You’ve been introduced to the various types of air fryers available on today’s market, as well as their features and accessories. Now, you may wonder, which air cooker should I buy?
Before you lay down your cash at your local retailer, consider this guide to buying an air fryer. The following information will be helpful whether you are a first-time buyer or are replacing an existing unit.
Quick Look – Best Air Fryer Choices
Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.
Top-Rated Air Fryers
Here are the Best Air Fryers Ranked, in Order:
|Cosori 5.8 QT||1700w||5.8 qt.||Digital||2-year|
|GoWise USA Air Fryer Oven||1600w||12.7 qt.||Digital||1-year|
|The Ninja Foodi||1400w||6.5 qt.||Digital||1-year|
|Cuisinart TOA-60||1800w||18 qt.||Manual||3-year|
|Philips XL HD9240/94||2100w||4 qt.||Digital||2-year|
Our Favorite Air Fryer Picks
Air Fryer or Air Cooker?
Though the names are used interchangeably, we believe “air cooker” to be the most descriptive term for this versatile appliance. Why? Because these oil-less cookers don’t just “fry” food. Nor are they always “oil-less”- in fact, a touch of oil added to air cooked foods prior to the cooking process can yield outstanding results. Air cookers can also cook foods in a manner similar to a roaster, depending on the recipe and the settings you use. Then, there are accessories that allow you to rotisserie, grill, bake, saute, and more.
What is an Air Fryer?
An air cooker is an innovative kitchen appliance that uses superheated air to cook food. It is a relatively new innovation, introduced by the Dutch technology company Philips in 2010. Due in part to consumer trust already established by Philips’ other efficient electronics, the air cooker soon took the world by storm. Air cookers have donned a number of designs, but the egg-shaped or cylindrical design is by far the most popular. These air cookers include a removable pan and frying basket that makes inserting, stirring, and removing food safe and easy.
Simple controls for time, temperature, and presets make come in the form of manual knobs or advanced digital displays. Air cookers can be placed in the category of “the next greatest kitchen appliance,” along with family favorites such as the slow cooker and the Instant Pot. While it may not change the course of history, the invention of the air cooker has been a welcome addition to the kitchens of homemakers, college students, and famous chefs alike.
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
Air cookers use heating elements to warm the air inside to very high temperatures. Natural convection currents circulate this air, assisted by fans within the appliance. Movement of air and high temperatures result in increased heat transfer to the cooking food. The result? Delicious snacks that are browned and crispy on the outside, while still soft and moist on the inside.
What is the Best Air Fryers on the Market?
We’ve rounded up a list of the best air fryer models on the market. After extensive research, we consider these air fryers to be the best choices in terms of price, versatility, and value.
In the product reviews that follow, we will examine the features and qualities of each model, as well as what we and other owners like and dislike.
In this way, you will be able to make an informed decision as to the air fryer that best suits your family’s needs.
Best Air Fryers – Top Recommendations
Dash Mini Air Fryer
The Dash is one of the smallest air fryer on the market, and it comes in trendy colors to enliven any kitchen.
The Dash air fryer has manual controls for cook time and temperature. For safety, the appliance automatically shuts off when the 30 minute timer runs out. It is also equipped with a “cool touch” basket handle and exterior housing. Non-slip feet help keep the appliance in place. The fryer basket is non-stick and dishwasher safe to enable easy cleanup.
Size and Appearance
The Dash has a cooking capacity of 1.2 quarts, suitable for preparing one serving of your favorite food. The Dash is narrow and lightweight. It is just over 10 inches tall, with a footprint of 11.5 by 8 inches. It weighs only 5.7 pounds. The temperature control is located on the top, the timer on the front. The Dash comes in fun colors to match any decor, including aqua, black, grey, red, and white. Each model has silver accents.
Cozyna 5.8 Quart
This air fryer from Cozyna is large enough to cook a meal for the entire family. For an air cooker of its size, the Cozyna 5.8 Quart can be considered a bargain buy, combining high quality with a reasonable price.
The 1700 watt Cozyna air fryer has manual controls, featuring temperature adjustments up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and a 30 minute timer. This model comes with a unique basket divider which can be placed in the center of the frying basket to keep flavors separated. Removable parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. The appliance comes with a 60 day money back satisfaction guarantee.
Size and Appearance
This Cozyna air fryer is egg-shaped with a dished top. It has a capacity of 5.8 quarts, or 5.5 liters. It comes in classic shades of black with silvertone accents. The air fryer is 16 inches tall with a footprint of about 14 square inches. It weighs just under 15 pounds.
Philips HD9240/94 Avance XL
Philips is one of the most trusted air fryer brands as well as most expensive. Philips is known, not only for its warranty, but also for product longevity. Philips air fryers contain high quality parts, such as the stainless steel basket, and some owners report using their Philips air fryer continually for more than five years.
Use the smart preset button to remember the time and temperature settings for the food you cook the most, or use the digital touchscreen to control these settings manually. The timer may be set up to 60 minutes, and the temperature up to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. The removable basket and drawer are dishwasher safe.
Size and Appearance
The large, easy-to-read digital display features yellow numerals and symbols. A handy cook time and temperature chart is printed right on the face of the air fryer. It includes suggested cooking instructions for six of your favorite items, including muffins and French fries. The appliance is glossy black in color. This extra large cooker has the capacity to handle 2.65 pounds of food in a single cook cycle. This large air fryer stands 16.6 inches tall, with a footprint of over 12 inches. It is a heavyweight at nearly 19 pounds.
GoWise USA 5.8 Quart
This large air fryer has a 5.8 quart capacity, making it ideal for families of four or more. It also comes in a range of colors, more than nearly any other model on the market today.
The digital touch screen allows you choose one of eight cooking presets – pizza, fish, shrimp, chicken, steak, pork, fries/chips, or cake. Or, you can set your own cooking temperature in ten degree increments in the range of 180 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooking timer may be set up to 30 minutes. A start/stop button allows you to change the cook time or temperature in the middle of a cooking cycle. You can also set a “shake timer” to remind you to stir your food at five, ten , or fifteen minute increments. The pan has a cool touch handle, and it, along with the basket, are non-stick and dishwasher safe.
Size and Appearance
This 5.8 quart egg-shaped air fryer comes in a wide variety of colors, including black, blush (similar to rose gold), chilli red, majestic yellow, mint, plum (purple), teal, or white, each with silver accents. It has a large, easy-to-read, blue digital display. The air fryer is 13.5 inches tall, with a footprint of approximately 12 square inches. It weighs about 16 pounds.
If you’re interested in cooking large food items or cooking in bulk, a countertop convection oven might be the right appliance for you.
Countertop convection ovens resemble conventional ovens, but they use fans to circulate hot air as do air fryers. The result? Crispy foods in less time. Cuisinart’s 1700 watt oven is versatile. It has seven distinct functions, including air fry, bake, broil, convection bake, convection broil, toast, and warn. The interior has over half a cubic foot of cooking space, and is non-stick for easy cleanup of baked-on spills. Controls include a 60 minute timer with automatic shut off, an adjustable thermostat, and a toast shade selector. Accessories include an oven rack, baking pan, and an air fryer basket.
Size and Appearance
This countertop oven is silver in color and rectangular in shape. The oven door has a large window so that you can keep an eye on what you’re cooking. Inside, it uses two cooking racks or baskets. The manual knob controls are located on the front of the oven, just above the oven door. The oven is 14 inches tall, with a footprint of 16 by 14 inches. It weighs 21 pounds.
The Complete Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Air Fryer
Don’t be intimidated by the buying process. Consider the following aspects in order to find the perfect air fryer to fit your family’s lifestyle.
- Types of Air Fryers
- Display, Presets & Controls
- Cheap Vs Expensive
What Are the Different Types of Air Fryers?
All air fryers have a heating unit and a fan to circulate the hot air around the food, but each type offers a unique approach.
Egg/Round Shaped Air Fryers (most common)
Basket type air fryers are by far the most popular on the market. Their applications and features make them well suited to everyday use in cooking at home.
These cookers typically come in two designs
- Round (egg-shaped)
This larger model, similar to the preceding, offers a digital display as well as an ample supply of accessories.
Air Fryer Ovens
Oven style air fryers are a relatively new design, and as such can be difficult to find. Like other models, the fryer circulates air heated by an element. The difference is in the design of the cooking surface.
Rather than utilizing a basket or pan as do other fryers, oven style air fryers have a number of horizontal racks, just like a traditional oven. The advantage of this is that different types of food can be cooked simultaneously on the various racks. For example, you could place chicken strips on one rack, tater tots on another, and roast corn on still another.
A number of accessories can be used with this type of air fryer, including small baking dishes and kabob skewers. Uniquely, a rotisserie spit is also available to cook small chickens or other carved meats.
Countertop Convection Ovens
Technically an air fryer in design, counter top convection ovens can be used for a range of cooking and heating purposes, such as steaming, baking, roasting, grilling, and dehydrating. Some are designed to stir or turn the food while cooking, similar to the paddle style fryer. This versatile countertop convection oven sports a digital display and a number of unique settings.
Paddle Type Air Fryers
First released in 2006, the paddle design is sometimes considered the “original” air fryer. Paddle type fryers contain a rotating paddle that stirs and turns the food while it cooks.
T-Fal air fryers employ a rotating paddle to turn the food as it cooks, eliminating the need to remove and shake the frying basket. The T-Fal Actifry is our favorite air fryer that operates on this principle. The rotating paddle is the brand’s signature feature.
Halogen Air Fryers
Halogen air fryers differ from standard basket types in the type of heat source used. While most air fryers possess a heating element similar to that of a conventional oven, halogen models rely on halogen bulbs instead. This is reminiscent of the heat source in the classic Easy Bake Ovens for children.
The Big Boss represents a different kind of air fryer, sometimes referred to as a countertop convection cooker or halogen oven. The glass bowl makes the Big Boss a heavyweight compared to many other air fryers, put it also packs a punch in terms of capacity. At 16 quarts, this appliance earns its title as the Big Boss of air fryers.
Advertised as the appliance that can do it all, multi cookers purported to “grill, bake, steam, saute, pan fry, stew, stir fry, slow cook, roast or make sauces.” Like the paddle style fryers, multi cookers feature a paddle or stirring wand, and air is circulated.
Innovators are constantly reinventing the ways in which we prepare our food. The Multifry multi cooker is an example of this. It combines elements of air fryer and traditional multi cookers, resulting in a versatile appliance.
Air fryers come in a wide range of sizes as well. The smallest holds just over one quart (about one liter) of food and are suitable for one person. Small air fryers are capable of preparing one to two servings of, say, French fries at a time. Large capacity air fryers – up to sixteen quarts – may be able to make six or more servings of food at a time. When purchasing your air fryer, think of the size of your household and how much food you may desire to cook at once. Also, consider how many people you typically entertain when feeding guests. Remember, smaller air fryers can still be used to feed a crowd (by filling and refilling), and larger ones are capable of cooking one serving or many. We’ve created this comparison chart to help you pick the right air fryer size.
Bigger is better: You get the most ‘bang for your buck’ when you buy a larger air fryer.
Don’t let the number of air fryer brands overwhelm you. You don’t have to examine every air fryer on the market to discover which is the right fit for you. Why? Because we’ve done the hard work for you.
Air fryers differ in power or wattage. Typically, air fryers range from 1,200 watts to 2,100 watts. What do watts mean to you? Higher wattage air fryers will be able to heat faster and maintain hotter temperatures. You may notice that lower wattage air fryers max out at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, while higher wattage models often top 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher wattage models are generally more energy efficient, heating and cooking more quickly.
Digital vs Manual
What type of control and display panel is best? Manual (analog) knobs or digital touch screens? This is purely a matter of preference, as both styles are equally effective. Some large-print digital displays are advantageous for those with vision impairments. Manual knobs may be preferred by those seeking an escape from the pervasive effects of modern technology. Some models of both manual and digital air fryers come with handy presets for automatically cooking foods such as meats, fish, fries, and more. Some allow for custom presents as well, in which you can save the cook time and temperature of your most often prepared foods.
These options can help you save valuable time. Another consideration is that of buying additional warranties for air fryers with digital controls. Control panels have been known to go bad over time due to the amount of heat they are exposed to.
Many retailers offer an extended warranty – typically one to two years beyond the manufacturer’s warranty – for a small fee. Further, some halogen style air fryers use halogen bulbs that are not replaceable; these are known for having a relatively short lifespan. Therefore, extended warranties are advisable for this type of air fryer as well.
Air fryers are available in a wide range of prices. If you are on a budget, you can commonly find high-quality air fryers for as little as $49.00. If you’d like to go all-out and bring home all the bells and whistles, high-end air fryers sell for as much as $299.00. These prices are, of course, subject to change, and prices typically drop the longer a specific product is on the market. A good practice is to decide on a budget for your new appliance, then get the most powerful air fryer available for that price.
The different air fryer brands have warranties of different lengths. Some warranties are as short as 60 days, while others may extend to two years or more. Warranties can be viewed as a company’s vote of confidence in their product – the product is designed to outlast the warranty, at least. The longer the warranty, the more sound the product may be. Especially if purchasing an air fryer brand known to have a short lifespan, be sure to opt for an extended warranty. No matter which model you purchase, be sure it offers a warranty of at least 1 year.
Buyer Beware(Noname Knockoffs Brands)
Everyone wants a piece of the air fryer pie – pardon the pun. There are unscrupulous companies out there who offer inferior products, untested and constructed of lightweight materials. While such air fryers may look like a bargain, the product itself may not last long. You may be able to identify such a product by a large number of negative product reviews.
If most of the reviews say that the appliance worked for only a few days, weeks, or months, or if it does not offer a warranty, that air fryer may be a dud. Do your research. If you’ve never heard of a certain “generic” brand, look it up. If you can’t find adequate information about the company and the quality of their products, opt for a brand you already trust. The most trusted brands are Philips, GoWise USA, and Cozyna.
There are definitely a lot of air fryers out there. No matter which model you pick, you’ll have crunchy air-fried French fries, but we hope that this guide has given you the confidence to make the leap.