“Haiya! Why you buy air fryer when there is turbo broiler?”

If you’ve just recently purchased over the online shopping app (or from the nearest appliance store) a nifty awesome looking air fryer, chances are you’ll hear those words coming from the seniors at home – or those who haven’t heard of the electrical air fryer. What? Air dryer? Haiya!

TechNews Columnist Enzo Luna and his air fryer.

This was my experience as soon I unboxed the Kyowa Air Fryer that I bought at a very reasonable price straight from the brand’s official store in the Shopee app. I was expecting my auntie to be equally excited as soon as I unwrapped the big box of this of what I think is a bad ass cooking machine when she shouted, “Bumili ka ng air fryer? Bakit di ka na lang nag-turbo broiler?”

I froze for a moment. I thought to myself, “Bakit parang kasalanan ko pa?” Was there something that I did wrong?

And then it hits me, “Oo nga, bakit hindi pa turbo broiler ang binili ko?”
But there I was, marvelously gazing at the beauty of the black 7L air fryer in its eggshell oval compartment standing in front of me at the countertop that I bought with my hard-earned money, cash-on-delivery. And I was confused.

Eventually, I shrugged that notion and I continued basking with my new kitchen toy!

What’s with the air fryer vs turbo broiler, anyways?

I am already enjoying the easy and fast, plus the no use of cooking oil out of my air fryer when a colleague of mine dropped the big question. “Why do I have to buy an air fryer when there’s a turbo broiler?’ April said to me that while we were on our way back to our office. I was starting to crumble at that moment thinking I made a mistake and how the hell would I justify my recently purchase of this cooking machine?

Cooked with an Air Fryer

“Pare, ano ang pinagkaiba ng air fryer sa turbo?” he insisted me to give him a convincing answer to which I was dumbfounded to response. How could I know? The last time I had an experience with a turbo broiler was in the 90s when lechon manok was the in-thing of that decade. And this is my first time to own an air fryer. Years ago, I can’t even touch an air fryer because the price then was expensive. I am just glad that today, you can buy a workable air fryer for as low as P3,000. That’s what I did. the Kyowa Air Fryer KW-3815 costs me only P3,460. For a 7L portable cooking machine!

Turbo Broiler technology

And so, to answer that infamous question, I dug the internet and scoured all the possible answers that will prove my purchase was indeed worth the spent.

To be honest, almost all the internet provided me was that there is nothing much of a difference between the turbo broiler and the air fryer, or even with a convection oven and a microwave. They can all cook (almost) the same food at the (almost) same cooking time. And they can also produce easy, fast, and healthy (almost) meal right of these cooking appliances.
The thing is, turbo broiler uses infrared/halogen light heat that travels throughout the cooker, just like the convection oven.

With halogen inside, turbo broilers are regarded as energy efficient and healthy alternative to conventional oven. Like conventional oven, halogen oven can also produce brown and crispy food. In one of the article I found at Centre for Food Safety, it mentioned, “In general, a halogen oven consists of a glass bowl with a lid that contains a fan and halogen bulbs.

When switched on, beams of infrared (or more specifically, far-infrared) radiation are released from the halogen bulbs to produce heat. The fan circulates hot air over and around the food to cook. Halogen oven can be used to roast, grill, bake, steam, barbecue or dehydrate food, with no need of preheating.”

Wait. What? Radiation? Let’s skip that part first.

Air Fryer technology

For its best part, an air fryer uses a super-hot air (like from an oven) and uses an electrical power to create heat.

“An air fryer uses what Philips has patented as “Rapid-Air Technology,” and what this means is that hot air is circulating very, very quickly around whatever food you are cooking, and in doing so, evenly cooks food. More, it gives it a ‘fried’ feel AND taste, without having to actually ‘fry’ anything,” said an article from Deep Frying Time

Fried with an Air Fryer

Air Fryer the Healthier Way to Cook

Brands that carry air fryers have successfully marketed this cooking appliance as the perfect replacement for conventional cooking without oil and convinced people that air frying is healthier than frying in oil. And yes, we all know the benefits of cutting from food or meals that have too much fat and cholesterol. Was it everyone’s New Year’s resolution to get back into shape, every year? Maybe, with an air fryer, they can now start and make that ‘balik alindog’ finally happen.

Compared with turbo broiler, there are media reports stating that consuming foods cooked with halogen oven may increase the intake of carcinogens which can be formed in a way like cooking by grilling. This has raised public concerns on the food safety of using halogen oven. Or turbo broilers, to be specific.

These are few of the answers why air fryer suddenly became trending in social media as we hit the last days of 2020. Forcing us to be at home because of the pandemic made it even more relevant for us to learn new gigs, like cooking, that comes with the hunt for the perfect kitchen assistant.