If you’re still unclear about what an air fryer is and how it varies from convection baking, picture a tiny oven that can quickly crisp up foods like wings, fries, and vegetables using little (or no!) oil.
There are a variety of air fryer designs, including what we like to call basket-style, which is great for cooking a lot of foods like fries and vegetables that benefit from shaking; oven-style, which is great for cooking food on many shelves and frequently includes rotisserie accessories; and toaster oven-style, which can toast, bake, broil, and more in addition to air frying. Regardless of style, they need little upkeep, which is one of the main reasons we like using them. When the time comes, have a look at our tips for cleaning an air fryer.
Over the years, we have tested more than 30 air fryers, cooking at least one pound of chicken wings, as well as one half pound each of frozen fries and freshly prepared fries.
Our top air fryer picks:
|Air Fryer||Amazon Link|
|BEST OVERALL AIR FRYER – Ninja Air Fryer Max XL||https://amzn.to/3JHT4Ep|
|BEST VALUE AIR FRYER – COSORI Pro II 5.8 Quart Air Fryer||https://amzn.to/3NB56R7|
|BEST AIR FRYER FOR ONE PERSON – Dash Compact Air Fryer||https://amzn.to/44w4145|
|BEST AIR FRYER TOASTER OVEN – Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven||https://amzn.to/46q5vi1|
|BEST AIR FRYER WITH WINDOW – Instant Pot Vortex Plus ClearCook||https://amzn.to/3pB0y59|
|MOST VERSATILE AIR FRYER – Ninja Speedi Rapid Cooker & Air Fryer||https://amzn.to/3XwSjUv|
|BEST LARGE CAPACITY AIR FRYER – GoWISE 7-Quart Electric Air Fryer||https://amzn.to/3XBMWTK|
Due to their large, obvious controls, our top air fryers cooked food with a crispy surface and moist interior. They were also easy to use and barely required the owner’s manual. At the conclusion of this article, you can read more about our laboratory testing procedures for air fryers and discover all the information you require to shop for an air fryer.
BEST OVERALL AIR FRYER – Ninja Air Fryer Max XL
- Performed the best of the basket-style air fryers
- Easy to use
- Some may find the basket diameter a bit small
|Type of Air Fryer||Basket-style|
|Item Dimensions||14 x 11 x 14.25 inches|
|Functions||Max Crisp, Air Fry, Air Roast, Air Broil, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate|
The 5.5-quart Ninja Air Fryer Max XL produced the greatest results in our air fryer test. Due to its intuitive, easy-to-read buttons and clear, helpful owner’s handbook, it achieved the highest marks for usability across the board. During our tests, the air fryer basket was easy to insert and remove, which made handling a breeze. We like the removable tray and the basket’s elegant ceramic interior, which makes it nonstick. Additionally, because the tray adheres tightly and securely to the bottom of the basket, you won’t have to worry about it slipping out when you turn the food out onto a plate. The basket and tray are both dishwasher safe and easy to clean, even if you choose to hand wash it.
In addition to being easy to use, the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL achieved the highest performance rating. It produced frozen fries, fresh fries that were crispy and cooked evenly, and chicken wings that were moist inside. The model we tested has a broiling rack for even quicker and juicier results as well as a quick way to prepare melty cheese. It also features a number of cook settings, each of which is programmed with a distinct maximum and minimum temperature, in order to achieve a variety of cooking results. These include dehydrate (which can reach as low as 105°F), Max Crisp and Air Broil (both of which can reach 450°F), and others.
BEST VALUE AIR FRYER – COSORI Pro II 5.8 Quart Air Fryer
- Easy to use control panel
- Square basket offers good cooking area
- Handle can loosen over time
|Type of Air Fryer||Basket-style|
|Item Dimensions||11.78 x 13.87 x 12 inches|
|Functions||Steak, Chicken, Seafood, Shrimp, Bacon, Frozen Foods, French Fries, Vegetables, Toast, Bake, Preheat, Keep Warm|
The Cosori air fryer is a great buy despite not being the most affordable model on our list because it is straightforward, easy to use, and can feed a big family without breaking the budget. It boasts a 5.8-quart square basket that offers a lot more cooking room than its circular competitors. For the greatest ventilation, there are numerous vents on the detachable, light-weight basket. The control panel has presets preprogrammed with suggested cooking times and temperatures, along with a preheat option. You can also use the Cosori air fryer on a manual setting if none of the presets are the best fit.
The Cosori scored highly in our usability testing, and more than 24,000 Amazon consumers gave it five stars. It produced chicken wings and tasty, fresh fries quickly. Our tester did note that the chicken breasts were a little bit dry on the outside, despite the fact that the air fryer created great chicken wings. The colouring was still good, and there was no charring.
BEST AIR FRYER FOR ONE PERSON – Dash Compact Air Fryer
- Comes in an assortment of colors
- Doesn’t require as much counter space as full-size models
- Amazon’s choice
- Homemade fries did not cook evenly
|Type of Air Fryer||Basket-style|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||10.2 x 8.1 x 11.4 inches|
The Dash Compact is a fantastic air fryer for people who just cook for themselves or for those who want to experience air frying for the first time. Just two quarts of water are needed to cook one serving of meals. Due to its smaller footprint and easier cleanup thanks to the small basket, it takes up less room on your counter.
It can be a little tricky to set the timer to the right minute with this model’s dial timer. Despite the fact that the temperature is also controlled by a dial and offers few options, we found that the Dash was still a good choice because we air fry the majority of our food at the maximum 400°F temperature. It comes in a choice of colourful hues, which we enjoy, unlike the bulk of air fryers on the market. This image’s fave colour is turquoise.
BEST AIR FRYER TOASTER OVEN – Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven
- Cooks very quickly
- Large cooking surface
- Since foods cook quickly using air fry, we recommend using a lower temp and keeping a close eye on food to help prevent burning
|Type of Air Fryer||Air Fryer Toaster Oven|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||17 x 21.73 x 15.75 inches|
|Capacity||0.6 cubic feet|
|Functions||AirFry, Bake, Broil, Toast, Bagel, Pizza, Roast, Dehydrate, Proof, Low, Dual Cook, Reheat and Warm with a wide temperature range (Warm-450°F)|
Cuisinart was one of the first businesses to offer a toaster oven air fryer that can be used for toasting, baking, air frying, and convection baking. Among all the air fryers we examined, this digital model produced the crispiest food in the shortest amount of time and some of the most evenly coloured bread in our toaster oven test. The rectangular 15.5 by 16-inch air fry rack has a bigger frying area than air fryers that employ baskets and is supported by a drip/crumb tray for easy cleanup. Cuisinart has now released a smaller, non-digital version of the toaster oven air fryer with the same features and high-caliber performance, as well as a similar-sized model with a grill pan that we can’t wait to test.
BEST AIR FRYER WITH WINDOW – Instant Pot Vortex Plus Clear Cook
- Preheat function
- Manual light turns on right before the timer goes off
- Tray falls out when basket is turned upside down; use silicone-tipped tongs to serve
|Type of Air Fryer||Basket-Style|
|Item Dimensions||12.8 x 11.8 x 14.9 inches|
|Functions||Air Fry, Roast, Broil, Bake, Reheat and Dehydrate|
Instant, the same company that makes Instant Pot multicookers, has featured air fryers on our list of the best air fryers ever since we started rating them. All of the ones we looked at, including this one, are useful and easy to programme. The transparent glass design on this one makes it stand out in especially because it allows you to glance inside without taking the basket out. It also has a light that can be manually turned on and that turns on automatically right before the timer expires.
In our tests, chicken wings cooked in this 6-quart ClearCook model came out crispy, golden, and juicy in just 20 minutes while frozen fries were wet but crisp and uniformly cooked without shaking midway. This air fryer’s built-in preheat mechanism takes around 3 1/2 minutes to reach 400°F. It then chirps to indicate that frying can begin. You don’t need to press Start again if you want to put your food in at the beginning and leave the appliance while it preheats. It also plays an alarm halfway through cooking in case you want to shake or turn the food.
The digital control display offers outstanding responsiveness, and the knob makes it easy to programme the temperature and time. It has six pre-programmed cooking options, including air fry, bake, roast, reheat, broil, and dry, each with recommended (though adjustable) cooking times and temperatures. The square basket makes the most of the available cooking space and fits neatly within the dishwasher. It is also easy to pull out and move about. This air fryer includes a removable tray, which we find to be easier to clean compared to the separate baskets located inside the drawers on the Cosori and Philips air fryers.
MOST VERSATILE AIR FRYER – Ninja Speedi Rapid Cooker & Air Fryer
- Can air fry and cook with steam
- Fast and powerful
|Type of Air Fryer||Basket-style plus|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||14.1 x 13.8 x 12.4 inches|
|Functions||Speedi Meals, Steam & Crisp, Steam & Bake, Steam or Proof in Rapid Cooker mode and unlock Air Fry, Bake/Roast, Air Broil, Dehydrate, Sear & Sauté, Slow Cook and Sous Vide functions in Air Fry mode|
The Ninja Speedi Rapid Cooker and Air Fryer is one of the newest air fryers we’ve evaluated. Even though it’s different in style and size from the majority of air fryers now on the market, it’s worth finding room for on your counter. The 12-in-1 device may be used to air fry quickly and efficiently (without the pressure!) as well as sear, sauté, bake, roast, broil, steam, slow cook, prove, cook sous vide, and even dehydrate. It may also simultaneously steam and bake/air fry for the juiciest and tastiest results.
One of the most amazing things it can do is cook quick one-pot dinners by cooking the pasta, rice or quinoa on the bottom of the square basket and the toppings (such chicken, shrimp or meatballs) on the top level. It simply requires the included perforated tray, which is used for crisping/broiling in the upper position and air frying and steaming in the lower position. Other accessories are not required. The tray and six-quart basket, which have ceramic coatings like the other Ninja air fryers, are easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher. The Speedi was simple to programme, and we liked how the control panel was organised. The user manual is jam-packed with helpful tips, directions, and recipes.
BEST LARGE CAPACITY AIR FRYER – GoWISE 7-Quart Electric Air Fryer
- Includes shelves for air frying multiple thinner items at once
- Design accommodates single-layer cooking
|Type of Air Fryer||Basket style|
|Item Dimensions||13.75 x 13 x 14 inches|
|Functions||Air Fry, Roast, Broil, Dehydrate, Grill, Bake, Reheat and Keep Warm|
Due to its size and ability to prepare large quantities of food, the GoWISE USA 7-Quart Air Fryer is the one we use the most. We constantly dined on air-fried, snappy fries and delicious wings during our tests. Its rectangle air fryer basket, which is far more advantageous for dehydrating than round ones, allows for more frying in a single layer. The GoWise air fryer has three more stacking racks than comparable air fryers on the market. With the stacking racks, you can air fry and dehydrate up to four layers at once. It also comes in red and mint if you want to add some colour to your kitchen counter.
What to look for when shopping for the best air fryer for you
Size: How many individuals are you simultaneously feeding? A small size is excellent for one to two individuals, while a larger one is preferred for three or more.
form: Air fryers of the basket form are best for small batches and items that can be agitated, including vegetables and fries. Despite being a little bigger and having the ability to air fry food on several shelves, air fryer ovens also call for more attention and frequent food changes. Air fryer toaster ovens can be used for baking, roasting, and broiling in addition to air frying.
Price: Stainless steel alternatives are generally more expensive than plastic options, while digital air fryers cost more than mechanical air fryers.
Multifunctionality: Toaster ovens, microwaves, pressure cookers, steamer cookers, and even full-sized ovens have begun to include an air fry option in their designs, so investing in a multipurpose appliance can be a good deal (that takes up less room!). If you’re in the market for another appliance.
Are air fryers worth it?
Air fryers are worthwhile if you enjoy swiftly preparing foods that need minimum cleanup. Sure, some are large and may appear to be taking up all of your counter space, but the majority of users immediately recognise their benefits. They work especially well for foods that would ordinarily get rubbery or mushy in a microwave, such as leftovers and prepackaged frozen foods like dumplings and french fries. At the Kitchen Appliances Lab, we like using ours to make quick meals. All proteins, such as chicken, pork chops, and fish, cook quickly and become juicy and golden brown, while vegetables develop beautiful blisters or caramelization. Root vegetables like diced butternut squash, beets, and little potatoes are among our favourite foods to air fry.
What cannot be prepared in an air fryer?
Air fryers are great for crisping foods, but there are certain scenarios when you shouldn’t use one.
• Liquids should not be cooked in an air fryer since they can easily spill and splatter, even when heated in a heat-resistant container. Additionally, since a wet batter is required for meals like tempura, you shouldn’t use an air fryer for them since the coating doesn’t adhere quickly enough and may cause leaks, smoke, or the inability to produce a crispy food.
• We generally don’t suggest using an air fryer for baking: The majority cannot genuinely bake because they only have heating elements on the top of the appliance and not the top and bottom like a toaster oven or oven. The basket or shelf design often places limits on the size of your baked goods. But for sweets that benefit from browning, like a baked apple or a crumble that is tiny enough to serve one person, air fryers are fantastic.
• You shouldn’t use an air fryer to prepare greasy foods. To help reduce splattering, which can cause grease to splash into the air and emit smoke, use a lower temperature when air frying oily items.
• Lightweight food, such bread, should also be avoided because some air fryers with strong fans might cause it to fly around.
How do air fryers work?
The majority of air fryers circulate hot air using a large fan and a top heat source. Other factors that affect how quickly food cooks include the use of perforated trays, which improve airflow, and a small-capacity design, which helps create a high-heat environment. Through research, at-home use, and recipe development, we’ve learned that the majority of foods cook best at high temperatures, like 400°F, for brief periods of time. Little food items don’t normally need to be tossed or turned, although they can be for more even results. Larger meals typically benefit from rotating for the most even cooking.
How do I convert a regular recipe to an air fryer recipe?
Converting a regular recipe to an air fryer recipe is more challenging than the reverse, as convection oven recipes often require reducing the temperature by 25oF and checking it more frequently. Instead, keep in mind that most items, unless they are thicker (like chicken breasts, which take longer to cook and should be air-fried at a lower temperature, like 370°F or 375°F to avoid drying it out), air fry best at 400°F), so you are usually just increasing the timing.
The most important thing to remember is that food cooks quickly in air fryers, so keep your user manual nearby and refer to the recipes and cooking charts frequently. Until you become accustomed with the recipe, it’s a good idea to start watching your meal sooner than you would normally check it in the oven.
Are air fryers “healthy”?
“Air frying uses significantly less oil than deep frying and pan frying, so it can provide a lower-calorie and lower-fat alternative that still delivers a crisp texture,” asserts Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CDN. The foods you cook in air fryers determine their nutritional worth, though. Trans and saturated fats won’t just vanish from your diet.
To get the most health benefits out of an air fryer, Sassos suggests utilising it to boost the number of vegetables and lean proteins in your diet. She really enjoys using it to air fry frozen vegetables. When she tried it for the first time, she “couldn’t believe how easy it was,” she continues.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an air fryer?
A kitchen equipment called an air fryer uses hot air circulation to cook food instead of deep frying, making it a healthier option. To create a crispy texture akin to deep-fried food, it requires little to no oil.
How does an air fryer work?
In order to quickly move hot air over the food, air fryers employ a heating element and a fan. This heated air circulates as it cooks the food, giving it a crispy outside while keeping the interior wet.
What can you cook in an air fryer?
Fries, chicken wings, fish fillets, veggies, and even baked goods like muffins or cookies can all be prepared in air fryers, which are adaptable and can cook a wide range of dishes. Additionally, some versions offer features for grilling, roasting, or baking.
Is using an air fryer healthier than deep frying?
Yes, it is generally agreed upon that air frying is healthier than deep frying. It uses little to no oil, which lowers the total amount of fat in the cooked dish. Without sacrificing flavour or texture, it can also assist in reducing the calorie consumption.
Do I need to preheat an air fryer?
Most air fryers need to be heated up before using. To guarantee equal cooking and obtain the correct texture, preheating is helpful. The suggested preheating time is detailed in the manufacturer’s particular instructions.
Can I use aluminum foil or parchment paper in an air fryer?
Yes, you can use parchment paper or aluminium foil in an air fryer. But it’s crucial to use them correctly and adhere to the manufacturer’s directions. In order to facilitate optimum air circulation, be sure that the foil or paper does not obstruct the air vents.
How long does it take to cook food in an air fryer?
The kind and quantity of food being cooked affect the length of time it takes to cook. In general, air fryers cook food more quickly than conventional ovens. For precise cooking times and temperatures, it is advised to consult the manufacturer’s recipes or cooking charts.
Are air fryers easy to clean?
Cleaning is made simpler by the fact that the basket and tray on the majority of air fryers are dishwasher-safe. Surfaces with non-stick coatings also make it simpler to clean and release food from them. The user handbook should always be consulted for detailed cleaning recommendations.
Can I cook frozen food in an air fryer?
In fact, air fryers are effective in cooking frozen meals. They can cook frozen meals like fries, chicken nuggets, and fish sticks without having to thaw them first. According to the manufacturer’s or other cooking directions, adjust the cooking temperature and duration.
Are air fryers energy-efficient?
Air fryers often use less energy than traditional ovens or deep fryers. They often take less time to preheat and cook, which uses less energy. The precise energy efficiency, however, may change based on the model and usage.
Finally, air fryers provide a flexible and effective approach to prepare delectable foods that are crispy and golden-brown while using little to no oil. They offer a healthier and more practical way to prepare a variety of dishes, making them a wonderful addition to any kitchen. Consider the advice and details in this list of the top air fryers in India before making a purchase to get the finest option.