Hands up who's got one. Is it good? Should I get one?
I currently have a massive oven and from what I've heard you can reduce your energy consumption and cook 4 times as fast.
Had one a few years.
Quicker than cooking in an oven. No idea what's cheaper. I'd assume the air fryer, but my over is gas which is something like a quarter of the price of electric so you might find it balances out. If you have an electric oven then it's a no brainer. I also assume peak demand of the air fryer is less so maybe still be cheaper than a gas oven.
I find stuff tastes better in the air fryer. Probably down to texture. Moist on the inside, crispy on the outside. Ovens cook slower so if cooking things like skinny fries it either dries them out or they're soggy.
They're no good for things like battered fish. Too bulky and will burn before they cook. Better for things like chips with a high cross sectional area.
Don't try to warm up prawn crackers in one. They float to the top, hit the heating elements and then catch fire. Trust me, you don't need to confirm this for yourself.
Hardly ever need to clean the thing, and when you do it's less effort than cleaning an oven.
I'd suggest getting one.
I still don't really understand them. Are they like mini-ovens? Why don't the mini-ovens/grills in my cooker have the same function?
Haven't got one yet, but seriously considering it for the same reasons.
Cosori Pro 4.7litre looks good. 1500watts, £100. Only two of us, so will be fine.
Will get a thermometer probe as well to make sure chicken is cooked through properly.
A programme specifically about air fryers. Worth a listen if you're in the market.
I designed an air fryer. As part of the design process we bought and used all of the then current options, then stripped them down.
The nature of these products is that hot, oily air is driven around the entire internal volume. This results in grease building up in inaccessible places (blades of the fan, behind the element etc). In all the examples we characterised this resulted in mould formation after a few weeks of use followed by any pause. We could not find an effective way to avoid this or clean every part where oil can reach.
Are you saying all airfryers go mouldy if you stop using them for any period of time (bold claim)? Can you just run them again the mould burns away or is it not like that?
> I still don't really understand them. Are they like mini-ovens? Why don't the mini-ovens/grills in my cooker have the same function?
It's like cooking your food with a really hot hair dryer in an enclosed space to make it energy efficient.
You know how a fan assisted ovens work way better than a conventional oven. The air fryer just dials that up, a lot.
> Are you saying all airfryers go mouldy if you stop using them for any period of time (bold claim)? Can you just run them again the mould burns away or is it not like that?
I'm going to have to check mine now. WIll report back.
I bought one a while back for my parents. After several episodes of using it they concluded that it was useless. It didn't cook stuff through, it would still be raw in the middle, and cooking stuff for longer didn't work either.
It's possible that if you get a really expensive one it could work, I suppose?
But the middle-of-the-range ones are just a nice idea that doesn't work.
They are basically just small fan ovens. They don't fry anything.
The benefit may in these times of expensive energy be to cost less to run. But you can make chips in the oven just as well by spraying oil on sliced potatoes on a baking tray, done it loads of times with decent results.
Isn't it the case that the tool works well for some use cases and badly for others. For example remember a few years back when the fashion was sous vide (French for boil in the bag ;( ) it was supposed to be brilliant for certain posh foods, but fish fingers and oven chips? No!
With an air fryer as people say above it'll work for the fish fingers and oven chips example, but anything like large breaded cod, turkey thigh, large steak and kidney pudding, etc isn't going to work.
If Henwardian could have converted parents to Birdseye chicken dippers and French fry style oven chips I'm sure they'd love the air fryer .
Depends what you cook...
Are they kind of only good for your beige food and meat then? Can you cook 'wet' things in them, like a stew or would you need that Ninja one which also functions similarly to a slow cooker?
If you have a stew pot the right shape yes you could, as they are just fan ovens, but a slow cooker will be more efficient.
Don’t know about air fryers, but if you are looking at an oven alternative in a small scale, then have a look at Remoska one pot cookers. My late mother used one for a decade or more as her “oven”. She used it daily for cooking everything that you would use an normal oven for in it, but on a smaller scale, and the cooking including baking sponge cakes and bread beside usual main courses. If I didn’t know she used one, I would never have guess from eating her cakes.
There are various sizes of cookers. Not cheap to buy, but they would use less energy than a large traditional oven, as smaller and quick to heat up.
Just a thought as an alternative for an oven.
Met a friend yesterday who was singing the praises of her pressure cooker for saving energy. We’ve never had one, but wondering.
Been using one for years. Great bit of kit, can even do a pretty good roast in it.
My mum uses one and the food is great but I shit scared of the thing when it blows off!
Pressure cookers are good things. My Mum cooked almost everything in one, which was common in her generation as they grew up and lived through the resource and cash strapped post-war times that we have voluntarily put ourselves back into.
As a result, I inherited several. I gave most away but still have a big one and a small one and use them for making stock or soup. I used to do stews in them but I bought a slow cooker a couple of years ago which I'm told is very energy efficient.
Doug Scott was selling small Russian pressure cookers some years ago to raise money for his Nepalese charity. They had a lid that screwed down like an old-fashioned diver's helmet. He said that Russian/Central Asian climbers would boil up spuds in it, switch off the stove then wrap the cooker in sleeping bags to keep it warm, go out on the hill and fix another camp and when they returned to the tent the spuds (plus onions, fatty lamb etc) were all well cooked. Seemingly it saved them a lot of fuel.
My mum used one throughout the 70s and I have inherited it. As 65 says, they are good things, passive chunks of metal that last for decades. I don't now use it that often but I should, since besides the reduced energy use and whatever taste benefit there may be, they just do things in less time. I used it a lot more when the kids were at home and I wanted to serve something nice midweek in minimal time. The only real downside is not being able to see what is going on inside, which has resulted in me boiling things dry once or twice.
Also, beware the power of the jet of steam when you take the whizzer off. I once successfully and quickly cooked several pots full of mussels picked from a local beach, but the first one resulted in the hood above the cooker getting coated in resilient seafoody gunk and the loss of my entire stock of browny points.
> Also, beware the power of the jet of steam when you take the whizzer off. I once successfully and quickly cooked several pots full of mussels picked from a local beach, but the first one resulted in the hood above the cooker getting coated in resilient seafoody gunk and the loss of my entire stock of browny points.
Er, you're not supposed to take the 'whizzer' off - you're supposed to put the whole thing under a cold tap to cool it down and de-pressurise it before opening the lid. A friend did a similar thing to you in cookery - their 3 different veg in separate compartments in the trivet thingy became a technicolour mush splodge all over the cookery room ceiling.
I feel like the band member in the Peter Sellers band/band manager sketch. So much to learn, so little time... But, putting the big thing under a tap sounds like more faff than just waiting a while, as I normally do except when I am being stupid, then removing the whizzer and carefully unscrewing the lid. That works too, unless you are in a real hurry.