Every year, people tend to make the same set of resolutions. People want to be healthy, cut back on fat, and make more food at home. But the problem is, if you’re used to something on the opposite end of “healthy eating,” you’re not going to end up achieving that kind of drastic change all in one day; turning over the calendar does not, unfortunately, grant you magic powers. So if you really do want to make good on some of those resolutions, you’re going to need to start with a realistic goal. And for most people, a good realistic goal is to start making more food at home instead of eating out, regardless of what type of food that is.
And one of the ways you can make your nuggets taste like the ones from the drive-thru is by frying them. Of course, deep frying is difficult, time- and effort-consuming, and pretty heavy on the budget, what with all the oil you end up having to throw away. So your best bet is to get an air fryer.
Air fryers work on a fairly simple principle: you coat the food lightly in oil, then the machine uses circulating air heated up to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit to create the deep-fried crispy texture we all know and love, but with 70% to 80% less oil. You get crispy food with a significantly lower price than the drive-thru, and a significantly lower amount of effort than deep frying at home.
So now comes the real question: what’s the best air fryer to buy? People are in love with the idea of having a low-effort home fryer so they can change pieces of their diet, which means the air fryer market is booming right now, and you might feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing your fryer. Here’s the eight best air fryers available to US buyers right now, with a quick review for each, so you can decide which fryer truly suits your needs.
|Air Fryer Name||Wattage||Capacity (kg)||Price||Rating|
|Philips XL Airfryer||2100 W||2.65 Lb||View Lowest PriceRead our Review|
|Secura 4 Liter||1500 W||4.0 Liters||View Lowest PriceRead our Review|
|Avalon Bay Air Fryer||1400 W||3.5 Liters||View Lowest Price|
|Air Fryer by Cozyna||1500 W||3.2 Liters||View Lowest Price|
|SimpleTaste 1400W Multi-function Electric Air Fryer||1400 W||3.1 Liters||View Lowest Price|
|Aigerek Air Fryer||1350 W||3.2 Liters||View Lowest Price|
|Big Boss Oil-less Air Fryer||1300 W||15 Liters||View Lowest Price|
|FrenchMay Air Fryer||1500 W||3.5 Liters||View Lowest Price|
1. Philips XL Airfryer, The Original Airfryer, Fry Healthy with 75% Less Fat, Black, HD9240/94
The Airfryer is a very sleek-looking appliance, with a touchscreen that allows you to control the temperature up to 390 degrees and the timer up to 60 minutes, a smart preset for foods you cook frequently, and a patented design that’s intended to make it cook more evenly and effectively than other air fryers.
It weighs 18.5 pounds and does not come with any accessories.
- Easy to pick up; the recipes that come alongside the appliance work well as part of the learning curve, and the ideas behind the cooking process are fairly easy to extrapolate to new dishes.
- Very little mess; the mess the Airfryer leaves behind is easily contained and cleaned.
- While it’s overall easy to pick up, there is still a learning curve. It will take some trial and error with most recipes, especially more complicated ones like full dishes.
- The basket it comes with is usually able to hold approximately enough main-course food for two people; if you’re cooking for a family, you’ll have to do it in batches.
The Philips Airdryer really is a very quick and efficient piece of technology. However, at $300, it is a big investment, and it doesn’t hold a whole table’s worth of food unless you buy extra racks. If you’re cooking for one or two and you really want something that’ll withstand heavy use for a long time, this is a great piece to add to your everyday ensemble.
2. Secura 4 Liter, 4.2 Qt., Extra Large Capacity 1500 Watt Electric Hot Air Fryer and Additional Accessories; Recipes, Toaster Rack and Skewers
The Secura Hot Air Fryer catches eyes frequently because of its price. It is a very cheap appliance as far as air fryers go, which, of course, can be a good thing or a bad thing. The Secura has dials for a timer up to 60 minutes and temperature up to 390 degrees, and there are a few commonly-used times stamped on the front next to the temperature dial. This air fryer comes with a toaster rack and skewers, which can be used to cook things like kebabs or to add an extra layer to your frying basket. The device weighs 10.3 pounds, and comes with a recipe booklet.
- Small size makes it easy to reheat things without turning on the hugeoven.
- Great value for the price; many of the upgrades on more expensive models are lost on the average person.
- Many people have noted that this fryer doesn’t work based on the typical “air fryer” model, and works very similarly to a high-powered toaster oven, sending intense heat from above rather than blasting extremely heated air through the frying basket.
- The timer is spring-loaded and analog, which makes it difficult to set extremely precisely.
If you’re looking for something that can bake crispy foods quickly, you don’t mind a bit of manual work, and you’re only cooking for one to three people, this is probably a great fryer for you. It does require a bit more manual work than most fryers, however, which means it’s not quite the “set-it-and-forget-it” type that some of the more upscale models may be.
3. Avalon Bay Air Fryer, For Healthy Fried Food, 3.7 Quart Capacity, Includes Airfryer Baking Set and Recipe Book, AB-Airfryer100B
The Avalon-Bay air fryer is a model that looks very elegant, but also has a fairly low price point. The top of the unit has a set of dials to control the temperature up to 400 degrees and the timer up to 30 minutes.
This fryer is also at a lower price point, and is a fairly small model that really won’t look out of place on your countertop, though it is a bit stocky at 12.35 pounds.
- Keeps waste contained; excess oil drips out of the basket to the bottom of the device, and both the basket and the bottom of the device are nonstick and can be cleaned with soap and water.
- Extremely fast; this is another actual air fryer, which circulates air throughout the device in much the way a conventional oven does, but at a higher rate.
- Only comes with the frying pan attachment. The fryer can be used for baking, roasting, grilling, and a host of other things, but the attachments to support those uses are bought separately.
- This fryer is fairly small, but relatively deep. It makes it easy to make a substantial amount of French fries, but large batches of things like dumplings may not work as well.
This fryer is great at cooking small batches of foods quickly, and it’s especially effective at cooking frozen food. If you’re trying to cook for more than a few people, or you’re planning on making a lot of things from scratch, it might not work as well for you. At the low price point, however, it’s a great investment even if some of your recipes don’t work out very well.
4. Air Fryer by Cozyna(3.7QT) with airfryer cookbooks (over 50 recipes)
The Cozyna air fryer is another fryer on the lower end, but this one seems to be getting a similar amount of press to higher-end fryers like the Philips Airdryer, having been featured on Hungry Girl and Buzzfeed.
The modern-looking design includes a handle on the front, as well as two dials, one for temperature up to 400 degrees and the other for a timer up to 30 minutes.It’s another air fryer that does use superheated air to move through the food to cook it, and all parts that actually touch food are dishwasher safe. It weighs 11 pounds.
- Very simple design that works very well both aesthetically and practically.
- Heat is very accurate and works its way through the entire small area as it should; preheating happens within a matter of seconds.
- The display is simple, but can be very confusing. The buttons tend to beep at seemingly-random times, so it can look like something’s wrong even if everything’s okay.
- While the small area of the cooking portion is great for preheating and maintaining an even temperature, it makes it difficult to cook a significant amount of food.
If you’re looking for a fryer that’s on the lower edge of the price range, and you’re only looking to cook for one or two people, this is a great fryer for you. Many people have said that the cookbook isn’t extremely helpful, but like with most air fryers, the particular recipes that come with this model aren’t specific to the model. The internet has hundreds of recipes for air fryers that you can try, and they’ll work just as well in this fryer as they will in another one.
5. SimpleTaste 1400W Multi-function Electric Air Fryer with Rapid Air Circulation Technology, Smart Programs with Automatic and Manual Timer & Temperature Controls, 3.2 QT
5. SimpleTaste 1400W Multi-function Electric Air Fryer with Rapid Air Circulation Technology, Smart Programs with Automatic and Manual Timer & Temperature Controls, 3.2 QT
This is a very simple-looking air fryer that looks almost futuristic, with a bulbous black frame and a digital LED screen that gives you information about the food as it’s cooking. There are eight quick-set programs — warm-up, chips, chicken, steak, shrimp, meat, cake, and fish — that will automatically set the process to their recommended time period for that type of food, but you can also manually set the temperature up to 400 degrees and the timer up to 30 minutes.
- The small size makes it very fast to cook food, even compared to many air fryers this size.
- The cooking process is extremely intuitive, especially with the large amount of presets, and it makes it substantially easier to actually cook things instead of putting it off.
- Doesn’t come with extra accessories. If you’re looking for baking pans or extra frying grates, you have to buy an accessory pack.
- Very small; the quick pace of cooking means that you can only really cook for one or two people.
This is a great air fryer if you’re looking for something that’s small and easy to use. If you’d like a little more control over your fryer, or you’re trying to make food for a lot of people, it’s not going to be very helpful. Single college students and poor newlyweds will get far on this, but a family of four will have a bit of a more difficult time.
6. Aigerek Air Fryer, – Comes with Recipes CookBook – Easy-to-clean – Dishwasher Safe – Auto Shut off & Timer – 3.2L, 1350W
Like most air fryers, the Aigerek is basically one intense, compact convection oven. The way it cooks is with AirFlow Technology, which is basically just a fancy way of saying a new type of convection oven that only really works with a very powerful fan. This fryer, interestingly, almost looks like a coffee machine, rather than the futuristic vibe you get from a lot of air fryers. It has a manual adjustment for temperature up to 400 degrees and timer up to 30 minutes, which is adjustable throughout cooking, allowing you to change your settings if you’d like to bump up the temperature in the last few minutes for a crisper crust. At 14 pounds, it’s in the middle in terms of weight, but it’s very straightforward, and does have a very sleek design.
- Extremely quiet; many fryers have issues with noise because of their fan strength, but this fryer seems not to.
- Easy to clean; the air fryer is dishwasher-safe, and can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher easily.
- Does not have a stop button; in order to stop the fryer while there’s still time on the timer, you have to manually force the timer to zero. Some people have reported there are issues that require you to turn the temperature all the way to zero first.
- Too small to effectively cook for many people; on the other hand, this can also be a blessing, because it takes up less space on the counter.
This air fryer would be great for someone living on their own with roommates, especially college students and other people who get cravings in the middle of the night and want mozzarella sticks at 3AM. If you’re not expecting it to hold enough food for your entire family, you’ll be very satisfied with this fryer.
7. Big Boss Oil-less Air Fryer, 16 Quart, 1300 watt, Red
The Big Boss is substantially different from the other air fryers in this list in that this is basically created to be for more food, rather than quicker cooking.
At 16 quarts, this fryer easily tops the list in terms of how much food you can make, which makes it incredibly appealing to families or people who need to make more food at once.
It also comes with accessories that allow you to cook two different things at once, one on a higher rack and the other on the floor of the cooker.
- The extremely large cooking basin is a great plus for anyone with a family larger than two or three people, as you won’t have to do multiple batches.
- The transparent basin makes it easy to check on the food without opening it and pulling anything out, thus letting the heat stay in the cooking chamber.
- There is a very steep learning curve; many people have described it as learning how to cook again.
- There are potential issues with the food taking longer to cook than recipes describe, likely because of the size of the cooker.
If you need more food, the Big Boss will cook that amount of food faster than a smaller fryer would cook it in batches. But it will still take longer than one batch would take in a smaller air fryer. If you need the size, it’s a great investment, but if you’re only cooking for one or two, it’s probably not the best option.
8. FrenchMay Air Fryer – 3.7Qt, 1500W – Comes with Recipes & CookBook – Touch Screen Control – Dishwasher Safe – Auto Shut off & Timer
With the FrenchMay, we once again return to the world of space-age-y air fryers. This air fryer is again on the lower end of the price spectrum, and has an LED touchscreen to let you modify the temperature up to 400 degrees and the timer up to 60 minutes. There are seven presets — fries/chips, meat, shrimp, cake, chicken, steak, and fish — but you can also change things as you like, including in the middle of cooking. The small size is similar to other air fryers in its league; and this 3.7 quart cooker weighs in at 13.4 pounds.
- Very easy to clean; all removable parts are dishwasher safe, and can be washed by hand easily as well.
- Great for simple dinners after a full day of work, especially since food can be prepared another day and just added to the fryer and cooked when it’s needed.
- There seems to occasionally be heat issues causing the actual temperature to be lower than the stated temperature.
- Paint does seem to peel fairly easily from the fryer.
This is a simple, quiet fryer that looks very nice and has a lot of great presets that can be used for all manner of things. However, there have been a not-insignificant amount of people worried about paint chipping from this fryer, so if that’s something that worries you, you may want to try a different company.
Air Fryer Buying Guide
When you’re looking into buying something new, you need to have an idea of what you’re looking for. This is an important component of buying anything, even small items, but it’s even more important when you’re looking at buying something as expensive as an air fryer; if you’re not sure what you want, you could get something that ultimately doesn’t end up being useful to you.
You don’t want to waste your money and time on buying an air fryer that doesn’t work out for you, which is why you need to decide early on what components are important to you and what you’re willing to compromise on. There are five main things to consider when buying an air fryer; here are some things to think about for each of them.
For those who don’t have very much expendable cash, price is an important part of buying any long-term investment. Air fryers can be very expensive, but there are some fryers under a hundred dollars that work fairly well. Most of the time, a more expensive fryer will have extra features that a cheaper fryer just won’t have.
A good idea is to set two upper price points on your purchase. Decide ahead of time what your ideal price is, but then also decide on a price that you’ll be willing to pay if you’re really enamored with a particular fryer. Your two budgets will help you negotiate the pros and cons of each air fryer a little more easily.
Nobody wants to buy an item that breaks a week later. The relationship between price and longevity is something that many people think about, and most people assume that cheaper things will inherently last longer than more expensive things. While this can be true, it’s not always a linear scale, so you may end up being surprised.
When it comes to longevity, you’ll need to do some research on your fryer. See what reviewers are saying about how quickly their fryers are breaking down, and note if many people are saying that the item is arriving in poor condition. Note the manufacturer’s warranty, if there is one, and then do some research on how difficult people find it to contact customer service.
There are many different sizes of air fryers on the market, from very small, nearly coffee pot-sized fryers to large ones that can be used to cook whole chickens. Not only do you need to know what size the whole fryer should be, but you also need to decide how much space you need for the actual cooking. A family of four, for example, will need more fryer space than a single college student.
Not only should you look at the actual shipping dimensions, but you should see how much space the cooking basin has. These are both important factors, and each one is individually important when it comes to how large your fryer has to be. Decide ahead of time how much space you have in your kitchen for a fryer as well as how much food it will have to make.
Ease of Use
Different people use air fryers for different things. Some people need the “set it and forget it” method, especially those with particularly busy lives, while some people can change temperatures and times on the go. Some people are able to guesstimate their meals, while other people will need to stick to a recipe closely.
Either way, you have to decide what kind of things are important to you. Do you want an automatic timer that shuts the fryer off after a certain amount of time? Do you need a timer at all? Maybe you want something that has seven or eight buttons, each of which is a preset type of cooking. Figure out what you want in your fryer, then find one that meets those criteria.
When it comes to speed, air fryers are not created equal. The size of the fryer actually plays a part here, as well as the amount of food you’re cooking, but due to the differing styles of fryer, two different machines will often cook the same thing at a different rate. Again, you’ll need to stick to research here — people will often note what cooked well and what didn’t when they review a fryer.
If you’re someone who frequently needs to have dinner ready in half an hour, you’ll want to make sure that speed ranks pretty high. On the other hand, if you’re able to spend some time just cooking dinner, it might not be that big of a deal for you. Check reviews and decide accordingly.
The five components of buying an air fryer all work together. If you want the most high-tech fryer on the market, one that has multiple presets and is extremely easy to use, you’re not going to be able to get it for cheap. The best idea is to first rank them in terms of how important each component is, then use the first two or three to find your initial choice of air fryer. After that, you can compare and contrast to figure out which one works better for you.
Don’t be afraid to consult reviews. Every person’s experience is different, of course, but if a majority of reviews are mentioning that a specific air fryer only cooks well when it’s half full, you should likely take that into account. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to buy a fryer because one of the hundreds of reviews mentions that it broke within the week. Pay special attention to reviewers with experiences like yours — if you’re a college student cooking for one, find reviews that mention that. Cooking for a family of four? Look for family-centered reviews.
At the end of the day, what is objectively a great fryer just might not be great for you. You should be addressing your specific needs, and that may mean buying a fryer that doesn’t have as high of an overall rating as another one. That’s fine! Think about your most important needs, and then get a fryer that meets those criteria. You’re the only one who knows what will end up being the best choice for you.