During the pandemic, people started to cook from home more, and there was a rise in the use of more specialized kitchen appliances like air fryers. Air fryers are popular because they are generally quite affordable, they require as much oil (if any) to cook as a traditional fryer does, and they heat food evenly and quickly. It makes cooking easier and healthier, but some people have concerns about whether air fryers are safe or whether they can be toxic.
Let’s find out.
What is an Air Fryer?
Before we discuss whether air fryers are toxic or not, let’s first discuss how an air fryer works and why people think it is a healthy alternative to deep fryers.
If you want to cook with less oil, getting an air fryer is a good solution. Air fryers circulate hot air efficiently to create a fried finish on foods with little to no oil. This air circulation creates a crispy texture to your food similar to a deep-fryer. Another perk of an air fryer is that they cook very quickly.
This is the reason why people consider air fryers as a healthy alternative to frying. People with busy lives find air fryers convenient because it helps them prepare home-cooked meals without having to spend as much time in the kitchen.
What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?
There is a lot of food you can cook in an air fryer – from air-fried chicken, buffalo cauliflower ‘wings’, and baked potatoes to doughnuts, kale chips, and traditional chips. There are also air fryers that are multi-function – you can reheat, bake, roast, dehydrate and grill food. If you are planning to get one, be sure to check the functionality that suits your needs!
You can check out the collection of air fryer recipes here for a bit of inspiration for your next meal.
Benefits of an Air Fryer
When the pandemic started, you probably noticed people talking and posting about air fryers on their social media accounts. It has become a huge trend and according to Yahoo Finance, over 25 million air fryers were sold from January 2020 to December 2021 making it a must-have kitchen appliance.
Aside from making your life easier and healthier, let’s discuss further the benefits of having an air fryer at home.
Cooking in an air fryer requires little to no oil. Instead, it uses hot air circulation to cook your food quickly. This means you won’t need to buy as much oil for cooking if you use your air fryer regularly.
Save Time and Energy
An air fryer does its job by itself. You can do your house chores, check your social media feed or just take a time to rest because, with an air fryer, all you need to do is plug it in, put food inside, and wait for it to finish cooking.
No Oil Splatter
When cooking oil gets too hot and splatters on your skin, it can be quite unpleasant. If you don’t want to be on your toes every time you fry food, then get an air fryer – there is no danger of oil splatter.
No Unwanted Smells
This is one of the many benefits that air fryer users love. No more unwanted smells in your house when cooking. The smell cooking certain foods can linger for hours in your house. Air fryers work within a frying basket so the smell does not fill the air.
Deep-fried food tends to be high in fat and a higher intake of deep-fried foods has direct links to obesity risk. Using an air fryer can help decrease your intake of food that is high in fat. Aside from not needing to add oil before cooking, air fryers also drain grease from whatever you are cooking. As you reduce oil intake, you lower the risk of having adverse health conditions.
Easier to Clean
Since you are not using oil for cooking in an air fryer, it does not leave much mess after each usage. Cleaning an air fryer is not difficult, you just simply need to pull the air fryer apart, wash it with soap and water and store it.
Are Air Fryers Toxic? Here’s What You Need to Know
Now that we talked about the benefits of an air fryer, let’s discuss whether air fryers are toxic or whether they are safe to use.
Despite all of the benefits, there has been a discussion about air fryers that might not be as good for our health. Are air fryers toxic? Let’s get to the truth.
Air fryers use hot air coils instead of oil in cooking food. There are compounds called “acrylamide” that are formed when food is cooked in oil. If you cook your food in an air fryer instead of cooking it with oil, you consume less of these compounds. Compounds like acrylamides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and heterocyclic amines are chemicals in meat cooked at high temperatures.According to National Cancer Institute, these compounds have associations with cancer including endometrial, ovarian, pancreatic, breast, and esophageal cancer.
So basically, air frying can help decrease your chance of certain diseases, such as cancer.
Do Air Fryers Have Radiation?
The debate over whether or not air fryers are toxic has been going on for years. Some people worry that once you heat your appliance, certain materials will release toxins into the air and make them sick.
Not all air fryer baskets are created equal – some come with non-stick surfaces that can release harmful toxins when heated up over time – even if they don’t look like it at first! A stainless steel basket is an excellent alternative when looking into buying an air fryer because it doesn’t contain any hazardous substances at all.
Do air fryers have radiation? The answer is no, air fryers do not emit radiation.
What are the Best Air Fryers on the Market?
If you are planning on buying an air fryer, look for non-toxic models. Non-toxic models are the ones without PFAS substances coatings, commonly referred to as “forever chemicals”. The non-stick coating of air fryers contains these substances and as a result, they are very easy to clean, but PFAS substances are not healthy and can cause long-term health issues. This is why some people argue that air fryers are toxic.
Many of the highly-rated brands of air fryers on the market today contain PFAS, which can also be found on pots and pans, bakeware, and other kitchenware that have non-stick coatings.
If you are looking for the best air fryers in the market that are non-toxic, look for brands that are PFAS-free and FDA-approved.
Air frying is healthier than deep-fat cooking because you use less oil and you’re not exposed to harmful fats. However, some negative aspects should be considered when choosing this method over other types of cooking.
Air fryers can make our lives easy and convenient, but whether it produces healthier food or not is still in debate.
Are air fryers toxic? There is not much study and research on the effects of air-fried food at the present, but health experts generally recommend that people limit their intake of fried food because of the risks of certain health problems.
Air frying your food doesn’t automatically mean it is healthier than other food cooked differently. There are other cooking methods that you can use such as grilling, baking, oven roasting, and pan-searing. Be sure to include these methods in your daily cooking routine as well.