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So How Does an Air Fryer Work?

An air fryer sits on a kitchen island.
Casezy idea/Shutterstock.com

We all know at least one person who is obsessed with their air fryer (or maybe that person is you?). One of the trendiest kitchen items to hit the shelves within the last decade, air fryers are marketed to swiftly cook our favorite crispy foods with less fat than a deep fryer.

While air fryer owners are enjoying their fries and tater tots in a healthier yet just-as-tasty way, it might leave you wondering: how does an air fryer work?

Air fryers are essentially smaller convection ovens. Contrary to its name, there is no frying actually going on inside the appliance. Instead, air fryers work by blowing hot air around the food that is being cooked.

Once you place your food (and a few teaspoons of oil) in the perforated basket and turn the air fryer on, hot hair rushes down from the heating mechanism above, blowing air all around the food. Because of its rapid circulation of air, the food becomes brown and crispy — much like the results of a deep fryer — but without the added fat from the excess amount of oil.

COSORI Air Fryer

Don't have an air fryer yet? Grab one now.

Air fryers can cook a multitude of things, from roasted chicken to burger patties to potatoes. They are also a fan favorite for cooking traditionally fried foods, like fries and frozen onion rings. It’s important to note, however, that you can’t cook foods with liquid batter—like fried chicken—as the liquid will drip through the holes in the basket.

Now that we know air-fried foods are, in fact, a healthier alternative to deep-fried foods, we won’t stop you from adding a new air fryer to your shopping cart. And don’t forget to brush up on some delicious air fryer recipes to get you ready for football season!

Lindsay Ray Lindsay Ray
Lindsay is a lifestyle and beauty writer currently living in Arizona. She has several years of experience as a freelance writer and reporter, with a specialized interest in the beauty and lifestyle space. From beauty hacks to DIY home décor and everything in between -- Lindsay has a passion for crafting stories that entertain, educate, and inspire. Her writing has appeared in Thought Catalog, The List, Drink Me Magazine, the Auburn Examiner, and Litro Magazine in the United Kingdom. Read Full Bio »
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