Deep fryers have remained a popular way to enjoy deep-fried foods like dried chicken wings, fish sticks, and French fries. However, this kind of cooking is linked to numerous illnesses that can impact your health. Fortunately, this is where air cooking fryers can be handy.
Air fryers are a healthier option to make crispy dried food without necessarily using a deep fryer. These appliances use hot air to cook deep-fried foods, bake cookies, and roast vegetables with very minimal oil.
However, with so many air fryers on the market, choosing the perfect one for your needs can be overwhelming. After doing extensive research, we have compiled a detailed list of some of the best air fryers for a guilt-free cooking experience.
Best Air Fryers for 2022: Summary
How We Chose the Best Air Fryer Brands
Since its introduction to the market by Philips, many other brands have emerged to produce air fryers. Some of the best air fryer brands in the market today include Philips, Instant, Ninja, COSORI, and more. We’ve rated these brands based on the features included in their products and the value for money that they offer.
Best Air Fryers for 2022: Reviews
Here is a more in-depth look at the best air fryers available in the market today.
To start our list of the best air cooking fryers in the market is this impressive model from Philips. Although a bit expensive, this model is packed with useful features that will undoubtedly let you enjoy fried foods without feeling guilty.
What we love most is the fat removal technology that not only reduces but also captures fat from foods. This means that you can enjoy crispy, delicious, and healthier food with up to 90% less fat. Furthermore, this technology circulates hot air for even cooking.
This appliance is also versatile and a great value for money. Besides frying food, you can also use it to grill, toast, roast, dehydrate, and reheat foods. Plus, its 4.1-quart capacity offers more meal versatility and allows you to make crispy dry-fried meals for 4 people. A pan divider is also included in the appliance.
We found that this model has 4 preset cooking modes including frozen fries, whole chicken, and fish. Making a meal has never been this convenient.
Using this air fryer is easy thanks to inspiring tips, tricks, and recipes included in the app. The parts are also removable and dishwasher safe, making cleaning a breeze.
- Removes and captures fat
- Convenient preset cooking modes
- Simple to clean
- Highly versatile
If you can afford it, this air dryer is worth the investment. It is an exceptional kitchen aid with great versatility.
The Ninja AF101 Air Fryer is one of the best ways to cook fried dishes with little to no oil. It is equipped with a 4-quart-sized basket that can easily hold 2 lbs of fries. Plus, with 4 programmable cooking functions at your disposal, you can create delicious dishes for your family in no time.
So, whether you want to air fry, roast veggies, reheat leftovers, or dehydrate dried foods, this appliance can do it all. The control panel is intuitive. You can also manually adjust the cooking time and temperatures between 105-400 degrees F, which makes it possible to cook both at low and high temperatures. However, you will first need to preheat your device for 3 minutes.
In terms of construction, the Ninja AF101 air fryer is constructed from plastic, nanoceramic, and metal. It also includes a 2.6 ft cord, basket, multi-layer rack, and a crisper plate. Most of these accessories are detachable and dishwasher-safe, making cleaning effortless.
- 4 programmable cooking settings
- Wide temperature range
- One-touch control panel
- Compact design for families
- Accessories are dishwasher safe
- Preheating is necessary
Overall, this product is worth buying, particularly because of its 4 programmable mode settings and its wide range of cooking temperatures, However, you should note that it preheats first.
If you are in the market for a stylish, affordable, and compact air fryer, you may want to consider the Dash Compact air fryer. This appliance comes in beautiful colors like black, red, aqua, and stainless. You can pick one that matches your kitchen décor.
Its small, compact design also makes it ideal if you have limited space. With a basket capacity of 2 quarts, this device can make dishes for one or two people. It is multipurpose and perfect for air fryer fries, chicken nuggets, wings, fried veggies, and so much more.
Something that stands out most is the auto-shutoff feature that ensures perfect results without overcooking. Another safety feature is the cool-to-touch housing and handles that help prevents kitchen accidents.
This device is equipped with two dials-one for setting the time and the other for temperature. These are easy to program depending on what you are cooking.
The crisper basket is removable and features a non-stick coating. Hence, cleanup is quick and easy.
- Comes in a range of colors
- Compact design
- Allows precision cooking for different foods
- Non-stick basket
- Easy-to-use and clean
- Analog interfaces can be difficult for some
- Only ideal for single servings
Overall, it is great if you are a novice to air frying or you want something with a significantly smaller footprint.
You will never go wrong with the COSORI Smart Air Fryer if what you want is an appliance dedicated to air frying. This unit also offers the versatility of multiple cooking functions like Philips and Ninja models and guarantees an exceptional frying experience thanks to its 11-in-1 cooking presets. It also does an excellent job roasting chicken.
You will get a stage cooking function to get the cooking cycle started. Other useful features include customizable shake technology, customizable and savable functions, and enhanced heating technology that guarantees cooking up to 20% faster. There is also a preheat setting and a keep-warm setting.
A unique spec of this 5.8 quarts air fryer is the Wi-Fi compatibility. It is equipped with smart features and works with Google Assistance and Alexa. You can tweak the settings right from your phone. Plus, the VeSync setting sends cooking notifications to keep you in the loop of the cooking results.
You will also appreciate the booklet included and the fact that you can get great air fryer recipes right from your phone. Once you are done cooking, you just need to remove the non-stick basket and place it in your dishwasher.
- Compatible with Wi-Fi
- Dishwasher-safe parts
- Includes over 200 online recipes
- 13 cooking presets
- One-touch programming
- Limited cooking functions
- Issues with control buttons
You may want to get this appliance if you are a technology enthusiast. It will give you total control when cooking air fryer fried chicken thighs, French fries, vegetables, steak, and more.
GoWISE USA air fryer comes at a very low price, but this does not mean that this appliance will not deliver. With up to 6 pieces of accessories, this appliance is incredibly versatile and can fry, bake, roast, and grill. You can expect a baking pan, silicone potholder, insert rack, pizza pan, insert rack with a skewer, silicone mat, and a warming/toasting rack.
It is perfect for cooking air fryer fried chicken, chips, fish, pizza, steak, shrimp, cake, and pizza. This is made possible with the 8 preset cooking options, which have optimal times and temperatures. While the eight cooking presets are pre-programmed, there is also the option for manual control.
The timer can be set for 30 minutes while the temperature ranges from 180 degrees F to 400 degrees F. The modern touch screen also has a start/stop button that lets you adjust the setting amidst the cooking setting. Plus, there is a built-in alarm with up to 5, 10, and 15-minute increments to alert you when you need to shake your ingredients.
It comes in assorted colors and a recipe book for guiding you. The detachable basket and pan are nonstick for easy meal preparation and messy-free cleaning.
- Sleek and modern touch screen
- Cooks in 30 minutes
- Multiple cooking options
- Great for baking
- Easy to clean
- Limited timer
- Not dishwasher safe
Overall, it is a perfect addition to any kitchen and an ideal choice if you are on a budget.
Do you want perfectly brown and crisp potatoes, veggies, or chicken wings in an air fryer in no time? If so, look no further than the Instant Pot vortex air fryer. This model is designed with EvenCrisp technology that ensures even airflow for perfect results.
The 5.7 quartS capacity is suitable for families yet compact enough for small spaces. Its 4-in-1 functionality allows you to roast, air fry, bake, and broil. Because there is an easy-to-use control panel, you can effortlessly customize the programs and change the temperature between 120 degrees F and 400 degrees F.
Moreover, it is designed with safety in mind as it features an auto-shutoff and overheats protection feature. Better yet, this air fryer has fast preheating and you don’t have to wait for a long time before you can enjoy delicious and crispy fried dishes.
If you don’t know what to cook, you can download recipe ideas from the Instant Pot app. The basket and tray are made with a non-stick coating, helping you to clean in no time. Using 95% less oil than traditional fryers, this air fryer will help you make perfectly healthy dishes.
- Large capacity
- Features 4 cooking functions
- Uses 95% less oil
- Intuitive control panel
- Cooks faster
- Dishwasher safe
- Teflon coating contains BPA
It cooks quickly and is best suited for families, making it a great investment.
Last on our list is this air fryer from Magic Bullet. This fryer makes the best fried, vegetables, and chicken wings for up to 3 servings. Everything on this compact basket will ensure everything is perfectly crisped without taking up much space on your counter.
Impressively, this appliance has a 60-minute timer that prevents overcooking. Once the timer goes off, the auto-shut-off safety feature will eventually turn on. Hence, you will have peace of mind with this appliance.
This air fryer comes with a crisping plate that ensures all corners are perfectly crisped. What’s more, the convection chamber is designed to circulate the heat for 360 degrees, so your food is crisp and flavorful.
You can adjust the temperature starting from 180 degrees F to 400 degrees F.
- Ideal for up to 3 servings
- Nonstick coating
- Compact design
- Easy to use and clean
- Limited capacity
Ultimately, this can be the best air fryer if you intend to cook for up to 3 people. It is a healthy and guilt-free way to enjoy fried food.
What is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is arguably one of the most prevalent cooking appliances of our time. Simply put, an air fryer is a countertop convection oven that preheats in minutes and uses a fan to effectively circulate hot air. The combination of a concentrated heat source and a large fan gives air-fried dishes a moist interior and crispy texture.
This useful appliance was first invented by a Netherlands inventor, Fred Van Der Weij, in 2005. This is getting frustrating results from several attempts to make fried foods.
By 2007, Fred had developed an egg-shaped cooking appliance, which was later debuted by Philips in Berlin as an air fryer. Philips was at the time looking for ways to invent an appliance that would fry foods without using unhealthy oil.
Air fryer recipes became popular as most people discovered a way to make homemade air fryer French fries, fried chicken, and chicken wings, without the adverse effects associated with oil-fried foods. Unlike the normal oven, an air fryer has a compact footprint and can be placed on a kitchen countertop.
Features of an Air Fryer
Once you have decided to get yourself an air fryer, there are several features that you need to look out for depending on your needs. Some of them include:
- Drawers and Grids
Some air fryers come with different grids and drawers for holding the food you intend to cook. A grid made from a die-cast grill will be ideal for heavy foods while a regular grid will suffice for other normal foods.
Also, look for models with removable drawers and baskets that can also be inserted with ease. They should be high-quality and easy to clean.
- Temperature and Timer
Most air fryers come with a timer and temperature buttons for selecting the most preferred setting. Of course, the setting you choose will depend on the type of food you intend to cook.
This is another useful feature to look out for when shopping for an air fryer. Models with this feature will let you customize the cooking by choosing the ingredient. For instance, if you are cooking chicken, you need to select the button for this to begin the cooking cycle.
It helps to check the wattage of the appliance as this indicates its power. Air fryers with high wattage are typically more powerful than their counterparts and can cook fast. Also, when considering the power wattage, make sure that it is suited for your power outlet.
- Additional Features
Different air fryer models have varying features, with some including an additional feature for convenient cooking. Some additional features to look for include an automatic shut-off feature, a ready alarm, and a power/heat indicator.
Besides a basket, most air fryer models include additional accessories such as a pan, skewers, grill rack, tong, and more. This will allow you to cook more food dishes than usual.
Types of Air Fryers
Air fryers come in different types Honestly, the best one for your needs all comes down to the space available and how much food you intend to cook.
1. Basket Air Fryer
This is the most common type of air fryer that comes with a removable basket that holds the food. The basket in this model usually features tiny holes to promote sufficient airflow to heat the food in the basket.
This type of air fryer comes in an assorted array of shapes and colors to suit your preference. It also allows quick heating and takes considerably less kitchen space. On the downside, it only works best for small-sized foods and requires constant tossing.
2. Paddle Air Fryer
Like a basket air fryer, a paddle air fryer comes with a basket where food is placed during cooking. However, unlike their counterpart, this model includes a rotating paddle at the center of the basket for stirring the food.
As the paddle in the basket moves, food will automatically turn, allowing it to cook evenly. Once you have set it, you won’t need to keep pulling the basket out to check the progress. This makes the cooking time short.
Besides frying foods, it is suitable for broths like curries and risotto. Plus, you can remove the paddle if you want to create more space. For these features, you can expect a bit more than the basket air fryers.
3. Oven Air Fryer
As the name may suggest, an oven air fryer resembles an oven toaster and comes with parts like a rack, baking tray, and a glass door to check your food. Like other air dryer models, this type has a heating source on the upper part and a fan for circulating hot air.
This model is highly versatile and can handle multiple cooking functions like frying, grilling, baking, roasting, toasting, and broiling. Additionally, it has a large capacity and can hold several meals at one time because of the racks included.
It, however, requires more kitchen space and is more expensive than other types of air fryers. Also, this model does not provide the ability to shake or stir the food for even cooking.
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
Air fryers are designed with a powerful heating element that is located at the top to emit hot air. There is also a large fan at the top of the device that works to circulate the hot, dry air in the appliance to cook crispy food. The fan can circulate the heated air to about 400 degrees F.
Similar to cooking food in the oven, you need to regularly shake and rotate food in an air dryer to facilitate even cooking and browning. Plus, it includes many perforated accessories like a basket, racks, tray, skewers, and spits to give the desired outcome.
How to Use an Air Fryer
Using an air fryer is quite simple thanks to the perforated accessories included. There is an air fryer basket on top of the dip tray that holds your food. To use the air fryer, remove the bucket that holds the basket and place your food in the basket.
It is advisable to place a single layer of food in the basket rather than stacking several layers. Otherwise, overcrowding the basket will only lead to uneven cooking.
Place it back in the air fryer and set the desired temperature control and timer. Since the heating source is at the top of the air fryer, you will need to regularly rotate and shake your food to end up with evenly browned food. You can pull out the basket to monitor the progress of your food.
Usages of an Air Fryer
An air fryer can cook dishes that are usually fried in oil, but without the oil. From proteins, appetizer snacks, vegetables, baked goods, and desserts, an air fryer can be an excellent way to give your food crispy, crunchy, and flavorful taste.
Your insides will be well-cooked without overcooking while the outsides will be crispy and evenly browned.
With your air fryer, you can cook meals such as:
- Chicken fingers and nuggets
- French fries
- Baked potatoes
- Onion rings
- Cheese sticks
Some great air fryer recipes include:
- Air fryer steak served with garlic butter
- Air fryer fried chicken thighs
- Air fryer chicken tenders
- Air fryer shrimp
- Air fryer fries
- Air fryer potato wedges
- Air Fryer baked potato
- Air fryer sweet potato
- AIR fryer Zucchini fries
- Air fryer bacon
- Air fryer onion rings
- Air fryer asparagus
- Air fryer broccoli
- Air fryer cauliflower
- Air fryer brussels sprouts
- Air fryer grilled cheese
Advantages of an Air Fryer
- A Healthy Option
Although deep-fried foods are delicious and satisfying, they are packed with fat and calories. Hence, they are unhealthy and can promote weight. Fortunately, air fryers are a healthy way to enjoy fried foods.
Air fryers use significantly less oil to cook compared to deep fryers. This means decreased risks of ailments such as heart disease and inflammation. This is also associated with a lower risk of obesity.
- Safe to Use
Unlike deep fryers, air fryers are safe to use and will not heat your kitchen. This is because it does not involve the use of hot oil to make delicious, crispy foods. Hence, there is no risk of scalding oil spilling or splashing.
- Lowers the Risk of Acrylamide Formation
Frying food increases the risk of acrylamide, a dangerous compound that is associated with cancer conditions like breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer. Usually, this occurs by consuming foods prepared using high-heat cooking methods.
Fortunately, this is not the case with air frying. If anything, air fryers can help lower the risk of acrylamide formation in food.
- Easy to Use
An air fryer appeals to most people that enjoy cooking without the hassle involved in the whole process. It is quite easy to use. It is also quite effortless to pull out the basket and monitor the progress of your food.
Cons of an Air Fryer
- Not Entirely Healthy
Although air cooking fryers use significantly less cooking oil, you will still need to use oil to prevent your fried food from getting burnt. Hence, it may still be associated with health effects and is not a guarantee for optimal health.
- Limited Capacity
An air dryer can be compact, which can be a good thing. However, its small size means that you can only cook for a smaller crowd at any one time. If you are cooking for a larger family, you may need to cook in batches.
- Food Can Burn and Dry Quickly
An air fryer can cook at about 300 to 400 degrees F. Because of the high heat, you need to constantly monitor your food. Otherwise, your food can burn quickly. Furthermore, food fried in this appliance can dry out easily since very little is used.
- It Can Form Harmful Compounds
No doubt air fryers are not as dangerous as high-heat cooking methods like deep frying. It can still create harmful compounds like acrylamides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Effects of Air Frying on Health
An air fryer uses less oil and translates to fewer calories, making it universally healthier compared to deep fryers. However, this does not mean that it is entirely healthy as it is used to cook fried foods which have been associated with ailments like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. It can promote weight gain and obesity.
What’s more, air frying has also been found to lower the healthy fat content found in foods like fish. For this reason, it is advisable to limit the use of an air fryer and only use it occasionally.
Comparison between Air Fryer vs. Convection Oven
Truth be told, air fryers and convection ovens have several things in common. For instance, both appliances circulate hot air to cook food. The major difference between an air fryer and a convection oven is the size.
Air fryers are small and may require you to cook several batches to satisfy a large audience. Convection ovens, on the other hand, have a larger cooking area, allowing them to cook larger amounts of food at any given time.
The other difference is the location of the fan. The air fryer has a larger fan located at the top of the appliance while the fan in a convection oven is found at the back of the appliance.
Additionally, the fan in the air fryer spins at a higher speed than that of a convection oven, allowing it to cook crispier food faster. When it comes to cleaning, you will need to put a bit more elbow grease with an air fryer than in a convection oven.
Overall, a convection oven may be the way to go if you intend to cook food for many people. However, an air dryer will suffice if you want to cook fried foods for fewer people.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Air Fryer
It can be overwhelming to choose the best air fryer for your needs from the vast selection available. Here are factors to consider when making your selection.
- Size and Capacity of the Air Fryer
Air fryers come in different sizes, with the standard size being 3.7 L. Generally, the size of the air fryer will determine how much food it can hold. If you plan to cook food for one or two people, a small air fryer will suffice, while the standard can give you servings for 4 people.
However, you may need a bigger model if you are cooking for 5 or more people. Basically, a large air fryer means a larger capacity while a small air fryer has limited capacity and you may have to cook in batches.
Nevertheless, a small unit cooks air fryer dishes faster because air travels faster and less time is needed to lose the heat. This is unlike a large air fryer where more time is needed.
- Space Available
Generally, fryers are smaller in size than ovens. However, they still require adequate space. If you are running out of space, look for a compact model that can fit easily in a cupboard for quick storage. If you intend to use your air fryer regularly, look for one that can fit well in the available space in your home.
- Style of Air Fryer
The style of the air fryer may be worth considering when making your selection. If you want to cook small food quantities, you can opt for basket-style air fryers. These also do well for foods that are easy to shake like veggies and fries.
On the other hand, air fryer ovens are great for big quantities thanks to the multiple shelves available. Air fryer toaster ovens are versatile and can be great value for money if you want to perform other cooking functions other than air drying.
- Temperature Setting
Different dishes will require varying temperatures for the best results. Ideally, a good air fryer should allow you to set the temperature up to 400 degrees F, which can be useful for cooking meals like chicken and meat.
- Safety Features
Like any other appliance, you need to consider the type of safety features included in an air fryer. Safety features like an auto-shutoff will give you peace of mind when using your device. It is also best to ensure that the exterior is cool to the touch.
- Ease of Use
The last thing you want is to spend hours trying to figure out how to use your new device. Therefore, it helps to choose a model that is easy to use and has intuitive control buttons.
It should also come with clear and easy-to-understand instructions and recipe guides. This can give beginners an idea of how to use the machine and what to cook in it.
- Type of Control Buttons
When it comes to air fryers, you need to choose between manual and digital knobs. Most models nowadays come with digital buttons that need pressing to tweak the buttons. Manual knobs are common in simple air fryers.
- Ease of Cleaning
Similarly, the air fryer model should be effortless to clean after use. This is especially true for those that are dishwasher safe. Besides, fryers with a non-stick surface will require little elbow grease since food is unlikely to stick on the surface.
The price of an air fryer matters, particularly if you have a tight budget. The price varies with the type of air fryer as digital models tend to cost more than their mechanical counterparts. The quality of construction also determines the price with stainless steel models costing more than plastic models.
1. Does the air fryer need oil?
No, it is not a must for you to use in an air fryer. This is particularly true when cooking salmon in an air fryer and other foods packed with natural oils like chicken.
However, you should keep in mind foods such as vegetables can dry out and burn if no oil is used at all. In this case, it helps to coat or spray with cooking oil.
2. Is cooking air fryer healthy?
Yes, using an air fryer to prepare your favorite meals is a healthier option than other cooking methods. This is because it eliminates the need for added oils and does not involve submerging food in cooking oil as is the case with deep frying. However, its use should be limited since it produces fried foods.
3. Can air fryers cause cancer?
Compared to deep fryers, foods from air fryers have at least 60% less fat. This means that they are unlikely to cause cancer. Plus, they lower the need for preheating, which can produce harmful chemicals like acrylamide that can cause cancer.
An air fryer, however, does not completely eliminate exposure to these compounds. Generally, you should be careful about the type of food you choose and how you prepare it.
Whether you want to make crispy chicken wings, heat frozen goods, reheat leftovers, or make baked goods, investing in an air fryer can be a worthwhile investment. It can help you make a wide range of delicious foods with a crispier finish without taking up much space in your kitchen.
Now that you know the top air fryers in the market, it will be easy for you to create the crisp and flavorful foods that you crave.