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Are air fryers a healthier way to cook?

Are air fryers a healthier way to cook?

The air fryer is touted as a cheaper, healthier way to cook food. But has it earned its healthy claims? That depends, say our nutritionists, on what you are cooking and what the alternative is.  

With rising energy and food prices, air fryers have become the ”must-have” kitchen appliance promising a more economical way to cook food. They work by circulating hot air around their cooking compartments at speed, which can give strong air currents and fast pre-heating.

So if you are wondering if it's worth getting an air fryer, and if being a healthier method of cooking is an advantage, the answer is not clear cut. Here are some things to consider: 

1. Air frying food is healthier than deep fat frying food.

2. But less healthy food is not made “more healthy” by an air fryer. So highly processed food and food high in fat, sugar or salt like chips, sausages, rashers, chicken nuggets are still not recommended as everyday food, even if you use an air fryer.

3. Food is just as healthy when cooked in an air fryer as in an oven. It may be slightly healthier if you use less butter or oil in the air fryer.

4. It’s important to check the instructions that came with your air fryer to adapt cooking times for different food products.

5. Use a meat thermometer to check that meat and poultry is fully cooked (should read 75⁰C at the thickest part of the meat) as it will cook quicker. Here more advice on checking your meat is cooked safely.

6. Air fryers may not be the best option for cooking for families or batch cooking because many don’t have enough space.

If you are looking for recipes that would work in an air fryer try our roasted chickpea and vegetable bake, fish goujons and roasted butternut squash with tomato, red pepper, olives and potato.

If you are interested in finding out whether an air fryer is a more economically way of cooking check out The Consumer Council appliance cost checker as a guide.

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