Air fryers: miraculous kitchen must-have, or just a load of hot air?
Everyone from Gordon Ramsay to pretty much all Instagrammers are singing the praise of these low-fat cookers. But do they live up to the hype?
I have never been catfished by a kitchen appliance before, but I was always going to be vulnerable to the air fryer’s promise of cooking without splashing oil on my Zara satin slip dresses.
They’re a total gamechanger in many ways. Gordon Ramsay claimed the results are like food “cooked in oil, but the air fryer locks in the juice and the flavour is extraordinary”.
Air fryers are also becoming a kitchen must-have, after it emerged that they are more energy efficient and less costly to run than ovens.
The devices — counter-top machines that cook by rapidly circulating hot air — mimic the effect of deep-fried food, with far fewer calories and a fraction of the fat.
Latest machines reduce fat by as much as 80 per cent with the effect that calories are almost halved. Better still, research by energy firm Utilita found that ditching an electric cooker in favour of options such as air fryers and slow cookers could help families save money during the cost of living crisis.
Although the gadgets have been around for years, they’ve soared in popularity in the past 12 months. In their annual consumer report published last year, John Lewis revealed that sales of air fryers have increased by 400 per cent.
Air fryers have been touted as a good way to cut on energy costs this winter, as they use a fraction of the energy of a conventional oven — just 14p a day to run, compared to 87p.
This is because the fryer uses spiral heating element with a powerful fan, which means that it cooks food faster than a regular oven, and requires less electricity to do so.
Here are 3 of the most popular air fryers on the market.
Cheapest: Vortex’s Instant 4 in 1 air fryer, which costs £75.
This gadget can be used for frying, baking, roasting and reheating.
The fryer can be used to bake cakes and pastries, roast meats and veggies and reheat leftovers, cooked from fresh or frozen. It has space for 540g of chips or a 900g chicken and can cook 3 to 4 portions in one go, which makes it a good investment for families.
Costliest: Ninja foodie max health grill and air fryer, which costs £199,99.
This option is popular with foodies because it looks sleek. But because it measures 42cm, you’re going to need a big kitchen for this one.
The fryer includes six cooking function, including air frying, baking, roasting, reheating, dehydrating food and grilling.
The Ninja air fryer is praised for its big capacity, as its grill can hold six burgers or six chicken breasts at the same time. It also enjoys a dual comportment for cooking two foods at once, which allows foodies to save on cooking time.
Midprice: Tower T17038 Xpress, which costs £110
Costing £90 less than the Ninja fryer, the Tower option enjoys 5-in-1 function, with a 360-degree rotating system, to ensure the ingredients are cooked evenly.
This fryer can cook a 1kg chicken in just 40 minutes.
Packed with extra power, the fryer can also cook 30 per cent faster than a traditional oven.
Popular for its 11ltr capacity, which makes it great for people with large family or who like to entertain.