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Ask the Readers | Help Kate buy an air-fryer!

Reader Kate/KD (here’s her Meet a Reader interview) wrote in with a request about air fryers.

Kate near a waterfall.

Here’s Kate!

Here’s what she wanted to know:

I’d love to see an ask the reader post on air fryers. What do people use them for, and like/dislike about them? Which fryer do they have? There are so many choices that it paralyzes me to think about buying one.

This is indeed a very good question for an Ask the Readers feature because…I have never owned or used an air fryer.

Japanese fried chicken

Not air-fried!

When air-fryers became popular, I was still feeding 5-6 people every night, so I was put off by the small amount of food you can usually cook in one.

Also: my kitchen was pretty small! As it was, I was storing my griddle in the linen closet and my grain grinder in the coat closet. So, I did not think my kitchen had room for an air fryer since they’re pretty bulky.

However, I can see that in the near future, I will be making plenty of meals that are just for 1-2 people, and that makes an air-fryer seem a little more appealing.

I will be reading and learning from the comments today. 🙂


What air fryer do you use? And what do you cook in it?

Give us pros and cons, please!

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Thursday 15th of December 2022

We have had a Ninja Foodi grill that has features that allow you to air fry, grill, roast, bake, and dehydrate. My mom and I both have one that has the additional feature of a temperature probe for meat. She has the larger one which is good for 3 adults. We have the smaller version that we find to be good for 2 adults. I keep some frozen chicken nuggets, mini tacos, French fries, wontons, and mini pizzas on hand to air fry for quick meal convenience. We use the air fry feature most often, but I really like that it's multi-use and it's one of the main small appliances we use almost every day (our coffeepot gets the award for most used appliance). I have a couple small pyrex baking dishes that fit in it and it's perfect for baking small casseroles and lasagna without needing to heat up our regular oven. I am not a fan of keeping small appliances on our counter, but this is one that has a reserved spot because of how often we use it.


Tuesday 13th of December 2022

Wow! Lots of great advice. I only have one more tip - and I didn't see it in the comments I read - put a piece of parchment on the bottom of the basket to catch the bulk of the grease/juice/cheese/whatever that does come out of the cooking item. Even easier to clean up. Just DO NOT start the air fryer with only the parchment inside - it will smoke and create chaos!

I have a Power XL - family of 4 - we use it mostly for the things that should be fried and aren't quite as tasty if baked in the oven: fries, tots, egg rolls, etc... Reheating pizza is a game-changer. And my favorite is whole sweet potatoes, they take 45+ min but are so tasty!

David Burrow

Thursday 8th of December 2022

Shortly after the COVID lockdowns started I bought the cheapest air fryer I could find on Amazon. It was under $70 and is a generic make ("Dash" brand). While the heating can sometimes be a little uneven, it generally works fine. I really don't see any reason to splurge on an expensive model. As a single person, I use the air fryer and a toaster oven much more than my actual oven. I especially like the crispiness that can be obtained with food in the air fryer. In addition to working with frozen foods, it will reheat leftovers without making them soggy like the microwave.


Thursday 8th of December 2022

I have a 4.5 qt ninja that I had never even opened for a year. Now I can't stop using it. Chick tenders, fries, pizza rolls, mozzarella sticks... related pizza tastes just like fresh. My greatest dish is my take out burrito. Cover open end with foil and reheat. Shell is crispy. Tastes better that original. I want the bigger 2 sided one next.


Thursday 8th of December 2022

I have had the Ninja Foodi 14 in 1 Flip oven for a year now and I LOVE it. It is an air fryer, dehydrates, cooks frozen pizza, bakes, hot griddle, toasts, reheats and so much more. It is large inside yet it flips up when not in use to free up counter space. I've used the air fry mode for chicken wings, baked potatoes, motz sticks, you name it and everything has come out delicious. This past summer I dehydrated a ton of herbs in it and it took less time than I could imagine. Everything tastes so good. We've never had a microwave but did have a small convection oven and toaster that this replaced giving us more counter space.

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