An air fryer is a small countertop convection oven designed to simulate deep frying without submerging the food in oil.[1][2] A fan circulates hot air[1] at high speed, producing a crisp layer via browning reactions such as the Maillard reaction. Some product reviewers find that regular convection ovens or convection toaster ovens produce better results,[3][4][1] or say that air frying is essentially the same as convection baking.[5]

An air fryer


Interior of an air fryer

Air fryers circulate hot air to cook food that would otherwise be submerged in oil. The air fryer's cooking chamber radiates heat from a heating element near the food, and a fan circulates hot air.[1]

The original Philips Airfryer used radiant heat from a heating element just above the food and convection heat from a strong air stream flowing upwards through the open bottom of the food chamber, delivering heat from all sides, with a small volume of hot air forced to pass from the heater surface and over the food, with no idle air circulating as in a convection oven. A shaped guide directed the airflow over the bottom of the food. The technique was patented as Rapid Air technology.[6][7]

Traditional frying methods induce the Maillard reaction at temperatures of 140 to 165 °C (284 to 329 °F) by completely submerging foods in hot oil, well above the boiling point of water. The air fryer works by coating the food in a thin layer of oil and circulating air at up to 200 °C (392 °F) to apply sufficient heat to cause the reaction.[8]

Most air fryers have temperature and timer adjustments that allow more precise cooking. Food is typically cooked in a basket that sits on a drip tray. The basket must be periodically agitated, either manually or by the fryer mechanism. Convection ovens and air fryers are similar in the way they cook food, but air fryers are generally smaller and give off less heat.[2]


Convection ovens have been in wide use since 1945.[9]

In 2010, Philips introduced the Airfryer brand of convection oven at a consumer electronics fair in Berlin.[7] By 2018, the term "airfryer" was starting to be used generically.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Are air fryers worth it?". Wired. 2018-05-10. Archived from the original on 2019-03-19. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  2. ^ a b Clark, Melissa (April 1, 2019). "6 Tips for Using Your Air Fryer". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  3. ^ "Wirecutter's Worst Things for Most People", The Wirecutter, The New York Times November 24, 2020 Archived November 26, 2020, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "The Best Air Fryer Is a Convection Toaster Oven", The Wirecutter, The New York Times September 27, 2019 Archived September 26, 2020, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Sullivan, Michael (2022-03-22). "The Best Air Fryer". Wirecutter. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on 2020-09-26. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  6. ^ "What is Rapid Air Technology?". APDS. 10 June 2016.
  7. ^ a b "History of the Air Fryer". Archived from the original on 16 December 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  8. ^ McGee, Harold (2004). "The Maillard Reaction; Caramelization". On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Scribners. pp. 656–57, 778–79. ISBN 978-0-68480001-1.
  9. ^ "Everything You Need to Know about Convection Ovens & Air Fryers". Air & Water. Archived from the original on 2018-07-15. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  10. ^ "Has airfryer become a generic trademark?". Archived from the original on April 24, 2021. Retrieved February 17, 2021.

Further readingEdit