We all love a deep fryer, right? They have become one of the fastest growing pieces of kitchen technology, with many families in the US and UK joining in on the fun of low-fat frying.
Currys (UK) alone reported a 133% increase in air fryer sales earlier this year as we all look for faster, healthier ways to bake and cook our favorite foods. But what if you haven’t jumped on the air frying bandwagon yet?
As I recently moved into the team to oversee our home appliance content, I can shamefully say that I don’t own a deep fryer. In truth; I’ve never tried one – and I’m getting a serious FOMO (fear of missing out) after reading about some of our best air fryers.
As with everything, when trying to choose the best air fryer it can be tricky to know where to start. This appliance isn’t for everyone, so regardless of the hype, to find a deep fryer for your home, there are a few things you should consider first – some of which may surprise you more than others.
So once you’ve decided that a fryer is for you, there are a few criteria to consider to help narrow your search before you find ‘the one’ – and this guide is here to help you walk through all the key factors to consider. before making the leap to a healthier frying. From price to function, we’ve got you covered.
The best deep fryer deals
Don’t worry; we are protecting you. Here’s where you can buy a fryer right now if you want, or if you prefer to buy it later, that’s fair too.
6 precautions when choosing an airfryer
Some of these may seem like obvious factors to consider when choosing a deep fryer, but there is a method in between the craziness, especially when combining these key considerations. So if you follow this relatively commonsense approach, you will have a deep fryer in your life in no time.
Needless to say, this is where your research should start, so set a budget and (try to) stick to it. Prices start at around $122 / £100, and you can spend up to a few hundred on a top-tier option. There are usually great deals to cash in on, but if you’re expecting a sales event like Amazon Prime Day, you’d better be quick, because the fryers don’t stay long – even if they’re only been marked down a little.
This is something to think about because it will determine how much you can cook and what you can cook. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim for a 3 quart / 5 liter fryer (minimum) if you are cooking for a family of two and a 5 quart / 4.73 liter fryer (minimum) if you are cooking. re a family of four. Some fryers only have one large drawer and others have multiple levels built in – when buying online I think the product images are enough to judge this. The specs and descriptions are also good deals, so a read through them would avoid disappointment.
The bigger the capacity, usually the bigger the size, and fryers aren’t the smallest – or lightest – benchtop device. Imagine it sitting on your countertop, imagine using it to feed the kids, and most importantly, imagine moving it around if you’re short on countertop space. If it’s out of the way and easy to get to by dinnertime, you’re getting closer and closer to finding your air fryer.
There are design features such as preview windows and pre-programmed settings that will catch your eye as your search develops, and these can really make a difference to your fryer experience. A viewing window is useful for checking the cooking progress, which will prevent you from opening the fryer and also letting the heat out. The pre-programmed settings are handy for trouble-free cooking, and some models have alerts to let you know when it’s time to shake your pan or time in the fryer is complete (helpful!).
All fryers make French fries and cook frozen foods, but if you also want to bake, roast, dehydrate and slow cook (yes, you can do that in a deep fryer), look for removable inserts. A rotisserie is an example that would be perfect for cooking a chicken or other piece of meat. With the removable inserts, you can cut and change what you cook in the fryer on a daily basis, which will increase the versatility of your kitchen setup.
The look of my kitchen countertop is a key criterion for me, because it tends to reveal how easy it is to use (the fewer counters, the easier), but it also complements the microwave and toaster. There are some with retro style like the Swan Retro 6L manual air fryer (opens in new tab) and others with one-touch buttons and a sleek design, like the Tower Xpress Pro Combo 2000W 11 Liter 10-in-1 Digital Air Fryer Oven with Grill (opens in new tab).
Choosing a deep fryer doesn’t have to be a daunting task – it should be exciting. I’m certainly looking forward to trying out some recipes in mine, and while it probably won’t replace our crockpot anytime soon, the air fryer will be a nice piece of technology to have on the side.
Are airfryers worth it?
If you want to change your eating habits for the better, a deep fryer can help make that happen. It cooks meals quickly and with less oil – or no oil – simply by circulating hot air around the food and drying surface-level moisture to form a tasty crisp. It’s perfect for couples, but families who need to cook more food can get hungry if they just want a deep fryer to organize meals.
By circulating this hot air around the food, you can make foods that you would have previously fried, like French fries, healthier – plus you can even bake a piece of meat or even bake a cake in a deep fryer. There aren’t many things you can’t cook. We found that you can grill cheese in the deep fryer, for example. Yup.
There are, of course, considerations to take into account, such as bread thickness and cheese type, but the trick is getting the fryer method and settings right – we found it anyway. There are many other interesting tips and tricks that the team has learned since we started working with air fryers.
Other recipes you can try include cooking ice cream and perfecting a crispy skin by cooking the pork belly every time.
In addition to cooking various snacks and meals, a deep fryer can also save up to 50% on your energy bill when compared to a conventional oven. It can do this because it simply uses less energy than an oven and can cook food faster.
What can’t be cooked in the airfryer?
I’ve done some research on this and the main lesson that jumps out at me for not putting the fryer on and trying to cook is anything with wet batter. This will only create a mess, because the dough won’t have a chance to cook before it slips out of the liner – which makes sense I guess.
It’s all a bit of trial and error from the looks of things – the team has learned some valuable lessons in our time with air fryers so far. As you read, we tried (successfully) to cook ice cream. Others on the internet report frying eggs, cooking meats, baking cakes and bread… the list goes on.
Are there reasons not to buy a deep fryer?
They can cook food at high speed, which is great, but it can take a toll on your food and burn it to a crisp if you’re not watching or if a timer is set incorrectly. Most of our home tests didn’t go through this, although I’ve read and heard that it can happen, so it’s something to consider.
The units themselves can be bulky too, and obviously the bigger the fryer you opt for, the more space they’ll take up.
Some air fryers have multiple layers and components that may not be suitable for putting in the dishwasher, so keeping it clean can be a little tricky – but it’s no more difficult than cleaning and cleaning your microwave, if you can. you have one that is.