Top Hot Air Fryers
Top Deep Fat Fryers
There are those that will have a very different memory of fryers than the ones you will see around today. Particularly in the 1970’s and 1980’s, there were a lot of homes that used fryers to cook all manner of evening meals. In particular, home cooked chips were a firm favourite in many homes.
Today, fryers are not the same as the greasy oil smelling examples they were then, now they are a lot more efficient and have built-in filters to prevent escaping smells and steam. The oils used in fryers have also changed considerably and some have eliminated almost all the need for oil.
This guide is designed to give you a comprehensive overview of the type of fryers you can find on the market today. It will explain the difference between types and also go into detail on functions and settings. It might seem that one fryer must be like all the others, but with technology being used in every household item, there can be a notable difference between fryers and manufacturers.
Fryers Buying Guide
The basic function of fryers is to cook food at a high temperature relatively quickly. In many cases, the fryer is filled with oil and this is then heated by an element until it reaches the correct temperature. This often depends on the type of food that you are cooking as some need to be cooked longer than others.
Many fryers use a basket to place the food into, this is then lowered into the hot oil. A timer can be set depending on the cooking time and this will alert you to when the food is ready.
Although many people use fryers for food such as chips and fish in batter, there are a lot of other foods you can fry very effectively. With a recent upsurge in the fryers popularity, there are now a number of cook books that show you how to take your fryer to the next level.
Types of Fryers
It used to be that you could only get one type of fryer, the deep fat fryer. But this has changed in recent years with the introduction of hot air and halogen fryers that use virtually no oil at all. Let us take a look at the different types in more detail.
Deep Fat Fryers
The deep fat fryer has been around for many years and has had mixed fortunes during that time. They used to be very popular especially for food such as chips, chicken, sausages and fish, but with the ever increasing concern over obesity and health in general, they fell out of favour for a while. However, as new, less harmful oils and better fryers were introduced, there has been a resurgence in their popularity.
They are usually available in varying sizes from individual portions to large family size. They use a basket that usually comes with an integrated handle that folds down when not in use. Some of the fryers are also fitted with convenient spouts so that you can empty the old oil without having to tip the fryer.
To prevent unwanted cooking odours, most modern deep fat dryers are fitted with a charcoal filter. These can either be cleaned or replaced periodically depending on the make and model.
Hot air fryers
In recent years, there has been a new type of fryer that has come onto the market. It was designed to make frying easier and healthier, but it has also made frying a lot more versatile than before.
The way a hot air fryer or an air fryer works is really the best parts of an oven and a fryer. The food is placed in a basket but there is no oil reservoir. Instead, only one tablespoon of oil is added to the food. It then uses super-heated air to cook the food by blowing it into the basket. Many hot air fryers are fitted with a stirring paddle that constantly moves the food to ensure even cooking.
The frying time can be slightly longer than a deep fat fryer, but the benefits are considerable. Because these machines use hot air as opposed to hot oil, it can be used to cook many other foods, not just chips. You can cook stir fry, diced meat, roast potatoes and meatballs all very easily. It is this versatility along with the health benefits that has made these fryers so popular.
These machines also typically include a timer, although on some machines, the food will continue to cook after the timer has run out. The other benefit, is that you don’t have to change the oil or worry about how to dispose of it. The only thing that the hot air fryers cannot do very well, is fry fish or things such as doughnuts and other mushy food. This is because the turning paddle would break up the food as it turned. The paddle, basket and lid can all be removed for easy cleaning. Some makes can even be placed in the dishwasher.
Another type of fryer is the Halogen or infra-red fryer. Although they are not as popular as Deep Fat and Hot Air fryers, they are still a very effective way of frying and cooking.
It uses a halogen element to heat up the food to a very high temperature. This means it is very good at crisping and frying food with little or no oil. Some makes are also fitted with a fan to help distribute the heat evenly.
This fryer can cook food faster than a conventional oven and some makes are large enough to fit a whole chicken. Many also include two racks so that you can cook two foods at the same time without mixing them.
Unlike the hot air fryers, halogen machines typically don’t have a turning paddle to stir the food.
When it comes to price, it depends on the type of technology your fryer uses. The deep fat fryers tend to be on the cheaper end of the scale. Halogen fryers are slightly more than a typical deep fat fryer, but there are added benefits that you won’t get with deep fat machines.
The hot air fryers are usually the most expensive. There are many manufacturers who make this type of fryer, so the price can vary according to make.
The type of fryer you choose really depends on the type of diet you have and what you will be using it for. Deep fat fryers are at the cheaper end of the market, but their use is more limited and their health benefits are not as good.
The hot air and halogen fryers are the healthier choice and can cook a wider variety of food. They also require a lot less cleaning and maintenance than the traditional products. That said, deep fat fryers usually cook quicker than the other types, but some of this is because it has a limited range of foods to choose from.