How To Pick The Best Air Fryer For Your Needs

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How Do I Choose The Right Size Air Fryer?

air fryer

How many people will you be cooking for?

One to two people: I would recommend a 2-4 Litre capacity.

Two to four people: 4-10 Litre capacity is recommended.

Larger capacities cook a meal in one batch, therefore, saving time and energy.

Also, consider the amount of space you have in your kitchen, as some are large.

What Is A Digital Air Fryer And How Does It Work?

digital air fryer

Digital models have pre-set timings with a digital display.

There are more options to choose from but are usually more expensive than analogue.

Key Features To Look For In A Digital Model

  • Capacity: Make sure you choose one large enough to cook the amount of food you need for your family.
  • Digital controls: Digital controls make setting the temperature and cooking time easier.
  • Cooking presets: Some come with preset cooking options for popular foods, making it even easier to cook your favourite meals.
  • Dishwasher-safe parts: Look for a model with dishwasher-safe parts for easy cleanup.

What Is A Manual Air Fryer And How Does It Work?

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The manual version has two dials—one for adjusting the temperature and another for setting the timer.

The user needs to manually configure both the cooking temperature and duration.

Benefits of Using a Manual Air Fryer

While a manual is more basic than a digital air fryer, there are still several benefits to using one, including:

  • Affordable: Manuals are typically more affordable than digital versions, making them a great option for those on a budget.
  • Simple to use: With just two dials for temperature and time, manual air fryers are easy to use and don’t require any complicated programming.
  • Durable: Manual models don’t have any electronic components, which means they are less likely to break down or malfunction.

How Do I Know Which Air Fryer To Buy?

There are several different types of air fryers on the market, each with its unique features and capabilities.

The best type make and model will depend on your personal needs and preferences.

Traditional Air Fryers

Another type is the traditional air fryer, which is a standalone appliance that sits on your countertop.

They typically have a basket(s) or tray(s) that hold the food, and a control panel with buttons or dials for adjusting the temperature and cooking time.

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Traditional air fryers are generally affordable and easy to use, but they can be bulky and take up a lot of counter space.

Some of the larger basket air fryers have dual-zone technology (two separate baskets), which allows you to set specific settings for different foods you want to cook at the same time and can even be synced to start at different times.

Single-basket air fryers contain all the food in one basket.

I use the excellent Ninja AF 400UK and it has never let me down.

Oven Air Fryers

They have multiple racks. Functions include baking, rotisserie, grilling, frying and toasting.

The oven is a large appliance that combines the capabilities of an air fryer with those of a traditional oven.

oven air fryer

Ovens are more versatile and can cook larger quantities of food, but they are also more expensive and take up more space on your countertop.

Multicookers

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These are the most advanced and versatile models that do a whole lot more than just air fry. Many processes are fitted into one appliance: steaming, dehydrating, air frying, roasting, and slow cooking.

Overall, the best type will depend on your specific needs and preferences. It’s a good idea to do some research and compare different models before making a decision.

New Connected Air Fryers

connected air fryer

Connected air fryers are a relatively new product on the market. They have built-in WiFi that allows them to be remotely controlled via your smartphone or by voice commands through smart speakers.

Cooking times and temperatures can be set along with receiving notifications directly to your phone or speaker, some also preheat the air fryer and keep food warm. Bonus!

Connected Air Fryer Cost

Let’s talk about the cost!

They cost between £100 and £300 on average, depending on size and features.

Some of the new connected air fryers cook 40% faster and save on average 60% energy when cooking.

Why Settle For Mediocre Meals When You Can Achieve Excellence Effortlessly?

The Beginner’s Cheat Sheet is your secret weapon for mastering air frying,ensuring correct timings and temperatures from the very start.

Take the guesswork out of air frying!

Air Fryer Guide

I have included a guide to the top 4 below:

Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone 9.5L AF400UK

Suitable for 2-4 people

ninja dual

This is the air fryer I use and love.

It will feed a family of 4 quickly and easily.

Fairy cakes were evenly baked and ready to eat in just 15 minutes, while the chicken breasts were crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside after 25 minutes.

The chips were fluffy and crispy using the max crisp function.

As it is a fairly large appliance, it is probably not the best choice for a small kitchen.

You can fill its two drawers with a variety of foods and sync the programs so that everything is ready to eat at the same time.

Also, cook 2 foods 2 ways and finish at the same time.

A fantastic family fryer.

Instant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer 8-in-1 Air Fryer 7.6L

Suitable for 2-4 people

instant vortex

This large air fryer has two drawers that can be synced to prepare multiple dishes at once.

Roast chicken is perfectly cooked and nice and crispy.

The chips were fluffy, but not very crispy.

Judgment is needed when using it as it does not come with any usage information, but clear windows allow you to easily monitor your food.

The effective nonstick design also makes cleaning easy.

Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer 5.7L

Suitable for 2-3 people

insta pot

This model not only air fries but also functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté pan, steamer, and food warmer, with additional settings for roasting, broiling, baking, and dehydrating!

It delivers delicious chips and received top marks for its fairy cakes, even though only five fairy cakes could fit in the oven.

Not the most intuitive model tested due to its multi-purpose design, but its online instructions should help you get set up quickly.

The basket can cook two chicken breasts and three portions of chips.

One side of the chicken breasts stuck.

That said, this is worth investing in if you’re only looking to cook for one or two and need a multi-tasking machine to save on storage space.

Lakeland Digital Compact Air Fryer 2L

Suitable for 1-2 people

lakeland compact

This compact version will save you a lot of space in your kitchen. Perfect for one person or a couple.

Two chicken breasts were cooked at the same time, and the results were very good.

The chips were well-browned. The fairy cakes were also cooked evenly.

The digital display did not always respond to the touch.

Difference Between The Ninja Dual Zone AF300 And AF400

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Struggling to choose which Ninja air fryer to buy? Here’s the difference between the Dual Zone and Dual Zone Max #airfryer #ninjaairfryer #ninjakitchen

♬ Coffee Talk (Extended) – BLVKSHP
silicon cooking tools

Silicon tools

Silicon tools will not damage the Teflon coating when retrieving your food and have higher heat resistance. Other kitchen tools are not suitable for use with an air fryer.

Parchment Paper (Greaseproof Paper)

Parchment Paper (greaseproof paper) is used to line your compartment when cake making or any type of cooking. It will reduce your time cleaning.

Silicon Moulds

Depending on the size of your basket, silicon moulds are useful tools, especially when cake making. These moulds can be easily trimmed to fit. Additionally, you have the option to buy silicone baskets for cooking, which helps save a significant amount of cleaning time.

Silicone Air Fryer Liners

Made of non-stick parchment paper they cut down cleaning time and will stop food from sticking. Non-stick cake liners are excellent and can be used for most foods not just cakes.

Air Fryer Racks

These are useful to fill wasted height space in your drawers, perfect for cooking multiple rashers of bacon, sausages, etc.

Aluminium Trays and Foil

Safe to use. Unlike foil in the microwave, air fryers use hot air instead of electromagnetic radiation, so you don’t have to worry about aluminium foil causing sparks to fly. It will not damage the coating of your basket.

Remember anything used in the oven can be safely used in the Air Fryer

Do’s And Don’t’s

Do

Read your user manual carefully.
Use tools and accessories suitable for your air fryer.
Protect the surface your air fryer is sitting on as it will get hot.
Shake your basket to ensure even cooking.
Regularly clean your baskets to prolong their life.

Don’t

Cook foods covered in liquid batter as the batter will just run off the food.
You can breadcrumb your food instead and get a crispier result.
Overload your basket as food will not cook evenly.
Put lots of oil on your food, as they do not need it.
Lots of food will already have oil content and will turn out just as brown and crispy.

Air Frying vs. Traditional Frying

Air frying is a healthy alternative to deep frying, providing a crispy and delicious taste without the added fat and calories.

Do you love the taste and texture of deep-fried food but worry about the extra calories and fat that come with it?

Fortunately, a healthier alternative allows you to enjoy the same delicious taste without guilt – air frying!

Unlike deep frying, which involves submerging food in hot oil, air frying uses only a small amount of oil or sometimes none at all.

Instead, the air fryer circulates hot air around the food, creating a crispy and crunchy texture similar to deep-fried food but without the added calories and fat.

If in doubt read this excellent article that experiments with using an air fryer instead of a conventional oven for a week.

Overall, air frying is a convenient and healthy alternative to deep-fat frying and can still produce delicious, crispy results.

How To Use An Air Fryer For The First Time

Convert Conventional Oven Time To Air Fryer

Air Fryer Time Conversion

When converting your cooking times from an oven to an air fryer, it’s important to remember that air fryers cook food quicker than conventional ovens.

As a general rule, you can reduce the cooking time by about 25%, but it’s always a good idea to check the food regularly to ensure that it doesn’t overcook.

To convert your cooking times from an oven to an air fryer, start by looking up the recommended cooking time for the food you are making in a conventional oven.

Then, divide that time by four and multiply it by three to get the approximate cooking time.

For example, if a recipe calls for cooking something in the oven for 30 minutes, you can cook it in an air fryer for 22.5 minutes (30 / 4 x 3 = 22.5).

Also important to remember that different models can vary in their cooking capabilities, so the exact cooking time may vary depending on the specific model and brand you are using.

It’s always a good idea to check the food regularly and use a food thermometer to check it is cooked to the correct temperature.

Overall, converting your cooking times can be a bit of a trial and error process, but with a little experimentation, you can learn how to use your air fryer effectively and achieve delicious results.

As a first-time user, your discretion will be needed and you must check your food regularly.

Below you will find a calculator to help you with conversion.

Oven to Air Fryer Converter

Oven to Air Fryer Converter



Annemarie

Hi, I’m Annemarie

Having recently retired, I found myself yearning for a new project to channel my energy.

That’s when the idea struck to create a dedicated UK air frying website.

Combining my passion for cooking and the desire to promote healthy eating in busy households, I began developing a collection of recipes tailored for those seeking quick and nutritious meals.

Join me on my journey and discover delicious ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on taste.

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