The air fryer has been finding its way into households across the states for more than a decade now. Millions of homes across America, and the rest of the planet, now own one version or another of Philips’ original air fryer.
The last two years saw something of a resurgence in the air fryer. Instead of the appliance becoming dated, it seems to have become more popular if anything.
The pandemic was a boom time for air fryers and other cooking appliances. The air fryer saw a massive leap in sales from the start of 2020 to the end of 2021. According to Yahoo! Finance, 25.6 million air fryer units were sold during that period.
Although Philips launched the original air fryer, there are now dozens of rivals to choose from. You can even purchase an Instant Pot with an air fryer attachment. So, choosing the right air fryer for you could be tricky.
What makes an air fryer one of the best?
The criteria here were simply broken down into five categories. This included areas to fit people’s budgets, ones for single people, and larger families, and also considered how much workspace you may have.
There is, of course, an overall winner, but all of these air fryers are good for the purposes they were included for. But, before you go out and grab a new cooker, are air fryers a good way to cook a balanced meal?
No doubt you would like to be teaching healthy eating habits to your kids, so the word fryer may have you worried.
Air fryers don’t actually fry in the traditional sense of the word. Instead, they are more like convection ovens. Air at very high temperatures is used to crisp the outside of ingredients to have the appearance of fried food.
However, not everyone uses air fryers for replicating fried food. There are many recipes available for healthy vegetables and fish, all cooked in an air fryer.
Depending on how you use your new air fryer, it could very much be part of a healthy way to make food. Especially as it avoids cooking oil.
What are the five best air fryers for 2022?
Although opinions will differ, these five air fryers are included for their features or their cost.
Best for families
The main complaint about air fryers and multi cookers for many is the size. They can be ideal for couples, but large families can find their appliance is just too small to accommodate them. This ends with meals being cooked in sections and in some ways makes the point of the appliance moot.
With this in mind, and also considering worktop space, the best air fryer for families is the NuWave Brio.
The 6 Quart NuWave air fryer should be big enough for the average family, but if yours is larger then you may wish to look for something even bigger. This air fryer though has some nice features including a split basket to cook two different ingredients and a digital temperature display that outdoes most air fryers with their analog controls.
Best for singletons and couples
It is unlikely that even the heaviest air fryer user will need a 6 Quart model if they are single. However, that shouldn’t exclude anyone from being able to own an air fryer.
For a single person, 2-quarts should be sufficient, but for a couple then you may need to look for something larger unless you intend to use it mainly for snacks.
For one person, the Instant Vortex 2-quarts air fryer should do the trick. It is a 4-in-1 air fryer and can be controlled through a smartphone app. The app also includes loads of recipes so it is ideal for someone who has just left home and is adapting to cooking their own meals.
Best for smaller budgets
The CHEFMAN range of air fryers has a lot of fans, and for good reason. Ninja, Instant Vortex, and CHEFMAN are all considered good solid brand names in the air fryer world.
There are many budget air fryers, but how long some of these will last is anyone’s guess. So, therefore, the CHEFMAN 3.6-quart air fryer gets this title.
Best for compactness
Not everyone has a huge kitchen, and counter space can be at a premium in condos and apartments. Studio apartments and student lodgings can also be tight, so the footprint of an air fryer is a consideration. There are essential features for a kitchen remodel, but if you are in a dorm you probably just need something small.
The iRuntek 1.3-quart air fryer is not the smallest on the market, but perhaps a 1-quart is just too tiny. This air fryer may not be feature-packed but it would be perfect for a student or someone with seriously limited space.
The Instant Vortex brand has already been mentioned before, but they make very good air fryers. Therefore, their Vortex Plus 6-in-1 air fryer takes this slot. It is easy to use, has a digital display, and is available for around $100. If this one doesn’t quite meet your needs, then there is also a 6-quart model.
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Air fryers have become very popular partly due to the way that they cook. They have enabled people to switch from fatty diets to healthier ones but with the same food. By cooking with air, the need for cooking oil is reduced, this helps the user and the planet.
According to ResearchGate, the US is the leading country for waste cooking oil production. More waste oil is produced in the US than anywhere else. Being able to cook healthy meals that avoid cooking oil is a plus for the environment and your family.
Not all air fryers will suit each individual though. Before buying yourself one, consider the size of your family, how much space you have, and what your budget is. Another category that could have been included here was ‘easiest to clean’. Not all air fryers are easy to clean after use, so check out this area too. After that, it’s up to you to find tasty recipes and make the most out of your new appliance.