As anyone who has ever visited a state fair can attest, deep-fried treats are some of the most delicious things you can eat. Unfortunately, they’re also among the least healthy. It turns out that eating food recently submerged in boiling fat is a pretty good way to feel like crap and clog your arteries. Beyond abstaining from fried foods completed, what’s a chicken wing-, french fry-, tempura-loving guy to do? One option: air fry your food.
Air fryers are countertop convection ovens that constantly circulate hot air to cook foods that are typically fried using no oil. They require little to no oil, though adding a little bit to the foods you air fry will give you a more authentic taste. Now, fried food, no matter what, is still unhealthy. But air fried food does help reduce calorie and fat intake. Plus, the machines can bake food and even reheat leftovers. In short, it’s a handy thing to have. There are a lot of different air fryers available. But here are three at different price points that boast hundreds of positive reviews on the site.
Dash Compact Air Fryer
The Dash looks kind of like a coffeemaker George Jetson would buy. But when you pull the handle on the bottom half of the device you won’t find a carafe. Instead, you’ll pull out a 1.2-liter crisper drawer. You set the temperature using the knob on top of the device and it will preheat. A light lets you know when you can pop in the basket and set the timer on the front of the device. Once it dings, you pull out the basket to find crisp, hot food. The 900-watt Dash, which has an average of 4.1 stars after 382 reviews on Amazon, is cool to the touch, and it has an auto shut-off feature, so it’s also safe to use.
Philips Viva Airfryer
When you put food into a deep fryer, it is surrounded on all sides by hot liquid and, as a result, it cooks evenly. Philips claims that the starfish design on the bottom of its air fryers facilitates air circulation so that foods you air fry are similarly evenly heated. It features temperature and timer settings similar to the Dash, but is considerably bigger and more powerful, with a 2.6-liter capacity and 1425 watt power element.
Philips also makes a bunch of accessories that let you use the convection heating of the air fryer to bake, grill, roast, and steam. When you’re done cooking, you can throw the nonstick coated drawer and food basket into the dishwasher for what one reviewer called “the easiest kitchen clean up ever.”
Breville Smart Oven Air
Breville makes some of our favorite appliances around This oven, which maintains a 4.5-star rating after 436 reviews, features a two-speed convection fan that can cook food up to 30 percent faster than with a normal air fryer. The company’s trademark Element iQ technology constantly monitors the temperature of the food at different locations and shifts power between the six independent quartz heating elements to wherever is needed. Its 1800 watts make it the most powerful option on this list, and the fact that air frying is just one of 13 different cooking functions means that if you decide to make the investment you’re getting a bunch of extra features in addition to an air fryer.