I Finally Gave Air Fryers a Chance—I Don’t Know Why I Waited

My air fryer doubts are gone after making crispy french fries, pickle chips and more without using a ton of oil.

As an avid home cook (who isn't these days?!), it's hard for me to get on board with trendy appliances. It took me a couple of years before I caved and bought an Instant Pot, so you can imagine my skepticism when air fryers arrived on the scene. They can be pricey, and I don't have a lot of counter space in my apartment for a kitchen tool I may not use.

Still, I eat meals at home now more than ever, so I'm doing my best to cook healthier. For me, that means trying to limit my intake of bad fats and refined sugar (my weekly baking therapy sessions make that no easy task). But if using an air fryer can help make foods I love (give me all the french fries!) a bit healthier using heat instead of oil, I figured it was time to give the seemingly handy appliance a shot.

I'll go ahead and tell you right now: It was worth it.

chefman air fryer with pizza
Courtesy of Chefman

For my introduction to air fryers, I got the Chefman Multi-Functional Air Fryer +. What immediately drew me to this particular model is that instead of the usual drawer, this air fryer has a window. As a newbie to air-frying foods, I really love being able to actually see what's going on without having to stop the appliance and open it.

While living through the pandemic, I've missed fried appetizers at restaurants. One of the first recipes I made? Air-fryer pickle chips! (The recipe makes 90 pickle chips, and if my brother hadn't been around, I probably would have eaten them all.) In addition to air-frying, this product also comes with a rotisserie spit and a fry basket, in which I made some frozen sweet potato fries and they came out perfectly crispy.

Buy It: Chefman Multi-Functional Air Fryer + ($130, Amazon)

It turns out my air fryer (and many other models) are also pretty versatile in making everything from savory seafood or lightened-up desserts. You can even dehydrate fruit, veggies, and make jerky. Retailers offer a wide array of top-rated air fryers to meet your specific needs:

Now that I have an air fryer, I'm on the hunt for new things to make. Users in one Facebook group for sharing air fryer tips say they use theirs to make delicious chicken wings. It also seems like the perfect appliance to recrisp leftovers (think pizza and fried chicken). I plan on making the Brussels sprouts sitting in my fridge next before working my way through this mouthwatering list of air-fryer recipes.

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