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Frying without Oil – How I fell in Love with the Air Fryer

Today we’ll take a little break from Intuitive Eating to talk about one of my favorite cooking appliances, and share with you some recipes! Please note that the links in this post are affiliate links and purchase from them will result in a small commission for me at no cost to you.

Winner, Winner, Fried Food For Dinner?

I laughed at my partner, Andy, when he put all of his raffle tickets into the jar at trivia night for the air fryer. I mean who wants to fry without oil? He was wasting his money anyway – who really wins these things? But, it was trivia night, and Andy was donating to a good cause. I kept quiet. So when he took our $20 raffle ticket NuWave Brio Air Fryer home he was quite the happy camper, and I had no idea that I was about to fall in love.

amazon affiliate link Nu Wave Brio Air Fryer

Are We Really Frying Without Oil?

Well…not really. In order to fry food, it must be cooked in oil or fat over heat. The air fryer works more like a convection oven. A convection oven uses a fan to circulate hot air throughout the oven, which decreases the cooking time and creates a more evenly cooked product. In addition, the increased speed of cooking can create a crispier outer layer for food you are cooking – which is the desirable outcome for fried foods. Add a touch of olive oil to your air fryer cheese sticks, for example, and you will find that nice golden brown coloring you desire as well. My little NuWave Air Fryer operates like a smaller version of this, even though frying without oil isn’t actually a thing.

Pro’s and Con’s of My New Air Fryer Friend

After a weekend spent with the NuWave, we’d made air fryer pickles, air fryer vegetables, air fryer meats, air fryer everything, and I was convinced that we had a new best friend. To this day, our NuWave Fryer sits on our counter for weekly cooking adventures and re-crisping leftovers. For the two of us, the air fryer is the perfect size – we don’t have to heat up the oven, and the space limitation keeps us from over cooking and throwing food away later. Our microwave is getting less and less use as time has gone by, because our fryer can crisp up leftover pizza, or vegetables to tastes like freshly cooked. And, our oven gets less love because food in the air fryer takes less time to cook, with minimal pre-heating wait time.

The cooking functions are pretty incredible. Tofu can be pretty tricky to cook, and kind of a pain. Yet, my air fryer tofu comes out golden brown every time. Another go to for the fryer is baked potato chips with a hint of olive oil and salt.

Of course there are always a few cons. No version of the air fryer is small. Ours is not the largest version, and it does take up quite a bit of real estate on our counter. Since we do use it so much, it is a big, ugly machine that stays out. There are only two of us in the house, which makes it easy to have enough food – but I would love to hear the reviews for a larger family. I’m not sure if (my size at least) would be large enough to produce a family size amount of food. And, as mentioned above, I do not think I’d like a larger appliance out on my counter all the time.



  • Relatively Inexpensive (as low as $70)
  • Large appliance, and not that pretty
  • Delicious, Crisp Foods
  • Not enough cooking space for family size amount of food
  • Quicker Meals
  • Fun to use

NuWave Air Fryer Accessories

When you are frying without oil, you might find you need some accessories! Currently the NuWave Brio Air Fryer has some accessories including a baking pan, and cooking rack. I haven’t tried these accessories, so I can’t review them here. The double cooking rack could come in handy when you are trying to cook a full meal at once, in order to separate out items. I would love to use the baking pan to see if I could cook something like a smaller sized lasagna in my air fryer. My current pan does not allow for foods with sauces, gravies or very, very tiny pieces (ex: cooking granola).

amazon affiliate link NuWave Air Fryer Accessories Kit

What Are Your Options For Frying Without Oil?

There are a lot of other air fryers on the market, and the NuWave Brio Air Fryer is just one of them. Many people love the Ninja brand. In fact, I love my Nutri Ninja Blender. It’s a high-quality product. The Ninja Max XL Fryer is another you might want to check out with a bigger frying bin. It is also a little sleeker style. I have friends who love this fryer as well.

All in all, I love the product and would highly recommend it. My little NuWave Brio Air Fryer has really become a part of our cooking family. I would love to hear if you have one or plan on trying one out! What are your favorite recipes? Check out some yummy ones below!

amazong affiliate link Ninja Max XL air fryer

Delish’s Air Fryer Fried Pickles

The Pioneer Woman’s Buffalo Cauliflower (I use regular flour)

LiveEatLearn’s Ridiculously Crispy Air Fried Tofu

Diva’s Can Cook’s Air Fryer Southern-Style Fried Chicken

Delish’s 35+ Best Air Fryer Recipes

Frying without oil using an air fryer can be a great way to cook! Read my review of the NuWave Brio Air Fryer and find out if you should get one.

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