I pretty much love fried food: fries, chicken, fries, donuts, more fries. But let's be real, fried food isn't great for you. So, while I may indulge in some french fries on weekends, I try to stick to cleaner eating during the week. That's why when I heard about the air fryer — a magical appliance that promises to let you enjoy healthier versions of your favorite fried goodies — I was pretty damn excited. Now that I've tried the Dash Compact Electric Air Fryer ($70), I can assure you that this pretty little machine lives up to the hype.
I'll explain, but first, some background: air fryers are all the rage because they allow you to fry food using only a little bit of oil, which can slash calories and fat. In fact, a batch of air-fried fries will have at least half the calories and fat of regular fries. And that's without sacrificing crispiness, which makes each food feel like a treat. People use the air fryer for sweets, empanadas, fries, chicken wings, and more.
Personally, I'll keep coming back because everything I've made in this air fryer is delicious. My favorite item by far is the fries, but I've also loved making fried chicken and Brussels sprouts. Like the sprouts, the fries are perfectly crispy — never soggy, mushy, or greasy — resembling the same texture as a batch you'd find at a fast food restaurant. (And in this case, a whole lot healthier.) They're also flavorful. With some salt and herbs, they're a perfect side for your choice of protein. (Fish and chips, anyone?) I've even paired them with aioli sauce when I'm feeling fancy.
If you're like me and love to indulge in the occasional comfort food without wrecking your diet, I definitely recommend the air fryer. A tiny bit of oil really does go a long way. It's like eating out, with a major healthy makeover.