Probably the most popular kitchen appliance right now is the air fryer. Luckily for me I’ve just published my latest cookery book and it is called ‘Air Fryer Cookbook’. What are the chances! I love the this kitchen appliance and as a household we use it multiple times daily but one of the questions that keeps on coming up over and over again from people who are intrigued by them is “how do you decide which air fryer is right for you?” So, I thought I would list the considerations you should make when purchasing one for yourself and/or your family.
- Capacity – Air fryers come in many different sizes. Manufacturers tend to indicate the capacity in terms of litres in the UK. The smallest size you’ll probably come across is 1.5 to 2 L, medium size air fryers tend to have 3 to 5 L capacity and large ones up to 12 L. Cooking for one person you could certainly manage with the smallest size although I would suggest that when cooking for one or two people cooking larger portions and saving one portion is a great way to batch cook without getting bored. A family of four would benefit from a medium capacity and certainly larger families would need a larger size. Another consideration is whether you want the capacity in one drawer or more than one. Some brands are coming out with dual drawer models which can be useful if you want to cook, for example, fish and chips i.e. your protein and your starch at the same time but each with different temperatures.
- Functionality – different brands will come with different features such as rotisserie, dehydrate, grill, roast, reheat and bake as well as the one function you’d expect which is air frying. Personally, I like to use my air fryer as it was intended and tend most to use it as an air fryer. Having said that, I will sometimes use the lowest temperatures to dehydrate but I make that decision and take control of temperatures and lengths of dehydration myself rather than leaving it in the hands of the manufacturer.
- Shape and width of basket – One of the benefits of choosing an air fryer size carefully is thinking about which of your current dishes you can use in your new air fryer without having to purchase any more dishes. I have tried several brands of air fryer and really love the Vortex by Instant Brands because the vast majority of the gratin dishes and brownie pans that I own already fit perfectly in the drawer.
- Price – this is going to be a consideration for any appliance that you purchase. I personally think it’s worthwhile investing in quality in terms of the way in which the air fryer is built but not necessarily investing in lots of functionality as per my suggestion earlier – I tend to use limited functionality but I use the air frying more than once per day so it has to be hard-wearing.
Overall the best advice is to think about how you’re going to use an air fryer, how many people you’re going to be cooking for, whether it would fit in your kitchen and be something that could stay out for use most of the time. Try not to focus too much on the brands with the biggest marketing budgets i.e. those who shout the loudest. Word-of-mouth is the best recommendation to take.