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10 Things to Love About Air Frying

If you have the right recipes, an air fryer is the perfect vessel for producing crispy, evenly cooked food with far less effort (and fat) than it takes to oven fry or deep fry. Here’s more on some of our favorite things about air frying.

1. It produces real food

Since it’s essentially a small convection oven, the air fryer can cook many of the foods you might roast or bake with less fuss. The basket’s wire base helps food to cook evenly on all sides.

2. Less-fat frying

It’s true: Air frying turns out crispy fries, juicy chicken wings, and tender chicken cutlets, all with using a fraction of the oil that deep-frying requires. What’s even better, we found that air fryers are far more versatile than you might think. Our air fryer cookbook, Air Fryer Perfection, includes recipes for everything from side dishes like baked potatoes and green beans to full meals like roasted pork chops with butternut squash.

3. Set and (almost) forget

Unlike stovetop cooking, air frying requires virtually no monitoring, thanks to its well-regulated temperature and automatic shut-off. Other than the occasional flip or toss, it does all the work, allowing you to focus on the rest of the meal.

4. Minimal mess

The enclosed basket of an air fryer translates to a clean kitchen—no splattering oil or multiple dirty pot and pans. Plus, the baskets are simple to clean—most are nonstick and dishwasher safe.

5. No stove—or oven—needed

On busy nights when we must convince ourselves to cook (even America’s Test Kitchen’s test cooks feel this way at times), not having to turn on the stove can be a blessing. And on hot nights, the air fryer prevents our kitchen from becoming a steam room.

6. It’s fast

The air fryer lets us skip past the common first step in cooking—heating fat in a pan or heating the oven or grill. This was not only convenient but also shaves valuable time off of recipes.

7. Easy meals for kids

The ability to crisp up a batch of chicken nuggets or a couple hand pies, or roast carrots, without embarking on a cooking project makes this a lifesaver for busy parents. We found that we could even create make-ahead freezer simple meals that could be crisped in the air fryer on a moment’s notice.

8. Ideal for two people

When it’s just the two of you eating (or you’re cooking solo) and you don’t want to make more than you need, the air fryer helps to prevent waste.

9. Free up oven space

Cooking multiple dishes in the oven can be a juggling act. Hand a side dish over to the air fryer and free up valuable space.

10. Consistent results

All of the previous benefits would be null matter if the air fryer’s cooking were spotty, but throughout all of our testing and air fried recipe development, we continued to be surprised at how good the food tasted. The most common remark we heard at recipe tastings was, “I can’t believe this came from an air fryer!”