I know exactly what you’re thinking.
Is this going to be one of those things that I buy and that I never use? What size? Is it going to fit in my cupboard? Is it going to end up just sitting on my counter? Why are some so expensive? Why are some so cheap? How can it possibly FRY with AIR?
I can confirm it took me MONTHS of scrutiny before I finally committed to buying an air fryer, I can’t cope with having things in my home that I don’t use – I’m dramatic, I know. But it’s the truth!
Admitting defeat to temptation.
In the end, the temptation of crispy, home-made schnitzels with little to no oil made fast was too enticing to resist so I finally purchased the Maxkon 7L air fryer.* This came recommended to me by someone who used their air fryer often and had done extensive research. It continually comes up in Facebook air fryer groups (yes, they are a thing), as one of the best and most underrated air fryer brands.
Its size was most enticing. I knew anything smaller wouldn’t be suitable for my family as I generally cook to have leftovers. I also didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a more “premium” brand without seeing whether I liked it first. You will see it’s currently $89 on the Catch.com.au* website which is a really fare price comparing to other competitors on the market.
How does it perform?
My first cooking experiences were terrible – I was drying food out and my homemade chicken schnitzels looked anaemic. I just didn’t get it. I persevered and started looking up air fryer specific recipes.
A couple of key things I found:
- Respraying your meal with oil and turning it half way during the cooking process helps with the crispiness factor BUT the results will NEVER be the same as frying in oil. The results are similar to that of the OVEN, results are still crisp but not the same, even crispiness that you would get frying in oil.
- Pre-made items like frozen battered fish, hash browns and frozen chips will all produce golden results because many of these products are fried prior to freezing.
- You can’t cook in bulk. This is not ideal for families larger than 4. Even the large air fryers like mine have quite a small capacity. The air fryer comes with a rack. You can cook veggies on the bottom and your protein on the top as an example, but you would easily be able to cook 4 times this amount in your oven.
- People will tell you their air fryer produces amazing fried results. I have tried SEVERAL brands since buying my air fryer and none of them produce results better than what an oven would.
- It’s huge. You will need to make space in your cupboard so it’s easily accessible or be prepared to have a huge chunk of your countertop taken up.
Are you telling me I shouldn’t get one?
No. There are definitely benefits:
The smaller capacity means it takes next to no time to heat up and food cooks quickly. It also means you can fire it up on a hot summer day and the result won’t be a sweltering kitchen.
Cooking fish? Take it outside – No smell. Want hash browns and crispy bacon for breakfast? No problems, pop them in, they will be ready in 10 minutes. Don’t want the fuss of cleaning big baking trays? Easily hand wash the basket in minutes. Want a crispy croissant with your morning tea? Two minutes in the air fryer will have it looking and tasting like it’s come out of a French patisserie oven. Want a roasted chicken with minimal fuss for dinner? Salt, pepper, olive oil and 45 minutes in the air fryer will deliver just that.
If my air fryer broke tomorrow, I would immediately place my order for a new one. I reach for it at least 4 times a week for the simple things.
My final advice if you buy one:
- Don’t buy an air fryer that’s smaller than the one I have recommended.
- Use air fryer specific recipes.
- Cook on lower heat settings, and respray with oil during cooking to avoid your food drying out.
- Be prepared to practice. The first attempt may not go according to plan, but you will get used to it!
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