If you’re thinking about buying an air fryer, it’s easy to be swayed by the endless PR about the benefits of using them. In reality, there are several factors to consider and as the Guardian article Don’t let Big Air Fryer fool you: six everyday oven cooking hacks neatly points out, many of the benefits are replicable with your own oven.
Each appliance has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that can significantly impact your cooking experience and the final results. In this post, ‘thinking about buying an air fryer?’ we will explore the pros and cons of using one versus an electric fan oven to help you make an informed decision.
Pros of Using an Electric Fan Oven:
- Cooking Capacity: Electric fan ovens generally offer larger cooking capacities, allowing you to prepare larger quantities of food or accommodate bigger items. This is particularly beneficial when cooking for larger families or hosting gatherings.
- Versatility: Electric fan ovens are renowned for their versatility. They can perform various cooking functions such as baking, broiling, roasting, and grilling, providing you with a wide range of cooking options. This versatility makes electric fan ovens suitable for a variety of recipes and cooking techniques.
- Familiar Cooking Methods: Using an electric fan oven allows you to rely on traditional cooking methods that you’re familiar with. It ensures consistent results and familiar textures, giving you the confidence to explore your favourite recipes without compromising on taste.
- Precision Cooking: Electric fan ovens often come with precise temperature control, allowing for accurate cooking and baking. This precise control ensures that your dishes are cooked to perfection, whether you’re baking delicate pastries or roasting a tender piece of meat.
Cons of Using an Electric Fan Oven:
- Longer Cooking Times: Compared to air fryers, electric fan ovens typically require longer cooking times. The slower heat circulation and preheating times can extend the overall cooking process. This may be a consideration if you’re looking for quick and time-efficient cooking methods.
- Higher Energy Consumption: Electric fan ovens tend to use more energy, especially when cooking smaller quantities of food. The larger oven space requires more power to heat up, which may result in slightly higher energy consumption compared to air fryers.
- More Oil Usage: Some recipes prepared in electric fan ovens may require more oil or fat for cooking or roasting. This can potentially increase the fat content in certain dishes, which may not align with dietary preferences or health goals.
Pros of Using an Air Fryer:
- Healthier Cooking: One of the most notable benefits of using an air fryer is its ability to promote healthier cooking. Air fryers require less oil compared to traditional deep-frying methods, resulting in reduced fat intake. By using hot air circulation, air fryers can achieve crispy and delicious results with minimal or no oil, making it a great option for those looking to cut down on unhealthy fats.
- Faster Cooking: Air fryers are known for their efficient cooking capabilities. The hot air circulation inside the fryer allows for faster cooking times compared to electric fan ovens. This can be particularly advantageous when you’re in a hurry or want to prepare quick meals without compromising on taste and texture.
- Energy Efficiency: Air fryers are generally more energy-efficient than electric fan ovens. They require less power to operate and heat up quickly, reducing overall energy consumption. This not only helps you save on electricity bills but also makes them an eco-friendly choice.
- Versatility: Air fryers are incredibly versatile in terms of cooking options. While their name suggests air frying as the primary function, they can also grill, roast, and bake various types of food. This versatility allows you to explore a wide range of recipes and experiment with different cooking techniques, making the air fryer a versatile addition to your kitchen.
- Easy Clean-up: Cleaning up after cooking can often be a tedious task, but air fryers simplify the process. Most air fryers come with removable and dishwasher-safe parts, making clean-up a breeze. Additionally, since air frying produces minimal oil splatter, there is less mess to deal with compared to traditional frying methods.
Cons of Using an Air Fryer:
- Limited Capacity: One of the downsides of air fryers is their limited cooking capacity. They are generally designed for smaller quantities of food, which may pose a challenge when cooking for larger groups or preparing large food items. You may need to cook in multiple batches to accommodate larger servings.
- Texture Differences: While air fryers can produce crispy results, the texture of the food may differ from that achieved through deep frying or oven baking. Air-fried food may not have the same level of crispiness or browning, which could affect the overall taste and texture of certain dishes. However, with some adjustments and experimentation, you can still achieve delicious results.
- Learning Curve: Using an air fryer effectively may require some trial and error. Each model may have variations in performance, so you may need to adjust cooking times and temperatures to achieve the desired results. With experience, you’ll become more adept at using your specific air fryer and understanding its nuances.
- Counter Space: Consider the available counter space in your kitchen before investing in an air fryer. These appliances can take up a significant amount of space, and if you have limited countertop area or storage options, it may be challenging to accommodate an air fryer.
- Limited Functions: Although air fryers are versatile, they may not be able to perform all the functions of an electric fan oven. For instance, broiling or cooking large items that require a full-size oven may not be possible with an air fryer alone. It’s important to assess your specific cooking needs and determine if an air fryer can meet them.
So, if you’re thinking about buying an air fryer, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons based on your specific needs and preferences. Air fryers can offer healthier cooking, faster cooking times, energy efficiency, versatility, and easy clean-up. However, they have limited capacity, texture differences, a learning curve, counter space considerations, and limited functions. On the other hand, electric fan ovens provide ample cooking capacity, versatility, familiar cooking methods, and precision cooking but have longer cooking times, higher energy consumption, and potentially more oil usage. By considering factors such as available space, desired cooking times, cooking techniques, and specific needs, you can make an informed decision and choose the appliance that best suits your culinary requirements.
And that’s where we can help! Our team of expert designers are here to guide you through the types of ovens available, help you choose the option that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Feel free to contact us to book a free, no-obligation appointment