You’ve been daydreaming about buying an air fryer for months, and who could blame you? They’re a hands-off (and oil-free) way to make all your favorite foods and snacks impeccably crispy, like roasted potatoes, wings, veggie chips and even fried Oreos. But before you buy that teeny-tiny bucket air fryer you’ve been eyeing, consider the Acekool Air Fryer, a convection oven-style appliance that can cook dinner for a crowd without missing a beat, unlike most small bucket air fryers. Read on for our honest review.
5 Reasons to Try the Acekool Air Fryer Oven Instead of a Basket Air Fryer
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- Value: 20/20
- Functionality: 18/20
- Ease of Use: 17/20
- Aesthetics: 17/20
- Consistency: 18/20
You know the air fryer’s general perks like the back of your hand (because cooking crunchy chicken tenders and shatteringly crisp fries *without* braving a spitting vat of oil sounds like a dream). But you’re still probably wondering: What’s the difference between a bucket air fryer and a convection oven-style air fryer? In short, lightweight bucket air fryers are great for compact spaces and small-batch cooking, while oven-style air fryers have larger capacities across the board and a wide range of cooking features, like broiling, baking and toasting. Both use high-powered fans to circulate and blow heat directly onto the food, resulting in a crispier final product. Convection ovens are also better for cooking lighter foods, like leafy greens (kale chips, anyone?) and tortillas.
If your needs are as follows, the Acekool Air Fryer just might be the appliance you’re looking for. Here are a few reasons to add it to your cart.
You’re Usually Feeding Multiple People
The main downside of basket air fryers? You can only cook a small amount of food at once. Alternatively, this beauty boasts a 19-quart capacity for family-style meals. The oven’s size means it’ll take a bit longer to cook your food than in a basket fryer, but the 1,800-watt appliance still ensures quick cooking. The thermal circulation fans and double-pipe heating mechanisms “fry” the food evenly and rapidly from every angle.
We’ll also say that even though the Acekool is roomier than some other models on the market, it still has its limitations. You can cook multiple racks of food at one time, but if you’re making a rotisserie chicken or kebabs with the rotisserie spit, you won’t have space to add a rack of veggies, for instance, underneath it. Same with the rotating mesh basket—all the accessories need to be used solo, aside from the air flow racks and fryer net basket, which can be used together. Nevertheless, its large capacity is still a plus in our book, especially due to its lower price point.
You Cook A Variety Of Different Foods
Whether you want to tackle meat, fish, veggies, dried fruit or even dessert, this appliance comes with ten preset functions that can do just about anything. The presets include French fries, baking, fish, shrimp, pizza, chicken, steaks/chops, rotisserie, dehydrator and reheat, but we found it a little disappointing that the oven doesn’t have a toast setting for bread and bagels, as many convection ovens double as toaster ovens (although you can make toast in the Acekool if you really wanted to—it just may be crisper than you want, since the heat will circulate around the whole slice instead of just the top and bottom).
If what you’re cooking doesn’t apply to a preset, you can manually adjust the cook time and temp yourself on the LED digital display within a range of one to 60 minutes and 90°F to 400°F. (In our experience, we had more luck cooking an air fryer-specific recipe and manually adjusting the temp and cook time accordingly than with the presets. Sort of like your microwave’s popcorn button, presets are only dependable to a point.)
The Acekool Air Fryer also comes equipped with all-purpose air flow racks, a fryer net basket that’s prime for crispy snacks, a rotating mesh basket that tumbles your food as it cooks (it’s great for nuts and fries, but we loved it for Brussels sprouts) and a rotisserie spit that can hold a whole chicken or skewers for kebabs. The accessories can be removed for easy cleaning (yes, they’re dishwasher safe), although the oven door can’t.
You’re Sick Of Burning Dinner In Your Current Air Fryer
Another con to basket-style air fryers—not to mention old-school ovens that have no viewing window or interior light—is that your food could be singed to a crisp in mere minutes without you realizing until it’s too late. The Acekool Air Fryer Oven has a large glass door and interior bulb for easy creeping, so you can watch your food fry in real time and stop the cooking cycle if your veggies or tofu bites are looking browner than you’d like. Also, its size helps prevent burning in a way basket air fryers don’t; smaller air fryers heat much faster, so your food can overcook in a blink.
Some convection ovens and air fryers have a reputation for smoking, but that was never an issue for us. The instruction manual warns you against cooking with too much moisture or oil to prevent smoke or a fire, but remember that a little oil goes a long way with air fryers in terms of crispness. If you’re concerned, choose an oil with a higher smoke point, like sesame or avocado oil, instead of low smoke point options, like coconut oil. Also, no matter what air fryer you choose, you should never totally set and forget your dinner while the appliance is running.
You Have A Large Kitchen (or Storage Space)
Our main qualm about the Acekool Air Fryer is that it’s pretty massive if you have a small apartment kitchen. (Full disclosure, small convection ovens that don’t hold nearly as much food as the Acekool are at least the size of a toaster oven.) The appliance needs at least 5 inches of free space on all sides to properly vent, and it can’t be plugged into an extension cord for safety reasons.
If you have the space, whether it be ample storage and a counter that you clear whenever you want to use the oven or a roomy kitchen island where the appliance can live permanently, we say go for it. (On that note, despite its size, the oven is relatively easy to move, and it sticks steadfastly to your counter, thanks to handy suction cups on the bottom.) Just be sure to measure your space according to the product’s dimensions before buying.
You Like Saving Money
Most convection oven-style air fryer models cost at least $200 (and the really fancy ones go up to $400). The AceKool Air Fryer will only put you back $160. There are oven-style air fryers on the market that are a bit cheaper, but the vast majority of those also have smaller capacities and can’t accommodate a rotisserie and other accessories. We feel the price point for the appliance is more than comparatively fair for its ample size and unique capabilities.
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