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"Picture yourself as a chicken nugget, Denise!" The strange trend of air fryer-focused television.
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“Picture yourself as a chicken nugget, Denise!” The strange trend of air fryer-focused television.


TV has recently developed a fascination with air fryers. On Wednesday, Channel 5 aired a program titled “Air Fryers: Do You Know What You’re Missing?” This came just two weeks after their previous airing of “Air Fryers vs Microwaves: Which is Better?” And let’s not forget the special Christmas edition, “Air Fryers: Christmas Made Easy.” Channel 4 has also joined in on the trend with their own show, “Air Fryers: Are They Worth It?” But what is the reason for this sudden surge in air fryer content? Surely there isn’t that much to say about air fryers. Do these shows actually provide new information about them? The only way to know for sure is to watch them all.

Is Investing in an Air Fryer Worth the Hype? (Channel 4)

Denise Van Outen deserves credit for fully committing to her role on the air fryer show, even calling it the opportunity of a lifetime.

In addition to determining cost and convenience, she also dedicates herself to consuming as many air-fried meals as possible for an entire month. She dismantles one and then stands in The Crystal Maze’s crystal dome to showcase its functionality. As the fans turn on, she is instructed to imagine being a chicken nugget. This all occurs within the initial seven minutes.

‘The role of a lifetime’ … Denise Van Outen in Air Fryers: Are They Worth It?

I have gained a lot of knowledge and am pleasantly surprised by how fascinating it is. The crystal dome fans demonstrate that while traditional ovens cook food from the bottom, air fryers use circulating heat from all sides (represented by the gold tokens Van Outen is collecting). In a later section, it is revealed that air fryers can be very cost-effective. A microwave costs £21 to operate for a year, while an air fryer costs just over £42, compared to a staggering £220 for an electric oven. “So you’re saying I should just get rid of my other appliances and only use the microwave?,” Van Outen asks with so much excitement that it causes me some concern.

Occasionally, the show veers into the unusual. Van Outen experiments with various types of air fryers alongside an expert who theatrically obliterates chips while an assistant records their observations on a clipboard. Surprisingly, these are real occupations. I may have discovered a backup profession.

I will not keep this consumer show a secret forever, but I did enjoy it. Van Outen says that air fryers are not good for cooking rice, so avoid attempting it.

Which is the superior option: Microwaves or Air Fryers? (Channel 5)

“The traditional microwave, known for quickly cooking meals, has been dethroned by a new competitor,” declares the X Factor announcer Peter Dickson, as the narrator of this program that compares microwaves and air fryers to determine the superior appliance (yes, seriously).

This 60-minute show is desperate to make it all more exciting than it actually is. There are seven challenges, which they refer to as rounds, accompanied by dramatic music and the sound of a boxing bell. They also put a microwave and an air fryer in a boxing ring, each with boxing gloves, and at one point two people look dead in the eyes at each other while holding them.

Microwaves v Air Fryers: Which is Better?

The initial challenges are relatively simple: air fryers are declared the winner due to their lower cost of purchase compared to microwaves. However, in the following rounds, microwaves take the lead because of their lower operating costs. As the competition progresses, the topics become more abstract and it becomes evident that there isn’t much to debate about. For instance, air fryers are declared the winner because they are more frequently mentioned on TikTok, with an expert pointing out that air fryers are a newer invention and “microwaves were in use before social media existed.” Thank you for that insight.

In the previous challenge, the participants are determining which device produces the most crispy chips by placing a microphone near their mouth as they chew. In this test, air fryers (41 decibels) outperform microwaves (35 decibels), but this information may not be useful to anyone.

Do I gain a significant amount of knowledge? No, but at least this film showcases an individual who has personally met the creator of the air fryer – which is the highest form of praise it can receive.

“Christmas Made Easy with Air Fryers” on Channel 5.

This show, hosted by Alexis Conran, can be accessed on the Channel 5 website until December 7, 2028. Despite the warning that it includes mild language and violence, which is not the case, the show showcases Conran’s attempt to cook a complete Christmas dinner using an air fryer, including sprouts.

“Is this potentially the simplest Christmas dinner ever?” Conran inquires to the audience, to which the obvious response is: “No, you are preparing a Christmas dinner using an air fryer.”

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Alexis Conran on Air Fryers: Christmas Made Easy.

The show features appearances from Vanessa Feltz, who frequently discusses air fryers and even mentions a world without pigs and blankets, as well as TV personality Tom Read Wilson, who shares a brief story about purchasing an air fryer as a housewarming present. One tip suggests that those with larger families should invest in a larger air fryer for more convenience.

Regarding the main obstacle, it has been reported that this appliance does not need to be pre-heated and is capable of preparing roasted potatoes in a significantly shorter amount of time compared to a traditional oven. However, the issue lies in the fact that most air fryers can only cook two items simultaneously. This could potentially create a logistical complication in trying to keep all items warm.

How can you prevent your food from getting cold after cooking? According to Conran, you could opt to keep everything warm in a low-heat oven. But wait, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of using an air fryer to avoid using the oven? I give up.

Are You Aware of the Benefits of Air Fryers? (Channel 5)

After watching four shows solely about air fryers, I can’t help but wonder, is there anything new to be said? As the titles appear, I feel a bit anxious knowing I may have to endure the same information about air fryers once more.

However, I have gained some knowledge: A price of £60 is a suitable starting point for a functional air fryer. It is important not to overfill the fryer as it may affect the cooking process. For smaller fryers, a rack can be inserted to increase the cooking space. Certain models also come equipped with lights. Avoid using metal tongs as they can cause scratches on the interior. Be sure to read the manual and clean the fryer after use. Lastly, remember to take breaks and go outside! Although, the last reminder is just for myself.

The show features interviews with Rustie Lee, who owns an air fryer that can bake and grill, and Owain Wyn-Evans, a Radio 2 host and popular drummer who has an air fryer with two drawers and front windows. He excitedly shares with viewers, “I recently made a delicious aubergine dish in my air fryer.” While the information is useful, the presentation is somewhat dull.

Do I personally have an air fryer? Despite being exposed to four hours of air fryer content, have I felt inclined to purchase one? The answer is no, I have not.

  • Have you checked out the Channel 5 website for the latest on Air Fryers? You might be missing out!

Source: theguardian.com