Putting the Air Fryer to the test

Action News tries the "Air Fryer" to see if it lives up to all the hype.

As the name implies, the air fryer uses hot air instead of grease to fry your favorite foods.

Registered Dietitian Emily Rubin with Jefferson Health joined Ali Gorman in the Action News test kitchen for a taste test.

Everything from chicken wings and tenders and mozzarella sticks was on the menu.

They even pair "fried" veggies for good measure hoping to make healthy chips.

Rubin says the benefits of frying with air can be a big plus for those watching their weight or cholesterol.

"It actually produces 80 percent less fat and 50 percent fewer calories than the original food," she said.

But the pair wanted to know if this revolutionary "fryer" sacrificed the crispness of regular fried food and more importantly taste?

First they "fried" mozzarella sticks.

The traditional fried version you'd order at a restaurant has 210 and 12 grams of fat for two sticks.

The air fryer it cuts that almost in half. Rubin says you can "indulge" in two for 120 calories and 8 grams of fat.

But are they crispy and gooey like the fried version?

"These are delicious," said Gorman.

Next, they compare a kids staple: chicken tenders.

Rubin says two fried tenders weigh in around 200 calories and 12 grams of fat.

The air fried version has 100 calories and four grams of fat.

"You are really saving a lot of calories and 8 grams of fat," Gorman added.

Next up, chicken wings versus buffalo cauliflower "wings."

"Cauliflower is a really great vegetable...it is very versatile it can take on the consistency of meat," said Rubin

She adds baked or fried wings are diet duds. And cauliflower is a great alternative.

"For the whole serving of this it is a hundred calories versus the traditionally fried wings for just two wings 230 calories and 20 grams of fat," she said.

Now to our healthiest option, "veggie" chips.

The bagged version has 160 calories and 7 grams of fat.

But Rubin says the ingredients are deceiving:

"There is no carrots or zucchini or vegetables it is just potatoes with spinach powder."

The air fried veggies have only 25 calories for the container and are made with vegetables.

Rubin adds that the air fryer helps with the substitution of oil in fried indulgences.

However, she said those trying to watch their weight should still treat these foods as just that: indulgences.
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