Are Air Fryers Good for Frying Food? A Healthier Cooking Option

Air fryers are gradually becoming common in Indian households, yet some buyers and consumers remain unfamiliar with them. In this article, we’ll delve into what an air fryer is and whether it’s a good option for frying food. We’ll discuss various points, considering real-life situations you might encounter.

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Are Air Fryers Good for Frying Food?

The simple answer is yes; air fryers serve as excellent alternatives for cooking various foods.

How Air Fryers Work

Air fryers circulate hot air around the food, creating a crispy outer layer while using less oil than deep frying. They have a heating element and a fan that evenly cooks food from all angles, resulting in a golden-brown, crispy texture.

Is it healthier than other ovens?

Yes, air fryers are smaller versions of convection ovens like OTGs (ovens, toasters, grills) and microwaves. They also come in larger sizes, known as air fryer ovens. They significantly use 80% less oil.

The confusion arises from the claim that air fryers use 80% less oil, fat, and calories. Technically, this is accurate due to their technology based on convection mode. Air fryers are more robust than OTG oven convection features or microwaves. With an extra-hot and powerful fan, they surround food with air up to 200 degrees Celsius, creating a deep-frying effect that reduces oil usage by 80% and provides 70 to 80% fewer calories in your food.

Why not 100% less oil?

Using a thin layer of oil prevents food from burning and enhances the taste of fried food.

Addressing Misconceptions

There are common misconceptions about air fryers:

  • They fry with zero oil. Air fryers use significantly less oil but often require a small amount for a crispy texture. Remember, it is not zero-oil cooking because frying is not done without oil
  • They cook everything perfectly. While great for certain foods, adjusting cooking times and temperatures is essential for different recipes.
  • They’re only for frying. Air fryers can bake, roast, and even grill certain foods.
  • They’re all the same. Different models have varying capacities, wattages, and features.
  • They’re healthier for all foods. Despite reducing oil usage, some foods might still be high in fat or calories.
  • They’re not worth the investment. The versatility and convenience may outweigh the initial cost, especially for fried food enthusiasts.

What’s Not Good with Air Fryers?

Firstly, they can be expensive compared to OTG microwave ovens and other small ovens due to their new technology. Additionally, cooking with an air fryer might be relatively challenging or confusing for first-time users, as it’s not a common application. Choosing the right time and temperature for food can pose problems initially.

Ensure not to overcook the food, as it may lead to burning, which can have adverse effects on your health. This possibility increases when preparing certain foods using high-heat cooking methods. While air fryers significantly reduce the chance of acrylamide formation compared to deep frying, it’s essential to be cautious to prevent any overcooking, which can be common in deep frying processes.

Limitations and Considerations

While air fryers are versatile, some limitations exist when deciding what to cook with them.

Not all types of foods are suitable for air frying:

  • Battered foods: Wet batter might not work well, creating a mess or uneven cooking.
  • Foods requiring lots of liquid: Dishes needing to cook in liquid might not suit the dry cooking method of air fryers.
  • Certain cheeses: Melting cheese directly might cause mess or excessive dripping.
  • Delicate foods: Very delicate or small foods might get unevenly cooked due to air circulation.

List of Recipes Cooked with Air Fryer

  1. Air Fryer Samosas: Prepare the samosa filling, stuff it in pastry sheets, seal, and air fry until golden and crispy.
  2. Air Fryer Pakoras: Coat vegetables (like onions, potatoes, or spinach) in a gram flour batter, then air fry until crispy.
  3. Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken: Marinate chicken in yogurt and tandoori spices, then air fry for a flavorful, slightly charred exterior.
  4. Air Fryer Bhajis: Make onion or vegetable bhajis by dipping slices in a spiced chickpea flour batter and air frying until crisp.
  5. Air Fryer Aloo Tikki: Shape spiced mashed potato patties, lightly coat them with oil, and air fry them until they’re golden and crispy.
  6. Air Fryer Paneer Tikka: Marinate paneer cubes in yogurt and spices, then air fry until they’re nicely grilled.
  7. Air Fryer Masala Peanuts: Toss raw peanuts in a mix of spices and air fry until they’re crunchy and seasoned.
  8. Air Fryer Papadums: Lightly brush papadums with oil and air fry until they puff up and turn crispy.
  9. Air Fryer Chicken Tikka Masala: Prepare the chicken tikka separately in the air fryer and then combine it with the masala sauce.
  10. Air Fryer Roti or Naan: Make the dough, roll it out, and air fry until it puffs up and has a nice golden color.
  11. Air Fryer Spiced Corn: Toss corn kernels in spices and a bit of oil, then air fry for a quick and flavorful snack.
  12. Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs: Skewer marinated chicken pieces and air fry them until they’re cooked through and slightly charred.
  13. Crispy Air Fryer French Fries: Slice potatoes, toss them in oil and seasonings, then air fry until crispy.
  14. Air Fryer Chicken Wings: Coat wings in your preferred seasoning or sauce, then air fry until crispy.
  15. Air Fryer Fried Chicken: Bread chicken pieces with seasoned flour or breadcrumbs and air fry until golden brown.
  16. Air Fryer Veggie Chips: Slice vegetables like zucchini, carrots, or beets thinly, season, and air fry for crispy chips.
  17. Air Fryer Salmon: Season salmon fillets and air fry until they reach your desired level of doneness.
  18. Air Fryer Meatballs: Cook meatballs in the air fryer until they’re cooked through and crispy on the outside.
  19. Air Fryer Cauliflower: Toss cauliflower florets in oil and seasonings, then air fry for a crispy and flavorful side dish.
  20. Air Fryer Stuffed Peppers: Stuff peppers with a filling of your choice and air fry until the peppers are tender.
  21. Air Fryer Tofu: Toss tofu cubes in your preferred marinade or seasoning and air fry until crispy.
  22. Air Fryer Donuts: Make a dough, shape it into donuts, and air fry it until they’re golden brown.
  23. Air Fryer Shrimp: Season shrimp and air fry until they’re cooked through and crispy.
  24. Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan: Bread and layer eggplant slices with marinara sauce and cheese, then air fry until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  25. Air Fryer Bacon: Lay bacon strips in the air fryer basket and cook until crispy.
  26. Air Fryer Banana Chips: Slice bananas thinly, sprinkle with cinnamon or sugar, and air fry for a healthy snack.
  27. Air Fryer Blooming Onion: Cut an onion into a blooming shape, bread it, and air fry for a crispy appetizer.

These are just a few recipes, but many more recipes can be adapted for air fryers!

List of Recipes Not Cooked with Air Fryer

There are certain recipes that people might assume can be easily cooked in an air fryer due to its versatility, but they might not turn out as expected or might not be the most suitable for this appliance. Here are a few examples:

  1. Boiled Pasta or Rice: While you can technically cook pasta or rice in an air fryer, it’s not the most efficient method. Boiling these in water on the stovetop tends to be quicker and yields better results.
  2. Slow-Cooked Stews or Soups: Air fryers are not designed for slow-cooking or simmering dishes like stews or soups. These are better made on a stovetop or in a slow cooker to allow flavors to meld over a longer period of time.
  3. Deep-Fried Foods with Excessive Batter: Air fryers can mimic the crispiness of fried foods but might not handle excessive batter well. Foods that require deep frying with a heavy, wet batter might not achieve the same result in an air fryer.
  4. Baking Bread or Cakes from Scratch: While you can make smaller baked goods in an air fryer, baking larger items like bread or cakes might be challenging due to limited space and airflow (but it can be done with an air fryer oven).
  5. Large Roasts or Whole Chickens: Air fryers have limited capacity, so cooking large cuts of meat might not be practical. Achieving the desired level of doneness evenly throughout a big roast or a whole chicken might be difficult.
  6. Dishes Requiring Stirring or Mixing During Cooking: Air fryers work best when the food is laid out in a single layer. Dishes that require frequent stirring or flipping, like risotto or certain stir-fries, might not be as convenient in an air fryer.

While air fryers are incredibly versatile, certain recipes or cooking methods might be better suited for other kitchen appliances or traditional cooking methods.

Tips for Effective Frying with Air Fryers

  1. Preheat: Preheat the air fryer every time for faster cooking and crispier food.
  2. Cleaning: Regularly clean the air fryer to avoid problems and reduce odors.
  3. Oil Use: Use a small amount of oil for a crispy texture and to prevent dehydration.
  4. Don’t Overcrowd: Fill the basket to only 50% capacity to ensure proper hot air circulation.
  5. Flip the Food: Flip the food for an even crispy texture.
  6. Use a Silicon Basket: Consider a silicon basket to prevent juice dripping and reactions with food.
Don't Overcrowd Air Fryer
Don’t Overcrowd Air Fryer Basket


In conclusion, air fryers offer a compelling solution for healthier cooking, using less oil while still achieving a crispy texture akin to traditional frying. Despite their limitations and initial learning curve, they present a versatile option for various cooking methods. It’s essential to understand their capabilities, adjust cooking techniques, and choose suitable foods to make the most of this innovative kitchen appliance. With proper usage and a little experimentation, air fryers can become valuable tools in creating delicious fried food and healthier meals.


Are air fryers a healthier option compared to traditional frying methods?

Air fryers indeed offer a healthier alternative to deep frying. They use significantly less oil, reducing fat and calorie intake in food. However, it’s crucial to note that while they’re healthier, the overall healthiness of the meal also depends on the ingredients used and the food being prepared.

Can air fryers replace conventional ovens like OTGs or microwaves?

Air fryers can perform various functions similar to conventional ovens, including baking, roasting, and grilling. However, they have their limitations concerning the quantity and type of food they can cook. They may not entirely replace other ovens but serve as a versatile addition to kitchen appliances.

Do air fryers cook food evenly?

Air fryers circulate hot air around the food, ensuring even cooking from all angles. However, some foods might need occasional flipping or adjusting to achieve uniform crispiness. Different models and sizes might also affect the cooking consistency.

What types of foods are best suited for air frying?

Air fryers work well with various foods like vegetables, meats, and even certain baked goods. Foods that require a crispy texture, such as fries, nuggets, or even vegetables like Brussels sprouts, tend to excel in an air fryer. However, foods heavily reliant on batters or those needing substantial liquids may not yield optimal results.
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Sourabh Raikwar
Sourabh Raikwar

Sourabh Raikwar is a passionate blogger and content creator who has been writing extensively on technology topics since 2018, with a focus on online shopping deals and product reviews. He graduated with a B.Tech degree five years ago and enjoys road trips and exploring the latest gadgets.

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