Takealot CEO Mamongae Mahlare said air fryers are currently the online retail giant’s best-selling item.
Mahlare revealed it in a interview with Talk 702’s Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show.
An air fryer is a countertop convection oven that simulates frying without the need for oil.
Air fryers have fans that circulate air heated by an electrical element near the food.
To achieve the browning characterized by frying food in oil, also known as the Maillard reaction, an air fryer circulates hot air up to 200 degrees Celsius.
This instantly evaporates moisture on the food’s surface, leaving a crispy texture in its wake.
Therefore, an air fryer is a smaller convection oven with a much more powerful fan.
Brands use the term air fryer to differentiate it from traditional convection ovens which typically cook at lower temperatures.
For instance, Samsung calls the convection setting on its traditional ovens the “air fryer” mode.
The main advantage of air frying or convection cooking is that there is no need to add oil, which WebMD said reduces calories by 80%.
On its air fryer product pages, Philips claims that chicken fries and drumsticks contain 90% less fat when cooked in an air fryer compared to a conventional oven.
Air fryers also take up less space and use much less energy than conventional ovens.
These devices are convenient for two-person households and users report saving money that would otherwise have been spent on fuel oil.
However, some reviews and user reports suggest that some air fryers can be louder than standard or convection ovens.
Users have also reported that the limited capacities of air fryers make them unsuitable for cooking entire family meals.
Filling the basket with food will cause uneven cooking because hot air cannot surround the contents.
However, several air fryer models are large enough to hold an entire chicken. Other dishes can then be cooked in the microwave, on the stovetop or in a conventional or convection oven.
Below are some of the best air fryers from Takealot and Hirsch.
4.1L Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91 (Takealot) — R2,499
5.7L Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer with ClearCook (Hirsch’s) – R3,499
Philips HD9280 Essential XL 6.2L Connected Air Fryer (On the Go) – R2,899
Hisense 6.3L Air Fryer with Digital Touch Control Panel (Takealot) – R1,699
Russell Hobbs Purifry Max 2.0 7L Air Fryer (Takealot) – R2,338
7.3L Philips XXL Premium Airfryer (Takealot) – R4,749
8L Kenwood – kHealthy Max Crisp Dual Air Fryer – HFM75.000MB (Takealot) – R2,999
9.5L Instant Vortex 7-in-1 Air Fryer Oven (Takealot) – R3,599