Heats up and cooks fast. Delivers 1,550 watts of power. Four-quart model can accommodate as much as 3 pounds of food. Has a ceramic-coated crisper plate to give food a crunchy texture. Can also be used as a dehydrator.
Has an odor that takes a bit of time before it fades. Some durability issues reported.
Despite the budget-friendly price, this model comes with features users love, including a simple dial control, fast-heating hot air technology, and a vivid temperature indicator. Compact design doesn't take up an excessive amount of space. Good for singles, couples, and small households.
Not the best option for large households. Numbers around the dial may fade over time. Can be difficult to remove stuck-on food.
Spacious 5.8-quart design. Removable nonstick basket is dishwasher-safe and free of BPA and PFOA. Easy presets take the guesswork out of cooking popular foods and dishes. Design complements most kitchens.
Device isn't as durable as expected. Requires regular cleaning to avoid grease buildup.
This Philips air fryer boasts the brand's fat-removing technology that extracts and collects excess fat for healthier results. Turbo function heats and cooks fast. Three-quart capacity cooks up to 2 pounds of food. Has low-profile, easy-to-use digital controls.
Some cooks find the 25° temperature increments frustrating. Has a bit of a plastic smell that tends to fade with use.
Cooks food fast with eight preset options. Features several convenient preset modes. Rapid Air Circulation technology is great for low-fat cooking. Consumers love its 8-inch baking pan and 8-inch pizza pan accessories.
Lacks some of the bells and whistles of other models, but most of the essentials are there.
After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested most of our top five — the Dash Tasti Crisp Electric Air Fryer, the COSORI CP158-AF Max XL Air Fryer, and the GoWISE Digitial Air Fryer — to be sure that these products are worth your time. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.
The brilliantly named air fryer puts a spin on foods you crave so you can indulge the need for a satisfying crunch in a healthier way. The key to perfection is in superheated air that encircles your food, allowing it to cook thoroughly and evenly.
The essential considerations include finding an air fryer large enough for your needs and with intuitive controls that allow the unit to be flexible in its cooking tasks. Additionally, you'll want a model that is easy to clean and offers the option of cooking multiple foods at once. A number of manufacturers have fine-tuned their air fryers, allowing you to create a wide array of culinary wonders.
An air fryer combines several different cooking methods in one convenient appliance.
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 3 pounds of food at a time. This capacity would probably suffice in most households, but your personal circumstances might be different. For example, a two-basket air fryer is a good option for large households, as it can accommodate double the amount of standard models. Some can even cook two different types of food at different temperature settings at once.
I would recommend cooking meat in an air fryer over something you want to turn out more crispy, like french fries.
Did you know that you can make a whole chicken in some air fryers? If you want a model that can prepare this dish, choose one with a 5-quart capacity or larger.
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°F.
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.
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.
When it comes to cooking functions, you can expect to find simple dial controls on basic models and sleek touchscreens with preset functions on high-end options. Presets make it possible to cook various types of food with the precise time and temperature required with the touch of a button.
The frying basket is the part of an air fryer where food is placed during the cooking process. It has a handle that stays cool to the touch so it’s safe to remove from the unit for checking or serving food. When it’s time for cleanup, many fry baskets can be placed in the dishwasher.
Quality air fryers have baskets that are made of stainless steel with a nonstick interior coating. They vary in size depending on the model.
Crafted of metal with holes that help the hot air circulate, this removable component fits in the bottom of the frying basket and helps produce a uniform crispy finish. Also sometimes referred to as a crisping tray, it typically has a nonstick finish and can usually be cleaned in the dishwasher.
Air fryer prices commonly begin above the $100 mark. For example, the popular Ninja Foodi is often found for around $249. That said, you get what you pay for — an excellent product — and there are sales to be found. 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.
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.
Here are some other reasons why people are replacing deep frying with other cooking methods:
Air fryers cook fast, but preheating the appliance before placing food in the basket will further cut down on cooking times.
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.
A: Many models offer dividers that 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.
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.
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.