If you are already 23 and above I am sure you are not a stranger to the talks of healthy diet and exercise to stay in fit shape and size. Except for the few of those who are genetically blessed with lean bodies, most of us spend a lot of time thinking or talking about how to get to that ideal weight. The two main ingredients to a fit body is regular exercise and healthy food. And healthy food means low-carbs, low fat, high protein non-fried food. Most of us do start on that diet with a seemingly immovable dedication but a few days of this tasteless diet is enough to make us crave us for that deep fried delicious food.
But do you know that oil is not the only way you can fry your food? Yes, you read it right. Technology has come to our aid in keeping our food healthy too by allowing us to make our food tasty without really dipping it into a pot of boiling oil. Air frying is a recent technology that uses very less quantity of oil or even zero oil to fry food with the help of hot air.
Air fryers are a nice category of kitchen appliances that keep your food healthy yet tasty by using air to cook it and give you the same taste of deep oil frying.
Consider preparing the same chicken or fish without actually dipping it in fat saturated oil which makes up around 80% of the fat content of your dish. You keep your arteries clean and your heart and metabolism active.
Top 5 Air fryers in India
The best air fryers on the market are durable and dependable with features that address everyday cooking demands. After lot of research, I have come out the following top 5 air fryers in India.
This 2.2 litres Air Fryer from Philips is probably one of the frequently bought air fryers in the market. It has got all the usual bells and tinkers you expect – power and heating indicator LEDs, 30 minute timer and temperature setting from 80-200 celsius. The timer is an analog one with the good-ol ting sound when the cooking is done. It used rapid air technology system to cook, which means that it has a grill coil at the top which heats up and in combination with a fan circulates this hot air heating up the food. In addition to that the air it released to manage the pressure has a filtering system which means that the air it releases does not leave any stale oil smell in the kitchen.
It is good for home use, serves family size, can be used to bake, grill and roast too. Capacity at 2.2 litres is quite less compared with its competitors that we have listed below. Cleaning is easy enough for all the parts except the grill which seems to catch everything but nothing much to discourage you from using it the next time. It is dishwasher safe too in case you have one of those. Parts might be a little hard to get in open market but you do get a 2 year warranty on it. Buy it if you are looking at it to cook snacks and not full time meals!
- High quality machine that cooks fast.
- Features a double layer rack that maximizes the cooking surface area
- Adjustable time and temperature control
- Easy to clean and creates less smell than normal fryers
- Shuts off automatically and alerts you when food is ready
- Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
At 3 litre, 4.9 kg weight and has 30 minute timer, Kenstar Aster Oxy fryer definitely beats HD9220 Philips fryer by a good margin in capacity but still is not ideal for a business setting. It has a heating coil at bottom and a fan below that to spread the heat in the container. There are two LEDs with the green for power on/off and red for heating on/off. It has a eject-able hidden handle at the top which makes it easy to be carried anywhere. Nothing too fancy but as far as frying it considered, it does what you expect. Price wise it is a little cheaper than the Philips fryer above but lacks the additional features that the former offers. This also comes with a 2 year warranty.
- Convenient to use with simple yet highly adjustable controls
- Thermostat and timer dials
- Auto power cut feature turns off power supply once the set time has been completed
- 3 litre Frying Basket
- Includes a 1200mm long power cord
Havells Prolife Air fryer boasts of a 4 litre pan capacity and 2 litre food basket capacity. The extra space can be used with a separator that comes with the fryer to compartmentalize the space and cook different food items in one go. It can be used to fry, bake, toast, roast, grill and reheat. There is an automatic power-off and temperature control function which makes sure you don’t burn the food and yet prepare it in less time. The timer can be set for a maximum of 60 minutes and the temperature range is 80-200 celsius. There are 2 LEDs – red for power on and green for heating on. There is an internal cord storage space so that your kitchen remains less cluttered. The food basket is food grade aluminum non-stick coated which makes it easy to clean. The appliance is good and comes with 2 year warranty but just because it advertises 4 litre, don’t go by that face value. Most of your cooking will be done in the food basket only and hence the practical cooking capacity of this fryer is 2 litres only. Also, the product is available in both analog (knobs) and digital controls. Make sure you confirm with customer care which one you will be getting if you are buying it online.
- With the unique Rapid air technology, Havells Airfryer lets you fry, bake, toast, roast, grill and reheat the food with hot air making it up to 85% less oily over traditional deep frying.
- Havells Air fryers comes with an integrated auto-off timer and temperature control function. These enable faster cooking ensuring best results.
- With large cooking capacity, Havells air frying basket comes with a separator that lets you cook multiple food items simultaneously saving time and energy.
- 2-Litre large food basket
- 4-Litre extra large pan capacity
- Food grade aluminium non-stick coated food basket
This air fryer from Prestige comes with a 2.2 litre of capacity but weighs on the higher side at 6 kgs. It has a digital display with a preset cooking menu which you might not want to rely on much if you don’t want to get undercooked or overcooked food 🙂 The food basket has a separator to allow you to cook 2 food items at once. It also comes with a cake basket since the appliance is capable to fry, grill, bake and roast. However, I wouldn’t suggest baking a cake in a air fryer, that is best left to an oven or a microwave! The temperature range is 60-200 celsius. However, the warranty of the product is just for 1 years which is 1 year less compared to its competitors.
- Digital display with preset cooking menu
- Easy to clean grill and basket
- Hot air cooking
- Safety button, oil and smoke filter
- Specially designed frying basket
- Automatic shut off
Oster Halo Air Fryer is a 1.25 kg capacity air fryer with tilting capability to make sure that no area of the food is left uncooked. Its timer capacity is more than any of its competitors at 75 minutes.It has top and bottom or grill only heating element, the presence of the heating element at both sides means that it cooks much faster than the other air fryers mentioned above. There are 3 different cooking options – dual heat on tilt, grill only or dual heat without tilt giving you the ability to cook as you want. To cook 1 kg of finger chips you just need half a spoon of oil, that is 99% less oil that what you would require if you cook with the traditional method. One of the best feature of this fryer is that you can see the food item being cooked through lid. In addition to frying, it can bake, sauté and roast too giving you a all-in-one equipment for your lunch and dinner needs.
The appliance its looks a little like a heavy helmet weighing at 7 kilograms. All internal parts which get dirty after cooking – roasting rack, drip tray, measuring spoon and inner bowl – are dishwasher safe and hence can be easily taken out and cleaned. It comes with a 2 year warranty, just make sure you have a service center nearby before ordering it.
- Fan assisted instant dual heat source
- Only ½ spoon of oil required for 1kg of fresh chips – 99.5% less than a standard 3L deep fat fryer
- Tilting cooking function and rotating non-stick bowl keeps food moving and cooking evenly
- Grill only function is ideal for fish and meat – the roasting rack allows excess oil to drain off for a healthy, tasty meal
- Drip tray to collect condensed liquid from cooking chamber
- Removable dishwasher safe lid and bowl keeps cleaning and washing up hassle free
How Air fryers work
Air fryers make use of hot air rather than oil to fry the outer layer of the food and keep the insides crispy thus saving you from almost all of the fat that you would have took if you had used oil for the frying. The technology that is used in these appliances is called Rapid Air Technology which is a combination of a top grill and hot air flowing around the food at fast speed. This way the food is cooked evenly from all sides in very short interval of time. The outside is dry and crispy and the inside smoking hot but juicy, just the way you would like you food to be!
Structurally it contains a pressure control system that is used to let out extra air thereby reducing the temperature when it starts to go above the set temperature. All air fryers also contain a filtering system in this exhaust system which filters out the odour from the air so that your kitchen is not filled with the smell of the food item. This same exhaust is also used to let out the vapour from the cooking bowl.
As the coil is continuously heated there could have been chances of overheating. To prevent this the air fryers come with an internal cooling system – a fan – which circulates fresh air inside and prevents the internal body parts of the fryer from becoming too hot and getting damaged.
Common features of Air fryer
Most air fryers will have 2 controls, one for setting the temperature and the other one for setting the time. The temperature control ranges from 60 to 200 degree Celsius and the timer till 75 minutes. The controls might be analog or digital. Most of the air fryers nowadays you will find can be used for grilling, baking and roasting as well.
These work at a voltage 220-240 volts and have a thermostat in build to make sure temperature doesn’t go above the set limit.
Air Fryers will typically occupy the same size as of microwave ovens, so if you kitchen is small or already quite occupied then do give a thought where you will keep it before buying. The weight of these appliances vary from 5-7 kilograms so you won’t like to keep picking it from one place to another.
Why you should consider buying an air fryer
- The biggest benefit I see of using a air fryer is the health advantage you get by avoiding so much oil fat without sacrificing tasty food. One can avoid around 99% percent of the fat that normally goes in oil fried finger chips. It not only cooks without oil, it even takes out the animal fat if you are cooking meat.
- There are many preset cooking options programmed like for chicken, meat, fish, shrimp, chips, cake etc. This makes it very easy to cook something – just keep the ingredients inside and select the preset menu option. The cooking would automatically stop once the cooking according to the preset program is done.
- It serves the purpose of multiple kitchen appliances since it can do baking ,frying, grilling in addition to the frying. This saves both your kitchen space and money.
- Air fryer body doesn’t get hot from outside and hence is much more safer than other kitchen appliances like oven. Still, it is suggested not giving this to kids to cook!
- Air fried items don’t taste much different from oil fried items. But still if you feel that some taste is missing, you can put a very little amount of oil, like half table spoon to make sure that you get the taste of oil frying without actually using that much of oil.
- Parts are easy to remove and mostly dishwasher friendly so it is easy to maintain.
Tips to use an Air fryer
- Just like a toaster or oven, it is best to preheat an air fryer. Set it for max temperature for about 3 minutes and then put the food items in.
- Though while cooking the air fryer won’t release any odour, but once you cooking is done and you open the lid the odour can fill your kitchen. To avoid this make sure you clean the insides with hot water carefully in addition to cleaning the removable utensils properly. Also, before placing the utensils back inside the air dryer make sure to clean dry it with a soft cloth.
- Before putting the food item inside, sprinkle a little oil at the base of the pan so that the food doesn’t stick at the bottom.
- Don’t use any more than half a tablespoon of oil unless specifically mentioned in the recipe book.
- Unless the pan inside the air fryer can shake or tilt, in mid of cooking stop the air fryer and stir the food items so that the food are cooked evenly when the food quantity is near limits. Just be a little careful when opening the lid because the internal pressure is more than outside and hence the vapour inside might come out as hot steam.
- Keep the food in such a way that guarantees proper air circulation otherwise you might get some part of the food overcooked and some part under cooked.
- Get a cookbook that has recipes specifically for air fryer or at least make use of video sharing websites like YouTube to see how and which type of food is prepared in a air fryer and that will help you utilize this new technology product to its full potential.
Cons in an air fryer
There are some things which you might not like in an air fryer:
- Few items might actually take more time to cook compared to cooking them in oil.
- Capacity of most of the air fryers is usually less than your traditional utensils so you have to be a little patient to get the advantage of healthy cooking of air fryer.
- Only the food tray is given with the product. Other accessories like baking tray or double layer rack have to be bought separately and then can honestly cost quite a bit.
- One needs to do some research to see what all you can cook and what you can not in an air fryer. For example vegetables which require steaming can’t be cooked in an air fryer.
- Affordability wise these products are not cheap and if you are not too conscious about your diet this product might not make much of a sense to you.
- If you are too much in love with the oily taste that you get in deep fry then there is no point in going for an air fryer. You do almost get the crispiness on the outside but the inside will be the natural taste of the food item and not the slick oil taste that you get with oil frying. This is for those who are ready for a little taste change for the bigger advantage of good health.
Air fryer is without any doubt an appliance for any modern family looking to eat healthy food cooked at home in less time and with less effort. You cook just with hot air which means you are getting as natural food you can get without sacrificing much on the taste. The appliance is easy to maintain and clean and most of the companies give you 2 year of warranty which gives you the security of being able to comfortably order and use a brand new appliance in your kitchen.
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