The air fryer is essentially an amped-up countertop convection oven. Its compact space facilitates even faster cooking. The top of the unit holds a heating mechanism and a fan. Hot air rushes down and around food placed in a fryer-style basket. This rapid circulation makes the food crisp, much like deep frying.
At the end of the day, this is a pretty slick gadget. When you’re cooking up things like french fries or chicken nuggets, you can’t beat it. The results are much better than oven frying, and your kitchen stays cool. While it does an admirable job cooking other meats and vegetables, the air fryer really shines at mock deep frying. So if you don’t normally eat deep-fried foods, it’s probably not worth the investment.