If you love fried foods, like so many of us do, but need to watch the amount of oil you’re consuming for health reasons, you may have considered purchasing an air fryer. You’ve heard all sorts of rumors about this kind of machine and definitely heard that it’s healthier than deep frying.
But is air frying actually healthier? How does air frying work? What else should you know before considering the purchase of an air fryer?
We’ve compiled some knowledge to help you better understand if an air fryer is the way to go for your cooking needs, as well as information on a specific air fryer. This model, the Power Air Fryer XL, is an as-seen-on-television item, but it’s available in a lot of places like Target and Amazon.
We’re looking to see if it lives up to the hype on the ads or falls away like so many similar products.
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
Probably one of the biggest and most important questions about the air fryer is, “How do they work? Do they use oil or is there some other unhealthy alternative that they use for the cooking of food?”
The answer to that is that air fryers do not use oil, but instead use circulating hot air. This air in the cooking chamber radiates heat from a heating element around the food, which cooks it efficiently.
There’s almost always a fan in the machine that circulates the air throughout the cooking chamber, and the opening at the top of the chamber lets in air, while an exhaust kicks out the old air. This controls the temperature of the air inside. This system also counters any internal pressure.
Temperatures inside the cooking chamber can go up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the model.
Generally speaking, cooking time is reduced by an air fryer by 20 percent. This also varies on model and brand, of course, based upon the quality of the application of the technology and the components within the fryer.
It’s important to keep anything flammable, including oil, away from the air fryer to prevent fires.
What’s the Difference Between Deep Frying and Air Frying?
Most, if not all, of us are familiar with deep fried foods. French fries, donuts, fried okra, fried pickles, or calamari are all delicious depending on our tastes, but we know they’re not so great for our health.
Air fryers don’t use oil, which is the main issue with fried foods being unhealthy.
But how different is it really making fried foods with an air fryer?
Significantly Lower Calorie Counts
One of the first things to notice in food made in a deep fryer versus an air fryer is the calorie count per serving.
- Deep fried chicken in oil has 3038 calories. Air fried chicken has 1830 calories.
- Deep fried scampi and chips have 975 calories, while the air fried version has 424 calories.
- Deep fried chicken nuggets go at 305 calories, while air fried chicken nuggets are only 180 calories.
- Onion rings made in a deep fryer will cost you 411 calories, while air fried onion rings are only 176 calories.
- French fries made in a deep fryer have 687 calories, but air fried fries are only 267 calories.
- Fish and chips from a deep fryer are 1087 calories, but in an air fryer, you’re only looking at 600 calories for this meal.
Lower Fat Content
Most of the calories “lost” between the two versions of the foods mentioned above are going to be the fat calories. These fat calories come from the oil that’s used to deep fry food. That oil is absorbed into the food, and therefore, inflates the fat content significantly – up to 80 percent in some foods.
Cook Time and Capacity
Deep fryers cook food significantly faster than air fryers. Oil transfers high heat levels, which cooks the food faster than an air fryer.
Air fryers are healthier, but they’re also easier for reheating food or preparing smaller portions than deep fryers.
Deep fryers do tend to be cheaper than air fryers. Some deep fryers are as little as $, while generally the least expensive air fryer you’ll find will run around $$. Either type can go up to about $$, though, depending on brand and quality.
Safety Issue Differences
Air fryers are significantly safer to use than deep fryers. Air fryers cover the food and cooking area, and deep fryers have open air tops, which means the oil can splash out and burn someone nearby or break out in a fire.
Air fryers are also much more versatile than deep fryers. Deep fryers can really only be employed to make fried foods, while an air fryer can also prepare non-fried foods, such as hamburgers, quiche, or muffins.
How to Use an Air Fryer
Before you use an air fryer the first time, it’s a good idea to look through some safety tips and technique suggestions.
Shake the Food
While you’re frying your foods in the fryer, be sure to open the lid a few times to shake the foods like French fries or potato chips around. For baked goods, steaks, or hamburgers, you should rotate them every five to ten minutes, depending on how long you’re cooking them for.
Don’t Overstuff the Fryer
Much like a clothing dryer can’t get your clothes totally dry if you stuff too many clothes in, an air fryer cannot thoroughly cook everything if you overstuff the cooking basket. Make your snacks and meals in smaller batches for the best and fastest results.
Use Enough Cooking Spray
While you don’t use a vat of oil to fry your foods in an air fryer, you will need a little bit of cooking spray or a small amount of healthy cooking oil. This hint of oil or spray will give you the crispy foods you’re looking for, as well as prevent foods from sticking.
For the healthiest results, try using olive, coconut, canola, avocado, flaxseed, or sesame oil.
Keep the Foods Dry
Before cooking foods like marinated steak, pat them dry to avoid splattering and excess smoke.
Empty the Fat
When you cook high-fat foods like chicken wings, be sure to empty out the fat from the bottom of the machine periodically.
Use the Air Fryer for Other Things
Don’t forget that the air fryer is for more than just frying. You can bake, roast, and grill in pretty much any model as well.
What are Some Things You Can Make with an Air Fryer?
Some of the easiest and most delicious foods you can make with an air Fryer include:
- Potato chips
- French fries
- Onion rings
- Chicken breast
- Breaded chicken patties
- Veggie burgers
- Chicken wings
Before You Buy, Consider These Things
Before you pick the air fryer you’re going to purchase, you should consider a few things that will determine if a given model is the right choice for you or not.
What’s the Capacity?
Air fryers come in a variety of sizes, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting one that has a large enough capacity to meet your needs. Since overcrowding is an issue, that’s particularly an important thing to take note of, for safety reasons, if not convenience and logic.
What Will You Use the Fryer For?
Since air fryers use different sources of fuel, it can help determine the uses the fryer is most suitable for. If you’re preparing large meals, like a turkey for instance, a propane fryer will be more appropriate. If, however, you’re making French fries and fried pickles, the smaller electrical options are more suited to your needs.
Of course, one of the biggest decision points for your decision will be the total price you’d pay for an air fryer. Larger electrical fryers are more expensive than smaller electrical or propane fryers.
Finally, noting that the electrical air fryers are safer models in general propane fryers is important. The automatic shut off feature and various other controls just make the electrical air fryers safer.
Our Review of the Power Air Fryer XL
- EFFORTLESS COOKING: Our Power Air-Fryer comes in handy in preparing amazing meals from your cookbook, and frying a...
- WHAT's THE SECRET: Rapid Air Technology enables The Power AirFryers to surround your food with a whirlwind of turbo...
- FEATURES: 3.4 Quart Easy Load Basket with Non Stick Coating; 7 Preset Programs with easy one-touch digital control let...
We’ve checked out a number of Power Air Fryer XL reviews across the web to find the answer to whether or not this particular air fryer is worth purchasing and using.
Overview of the Power Air Fryer XL
The Power Air Fryer XL comes in a variety of capacities from 3.4 quarts to 5.3 quarts. The Power Air Fryer XL reviews we’ve searched cover the various sizes, which all have similar ratings from real-life consumers at Amazon and Target.
Pros from the Power Air Fryer XL Reviews
Price Range on the Power Air Fryer XL
We’ve seen prices for the Power Air Fryer XL start as low as $ and run as high as $$, depending on the model for sale. Of course, some sites offer better prices than others and many retailers offer sales and deals on a regular basis.
We also recommend cross-checking multiple retailers before making any purchase and checking with companies to see who offers a better deal on extended warranties for the product you wish to purchase.
Our Verdict: The Power Air Fryer XL is Definitely Usable
Overall, the Power Air Fryer XL reviews tell us that this is a pretty good product that works well and does as advertised. The Power Air Fryer XL helps you make healthier fried foods, since it uses no oil, and from everything people say, it’s very easy to use, and easy to clean up.
If you’re looking for a quality air fryer that will make delicious meals, we’re pretty sure the Power Air Fryer XL will do the trick for you.
Be sure to double check prices around the web or in store to make sure you’re getting the best price possible. Also, be sure to double check the capacity size on the fryer you’re getting, just in case it’s the smaller than desired model.