Air fryers are the latest fad, but what happened to the slow cooker and pizza oven?

Small Fry: A stack of air fryers in a local store. Air fryers have become a fad. We suggest just using your oven or BBQ to cook food.
Small Fry: A stack of air fryers in a local store. Air fryers have become a fad. We suggest just using your oven or BBQ to cook food.

Have you heard of the concept of the cult appliance?

Back in the day, it was mostly about the toaster and the kettle. Then the microwave arrived. Those were good days.

Nowadays, with consumerism and brand worship on steroids, appliances can sometimes gain a kind of cult status.

Air fryers seem to fall into that category. People go crazy for them. They line up before shops open, ready to pounce on a sale. Is there a shopaholics anonymous? If there is, we bet a lot of shopping addicts end up there because of these air fryers.

Air fryers could well be the purchase that makes them hit rock bottom.

Anyhow, Aldi was apparently selling air fryers on Wednesday at a big discount during one of its so-called "special buys". Of course, the fryers sold out in 10 minutes.

There's a strange kind of consumerist behaviour that goes with Aldi and its special buys. A product gets hyped up, but there's limited stock. Demand shoots up, along with shopper emotion. Sometimes arguments break out - even the odd fight. Bit like those two women who made the news for fighting over toilet paper during lockdown.

What is an air fryer anyhow? Why not just use an oven or a fry pan to cook food? Or even better, a backyard barbecue.

Well, air fryers apparently create crispy food in a similar way to deep-fried food. Some folks might go as far to say that an air fryer is a "healthier way" to have fried food. But you'll never find us using the word healthy anywhere near the term deep-fried. Damn, we kind of just did.


We don't really get the cult appliance thing. Back in the 1980s, Soda Stream was the thing. Some families had cordial and water, but the Jones's had the Soda Stream.

We know someone who loves the Smeg brand. They bought a Smeg kettle. It cost $90. The lid doesn't work properly. But hey, it's a Smeg. God knows how a brand with a name like that can rise to prominence.

As for air fryers, we can imagine people using them a few times before they migrate to the back of the cupboard.

Besides, whatever happened to the crock pot? And the slow cooker? And the pizza oven? What about the Nutribullet? And the Vitamix?

We must admit, we do have a soft spot for the Breville sandwich press. That was definitely an upgrade on those dodgy toasters that took way too long to toast the bread.

Deep Fakes

A deep-fake Tom Cruise on TikTok.

A deep-fake Tom Cruise on TikTok.

So-called "deep fake videos" of Tom Cruise have been doing the rounds online.

Digital wizardry is being used nowadays to create videos which place a person's face onto another person's face.

These deep-fake videos are getting better. It's becoming hard to spot what's real and what's not. In the case of Tom Cruise, working out if it's really him has become mission impossible [1000 apologies].

The videos have the star actor's hyper-confidence and maniacal laughter down pat.

This story Appliance mania: from the toaster and kettle to the air fryer and Nutribullet first appeared on Newcastle Herald.