We’ve Rounded Up The Best Air Fryers
Isn’t fried food awesome? It sure is. Unfortunately, it’s also terrible for us. If you’re conscious about your health, you probably only indulge in delicious deep fried foods once in awhile. But, what if there was a way you could enjoy healthier versions of your favorite fried foods? Thankfully, there is! Thanks to air fryers, you too can enjoy all your favorites, with just a fraction of the added fat and calories that deep frying is responsible for. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at air fryers in general, as well as the best options that are currently on the market.
What is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is an appliance that cooks food by using extremely hot air which is circulated throughout the inside of your fryer. An air fryer probably has more in common with a convection oven than it does with a traditional deep fryer. However, due to the cooking process that takes place inside the air fryer, food comes out deliciously crispy, as if it had been fried. This short animated video does a great job to illustrate how an air fryer works.
Why Should You Own an Air Fryer?
There are some amazing benefits to an air fryer. Best of all, this appliance cooks food with less fat and calories than deep frying would. It’s easy to understand why it’s such a cool appliance when you compare it to its “cousins” the convection oven and the deep fryer.
Unlike a traditional convection oven, air fryers usually have a compact, cylindrical shape. This shape helps to allow them to cook food very quickly, while also providing that delicious crispness that the air fryer has become famous for. They’re also much easier to clean than a convection oven, take up less space and are usually more affordable as well.
With a traditional deep fryer, oil is heated with gas or an electric heating element. Then, food is immersed in the hot oil to cook it. While this process produces decadent, rich and crispy fried food, it’s not exactly good for you. Fortunately, an air fryer uses as much as 80% less oil in the cooking process. In addition to the fact that it’s healthier, an air fryer also has a much smaller footprint. You’ll be able to make room for an air fryer in the smallest of kitchens. Meanwhile, you’ll either need lots of space or a separate area to store a traditional deep fryer if you plan on adding one to your kitchen repertoire. Also, since you aren’t dealing with a vat of hot oil in the cooking process, an air fryer is also safer to use. Finally, anyone who has even used a deep fryer can tell you; they’re an absolute nightmare to clean. Not the case with the air fryer. You’ll be able to clean your air fryer in about a minute flat, once you’ve finished cooking.
How to Choose the Best Air Fryer
Which air fryer is best? Not all air fryers are created equally. In your search for the best air fryer to buy, you’re likely to find a myriad of different features and amenities available with different models. To choose the best model for your needs, you’ll want to consider the points below, and evaluate how important each attribute is to you. Once you’ve narrowed your most important features, choosing which is the best air fryer for you will be easy.
While all air fryers are fairly small, some are larger than others. Are you cooking for yourself, or for an entire family? If you plan on making meals for 2 or more in your air fryer, you may want to look towards a model with a larger capacity basket. Some companies even manufacture the same air fryer in multiple sizes to suit the needs of different sized families.
Size and Weight
Another consideration you’ll need to consider is the size and weight of your air fryer. If you’re planning on leaving your fryer in your kitchen permanently, you’ll need to choose a model that makes sense for the size of your kitchen. Even though they’re relatively small, they still do take up valuable real estate on your counter.
Are you planning on storing the fryer somewhere else when it isn’t in use? While they may look small and sleek, air fryers can weigh upwards of 20 pounds thanks to the sizable heating element inside. If you’re planning on moving the air fryer every time you use it, you may want to look into a model with a small footprint that’s easy to carry.
There are two different types of display that you’ll come across when looking for a fryer: analog and digital. Analog displays are exceptionally easy to use and are the most user-friendly. However, over time these analog controls can begin to gunk up if they aren’t cleaned regularly, causing the unit to fail. With an analog display, you may find that there is a bit of a learning curve. However, most of these displays are entirely water/oil proof and are easy to clean. If you plan on using your air fryer often and want a product that can stand up to
Air fryers can be extremely versatile. With the right accessories, an air fryer can do a fine job in place of a deep fryer, a convection oven, and even a traditional oven as well. Some air fryers include a few accessories, such as a recipe book and cooking rack. Other fryers are even more comprehensive and include additional cooking baskets, basket dividers and more. Several of the larger manufacturers include a full range of aftermarket accessories which you can purchase separately. If you plan on using your air fryer in place of other appliances, like your oven, you’ll want to find a model that offers additional accessories or at least has them available for purchase separately.
If your air fryer is going to be a permanent fixture in your kitchen, the color of the unit may be a major consideration for you. The majority of the air fryers you’ll find will be available in black. However, several manufacturers make fryers which are available in several different colors, and even specialty finishes like stainless steel.
Some air fryers are more powerful than others. In this case, wattage refers to the power of the appliance. An air fryer with more wattage will be able to generate more heat more quickly and can cook your food more efficiently.
Top Air Fryers
Wondering what is the best air fryer? Now that you’re practically an expert on the ins and outs of air frying let’s see if we can’t figure out what is the best hot air fryer.
Best Air Fryers Under $100
If you’re not looking to break the bank with a top of the line air fryer, you’re still in luck! There’s plenty of great air fryers in the $50-$100 price range that may be perfect for your needs.
The 8-in-1 2.0 from GoWISE packs premium features into a value package. This particular model manages to maintain a large capacity despite its small footprint. Inside, it feels like you’re able to utilize every inch of space. We also appreciated the fact that the item is available in multiple colors to suit different kitchens. You can get this item in black, white or red. With 1400 watts of power, this model is a strong choice for even the most demanding applications. This fryer also includes intuitive features such as an auto shut-off and 30-minute timer. You can set the fryer for temperatures between 176 and 392°F, which makes this fryer a versatile option for different types of foods. The 8 different presets make it a strong fit for cooking a variety of foods. In my opinion, this is also the best air fryer for chips. It’s also very well insulated and can be used on bare countertops without issue as it doesn’t generate much external heat. GoWISE offers a few additional accessories, as well as replacement parts for all of their fryers. For the price, this model is an air fryer best buy.
The 150B from Avalon Bay is a capable air fryer and may be a smart choice for people who primarily only cook for themselves. It features easy to use analog controls for time and temperature and is adjustable from 200 to 400°F, with a 30-minute timer. It’s fairly high powered, but it also manages to be super lightweight, making the 150B a smart choice for anyone who will be moving their air fryer in and out of storage between uses. In fact, since this unit is a little on the larger side, many people will want to move this fryer into storage between uses to maximize their kitchen space. This air fryer review wouldn’t be complete without discussing the included accessories. This model includes a two-piece baking set, as well as a recipe book which includes tons of great ideas for meals, snacks and even desserts that you can make with the air fryer. They are truly some of the best air fryer recipes. This model is affordable to begin with, but when you add in the free accessories it becomes a “best price” air fryer overall. Considering it’s small capacity for food, the unit is a little on the large side. But, overall this model is a “best buy” air fryer., especially for singles.
If you’re like me, you probably think of Black+Decker primarily as a company that produces power tools and hardware. But, they also make a nifty little air fryer that works very well. At just around $100, this model is at the top end of the under $100 category, but it provides some added versatility compared to some other models. At 2.1 quarts, the HF110SBD is small, but not too small. This model features analog controls for temperature, which can be set between 175 and 400 degrees as well as time, which can be set for up to one hour. A two-year warranty from Black+Decker provides an added level of peace of mind. This fryer is medium sized and could be left out in most kitchens, especially since its striking black and stainless steel finish is nice to look at. At only 1200 watts, this model may be a bit undersized for larger applications. But, most people will be able to get what they need from this fryer.
This large capacity air fryer from Simple Chef lives up to its namesake as it’s extremely easy to use. This unit features two analog dials. One dial controls the temperature and offers 4 temperature presets 175°F, 250°F, 320°F and 400°F. The other dial is for the integrated timer. At 1400 watts with a 3.6-quart capacity, this fryer can handle anything you can throw at it. But, it is a bit on the larger side and doesn’t make as good of use of the space as some other models on the market. In more than one airfryer review I came across, users lamented the inability to stray from the 4 preset temperature settings. You also may be alarmed by the fact this manufacturer only offers a 30-day warranty compared to many other manufacturers which offer warranties of a year or longer. Considering that this item runs around $90, you may want to look towards one of the other air fryers on this list.
Best Air Fryers Over $100
What is the best air fryer to buy? In addition to the value-priced options above, there are also several premium air fryers available for a bit more money. All of these fryers are priced between $100-$200 and represent some of the best options on the market.
This 10.5-quart capacity air fryer from Tinychefs is arguably the most versatile option on this list, as well as one of the most attractive. Unlike most air fryers which have a capacity of 3.5 quarts or less, this model has a 10.5-quart capacity. It also features a unique transparent design that allows you to observe the cooking process. Unlike many other air fryers which resemble an egg shape with a pull-out frying basket, this model more closely resembles a crock pot. This fryer features intuitive controls, 8 different cooking presets and some different useful accessories for different cooking techniques and styles. Since those accessories are already included, this model may end up saving you money in the long run because you’ll already have all the accessories you need. It also carries a fantastic reputation and has some of the best air fryer reviews. This model is a little on the larger side and may not be ideal for small apartments or kitchens. But, if you’re looking for a versatile machine that can handle any different cooking task you have, this Tinychefs model may be a good choice for you.
The ARK-100 from Aigerek is one of the newest air fryers on the market. It’s easy to use analog controls make operating the ARK-100 easy, right out of the box. With a 3.3 quart capacity, this fryer will suit the needs of individuals as well as families. You’ll be able to set the temperature between 160-400 degrees to tailor the temperature to your individual needs. Oddly enough, the ARK-100 seems to be available in only one color, which is black with maroon accents. While that combo is a sharp look and makes the ARK-100 one of the most attractive air fryers available, it may not suit everyone’s taste and could be more of a turn-off than a benefit. If space is a concern for you, you may want to steer clear of the ARK-100, which is a little on the large side.
The Philips Viva holds the distinction of being the original air fryer. With over seven million units sold, Philips certainly knows what they’re doing, and their reputation precedes them. The Viva is an attractive unit and is available in white or black, with a stainless steel colored accent knob. It’s fairly large and has 1425 watts of power behind it, so the Viva is large enough to handle most any task. Compared to some of the other models on the market, Philips manufactures a wide range of different accessories which are available separately, making the Viva arguably the most versatile unit that’s on the market today. Add to that the reputation that Philips carries and the 1-year warranty for this model, and you’ll be able to enjoy peace of mind while you enjoy your favorite foods. The only real downside to is the cost of this Philips air fryer. Best price wise, you’re looking at well over $150.
The Power Air Fryer XL combines some of the most coveted features available in an air fryer. First, larger households are sure to appreciate its massive 5.3-quart capacity. It’s also available in a smaller 3.4-quart model that’s a bit cheaper. This model is available in black with stainless steel accents or red with stainless steel accents, and it has a sleek look that can fit nicely into most design styles. At 1700 watts, it is also the most powerful air fryer we’ve looked at thus far. Considering it’s large capacity, the Power Air Fryer XL makes great use of its space and still maintains a reasonable footprint. The 60-day warranty is a slight cause for concern, as so many other models offer extended warranties. On the other hand, this Tristar air fryer has received some of the best air fryer review submissions throughout the internet. this unit also includes some accessories, like a copper basket and basket divider. Overall, this Tristar fryer is one of the most desirable available, and it’s perfect for large families.
Which Air Fryer is Best Overall?
Depending on your individual needs, each airfryer that’s featured in this roundup is a strong option for you. However, there are two different models that appear to emerge from the competition as the best air fryer in their respective categories. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the air fryers below our top choice.
Under $100 – GoWISE 8-in-1 2.0
Of all the sub-$100 air fryers on the market, none are as feature rich or versatile as this model from GoWISE. We love that this model manages to offer a 3.7-quart capacity despite its diminutive 12” x 8” x 8” footprint and lightweight. It can easily be stored away between uses, but you may not want to store it at all considering it’s available in three beautiful finishes. It’s high wattage, and intuitive preset options make this model a strong choice for all sorts of different cooking applications. Best of all, this model comes in at under $100, making it the best of both worlds as far as features and value are concerned. All things considered, this model may be the pound for pound best hot air fryer overall.
Over $100 – Tinychefs 10L
Everything about the Tinychefs 10L seems to be a bit different compared to other air fryers on the market. This fryer is truly cavernous, with a 10.5-quart capacity. Unlike some smaller fryers, this model is just as capable of cooking an entire chicken as it is a basket of french fries. We also really appreciate the range of accessories that are included, which will save you money in the long run if you plan on using your air fryer for specialty applications that require more than the bare minimum, accessories wise. Beyond that, we also loved the transparent design of this fryer, which allows you to observe the cooking process as it’s happening. There are other air fryers like this model from Tinychefs on the market. However, none of them seem to pack this level of versatility or have a reputation as good as the Tinychefs 10L.