The stainless steel air fryer is the busy woman’s best friend. With all you have going on the last thing on your mind is what you’re eating. Saving time in the kitchen can reduce the stress in your life and give you time for the more important things that you need to focus your energy on.
Nutrition is important when it comes to reducing stress. Continuously eating take out may prevent you from getting all the nutrients you need. If you are looking for an easy way to make healthy meals you need to start with a plan.
What has saved me time and stress is meal prepping and planning. Meal planning and prepping can be easy if you have the right tools. Incorporating these gadgets had reduced my cooking time.
If I had to pick one kitchen gadget that has been a complete game-changer for me I would have to say its the stainless steel air fryer.
This air fryer oven is the best thing for saving and stress time in the kitchen. With summer on the horizon, you may be spending your running around with no time to make dinner. The air fryer is also great in the summer when you don’t feel like turning on the oven.
The stainless steel air fryer oven can be a lifesaver when it comes to cooking. You may be overwhelmed with all the choices out there. We have put together a review of the best stainless steel air fryer models so you can find the air fryer that works best for you.
How Does An Air Fryer Work
How does an oil-free fryer or hot air fryer work? Unlike traditional frying which submerged foods in hot oils, the air fryer circulates hot air around the food. Similar to a pressure cooker, the cooking chamber emits heat from the heating element near the food making it well cooked. A fan will push the hot air around the food.
Air is taken in at the top and exhausted out in the back. This is how air fryers control the temperature so they don’t get too hot. Unwanted air is also released to maintain pressure.
Temperatures can get at high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the model.
Foods You Can Put Into an Air Fryer Stainless Steel Basket
This hot air cooking lets the air fryer oven brown foods like potatoes, chicken, fish, or steak creating a healthier version of your favorite fried foods. Now you can enjoy french fries without all the grease.
Like traditional frying, air frying produces the Maillard effect. A chemical reaction that leads to changes in colors and textures of food. This occurs when an amino acid and reducing sugar come together in the presence of heat [R].
Stainless Steel Air Fryer Parts
Stainless steel air fryers come in different shapes. Some are round with a handle that opens a drawer. Other air fryers have a look similar to a toaster oven with a door that opens. Inside is a basket that holds the food.
Air fryers also come in a variety of colors and sizes. Like the crockpot, they are measured in quarts. They come in small, medium, and large capacity sizes. They run as small as 2.2 and 3.7 quarts and go all the way up to 8 and 16 quarts. If you are looking for something in the middle a good medium-sized on is the 10-quart air fryer.
Air fryers also had additional accessories. These include grilling racks, pans, tongs, spatulas, and more. Usually, they are not part of the original product and need to be purchased separately.
Do Air Fryers Use Oil
Some research says there are fine oil droplets in the heated air that help to take the moisture out of the food. This is what makes the air fried foods have a consistency similar to those that are deep-fried [R].
That is why with air fryers you can get that similar crispiness without all the added unhealthy fat [R]. Traditional fryers will often use vegetable or corn oil for frying. These oils are pro-inflammatory and can affect your health. If you are someone under high stress this can contribute to cortisol production and increase the risk for inflammatory conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and thyroid conditions [R, R].
Some websites recommend using oil but depending on what you are cooking you might not need any.
When air frying vegetables, I normally toss the veggies in a bowl with just a tablespoon of olive oil. If I use thawed frozen vegetables I forgo the oil and just add some seasoning. If I use a marinade or a rub on my meats I usually will not use any oil and the food still comes out tasting great.
Some sources have said that adding oil inside the fryer can be dangerous. It is best to mix the oil with the food and then put it in the stainless steel air fryer.
Air Fryer Pros and Cons
Like any cooking method, there are air fryer pros and cons that you should be aware of before using this device.
Benefits of An Air Fryer
There are many benefits of using a stainless steel air fryer to cook. These include reduced cooking time, easy cleanup, help with stress reduction, limit certain chemicals, and reduce unhealthy fat intake.
Cooking Time Reduced with An Air Fryer
The air fryer oven can reduce the overall cooking time. So you can have a meal done in a shorter period than with the traditional oven. Times vary by brand and air fryer but generally, there is a 20% reduction in cooking when compared with traditional ovens. This means you can prepare a meal in minutes.
Stainless Steel Air Fryer Has Easy Cleanup
When you cook a meal on the stove or in the oven there can be many pots and pans. I don’t know about you but cleaning up is the worst part of making dinner. The beauty of a stainless steel air fryer has an easy cleanup.
All you need to do to clean the air fryer is take out the basket inside and clean it according to the instruction manual. Some models will are even dishwasher safe. This means less mess for you.
Stainless Steel Air Fryer Helps Reduce Stress
With all we have going on in our lives the last thing you need to worry about is what you want to eat. The air fryer takes time off from having to slave over a stove every night. It is good for relieving the stress of cooking.
Air fryers are simple to use. They often have digital buttons and preset dials that make cooking easy for even a novice.
You Don’t Have to Be a Chef to Use the Stainless Steel Air Fryer
The biggest complaint I hear from people about meal planning is they are not good cooks. With the stainless steel air fryer, there is little room for error. You don’t have to worry about messing up your meal. It’s as simple as tapping a few buttons and presto you have a meal in minutes.
Stainless Steel Air Fryer Prevents Formation of Toxic Compounds
Carbohydrate-rich foods can produce toxic compounds during high-heat cooking methods such as frying.
Acrylamide is a substance that was named a human probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This means it could potentially cause cancer when consumed.
Research on acrylamide is mixed but there were some potential associations between intake of acrylamide and renal, endometrial, and ovarian cancers [R].
Air frying can reduce the amount of acrylamide in foods. There was a 90 percent reduction of acrylamide content in air fried potatoes when compared with potatoes that were deep-fried [R].
Other toxins were found to be produced when foods were cooked at high heats. Aldehydes, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are also compounds that have an association with the risk of cancer [R].
Stainless Steel Air Fryer Reduce Unhealthy Fat Intake
Fat is an important nutrient we should get every day. However, the type of fat you consume is important. Transfat from deep frying is not something you want to consume in excess. If you do find yourself eating a lot of fried foods a stainless steel air fryer may be a good alternative to lessen the intake of unhealthy fats. The best way to do this is to use minimal amounts of oil in your air fryer.
Stainless Steel Air Fryer Can Help Increase Vegetable Intake
Using a stainless steel air fryer can help to improve your vegetable intake. If you are or anyone in your household is hesitant about eating vegetables the air fryer can change that. With a few minutes in the air fryer, your vegetables will have a crispy taste that everyone will enjoy. Simply season and fry for a yummy treat.
Disadvantages of Air Fryer
While there are many air fryer benefits there is are also some downsides to this kitchen gadget.
Stainless Steel Air Fryers Are Not Always Healthy
Air-fried food is better than deep-fried food but the overall health of your diet still depends on the majority of what you are eating. Loading up your fryer with foods heavy in oils, sugar, and other unhealthy fats you may not be doing anything for your health.
To get the best health benefits out of this device stick with veggies, lean meats, and fish. Flavor them with fresh herbs and spices instead of oils and sugar.
Stainless Steel Air Fryers May Produce Toxic Compounds
We know that air fryers reduce the amount of acrylamide being formed but there could be other potential compounds that are produced from cooking meat at high heats.
These include the possibility of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines being produced. The National Cancer Institute has deemed these substances carcinogenic [R].
When studied vegetables can increase in antioxidant properties at high temperatures in a Maillard reaction. There have also been instances when high heat has resulted in compounds that may also be proinflammatory [R].
Further research needs to be done to know exactly what compounds are being emitted from air-fried cooking.
You Might Go Overboard with Fried Foods
The air fryer is there to be a convenience in and speed up the cooking times. It is not an excuse to eat fried foods every day. I would recommend using the air fryer in addition to other cooking methods such as roasting, sauteing, steaming, and baking.
Are Air Fryers Safe
Looking at the pros and cons you may be asking yourself are stainless steel air fryers safe to use?
Research on air frying is limited. There is not much known about what exactly is being emitted from the air fryer. Overall, it is a better option than deep frying.
Depending on what you are cooking in it can also affect the safety of your health. Take caution if you use it to cook meat. Be careful not to burn the food so you can lessen the carcinogenic exposure. Oils should be used sparingly to increase health benefits.
Perhaps a safe way to use the air fryer is to not use it every day but as a rotating gadget to help reduce your cooking burden.
What to Consider When Purchasing An Air Fryer
Price is usually the first thing that comes to mind when purchasing any type of new gadget. It is an important consideration but should not be the only thing you focus on when choosing an air fryer. Sometimes you get what you pay for. So if it is too good of a deal there could be something wrong with it. If you get a high-quality product that lasts the long term it might be worth spending the extra money.
Make sure it has a good warranty in case any problems arise. Does it come with technical service? Will anyone help you if you wind up with problems? Can it be replaced if there are any problems?
How many people do you need to feed? Does it have the capacity to fit food for everyone in your household? You want to get something that will be the best size for you. If in doubt start out with a medium-sized one that won’t be too big or too small.
How much kitchen counter space do you have? Is this something that needs to sit on the counter or do you have cabinet or closet space to put it away when you’re not using it?
Can It Be Fixed
If something happens to just one part can it be replaced or fixed? Having an appliance that can be repaired will be helpful to extending their shelf life.
Like any kitchen appliance, it takes energy to run. So how much power does it need and will this spike your electric bill?
Other People’s Experiences
Go right to the source to find out the best and worst of this kitchen gadget. Read reviews online and ask your friends for their experiences with their own air fryers.
Air Fryer Reviews and the Best Air Fryers to Buy
Now that you know all about air fryers and what to consider before buying one. If you are interested in getting one for yourself you want to make sure you get a good buy. Here are the top picks based on ratings and reviews online.
When looking for an air fryer be sure to see if it has a metallic finish on the basket. This will ensure that it is indeed a stainless steel air fryer. If the basket is dark or matte then it is probably made of non-stick materials.
Best Compact Air Fryer
There are a lot of compact air fryers on the market but there are few that have a stainless steel basket. Here are the best compact air fryers.
The Cuisinart AFR-25 Air Fryer is a stainless steel air fryer that is great for those with a smaller kitchen. It can still hold about 2.2 pounds of food. This is good for those with only one or two family members.
This fryer comes with a shallow basket. That means there is a larger place to lay food out in a single layer. You don’t have to worry about food being clumped on top of each other. It also features an adjustable time and temperature dial for precise cooking. This fryer can get as hot as 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
The mesh basket lets the heat flows evenly around the food. It also has a pan that comes with the fryer for baking or roasting.
The best part is that all the trays are dishwasher safe and make for that easy cleanup. The clear glass door is a nice addition so you can see when the food is done without having to stop the machine open the drawer and check if it needs more time.
The Maxi-Matic EAF-05SS Electric Digital Hot Air Fryer is another stainless steel air fry that is great for someone who needs a compact fryer.
It offers adjustable time and temperature with an automatic shut off when the cooking cycle is over. It runs high heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Though smaller inside, the 3.2-quart capacity can still hold about 2.2 pounds of food.
The drawer features a cool-touch handle that lets you safely remove foods from the fryer without burning your hands.
Best Large Capacity Air Fryers
The Gourmia 16-in-1 Digital Stainless Steel Air Fryer Oven is a great stainless steel air fryer for those who are looking for a larger capacity fryer. It is a little more pricey but you get a lot for your money. It features 16 cooking modes. So you can dehydrate, air-fry, bake, or toast foods.
Reaching up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit It can fit an entire 12” pizza or a 3 to 4-pound chicken.
Like the Cuisinart stainless steel air fryer above it had a clear glass door so you can see when your food is almost done.
In addition to the fry basket, it comes with a crumb tray, baking pan, and oven rack. All of which are dishwasher safe making clean up a cinch.
The Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Air Fryer is another large capacity stainless steel air fryer. It has a few bells and whistles featuring 7 cooking functions including air fry, convection broil, convection bake, bake, broil, warm, and toast.
It also features an automatic turn off with up to a 60-minute timer. So you don’t have to worry about your food getting burnt if you working on other things.
The Chefman Stainless Steel Air Fryer Toaster Oven can hold quite a bit of food. It is 25 liters and can fit a chicken as large as 5.5 pounds.
It comes with a roasting rack that is able to be used simultaneously as one food is being air fried. So you can have two recipes going at once.
It has the ability to warm, broil, bake, and toast give it the ability to work as a compact oven and can get as hot as 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
All racks and trays are also dishwasher safe.
The Stainless Steel Air Fryer That Didn’t Make the Cut
Some air fryers claim to be stainless steel but the still have nonstick baskets. This is misleading and not truly a stainless steel air fryer. The nonstick cookware has been shown to cause food to smell and taste bad. The fryers that did not make the cut include the following:
- Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer
- Gotham Steel Air Fryer
- Gourmia GAF735 Stainless Steel Digital Air Fryer
- Ninja Air Fryer
- Bella Pro Series Air Fryer
Recipes For The Stainless Steel Air Fryer
Once you purchase your air fryer you may need some help with recipe ideas. Looking for healthy meal ideas to use in your stainless steel air fryer? Check out this cookbook.
To Sum It All Up
The air fryer can save you a lot of time in the kitchen. It can be a great way to reduce the overall fat in your diet and lower the potential toxic byproducts of deep-fried cooking. There is, however, a lot we still don’t know about the effects of air frying foods. A diet high in fried foods may not be the healthiest thing. Especially depending on the type and quantity of oil used on the food being air fried.
If you’re worried about how much air fried food you’re consuming the best thing you can do is rotate your intake of air-fried foods with other forms of cooking like sauteing, baking, boiling, and roasting.
Have you cooked with an air fryer? I would love to know your experiences and any products you recommend.