They’re the fancy kitchen contraption causing a culinary stir, and while air fryers might seem like a gimmicky one-use appliance (like that yoghurt maker gathering dust in the back of your kitchen cupboard), they’re a versatile machine.
Just ask Jake, the Aussie Tik Tok sensation, aka Air Fryer Guy, who’s made a living for his love of the appliance. “The air fryer should be a staple in everyone's kitchen. It’s one of those things that once you try it, you just need it,” he says.
Before we ask him for an expert’s breakdown of whether benchtop or in-built is best for you, a lowdown on how air fryers work: The fast-moving hot air has the effect of crisping the outside of whatever is in the air fryer (potatoes, pastry wrapped parcels etc.), while keeping the interior tender, with little to no oil required. Magic.
Here, Air Fryer Guy talks the benefits of an in-built AirFry oven option.
Pro 1: Size
An oven with in-built air fry is much bigger than a regular bench top air fryer so you can cook bigger portions for bigger families. The 90cm Multi-Function 10 Pyrolytic Oven with AirFry has two air fry trays, which can easily cook enough food for a group without having to swap out and keep warm. Remember, the key to making the food tastier as well is not overloading your air fryer. By leaving space between the food, it gives room to crisp. The Westinghouse AirFry oven has a bigger, broader area for the food, so the overall taste and texture is better.
Pro 2: Space
While the bench top air fryer is great if you want to make small portions, it does compete for valuable kitchen space. If you have a small kitchen like me, you might need that extra space for preparing meals.
Pro 3: Versatility
The air fryer’s options for cooking are almost limitless and an oven combined with an air fryer is just pure genius. All you have to do is press a button and you can go from baking to air frying. Plus, air fryers aren’t just for making food healthier – you can also cook your favourite comfort foods in almost half the time.
Pro 4: Convenient cleaning
The ability to put the air fry tray from the oven into the dishwasher makes cleaning so much easier and saves time. If you’ve got a bench top version, check that they’re dishwasher safe, otherwise the basket, tray and pan can be washed just like you would any other dish: with soap and warm water.
Pro 5: Visibility
The biggest difference between an in-built and bench top air fryer is the ability to see your food while it’s cooking. With most bench top air fryers you have to physically open the tray to check on your food, which messes with keeping a consistent temperature. Meanwhile with the oven, you can see your food through the glass panel to check progress, maintaining the heat.