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Air Fryers: Here to Stay, or a Flash in the Pan?

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

When I cast my gaze upon the modern kitchen, with its abundance of gadgets and gizmos, I cannot help but be reminded of the kitchens of my youth, in the 80’s, under Thatcher, groaning under the weight of contraptions that promised convenience and culinary prowess. The blenders, the microwaves, the electric kettles, and the automatic toasters—those stalwart companions that have stood the test of time, faithfully serving generations of households. These were the tools that made life a little easier, a little more efficient.

The SARKO Air Fryer taken by Tim Butler-Jones for Studio-4 Photography
The SARKO Air Fryer

But alongside these worthy companions, we also find the remnants of our collective consumerist indulgence—the pasta machines, popcorn machines, and yes, even the banana slicers. Oh, the folly of these gadgets! The seductive lure of the novelty, the desire to possess the latest and most obscure kitchen apparatus, led us astray.

In the wake of the 1960s, as our kitchens expanded in size and our wallets grew fatter with disposable income, we found ourselves in a whirlwind of aggressive marketing. The allure of these superfluous machines, promising to revolutionise our culinary experiences, proved irresistible. And so, we succumbed, filling our kitchen counters and cupboards with unnecessary gadgets, the relics of a bygone era.

It is against this backdrop that the air fryer emerges, a phoenix rising from the ashes of kitchen gadgetry. Its enduring relevance begs the question: Are air fryers just another passing trend, or do they possess the transformative powers that make them indispensable in our culinary repertoire?

Paprika and Garlic Chicken with Lime and Green Chilli - Studio-4
Paprika and Garlic Chicken with Lime and Green Chilli

The air fryer, with its sleek design and promises of healthier indulgence, has carved a niche for itself in the culinary landscape. It graces the television screens and online platforms, celebrated by chefs who extol not only its health benefits but also its superior cooking abilities. It has captured the attention of health enthusiasts and family cooks alike, who, like my own partner, find themselves yearning for this latest addition to their kitchen arsenal.

As the primary cook in our household, (my partner may yearn for an air fryer, but she expects me to use it...) I cannot help but be intrigued by this gadget du jour. My partner's persistent requests for an air fryer evoke a sense of curiosity within me. Are they truly here to stay, or will they too succumb to the fate of the salad spinner?

The allure of the air fryer lies in its ability to create healthier versions of our beloved fried foods. With a fraction of the oil traditionally used, it promises the crispiness and flavour we crave without the guilt. It taps into our ever-present desire for balance—a way to indulge in our culinary vices without sacrificing our well-being.

The SARKO Air Fryer taken by Tim Butler-Jones for Studio-4 Photography
The SARKO Air Fryer

Moreover, the air fryer embodies the spirit of efficiency and convenience, catering to our time-starved lives. Its quick cooking times and ease of use align with the demands of modernity. It is adaptable, accommodating a wide range of foods—from the classic french fries to succulent chicken wings and even delectable desserts. It is a versatile companion in our quest for culinary exploration.

And yet, as I contemplate the air fryer's place in the pantheon of kitchen gadgets, I cannot help but acknowledge the cautionary tales of the pasta machine, the popcorn machine, and the fondue set. Were they not once hailed as the saviours of our culinary endeavours? Did they not, too, promise to revolutionise our kitchens? And yet, where are they now, relegated to dusty corners and forgotten cupboards?

But perhaps the air fryer possesses that elusive ingredient that sets it apart. It has arrived at a time when our culinary consciousness has been awakened, when the pursuit of health and well-being intertwines with our gastronomic desires. It offers us the opportunity to indulge responsibly, to savour our guilty pleasures without forsaking our commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

So, dear reader, as we stand at this crossroads of kitchen gadgetry, let us not dismiss the air fryer as just another flash in the pan. Let us embrace it as a testament to our evolving culinary landscape, as a symbol of our pursuit of balance, flavour, and convenience. Let us keep the blenders, the microwaves, the electric kettles, and the automatic toasters as our steadfast companions, but let us also welcome the air fryer into our kitchens with open arms. For it represents not only a gadget but a movement—a movement toward a healthier, more mindful way of indulging in the pleasures of the palate.

Spicy Shrimp with Lemon in The SARKO Air Fryer taken by Tim Butler-Jones for Studio-4 Photography
Spicy Shrimp with Lemon

And so, as I stand here, contemplating the significance of the air fryer, I cannot help but think that perhaps it has what it takes to withstand the ebb and flow of fads and trends. It may very well carve out a place in our kitchens, where it will reside alongside the faithful companions of the past, ready to serve us in our quest for culinary excellence.

In the grand tapestry of kitchen gadgetry, the air fryer may just be the thread that weaves together practicality and indulgence, health and flavour. Only time will reveal the true extent of its endurance. Until then, let us embrace the air fryer and savour the crispy delights it bestows upon our taste buds, for it is a symbol of our ever-evolving culinary journey.

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