(This review has been updated as of March 2022 to reflect new thoughts.)
Turns out, I may be the last person in the world to hop on the air fryer train — but better late than never, right?
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The beginning of quarantine left people hungry for activity. Enter the boom of the bread maker, ice cream machine, and of course, the air fryer. By the time my addiction to soft serve and bread-making fizzled out, I had already moved onto my next (short-lived) passion, crafting, so I never dove into the world of the air fryer.
Fast forward to a year later, and the air fryer was far from just a fad, but instead an absolute staple in the kitchen of many. This officially made it time for me to test out the cult favorite.
Over the last month or so I have been using IRIS USA's Air Fryer Convection Toaster Oven, and I am happy to report that it has changed my life. Below I will break down everything you need to know when deciding if this is the right kitchen gadget for you.
(While I did receive the IRIS USA Air Fryer in exchange for an honest review, all of the following thoughts and opinions expressed below are my own and are not influenced by IRIS USA, in any way.)
IRIS USA Air Fryer Specs
The best part about this product is its plethora of uses. Seven to be exact. You can air fry, grill, bake, convection bake, broil, convection broil, and defrost. It replaces any toaster oven and then adds tons of additional features, a game-changer for anyone with limited counter space (like me!). What surprised me most is how quickly my food was ready. You can set the oven anywhere from 200°F to 450°F. The product heats up nearly immediately, which has saved me tons of time and allowed me to majorly reduce the use of my oven (so clutch in a small apartment during summer).
There are basic air fryers and there are very elaborate ones. I am really impressed by the price of this machine ($180.59) given how many features it boasts. The box includes the toaster itself, an oven rack, baking pan, drip tray, air fryer basket, and rack handle to avoid burning yourself. And bonus: The IRIS USA site offers tons of free recipes to test out. I was just about to purchase a toaster oven, so I've saved money and counter space with this all-in-one contraption. The other thing about complex air fryers is how complicated they can be to use. Setting this one up was literally the easiest process (thinnest instruction manual ever!) and I got the hang of using it within the first few minutes of cooking.
Probably the biggest selling point of air fryers is their health benefits. I have reduced my butter and oil usage more than ever. A couple of weeks ago I made Apple Pie Bombs with the tiniest bit of oil to avoid sticking (although I don't even know if I really needed it) and they seriously tasted deep-fried. They also cooked so evenly, it was pretty wild. This is obviously not the healthiest food to begin with, but it sure made it a whole lot better for me. In terms of savory eats, I made air-fried french fries the other night (a fan favorite), and was blown away by the results. They were so much better than oven fries. I will literally never go back. My next big plan is to roast an entire chicken. How cool is that?
As you can tell from the photo above, this product is quite sleek. It is subtle and takes up such a small portion of my kitchen space. With this in mind, it also cooks a shocking amount of food (please direct your attention to the whole chicken above), perfect if you're preparing a meal for a large family.
Finally, in terms of cleaning, washing this air fryer couldn't be further from the process of scrubbing a deep fryer. You simply remove the tray or rack and easily rinse it off with some diluted soap and a sponge. There is also zero oil splatter anywhere in your kitchen. The best part is the removable crumb tray that goes under the fryer basket that can just be wiped out and replaced — zero hassle.
I would highly recommend this all-in-one device. The biggest seller for me, as someone who lives in a studio apartment, is honestly how little space it takes up. It is such a treat having a toaster that doubles as so many other gadgets. From setting it up and cooking to cleaning and storage, everything about this product just feels easy. Needless to say, I'm an air fryer girl now.
(Update: It's now been nine months since I first started using it and I'm even more addicted to my air fryer. I loved it before but could have never expected how essential it would be to my day-to-day. I pretty much never use my oven anymore (except when I cook dinner for friends, which is close to never). IRIS USA's air fryer seriously does it all. And so speedily. It's literally a mini oven. I do everything from making pizza and toasting bread to baking salmon and roasting chickpeas. Living in a small apartment, I used to hate turning on my oven as it would make my entire apartment unbearably hot. It also felt like such a waste turning it on for just one person.)
I would recommend this 7-in-1 air fryer to anyone and everyone. Do not buy a toaster oven or traditional-style air fryer ever again. Buy this bad boy instead and thank me later.