If you are considering getting an air fryer for you home, one of the many questions you might be asking yourself is, what are the cooking times for an air fryer?
Sure eating healthier is important, and so is the taste that your food will have with the air frying technology, but also as important is how long will your food take to cook. We are all busy people, and usually cooking isn’t something we have much time for, even if we enjoy it.
So will an air fryer add or take time from your daily cooking routine? Well there are a few factors to considering when answering this question, so let’s take a closer look see if a hot air fryer is really a good fit for you!
First thing you need to consider is the preheating time. Whether you are just going to boil water or fry an egg, pots and pans need to be preheated before you can actually start cooking. The same thing is true for air fryers and traditional deep fryers.
Most traditional home deep fryers will take 15-20 minutes to heat up. That is 15-20 minutes you’ll need to wait since you turn on the machine until you can actually start throwing any food into it.
A standard kitchen oven will also take its time to preheat before you can start cooking. Here the times vary more depending on factors like the brand and model of your oven as well as the size of it. The larger your oven is the longer it will take to heat up. Now that being said most standard ovens will take anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes to preheat from cold to 180ºC.
Air fryers on the other hand are supper fast to preheat, they will go from cold to 200ºC in just 3 minutes! Sure this is also due to their lower capacity compared to the other options, especially traditional ovens. But if you are cooking for 2, or even just for yourself, why do you need all that space anyway? With an air fryer there is virtually now waiting for the appliance to preheat, it will take you longer to peel a potato than it will take the hot air fryer to preheat, so as soon as you have your food ready to cook you can start cooking!
Another advantage of the air fryers fast preheating is that you can actually start cooking your food without preheating the machine. Simply add 2 minutes to your recipes time and you are good to go!
Next thing you want to look at are cooking times. Here the oil less fryers are usually slower than the other options, let’s see by how much.
|Deep Fryer||Oven||Oil Less Fryer|
|French Fries||6-7 min||-||30 min|
|Chicken Wings||10 min||20-30 min||20 min|
|Sausages||6-8 min||20-25 min||14 min|
|Meat Pies||-||25 min||25 min|
|Spring Rolls||5 min||25 min||5 min|
From looking at this table it would look like deep frying is way faster than baking or oil less cooking, and it is. It’s worth considering the preheating timing too tough, and if we combine both the preheating time with the cooking times then the same table looks like this.
|Deep Fryer||Oven||Oil Less Fryer|
|French Fries||21-27 min||-||33 min|
|Chicken Wings||25-30 min||30-50 min||23 min|
|Sausages||21-28 min||30-45 min||17 min|
|Meat Pies||-||35-45 min||28 min|
|Spring Rolls||20-25 min||35-45 min||8 min|
When combining the preheating time with the cooking time the oil less fryer beats the deep frying and oven alternatives at almost all dishes!
Last but not least you need to consider how long cleaning up is going to take.
If you’ve ever had a deep fryer at home then you know that cleaning it up is no easy task… first you need to remove the oil, then clean the basket and the oil basket separately, add hot water to it, even baking soda if you’ve used heavily and want to clean it up thoroughly… Not to mention you’ll also need to clean up any oil spills that happened while the food was cooking or when you removed the basket to transfer your food to the plate. It’s tedious and overall not an enjoyable experience…
Cleaning an oven is much easier. The inside of the oven itself does not need to be cleaned after ach cooking session and you’ll only need to take care of the trays you used to bake the food on. If you used a small tray or pot you can put it into the dishwasher with the rest of your dishes, however if you used the standard full size oven trays you’ll probably need to wash them by hand since they won’t fit into the dishwasher.
With an oil less fryer you have the option to clean the cooking tray and pan by hand or put them into the dishwasher and forget about them. Since they are smaller than over trays they will fit any dishwasher nicely. The inside of the oil less fryer will also need to be cleaned regularly, although not necessarily after each cooking session. You can check a full guide on how to clean the AirFryer here.
There are many pros to having an oil less fryer at home. Eating better and healthier is not only good for your health but will also have a great positive impact in many aspects of your life. However the cooking speed is definitely not one of the strengths of oil less fryer right now. Most of the times they are slower than the alternatives, and although that time improves greatly when you factor in the preheating time of each machine, you still need to remember that oil less fryers are relatively small these days and if you are cooking for more than two people you’ll probably have to do it in batches, whereas you can probably be done in just one go with a traditional deep fryer or kitchen oven.
So if you are usually going to be cooking for one or two people then there is virtually no downside to getting an oil less fryer, at least not in terms of time, if anything you’ll save some time in each cooking session most of the times. If you are cooking for more than two though you need to consider cooking with hot air will probably take you longer since it will require multiple batches.
Brands are well aware of this inconvenience for larger families and are coming up with larger oil less fryer models each day. You might also want to take a look at those if you are interested in cooking healthier for the whole family.