HEALTHY FOOD CAN BE TASTY TOO
We have been reviewing low fat fryers, also known as health fryers and jet fryers for several year now. These remarkable devices have proven to be very popular. This is not only due to the health benefits of frying with little or no oil but also the convenience of fast cooking with very little fuss, odour and mess to clean up.
People are much more conscious about the health problems of too much fried food but enjoy the taste. Low fat fryers use little or no oil but still provide the taste that people are used to. Healthy low fat fryers are now officially the most desirable new purchase for the kitchen. By now you will probably at least have seen one of the health fryer ranges, or possible know someone who owns one. This section is for those people who are interested in finding out more about low fat fryers and who may even be ready to make a purchase. We explain all you need to know about Low Fat Fryers and how these differ from Halogen Ovens, which are often confused but definitely not the same.
Low Fat Fryers and Halogen Ovens continued to be one of the best selling kitchen appliances in 2017/18, which is why we have put together the most comprehensive reviews available. It is hard to imagine fried food without the deep fat fryer and the associated pan of oil but that is exactly what these healthy low fat fryers do. These AirFryers ‘fry’ your food without needing a pan of oil. Not only does this result in a healthy fryer but the no oil fryer is a safe fryer since you don’t need to boil a pan of oil in the kitchen.
Deep fat fryers were an improvement on the original chip pan in terms of safety but still presented a fire hazard. The low fat fryer or air fryer removes this risk, making the kitchen a safer environment. The choice used to be Tefal versus Breville but things have progressed far beyond this with other suppliers entering the market such as Philips & Duronic etc.
COMPARISON OF THE BEST AIR FRYERS AND LOW FAT FRYERS
In our low fat fryer reviews we have used and reviewed all of the main air fryers and low fat fryers on the market and compiled the following comparison chart. Simply click on the relative buttons in order to read our review or head straight on to find a great deal. If you are interested in Halogen Ovens, we have compiled a comparisons of halogen ovens section so you might want to check that out because although not strictly speaking low fat fryers, many halogen ovens do a great job at frying chips but with more versatility. If you are really unsure about whether you want a low fat fryer or halogen oven then read our straight-forward article which explains everything you need to know – Choosing a low fat fryer or halogen oven.
OUR TOP LOW FAT HEALTH FRYERS
TEFAL ACTIFRY PLUS HEALTH FRYER
The Tefal Actifry Plus Health Fryer produces exceptional results and in our tests the Tefal ActiFry range produced the best chips of any fryers. Very well built and the only low fat fryers to include rotating paddles and transparent lid.Price: £136.67 Was: £229.99 (-41%)
Tower T17004 AirWave 8 Litre Digital Air Fryer, Turbo Air Technology
The Tower T17005 3.2 Litre Low Fat Healthy Air Fryer with Rapid Air Circulation is priced low but does not perform as well as some of its rivals.Price: £59.95 Was: £129.99 (-54%)
Swan SD90010N 3.2L Low Fat Healthy Air Fryer with Rapid Air Circulation
The Swan SD90010N 3.2 Litre Low Fat Healthy Air Fryer with Rapid Air Circulation looks fantastic, is reasonably prices and produces acceptable resultsPrice: £59.99
Low Fat Fryers Use Less Oil
Whilst these are sometimes referred to as no oil fryers, they do require some oil but only a little. This is probably the single most important reason why people are switching to them in their thousands. Less oil or no oil fryers means healthy fryers. When cooking, add only a small spoon of oil. Frozen chips come already pre-coated so requires none at all.
The low fat fryer is healthy and has definitely made its mark but just how good is it at frying your favourite food? Well, we have tried several of these and we can report that not all health fryers are the same. Some work differently, some produce better results and others have additional features. Some produce perfect chips and some are frankly disappointing. So, if you are considering replacing your deep fat fryer o ear fed up with the taste of oven chips you should read on.
How do Airfryers or Low Fat Fryers Work?
The original Tefal ActiFry Health Fryer hit the market in 2006, together with Breville’s Halo Health Fryer. The Breville had a rotating basket set at an angle which allowed the food to be basted in a pool of hot oil. This meant that the contents were fried in hot oil but didn’t sit in the oil during the whole process. The Tefal had a round pan with a rotating paddle to stir the food during cooking. These rotating low fat fryers were the first and still exist. Low fat fryers heat the food using a powerful heater with a strong fan to maintain a consistent temperature, hence ‘Airfyer’. To avoid burning the food, the contents are coated in oil but you only require a small spoonful of oil for the whole pan – hence the term ‘low fat fryers’ or ‘no oil fryers’. If you are using frozen chips (fries) then you don’t require the oil as frozen chips are already pre-coated in oil. In fact, unlike deep fat fryers, we found that frozen chips tasted better than home cut chips but not significantly.
Some models provide a rotating paddle which ensures the food is moved around and therefore evenly distributed. Others have the rotating paddle as an option (some foods don’t need one such as fish) and others don’t have one at all. In our tests, those that don’t have a rotating paddle (e.g. Philips) performed worst when cooking chips (fries) unless you shook them mid-way through like you would with a deep far fryer. This is as because without the paddle they cooked unevenly resulting in some burning and some remaining ‘firm’.
The capacity of the low fat fryers is also a consideration depending on your family size. Most of these can cope with 1KG of contents which is about the same size as a family bag of frozen chips (fries) and on par with deep pan fryers. You can also find 1.7KG capacity fryers but these are more expensive. The Tefal Actifry 2 in 1 has the option to use a second tier for cooking food. In this configuration you can place meat at the top and potatoes at the bottom. These larger low fat fryers are encroaching into the halogen oven space. If capacity is an issue then the halogen oven would be a good option.
Health Benefits of Air Frying
Since the low fat fryers use less fat, they earn their name ‘healthy fryers’. We cannot provide any hard facts about the difference compared to a deep fat fryer but some manufacturers claim that the there is an 85% less consumption of fat with the low fat fryer compared to the deep fat fryer. There are further benefits to be had since the oil is not reused as it tends to be in deep fat fryers. This means the oil does not become rancid. Rancid oil is formed by heating and re-heating and is responsible for free radicals. These free radicals are responsible for a range of illnesses including cancer. Whichever way you look at this, low fat fryers can only be good for those looking to reduce their fat intake for themselves and their families.
Low fat fryers take slightly longer to cook than standard deep fat fryers – about 20 to 25 minutes depending on the model and quantity of food. However, they do warm up much quicker than deep fat fryers and so what you loose with one you gain with the other.
Our air fryer reviews have demonstrated that the low fat fryer / no oil fryer / Airfryer provides a healthy and viable alternative to the deep fat fryer. It cooks great looking and tasting chips (fries) without the health hazards often associated with deep fat frying. It can take slightly longer to cook but can be left to get on with it unlike traditional deep fat fryers fryers. However, some are definitely better than others and we do recommend you check our reviews before buying.