An Expert Tells Us What Gives Air Fryers An Edge Over Regular Ovens

African-American man cooking with air fryer
African-American man cooking with air fryer - South_agency/Getty Images

If you're used to cooking foods in an oven, you might be wondering what makes an air fryer a great alternative, so Daily Meal sat down with someone who can help you understand its advantages. Hammed -- a recipe developer, food blogger, and creator of The Prince Eats — uses an air fryer for some of his approachable yet sophisticated recipes because of its remarkable ability to maintain heat, and Hammed pointed out that's a feature other standard appliances can't match.

"The air fryer's heat retention technology sets it apart from other cooking appliances," explained Hammed. "Over time, conventional ovens can lose cooking effectiveness due to air leaks, making it harder to maintain desired temperatures for long periods of time." Because an air fryer retains heat so well, it can cook foods much faster than a conventional oven and crisp things up in a way a microwave can't. The high heat and rapidly moving air speed up moisture loss on the surface of foods like a deep fryer, resulting in food with restaurant-level crispiness, but without the excess oil.

Read more: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Can Buy

Air Fryers Increase Cooking Efficiency

crispy chicken bites in a black air fryer
crispy chicken bites in a black air fryer - grandbrothers/Shutterstock

Air fryers are also much more efficient than other kitchen appliances, which is another plus for Hammed. "The heating elements and cooking area (are) smaller and (operate) in an insulated box, which increases cooking efficiency," noted Hammed. This allows an air fryer to heat up quickly and cook foods in about half the time of an oven without heating your kitchen. If you cook chicken thighs in a conventional oven, you'll have to preheat it for about 15 minutes and then slowly cook the thighs for 35 to 40 minutes. Most air fryers preheat in five minutes, depending on the model, and cook the chicken completely in about 25 minutes.

You can use an air fryer to cook more than just crispy foods. Hammed has made cheesesteak-stuffed egg rolls and baked potatoes in the air fryer, but they really can cook almost anything. There are so many foods you have never thought to make in an air fryer but totally should, like eggs, corn on the cob, ravioli, and whole chickens. You can even bake a perfect cake in an air fryer with the right temperature and time tweaks, and air fryer queso is a thing too.

Read the original article on Daily Meal