Expert Advise: What to Look for When Purchasing an Air Fryer

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By : Suvarna Sheth

dLife recently featured a new cookbook, The Easy Air Fryer Cookbook: Healthy Everyday Recipes For People With Diabetes recently published by Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss.

The book contains 80 delicious recipes for air-frying that have all been customized to be diabetes-friendly and meet the nutritional guidelines established by the American Diabetes Association making them all diabetes-friendly.

For those of you who may be new to air-frying, or looking into investing in your own air-fryer, or hoping to give one as a gift this holiday season, what are some important things to consider before making your purchase?

We speak exclusively to Moor and Wyss for expert advice about how to pick an air-fryer that is best for you and your needs. While they will not recommend a specific brand, they do their best guiding us through some important criteria so individuals can make the best decision for themselves.

“The market has grown quickly with many new sizes, shapes, and models available, and the price point varies a great deal,” indicate Moore and Wyss. “It’s wise to do a little research before shopping. Most air fryers are known for quick, hot cooking and have a wide range of temperature settings.”

The cooks explain that the most common type of air fryer has a basket that slides in and out of an enclosed unit. The temperature is adjustable and may work with an automatic timer, so the unit heats when only when the timer is going.

“Currently there is not a standard size and many list volume in liters or quarts, which is a bit perplexing,” explain Moore and Wyss. “Instead, visualize what you might want to cook and how large an air fryer basket you would like to use to cook for your family.”

For example, they explain, if you want to cook fish fillets, chicken breasts or other larger pieces for a family of four, you might want a larger air fryer basket or even one with a large rack.  If you prefer to air fry vegetables, or typically want to cook just one or two servings, one with a smaller air fry basket would be ideal.

What Are the Important Criteria?

“You might also want to look at the controls,” the authors point out. “Some air fryers have a digital display panel, while others use a rotating dial to set the temperature. Choose the one you feel the most comfortable using.”

Another important criterion to consider is the weight and storage space: Are you moving it to your storage pantry and back to the counter? If so, is it one you can comfortably move? Will it fit in your pantry or cabinet?

Moore and Wyss say many small appliances, including air fryers, and many kitchen countertop manufacturers caution against operating an appliance on granite, quartz or other countertops. “Check to see what the manufacturer of your appliance recommends so you can prevent any possibility of damaging the counter,” the authors suggest.

What About Clean Up?

Air fryers with a basket are often nonstick coated and are fairly easy to wash in a sink of hot, soapy water. Air fry ovens, with racks and a drip pan, may mean there are more pieces to wash.

According to Moore and Wyss, most manufacturers do not recommend washing the pieces in the dishwasher. A larger air fryer will mean you can cook more food at once, but think about whether the parts will easily fit in your kitchen sink.

Some brands offer accessories for their air fryer. “Look at the packaging or product description to see if accessories are included or recommended,” Moore and Wyss suggest. “Select only those accessories that are recommended by the manufacturer for your unit.”

You may find that many of the accessories enable the air-fryer to cook a wider variety of foods. Some now offer meat racks so that steaks, chops, fish fillets can easily be cooked.  Others offer a baking pan so you can cook casseroles or other combinations of food.

Oven or Fry Basket?

Some units are now listed as air fry ovens and that often means they have a rack over a tray instead of a basket. It may mean that you can select an air fry setting or use another oven setting, such as bake or toast, according to Moore and Wyss.

Most importantly, they encourage someone new to air frying to read carefully. “Don’t assume that all models offer the same features,” say Moore and Wyss.

The recipes for a traditional air fryer will work in an air fry oven, just know that you may need to tweak the times and temperatures a little for your unit.

When picking up your new air fryer, don’t forget a copy of Moore and Wyss’ cookbook, The Easy Air Fryer Cookbook: Healthy Everyday Recipes For People With Diabetes.

The book provides 80 delicious recipes that have been customized to meet the nutritional guidelines established by the American Diabetes Association making them all diabetes-friendly.

Read more about what Moore and Wyss have to say about healthy air-fry cooking here.

Happy Shopping!