Paul has been passionate about preparing, cooking, and eating healthy food for over 30 years. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.
Air fryers have become extremely popular in recent times, due mainly to their ability to produce food that is similar to traditionally fried food, but with very little fat content. This can help to promote weight loss and has wider health benefits.
Air fryers are also safer to use than traditional fat fryers, as there is no large pool of hot oil to splash out or spill, which can potentially cause scalding accidents.
Although they are primarily designed to rival traditional fryers, most air fryers are also capable of roasting, grilling, and baking food—making them a very versatile addition to a kitchen.
A good air fryer should be:
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Attractive in appearance
- Safe to use
- Versatile when it comes to cooking
- Well designed and constructed
- Offer excellent value for money
Top 3 Stainless Steel Air Fryers
Here are my 3 recommendations for the best air fryers made from stainless steel:
- The COSORI: Powerful and efficient
- The Innksky: Large enough to feed up to four people
- Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer: Easy to use
I will explain in more detail the reasons for my choices below.
1. The COSORI: Powerful and Efficient
I've been using a COSORI air fryer in my home office for almost a year now. It's great for cooking up a quick and healthy snack when I get hungry and it doesn't take up too much counter space in my small kitchen area.
It cost me just under $130 when I bought it online and overall, I'd say it's been worth every penny.
Pros of the COSORI:
- Easy to use. You just set it to one of the nine presets.
- Versatile enough to cook many food types, I've used it fry chicken, make fries, burgers, and many other things.
- It has an auto shut-off, which is useful for someone like me who can easily get distracted and forget that it's on.
- The stainless steel design makes the machine straightforward to keep clean and the basket is dishwasher safe.
- It's attractive to look at, which may not be a priority for some, but it's important to me.
Cons of the COSORI:
- Mine had a plastic smell when it arrived, which I didn't like, so I ran it for a couple of hours at 400 degrees with some water in it. That did the trick and it's been great ever since.
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2. The Innksky: Large Enough to Feed up to 4 People
We used to have an Innsky 5.8QT in the kitchen as out main fryer—but our daughter loved it so much that we decided to let her take it when she went to college, and we bought ourselves a replacement (see below).
She uses it to feed her college friends and herself and it's apparently a big hit.
Pros of the Innsky 5.8QT:
- The square basket design gives you plenty of space.
- There are seven different presets and you have the ability to grill, bake, and roast food.
- This machine produces tasty food. This was my first air fryer and I wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up being very happily surprised.
- The stainless steel design is both nice to look at and practical.
- It makes a great gift. We bought one for my sister-in-law for her birthday and she loves it.
- Auto shut-off makes it safe to use.
- Very easy to clean without lots of oil splashing everywhere.
Cons of the Innsky 5.8QT:
- There's no preheat feature, you always need to run it for two or three minutes to warm it up before you start cooking.
- As with the COSORI, I would advise running it for a time with just some water in it when you first get it to remove any smell from the plastic housing. I would recommend this treatment for any brand new air fryer.
3. Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer: Easy to Use
My wife and I currently have an Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 as our main air fryer in the kitchen, and we couldn't be happier. It produces crispy, delicious food that's far healthier than a traditional deep fat fryer and it's very straightforward to use.
Pros of the Instant Vortex:
- Very simple to use and easy to clean.
- The EvenCrisp technology gives the food a crispy exterior and a tender inside, while using hardly any oil in the process.
- Large capacity. I can make two pounds of fries in one go.
- It heats up quickly.
- The controls are very straightforward. There are six built-in smart programs enabling you to roast, bake, broil, reheat and dehydrate.
- It has a stylish appearance.
Cons of the Instant Vortex:
- Unlike other air fryers I've bought, this model came with no recipes included, and the instructions that came with it were very brief.
Why Are Air Fryers Healthier?
Air fryers work by blowing super heated air around a food item to produce a similar level of crispiness that you would expect to find in traditional fried foods. They achieve this by extracting high-fat and high-calorie oils from the cooking process.
This essentially means that edibles can be produced with the characteristics of fried cuisine, but with much lower levels of fat, making the food healthier. This makes air fryers particularly good for enabling weight loss and healthy living generally.
All cookery produces chemical reactions, which affects things like the taste, color, and texture of the food. Air frying makes use of a process known as the Maillard effect to create tasty fare that can rival traditional frying.
What Foods Can't Be Cooked in an Air Fryer?
There are numerous foods that don't work well. Here are some examples:
- Cheese (gets messy when placed in basket, unless you use a layer of protection)
- Muffins (they tend to go crispy on the outside and hard on the inside)
- Battered foods (don't put any wet batter in the air fryer)
- Leafy greens like spinach (they don't cook evenly)
- Rice (theoretically possible but difficult to get right)
- Eggs (they tend to go rubbery in my experience)
© 2020 Paul Goodman