What's an Air Fryer and Why You Need One

Air fryers have been around for in-home use since 2010 but began to gain popularity in late 2017. People began making room on their kitchen counter for this device and its popularity keeps on rising.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about the air fryer and benefits from cooking with it but basically, it's a small scale convection oven.

Hot air circulates around food at a high speed. As the air recirculates it cooks the food crisping the outside while keeping the inside moist and tender. Unlike deep frying something to make it crispy, an air fryer requires minimal oil which makes it a healthier way to cook. For many cooks, air fryers have become their go-to kitchen gadget when they don't want to heat up their kitchen.

They used to be very expensive and only available at more high-end retailers. Nowadays, while you can still find pricy options, there are more affordable ones too as they are more readily available at retailers like Costco, Amazon, and QVC.

We love air fryers for a few reasons. One is their convenience. It can cook food in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven which is great on a busy night. Second is how it "fries" food. It allows us to enjoy something indulgent in a healthier way. Third, it's a great tool to have if you don't want to heat up the kitchen. The fourth reason is an air fryer frees up oven space. If you're cooking a chicken in the oven, why not air fry some Brussels sprouts to serve on the side at the same time.

Are you on the air fryer bandwagon too? Then, what's your favorite thing to make in it? Tell us below!

5 Tips for Air Frying Foods

  • Don't saturate food in oil. A quick spray of oil or one tablespoon max is all you need.
  • Don't overcrowd the basket. Food should be cooked in one layer so you may need to cook things (like chicken wings) in batches.
  • Flip food or shake the basket halfway through cooking for items like chicken tenders, chicken wings, french fries, or zucchini chips to ensure even cooking.
  • Give the food a light respray of oil when cooking time is half done.
  • If your air fryer recommends pre-heating before use, do not put foods into the cold air fryer. Pre-heating will make sure your food cooks correctly. Once the air fryer comes to temperature, then add food to the basket.

Air Fryer Conversion Chart

Nearly anything you make in the oven can be converted into an air fryer recipe. Pinch this Air Fryer Conversion Chart to have handy next time you're getting creative in the kitchen.

Easy Blue Ribbon Chicken Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fried Butterflied Stuffed Chicken Breast"This chicken breast recipe is very low...

Air Fried Butterflied Stuffed Chicken Breast

"This chicken breast recipe is very low fat, juicy as all get out, and just plain delicious! Preparation time is about 5 minutes and super easy. I'm for anything that's quick and easy. The end result is just magical, in my opinion!" - Robyn

Lisa's Air Fryer Fried Chicken"I got myself the XL Power Fryer and...

Lisa's Air Fryer Fried Chicken

"I got myself the XL Power Fryer and let me tell you, it's worth every penny. I whipped up this recipe last night for our family and hubby said it tasted just like KFC. But this is way healthier as it's cooked with no oil. Got to love that, right?" - Lisa

Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken"I have recently joined the Air Fryer Cooks and...

Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken

"I have recently joined the Air Fryer Cooks and I am having so much fun cooking up recipes with my new air fryer. Having an air fryer saves time and best of all keeps the calories lower and the kitchen cooler. Which is especially nice on a hot summer day."- Cheryl

Air Fryer Pizza Chicken"This recipe is a great alternative to regular pizza....

Air Fryer Pizza Chicken

"This recipe is a great alternative to regular pizza. It's just plain delicious. It's also a great meal for those who are looking for a high protein/low carb dish. From beginning to end, it takes less than a half hour to make and it's so simple to throw together." - Robyn

Tender Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets"These tender chicken nuggets are crispy on the...

Tender Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

"These tender chicken nuggets are crispy on the outside and juicy inside. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces, like honey mustard or barbecue sauce. With these air fryer recipe, chicken nuggets aren't just for kids anymore." - The Kitchen Crew

Helen Pratt - Aug 7, 2019
Helen Pratt - Started with the traditional large size air fryer with a basket. Didn't feel it made enough in a batch, but I loved the results. Then I bought an air fryer oven. It has 3 shelves as well as rotisserie and dehydrator. So many selections of food type and temperature. This is one of the best items I have ever bought. I have had it for a year now and can't wait to start frying chicken again for tailgating in a few weeks. I can cook 15 drumsticks at a time and be done with 3 batches of them in an hour. Only spray very very lightly with oil. Use my regular flour and spices coating that I have made for years. The difference is the time it takes and it is moister inside and so crispy outside. Love it!
susan larose - Aug 1, 2019
Love my Power Air Fryer but I was told recently that it has BPA in the plastic I was a little disappointed in that but the wwarning is on the box but its on the bottom so you really don,t see it till you get it home or in my case never. It,s also on the 2nd or third page but I don,t read these booklets page by page. I,m not getting rid of it but I,ll be more careful next time. Just thought you should know so you can make an informed decision
Deborah Frushon - Aug 1, 2019
My brother uses his all of the time. Several times a week!
Leslie Raymer - Aug 1, 2019
I love mine. I was given a small one as a gift and used it so much that I bought a larger one. I gave my first one to a friend since she wanted to try it. She ended up giving it to her brother because she bought a bigger one

I use my air fryer at least four days a week. I cook everything in it, not just snacks. The steaks are awesome cooked this way. I don’t add any oils - so much better for you. And you can cook from frozen so you don’t need to have taken the food out before. I wouldn’t give up my air fryer for anything else!!!!
Sheryl Westmark - Aug 1, 2019
I hated mine at first. I've learned to disregard cooking instructions and it's my friend now. For instance, mine says to fry French fries at 450. I try them at 400 and just check on them. They turn out wonderful as do onion rings. I use it enough to leave it on the counter.
Megan Bennett - Aug 1, 2019
Used my small one so much, and my parents loved it so much (especially for french fries), we ended up giving my parents our small one and bought a bigger one. We use it for so many things. Fish I have found does best with frozen filets, otherwise cook a VERY short time.
Pat Halland - Aug 1, 2019
Bought one, used very little , husband could not stand the smell of the food when cooking... gave it to grand daughter... as far as I am concerned, save you money folks...
Kathleen Taormina - Aug 1, 2019
total waste of money and space. i've used mine twice.
Sue Hathaway - Aug 1, 2019
I like mine for Chicken & Fries but what about FISH? Every time I have tried it they come out dry & stringy :(