Lately, there’s been a large shift in the way we eat and how we’re cooking. We’re moving away from processed, fried foods and beginning to embrace healthy recipes that focus more on vegetables and lean meats. While this can be difficult when you want to enjoy your favorite fried favorites such as french fries or chicken wings, it is entirely possible! With the help of a few simple kitchen appliances, you can get back to enjoying these foods without having to ditch your diet altogether.
One popular new appliance that has emerged in recent years is the air fryer. The name says it all, an air fryer uses hot air combined with a little bit of oil (sometimes none at all!) to produce meals seemingly cooked by deep frying them – without any of the oil. By using the power of hot air, you can easily whip up your favorite fried foods in a healthier way that doesn’t compromise on taste!
Today we’re going to be taking a look at some of the best-selling and most popular portable air fryers available for purchase online today. These appliances offer the very same deep frying technique without any of the harmful oils and fats – making them easier to transport and use while out camping or tailgating! Read on further for insights into these appliances, as well as recommendations of what to look for when buying an air fryer.
Top Portable & Small Air Fryers
Ninja Air Fryer 4-Quart Ceramic Coated Basket
- Now enjoy guilt free food; Air fry with up to 75 percent less fat than traditional frying methods; Tested against hand cut, deep fried French fries
- Wide temperature range: 105 degree Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit allows you to gently remove moisture from foods or quickly cook and crisp foods with convection heat
- 4 quart ceramic coated nonstick basket and crisper plate fit 2 pounds of french fries. Cord length (feet) - 2.6
- The unit will need time to preheat before coming up to temperature. We recommend that you preheat the unit for 3 minutes before adding your ingredients to achieve the best results
- Dehydrate: Create flat, chip like dehydrated foods for fun, homemade snacks pounds; The combination of low fan speed and low temperature enables thorough dehydration
COSORI Air Fryer
- Award-Winning Design: Winner of the Red Dot Award for best design, the CP158-AF was designed in California and features an angled display with easy-to-use presets. In addition, the air fryer's compact size allows it to easily fit on your counter
- Less Fat: The air fryer uses up to 85% less fat than traditionally deep-fried food while maintaining the same delicious taste, making it the perfect gift for family or friends
- Compared with a 4-quart round basket or even smaller one, COSORI air fryer's 5.8- Quart Square Nonstick Basket can fit a 5 lbs-6 lbs whole chicken, while a small round basket can't. Buy this XL 5.8-Quart size, serves your family with at least 3-5 people
- 11 One-Touch Presets: Steak, Poultry, Seafood, Shrimp, Bacon, Frozen Foods, French Fries, Vegetables, Root Vegetables, Bread, and Desserts. Just choose your preset with 1 easy tap on the display and you're ready to cook. You can also set cooking temp/time
- The removable nonstick coated basket is dishwasher safe, PFOA-free & BPA-free. Air fryer Dimension: 14.3*11.8*12.6 in; Basket Dimension: 9*9*3.75 in. Buy our original air fryer accessory (search for C158-6AC) to create more
Gourmia GAF228 2.2 Qt Digital Air Fryer
- HEALTHY COOKING: RadiVection 360° Technology allows you to roast, bake, broil, grill, and of course FRY all of your favorite foods without fat or oil
- ALWAYS CRISPY: Perfect Crisp System and removable, nonstick tray make food crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside
- QUICK RESULTS: Express Heat System cooks food up to 30% faster than an oven
- TOUCH CONTROLS: LCD display with digital controls to adjust time and temperature settings
- ETL-CERTIFIED: We, at Gourmia, take the quality of our products seriously. This product is ETL-certified so you can be confident that you’re receiving a safe, efficient, high-quality appliance
Secura Air Fryer
- The Secura 3 2-Liter 3 4 Qt Electric Hot Air Fryer uses hot air in combination with high-speed air circulation (rapid hot air) and a top grill to prepare a variety of tasty dishes in a healthy fast and easy way
- Large 3 2 liter basket (7 5" diameter x 4 25" high) provides enough capacity to cook snacks for the entire family or a main entrée Create Healthier food by using less grease in your cooking with the "Hot Air Cooking" method
- 60 minute cooking timer with auto-shut off when your food is done Heating & Power indicator lights Variable temperature control 180° 400°F giving you total control over the food you are cooking
- Accessories included with the Secura Hot Air Fryer for extra versatility Recipes BBQ rack & skewers
- 2-Year Manufacturer's Limited Only for use with North American Electrical Standards 120V/1500W large 3 2 liter capacity
Dash Compact Air Fryer
- HEALTHIER FRIED FOOD: Dash Compact Air Fryer uses AirCrisp technology (instead of oil) to help reduce added fat by 70-80%, without sacrificing the flavor of your fried food (No more residual smell hours after you’ve eaten)
- QUICK + EASY: Short on time? Simply load the 2 qt capacity fryer basket, set the temp, and set the timer Your food comes out crispy, guaranteed, EVERY TIME And in less time than it takes to pre-heat your oven, making it more energy efficient
- SAFER: The auto-shut off function prevents overcooking, and the cool touch housing and handle makes it safer to use It’s so simple, even your kids can use it! (bonus, the nonstick fryer basket is dishwasher safe for even easier cleanup!)
- VERSATILE: This is the PERFECT appliance for picky eaters, large families, or those who have busy schedules Appetizers to desserts, 1 dozen chicken wings, 1lb French fries, even baked goods, and all within minutes of setting the timer - it couldn’t be easier!
- COMPACT + LIGHTWEIGHT: Half the weight of a standard fryer, the Dash Air Fryer is your MUST-HAVE for that first apartment, smaller kitchen, college dorm life, or camper/rv traveling Plus, its sleek design and trendy color options will accent any kitchen space
What To Look For When Buying One
Now that you’re familiar with the basics, let’s move on. It’s time to discuss some of the features you should keep in mind when shopping for an air fryer. Capacity You can expect most air fryers to give you between 2-3 lbs of cooking capacity at a single time. This will be enough for most people if they are cooking small portioned meals for 1 or 2 people. If you do plan on cooking larger portions than this, it may be worthwhile looking into getting one with a slightly larger capacity. Size By size, we don’t necessarily mean physical dimensions but rather space considerations inside the unit. Most air fryers are relatively non-intrusive in terms of their width and depth, but their height can vary quite a bit. You want to make sure that there is plenty of head room for the food you’re cooking. If you’re trying to cook something like french fries or potatoes, it’s important that they have enough space so they don’t get stuck together while being cooked. Controls On most models, it’s easy to find an on/off switch along with some presets for commonly used items such as fries or chicken wings. Since not everyone likes things done to the same crispiness level, many units will give you the freedom to adjust how long your food cooks via adjustable time controls. Safety Some brands offer extra safety features including auto shut-off and cool touch housing. If you’re going to be cooking something like chicken wings, auto shut off is a must as they can cook fast and it’s easy for things to overcook and catch fire. Cool touch housing (handle) will keep your hand safe from burning if you need to open the air fryer while its still cooking.
Time To Cook
With all of this out of the way, let’s move on to some more practical aspects of an air fryer – specifically how long it takes to cook certain types of food. Usually you’ll find that heatup time is quick (in most cases, less than 5 minutes) but actual cooking time can vary quite a bit depending on what you’re trying to do. The “standard” cooking time for something like french fries is around 20 minutes, while smaller items like chicken wings can be done in under 10. For food safety purposes, you should always use the shortest amount of time possible while cooking with an air fryer.
Parts You Will Find Inside Every Air Fryer
There are a few common parts that you will find inside any good quality air fryer regardless of brand or model. These include heating element(s), fan(s) and temperature control knobs along with a filters to help keep the unit from getting too dirty. In addition to this, most brands offer accessories such as racks, baskets and other helpful tools for making certain types of foods. However, there is one more thing that’s included in some models but not all – a digital timer.
Digital Timer: If you’ve ever used an oven to cook anything, then you know what a digital timer is and why it’s useful. It allows you to set specific cooking times for different types of foods without having to guess/estimate when they’re done based on experience or intuition alone. This is especially important with many types of food like french fries which can easily get overdone if left in the fryer too long (and taste really horrible when that happens).
Size Matters Not Just Capacity
All right, so now we have a good idea about how air fryers work and what makes them better than deep frying in terms of health benefits and time/energy consumption.