Background and Identification
An air fryer is a small countertop convection oven designed to simulate deep frying without submerging the food in oil. A fan circulates hot air at high speed, producing a crisp layer via browning reactions such as the Maillard reaction.
The air fryer's cooking chamber radiates heat from a heating element near the food, and a fan circulates hot air. The temperatures can go up to 250 °C (482 °F) depending on the model. Cooking oil is not used in large quantities in an air fryer.
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 an integrated food agitator. Convection ovens and air fryers are similar in the way they cook food, but air fryers are generally smaller and give off less heat.