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Best For Your Buck Product
Best bang for the buck
GoWISE USA
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Best Of The Best Product
Best of the best
Philips
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds—we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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Shopping Guide for Best Air Fryers

An air fryer cooks food with hot air instead of oil, making it a very healthy appliance to have in the kitchen.

The best air fryers on the market are durable and dependable with features that address everyday cooking demands.

If you’re looking to buy an air fryer — and you’d like some advice about what constitutes a good one and which products to consider — you’ve come to the right place.

At BestReviews, we perform extensive research and interview experts in order to determine which products sit at the top of the market.

We never accept free manufacturer samples; we use our own funds to purchase the same “off the shelf” products that you do. After we’ve put them through their paces in the BestReviews lab, we donate them to charity.

Please continue reading this shopping guide to learn more about this useful cooking appliance. And when you’re ready to make a purchase, please refer to our product matrix, above, for our endorsement of the top five air fryers on today’s market.

How It Works

An air fryer combines several different cooking methods in one convenient appliance.

  • An electric coil suspended above the food provides radiant heating, much like a broiler element or stovetop burner. This dry heat penetrates the food and warms it internally.
  • Meanwhile, a fan positioned above the coil creates a current of superheated air that flows around and under the food. This is convection heating, a cooking method often found in commercial ovens.
  • The convection action converts the small amount of oil you use into a fine mist that coats the food as it circulates. This action mimics the effect traditional deep frying has on foods submerged in hot cooking oil.
  • As the hot air flows, the food's own moisture creates the steam needed to finish the cooking process.
Steve
EXPERT CONSULTANT

Currently Executive Chef at Bon Appétit Management Company, Steve began his tenure with Bon Apetit as Chef de Partie. He has over ten years of experience, including tenures at two- and three-Michelin star restaurants. Steve is passionate about all things cooking – products, supply chain, management, menu design, and budgeting.


Steve  |  Executive Chef

Wattage and Capacity

To work their magic, air fryers typically require between 800 and 2,100 watts of power. Before you buy an air fryer, make sure your kitchen outlet can support this kind of wattage.

Another important pre-purchase consideration is an air fryer's capacity. Most fryers can cook between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds of food at a time. This capacity would probably suffice in most households, but your personal circumstances might be different.

Save money and calories by making snacks in your own home.

Size and Settings

Most air fryers are relatively compact and easy to fit on a kitchen counter. But despite their straightforward design, some air fryers have settings that may be more or less appealing to you. Most machines include timers and can reach at least 360° Fahrenheit. We prefer those that stretch a bit higher than that.

I would recommend cooking meat in an air fryer over something you want to turn out more crispy, like french fries.

Steve
Executive Chef

Pros and Cons of Air Fryers

There is no doubt that air fryers serve a multitude of purposes in the kitchen, from creating an oil-less version of fried foods to steaming vegetables to baking cupcakes and brownies. But an air fryer does have its limitations and drawbacks.

Here’s a look at the pros of cooking with an air fryer:

  • Pro: An air fryer produces crisp, moist food without the need for a deep fryer or large amounts of oil. If avoiding saturated fats and heavily fried foods is on your list of dietary priorities, then using an air fryer instead of a deep oil fryer is clearly the way to go.
  • Pro: Air fryers are much easier to clean and maintain than traditional deep fryers. There is no large container of hot cooking oil to filter and store. The air fryer's cooking basket can be washed by hand or in a dishwasher between uses.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

Philips AirFryer

The Philips Digital AirFryer with Rapid Air Technology comes with a cooking basket that can hold 2.65 pounds of food. The machine's generous 2,100 watts of power allows it to cook food quickly. Owners tend to like the food quality they achieve with this air fryer, although some say they wish it had a larger capacity.

Here’s a look at the cons of cooking with an air fryer:

  • Con: The constant flow of dry, superheated air around many foods can eventually strip them of moisture, especially on the surface. While some people may accept a bit of dryness as the price paid for healthier eating, others could be disappointed by the dryness and/or lack of flavor in air fried foods.
  • Con: Cooking times can be considerably longer in an air fryer than a traditional deep fryer.
EXPERT TIP

Most air fryers don’t need to be preheated. The cooking process starts when you place the loaded cooking basket in the chamber and select your preferred cooking time and temperature.


Nina  | Gourmet Chef, Health Care Executive

Features

Many air fryers use just a small amount of oil, but some health-conscious consumers might opt for a completely oil-free fryer. “Multipurpose” air fryers can cook two or more types of food at once. Other features you might be interested in include digital programmable settings, rapid-cook technology, and nonstick surfaces.

In an air fryer, superheated air is forced to the bottom of the food chamber by a fan. It then travels upward through the food and back into the fan for recirculation.

Price

Air fryer prices commonly begin above the $100 mark. However, the best of these appliances make up for their high price tags with efficient frying and easy cleanup. Budget-conscious consumers can definitely find fryers in their price range, as can those who are looking for a high-end model.

Some air fryers offer a higher temperature maximum than others. French fries and chicken typically require about 360°F to cook. Steak requires a slightly hotter setting.

The Case Against Deep Frying

As air fryers grow in popularity, it’s important to understand the reasons why traditional deep frying has become an “issue” with many health-conscious cooks.

First off, the amount of saturated fat contained in lard and other animal fats is high. Diets rich in saturated fats can lead to arterial clogging, which in turn can lead to strokes and heart disease, according to some medical sources.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

GoWISE USA 4th Generation Electric Air Fryer

The GoWISE fits nicely on most kitchen counters and offers temperature control between 176° and 392°F, a range that’s sufficient for food items large and small. Its timer reaches up to 30 minutes, allowing plenty of cooking time for most dishes. A user note: after "pausing" the machine, time and temperature must be reset. If you don't do this, you could end up cooking your food at the wrong temperature or for too long.

Here are some other reasons why people are replacing deep frying with other cooking methods:

  1. Cooking oils break down over time. Animal-based shortenings have very limited shelf life, as they do not react well with the outside air and become rancid. Vegetable oils also begin to separate into water and fat after several deep frying sessions. Replacing these cooking oils, especially in the quantities required for larger deep fryers, can become expensive and time-consuming.
  2. Deep frying creates hazardous byproducts. Small bits of batter or dry coating tend to fall into the cooking oil as products cook. Some sources believe these carbonized pieces form hazardous, possibly carcinogenic, chemicals that people could inadvertently ingest along with their meal.
  3. Deep fryers require diligent maintenance. A deep fryer remains too hot to handle for several hours after use. As such, it’s a challenge to perform important tasks like oil filtering. Working with large amounts of animal-based fat is also a messy and thankless job for many cooks. There is also the problem of having a large container of scalding hot oil within reach of small children.
  4. Ideal cooking temperatures are hard to maintain. The secret to successful deep frying is maintaining a proper oil temperature. When cooking oil falls below a certain temperature, the food's internal moisture does not repel the oil as well, resulting in greasy, undercooked food. Simply putting a bag of frozen food into a hot deep fryer will affect the oil temperature, and the heating elements of many deep fryers take a long time to recover from the shock. This is not a concern with superheated cooking methods such as convection or air frying.
If you’re into low-fat cooking, you’ll probably appreciate the convection aspect of an air fryer. The convection fan circulates hot air around the ingredients instead of oil. You can significantly cut the amount of fat in a favorite food like French fries by using an air fryer.
Philips AirFryer

BEST OF THE BEST

The Philips Digital AirFryer's outstanding features and reliable results earn it our "Best of the Best" award. Yes, it’s an expensive air fryer, but in the case of the Philips, you get what you pay for.

High customer ratings, coupled with numerous handy features and a history of durability, make this air fryer a useful addition to any kitchen. We particularly like the double-layer rack that maximizes cooking surface and the digital touchscreen that allows you to adjust temperature up to 390°F. What's more, when you're done preparing your food, dishwasher safe parts make cleanup easy and quick, allowing you to sit back and enjoy your meal.

Speaking of food, the Philips has a knack for producing delicious, delectable sustenance without the added calories and fat of fried food. According to the manufacturer, total fat content is reduced up to 70% when prepared in this appliance. Best of all, customers tell us that air-fried Philips food has the taste and texture of fried food — but without the guilt! If you're looking for an appliance that will assist you in creating scrumptious, healthy recipes, you can't do better than the Philips Digital AirFryer.

Be careful not to crowd the air fryer. If you overload the basket, it will cook the food unevenly — it's better to split the food into two rounds of frying.
GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

A generous mix of features and positive performance ratings prompt us to give the GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer our "Best Bang for Your Buck" award. You get a lot from this machine for an appealing price. The GoWISE can handle everything from meat to vegetables, and best of all, its cooking method keeps you eating healthy without sacrificing delicious taste and food quality.

With the GoWISE's Rapid Air Circulation technology, you get the taste and texture of fried food without the added fat and calories. You can also opt to grill, roast, or bake food with this appliance; it's a versatile addition to any kitchen. And while it's true that a few discerning customers told us they don't like the taste of air-fried food, most people we surveyed find the GoWISE to be an excellent cooking solution.

The GoWISe includes several important safety features, including a removable pan with a cool-touch handle, overheat protection, and automatic shutoff. When you consider the attention to detail the manufacturer has given this product — great taste, healthy food prep, safety features, and a low price to boot — it's hard to deny that the GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer is the best budget-friendly air fryer on the market today.

DID YOU KNOW?

You can bake a cake in an air fryer. All you need is batter, a pan, a little oil, and a little time.

Other Products We Considered

Though inexpensive air fryers are available, we didn't find a model in the $50 to $80 range that we could recommend. But spend a little more, and the competition grows fierce. The Cozyna Air Fryer is one of several good machines that won't break the bank. At 3.2 liters (3.38 quarts), it's fractionally smaller than the 3.5-quart U.S. size, but it makes little difference, and a 5-liter version is also available. This product has earned plenty of positive remarks, but fault reports — including baskets not fitting properly and temperature fluctuations — exceeded our benchmarks.

The Avalon Bay Air Fryer is in the same class as the Cozyna, and like the Cozyna, it holds 3.2 liters. We like the inclusion of a baking dish and rack and the fact that buyers have several color choices. Initial performance is adequate if not exceptional, but a closer look at owner feedback reveals problems with rust on the interior and poor longevity.

For similar money, you can get the Secura 1,500-watt, 4-liter air fryer. This comes with an additional toaster rack, skewers, and a non-stick coated basket. However, while the cooking guides on the front of the machine are clear, the numbers around the timer and temperature controls are tiny. This is a minor gripe, but the Secura goes head-to-head with the GoWISE USA, and the latter is a better choice.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

Philips AirFryer

One of the Philips' greatest features is the taste of the food it prepares. This fryer cooks French fries and other items that, despite a 70% reduction in fat, taste delicious. Food cooks evenly and quickly thanks to Rapid Air technology, a unique design on the bottom of the unit that evenly distributes hot air. Even after reaching high temperatures, the Philips' stay-cool handles are easy to grab with bare hands. Other notable features include a simple, touch-screen interface, a double-layer rack to maximize cooking surface, and dishwasher-safe parts.

The Gourmia GAF420 has a 4.5-quart capacity, which certainly is impressive for the price. It also has a good selection of one-touch presets and a clear LED. The problem here is build quality. It doesn't feel like it's made to last, and customers agree.

DeLonghi has an excellent reputation, and their FH1363 MultiFry is a top machine. Most owners love theirs. Frustrations are minor: the built-in paddle isn't as good as hoped; the machine is rather complicated; the plastic top grows very hot. We do like it, but at this end of the price range, a contender has to beat out the Philips XL, and the DeLonghi doesn't.

If you’re considering an air fryer instead of a deep fryer because you want to reduce your consumption of oil, you’re on the right track. But even air fryer recipes often require a little bit of oil.

FAQ

Q: What if I need to add a seasoning or ingredient to a dish? Can I remove the cooking basket?

A: It depends on the model, so consult your owner's manual to be certain. Many air fryers do allow you to pull out the basket during the cooking cycle in order to stir the product or add seasoning. The unit should shut off automatically if it has this feature.

Q: Can I cook more than one food item at the same time?

A: Many models offer dividers which keep different food items separate during a cooking cycle. We recommend only combining foods with similar prep times or temperatures to avoid overcooking or undercooking.

Q: Can I cook frozen meats or vegetable in an air fryer?

A: Yes, in most cases you can prepare meats and vegetables from a frozen state in an air fryer. The superheated air and convection action draw excess moisture to an exhaust port, so frozen foods won't become mushy from unwanted steaming. It is important to keep in mind that cooking times may be extended considerably when starting from frozen.

Q: Can I use aluminum foil or other baking paper in an air fryer?

A: Since air fryers do not use microwave technology, you can safely use aluminum foil or metal containers. Parchment paper will also work in an air fryer. The important thing to remember is that the superheated air requires free circulation to work. Food wrappers should not block the natural flow of hot air around the cooking chamber.

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