Frying is one of the oldest cooking methods ever used, and frankly, it’s one of the tastiest, too. However, as people get more and more conscious about their health, they have started to wonder whether or not it is the healthiest way to prepare food. Lucky for them, air fryers have been invented as a better choice for those who take good care of their health. Today, we are taking a closer look at air and deep fryers so that we will be able to tell which type is better.
A quick intro of both
We all know what deep frying is, but it doesn’t hurt saying it again. Deep fryers are cooking devices that cook food by covering it entirely in oil.
They consist of a large basket that goes into a deep pan filled with oil that gets extremely hot. Their biggest advantage is the fastness in cooking almost anything you could think of, from fries to frozen nuggets, donuts, mozzarella sticks, or meatballs.
Air fryers require little to no oil for cooking, as they use hot air that is circulated so that it surrounds and cooks food at a high temperature. They are basically a convection oven, with a basket that increases and eases the air circulation through the food. The required cooking time differs in the two models, as well as other aspects that weigh in making a choice between the two.
Pros and cons of deep fryers
- Food takes less to cook thanks to the large basket filled with boiling oil
- Almost anything can be cooked in a deep fryer
- No one can argue that food fried in oil is tastier than other cooking styles
- Unfortunately, “tasty food” doesn’t necessarily mean “healthy food”
- Also, deep fryers can become dangerous due to the boiling hot oil that could cause severe burns to your skin
Pros and cons of air fryers
- They are a healthy alternative due to the ingenious cooking technology that doesn’t involve added oil;
- They are small so you can add them to your other kitchen appliances
- You will save money by limiting the use of oil during the cooking process
- Air fryers also let you reheat, grill, or bake food
- Sadly, cooking in an air fryer is more time-consuming
Is air fried food as tasty as deep fried food?
Although this is a matter of taste, we can state that air fryers do deliver equally tasty food as deep fryers. The biggest benchmark in comparing the two is making french fries. Fried potatoes prepared in the deep fryer turn out to be delicious: juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside, perfectly cooked, and with a gorgeous golden aspect. When the frying is done, you must lift the basket from the pan to allow all the oil to drain so the excess fat will be removed. However, you can never eliminate all the fat, so the fries will still remain greasy, which is not a very good thing if you are careful with your diet. Air fried fries can match them with the added advantage of zero oils and fats.
With the air fryer, this problem is solved because there is no oil to be removed. The hot air manages to cook evenly, in depth, without over-cooking or drying the fries. And since they are not greasy at all, you could say that they taste even better. Moreover, you could make great sweet potato fries, which is almost impossible in the oven or in the deep fryer. So, you can experiment with recipes and still obtain delicious food that is also very healthy.
Can you cook anything in the air fryer?
Yes, you can basically cook whatever you desire in the air fryer. Since it works similar to a convection oven, it allows you to cook meat, vegetables, even cookies. The best results are obtained with frozen foods and meat, due to the circulated hot air inside it. You get to enjoy a delicious steak without all the smoke from the grill, it only takes a little practice to get that juicy interior with the crispy exterior. Even chicken breast can turn out great inside the air fryer.
Vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or potatoes are great choices because they react very well to the hot airwaves. Believe it or not, you can even make eggs, as well as bacon or a delicious tasty burger.
What you should avoid cooking inside an air fryer are foods with a batter that require being dipped in hot oil. Fish, onion rings, cheese, or large chunks of meat don’t come out as delicious as you might think, these being a better option for the deep fryer or the oven.
Comparing the two cooking methods
Although both do the same thing, which is frying food, how they do it and the final result are two different things. Here are the details we believed to be crucial in comparing these appliances.
1. The oil usage
Deep fryers need a lot of oil to fry a full basket of potatoes or meat, while the air fryers are designed to work with a tablespoon of oil or least. Thanks to the circulation of hot air, the cooking technique doesn’t involve added fats, just the ones contained by the ingredients you use.
2. How healthy both are
Although it’s tastier, frying food in plenty of oil is not the healthiest choice, especially for children or if you want to watch over your weight. All that oil is absorbed into the food, making it heavier to digest. This is the main reason for people to pick air frying over deep frying.
Even the best deep fryer can create an accident or a fire outbreak, so you need to maintain a safe distance from it. Although a lid covers it, the hot oil poses a high risk while handling and you can’t leave it unsupervised for a very long time. The air fryer, however, has pre-set programs and isn’t dangerous while cooking, being a much safer option.
4. Overall costs
It’s true that the air fryer is considered to be the latest technology, hence the increased price. However, it is built to save energy, plus you will not be using large amounts of oil, so the overall costs will be reduced. Therefore, you might be saving money when buying a cheaper deep fryer but you will spend more in the long run.
5. Cooking time
Due to the coverage in oil and the high temperature, the deep fryer takes less to prepare the meal. Because it only uses hot air that is circulated, with no help from boiling oil or water, the air fryer takes longer to prepare the food. Take this into account if you want a device that will have your meals ready faster.
The exterior dimensions are something to look at when deciding which fryer to buy. If you have plenty of space on your hands, you won’t have trouble fitting the larger deep fryer into your kitchen. They are larger, bulkier, with a large basket that allows you to cook big portions for the entire family. Air fryers, however, are more compact and come with a narrow basket that is only fitted for small portions of food.
7. Convenience and versatility
In a deep fryer, all you can do is fry food in a large amount of oil. You can’t grill, reheat, roast, or broil food, as you can do with the air fryer. The latter can be used for multiple functions, thus becoming more versatile and great help in the kitchen.
Choosing appliances for your home is a matter of taste and personal preferences. Of course, it helps knowing more about various types of technologies so that you will make a well-informed choice, but it all comes down to what you really enjoy. This applies to choosing between an air and a deep fryer, as both come with their good and bad sides. It is up to you to decide which model you prefer based on your lifestyle and your cooking style. We did our part in bringing you a close-up of both cooking devices.