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Air fryers are trending, but how well do they work?

The machine circulates hot air around food to cook it quickly, almost like a convection oven.
Credit: AMAZON

With the holiday season upon us, more and more people are purchasing air fryers to give as gifts.

They're affordable, fun to experiment with and help keep our health goals in mind as the new year approaches. 

But how well do these health-conscious kitchen gadgets actually work? 

According to Casey Barber for TODAY, an air fryer is essentially a small, turbo-powered convection oven for your kitchen counter.

The machine circulates hot air around food to cook it quickly, like a convection oven, but the air fryer has a removable basket.

"Breaded foods are by far the most successful things to cook in an air fryer," Barber says in her article for TODAY. "I tested both homemade chicken nuggets coated with traditional flour, egg and panko breading as well as frozen chicken nuggets straight from the bag. Both versions cooked up to a remarkably crunchy finish in less than 15 minutes."

However, Barber says there are some drawbacks.

"Because of the air fryer's construction, it's not set up to effectively cook foods that are dipped in batter," Barber says. "And if you have dreams of serving up wings or fries for a big crowd, the size of the air fryer may foil your plans."

Twitter users posted photos of some of their best recipes that called for the use of an air fryer. 

How did the air fryer do? You be the judge!

Casey Barber is a food content producer specializing in writing, recipe development, photography, and styling for digital and print media. 

More from her here.