Fried foods are a favorite for many of us, but let’s face facts: it isn’t always the healthiest option. It’s why air fryers have become such a popular choice these days as they offer a similar taste without the grease.
But just how different are air fryers compared to deep fryers? Both can produce great-tasting foods, and deep fryers may be comfortably used in moderation. Well, before we get into the whole air fryer vs deep fryer debate, let’s learn more about each appliance individually.
Air Fryers and Deep Fryers: What you Should Know
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
To deciding on an air fryer or a deep fryer, it helps to know how they work. Below, we’ll address each one separately before comparing them to help you come to a decision.
Air fryer fries are healthy
So, air fryers can’t technically fry food since the food isn’t submerged in the oil. So, what is an air fryer and what does it do then?
Well, air fryers are appliances that utilize heated air to cook food. It’s much like a countertop convection oven. When it’s in use, it circulates hot air at a high speed to brown or gives foods a crispy texture.
This circular cooking method helps all sides of the food heat up evenly.
Inside, the food sits in some sort of basket that keeps it close to the heating element. Along with the compact size, food tends to cook at a faster rate compared to ovens.
However, much like with any type of appliance, not all air fryers are made the same. Some may cook food more evenly than others. Some air fryers require a pre-heating process while others allow you to get started as soon as you plug it in.
Do air fryers really produce healthier food?
Let’s get one of the most prominent questions out of the way: is air-fried food healthy?
There is plenty of research about the negative impact oil can have on the body. However, there still isn’t much research into the benefits of air-fried food. But some do agree that air-fried food naturally has a lower fat and calorie content.
At the same time, air-fried food is still seen as fried food. So, it is suggested that air-fried food, much like food fried in oil, should be eaten in moderation.
Is an air fryer worth it?
Whether an air fryer is worth the purchase depends solely on you. If you have the counter space for it and want to enjoy fried foods guilt-free without all the oil, then there’s no harm in getting one. Air fryers are also great for providing versatility as you can cook plenty of different food items inside.
How do Deep Fryers Work?
Maybe you’ve used one before or simply heard about them, but what is a deep fryer exactly? Well, it’s rather straightforward. A deep fryer is an appliance that submerges food in oil or fat to fry it up.
Deep fryers come in a variety of sizes with some meant just for fries or onion rings, while others can cook up a turkey. Food is typically cooked evenly as well thanks to the submerging method that envelops the food on all sides.
Cooking time is also reduced with air fryers compared to ovens or even stovetop cooking due to this method.
How to use a deep fryer?
Using a deep fryer depends on the specific appliance. Depending on the size and make, some require more or less oil to fill it up.
Some have separate baskets and separate timers so you can cook more than one type of food at a time.
Before cooking anything, you should always set the temperature to the required setting and get the food in before the oil overheats.
Most modern models these days feature a handle with a basket for easy dipping the food in and out of the oil while keeping you firmly away from the heat. Others lack that option, so it’s useful to use a slotted spoon of sorts to safely drop the food inside and lift it out.
When everything is done, it’s important to let the food dry on a drying rack or paper towels to remove the excess grease and oil.
Are deep-fried foods always unhealthy?
However, there is still a way to use a deep fryer to create delicious meals that are slightly healthier. You can always choose better cooking oils. Avocado, coconut, and olive oil are wonderful alternatives.
Avocado oil tolerates high heat well so that it’s ideal for deep-frying, while coconut also is well-resistant to heat so its quality of it doesn’t go down. Olive oil is popular as well as it’s a stable option.
Difference Between Air Fryers and Deep Fryers
Now that we know more about these appliances, let’s see how an air fryer holds up to a deep fryer.
An important trait to look at is taste. Is there a difference between how food tastes in an air fryer compared to deep fryer foods?
Well, many will report that deep-fried foods taste better. This may be due in large part to the submerging in oil as the oil can help render certain flavors. Still, air-fried foods can have a good amount of flavor depending on how you prep the food, but deep fryers seem to stand out in this case.
Although air fryers can cook food faster than ovens, deep fryers seem to work more rapidly.
Some foods may be done in a few minutes compared to the 10+ minutes some air fryers require.
This may only be a deal-breaker depending on your specific cooking needs.
Both deep fryers and air fryers are known for their versatility. This is true with deep fryers that have multiple baskets. However, air fryers stand high in this regard as you can do things beyond frying food. Many allow you to roast food as well as bake desserts.
As we touched on before, fried foods aren’t always the healthiest. However, air fryers do serve as a healthier option compared to deep fryers as your food isn’t drenched in oil the entire time.
Deep fryers can be rather messy to clean afterward because of how much oil is required. Air fryers are clearly seen as more user-friendly as many of them feature dishwasher-friendly components thanks to the removable basket the food sits in.
Best Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer
Whether you want to find the best air fryer or the best deep fryer, we’ve got you covered. The following products should help you get a better understanding of each type of appliance so you can better decide if they’re right for you.
1. COSORI Air Fryer
The COSORI Air Fryer is an award-winning product that claims to use 85% less fat to fry up your food. It features a 5.8qt square non-stick basket that’s large enough to fit a chicken that’s 6lbs. The unit must be pre-heated to use, and it cooks foods from fried chicken to sweet potatoes.
- Capacity: 5.8 Quarts
- Power: 1700W
- Voltage: AC 120V
- Temperature range: 170°F-400°F
- Presets: 11
- Air fryer Dimension: 11.8 x 11.8 x 12.6 in.
- Basket Dimension: 9 x 9 x 3.75 in.
2. T-fal Deep Fryer
The T-fal Deep Fryer has a 3.5L capacity for oil as well as a 2.65lb, and it features a 2-position basket for easier cooking and draining. In addition to the automatic oil filtration switch, there are dishwasher-safe parts too. For cooking, this contains precise thermostat control for accurate cooking.
- Oil capacity: 3.5 liter
- Food capacity: 2.65 pound
- Power: 1700 Watt
- Voltage: 110V
- Temperature range: 302°F-374°F
- Item Dimensions: 18.3 x 13.7 x 14.8 in.
Making the Decision
So, in the long-running debate of air fryer vs deep fryer, does one come out on top? In our eyes, both have their uses and disadvantages.
Air fryers are incredible for cooking food without the use of such heavy oils, and they’re remarkably versatile. Meanwhile, deep fryers cook up foods with great taste and at incredible speeds compared to anything else.
It all comes down to what you prefer to use in your home and for your eating habits.