Health grills and fryers are a popular addition to many kitchens. Whether you’re after a deep fat fryer, a panini grill or a way to cook low fat meals for all the family quickly and easily, you can find many versatile options. This guide aims to help you decide on the best grill or fryer for your needs.
When it comes to frying delicious food at home with the help of an appliance, there are different devices that can do a great job every time, but which option is right for you?
Traditionally, deep fat fryers don’t exactly have a reputation for creating healthy meals, but for a special treat, they are still a great way to cook crispy chips, chip shop-style fish, spring rolls, samosas, crispy chicken, scampi and much more. Today’s fryers are much safer and easier to use (and clean) than classic pan frying, offering a great way to cook up an occasional treat. With a handy basket to easily raise and lower food without needing to get too close to the hot oil, the best deep fat fryers come with variable heat settings, to make sure that you can fry your crispy, delicious food to perfection every time.
In terms of size, deep fat fryers for the home come with capacities of anywhere between 1-3 litres and some have twin fryers, with separate temperature controls for each, so you can cook two different ingredients at the same time. Compact 1L deep fat fryers are usually ample for small households, with larger 2-3L versions able to easily cook enough for bigger families or groups.
Some models have removable parts that can be put into the dishwasher after use and others will need to be washed by hand.
Whether you’re simply looking for the best chip fryer or you wish to cook a variety of fried foods, a deep fat fryer can be a great addition to your kitchen.
If you want the great taste of fried food but also a way to cook with much less fat, air fryers could be the ideal solution, as they generally use at least 80% less oil than deep fat fryers. There are a lot of different models out there when it comes to air fryers, so which one is right for you?
Does the model have a paddle or other function to rotate the food whilst it cooks? If not, you may need to regularly stir the contents to ensure an even cook.
How much capacity do you need? The size of air fryer you need will depend on the number of people you will be regularly cooking for. Usually, a 1kg capacity air fryer will hold enough for a family of four, but they do come with up to 4kg capacity for those making delicious food for larger groups.
How easy to clean is it? Many air fryers come with removable parts that are dishwasher safe or can be easily cleaned by hand, which saves a great deal of time and effort each time you use it.
Other features available with some air fryers are digital displays, enabling you to see the temperature and how far through the cooking cycle it is at any time. Look for an air fryer that switches off automatically when the cooking cycle has finished. Some smart air fryers can also be used with a smartphone app, so you can set the exact temperature and cooking time required for the recipe you’re making on your phone and use the app to check on the food’s progress. Some air fryers also come with two layers, so you can cook two types of ingredient at the same time without mixing them together. You should also consider the size of the air fryer, especially in kitchens where worktop-space is at a premium. Some models come with retractable power cords or other space-saving features to help with storage.
Electric health grills are a highly popular way to cook food, as they are designed specifically to allow fat to run off the ingredients as they are heated, to produce meals that are lower in fat than with many other cooking methods. The fat is collected in a drip tray, which can be emptied easily after each use. They also cook quickly and with less hassle, with the heat coming from both sides, so can take around half the time to cook as the meal would if traditionally grilled, with the heat only coming from one side and lots of turning required. Made famous by the original George Foreman grill, there are now many other options available when it comes to healthy cooking on a grill at home; it’s all about finding the best type of grill for your needs.
Look for a health grill with non-stick plates. Not only does this make cooking a lot less messy, it also makes cleaning your grill a doddle; usually a quick wipe down is all it takes.
Health grills with a floating hinge adapt the lid to the food you are cooking, so you can cook different ingredients with different thicknesses on different sides of the grill. Some also come with a way to adjust the tilt of the plates, so for food that doesn’t need to drain fat away, such as toasties or paninis, you can make the grill plates flat.
When it comes to choosing the size of health grill you need, there are lots of options to choose from. Compact health grills can usually cook around two portions of food at once, but for families and larger groups, you can get bigger grills that can cook anywhere between 3-10 portions at once.
Some health grills have a simple, on/off function and an indicator when the plates have heated up, but others have variable temperature control, so you can brown meat and sear fish easily. Ease of storage can be really important for health grills, especially if you don’t have a great deal of counter-space to spare. Some grills are designed to be stored vertically, so can easily be put away in a cupboard when not in use.
Other features available with some health grills include the ability to use it outdoors and in. You can use an outdoor electric grill to have all the fun and tasty food of a BBQ, but without the hassle and the smoke!