The air fryer is one of the most revolutionary equipment to grace the kitchen. Its selling point is its oil-less cooking, which makes it a choice for many who are into healthy eating. Food cooked from this cooker is also tasty, with an exceptional browning, which you will mostly notice on meat dishes or potatoes.
A relatively fast cooking rate is another feature that makes it the perfect addition to any cooking area. However, before you get it, or if you have it, you should know its disadvantages to understand how to maximize its perks.
Before going to the disadvantages of the air fryer, let us understand what it is.
What Is An Air Fryer?
The air fryer is a small cooker that simulates deep frying but does not need any oil to cook. It has a coil heater that produces heat and a fan that helps circulate the heat to your food, giving it a distinctive browning and flavor, courtesy of the Maillard reaction.
One of the air fryer’s outstanding features is its compact build, which makes it easy to store as it does not take much space.
Disadvantages of the Air Fryer
1. Small Space
As earlier mentioned, the air fryer has a compact build, making it easy to handle and store when not in use. However, the small size is one of its major downsides, especially when you want to cook large food servings.
The standard-sized air fryer can serve 2-3 people, while the large ones cannot go past serving a family of five. Compared to other cookers, this is a very low capacity.
Another thing to note is that its basket cannot take large meals such as a full-grown chicken or turkey. The way out in such situations is to chop the food up and put them in turns, which can take a lot of time.
While you can go for the commercial-grade air fryers, the energy consumption can go overboard, and it will take much space in your kitchen due to their massive build.
2. Cleaning Is Hard
Another disadvantage of the air fryer that you should know is that cleaning can be a daunting task. This cooking appliance’s design makes it hard to access some areas and makes the entire maintenance process difficult.
A point to note when cleaning is that you have to go comprehensive with it; that is, you handle every component. Start with the basket, the pan, and then a dry clean on the outer shell. The pan and the basket are culprits for accumulating dirt, such as grime and food remnants.
The appliance’s small stature also does not help when maintaining its cleanliness. For your health, you have to clean it after every use, the same way you would do for other utensils.
When you compare cleaning it to other cookers, you can see it is not very easy.
3. Food Tastes Differently
Cooking with oil adds some taste to the food, making it both crunchy and juicy. Some oils, such as olive or coconut oil, will twist the flavor. With the air fryer, you do not use oil, which is a benefit, mostly to those who want to eat healthily. The downside is that they miss out on the texture that oil adds to food.
The cooker prepares food via convectional currents and gives it the crunchiness you may want; however, you will notice that the taste is different. Compared to food prepared by the deep fryer, for example, the food from the air fryer seems dryer.
The taste may also be plain, especially for starchy foods such as potatoes.
4. Not Suitable For Preparing Some Foods
Still, on the issue of meals getting into this cooker, there are some that you cannot cook with the air fryer. Some of the foods include large meal servings, such as large meat cuts. You shouldn’t put battered food in this utility.
While you might want that crispy battered coating on your food, the wet batter can mess up the pan, and as you know, cleaning is hard. The batter may drip onto the heating element. For the dried up batter, the crispy pieces may fly off to when the fan is running.
Leafy vegetables should not go into the cooker as they can dry out or fly off during cooking. These are just some of the foods you should not cook in this appliance. The user manual can guide you on other things not to put in it.
5. The Cooking Time
The air fryer might be a fast cooker than traditional ovens such as the stove, but when put side to side with other cooking implements, it is relatively slow. It has an average cooking time of around 7-15 minutes, depending on the meal you are preparing, with some taking over 30 minutes to be ready.
Then there is the preheating sequence before you put your meal in the air fryer. Preheating will take around 5 minutes for the cooker to be ready for the meal you want to cook. This is a long time, which can be longer if the utility has some faults.
Learn More: Can I Use an Air Fryer as a Food Dehydrator?
For instance, making fries in the air fryer can take up to 20 minutes, while the deep fryer will only take half the time. However, the time factor depends on the model, with some models having some modifications to speed up cooking time.
6. Risk of Food Burning
This kitchen equipment uses high temperatures in food preparation, which can reach 400-degrees Fahrenheit. It is ideal heat to cook most foods, especially meat dishes, though there is the risk of burning, especially if it does not have an alarm.
Most older models lack the alarm, and your keenness is vital if you do not want burnt food. The risk is much higher in vegetables, which unlike poultry or beef, have no residual fats to act as a buffer against the heat.
7. Repairs Are Difficult
When looking at repairs being hard, this is an issue that affects most electrical equipment. The problem can occur in the wiring system, the fan, or the heating element. If it is on the wiring unit, identification is easy, and you can sort it out with a blade and duct tape.
Things take a turn for the worse if the problem is in the cooking chamber, as pointing out the problem is not easy. The issue may be on the control panel, the fan, or the heating element.
In such a situation, you will need to bring in a technician who is conversant with cooking equipment to rectify the problem. The costs of repair may not be too friendly to your pockets.
8. Failed Dishes
While failed dishes are not a common occurrence when air frying your foods, it is something you to expect. There are occasions where the food will not cook to your expectations. It is more of a trial and error when using the air fryer, especially if you are a beginner.
The issue of failed dishes comes to play when the air fryer does not preheat for the required time. The situation is most evident when preparing cheese dishes, where the cheese can stick on to the pan, creating a huge mess.
9. High Electricity Consumption
Another downside is its high energy consumption. When you get this cooking equipment, prepare yourself for skyrocketing electricity bills, which might leave a dent in your pocket.
The standard air fryer has an energy rating of 1500 watts, which is relatively high for kitchen equipment. To factor this value, a large microwave has a rating of 1100-1600, making the air fryer on the higher side when it comes to consumption.
You may decide to go for air fryers with lower consumption; however, their performance will below.
10. Not Beginner-Friendly
The air fryer may be quite hard for a beginner to operate, especially if they cannot understand the manual’s instructions. A challenging area is on the controls and fixing the basket. The good thing is that after a few trial and error sessions, they can operate it well.
Still, on beginner-friendliness, cleaning is an issue, as earlier mentioned, something that can stress you out if you are new to it.
11. The Air Fryer Is Expensive
Another one of the disadvantages of air fryer is its cost. When you look at the various outlets that stock it, you will notice that the price is very high. The cheapest unit will go for around $45 and may go up to $300 for commercial grade varieties.
This is so expensive, especially when put it side by side with other cookers such as deep fryers or microwaves, which go for a fraction of the price. There are cheaper units, though they may not be very efficient and they may also be small.
12. Noise Emission
The air fryer’s ventilator is a vital component that sucks in the air that circulates heat in the cooking chamber. When the excess air leaves the cooker via an exhaust, it produces a lot of sounds that can be a nuisance.
The sound emitted may vary from model to model, with some being extra low. One thing to know is that there will be noise when the air fryer is running.
13. Unpleasant Smells
The air fryer can be smelly at times; more so in the case of burnt foods. If you cook smelly foods such as overstayed seafood, you should expect a nasty stench, which can fill the entire cooking area.
If you want to deal with the smell, ensure the air fryer is clean and only put in fresh foods. Also, check on the temperature controls to prevent the food from burning.
Other disadvantages of the air fryer can be a short cable, something you can beat by using an extension. You may also need various accessories for cooking various meals, which the air fryer does not come with on purchase. Acquiring these accessories might be pricy.
Air Fryer Health Disadvantages
The air fryer has the learning point of cooking healthy meals, which is evident through its oil-less cooking method. Even so, is the air fryer all that healthy? Like any electric equipment, it also has some downsides, and some lie in the health aspect. Let us look at some health disadvantages of the air fryer.
Missing Out On Nutrients
When cooking with the air fryer, you do not use any oil. This seems to be an advantage considering the association oils and fats have with conditions such as hypertension and obesity. Despite this ill association, oils have several nutrients that you may miss out like vitamins E and K.
The Cancer Question
Studies show that using this cooking appliance presents minimal chances of getting cancer, though it depends on the food you put into it. If you put acidic foods and an aluminum wrapping, the aluminum may leach onto your food and increases your consumption of this metal.
A high aluminum level has a link to conditions such as Alzheimer’s and fertility issues. There is still no clear indication if high aluminum levels can cause cancer, though some reports associate it with breast cancer.
The Cleanliness Issue
From the highlighted disadvantages, one that may strike you is the difficulty in cleaning. Some people may overlook this necessary maintenance practice, though it is akin to shooting yourself on the foot.
Dirty cookers are a growth hub for various pathogens and may expose you to severe infections.
The air fryer is becoming an everyday utility in most kitchens due to its many benefits. Oil-less cooking, safety, and ease of use are some of the benefits to enjoy when you have this cooker gracing your kitchen countertop.
Despite having many pros, it also has several cons to know about. Highlighted are some of the disadvantages of the air fryer that you should know about when getting one. Always pay attention to its cleanliness for the best service with an assurance of healthy meals.