As anyone who has ever visited a state fair can attest, deep-fried treats are some of the most delicious things you can eat. Unfortunately, they’re also among the least healthy, and they can make you feel like crap. So what’s a chicken wing-, french fry-, tempura-loving guy to do? Get an air fryer, a countertop kitchen appliance that constantly circulates hot air and uses little-to-no oil. The popularity of the air fryer been steadily growing over the past few years to the point where there are dozens of different options in sizes, from brands, and at prices that vary wildly. If you’ve never bought an air fryer before, then evaluating the different options can be dizzying.
Our picks for the best air fryers on the market come with sterling reviews from people who’ve actually used them. Some of them do more than air fry, but all of them do that well. We’re not saying that wings and fries become health foods when you prepare them in an air fryer, but air frying does reduce calorie and fat intake compared to traditional methods.
And not for nothing, they’re immensely easier to clean. If we’ve piqued your interest in making healthier versions of your favorite junk food at home, read on to learn about what we think are the best air fryers you can get.
The NuWave air fryer has an LED touch pad control panel with a pre-heat option, a temperature range from 100-400 degrees, and a programmable timer. It's ready, set, go.
Pros: You control this air fryer with an LED digital control panel and adjust the settings any way you like from the temperature to the timer. It has six pre-set settings: fries, frozen fries, nuggets, steak, poultry, or fish.
Cons: The nonstick coating at the bottom of the tray can come off, so watch out when you use it.
Finally, you can devour all the chicken nuggets and wings you want, with minimal guilt. Thanks to its RadiVection 360 degree technology, this air fryer circulates hot air in all directions and completely gets rid of the need for oil.
Pros: Dump out the oil, and load up on the taste. This air fryer cooks your food 30 percent faster than a standard oven, without using any oil, period. It manually adjust the dials to select your cook times and temperatures, and you wind up with food that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Cons: Some complain the temperature on this thing is hard to monitor.
For those of us, and you know who you are, who love everything golden and crispy, this air fryer is for you.
Pros: Meet the pressure cooker-slash-air fryer that crisps your food until it’s succulent golden brown. How, you ask? You cook whatever it is you crave, throw on the crisping lid, and the Ninja does the rest. So you wind up with chicken straight out of an airbrushed cookbook spread.
Cons: It’s not cheap and the double lid can be confusing. For some.
Yes, you can air fry. But you can also grill, roast and bake pretty much anything you want.
Pros: This is one of Amazon’s top-selling air fryers, and for good reason. It’s roomy. It’s easy to use. It’s even easier to clean. And you get perfect chicken and fries every time.
Cons: The non-stick coating on the frying basket can flake off, so beware.
This air fryer features a technology swirls hot air continuously through the whole cooking chamber, resulting in even heat distribution and evenly cooked food. And all excess fat is drained.
Pros: There’s no wait time for it to heat up. This air fryer is instantly ready to go when you are. Plus, it also grills, roasts and even bakes, so the options are pretty much endless.
Cons: Some say the temperature isn’t accurate. And it’s not as easy to clean as promised.
What we love about this air fryer is its shake reminder, nudging you move the food around so it's evenly cooked.
Pros: This fryer has a pretty detailed LED panel, so you select what foods you’re making and it does the work, and thinking, for you. And it has 11 presets for eggs, fries, you name it.
Cons: Customers complain about an odd plastic-like smell.
This fryer ups the ante with a rotating paddle that actually stirs the food in the flat, circular pan, in an effort to expose all sides of it to the rotating heat.
Pros: It’s one of the few fryers we’ve seen that actively encourages you to use some oil, albeit in limited amounts (i.e. a tablespoon for a two pounds of fries) that you can measure out with the included measuring spoon. The T-fal also comes equipped with a viewing window that lets you monitor the doneness of your food as it cooks.
Cons: If you don’t plan on cooking anything too delicate that might not hold up to the stirring action, the T-fal is a solid choice.
A kitchen only has so much counter space, so it makes sense to combine appliances into a smaller footprint when possible. The TOA-60 is a powerful 1,800-watt toaster oven that doubles as a more than capable air fryer.
Pros: The stainless steel boy of the oven is neutral enough to fit in a variety of kitchen decors. Above the door, four knobs make it easy to select the desired cooking function, set the temperature, and adjust the cooking or toasting time. There’s even a light that lets you peek at your food without opening the door (and letting out all of the heat inside). The TOA-60 comes with an oven rack, baking pan, and, most importantly, an air fryer basket that has the shallow profile you need to spread out a thin, even layer of soon to be air-fried foods.
Cons: It toasts, warms stuff up, and air fries. That’s pretty much it.
Breville makes some of our favorite appliances. This oven, which maintains a 4.5-star rating after 436 reviews, features a two-speed convection fan that can cook food up to 30 percent faster than a normal air fryer.
Pros: The company’s trademark Element iQ technology constantly monitors the temperature of the food at different locations and shifts power between the six independent quartz heating elements to wherever is needed. Its 1800 watts make it the most powerful option on this list, and the fact that air frying is just one of 13 different cooking functions means that if you decide to make the investment you’re getting a bunch of extra features.
Cons: At that price, it’s definitely an investment piece.
The Dash looks kind of like a coffeemaker George Jetson would buy, but when pulling out the handle on the bottom of the device doesn't reveal a carafe. Instead, it's a 1.2-liter crisper basket that slides out like a drawer.
Pros: Setting the temperature using the singular knob on the top of the device preheats the chamber below. There’s a light that alerts you when it’s reached the desired temperature, and then it’s simply a matter of loading the drawer set the temperature using the knob on top of the device and it will preheat. A light lets you know when you can pop in the basket and set the timer on the front of the device. Once it dings, you pull out the basket to find crisp, hot food sans oil. The 900-watt Dash remains cool to the touch, a great feature if you have curious kids lurking around the kitchen. That, coupled with the auto shut-off feature, makes this fryer as safe to use as it is affordable.
Cons: It’s not large, and thus isn’t suited for big, hungry families.
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