So, you want an air fryer?
Well, even if you do not, after reading this article, you will. There are many benefits to using an air fryer, and when you compare it to using a deep fryer, there really is no contest.
With an air fryer, you can get the same delicious tasting food without the food being cooked in liters of fatty oil.
An air fryer will circulate the air inside to cook all your food evenly and give you an end product which is golden and crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and with a taste which will trick you into thinking you are eating something which is bad for you.
Why is it always the food which tastes so good, the food which is the most detrimental to your health? Well, no more with an air fryer.
That being said, the hardest part is yet to come. It is good that you want an air fryer, but there are so many choices in the market, that it can be hard to know where to begin.
Which model should you go for, and how do you know that the fryer you opt for is any good? How do you even know what to look for in an air fryer?
We’ve got you covered. Everything you need to know about air fryers is compiled in this buying guide. Once you have the information, you will be able to make an informed choice. After that, the world is your oyster.
As always, we recommend you to read our buyer’s guide to have a more in-depth understanding of what you should be looking for before you dive into our list of the best electric air fryers.
Our Top 10 Air Fryers in 2018
|Zeny Electric Air Fryer (Our Top Pick)||-||-||Price|
|Philips Advance XL Digital Air Fryer (Best for Family)||-||-||Price|
|GoWise 8-In-1 Air Fryer (Editor’s Choice)||-||-||Price|
|Black+Decker Air Fryer (Best for Small Kitchens)||-||-||Price|
|Cozyna XL Air Fryer||-||-||Price|
|Secura Electric Air Fryer||-||-||Price|
|Power XL Air Fryer||-||-||Price|
|Super Deal XXL Air Fryer||-||-||Price|
|Dash Compact Air Fryer||-||-||Price|
|Simple Chef Air Fryer||-||-||Price|
1 . Zeny Electric Air Fryer — Best for Crispy Food in 2018
This electric air fryer is completely programmable with a digital screen to help you navigate the many cooking options.
We love the options you have when it comes to cooking your food, and the simplicity of the display and buttons make this fryer extremely easy to use.
There is a 30-minute cooking auto-shutoff which helps to ensure that your food is not overcooked and that the device is not left on for a long period of time.
There are heating and power lights to alert you to the condition of the fryer. We especially like knowing when the fryer is heating so that we do not touch the wrong part of it.
The temperature control is also a welcome addition, allowing you to take complete control over the temperature at which your food cooks.
The cooking element comes with a dual-action fan to circulate the hot air. A powerful convention systems mean that the hot air is uniformly distributed around your food.
A great distribution of hot air means that your food cooks quickly and evenly. This helps your food to get really crispy, which is great for food such as fries which come out golden and crispy on the outside while remaining soft and fluffy on the inside.
Large basket allows you to cook a lot of food at one time (perhaps a double-batch of those yummy fries just for yourself). There is enough capacity to cook for an entire family and enough flexibility to cook just for one.
The fryer itself looks sleek and clean. It has an almost futuristic look with the display screen on the front. It would not look out of place in any kitchen, and the design makes it an appliance which you will want to have on display in your home.
The parts inside are also dishwasher safe, meaning that cleaning will be a breeze, and you can spend more time enjoying your food with your family instead of doing the washing up.
A great air fryer which will get your food extra crispy and golden. Great for individual portions of fries when you need a snack, but also large enough to cook for the entire family.
- Easy to use
- Dishwasher safe
- Adjustable temperature
- Large capacity
- Looks great
- Can give off an aroma
- Smokes at high temperatures
- Can be noisy
2. Philips Advance XL Digital Air Fryer — Best for Family Cooking
The rapid air technology in this unit evenly distributes the hot air around your food to give a fast cooking time, precise and evenly cooked product.
The large 2.65-lb. capacity makes this air fryer perfect for groups and families.
You can fit enough here to feed a family of four, and even if you get home late, with the kids screaming about how hungry they are, you can still have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes (and of course the dinner will be delicious too).
At the bottom of the fryer, you will find a starfish-shaped heating element. This unique design allows the heat to be transferred around your food more easily.
You can pile your food high in the mesh basket, and the heat will still be able to get around to cook and crisp.
Want something a little different to impress your guests? This air fryer will also grill, roast, and bake, and with over 200 recipes to try. You are going to find something for everyone.
The digital touchscreen gives you complete control over your food and allows you to preset the cook settings.
If you find that your fries could be a little crispier, then you can tweak the heat setting to get that perfect golden color, or if you are always roasting your veggies in this air fryer, you can set the air fryer to have a setting especially for your roasted vegetables.
The level of control on this fryer makes it perfect for all of your cooking needs.
The drawer and the food basket are non-stick, so you will never have to worry about your food getting stuck to them, and they are completely dishwasher safe.
You can hand wash the parts if you like, but if you do not have the time and want to forget about them, you can throw them in the dishwasher and let the dishwasher do the job.
The technology included in this air fryer means that you are going to get perfect results every time. The basket is large enough to cook for the entire family, and there is enough versatility to cook almost anything.
- Advanced air-circulation technology
- Large capacity
- Dishwasher safe
- 200 recipes
- Slightly expensive
- Can smoke at high temperatures
- Can be difficult to use
3. GoWise 8-In-1 Air Fryer — Best for Non-Stick Frying
This is a really sleek and modern air fryer.
With so many counter-top appliances on the market, your kitchen counters can become cluttered and busy, but this one will blend into your kitchen set up, with its sleek design and contemporary look as this air fryer can sit out on your countertop without attracting attention.
Although, if it does attract attention, it will be the good kind.
The advanced touchscreen menu gives you enough options to cook all of your favorite foods, but not so many that you are spending a long time finding the setting you want, or making minute changes to all of the variables. There are classic settings for food such as fries, chicken, fish, and pizza.
You can pop in your food, hit a button, and relax while the air fryer perfectly cooks your food for you.
Of course, if you do want some control over the cooking of your food, then you can adjust the temperature in ten-degree increments from a minimum temperature of 180°F to a maximum temperature of 400° F.
You can also change the cooking time and can set a timer for up to thirty minutes.
The non-stick FDA-certified pan and basket are completely detachable, to allow you to clean the interior of the fryer, and also get your food out with ease.
The foods will not stick to the basket, and the basket can be removed during the cooking time to shake or flip the food inside.
There is a cool-touch handle which you can use to take the basket out of the air fryer, meaning no chance for burnt hands, and a button guard on the handle to ensure that the handle does not detach when you are dealing with your food.
Also included is a recipe book with 50 recipes, all specially designed to be used with this air fryer. Inside, you will find recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
No matter what you feel like eating, this air fryer will have a dish for you.
This is an air fryer which is big enough to cook for the whole family while remaining easy enough for anyone to cook with it. The non-stick basket is easily removed, and there are safeguards to prevent burning when you do.
- Large capacity
- Dishwasher safe
- 8 cooking functions
- Large footprint
- 30-day basket warranty
4. Black+Decker Air Fryer — Best for Small Kitchens
This air fryer features analog controls, making it one of the easiest to use air fryers on the market.
There is no need to get to grips with digital displays and pre-programmed buttons; all you have to do is set the timer, set the temperature, and let the air fryer do the rest.
The 60-minute timer gives you the flexibility to cook anything.
Most air fryers come with a 30-minute timer, but this one allows you to cook even the most troublesome meal. And the best parts is, that when the cooking time is up, the device will automatically shut itself off.
The variable temperature control gives you access to any temperature between 175°F and 400°F, and you can get more precise control than you can with digital controls.
The indicator lights will also show you when the device is on and when the correct cooking temperature has been reached, ensuring that you get your food in to cook at the correct time.
The 2-liter capacity gives you enough room to cook a snack or a dinner, but also keeps the footprint to a minimum so that the air fryer is not taking up valuable kitchen space.
You have enough room to cook up fries, chicken wings, roast vegetables, and more. There is also a basket separator so that you can cook up two things at once without having them mix.
The cool-touch handle allows you to access your food while it is cooking to check if it is done or not, and you can shake or flip your food without having to worry about any of the food sticking.
We hate trying to clean fried food from any parts, but with this air fryer, you need not worry about that.
This air fryer features dual-convection fans which will circulate the air to every part of the interior, ensuring that all of the food is reached, and all of the food is cooked evenly.
The result is crispy fries, wings, vegetables, and more, in a fraction of the time you would be able to cook them in an oven.
This air fryer is small and compact, yet has a large enough capacity to cook all of your favorite dinners. The variable timer and temperature controls make this an easy fryer to use.
- Easy to use
- Small footprint
- Non-stick parts
- Dishwasher safe
- Basket separator
- Smaller capacity
- Small printing on dials
5. Cozyna XL Air Fryer — Best For Versatility
This is an air fryer which has been built with the family in mind.
There is an enormous amount of space in this air fryer, and you will have no problem rustling up a meal for even the hungriest family.
We love the basket divider which allows you to cook two foods at once, without the two mixing.
Our favorite meal is fries and chicken wings, and you can have the two in here at one time without any of the rub or sauce from the wings getting on the fries.
This air fryer is one of the easiest to use on our list.
All you have to do is choose the temperature and your cooking time (and add the food, of course), and you are ready to go. It really is as simple as that.
At the end of the cooking time, you will have a perfectly cooked meal.
Well, you should have the perfectly cooked meal; if you have cooked it for too long, or not long enough, then you may not, but if your cooking skills are not up to par, then fear not, for there are two amazing recipe books included.
If you do need help with your cooking, then check out one of fifty included recipes, and whip something delicious like Thai mushroom and chicken meatballs or molten lava chocolate cake.
Those are only two of the many delicious dishes which you can cook with this air fryer.
When you do begin to experiment with the included recipes, or when you try some of your own, you will find that the simple controls hide a versatility inside of this air fryer.
Not only can you fry, you can also bake, roast, and grill. With so many cooking options at your disposal, you can cook up so many meals, that you will never run out of ideas for dinner.
With 5.5 liters of internal capacity, you will also never run out of food to feed your family.
The large capacity means that you can cook up a lot of food if you wish, but you can also use this fryer to make yourself late-night snacks when your family have gone to bed.
A very versatile air fryer which will also let you grill, roast, and bake. The easy to use controls and the included recipe books, mean that you can cook up a variety of amazing dishes and then begin to experiment with your own.
- Large capacity
- Easy to use
- Dishwasher safe
- Cookbooks included
- Intuitive controls
- Handle is not solid
- Food can stick
- Not great for fries
6. Secura Electric Air Fryer — Best for Accessories
Many air fryers come with the option to add extras and accessories, but this one actually comes decked out with added accessories.
The unit is shipped with a BBQ rack, skewers, and a recipe book.
You can cut up some vegetables and meat, skewer them with the included skewers, and place them on the BBQ rack.
Once you have cooked them, you will have amazing skewers which will taste just like the ones you would get from a grill or a BBQ.
The recipe book will give you some ideas about the type of skewers you can make, and you can spend a lot of time experimenting with different skewer combinations.
The BBQ rack is also great for cooking food such as fish and steaks and will give you that seared look and taste.
The 3.2-liter basket gives you enough room to cook all of your favorite food, and you can add some bulky items to the skewers and still have them fit inside.
There is a 60-minute timer, which means that you can cook roasts in there without having to reset the timer halfway through.
The timer will also shut off when the food is done, helping to not overcook the food or waste power by running the appliance when you do not need it to be running.
Heating and power lights will also help you to see the state of the air fryer at a glance and will ensure that you get the best out of your cooking experience by allowing you to put your food in the basket when the air fryer is up to temperature and not before.
You can completely adjust the temperature of your air fryer, going as low as 180°F and as high as 400°F. This gives you total control over the food you are cooking.
The 2-year warranty ensures that you are never left in the lurch with your cooking. If you have a problem with your appliance, Secura will strive to fix it.
This air fryer will do what you expect an air fryer to do, but what is unexpected is the addition of the BBQ rack and skewers. They give you the option to push an air fryer beyond the boundaries and into new territory.
- BBQ rack and skewers
- Adjustable temperature
- Indicator lights
- 2-year warranty
- Small capacity
- Not programmable
7. Power XL Air Fryer — Best for Quick Cooking
This air fryer is so easy to use and gives such great results that you will feel like a chef, with the nagging feeling that you should not be making such good food as easily as this.
With one purchase, you can replace your baking pans, deep fryers, toasters, grill pans, and many more kitchen appliances.
You will be able to make fries, chicken, steak, vegetables, pies, donuts, and more. This really is a one-stop cooking appliance.
The rapid air technology in this air fryer allows the air to circulate efficiently and effectively.
A whirlwind of cyclonic air is turbo-charged to make sure that every part of your food is cooked evenly and with a crispy and golden exterior.
The specially designed technology means that your food is mouth-wateringly delicious, and even more importantly, that delicious food is on your plate in record time.
You can even cook a whole chicken inside the basket and enjoy the best chicken you have ever tasted.
The digital touchscreen is minimalistic and simple. You will not get bogged down in overly complex settings or too many options.
You have complete control over the temperature, allowing you to teak the temperature slightly if you want your fries a little bit crispier or your broccoli less browned.
There is also a digital touchscreen which has seven pre-set cooking functions. Your favorite foods, such as fries or steak, can be cooked at the touch of a button.
The hardest thing you need to do is to choose which TV program you want to watch while your food is cooking. The digital timer will also turn the unit off when cooking is done so that you never have to worry about leaving your favorite TV show to turn it off.
This air fryer will cook your food for you before you have even had time to set the table. The cyclonic power will cook your food rapidly, but not at the expense of quality.
- Easy to use controls
- Adjustable temperature
- Looks great
- Preset programs
- Smaller capacity
- Small basket
- Large footprint
8. Super Deal XXL Air Fryer — Best for Affordable Cooking
This is an extremely large air fryer. You have a 5.6-liter basket – large enough to cook almost anything, and spacious enough to cook up a meal for the entire family.
With a basket so big, you can roast an entire chicken and still have enough room for some vegetables and fries.
The thing we love most about this air fryer is that you get a large capacity at an extremely affordable price. This air fryer will not set you back a lot of money, and when you get it home, you will think that you have pulled off the deal of the century.
Along with getting a large capacity, you also have an elegant digital touchscreen with 8 preset functions which are controlled at the touch of a button. You can also pause the cooking and resume it by again pressing a button.
This is a great feature if you have to nip out to get some milk or take the dog for a quick walk. It saves you finishing the cooking and then letting the food cool before you eat it. By pausing, you can eat the food when it comes out hot and crispy.
The basket inside is dishwasher safe, so when you are done, you can throw it in the dishwasher and have it ready for when you next want to cook in it, which will be soon.
The handle is cool to touch, even when the fryer has been cooking for a long time, and the lack of oil means that the countertop underneath, and the area around the air fryer is not warmed so much that you cannot touch it.
No oil also means less splatter and an easier cleanup. The lack of oil also means that there is no nasty oily smell in your kitchen when you are cooking fries or chicken.
The display on the front of the air fryer features a programmable timer to give you the best cooking function possible.
The controls are intuitive and easy to use, making this fryer one of the most simple and easy fryers on the market. There is also the welcome addition of a recipe book to aid you in your cooking.
For this size of fryer, you will not find a more affordable model. The controls are easy to use, the device is easy to clean, and the results are perfect every time.
- Large capacity
- Dishwasher safe
- Programmable timer
- Pause function
- Large footprint
- Not great for single serve meals
9. Dash Compact Air Fryer — Best for Adding Style
This is one of the best looking and stylish air fryers on our list. The aqua-colored fryer looks modern with a hint of a retro diner look.
Of course, diners of the past wished they had a technology like this, but unfortunately, they had to make do with bulky and unhealthy deep fryers.
This air fryer would be a welcome addition to any diner of the past, and it will be a welcome addition to your kitchen too. If the aqua color does not match the palette of your kitchen, there are four more neutral colors to choose from.
This is not an air fryer to hide away in a cupboard; this is a kitchen appliance which will take pride of place on your kitchen counters, and when you serve up fries to your friends, they will not believe that they have come from something so elegant and stylish.
The 1.8-liter basket is perfect for small homes, single people, and those who want to use an air fryer to complement the cooking of a main meal.
You can use this appliance to make a meal for one or two people, or you could use it to cook your side dish while the main is in your oven.
One thing we really like about this air fryer is that it is extremely quick at what it does; it is also extremely simple to use. It will heat up quicker than your oven, and when the food is in it, it will also cook it quicker than your oven.
The two dials on the front and top allow you to adjust the temperature and cooking time (the only two things you really need for cooking anything in an air fryer). The simplicity of the device means that this air fryer is accessible to anyone.
The fryer basket is completely non-stick, so you will never have a problem turning your food as it cooks or getting it out of the basket when it is done.
The base is also dishwasher safe, allowing you to take the pain out of washing a baking dish or grilling tray. This is an extremely compact and versatile air fryer which can be taken anywhere with you. It would be perfect in a small apartment, and equally at home in a camper van.
This is a sleek and elegant air fryer which will fit in any kitchen. It is the perfect air fryer if you want to conserve space, want something which can travel, or simply want something which is oozing with style (and without oozing any oil).
- Small and compact
- Elegant and stylish
- Dishwasher safe
- Non-stick basket
- Easy to use controls
- Small capacity
- Needs to be washed before use
- Small basket holes are hard to clean
10. Simple Chef Air Fryer — Best for Healthy Eating
This air fryer will help you to cut down on the oil in your food and open you up to a world of healthy eating which does not mean getting rid of your favorite dishes.
You can eat potatoes, chicken wings, and steaks with this air fryer and the air-circulating technology means that you do not have to worry about your favorite foods being laden with surplus oil.
The circulation of the hot air means that your food is as crispy as it would be when cooked in a deep fryer, with all of the taste, but with none of the fat and calories.
A lot of work has gone into the design of this appliance.
Both the look and the functionality have been designed from the bottom up to ensure that you have a luxury appliance in your house at an affordable price. The exterior looks sleek and professional, with the cold-touch handle firing part one the main look of the appliance.
The matte finish also means that the exterior will remain looking clean, and will be easier to clean, even after many uses.
Simple addition of two analog dials also means that the fryer is easy to use. All you have to do is set the temperature and set the cook time, and you are ready to go. Your food will come out crispy and delicious every time.
The basket is non-stick, making it easy to get your food off of the basket when it is ready, and making it easy to clean when you are done cooking. Of course, the basket is also dishwasher safe so the cleanup could not be easier.
This is the air fryer which will help you to live a healthier lifestyle. Everything is great in moderation, and this air fryer will help you to enjoy your favorite foods with our having to worry about the fats that they are usually cooked in.
- Easy to use
- Professional design
- Dishwasher safe
- Oil-less cooking
- Large capacity
- 30-day guarantee
- Not as durable as other models
Air Fryers Buying Guide
When it comes to buying an air fryer, it should be simple, right?
You should be able to walk into a store or navigate the online world and pick one at a glance, but that is not always the case.
With technology moving at a rapid pace, there are many features and attributes to think about when buying your air fryer. So, what should you be looking at?
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
When it comes to frying food, you need a lot of oil, right?
If you want that super-crispy outside and the soft and juicy inside, then the only way to get that is to fry it in a lot of oil. You need to submerge your food in the scalding hot oil and wait for it to soak it all up.
That is the only way, is it not? What if I were to tell you that you can achieve the exact same results without any oil at all? Would you believe me?
Well, it is true, and if you have read this far, then you probably know that already.
Instead of your food being submerged into hot oil, hot air is circulated around the food.
A fan circulates this air at high speed, moving it around your food, and cooking the food to produce a crispy outer layer, just like contact with then hot oil would. The best part is that there is little to no oil needed.
What are the Benefits of an Air Fryer?
There are many benefits which come with using an air fryer, and many of those benefits are directly related to not having to use any oil.
The main benefit for us is that no oil, especially hot oil, means less chance of burning. There is something of a cliché out there when it comes to deep fryers.
The hot oil is bubbling away and when you put something into the oil, especially if the food you put in contains a lot of oil, the oil can go crazy and splatter everywhere.
With an air fryer, there are no oils to spurt out and burn you. An air fryer does get hot, but the risk of a burn is minimal compared to a deep fryer.
No oil means healthier food. Now, we are not saying that you should cut oil out of your diet completely, but you also do not want to be eating a lot of unnecessary oil.
When you deep fry food, lots of oil is added. With air frying, there is no oil added to your food. This means fewer calories and more of the food you want to eat, without the guilt.
Less oil means less mess. There is no oil to splatter around and get everywhere. This means less cleanup when you are done. No deep frying also means that there is less of that oily smell in the air.
The removal of the oil also means that you do not have to be there to constantly watch and stir your food. This makes them perfect for smaller kitchens too.
An air fryer can also replace many devices in your kitchen. It can, of course, replace your deep fryer, but an air fryer can do so much more than just fry your food.
You can cook food from frozen, such as vegetables. You can bake food. You can cook battered food if you wish. You can cook pretty much anything you want with an air fryer.
Why Do I Need an Air Fryer?
The main reason we recommend purchasing an air fryer is for the convenience.
We also love the health benefits and how many appliances it can replace. No oil, means food which contains less fat, but what foods exactly can you cook?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways in which you will use your air fryer.
Any frozen food which can be cooked in your oven can be cooked in an air fryer.
Food will actually cook faster in an air fryer, with less mess, and with less power consumption (they also do not heat up your house on a hot day).
You can cook a portion of frozen fries in around 12 minutes, and a meal consisting of fish and chips will cook in around 15.
Yes, you can cook meat and end up with a delicious tasting steak or pork chop, but did you know that you can cook an entire chicken in an air fryer, and in as little as 30 minutes.
You may need to add special attachments to rotate a large roast when it is in the air fryer, but it will cook it quicker than you would be able to in the oven and the skin will be delicious and crispy.
You can cook almost any type of vegetable in your air fryer. If you have a vegetable which you can roast or grill in your oven, then you can cook it in your air fryer.
If you have any vegetable which you can fry up in a skillet on your hob, then you can cook it in your air fryer.
Your vegetables will be cooked evenly to give a roasted outside and a soft inside. The best part is that you do not need to add any oil.
When you are using your oven or a skillet, you need loads oil to help crisp your vegetables and stop them from sticking. With an air fryer, you do not need to worry about either of those things.
Many air fryers allow you to purchase baking dishes. You can use these baking dishes to bake items such as muffins and bread. The baking dish is also perfect for lasagnas and casseroles.
Roasted nuts and seeds
The smell of roasted nuts is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. With an air fryer, you can evenly roast nuts and seeds without burning any of them.
Be sure to invest in a paddle to stir the nuts and seeds as they roast.
Types of Air Fryers
There are two main types of air fryer: static and dynamic.
There is only one subtle difference between the two, and that is that the dynamic fryer will move your food around as the hot air circulates.
With a static air fryer, the air is circulated around the food, and the food is stationary. This usually means that you need to stir the food halfway through the frying process.
A dynamic air fryer will circulate the air and will also circulate the food. The way in which the food is circulated depends on the fryer you have.
A dynamic fryer will cook the food more evenly without you having to do anything. This also means that a dynamic fryer will usually cost you a little more than a static fryer.
Ease of Use and Cleanup
You can’t’ cook any food without making a little mess.
In fact, we believe that it is almost necessary to make a mess if you want to make really good food.
With an air fryer, there is a lot less mess than many other cooking methods — especially when compared to a deep fryer.
There will be minimal mess, but you should still look for a fryer which is easy to use, easy to maintain, and easy to clean.
When thinking about the ease of use, you should look for one with a digital display to give you any necessary information during the cooking time.
Having said this, you also want to have a display which is not cluttered and one which does not give you too much information.
If you can see the temperature and the cooking time remaining, then you know almost everything which you need to know.
You should also look for an air fryer which does not have too many buttons. Air fryers are simple machines, and they should be simple to use.
Digital buttons are easier to use than analog dials. It can also be handy to find a device which comes with preset cooking times and temperatures so that you can cook your food at the touch of a button.
An instruction manual should be included, and it should be clear and concise. We would also recommend finding an air fryer with a recipe book to get you started.
It can be hard to know exactly how to cook your food when you first get your air fryer, but if you have some recipes, then you can begin cooking simple food and apply that to other food.
However, if your air fryer doesn’t come with a recipe booklet, there are plenty of online sites which will help you find recipes for cooking whatever you want to cook in your air fryer.
When it comes to cleaning your air fryer, you should ideally clean the fryer after every use. This will ensure that the air fryer lasts for as long as possible; you would do the same with a baking tray or frying pan.
If you clean the inside of the air fryer too, then dirt and grime will not have a chance to build up. You should only need to give the inside a quick wipe as there will be no oil to splatter over the inside.
You should also be able to put the pieces in the dishwasher or wash them by hand in some soapy water.
What to Look for in an Air Fryer
The price is something you think about when you buy any product, and especially one for your kitchen, and especially one which at first glance, you do not necessarily need.
However, when you are done with this buying guide, you will see that an air fryer can factually save you time, money, and complications.
So, when it comes to choosing a price point for your air fryer, it does not hurt to spend a little more to get a quality product.
In fact, we believe that an investment in the product will save you time and money later.
The best air fryers will cost you a little more than the cheap models, but they will last a lot longer, and they will cook your food to a higher quality.
With this in mind, it is reasonable that we start looking at air fryers around the $100 mark.
As we move to higher capacity machines and those with extra features, the price will begin to go up, and this is where you need to decide on what you need and what you want.
Once you have decided on what you need in an air fryer, you can begin to add the features you want.
Do not start with a budget so low that you cannot find any products.
Remember that you are going to be using this device a lot to cook all manner of food.
You do not need to go with a known brand, as there are some great emerging companies in that air fryer world, but a trusted brand does come with some advantages.
A company which has been in the air fryer business for a while will have a track record or manufacturing and supporting trusted devices.
A name brand generally has a better customer service team. When it comes to fixing an air fryer or replacing parts, it will be easier to find someone who can fix a brand-name air fryer, and easier to find spare parts for a brand-name air fryer.
The capacity of your air fryer will depend on how you are going to use it.
If you are a student in a small dorm room, cooking for yourself, then you are going to want to go for one of the smallest models on the market.
If you are part of a large family, then you are going to want to invest in a larger model to ensure that there is enough food for everyone.
The smallest models on the market can hold around 800g of food. This is roughly equivalent to 4 portions of fries. If you are a student, then this is an ideal amount of space to allow you to cook whatever you want in your room.
Larger air fryers can cook double of this (and more). This would be enough to cook up fries for at least 6-8 people.
If you are a family of four or more, then we would recommend a fryer at this end of the scale to allow you to cook entire dinners in one go. You can also go larger than this if you need even more cooking space.
One thing to look at when you are deciding on your capacity is the footprint of your air fryer.
Air fryers come in all shapes and sizes, and, generally, the larger the capacity, the larger the footprint. Of course, the shape of a fryer can maximize the capacity while minimizing the footprint.
Think about the amount of kitchen space you have, but also remember that you are going to be using your air fryer to replace a lot of other cooking methods.
If you are going to be putting your air fryer into storage between uses, then you will need to make sure that the air fryer can fit into your storage area.
Your food is air fried. This is the entire point of an air fryer, but you can find air fryers with different cooking modes.
One of the most common cooking modes, outside of the air-frying, is grill mode. This is handy for grilling meats and fish.
A warranty is not necessarily an indication that you are getting a quality air fryer, as air fryers can break down no matter how well you treat them, but it can give you some peace of mind.
Generally, you will have to pay a little more to get a good warranty, but it can be worth it. We would recommend not buying an air fryer which has no warranty, but at the same time, we also recommend that you treat your air fryer well enough that you will never have to use your warranty.
You could have the best warranty in the world, but without great customer service, that can be almost worthless.
If you do have a problem with your air fryer, either when you have it delivered or when you are using it, then you want to be able to get in contact with someone to help you solve your problem.
You can go two ways with this.
If you buy from a trusted company which has been manufacturing air fryers for a long time, then there is a good chance that you are going to get good customer service from them.
The other thing which you can do is to look at the online reviews. If a company has exceptionally good or exceptionally bad service, then it will often be apparent in the review section.
Air fryers are designed to air fry your food and, at their most basic, that is exactly what they do, but, as with many kitchen devices, there are add-ons which can enhance the cooking experience and perhaps save you more time and energy.
Dynamic fryers and paddles
Some air fryers are dynamic and will stir your food for you.
If you want to put your food on to cook and then just leave it, then a dynamic fryer is the way to go.
If you have bought a static fryer and are getting tired of having to stir your food, then you can usually upgrade your fryer by purchasing a paddle and attaching it so that your food is stirred while cooking.
The advantage of having a paddle is that the food is cooked more evenly when stirred.
When you are buying an air fryer, we would recommend a dynamic fryer, or one that has a removable paddle.
There are times where you may want to cook food which is delicate, such as fish, and you do not want the paddle to stir the food; instead, you want to turn the fish manually.
If you can remove the paddle, then you can do this.
Your other option is to go for a tilted basket. With this type of fryer, the food is on an angle, and as the basket rotates, the food is moved around the air fryer, and the hot air will cook the food more evenly.
No matter what you are cooking, you will need to cook it for a certain amount of time.
You should always ensure that you buy an air fryer which has a built-in timer. If you can find one which has an automatic shut-off attached to the timer, then you can leave your food to cook and turn off, and you do not need to worry about your food burning or the air fryer getting too hot and damaging itself or the surrounding area.
When you find an air fryer with a timer, you will find that they are either digital or analog.
Digital timers are easier to read at a glance, but there is more which can go wrong with them. Analog timers are easier to use, but the reading is not usually as accurate as a digital timer.
Depending on the type of cooking you are doing, you may want more control over your cooking.
If you are only doing basic cooking, then you may be fine with an air fryer which does not have any temperature controls and only cooks the food at one temperature.
The more precise your cooking is, the more control you will need over the temperature. If you need more control, then look for air fryers which allow you to make tiny adjustments to the temperature.
Smart devices are becoming more common.
There are many air fryers which are only just emerging on the market and can be controlled by your smartphone or another smart device.
If you would like to control your device through an app or similar technology, then this could be for you. You can download recipes into an app and then set your fryer to cook based on the app.
You can monitor the cooking time and temperature from your app, and modify the fryer from the comfort of your sofa.
One thing we love about this is that you can turn the fryer on before you get home and have your food ready when you walk in the door.
Sometimes you want to cook multiple food items at once, but do not want them to be cooked together.
Some air fryers come with racks inside or you can purchase them if they don’t come with it.
Having racks inside the fryer means that you can cook food separately. It also gives you more space inside the fryer as you normally do not want to stack food too high or it will not be able to cook evenly on the outside.
When it comes to taking care of your device, you will have to clean it after using (or after cooking some messy food).
Hand washing the pieces of the air fryer is fine, but placing the parts in the dishwasher is even easier. Look for air fryers which have dishwasher-safe parts.
Bonus: Air Fryer Tips
Now that you are sold on an air fryer, here are some of our top tips for using your air fryer:
- Preheat your air fryer before cooking food to get the best cooking results
- Use a spray bottle to spray oil onto your food for a crispier taste and more delicious food
- Do not be afraid to invest in quality accessories
- Use water in the bottom of the air fryer when cooking to collect any dripping oil and to stop the oil from burning and smoking
- Do not crowd your air fryer with too much food. The air needs to circulate around all of the food
- Do not be afraid to open the air fryer to check your food. The air will still be hot when you close it again
- Use any liquid which has dripped from the food as a marinade or a sauce
- Clean the air fryer after every use to maintain your fryer and ensure your food is of the highest quality
- After washing your air fryer, turn the air fryer on to dry out the inside
- Use your air fryer to reheat leftovers
- Experiment with your air fryer and find something new each time
There is a lot of information out there about air fryers, and it can be hard to know where to begin, but our guide has compiled all of that information and taken out all of the fluff; all that is left is everything that you will ever need to know about air fryers.
Now that you have read our buying guide, you are equipped with all of the knowledge you need to choose the air fryer which is right for you.
Do you need a compact air fryer for your dorm room? Do you need an air fryer for family meals? Do you just want something which looks good? We have got you covered.
Once you have an air fryer, you will wonder what you did before getting one.
With one simple device, you can replace multiple devices in your kitchen, and the best part is, that you can cook in your air fryer more healthily than you ever could in any other kitchen appliance.
Get one, and never feel bad about having your favorite food again.