Carrie Gabriel, MS, RDN, explores a handful of air fryer benefits. But first, what are air fryers and how do they work?
If you’re on top of the latest trends in kitchenware, you likely already know about the rise in popularity of the air fryer. Aside from positive reviews and the growing awareness of the importance of eating healthier foods, many of us are gravitating toward the air fryer as a preferred cooking method. Here’s why.
What is an air fryer?
An air fryer is a countertop-friendly device that circulates heat at high temperatures to bake, grill, or fry your food with either very minimal or no oil at all. Its mechanism creates a crispy outer layer while leaving the inside of your food moist and chewy.
Are Air Fryers Healthy?
Simply put, yes! Using an air fryer is a more healthful way to cook foods you might typically deep fry, as it requires considerably less oil than the alternative. You can use as little as one tablespoon of cooking oil, instead of the multiple cups a deep fryer would require. Personally, I have an air fryer at home that I love using. I even make sweet potato fries using no oil at all, and they still come out tasty!
In sum, by swapping deep frying for air frying, you’ll be able to significantly reduce your intake of unhealthy fat and excess calories.
Another tip: If you’re going to invest in an air fryer, be sure to look for BPA-free options. They’re free from toxic chemicals that can harm our environment.
5 Air Fryer Benefits
1. Weight loss Potential
If you’re driven to lose weight, you can do so by slowly making changes in your eating and cooking habits. Research shows that cooking your food with an air fryer (versus a deep fryer) can be healthier, thus potentially reducing your caloric intake and contributing to weight loss. Considering that fried food can factor into obesity, weight loss potential is among the most compelling draws of the air fryer.
Additionally, the need for significantly less oil helps consumers be mindful of their cholesterol levels. Since air fryers only require a few drops of oil, it’s easier to enjoy comfort food faves, like French fries, while keeping minimal saturated fat content.
2. Faster food prep
Air fryers are very time-efficient. Foods including chicken, fish, potatoes, and vegetables all cook quickly in an air fryer. This ability is attributed to technology that allows the air fryer to blow hot air evenly within the device.
3. Easier clean up
Not only will you exert less effort and spend less time cooking with an air fryer, but you’ll also have a much easier time cleaning up. Many of its parts are designed to be wiped off with a damp cloth or washed in the sink with soap. Some air fryers even have parts that are dishwasher-safe. Overall, they’re much easier to clean and maintain than larger cooking gadgets.
4. More space, less stink
Air fryers also take up less space in the kitchen, which is especially beneficial if you have a smaller space. Another bonus: An air fryer won’t leave your house with lingering fried food smells for hours after cooking.
5. Great for picky vegetable eaters
Are you and your loved ones picky vegetable eaters? Air frying is a great way to crisp up vegetables and make them tastier. Many people enjoy the texture of vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts better once they’ve been air fried. There are also a myriad of online recipes that give options for breading vegetables to cook in the air fryer. Some even incorporate lighter options like rice- or chickpea-based crumbs.
Overall, air fryers offer a quick and healthy way to prepare a variety of foods. While this appliance can be expensive, the long-term culinary and health benefits are vast—and for some, priceless. However, it’s still essential to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh foods, as well as to fit in adequate physical activity.
Happy air frying!