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7 Types of Air Fryers (in 2023) – Pros, Cons, Functions & Affordability

Cooking potatoes on air fryer

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.

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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
Cooking Functions:
  • Air frying, baking, reheating, toasting
  • The paddle shakes/stirs food automatically
Cost: Typically expensive

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.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Various functions
  • Automatic stirring
  • No need for oil
  • Suitable for various recipes
  • Quick
Cons
  • High price

2. Basket Air Fryer

bbq chicken legs in air fryer
Image Credit: Bubbers BB, Shutterstock
Appearance: Square, cylindrical, or round, contains a removable basket
Cooking Functions: Air frying, baking, reheating, toasting
Cost: Affordable

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.

Pros
  • A lot of cooking functions
  • Affordable
  • Various models available
  • Quick
  • Contains a handle for easier food tossing
Cons
  • Limited capacity
  • You need to toss the food during cooking

3. Oven Air Fryer

air fryer oven
Image Credit: perfectloop, Shutterstock
Appearance: Similar to a toaster oven, square or rectangular
Cooking Functions: Versatile depending on the model
Cost: Expensive

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.

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Multiple cooking functions
  • Includes baking trays and racks
  • They allow you to prepare multiple meals at once
  • Practical
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Takes up a lot of kitchen space

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
Cost: Affordable

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.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • No need for buying an expensive air fryer
  • Suitable for any pressure cooker/instant pot
  • Doesn’t take up kitchen space
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to store
  • Portable
Cons
  • Only capable of air frying

5. Air Fryer Pressure Cooker

Appearance: Similar to a regular pressure cooker, but has a higher lid
Cooking Functions: Versatile depending on the model
Cost: Typically expensive

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.

Pros
  • Multiple cooking functions
  • Various models available
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Excellent for larger meals
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Bulky

6. Halogen Air Fryer

halogen air fryer
Image Credit: Ganka Trendafilova, Shutterstock
Appearance: Made from glass with a heating element on the top
Cooking Functions:
  • Air frying, steaming, baking, dehydrating, boiling
  • Doesn’t shake food during cooking
Cost: Moderate

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.

Pros
  • You can observe the food while it’s preparing
  • Moderately priced
  • Various cooking functions
  • Excellent for steam cooking
  • Great for preparing a whole turkey or chicken
  • Large
Cons
  • Takes up a lot of counter space
  • Uses more electricity than other options
  • You need to replace the halogen lights periodically
  • No option for stirring or tossing the food

7. Air Fryer Microwave

Appearance: Looks like a regular microwave
Cooking Functions: Multi-functional depending on the model
Cost: Typically high

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.

Pros
  • Saves money and space
  • Multi-functional
Cons
  • Expensive

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Conclusion

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

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