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The air fryer is a relatively new trend that has been generating a lot of buzz. Air fryers take up less counter space than other kitchen appliances. They’re easy to use, have built-in safety features, and don’t require oil.
It’s easy to see why everyone talks about the with air fryers. Now that you’re aware of both sides, it’s time for you to decide if buying an air fryer and is so excited about this kitchen appliance. But how will it work in your home, and is this appliance right for your family?
If you’ve already decided to invest in one but need help choosing the right air fryer within your budget, make sure to take a look at the best inexpensive air fryers we’ve picked for you!
16 Pros and Cons of Air Fryer
We’ve listed the top 16 pros and cons of air fryers to help you decide if this is the right appliance for your home.
8 Pros of an Air Fryer
We’ll be honest, there’s a lot to love about air fryers, and depending on your cooking needs, these kitchen appliances can be a great tool in your kitchen.
If there weren’t, people wouldn’t be paying the “high” rate they’re currently being sold. Here are some of the air fryer’s best advantages to know.
The best thing about air fryers is that they will allow you to cook almost anything. They’re designed to be kitchen workhorses.
You can use air fryers to grill, roast, bake, stir fry, steam, and broil veggies and meat. Roasted vegetables prepared using an air fryer taste amazing.
You can even make some baked goods with it. You can even find air fryers with a rotisserie! What’s more, air fryers are also great at heating frozen foods and preparing delicious appetizers like coquettes and feta triangles.
Make sure to try these 46 healthy air fryer meal prep ideas that are easy and fuss-free.
2. Easy to Use
An air fryer is a relatively simple appliance; it is basically a mini oven with reduced air circulation.
Air fryers do not have any complicated features or functions that you need to learn. In fact, the only controls they have are basic controls to set the cooking temperature and time.
You can put the food in the fryer basket, set the temperature and timer, and then move on to doing other chores. Now, you can just wait for it to beep or shake your food once or twice during the cooking cycle to get better results.
You don’t even need to worry about the food sticking because the basket inside is coated with non-stick material.
Air fryers are designed to be safe to use in any kitchen, no matter how small or cramped it may be. Most manufacturers have built-in safety features for this appliance, so you don’t have to worry around kids.
Modern air fryers have a smart sensor that automatically shuts off the appliance if there’s no food in the basket or too much food.
The air fryer has a built-in timer that will beep when cooking finishes, so you don’t have to worry about overcooking your food.
3. Healthier Meals
While we don’t claim that air frying is the healthiest way of cooking, it’s certainly healthier than traditional deep frying.
Deep-fried foods are coated with a lot of oil to get your food crispy and browned. The excess oil is soaked into your food, making it unhealthy.
On the other hand, you can use a small amount of oil—on the surface of the food—to get a similar texture. As a result, you end up with healthier meals that can be nearly as crispy and pretty delicious. You can find the difference in this air fryer vs deep fryer article.
To prepare healthier meals, air fryers use hot air circulated inside the chamber, heating up the food. This hot air removes excess oil from your food while giving it a crispy texture on the outside.
Air fryers can help you roast all kinds of food and prepare cake or pies in a limited capacity.
4. Quicker, More Efficient Cooking
Air fryers use hot air for cooking food, and most of the heat stays inside the chamber, which makes cooking much quicker than using a traditional oven. This also means that air fryers take less time to preheat—usually within minutes.
You will be able to reduce your cooking times by about 30% when using an air fryer because it has a shorter cooking cycle.
Since none of the heat is expelled outside, the hot air circulation can help you cook food quicker and heat frozen foods in record time.
However, when compared to deep frying, an air fryer can occasionally take longer.
5. Easy to Clean
One of the main features that make air fryers a perfect choice for most people is that they are easy to clean. Compared to deep fryers, air fryers require minimal effort to clean as all the mess is contained inside.
Since there’s no oil splattering, you only need to clean the basket and drawer—both of which can usually go inside the dishwasher (make sure to read instructions to confirm).
If not, you can just wash them with a soft bristle brush, running water, and dishwashing soap.
For someone who dreads the task of cleaning a deep fryer, an air fryer would be a breath of fresh air.
6. Compact Size
Air fryers are designed to be compact (about the size of a coffee maker) and perfect for apartments, condos, RVs, and dorm rooms.
Most air fryers will allow you to cook single-serving. While larger models (XL) can accommodate multiple servings, they don’t take up much space on the countertop. This is a big plus for people with limited kitchen space.
A compact air fryer can replace a full-sized oven in almost every situation, and you can use it on the go or at a campsite. Plus, air fryers look aesthetically appealing, which shall compliment your beautiful kitchen.
7. No Grease Odors
Do you hate it when your house is filled with the smell of fried foods? It’s not only unappealing but also bad for your health.
Luckily, air fryers get rid of this problem completely because the hot air circulating inside the chamber will cook your food, and no oil will be splashing outside. This means that you will only smell the delicious aroma of your food and nothing else.
8. Low Power Consumption
Since they use only a few watts of power when in operation, air fryers are extremely economical when compared to other kitchen appliances.
The air fryer’s wattage ranges between 1200 to 1500 watts, and using them for about 30 minutes will require 0.75 kWh—approximately half of what an oven uses during the same time period.
If you cook your meals every day in an air fryer, the energy savings can add up to a few dollars a month and make a good difference in your annual costs.
8 Cons of an Air Fryer
While there are some significant advantages to using an air fryer, there are also a few downsides to consider.
1. Quality Issues—You Get What You Pay For
While air fryers are much more affordable than traditional ovens, you need to be prepared for quality issues.
Since the appliance is relatively new, there are fewer models on the market, but manufacturers are constantly trying to improve their products by adding new features.
Unfortunately, this results in many poorly made devices that may not work consistently or break down over time.
You need to be selective when shopping around and read reviews from previous customers to ensure you get a reliable unit. Remember, you get what you pay for, so don’t try to settle for cheap knock-offs. If you’re looking for a reliable air fryer, have a look at these commercial standard air fryers.
2. Food Burns Easily
Air fryers maintain the heat temperature inside the chamber between 300 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since air fryers are cooking with hot air, a few minutes difference can cause the food to go from perfectly crispy fried food to burnt food.
Also, you need to make sure that your food is adequately coated with oil before putting it inside.
3. Food Dries Out
Another problem with cooking food in an air fryer is that it can make the food dry and crumbly. This reduces the flavor and leaves you with a bland and overcooked dish.
For this reason, using an air fryer should be reserved for naturally moist foods such as meatballs, chicken thighs, burgers, fish, and certain vegetables.
If you’re a die-hard fan of deep-fried food, you’ll quickly notice the different tastes of air-fried food.
While most people love air-fried food and are happy to eat a healthier alternative, some like their food with grease, and for those, air fryers might not live up to the hype.
4. Not Ideal for Large Families
If you cook for large groups of people, air fryers might not be the best choice because they only hold a limited amount of food.
Smaller models can make one to two servings, while larger ones (XL) can accommodate four to five servings at a time.
While air fryers are versatile kitchen appliances that can replace most of your cooking appliances, you might need a separate oven if you have a large family and do not want to cook in batches.
5. Learning Curve
Although air fryers are relatively easy to use with few controls, it might take some time for you to get used to an air fryer. You need to experiment with your air fryer until you figure out the best temperature and cooking times for your cooking style.
However, once you do this, you’ll be able to cook delicious meals every single time.
6. Counter Space
Yes, air fryers are compact and easy to carry along, but if you want to keep them on your counter, they still take up some space.
Since air fryers are relatively new and not as popular as other appliances, finding a place for them on the counter can be difficult. Some of the larger models might take up more space than you’re able to fit in your kitchen.
Storing an air fryer will depend on your usage frequency, i.e., how often you plan to use your air fryer. If you’re planning to use it every day, it will make sense to dedicate a space to it on your counter, which can be a challenge.
However, if you only drag it out once in a blue moon, it’d be better to be stored away in a cabinet, which will be relatively easy.
7. Short Power Cable
One of the significant downsides of air fryers is that many models come with a short power cable. This makes it impossible to put your air fryer anywhere other than near an electrical outlet.
If you have a large kitchen, you might need an extension cord to plug in the air fryer, creating an unsightly mess.
Most air fryers have a relatively small basket capacity and size, limiting what you can and can not cook with them.
For instance, frozen taquitos might not fit inside the basket. Also, you may only be able to cook a 6-inch pie instead of a 9-inch pie you love.
You also need to wait for a few minutes for the air fryer to cool down before putting it away, which adds to overall cooking time.
Should I Get an Air Fryer?
There’s no denying that air fryers are fantastic kitchen appliances. They cook food quickly and help you save on calories, fats, oils, and energy consumption.
You’re most likely to enjoy an air fryer if:
- You’re health-conscious: Air fryers are the perfect cooking appliance for people who want to eat healthier food. Since they use hot air, you don’t need oils which means your food is naturally less fatty than deep-fried food.
- You don’t cook often: If you don’t cook often and find yourself reheating pizza in the microwave rather than ordering food, an air fryer might be the perfect addition to your kitchen.
- You love to cook: Air fryers are a great addition to any kitchen, and if you love cooking your favorite foods, buying one will give you a new way to experiment with recipes.
- You have limited space: If you live in a small apartment or RV/Camper, an air fryer is a perfect appliance for you as it won’t take up much space on your counter.
- Small family: If you have a small family, you can prepare food quickly at once, which is perfect for your busy schedule.
On the other hand, you might not enjoy an air fryer if:
- You don’t like change: Since air fryers are still relatively new, some people might find it intimidating to use them at first. Because of that, you might be hesitant to get an air fryer—but we’d highly recommend giving it a try.
- You cook for a large family: If you have 6 or more people in your family, an air fryer might not be the best appliance for you. Since it has a limited capacity, you’ll have to prepare food in multiple small batches, which can be time-consuming.
- You absolutely love deep-fried food: Air fryers might not give you the same crispy crunch as deep-fried food.
So, there you have it—the top 16 pros and cons associated with air fryers. Now that you’re aware of both sides, it’s time for you to decide if buying an air fryer is worth it or not.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.