The air fryer, since its creation, has become a true revolution for the modern kitchen. In fact, it has become a valid healthy and practical alternative to traditional fryers. Thanks to this appliance, you can enjoy your favorite dishes without having to use oil, still obtaining delicious and crispy results.
That said, thanks to constant innovations in the gastronomic technology sector, today you can find different models of air fryers. Each of these devices has its own functionalities, so they offer certain advantages to satisfy your culinary needs.
Now, due to the wide range of appliances available, it is not so simple to choose a fryer programmed to circulate hot air and cook with less oil. That is why, in today's comparative guide, we are going to analyze the different types of air fryers available on the market, highlighting their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. Throughout the guide, we are going to illustrate the different models to help you choose the best air fryer, that is, the one that suits your needs and your budget.
What is an air fryer?
We are going to start the comparison guide by introducing you to what an air fryer is and what its functionalities are. It is an appliance known internationally as an air fryer, which was invented very recently by the German company Philips in 2010.
The creators of this machine have the goal of being able to cook without the use of oil, obtaining the same results as frying in order to reduce the necessary fats as much as possible. For this reason, producers present the air fryer as a small appliance that is used in kitchens to bake, roast and fry food using hot air instead of large quantities of oil.
The operation of this appliance is simpler than you might think. That's because it works almost like a tabletop oven. Thanks to their technology, these fryers subject food to a hot area in constant circulation, thanks to an electric heat source and the action of a fan . It can be said then that this device acts, in a few words, like an electric convection oven, using high temperatures and the concentration of constant hot air around the food to enhance its effect.
Likewise, we cannot fail to highlight the fact that the appliance allows you to cook faster than a conventional oven, reaching the entire surface of the food evenly, which makes it look like a very powerful oven grill combined with an efficient fan. for the preparation of a wide variety of recipes.
Even so, it is also important to highlight that, although the air fryer allows cooking by reducing fat , producers advise using a small amount of oil to cook each food and obtain that golden, caramelized and crispy effect on the food.
That being said, as we have mentioned above, a wide variety of air fryers are available in today's market, each with its own functionalities, advantages and disadvantages. Next, we are going to introduce you to the different types of air fryers so that you can choose which model can satisfy your needs while respecting your initial budget. The information that we are going to provide you will allow you to make an informed decision and obtain the desired results when cooking.
Oil-free fryer with drawer or front bucket with basket
What is known as a drawer or front bucket fryer is the most popular model today. It has an ovoid shape with a flat roof, whose main characteristic is that it has a removable bucket on the front where a removable basket is placed.
Generally, it is a completely opaque appliance that has a control panel on the front with the different preset programs that can be selected and, in some cases and more advanced models of oil-free fryers, it even incorporates a digital display.
In order to cook, the food must be placed in the basket which is then inserted into the drawer. This must then be introduced into the appliance, remaining completely hidden from view, and then program the appliance depending on what is being cooked. The air fryer will start working simply by heating up, as the upper electrical resistance will reach a high temperature and the fan will create a constant air circuit that will cook the food.
Although it is a gastronomic appliance that allows you to eat healthy fried foods, it can also simulate baking, gratin and even cook sweet doughs and desserts.
Top Opening Fryer with Scoop
The top opening fryer with scoop is an alternative developed by a large company that operates in the sector. In this case, the appliance is flatter and, in order to access the bucket, it is necessary to stand on the upper part of the appliance, where an automatic rotating blade is also incorporated.
Like the model presented previously, its operation is simple, since it is cooked through a resistance that reaches high temperatures and the circulation of hot air through the fan. However, the difference has to do with the fact that uniform cooking can be achieved, since the machine stirs the food itself.
Likewise, another interesting advantage that top-opening fryers with scoops offer is that they have a totally or partially transparent top lid so you can monitor the process while the food is being cooked, without having to open the device. Yes, some consumers highlight that the scoop can be a problem for delicate foods, since some models do not allow it to be removed. Alternatively, there are some top-opening air fryers with a scoop that include an additional section to prepare foods such as croquettes.
Recently, the multifunction oven fryer has been created. What stands out about this appliance is its more ambitious design, which is clearly committed to multifunction and is focused above all on homes that do not have a convection oven. Its design is reminiscent of a small tabletop oven , thanks to its square shape with a front opening with a transparent lid and an interior divided into several levels where racks or trays can be placed.
This innovative model can add more than 10 functions . Although it is important to remember that each of them is based on the same technology of applying hot air in a circular manner. Anyway, the basic idea and goal of this appliance is to be able to replicate basic cooking techniques, from grilling, frying, grilling, and dehydrating food. For this reason, in some cases accessories such as skewers or racks are included.
How to choose and buy the best air fryer with a good quality-price ratio?
Now that you know the different types of air fryers that are available on the market, we also want to present the different key elements that you must take into account in order to find the most suitable model.
Size and capacity
Before purchasing an oil-free fryer for cooking and frying, one of the key factors has to do with the size and capacity of the appliance. First of all, you will have to look at the measurements so that it can fit in the kitchen and not be condemned to oblivion in the closet. Also, don't forget to check the capacity of the air fryer based on the volume of food you need to handle . Generally, a family with children will need a model with a large capacity of at least 4 liters of internal capacity, while a couple or a single person will need 2 liters.
As always, in the market you will be able to find a wide range of different models, each one in a different price range . That is why it is very important to take into account the budget available in order to select the most appropriate air fryer. Obviously, the best renowned brands (Cecotec, Tefal, Cosori, Philips, etc.) are the most expensive, although models that add more functionalities also tend to have a high price.
Ease of use and cleaning
Drawer front or top-opening designs are generally preferred because they make the cleaning process easier . Also, don't forget to check the ease of use of the control panel so that you can get used to the different programs quickly.
Power and efficiency of the best model
Another crucial purchasing criterion for the air fryer has to do with power and efficiency. Remember that the greater the power, the greater the speed and effectiveness of cooking, although the cost also increases. Therefore, you should also consider the energy efficiency of the appliance so that the air circulation fryer can cook in less time without spending too much.
Materials of the best oil-free fryers
The different models available on the market also differ in the material used for the construction of the fryer. It is not advisable to purchase a model with a basket made of poor quality plastic because it provides little security and tends to break down more quickly. Experts advise opting for stainless steel and non-stick coating that reinforce the inner bowl, grates and accessories.