Picture the scene: it’s late at night, you’re watching a film or smashing out a marathon session of Ghost of Tsushima and you want a quick bowl of chips. Forget waiting for the oven to heat up; the air fryer is your new favourite friend.

Air fryers, pardon the pun, are a hot topic in 2020, and the must-have kitchen accessory for a healthier approach to frying food. Except, of course, they don’t fry in the traditional sense. So, how do they actually work?

The Tech

Think of an air fryer as a souped up, condensed benchtop convection oven. The device concentrates the cooking process as heat from an element is distributed rapidly via a fan. Consequently, the food crisps much like it would in a regular fryer without being immersed in oil.

The Size

Air fryers come in a range of different sizes to cater for singles and couples, right through to big families.

The Potential

Outside of the obvious frying comparisons, an air fryer can, depending on the model, bake cakes, grill meats and roast veggies. And there’s a plethora of free recipes available online to accommodate beginners, and the more adventurous.

The Simplicity

It honestly doesn’t get much easier than this: Pull out the drawer, drop the food into the fryer-style grill basket, hit a button with the required time, and walk away. When the alarm sounds, the food is ready. And clean-up is a cinch.

The Health Benefits

We all know that deep fried food, although delicious, is no friend to the waistline or the ticker. Air fryers reduce the oil used in the cooking method by 70 to 80 per cent, eliminating the extra calories and trans fats from your plate.

The Cost

Is it cheaper to use than a traditional oven? Whilst it still uses electricity, the element heats up in seconds and the concentrated area significantly decreases the cooking time, thus reducing the amount of power used.

BUYING GUIDE

Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer

Air fryer

Why have one when you can have two, eh? Yep, the concept behind the Ninja Dual Zone is you can air fry two different meals consecutively at different temperatures and have them finish at exactly the same time. A bigger unit to compensate for the dual drawers, the air fryer has six settings including roast and bake. And once you’ve finished your late night feast, cooking chips in one side and a burger in the other, you can lob the parts that need cleaning straight into the dishwasher.

In-store mid October.

Taste the Difference 1.8L Air Fryer

Air fryer

A smaller air fryer at an even smaller price, the Taste the Difference will offer no frills, but practical functionality as a handy assistant in the kitchen that can air fry, bake, roast and grill.

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Sunbeam AFP4000WH

Air fryer

You don’t have to break the bank to get a good air fryer, and with a basket that can hold an entire 600g bag of shoestring fries, you can grab your favourite snack with a healthier edge. It’s easy to use, too. Set your timer and temperature and walk away until it’s done.

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Breville Combi Wave 3 in 1

Air fryer

The innovative Combi 3 in 1 offers a complete cooking solution in one handy device. Incorporating three popular countertop appliances that work alone or in tandem, all bases are covered with the inclusion of an air fryer, convection oven and traditional microwave in a large 32-litre size for big families with even bigger appetites.

In-store October

Read our hands-on review of the Philips Airfryer XXL here.