What Is An Air Fryer? How Does An Air Fryer Work?

What is an air fryer? how does an air fryer work

An air fryer circulates hot air around the food.

Air fryers have surged in popularity the past couple of years, so let’s talk air fryers!

So what IS an air fryer?

The short answer can be found on Wikipedia:

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that cooks by circulating hot air around the food.

How does an Air Fryer work?

A mechanical fan circulates the hot air around the food at high speed, cooking the food and producing a crispy layer thanks to the Maillard effect.

An air fryer basically uses hot air to cook and crisp the food. The heat is usually produced by either a halogen lamp or a heating element. The heat is generated by a fan rapidly circulating the hot air all around the food.

This is called Rapid Air Technology.

Thanks to the heat and the speed the food will be fried evenly and quickly, resulting in a crispy outside and juicy inside.

Who Invented the Air Fryer and When?

The inventor is not exactly clear, but the first Air fryer was launched by Philips in 2010. They introduced the air fryer on the IFA Consumer Electronics show. A patent for the air fryer was filed in 2006.

Why use an Air Fryer?

Air Frying is Healthier Than Deep Frying

An air fryer is a great way to prepare your favorite fried foods without the additional calories calories you get from deep frying those foods in oil. You can save up to 70% on oil compared to the deep fryer. In most cases all you need is a tablespoon of oil.

So it’s a lot healthier than deep frying.

Less Energy = Lower Electricity Bill

Another reason for using an air fryer is that it uses less energy than a deep fryer or a conventional oven. This is because more heat can be generated and moved throughout a smaller space.

No Nasty Smells

Need another reason to use an air fryer? How about smell! An air fryer does not produce the same lingering smell a deep fryer does.

You know that smell that actually impregnates your clothes, so you can throw them in the laundry after deep frying. Or your hair?

Air fryers come equipped with filters that ensure the air that is released from the fryer is clean.

No Greasy Countertop

Clean up? You know how deep fryers get covered in grease when used? Not to mention your counter-top? With air frying, you’ll get no splattering of fat on your fryer or your counter-top.

Air fryers have non stick parts that can be cleaned easily by soaking the removable parts in soapy water. Please refer to your air fryer manual for instructions on how to clean your air fryer.

Do Air Fryers Smell?

Most air fryers come equipped with an air filter that eliminates unwanted odors, so you and your walls and ceiling will not smell like a fast food joint.

Compare this to a deep fryer that will leave a greasy residue and horrible stench in your hair and your kitchen. I know what I prefer…

Is an Air Fryer Quicker than a Deep Fryer?

I would say no. If you deep fry French fries for example you”ll have them on you plate in about 12-15 minutes. An air fryer does take a little longer to prepare the food compared to a deep fryer.

However, compared to a conventional oven using an air fryer to prepare your food will certainly save you time!

What Oil To Use in Air Fryer?

An air fryer does require a little bit of oil for some foods. Particularly if you’re making chicken wings or home made fries. It ads taste and crispiness to the food. The best oils to use in an air fryer are the more traditional oils like:

  • Sunflower
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut oil

If you’re making store bought fries, using oil is not necessary. You will get crispy delicious fries without the extra fat.

What Foods To Prepare With An Air Fryer

You can prepare a variety of food in an air fryer because most air fryers are almost like multi cookers. Air fryers can be used to cook, fry, bake, grill and sometimes even roast.

There are air fryers that have accessories like a rotisserie cage to prepare chicken or a cake tin to, you guessed it, bake a cake!

See this page for more info on the foods your can prepare in an air fryer.

Which is the Best Air Fryer?

It depends on what features your looking for and how much you want to spend. We have the best air fryers all on this page, which we update at least once a month.

Before you buy an air fryer ask yourself the following questions:

  • What foods do I want to prepare in my air fryer?
  • How many people will be using the air fryer (How large is your family?)
  • Does a large air fryer like the  Philips XL Avance fit on my counter top?
  • Does my power outlet support the wattage an air fryer uses?
  • Check our list of Air Fryer Pros and Cons to see if it’s right for you.

I hope my article answered the question “what is an air fryer”. If you want to know more about the air fryers, the below articles may be of help!