7 Types of Air Fryers (in 2023) – Pros, Cons, Functions & Affordability
Many people worldwide are trying to eat healthier and use air fryers for preparing their daily meals. However, choosing the right air fryer can be challenging, especially when you’re unfamiliar with all the available options. There are many different air fryers available, and while this gives you a lot of alternatives to choose from, it can also be confusing.
This article will detail seven types of air fryers, their characteristics, benefits, and disadvantages. Keep reading to learn more about these helpful kitchen appliances and determine which one suits you and your needs.
What Is an Air Fryer and How Does It Function?
Air fryers are kitchen appliances that operate on air and heat to prepare food. They allow you to prepare meals without oil or fat, making them healthier while remaining tasty. While these appliances have the name “air fryer” they don’t actually fry food. Instead, air fryers use a high-speed fan that allows hot air to circulate evenly around the food until it gets cooked.
The 7 Types of Air Fryers
1. Paddle Air Fryer
|Appearance:||Square, cylindrical, or round, contains a removable basket and a paddle in the middle|
Paddle air fryers are typically square, cylindrical, or round, and they resemble basket air fryers as they also feature a removable basket. However, these air fryers have a paddle in the middle, which stirs the food inside automatically, making cooking much simpler. Besides air frying, these appliances also offer different features such as baking and reheating, which is very convenient. It’s a great cooking tool for various recipes, works quickly, and it doesn’t require you to use oil.
Overall, this is an excellent type of air fryer, although it’s typically expensive due to the variety of functions it offers.
2. Basket Air Fryer
|Appearance:||Square, cylindrical, or round, contains a removable basket|
|Cooking Functions:||Air frying, baking, reheating, toasting|
Basket air fryers are among the popular types of air fryers as they have a lot of cooking functions, but they’re typically affordable. These air fryers are mostly cylindrical, but they can also be round or square, and they all feature a removable basket. The basket contains holes that allow the air to circulate evenly around your food and cook uniformly.
Unlike the paddle air fryer, the basket air fryer doesn’t have a paddle, meaning you have to stir or toss the food yourself. However, the basket typically includes a handle that simplifies this part of the cooking process.
3. Oven Air Fryer
|Appearance:||Similar to a toaster oven, square or rectangular|
|Cooking Functions:||Versatile depending on the model|
Oven air fryers are also quite popular, especially due to their versatility which typically depends on the model of your oven air fryer. Their appearance resembles a toaster oven, and they’re commonly square or rectangular. It also includes other features such as a baking tray and racks, meaning you can air fry, bake, warm, roast, or dehydrate your food. Oven air fryers are larger in size than most other types, and they take up more kitchen space. However, they allow you to prepare multiple meals at once, which is extremely practical.
One of the downsides of these air fryers is their price, as they’re mostly expensive, but they’re well worth it as they’ll be of great help during meal prep.
4. Air Fryer Lid
|Appearance:||A small lid cover for your pressure cooker/instant pot that allows it to air fry food|
|Cooking Functions:||Air frying|
The air fryer lid is also considered a type of air fryer, although it’s an appliance part instead of the whole appliance. Their technology allows you to turn any pressure cooker or instant pot into an air fryer. This is extremely convenient, especially for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money on an expensive air fryer. Air fryer lids are affordable, easy to use, and, most importantly, they won’t take up a bunch of space in your kitchen.
You can simply buy one air fryer lid, use it when necessary, or keep it stored with your other kitchen items.
5. Air Fryer Pressure Cooker
|Appearance:||Similar to a regular pressure cooker, but has a higher lid|
|Cooking Functions:||Versatile depending on the model|
Air fryer pressure cookers are a combination between an air fryer and a pressure cooker. These appliances are usually expensive, although they’re quite versatile, depending on the model you purchase. Typically, many air fryer pressure cookers will include functions such as air frying, baking, slow cooking, roasting, etc. These air fryers are great for people preparing larger meals, although you won’t be able to stir the food until it’s cooked.
Also, they are large in size so you’ll need to separate some kitchen space in order to fit this appliance into your home.
6. Halogen Air Fryer
|Appearance:||Made from glass with a heating element on the top|
Halogen air fryers are popular as they’re glass, meaning you can observe your food while it’s preparing. These air fryers produce heat by using their halogen lights which evenly cook the food inside. They are moderately priced and offer various cooking functions, although they’re the best option if you want to steam cook. While there’s no paddle to stir the food, you can flip it yourself because the heating mechanism is at the top of the air fryer.
Halogen air fryers are large, so they take up more space than some of the other types, but that makes them great for preparing a whole turkey or chicken.
7. Air Fryer Microwave
|Appearance:||Looks like a regular microwave|
|Cooking Functions:||Multi-functional depending on the model|
Air fryer microwaves represent a combination between an air fryer and a microwave. They look like regular microwaves, but they feature air fryer options and are typically multi-functional based on the model. You can use them to roast, boil, steam, and air fry your food quickly, which is convenient. However, their price is typically high, which is something to keep in mind.
There are several different types of air fryers, each offering different features that allow you to quickly prepare tasty meals. Before deciding on an air fryer, check out the various options to ensure the one you choose includes all the features you need.
Featured Image Credit: Francisco Zeledon, Shutterstock