Of course, there's nothing wrong with treating yourself every now and then, in moderation. The issue with these fatty food options is that eating them too frequently can sometimes lead to health issues. And even if that's not the case, the guilt we feel after giving in to the temptation of a greasy meal was enough to send us searching for an alternative.


Of course, there's nothing wrong with treating yourself every now and then, in moderation. The issue with these fatty food options is that eating them too frequently can sometimes lead to health issues. And even if that's not the case, the guilt we feel after giving in to the temptation of a greasy meal was enough to send us searching for an alternative.
The Philips Airfryer XL turned in the best performance of all on our cooking tests. This machine was better than any other at cooking evenly from one end of the basket to the other. Foods came out crispy and delicious, especially the fries. Our chicken wings also were impressive. That being said, it creates a lot of smoke, it’s loud and it’s hard to clean, keeping it shy of our top pick. Beyond that, it is large and expensive – about double the average price of the others in our lineup – but it is an impressive machine. If you do a lot of deep frying for big groups, this might be worth the investment, though, in order to fry in a healthier way. If you need something more compact, consider the Bella Air Convection Fryer.
The truth is that an air fryer will handle typical fried foods pretty poorly. "The only food that'll come out the same is a french fry," Mims says. "It doesn’t work well with traditionally fried foods that have a wet batter. Things like chicken wings or fish fingers, or schnitzel, those all have to be adapted to the machine. They should be dry-coated with breadcrumbs, or cornmeal, or spices and herbs to get a get a crisp texture."
Although it’s a little smaller in size and capacity, the Power Air Fryer XL can cook and crisp about one pound of food at once. It has digital controls with preset programs. We found it somewhat generic in appearance and the basket doesn’t glide out as smoothly as on some. But on the positive side, it cleans up in the dishwasher, comes with a recipe booklet, and won’t set you back a bundle.
Adjustable Temperature: Often times, you need to adjust the temperature while cooking, or else the food will either come out under or overcooked. The Philips XL Airfryer allows you to adjust the temperature and turn it up to 390 degrees, unlike other air fryers that only have one temperature setting. This also lets you cook a variety of different foods that require a certain temperature to make perfectly.Adjustable temperature: Often times, you need to adjust the temperature while cooking, or else the food will either come out under or overcooked.

While not inexpensive, the Cuisinart Airfryer Toaster Oven is definitely cheaper—not to mention more space efficient—than buying two separate countertop appliances. It comes with an air fryer basket to be used along with an air fryer setting. We found it worked as well, and in some cases better, than air fryers at browning and crisping. It also happens to be a darn good toaster oven. (See our toaster oven recommendations if you're in the market for one of those instead.)
This one is similar to the others in that it can make a number of fried creations using a fraction of the oil of traditional frying. Biggest differences include that it's dishwasher safe, it comes with two cookbooks filled with air fryer recipes, and it received more than 1,200 reviews from happy customers, rating it an average 4.4 out of 5 stars. When you consider most people are rating it based on how close it gets to authentic fried food, that's a pretty darn good review for this air-circulating crisper.

CR’s take: The most expensive of the group, the Philips TurboStar HD9641/96 has a capacity of 3.1 quarts, which puts it in the middle of the pack in terms of size. The electronic controls are fairly easy to use and read, and there’s a handy knob to set the cooking time and temperature. Preprogrammed settings for commonly cooked foods eliminate a step. Cleaning the nooks of the basket can be a chore, although the rest of the fryer cleans up easily, earning this air fryer a Good rating in our cleaning tests. The warranty is one year.
Finally, we compared the basket weight of the products, how easy the controls were to operate, and whether the machine was actually hassle-free to clean up. Fortunately for our co-workers, the air-frying process was measurably less messy than deep frying. We didn’t have an oily pool to clean up afterward; the components were smaller than deep fryer parts; and the total cook time was pretty short, so you don’t have to waste all that time waiting. The controls are all pretty intuitive and simple to use: You can choose from the presets or go rogue and set your own temperature and time.
The timer is a sore point as it only goes up to 30 minutes and it must be noted that if you pull your food out during cooking, it will continue ticking on.  It’s a bit annoying at first but easily fixed if you pre-emptively set the time with this action already planned for.  This is another common issue prevalent in all analog air fryers and is resolved if you opt for the digital model.
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This model has received positive reviews on Amazon. The first model comes with a bonus cookbook. This helps you to try out different dishes! After all, variety is the spice of life. Say “no” to deep-fried delicacies because you can cook food without a single drop of oil in this revolutionary domestic device. Whether it is onion rings, fish fingers or Kentucky chicken, you can make anything in this appliance!
Oh, friends! It was so sad! I could only cook four thighs at a time, despite the recipe's idea that you could fit six. (Where do they find these miniature chickens? Why not call for a broiler or a squab?) Two people would need to wait an hour of "fry" time to get more than two pieces each—often a necessity with good fried chicken. When done, the exterior was blotchy and scaly, and vaguely, but not really, fried-looking. Taking a bite, the meat was surprisingly juicy, but the crust was horrible, with a peculiar texture that, while sloughing around between my teeth, reminded me of shale.
I just made these this evening!   They were amazing!    I used my Air Fryer and I pre-heated the unit as instructed.    I used chicken tenderloins instead of breasts because that is what I had on hand!    They were most and flavorfully.   I served with zucchini pasta.    Definitely making these again and again!     I have loved every recipe I have made from Gina….thank you for creating such tasty and healthy recipes.
So how does this work?  Well, the infrared heats up the food from the inside out whilst retaining internal moisture.  The halogen and convection part works similar to a halogen convection oven and uses a halogen lamp to produce heat which is then spread via a fan.  It is therefore possible to cook food 3 times faster than a conventional oven.  Now, the most important question, how does this technology combine to cook food?

Adjustable Temperature: Often times, you need to adjust the temperature while cooking, or else the food will either come out under or overcooked. The Philips XL Airfryer allows you to adjust the temperature and turn it up to 390 degrees, unlike other air fryers that only have one temperature setting. This also lets you cook a variety of different foods that require a certain temperature to make perfectly.Adjustable temperature: Often times, you need to adjust the temperature while cooking, or else the food will either come out under or overcooked.
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Great way to cook for two. We have an in-wall, modern, full-sized convection oven but this air fryer turned out to be a faster and cheaper method of cooking a lot of things. Before getting this we were a little skeptical of whether an air fryer might turn out to be just another gadget that wouldn’t get much use, but so far not a problem. It was well-packed, easy to set up and the documentation was great – much better than a lot of consumer products. The instruction manual has very clear concise and illustrated instructions on setup and use. And it comes with a menu book that includes recipes with great color photos of how each should turn out. So far we have tried the “Cheesy Breakfast Egg Toast”, “Sweet Potato Fries” and “Lemon Mahi Mahi”. All turned out great, although perhaps not quite as good as the photos in the book (how do they get such appetizing photos?) Note that the oven doesn’t come with a deep solid basket shown on the Home Depot product listing photo. It comes with 2 teflon-coated shallow wire baskets. These are actually more usable, since they can both be positioned in tracks in the oven so that their contents can be shallower and get more hot air around them. That helped with the sweet potato fries (hint: if you want them crispy, use the 2 x 10 min at 390 deg rather than 2 x 12 min at 350 deg.) Attached photos show the fries cooking on the 2 wire baskets and the final result. It comes with a rotisserie (for chickens, etc.) and a rotating mesh drum 8” x 4.5” diameter. The drum appears well thought out, as it has a lip inside it to toss contents around as it turns, so it works well for popcorn. We haven’t tried the rotisserie yet. The manual says it is good for chickens up to 3lb. But as you can see in my photo, the max size chicken length that would fit on the rotisserie is about 6in – so pretty small. The menu book has a recipe for whole Cornish Hen, which seems more realistic size-wise. Make sure you use the included rotisserie removal fork, as everything will be very hot. We use the fryer on a countertop near cabinets. The instructions emphasize leaving at least 10” of free space on the back and sides. We were a little concerned because our cabinets are about 6” above the unit. But it turned out that the unit actually puts out fairly little heat. You can hold your hand a few inches from the heat vent that is at the rear. So not a problem – at least in our location. The interior does get very hot though, so just be careful in handling trays etc. Overall this turned out to be a great product. No negatives that we have encountered. ...Read More Read Less
My husband made this tonight and followed the directions to the tee.  When I bit into my piece, the chicken was grossly undercooked.  I then checked the internal temp with an instant food thermometer and the temp was only 118 degrees.  Chicken needs to be 165.  Quite a food safety hazard.  I would recommend checking the internal temp of the chicken and I would suggest you add that to the written recipe.  When fully cooked it was delicious. 
Even if you are satisfied with the air fryer’s facsimile of fried flavor and texture, and you’re eager to eat as many almost-fried foods as possible, most air fryers can’t give you consistent results. While they tend to excel at cooking frozen foods, many models struggle to cook fresh veggies, potatoes and meat evenly without leaving burnt or raw spots. A smaller model of our top pick for air fryers, the Philips Airfryer XXL, produced dry, unevenly cooked french fries that couldn’t compare to their deep-fried counterparts.
Those dials are on there for a reason, so pay attention to them. “Take the time (about 3 minutes) to set the air fryer to the proper temperature before you get cooking,” says Dana Angelo White MS, RD, ATC author of the Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook, “Preheating the air fryer is best for optimum cooking, the temperature and air flow will be at right levels and food can cook to crispy air fried perfection,” she explains.
"It was called an air fryer for marketing purposes, but it's a little unfortunate, because, first, people think they can only do fried food in it and that it's a gimmicky single use appliance," Ben Mims, author of the new book Air Fry Every Day, says. "Second, people think that things can be thrown into it just like a deep fat fryer and will come out the same. That is a hundred percent not the case."
The HD touchscreen eliminates the uncomfortable and often confusing buttons, knobs, and switches a lot of air fryers have. This simple screen has icons that clearly state their function and eases the cooking process. Not only that, but eliminating the buttons gives this machine an elegant design, so you can keep it in the corner of your kitchen without it looking awkwardly out of place.

“Always wanted to try an air fryer because it’s a healthier way of cooking and preparing foods. After reading so many reviews, I found this fryer to be extremely [attractive], therefore I decided to give it a try. It is a 1,400-watt fryer with eight preset smart programs for basically all of my needs. You can fry, steam, grill, roast, and even bake with it! The timer and temperature can be set to be automatic, but if you preferred to manually check your food you can do that as well. This air fryer causes no smoke while preparing foods because it uses rapid air circulation to create heat that goes up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit … The cleaning is a breeze since there is not much residue. I am really satisfied with this air fryer and will definitely recommend it to my other friends.”

Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick parchment paper. Repeat directions for making sauce and tossing/coating cauliflower. Spread cauliflower evenly on baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, turning halfway through, or until cauliflower is tender with dark golden brown edges. Storage directions are the same as above. To reheat, add to a 400 degrees oven for 5 minutes, or until warmed through.

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“Love this thing! First off, the food tastes amazing! Second, it’s so easy to operate, even my hubby uses it (and he can’t boil water — sorry, Joe). Third, it cuts cooking time in half of baking time — and you don’t have to preheat! And last, it cleans up so easily! I never leave appliances out on my counter — except for this baby. Can’t imagine not having one for the rest of my life!”

Desserts, and especially brownies, may seem like the last thing you want to subject to the intense high heat of an air fryer, but fortunately, that same heat works to the brownie’s advantage here. No more picking the right brownie square that’s the perfect mixture of chewy and fudgy, because when you bake up brownie batter in a pan in the air fryer, the heat of the machine sets the outsides like a traditional brownie by the time the inside is cooked, but still left fudgy and gooey, creating almost its own “sauce” for the rest of the brownie. Lift it out of the machine, top it with scoops of ice cream, and dig in with two or four spoons and forget about cutting bars forever.
Air frying is much more similar to baking in an oven than deep frying. And although most air fryers say you can cook without any oil at all, we found the best results with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Even then, our top picks produced food that tasted closer to baked fries and chicken than deep-fried food. Instead of the comforting crunch of a fry, we were met with a tough, sometimes chewy exterior. We found the air-fried insides were thicker and more substantial than the almost puffy, creamy texture one gets from a traditional fryer. The chicken strips most closely imitated the deep-fried, crispy texture we were looking for. For a more detailed breakdown, check out our article comparing deep fryers vs. air fryers.
“My new Della 5.8-Quart Air Fryer is my new go-to for a healthier alternative method of getting the crisp from the food I crave without the guilt. Chicken came out crispy and crunchy, with no oil! I did spray down the basket with olive-oil cooking spray and parboiled nine chicken legs in four cups of seasoned chicken stock for about ten minutes before cooking in my Della. The large size is perfect for my family of four … I’m honestly considering purchasing a second unit to roast veggies. It would be AWESOME to be able to have a complete meal prepared together, all made in the Della. Must-have! You won’t regret it. I’ve already recommended it to several people.”
Like most everyone, I care about what I put into my body, and I know enough about nutrition science to understand that french fries should not be a diet staple. But even with my health in mind, I subscribe to the Chrissy Teigen philosophy of eating—if I’m going to be counting calories or limiting entire food groups, I’m going to make sure every single thing I eat is as delicious as possible.
Even if you don’t have a huge deep frying machine, and you’re just using a pot of oil and a strainer, there’s still constantly the potential for issues. After all, you have a huge vat of oil just sitting on the stove. What happens if you accidentally drop in food from too high, and splatter oil on yourself? Or What happens if you spill oil on the burner? What happens if you knock something else into the oil? An air fryer lets you get the high heat and intense crispiness of a deep fryer, but it’s oil free, removing many of the dangers.
Most importantly, it WORKS. Are air fryer fries or chicken tenders identically to their oil-saturated brethren? No. They’re quite as crunchy and certain don’t have that gross but satisfying pop of grease. But they are noticeably crunchier and crispier than anything I’ve ever made in an oven. The air fryer also manages to texturize the outside of the food, while keeping the inside much more M-O-I-S-T than any other cooking method.
As is with MOST As Seen On TV junk, this item is exactly that. I am taking a pretty good guess that 50% of their units are junk even before they leave their factory. Kind of like fall-apart Kmart junk. After unit internal parts fail even before the warranty expires, you have to pack it and return it at YOUR cost. There are absolutely NO phone numbers to call for ANY assistance for purchasing even the light bulb for it, which a majority of the machine needs to be taken apart just to get to it. Parts rust within a few weeks even when hand washed. SquareTrade's extended warranty backed by Allstate Ins. Co. is also just as worthless!
One advantage of a deep fryer is they cook very fast. Hot oil can cook french fries or chicken in mere minutes. An air fryer works differently, and the trade-off for more healthy cooking is that it will take longer to cook your food. Having only a deep fryer as a reference point for the speed of cooking, some consumers felt that an air fryer took too long to cook their food.
Good afternoon, Ben,
I really liked your recipe ideas and can't wait to try many of them (still not eating Quinoa, lol) like the okra, sweet potatoes and eggplant. I'm also looking forward to trying your recommendation of the baking powder added to my spices for making wings crispy. Thanks so much for that tip! I have recently purchased the Sarki air fryer and put my wings is the bottom pan with the stirring blade in motion. They come out somewhat crispy and they are pretty darn good for not being oil fried. But the really big payoff for me is the reduction of calories.
My husband and I are recently empty nesters and the air fryer idea came to me to help me reduce the amount of food I'm used to preparing for our family. You can only stuck so much in there, right?
Our favorite thing I make in it is chicken tacos. I take a pack of boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut it into bite sized pieces, and put the chicken in a bag with any brand taco seasoning, and also a package of guacamole mix (dry seasoning), about 3/4 of an onion, and some jalapeno chopped up, then adding a small amount of oil just enough to get all the ingredients to blend nicely together. Then I just let that sit in bag inthe fridge all day.
When I'm ready to cook supper, I spray my pan with a little Crisco, pour the prepared chicken yumminess into the bottom pan with the spinner blade (it turns the food the entire time it's cooking so it cooks uniformly) press a few buttons (350-375°) and in about 15 minutes, I've got delicious taco meat ready for a tortilla or shell. Tacos aren't just for Tuesday anymore 😉
Thank you so much for writing this informative article about cooking in an air fryer.

Like the GoWISE model, the Avalon Bay Digital Air Fryer 220SS burned the fries closest to the heating element and left those on the bottom of the basket raw. The Avalon Bay model was one of the few that came with accessories in the box. But we found the included cake pan to be so small (it measures just 6 inches in diameter and 1 inch high) that it was virtually useless.
While this device does give you brown, crispy chicken every time, you don’t need to worry about your calorie intake. When chicken fingers provided by a restaurant as a starter can contain some 700 odd calories, this device brings that calorie count right down to a low of 250 calories. This healthier way of cooking, with a lower calorie count does not mean that your food cooked will not taste exquisite and delicious.
It takes a lot of oil to cook eggplant well—and then a lot of paper towels to soak up all the excess so it’s not drowning in grease, thanks to its sponge-like texture. In the air fryer, the high heat of the fan crisps the outside at the same time it almost inflates the insides. The result: a creamy interior and a crunchy exterior. It’s better than in a deep-fat fryer, and you help by saving at least one tree from getting cut down in the process.
The marketing materials for the scores of companies that make these hot-air blowers will tell you that they are a great way to cook that cuts down on fat. But good lord, fried is fried, and "air fried" is not that. Better to eat well most of the time then go to your favorite fried chicken place on your birthday, or do it up at home with a couple of liters of canola oil and a Dutch oven. The rare dose of perfection is far better than the consistent drip of mediocrity.
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