I talked to medical experts and they said air fryers are not toxic and safe to use.
No wonder even traditional culinary experts prefer air fryers over deep fryers. This modern appliance make your kitchen look more updated. However, this popularity is also attracting the cynicism of some skeptics after a few virtal TikTok videos.
After having a discussion with some medical experts, I will try to eliminate your doubts about health-safety concerns related to air fyers. You can check my recommendations for the best non-toxic air fryers.
No, Air fryers are not toxic, nor do they cause any harm to your health until you cook food at a temperature below 500F and the basket’s non-stick coating is not chipped. Cooking at 500F can break down chemicals that are harmful to your health. This will not be an issue because most air fryers don’t go beyond 450F.
Are Air Fryers Bad For Health?
This question might be bothering you if you have decided to buy this electronic appliance for your kitchen but hearing strange things about it. So, I would like to give you relief by stating the truth.
The fundamental concern about air fryers causing toxicity is whether they produce cancer-causing substances while cooking or not. So, contrary to your expectations, a 2020 study stated that air frying does not increase acrylamide formation but actually reduces its formation compared to deep frying. Read on to know more.
High Temprature Cooking
Harmful carcinogens such as acrylamides form when food is cooked at high temperatures and for a more extended period. In the case of an air fryer, none of these situations happen.
In the air, fryer food is cooked at health friendly temperature. Also, the unit cooks quickly by swiftly reaching the right cooking temperature because of the small cooking chamber and high-speed circulating air.
Less Cooking Time
Most air fryer recipes prepare meals within fifteen minutes— a time insufficient to start acrylamide formation or deplete the food of its nutrients. Since all the air fryer recipes are strictly timed, there is no chance of overcooking, burning, or charring food, which is when these toxic substances are formed.
Minimum Oil Requirement
Unlike a deep fryer, an air fryer cooks food and produces a crispy texture similar to deep-fried food in little to no oil.
Submerging food in oil and heating it at high temperatures don’t only increase its calories. It also increases the formation of toxic substances such as trans-fats and acrylamide.
Having said that, it is clear that an air fryer is not toxic, nor does cooking in an air fryer produce any toxic substances. It is actually a much healthier way of cooking your food without adding too many calories. Don’t miss our detailed article, does air fryer add calories to your food.
Does Using Oil In The Air Fryer Makes It Toxic?
So far, you know that an air fryer is not a toxic cooking appliance. But what about oil? Does putting oil in the air fryer make the food toxic?
Most air fryer recipes do well without using oil, but adding a few tablespoons of oil can enhance the taste of your air-fried food, such as nuggets, fries, wings, stakes, etc., even more. But when using oils, you have to consider two things: the smoke point of the oil and its nutritional profile.
A temperature when oil starts releasing smoke is called a smoke point. Some oils, such as coconut oil, have a low smoke point (below 350F). Therefore, using it means standing in a smoke-filled kitchen; it can also impact the taste of the food.
We suggest using oils with a higher smoke point— at least more than 400F. Avocado oil (above 550F smoke point) and Peanut Oil (450F smoke point) are suitable options. You can use coconut oil only if you are cooking below 350F.
The other factor you have to consider is whether the oil you use is healthy or not. From a health perspective, I recommend avoiding using processed oils containing trans fats.
Regularly consuming trans fats increases the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduces good (HDL) cholesterol levels. It further increases your risk of stroke, development of heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Another concern is that even without trans fats, some oils are still unhealthy. Therefore, to keep the toxicity level to a bare minimum, use oils that do not oxidize easily to avoid free radicals formation.
Is The Non-Stick Coating On Air Fryer Accessories Toxic?
Like us, you might worry about toxic fumes released from the non-stick coating at high temperatures. But I must tell you that non-stick coating is completely harmless if it is in perfect condition.
The cookware becomes an issue when the non-stick coating peels or flakes away and the food cooking at high heat gets exposed to the metal underneath.
Some metals release toxic fumes when heated at extreme temperatures. The same goes for Teflon coating. When overheated (above 570F, which rarely happens), Teflon releases fumes that can pose health risks, though very mild.
But if you are over-conscious and still want to avoid the risk of ingesting Teflon coating or breathing into fumes (though there is none), use a Teflon-free air fryer such as the Ninja air fryer. In some of its models, you will find ceramic coated, non-stick, PFOA, and PTFE-free air fryer accessories.
Alternatively, if your favorite air fryer comes with Teflon coated accessories, simply buy extra stainless accessories which are completely safe for cooking.
Do Air Fryers Cause BPA Toxicity?
BPA toxicity is a concern because of its detrimental effects on the brain and prostate glands of fetuses, children, and infants. Many plastics contain BPA, but air fryers are not the cause of BPA toxicity as they are not made with plastic.
After all the explanations mentioned above, if you are wondering about the safest air fryer, below, I have mentioned the criteria for choosing the best non-toxic air fryer in 2022.
- Ceramic coated accessories (basket, trays, and crisper plates)
- Stainless steel accessories
- The accessories are BPA, PFOA, and PTFE free
If you get these qualities in your air fryer, you can consider it a toxic-free air fryer.
Air fryers are completely non-toxic. There is no concrete evidence linking air fryers with health issues. The assumption that cooking in an air fryer is dangerous is based on the postulation that air fryers increase acrylamide formation— the reality is quite the opposite. But to be safe, use a trans-fat-free, healthy oil with a high smoke point. Also, ensure that the accessories are not Teflon coated and PFOA and PTFE free.
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