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Air fryers have become a popular kitchen appliance in the past few years, especially that they’re considered a better and healthier alternative for making fried food. Ever since they were patented by Philips Electronics Company, the craze for this fancy gadget increased to the point where about 40% of U.S. homeowners own at least one air fryer. However, before you buy one, you must understand how they work first and what are their benefits.

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about air fryers.

How It Works

Air fryers are small egg-shaped devices (about the size of a coffee maker) and they sit on any countertop. If you’ve seen one before, then you already know that the top section of this appliance contains a fan and heating mechanism. You can add in whatever type of food you want to fry (chicken nuggets, zucchini slices, chopped potatoes, and whatnot). Once you place the food in the fryer basket, you can turn on the fryer and the hot air will go around in rapid circular motion, which will make the frozen food crisp, oil-free, and healthy.

The air circulating the food will result in a crispy brown coating while making the inside of the food softer, much like how you’d deep fry your food, only that there will be a container below the basket to remove any grease droplets. Even then, there won’t be much grease, since you’ve used little to no oil on your food.

Why It Is Healthier

Air-fried food is healthier and equally delicious when compared to deep-fried food, typically because you’re using less oil. Plus, it helps you cut down your calorie intake and make veggies even tastier than when you’re using typical cooking methods. You can read the following info to understand better why they’re a healthy option.

They Are Safer Than Deep Fryers

Because deep fryers cook food by filling a large container with hot oil, they’re not exactly healthy or safe. Air fryers tend to get hot as well, but they’re not as dangerous, since there is no risk of touching, spilling, or splashing the oil against your skin. If you read more about kitchen safety measures, you’ll be able to better understand how air fryers are critical to maintaining safety in your kitchen. In any case, you still must be careful when operating an air fryer. Make sure that you’re following the instructions on the user manual to maintain safety.

Reduce Fat Content

There is no denying that deep-fried food is higher in fat content as opposed to other cooking methods. For instance, a fried chicken breast will have more or less 30% more fat content than a roasted chicken. On the other hand, air fryers use less oil (about 1 tablespoon of oil). Thus air-fried food will have less fat content (almost 50 times less oil) than deep-fried food. Some studies have also shown that deep-fried food has a significant amount of fat when compared to air-fried food, which had the same color and moisture content. Thus, if you still want to enjoy fried food while also maintaining your low-fat levels, you might want to purchase an air fryer.

Decrease the  Formation of Acrylamide

Frying food helps create dangerous compounds. Acrylamide, which can be developed while frying food, is usually found in carbohydrate-rich foods and can exist in even larger quantities when you fry food. Unfortunately, acrylamide is known to be a potential carcinogen, which means that it can cause cancer. Although there is no concrete evidence that fried food can develop cancer, it is best that we avoid any potentially dangerous substances like acrylamide. Air frying can reduce acrylamide up by 90% when compared to deep-frying. There are other harmful compounds (heterocyclic amines and aldehydes) that are suspected to have carcinogenic effects as well, which can be formed when using high-heat cooking methods, so it’s best to steer clear from deep frying to avoid this hazard.

Veggies Are Tastier!

Having your kids eat vegetables can be a bit problematic, especially when those vegetables are not tasty, to begin with. As mentioned earlier, air frying can make vegetables a lot tastier than they originally were, so if you decide to whip up an Asian broccoli recipe using your air fryer, even your youngest picky eater will warm up to vegetables in no time.

i2 How Does an Air Fryer Work and Why It's Healthier

Now that you know the health benefits of air fryers and how to use one, you’ll have no doubts when shopping for one. Make sure to buy from a trusted manufacturer to ensure that you get a quality product. Since models can have a variety of options and features, be sure to check them out first before making your purchase.