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Are air fryers healthy? Let’s explore the benefits and risks.



Regularly eating fried foods leads to a higher risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. Research also indicates a higher risk of obesity, type-2 diabetes, and even cancer when a person regularly eats fried foods cooked in oil. This is true whether the food is cooked in oil in a skillet or by deep frying. But are air fryers healthy?

Research clearly shows the need to avoid eating too many fried foods. Deep-frying foods soak up much of the cooking oil they bathe in. Foods cooked in oil contain high amounts of saturated fats and trans fats. But let’s be honest: we love that crispy texture with a tender inside that frying food develops.



Are Air Fryers Healthy?




Finding a healthy alternative

Many choose baking food in the oven for the overall health benefits. And for many foods, this does provide a good alternative. But we have another cooking method that many find beats other cooking methods: exchanging the deep fryer for an air fryer. But are air fryers healthy? Should you consider them as a replacement for deep frying?



What is an air fryer?

Air fryers come in a variety of sizes, but all work by circulating hot air around the food being cooked. This allows for more even cooking and prevents the need to add oil or butter. Air fryers are efficient, saving energy compared to traditional ovens. Additionally, they require far less time to cook food than an oven does.




How does an air fryer work?

By circulating hot air around the food being cooked, air fryers create a crispy outer layer while keeping the inner layer of food moist. This is accomplished by maintaining a balance between air temperature, speed, and pressure. The temperature must be kept high enough to brown the food and low enough so that it does not burn, while the speed and pressure help ensure that the heat distributes evenly.

That may sound complicated. But in reality, we have cooked food in similar ways before. Consider the rotisserie method of cooking. The food turns around on a spit, allowing for more even cooking. It isn’t exactly the same as air frying. But it does have similarities.

When I purchased my first convection oven, I didn’t realize it was a close relative of my future with air fryers. The early convection oven, usually a small countertop appliance, circulated the air around the food. This cooked them more evenly and about 25% quicker, too. Although mine was electric, it saved money over using our large oven due to the smaller space and faster cooking time.



Does air frying use hot oil?

It is possible to cook some foods with no added oils. Others need a little brushing on or in the chamber to ensure the food retains the moisture content.

But the small amount of vegetable oil added is so much less than what soaks into food with deep-fat frying. While the food does taste fried, it does not have the greasy texture that oil-fried foods have.

The heated air being moved around the food provides the frying. For people who enjoy french fries with the crispy outer shell, french fries produced by the air fryer will keep them happy!


Are Air Fryers Healthy?




What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?

Just about anything that you can cook with deep-fat frying can be cooked in your air fryer.

French fries are an obvious choice, as are batter-dipped vegetables. But air frying isn’t just for our normal fried foods.

Tofu develops a nice texture with a tan appearance in the air fryer. Most meat alternatives work well for air frying, too.

Vegetables, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, and cauliflower, all come out delicious in the air fryer. Do you like mushrooms, onions, and peppers? One of our favorite ways to cook them in in the air fryer. I really prefer the texture that air-fried foods develop. And I don’t miss the greasy feeling that deep frying produces.



Is Air Frying a lower-fat method of cooking?

Absolutely! Air-fried foods contain minimal amounts of added fat if any at all. And that accounts for the many health benefits of air frying over other cooking methods.

If you want to ensure a little more texture, you can do so by adjusting the time your food cooks. But be careful not to overcook any of the foods in your air fryer. Air fryers work best when you ensure that foods cooked in them do not overcook or burn.



Does Air fried food promote weight loss?

It’s logical to conclude that air-fried foods help with weight loss. Of course, the amount of calories you consume is a direct cause of weight loss or gain. But with less oil absorbed by the food, you are eating fewer fats. And don’t forget the health benefits, too. Are air fryers healthy? For people looking to lose weight and get healthier, they offer a good option.



Are Air fryers safer than deep fryers?

Traditional deep fryers use hot oil for cooking food crispy. The oil needs to be above 325°F to get that nice crispy finish. Many deep fryers range up to 400°F and above. Even 325° temperature causes a severe burn if a little splash on your skin. NIH cites that 78% of oil burns occurred in the home, often involving children.

Another concern with deep-fried foods is the harmful chemicals that are produced in using high temperatures with the deep fryer. Research continues to show that deep-fried foods have serious health concerns.

An air fryer virtually eliminates the concerns of both the hot oil and the harmful chemicals. Of course, the air-fryer uses heat, and burns can result from touching the hot parts. But these burns would be less severe than those from hot oil.



Air Frying vs. Cooking in the Oven

For many years, we’ve used the oven for baking and also for crisping our foods such as fries. It still functions well for that. But air frying has some benefits over oven cooking methods.

First, it cooks a little faster than most oven methods. And most air fryers are smaller. Combined, this helps ensure some savings to using air fryers.

Also, most air fryers won’t heat up the kitchen the way that our standard ovens do. While that extra warmth from the oven might be appreciated in the winter, it fights with the air conditioner in the summer months, costing even higher electric bills.


baking in air fryer




Are air fryers healthy to use?

We believe it is. From the information we’ve provided, we think you’ll agree. While other methods might also have health benefits, including a slow cooker or the oven, air-fried foods provide that desired fried food flavor without the added oils.



Is Air fried food a healthier alternative?

Air frying produces health benefits that deep-fried foods cannot. By preventing added oils and retaining most nutrients, air frying brings a healthier option to our standard fried foods.



Do Air fryers reduce the risk of toxic acrylamide formation?

Research indicates that air frying helps lower the acrylamide content of foods. One study indicated that air-frying reduced acrylamide by up to 90% over deep-fried foods. That is an incredible health benefit in itself.



Are air-fried foods as crisp as deep-fried foods?

In our experience, air frying produces foods almost as crisp as deep-fried foods if we consider deep frying only to a crisp texture. I think we’ve all had those extra-crispy fries at some point. Most air fries will not become that crispy unless they are overcooked. But you can expect nicely crisp food from your air fryer.



Do air-fried foods cook more quickly?

Yes! And it’s the fan that your air fryer has that helps shorten cooking time. Air frying is much faster than baking in an oven or deep fryer due to the hot air circulating around the food. Depending on what you’re cooking and how you like it cooked, air frying can save you considerable time in the kitchen. This is especially appreciated for larger items that take longer to cook in a regular deep fryer.



What are the risks of air-fried foods?

As with any cooking method, you need to ensure you prepare your food properly before cooking. From there, consider that your air fryer operates at a very high temperature, making it easy to overcook your food and burn it. Burned and charred foods may be carcinogenic, thus leading to health concerns.

To avoid burning or charring your food, watch your cooking times carefully and check your food often.

Another problem our large family understands is size. Most air fryers work best for small to medium-sized families or when entertaining a group.

The solution?

  • You might consider air frying in batches and keeping them warm in your oven until all are finished.
  • Some families keep 2 air fryers to ensure they have enough room.
  • A few standard ovens now come with the convection option. While not exactly the same as countertop air fryers, they work in a similar fashion and usually have a much larger space. This extra space is useful for large batches but may be wasteful on smaller ones. And it does come at a premium price.



Are Air Fryers Healthy?




Are Air Fryers Healthy as a Cooking Method? Do you have an air fryer?

Our family gets a lot of use from our air fryer, as it allows us to enjoy delicious meals while also considering air fryer benefits and side effects. It produces healthy foods with minimal added fats, and the health benefits are important to us.

Do you have an air fryer? Are you considering adding one to your kitchen?


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