It is a myth that frying fish in oil and grease is the best way to cook it.
Most people are looking for healthier alternatives without having to sacrifice too much. Which makes sense given the health risks associated with deep-fried foods. One alternative: Air fryers!
They use hot air instead of heated oil, eliminating those pesky fats while cooking your food just as well. But how do you know if an air fryer will be effective? That’s why I created this guide to help you find the best one for cooking fish!
What Are the Limitations of an Air Fryer?
Air fryers are all the craze these days because everyone wants to be healthy. And it definitely does have a lot of benefits. But it also comes with some limitations that I feel you should know about before deciding to buy one for yourself.
1. You may have to cook in multiple batches
Because air fryers are smaller than conventional ovens there is a limited capacity to the amount of food you can cook in one sitting. You definitely should do multiple batches if it comes close to maxing out your air fryer’s ability to hold food.
So if you are cooking for a large family or hosting a party at your place, you will have to consider buying two air fryers.
You could also consider frying your food in batches and then storing the fried foods in the fridge and reheat it when needed (although I recommend eating freshly cooked food).
2. Air fryers do not work well with liquid batters or batter covers
If you are planning on cooking battered fish, this could be a problem for you. Because water tends to evaporate from the fish, they would become soggy if placed into an air fryer without being covered with a batter.
And even if there was some sort of batter covering left on them, that would not go well with an air fryer because it is too thin to protect the interior contents from drying out or burning up.
3. You should have enough space in your kitchen
If your kitchen is not spacious enough to store an air fryer then you might be better off using another type of appliance.
Or if you want a smaller one, I would recommend going for a mini air fryer. There are fewer limitations with those because they take up less space and can cook smaller food portions.
And if both of those options seem out of the question, I recommend investing in a mini oven instead since it does the exact same thing as an air fryer but can cook more food in one batch.
Things to Look For When Buying an Air Fryer
Now that you know the limitation of an air fryer, it is time to look at what things you should look for when shopping for one. Here is a list of things you should consider that I have compiled from personal experience.
You could very easily end up spending a lot of money on an air fryer if you are not careful. That is because the price range for air fryers and their accessories can vary a lot depending on what brand you decide to buy, what size it is, how many extra features it has etc.
Also, a higher price tag does not mean that you are getting a better product. So before you go and spend money on an air fryer, you should first find out what price range is good for an average air fryer that will meet your needs.
If you have never bought one before, I would recommend sticking to the low end of the cost spectrum so as not to be disappointed by its limitations. Or maybe invest in a mini air fryer if the budget is really tight (but they might not be suitable if cooking size matters to you).
Air fryers come in various sizes. You should choose one that is big enough to meet your needs but small enough to take up less space. If the air fryer is too big, you might end up with a limited range of foods you can cook without either overcooking or undercooking them.
I recommend buying an air fryer based on how many people will be eating the food at once instead of choosing an arbitrarily sized one. For example, if cooking for two people, I would suggest going for a 2-quart model because it can hold about as much food as any other 1-3 quart model (but it could easily accommodate larger batches).
But if you live alone then you might consider getting one that is small enough to cook for a single meal but big enough to store the food you are not going to eat immediately.
Lastly, if you are like me and often take your air fryer with you when you travel, then consider choosing one that is smaller yet still has enough cooking capacity.
Most air fryers come with pre-sets that you can use. But the better ones have a few extra features, including low-temperature settings for delicate foods (like fish), high-temperature settings for frying and grilling, adjustable timer options and presets as well as other advanced adjustments that would let you control how hot it gets inside.
However, if you are not interested in any of these additional perks then feel free to purchase an air fryer that is simpler to operate so that your food cooks evenly. And if you want one with preset time but no advanced options then go for ones that have more basic controls instead.
If you do decide to get an air fryer with lots of different modes and settings, make sure clear instructions on their usage are included because otherwise, you might end up getting a product that is good at doing only one thing.
3 Best Air Fryers For Cooking Fish
1. Cosori Electric Air Fryer with Touch-Screen – Silver
This air fryer is a good choice if you are looking for something that will not break your bank. It has an intuitive, easy-to-use display with a simple interface controlled by touch buttons.
This air fryer is great for people who have never used an air fryer before because it allows you to cook food without needing to play around with different settings and keep checking on the progress. You simply choose from one of its 11 pre-sets (which include seafood) and wait until they finish cooking (up to 45 minutes).
- It comes with a recipe book with 100 recipes.
- Includes a basket that can be removed for easy cleaning.
- The inner basket is replaceable if ever needed (which means you never need to throw the whole thing away if something breaks).
- Not as expensive as other models. A bit too small to cook for large families.
- You cannot remove the inner basket without first turning off the machine and letting it cool down.
- It does have a plastic smell that disappears after a few uses.
2. Linsion Electric Air Fryer
If you’re looking for an air fryer that is both large and versatile, then this is it. It comes with a 5.8-quart basket that can easily hold about six-ten servings of fries or fish (depending on the thickness). You can remove the basket for easy cleaning.
This air fryer has a temperature range of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and features 7 different preset programs that include fish.
I would not recommend buying this air fryer if you are looking for something on the cheaper side because it is not as affordable as other models. But if you are willing to pay a bit more, then I would recommend getting this one over the Cosori air fryer.
- Very easy to use with clear instructions on how to input your preferences before cooking, including cooking time and temperature setting.
- It’s an advanced air fryer with multi-functional settings that make it perfect for a wide range of cooking tasks.
- This makes it expandable should you ever decide to purchase add-ons for your air fryer. It has a removable basket (which is easy to clean).
- It has a modern design that would fit in with almost every kitchen out there.
- It comes with a 90-day moneyback guarantee.
- The price tag is high which some people may find to be too expensive.
3. GoWise 3.7 Quart Programmable Air Fryer
Unlike the Linsion air fryer, this one is on the more affordable end of the spectrum. It has a 3.7-quart basket which is smaller in comparison but it comes with a variety of colors to choose from and preset programs that include fish (of course).
- Comes with a recipe book with more than 50 recipes.
- Includes a basket that can be removed for easy cleaning.
- It has 8 pre-set programs including fish, beef, pork, chicken. etc. The best part is the fact that you do not need to keep checking on it once you have set your preferences because cooking is automated.
- It is also capable of baking
- The outer coating of the basket will chip off after some time.
- Has an unpleasant plastic smell which should go away after several uses (provided you use it frequently).
Is it healthy to air fry your fish?
Air frying your fish is one of the healthiest ways to prepare your fish because you don’t need any oil to cook it. Most other methods of cooking require you to use a considerable amount of oil, and others rely on butter or margarine to produce the same results.
What are the health benefits?
When you air fry your fish, you can reduce the amount of fat by 70% or 80%. And considering that many commercial fried foods have excessive levels of sodium in them, this is important for heart health. When you use an air fryer, there is no chance that your food will absorb fat and become greasy or oily. In addition to cutting down on how much fat is absorbed into your fish’s flesh, you may also be able to successfully reduce calories by about 20% as compared to other cooking methods.
Why? It reduces the amount of oil you use, thus increasing your intake of healthy fats while cutting down on that bad cholesterol.
Do air fryers use a lot of electricity?
Air fryers do no use a lot of electricity because they utilize a convection heating system, which means that they do not use the same amount of electricity as other appliances. More specifically, it may only cost you about $2 per week to operate your air fryer on its highest heat setting. Most ovens need more than this just to preheat for less time! So you can be confident in knowing that when you cook with an air fryer, you will be using much less electricity than if you were cooking in another type of appliance.
How long does it take?
It usually takes 8 to 15 minutes to finish cooking fish depending on how thick and large the fillet is and how hot your air fryer’s temperature setting is.
What should you not cook in an air fryer?
You can cook almost anything in an air fryer but here are a few things you should avoid:
Freshly cooked foods such as whole roasts, bread, and potato fries. These foods can release moisture which will impede the airflow inside of your device.
Battered foods such as chicken wings or battered fish. The air fryer will dry out the food before it’s cooked and may cause it to burn more easily.
Baked foods like cakes or cookies. These are best left in a convection oven.
Reheating pizza or any other frozen microwaveable food due to the high temperature they’re heated at causing them to overcook even further and becoming burnt very quickly once reheated through again in the air fryer.
Whole roasts. I don’t think there will be enough space in any air fryer to fit an entire roast easily, but even if the air fryer can accommodate it, I think it’s easier to stick with the regular oven for these kinds of meals.
What are the disadvantages of an air fryer?
Air fryers are perfect if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. But as with most products, there are some disadvantages.
Here are some of the biggest disadvantages of an air fryer:
1) Air fryers are smaller than traditional deep fryers. So they’re ideal if you live on your own or with one other person. But if you have a family of 3 or more, an air fryer won’t be big enough to meet everyone’s needs.
2) They can end up costing you more than a deep fryer would. They can be quite expensive to buy and operating them can cost more over time. The costs of the air fryers are related to how long they last, not their size or power.
However, this isn’t always the case as there may be some smaller deep fryers that still function well after years of use and which also operate in a similar way to air fryers. You just need to know what to look for before buying one online.
3) Another disadvantage is that most air fryers only have a single basket that you use for prepping food. So if you’re big on multi-tasking while cooking then an air fryer might not be ideal for your needs!
4) They are more difficult to clean than a deep fryer. You will usually need some additional cleaning equipment in order to get rid of all the caked-on food from inside the basket and underneath it. So think about this before making your purchase!
5) And finally, they can also make a lot of noise when in use and let out an unpleasant odor. A simple solution to that would be to place your air fryer on a rubber mat. This way the vibrations are absorbed and this takes away some of the noise that it makes.
How long does it take to cook fish in an air fryer?
On average, it takes about 10 minutes to cook fish in an air fryer. It also depends on the type of fish you are cooking.
Why is cooking time important when using an air fryer?
When you are cooking food in an air fryer, it’s important to know how long each meal takes so that the food doesn’t get overcooked or undercooked. When a recipe tells you it will take 4 minutes to cook something, there’s no need to check on your cooking item after three minutes if you’re using a precise digital timer or looking at your digital watch to tell you how much longer will it be until the item cooked in the air fryer is done. Just wait until four full minutes have passed and then open the lid and remove what you’ve been making!
How long do you preheat an air fryer?
Experts recommend setting high-temperature settings to 370-400 degrees Fahrenheit while preheating the air fryer. This saves up your time and helps cook the food more efficiently.. It is best to wait until the air fryer is very hot before adding food. Preheating should be more than enough to get your machine up to temperature.