STANDARD VS COMBO UNIT AIR FRYERS – WHICH TYPE IS BEST?
Which type Air fryer is best for me? That is the question you should ask yourself if you are wanting to buy one. After all, choosing an air fryer means determining how you are most likely to use it. Since there are now several different types of air fryers with various additional functions, it may pay you to research it a bit first.
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Combo Units Vs the Standard Air Fryer
It seems like every new kitchen appliance coming out is adding an air fry function. If you have an Instant Pot then you can get a special lid for it that turns it into an Air Fryer.
Countertop convection ovens are being re-designed to have more air power in order to compete in the Air Fryer craze. Some of them do really well.
Grills used to be just grills. Now an indoor grill can also be a highly effective air fryer. I mention two of them below.
Today I noticed that even microwave ovens are coming out with the air fry feature. I have not had a chance to research that one yet.
Then there is the standard air fryer that comes in multiple sizes and includes different functions.
Choosing the best Air Fryer type for you means balancing cost with the functions that you will actually use.
Therefore, the real question is which functions will fit your needs the best. I hope this page helps you discover that answer.
Air Fryer Convection Toaster Oven Combo
Maybe you use your countertop convection or toaster oven a lot but find that it lacks the ability to create crispy air fried foods. Air Fryers have the ability to create “crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside” foods. Unless your convection oven has super convection like the Breville in this post it may not be able to make crispy and tender fries.
Ninja’s 10 in 1 Air Fryer is a good choice in the Air Fryer Oven category
This extra large air fryer oven will not only Air Fry to perfection but it also toasts, bakes, roasts, dehydrates and even has several special settings for convenience. It will do everything that most toaster ovens will do and more.
This model (there are two) even includes a temperature probe to help you get things exactly right with ease.
Of course, there are a lot of other good brands out there for you to choose from. Because of the quality and dependability I also want to include these in the Air Fry Oven category.
My son and his family has the PowerXL Air Fryer Oven and they are very happy with it. Chuck even says that the best steaks he has ever eaten were cooked in this oven. As for the Cuisinart, I have no personal experience with that one but do know some famous people who have chosen this one. They get great results as well.
PowerXL Air Fryer Oven 10 QT with 8-in-1 Cooking Presetss (Black)View on AmazonCuisinart Airfryer, Convection Toaster Oven, SilverView on Amazon
Air Fryer Grill Combo
An Air Fryer Grill is a good combo to have. It will make excellent grilled steaks or burgers and air fry your other foods to perfection. Surprisingly you can also use it to bake or roast foods.
Even though I had a nice little George Foreman grill, I did not use it often enough to keep it on the countertop. You know what happens then… You rarely use it.
I also had a toaster oven and a standard air fryer. Hence the lack of counter space. I was using the air fryer a lot but also was using my convection oven and occasionally the grill.
As luck would have it my best friend had a Ninja 5 in 1 air fryer grill combo and he wanted to upgrade to a larger one with a temperature probe. Guess who got the Ninja Foodie 5 in 1 Air Fryer Grill?
Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 4-qt. Air Fryer, Roast, Bake, Dehydrate Indoor Electric GrillView on AmazonNinja Foodi Smart XL Extra Large 6-in-1 Multi-Purpose Indoor GrillView on Amazon
Yep! It has now replaced my older smaller grill and my standard air fryer. (They went to good homes) I still use the toaster oven for some things but this one appliance does most of my cooking these days. I absolutely love it.
It is a quick way to prepare my meals and have them come out with a delicious taste. Reheating French fries or pizza in this has much better results than reheating in the microwave. Who likes limp fries or soggy pizza crust?
Steak, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, veggies, and even baked goods like cookies and biscuits turn out perfect in this machine.
What is the difference between these two models? The 6 in 1 includes a stay in temperature probe which you can use or not (your choice). It also is a rectangular layout instead of square. That allows you to cook 6 hamburgers at a time instead of 4. The extra feature that makes it a 6 in 1 is the included broil feature. that is nice for simply toasting things.
Standard Type Air Fryer
Maybe you want to ease into the air fryer life style. You have other appliances that you love and want to keep. You only need a basic air fryer. There is nothing wrong with that. My first air fryer served me well but it was basic and about all that I could do with it was air fry or warm up my foods. It also is the least expensive option and the easiest to learn how to use.
If you choose this style be sure you get one that is large enough to fit your lifestyle. the standalone usually can cook enough for only a couple of people at a time. If cooking for more then you will have to do several batches.
The most popular standard stand alone air fryer is the Power XL. If your main purpose is to air fry your foods and make enough for one or two people at a time… This might be ideal for you.
I did try to do some baking in this one and my biscuits and cake did turn out well. The shape of the standalone air fryers though do limit how much you can put in since you really do need to do single layer for more even cooking. If you are doing multi layers of French fries you will need to shake the basket every little bit or some will be done before the others.
10 Things You Didn’t Know the Air Fryer Could Make
This video is a good illustration of how to use both the air fryer lid and also the standard air fryer. The main differences in the other appliances are the additional functions and/or larger size to cook more at a time. You should enjoy this video and it might just make you hungry. This lady is a good cook.
Cooking Times in an Air Fryer
There are two very helpful suggestions on the use of air fryers I will share here. However much time you are used to needing for your foods to cook… check early and often. Air fryers cook quickly. Yes, some more than others but you need to watch while you are getting used to yours.
The other suggestion is when you are cooking using a temperature probe, be aware that the probe allows for resting time. It will automatically cut the oven off before the desired doneness level you choose. Things like steak will continue to cook after the oven is turned off. They will continue to cook for several minutes after you take them out of the oven as well. If you are planning to serve immediately, your steak may not be done enough.
Conversely, if you wrap a completely done steak (to your liking) in foil to rest while you serve your salad… that steak will continue to cook and may be very well done and not medium rare. Just remember this and allow 5 minutes of resting time to achieve your preferred level of doneness.
Dehydrating can be done in most types of Air Fryers
If you only want to dehydrate a few items at a time, you can do that in most air fryers. However, since foods need to be in a single layer, the air fry oven is the better choice for this as most of them have space for 3 racks instead of just one.
Just remember that dehydrating foods takes several hours and you may not want to tie up your air fryer that long.
No matter which style you choose, there are plenty of choices in each. The ones presented on this page are simply brands that I am familiar with and know that they are good. So think it over as to which type of Air Fryer will work best for you. The standalone will be the simplest to use. The combination units though are pretty simple as well. What do you need (or want) to replace? How many people do you usually cook for at a time? Do you grill a lot or need an indoor grill? The choices are up to you. Hope that we have helped you make an informed choice.
Have a great day.