If you have a small kitchen but want the time savings of a microwave the air fryer might be a brilliant alternative. Having just updated my tiny kitchen I wanted to try and integrate a microwave but I’ve not had one for so long… and worktop space is precious in a small kitchen.
Where would I put the microwave? They’re big and take up counter space.
I’d also been hearing all the hype about air fryers… so with my birthday coming up I wondered which of these modern gadgets would work best for my current situation.
First you need to think, what do you need it for? and will you use it if you get one?
I have a ‘One pot’ cooker that I was given and it’s never made it out of the box yet! (Sorry Cory… it might bet an airing in 2023)
So here’s my research, maybe you could ditch the microwave and just have an air fryer?
Reasons to get a microwave
If you’re like me, most of things you use the microwave for are limited, simple tasks. e.g.
- Reheating meals
- Ready meals (Batch cooked by me)
- Jacket potatoes
So is this cumbersome large kitchen appliance really necessary?
What’s all the hype about air fryers?
Everyone is talking about Air Fryers. Two people I know have published air fryer cook books recently. So why are they soooo coveted?
- Zero or very low oil
- Cooks using air using clever technology
- Uses much less energy than your conventional oven
- Smaller than a microwave!
Can you compare microwaves with air fryers?
They are two very different kitchen beasts, but can you compare an air fryer with a microwave? They’re not really doing the same thing, but they are both there to speed up kitchen tasks and cook food faster. So here goes, how do they compare?
|Reheat meals||3-6 minutes depending on meal||2-3 minutes|
|Jacket potato||5-6 minutes but often shrivelled and never crispy||Beautiful crispy jacket spuds, like from the oven in xx|
|Cake in a mug||Quick, easy, tastes amazing! 3 minutes||It’s possible! Google says so|
|Cook/steam vegetables||Works, makes a lot of steam and you have to keep checking||Cook vegetables so they’re perfect in a fraction of the time|
|Defrost||Works but often sears the edges of the meat||Yes you can! in a fraction of the time|
|Cook meat||Not a great idea||Cooks meat as good as oven roasting|
|Chips||You can do special chip in bag/box ones. They’re ok||Amazing, crispy chips with no or very little oil required|
|Ready meals||What microwaves were made for||Not what air fryers were made for|
How do you choose an air fryer?
There is so much choice, and some can be quite large. I’ve looked at a number of reviews and top 10 lists, but so far it’s been hard to really work out which one is best. Being a single person I only really need a small one, though you can get family sized air fryers too.
I think they’re probably ideal for smaller meals, imagine cooking every element of a roast dinner in your air fryer and having to keep everything warm as you keep popping different things in. Yes it’s quick but that sounds like a faff. So some of the hype might be over egging the air fryer benefits, but they really do look cool, save on bills and cook things really quickly.
I’m going to be going into some actually shops to take a look and see what I like the look of and also doing some polls to find out what Air Fryer my friends recommend as literally everyone is talking about them. It looks like you can get a small one for around £60-£80, which is cheaper than I thought and certainly comparable to the price of a microwave.
Will air fryer recipes work if you have food allergies?
From my research, I’d say, 100% yes. Air fryer recipes tend to be quite simple so you can just substitute your safe milk, etc. and if you’re avoiding gluten, check out Becky’s recipes below.
There are loads of air fryer cook books out there so make sure you take a look inside before buying. You can do this on Amazon, so do your research. I’ve found two sources that should help you to get an idea as to whether an air fryer is for you:
Which air fryer cook book should you get?
I’ve noticed two people who I know and respect in the healthy eating, gluten free area who have been writing a lot about air fryer cooking; Jenny and Becky.
Air Fryer Cookbook by Jenny Tschiesche
(THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER): Quick, healthy and delicious recipes for beginners.
An air-fryer is the latest kitchen must-have and this is the recipe book to go with it! This nifty, counter-top appliance is similar to an oven, as it bakes and roasts, but the key difference is its heating elements are located at the top and are enhanced by a large, powerful fan. The result is food that’s crisp and delicious in no time and, most notably, it makes the perfect alternative to a deep-fat fryer for anyone adopting a healthier lifestyle. But air-fryers offer plenty of other benefits too: they require practically no heat up time, cook food fast and evenly, can be used away from home (making them popular for camping trips, staycations and student living), plus clean-up is easy too. Nutritionist Jenny Tschiesche has developed 101 tried-and-tested recipes to help you get the very best out of your air-fryer. Her appealing ideas take their inspiration from all styles of world cuisine, and there is something here to suit every occasion, from snacks and sides to complete meals and sweet treats.
Becky Excell on Instagram
Becky is another Sunday Times Best selling author who is also a blogger, food writer and gluten free recipe creator as she lives with coeliac disease.
She’s written a few gluten free cook books already and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an air fryer recipe book coming out soon.
Check out Becky on Instagram for loads of slow cooker and air fryer recipes. I’ve been following Becky for years and love her recipes. She does use other allergens but I think you could substitute and create most of her gluten free recipes without your food allergens.
Do you have an air fryer?
I would love to hear from you guys, do you have one? Will it work for me? even though I have food allergies? Which one is best? I’ve been going down rabbit holes of air fryer reviews for days and with the big birthday coming this could be the perfect gift to ask for. Watch this space for my air fryer adventures.
Kevin Tatham says
Are Air Fryer/Broilers safe to prepare food for people that have Celiac Disease? If all grills and pans are clean, are there residuals contained in the air circulation system that could contaminate the food if previously used for typical allergens like wheat, egg, seafood…?
Ruth Holroyd says
Hi Kevin, I think they are sealed units inside, so as long as well cleaned they should be safe. It all depends on the hygiene and cleaning of the person using it. However you raise a good question, as it works with air circulation… I need to research this further to be certain. If I get one for myself it will of course be mine and completely allergen free! I will ask my air fryer experts on this one! Watch this space.