My sister-in-law bought an air fryer was raving about it to my wife. We were over at her house for an outdoor socially distance backyard hangout, and my sister-in-law made french fries and veggie burgers in the air fryer. My wife loved it so much she wanted me to investigate getting one. These devices are about the size of an Instant Pot or bread maker. Most of them are rated as “Amazon Choice”.
CNET picked the Corsori as their best overall air fryer. The Corsori is the one my sister-in-law bought and was the highest-rated on Amazon. Good Housekeeping chose the Ninja Max XL Air Fryer as their best overall air fryer. I also looked at the Instant Vortex which is from the same company that makes Instant Pot. It’s also a dehydrator. Consumer Reports recommend the GoWise USA GW22731 Air Fryer.
Consumer Reports, however, found no difference between the various brands and models concluding that:
The real difference among air fryers comes down to convenience, so we designed our tests around that.
So that’s three different reviews and three different “Best Overall” recommendations with Consumer Reports concluding that they all perform well so it comes down to price and convenience.
I then discovered a New York Times article which claims you don’t need an air fryer.
Convection, or “air frying,” has been around for more than a century. The first commercially sold convection ovens were developed by the W.L. Maxson Corp. in the 1940s as a way to reheat frozen food for airplanes. And they worked much the same as today’s air fryers and convection toaster ovens do: A small fan inside the oven circulates hot air around the food to cook it. The moving air cooks food faster and more evenly than a conventional oven would, and it crisps the outside thanks to the dehydrating effect of the fan.
The reason we don’t recommend air fryers is not because they don’t work; it’s because convection toaster ovens work better. Toaster ovens have a larger capacity, which means they can cook more food more evenly, including up to nine slices of toast, a 6-pound chicken, a 9-inch cake, or a 13-inch pizza.
We could just dump our current tiny toaster oven and get to a larger convection toaster oven. It would do the same job as an air fryer but also make great toast but that means having a larger item on the kitchen counter at all times. The air fryer can be put away between uses.
Submitted for the 100DaysToOffload project.