This Air Fryer Will Make You Ditch The Deep-Fryer

Grease isn't the word.

Most Popular[embedded content] Nov 21, 2017

The one and only time Hell's Kitchen chef Gordon Ramsay cooked for me, he didn't use a stovetop. Or oven. Or sous vide machine.

He served tiger shrimp over glass noodles, and he cooked them using a Philips Air Fryer. Yes, as in, the tabletop gadget that promises to cook food with less oil, giving you the flavor of fried food without the extra grease. At the time, he was blunt about his methods. Why was he cooking with it? Because they paid me a lot of money, he deadpanned, adding that he'd never rep anything he didn't actually believe in.

Air Fryer HorizontalChelsea LupkinAdvertisement - Continue Reading Below

At the time, I wrote it off as slick marketing. And then, during an interview with Paula Deen, she swore the biggest change she made to lose weight and live healthier was — dun dun dun! — buying an Air Fryer and cooking everything with it.

Philips AirFryerWilliams-Sonoma Most Popular

BUY IT NOW: Philips Air Fryer, $296; amazon.com

"It cooks the most incredible turkey breast you've ever put in your mouth," she said in an interview last fall. "I don't care how good my turkey breast is that I buy, it always turns out a little dry. But with [the Air Fryer], you slice into that turkey — I did last weekend, and the juice shot out and hit somebody!"

The Butter Queen trading in butter?! Again, I wrote it off as marketing. She does sell AirFryers on Evine, after all.

Air Fryer Horizontal FriesChelsea Lupkin

But, at this point, my curiosity was piqued enough to try it. Sure, a Michelin-starred chef like Ramsay could make shrimp taste great in the machine. What about the Average Joe? Or Average Candace?

I started the test simply, making French fries. And then sweet potato fries. Then zucchini fries. Clearly, I have a thing for fries. The edges got crispy and the centers were soft, only they weren't as greasy as the traditionally fried variety. And they're reportedly healthier: Air-Fried fries have 75 percent less fat than the traditionally fried kind, according to Mic.

From there, I dabbled with grilled and breaded chicken — the meat stayed juicy, and it cooked faster than the oven. The Air Fryer circulates hot air around the food, which sits in a basket at the bottom of the device, to quickly cook and crisp food without oil. Some recipes call for a light spritz of cooking spray, just to get things golden.

The Air Fryer isn't cheap — one can set you back $200 to $400 — and it'll take up a decent amount of cabinet or counter space, since it's roughly as big as a KitchenAid stand mixer. However, if you're looking for a quick way to make dinner without hitting up the drive-thru (and getting a healthier end result), this is the appliance to use. It was convincing enough to make me skip the line at McDonald's and make a medium fry at home, so in our book, it's worthy of a spot on this year's Delish Wish List.

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