Wednesday, 17 June 2015 AT 07:46 PM IST

The air fryer is the hot, new kitchen gadget in the market today. I love gadgets but was wary of this particular one. I borrowed a friend’s air fryer for this story and after some trial and error cooking, I am convinced that it is something I will get at some point.

Let’s face it, most of us love fried foods — samosas, kachoris, pakoras, chicken 65 and so many more. But there are dire health implications of eating them. The way fried food is typically prepared is to completely submerse the food item in oil, allowing it to soak up an unhealthy quantity of oil and dramatically increase the fat and calorie content of the food.

In addition to being rather unhealthy, frying food poses some risks as well, like causing grease fire. Popping and exploding oil from the pan can easily cause burn injuries, and the mess that frying food creates is excessive and hard to clean.

The taste of fried savouries, however, can cause even the healthiest person to give in once in a while and indulge in heaping a helping of their favourite fried dish.

My method to avoid fried foods was to use my oven, baking savouries instead of frying. This gives a satisfactory outcome but the taste is quite different from the real thing.

The air fryer simulates the taste of fried food much better, and if you fry often at home or would like to have some guilt-free fried treats, then this appliance is for you. But before rushing out to buy one, keep these factors in mind:

-You need to eat the food immediately after cooking it in the air fryer. If you leave it out, then it gets soggy and tastes quite bad.

-You have to make small batches. Each batch can accommodate 250 gm of vegetables or meat. It is great for a small family of 3-4, but it cannot be used to cook for a dinner party.

-The price of an air fryer is quite steep. Perhaps like the microwave, its price will come down in time. Until then, be ready to shell out Rs 8000-10,000 for an air fryer.

An air fryer is a great way to cook — provided you use it. If you do decide to invest in one, then please don’t let it sit idle for too long — it only takes a minute to cut you favourite veggies and make some pakoras!

I always advise people to cook more and eat out less. Cooking, and that too cooking the right way, can solve many health problems primarily beginning with weight maintenance. Eating correct food in the right proportion is the key to good health.

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