Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
/ Source: TODAY
By Courtney Gisriel

I'm no expert in the kitchen, and I'll admit to ordering takeout too many nights in a row. Yet, at this point, I have mastered the oven and the microwave. So, when everyone in the office started talking about airfryers, I decided I was ready for the next step on my culinary journey.

If you've never heard of an airfryer before, let me tell you: It is fascinating. It harnesses hot air and whips it around within a contained chamber like a tornado to evenly cook food and create a crispy exterior. It's like a deep fryer without the hassle and added calories.

Sounds magical, right?

I decided to try one out for this week's episode of "The Check Out," and it was — without question — the most delicious episode yet.

Philips XXL Airfryer, $300, Amazon

TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

Naturally, I started out with french fries. They took a little longer than I anticipated, but they tasted delicious! It took about as long as it might take to bake fries in an oven, but the crunchy texture made the time spent so worthwhile.

I also heard that the airfryer's really good for preparing frozen food like chicken nuggets and other snacks that taste better with a crispy exterior. So, I decided to cook a package of frozen egg rolls from my local grocery store. I experimented with different cooking times, because they didn't come out as crispy as I had hoped the first time around.

Cooking them a few minutes longer made them much more crispy!

To discover more deals, shopping tips and budget-friendly product recommendations, subscribe to our Stuff We Love newsletter!

One of the biggest benefits of this particular model is that it has so much space to cook big meals at once. So, after the egg rolls, I undertook my final challenge: an entire 3-pound chicken.

That's correct ladies and gentlemen, I cooked a full chicken in 40 minutes, and it turned out absolutely delicious. The skin on the outside was crispy and flavorful, and the tender meat would have been good enough to serve guests at a dinner party.

After using the airfryer for a few days, there's no question I need more practice — but the more I tried it, the more confident I felt using it.

Just like any appliance, there isn't an exact science to it. While I followed the brand's recommendations for cooking times, I also used my best judgement about whether foods needed to be cooked longer. It's a learning process!

Now, If you ever find yourself at party hosted by yours truly, don't be surprised if the menu consists of only air-fried snacks.

Philips XXL Airfryer, $300, Amazon

This is the model I used for all of my fried food glory.

Philips Viva Airfryer, $140, Amazon

This model, also from Philips, is similar, but smaller. It would be a great alternative for anyone with a smaller living space.

Air Fryer by Cozyna, $80, Amazon

This less expensive model is a similar size to the XXL airfryer, and is one of Amazon's best-sellers.

Dash Compact Air Fryer, $60, Amazon

This is a stylish option that comes in other fun colors like red, white and mint green.

New episodes of "The Check Out" are released on TODAY's YouTube channel. For more like this, be sure to subscribe here.