-contained, which means you don’t have to worry about getting hot oil burns on your face or arms while you cook. It also means that you won’t have to worry about keeping large amounts of hot oil cooling on the stovetop away from children.
It’s perfect for frozen foods.
This appliance is perfect if you use frozen food such as vegetables, chicken tenders and fries as part of your meal prep. If you are the parent that relies on frozen foods like fish fingers, burgers or croquettes, you will find this device useful for getting a quick lunch ready for your kids in minutes.
It’s easy to clean
Most air fryers have dishwasher-safe parts. If they are not dishwasher safe, they will be covered in a non-stick coating and won’t have crusty and sticky residue that you have to scrub off. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about oil or smoke getting into your hair or onto your clothes.
How much healthier is an air fryer?
Instead of totally immersing the food in oil, air frying uses none to only a small amount of oil to obtain the same taste and texture as deep-fried food. Using an air fryer can cut down fat content in fried food by up to 75%. Most deep-fried food requires 2-3 cups of oil, while air fried food requires zero to 1 tablespoon of oil. In comparison, deep-fat fryers require 50 times the amount of oil needed when using an air fryer. Less oil doesn’t mean less taste; one study found that the same foods cooked in both an air fryer and a deep-fat fryer had similar taste, color and moisture content.
Here are a few recipes you can try. This YouTube video has three Tik-Tok recipes that you can try with your air fryer. For the Air Fryer Foldover Tortillas, you could use ground chicken instead of ground beef from US Wellness Meats and use baby tomatoes with sweet onion and cheddar cheese for your toppings – you can buy these online from this Food Lion ad. The breading for the classic fried chicken can be homemade.
Air fryers aren’t limited to savoury dishes; you can use them to make dessert as well. You can cook desserts in an air fryer, such as steamed cakes, doughnuts, cookie cakes and sugar fries. Also, you can add a twist to your breakfast by adding this air fryer broiled brown sugar grapefruit.
Air fryer advantages and disadvantages
To reiterate, air-fried food is healthier because it is lower in calories, fat, and has less harmful compounds that may be found in deep-fried foods. An air fryer cooks faster, is easier to clean, and will not fill your kitchen and home with that fried-food smell that always sticks around for hours.
However, there are a few disadvantages or risks to air fried foods.
Although air-fried foods are healthier, fried foods, in general, pose a health risk if overdone. Eating fried food regularly is associated with some types of cancer and conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Eating more fried foods also increases the risk of heart failure in most people.
Although there are health benefits to reducing oil intake, you might miss the benefits of healthier plant-based fats like olive and avocado oils. The high temperature produced by air fryers might also make your food burn easily, and this is a risk because burnt food produces carcinogens.
Air fryers are versatile, fast and easy to use. Compared to deep-fat fryers, they are also easy to clean and prevent hot oil accidents and unpleasant smells from filling up your kitchen. With all the benefits, remember that fried food, in general, should be eaten moderately, and air frying should be used as part of other healthy cooking methods.