The Great Airfryer Debate
My name is Shannon and I have a kitchen gadget problem. There, I said it. I LOVE kitchen gadgets. Seriously. But that’s not what you are here for. You want to know…is the airfryer worth it? Do you really need one? Short answer is probably no. First, let me tell you a bit about my airfryer experience and you can make your own decision.
I have had one sitting in my Amazon cart for months. The reason I finally pulled the trigger on the GoWise AirFryer was because I bought Skinnytaste’s most recent cookbook, One and Done that has recipe sections for popular cooking methods (Instant Pot, sheet pan, airfryer, slow cooker, etc.). Apparently, that was all I needed to rationalize spending more money on something that would take up even more space in my little kitchen. You may be wondering why I went with the GoWise brand….mostly because it was relatively cheap. That way if I didn’t really like it, it wasn’t the end of the world.
It arrived on my doorstep from Amazon. It is giant. Like really big. Which isn’t that much different than the Actifry. Both are large and in charge. When you start to use it and look inside, you can see that they are quite different in how they work. I think both use air but the Actifry uses a paddle, whereas the airfryer uses a perforated basket.
My first recipe from the book using the airfryer was a “Fried” Chicken sandwich. When I actually started using it, I could see the benefit of it over an Actifry. The biggest benefit to using the airfryer is that it has the ability to set the temperature. However the downfall to the GoWise model I bought, it can only be programmed in 10 degree increments. When the recipe called for something to be cooked at 365, I had to choose either 360 or 370. Not the end of the world, just something to know. It also comes with some pre-programmed buttons such as chicken, fries, etc. but I used the manual function.
The fried chicken sandwich was exactly what I was hoping it would be. It was crunchy on the outside but juicy inside. The next recipe I made was a Tempura Shrimp Bowl. The shrimp was dipped in egg and coated with gluten-free panko. Again, it turned out great. So, in order to test it against the Actifry, I remade the recipe using the Actifry instead of the airfryer.
I had to take out the paddle from the middle of the Actifry so that my “breading” can crisp up and doesn’t get taken off by the turning. There are baskets you can purchase for the Actifry for this purpose. Since the Actifry doesn’t have heat settings, I had to guess as to when my shrimp was done. Similar to the airfryer, in order to crisp up both sides, I had to flip half way through cooking. The shrimp was better from the airfryer than the Actifry, however that could be partly due to having to guess when it was done and it being a bit overcooked. Full disclosure, my Actifry is older and not as fancy as some of the newer ones that have two cooking baskets or presets. I’m not sure the chicken burgers would have fit well into the Actifry basket.
Another consideration if you are thinking about an airfryer. The capacity. There are different sizes of airfryers and if you have a large family to feed, it may take two cooking batches in order to get everything prepared to feed everyone. I was able to cook 4 chicken burgers at once in the airfryer I have. However the shrimp dish required more batches to cook.
You may be asking yourself if you really need either an Actifry or an airfyer…and the answer to that is also probably no. However, if you are anything like me (you like to eat healthy but still enjoy things like french fries) then I would say that having on would allow you to still eat some of those foods that you enjoy but in a more healthy way.
Long story short, the biggest benefit to the airfryer over the Actifry is the ability to set the temperature which I believe helps contribute to a better tasting outcome. I will definitely keep my airfryer, even though it takes up a lot of space in my little condo. If you were to invest in something though, it would be an Instant Pot. All the way.