V for Life

Air fryers: are they worth the hype?

Posted by Ollie on 09/03/23 in Recipes

Air fryers are very popular at the moment. I get lots of questions about them when delivering demos – how they can save money and achieve great results in the kitchen. I haven’t had much experience with them personally. However with the cost-of-living soaring and my parents (both in their early 70s) recently investing in their second air fryer, I decided to investigate a little further. 

I asked my Dad why he got one.

He told me: ‘’It saves money. Heats up quicker than an oven. We’ve hardly had the oven on since buying it. Anything you can do in the oven you can do in the air fryer, even bake cakes! The only thing it won’t do is rice.’’  

This is certainly true. Air fryers often take about half the time of a traditional oven because of a smaller cooking chamber and the way in which they use super convection (an intense fan blowing heat into food). My Dad confirmed that his cooks at a lower temperature and cooking times are drastically reduced. He now has a two-basket air fryer enabling him to cook two things at the same time at different temperatures. 

Recovering from a recent heart bypass he also told me, “Air fryer cooking is healthier; the amount of oil you use is minimal.’’  

This again is true in the sense that air fryers were designed to create a healthier way to cook deep-fried foods, however they do not replace some traditional methods of preparing foods, such as roasting and grilling. Since air fryers require a fraction of the oil that deep fryers need, people can have a healthier meal that has similar flavours and textures associated with traditional ways of frying. 

Lowering oil intake can be beneficial for health. Scientists have linked intakes of fat from vegetable oil to a variety of health conditions, including an increased risk of heart disease and higher levels of inflammation.   

Another benefit my Dad mentioned was that: ’’It’s also easy to clean and you don’t get much smell. You can even get parchment liners for less mess.” 

I asked him what his favourite veggie things to cook were and he said: ‘’Vegetable spring rolls, crispy potatoes – wedges and baked potatoes, and crispy broccoli. You can also do an entire English breakfast (veggie, of course)."

Having spent a day playing with the air fryer, I have to say it is a novel, fun and precise way of achieving results. However, I would say it isn’t something that I would use every day. But when you want to create crispy textures in foods and don’t want all the detrimental effects associated with using large amounts of oil and deep frying then it is a great choice. 

Vegan Potato Wedges with a Vegan Cheese Sauce 

Serves: 2 
Time to prepare: 05 mins 
Time to cook: 17 mins 
Dietary requirements: Halal, Kosher, Vegan  


For the potatoes 

  • 450g/16 oz potatoes 
  • 1 tsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper 
  • ½ tsp garlic powder 

For the cheese sauce 

  • 70 grams/2.5 oz raw cashews 
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder 
  • ½ tsp paprika 
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast  
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 
  • 50–100ml water 
  1. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C for 3 minutes.  
  2. Wash the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into wedges and transfer them to a mixing bowl.  
  3. Add the oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss to coat. Transfer the potatoes to the air fryer. Cook for 15 minutes, shaking halfway through the cooking time. 
  4. Combine the cashews, turmeric, paprika, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice in a high-speed blender. Blend on low, slowly increasing the speed and adding the water until you achieve a thick, cheesy consistency. 
  5. Transfer all to an air fryer safe pan, drizzling the cheese sauce over the potato wedges. Place the pan in the air fryer and cook for a couple more minutes. 

Vegan Mexican Corn Ribs

Serves: 2
Time to prepare: 05 mins
Time to cook: 15 mins
Dietary requirements: Halal, Kosher, Vegan


  • 2 corns on the cob
  • 1 tsp Mexican or taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 200g  vegan feta cheese, crumbled
  • Bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C for 3 minutes.
  2. Rinse and clean the corn. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the corn into quarters, lengthways.
  3. Make sure the vegan butter is at room temperature, then make a spread by adding in the Mexican seasoning, garlic powder, smoked paprika and salt.
  4. Spread the butter mixture over each corn piece and place them in the air fryer. Cook for up to 15 minutes on a high heat until charred and crispy.
  5. Place the ‘ribs’ in a bowl, sprinkle over the vegan feta and coriander, and squeeze over the lime juice. Serve.

We hope that this has inspired you to get experimenting with your air fryer at home.


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