Are you looking for a healthier way to enjoy the crispy goodness of fried foods?

Then you need an air fryer!

Air fryers are a great alternative to deep fryers as they use up to 50 times less oil while still producing a deliciously crunchy, crispy exterior.

The problem is:

The Best Air Fryer

How do you find a model that’s right for you among the hundreds of products available?

Not to worry!

I’ve put together this guide of Best Air Fryers to help you out.

What is the Best Air Fryer for 2019?

Which air fryer is the best for you depends on a couple of things such as how big is your family and the size of your budget.

To help make your choice easier, we take a look at products in four categories: best overall, best large capacity, best small, and best budget air fryer.

If you don’t know much about air fryers yet, I suggest you first read our Air Fryer Buying Guide.

But now, let’s get started with the reviews!

Preview
Editor's Choice!
Philips Twin TurboStar Technology XXL Airfryer with Fat Reducer,...
Best for One
BLACK+DECKER Purify 2-Liter Air Fryer, Black/Stainless Steel, HF110SBD
Best Price!
Chefman 2.5 Liter/2.6 Quart Air Fryer with Digital Display Adjustable...
Product
Philips HD9630/98 Avance
BLACK+DECKER HF110SBD
ChefMan RJ38-P1
Capacity
XXL family size food basket
2 liters
2.5-liters
Rating
Editor's Choice!
Preview
Philips Twin TurboStar Technology XXL Airfryer with Fat Reducer,...
Product
Philips HD9630/98 Avance
Capacity
XXL family size food basket
Rating
Best for One
Preview
BLACK+DECKER Purify 2-Liter Air Fryer, Black/Stainless Steel, HF110SBD
Product
BLACK+DECKER HF110SBD
Capacity
2 liters
Rating
Best Price!
Preview
Chefman 2.5 Liter/2.6 Quart Air Fryer with Digital Display Adjustable...
Product
ChefMan RJ38-P1
Capacity
2.5-liters
Rating

When it comes to kitchen appliances, Philips is a household name. The brand has been producing high-quality electronic kitchenware for decades and has taught us to expect nothing but the best with their creations.

All three of our top choices for 2019 are from this brand. Let’s take a closer look!

1. Philips HD9630/98 Avance XXL Twin TurboStar Air Fryer – Our #1 Pick

The Philips HD9630/98 Avance offers a stellar combo of size, ease-of-use, looks and even cooking. It has one of the highest air fryer food capacities on the market today, which is important when cooking dinner for a large family or preparing treats for a party.

The large capacity, as well as the new more powerful and oil-free TurboStar cooking technology, make it the best air fryer for 2019.

Let’s see what else you can expect from this model.

Highlights

  • XXL family size food basket
  • 60-minute timer
  • Grills, bakes, fries, and roasts
  • Cooks food evenly
  • Can be used without oil

Unit size and capacity

The XXL model has an impressive food basket capacity of 3 lb. or 4 qt. per round – the perfect family size! Four quarts is the equivalent of about two standard bags of frozen fries or a whole chicken. It is a great option if you want to get a lot of cooking done at once.

Controls

The controls feature a pair of dials. One regulates the timer that can be set up to 60 minutes, which is a whole 30 minutes more than most other models on the market. The second dial allows you to regulate the temperature. It is calibrated at 25-degree intervals.

Just pop your food in the basket, twist a couple of knobs and you have your crispy treats in no time! 

Preset cooking modes

One design flaw with this model is the lack of preset cooking modes. So if you are one of those home chefs who depend on automatic cooking settings, then you might be disappointed. However, you can regulate the temperature to achieve different cooking functions like grilling, baking, frying, and roasting.

Cooking technology

Philips’s HD9630/98 XXL air fryer uses hot air for cooking. This cuts across all Philips’ models that use the powerful TurboStar technology. In addition to efficient cooking, this mechanism will help you save time as you do not have to wait for the fryer to heat up.

Does it cook evenly?

You know that annoying moment when you take out your fries, and those in the middle are sad and soggy? This is one thing you do not have to worry about with the Avance XXL! The guaranteed even cooking is largely due to the basket’s capacity that allows food to be properly spread out.

Cooking time frame

The Avance is a great option if you want your food ready fast:

  • For fries, 7 to 10 minutes should be enough depending on the temperature you set, the size of the fries and the amount of food you have.
  • For a full chicken, about 15 to 20 minutes will get you that tender, juicy interior and crispy golden skin.

How much oil do you need?

The HD9630/98 is one of the healthiest frying alternatives out there and has been shown to reduce oil usage by up to 90%! You can actually cook with absolutely no oil, especially when preparing fatty foods like meats.

One of the features I love most about it is the unique oil extraction system. It removes excess fats and oils from food, further decreasing the fat content!

Final verdict

If you’re looking for a high-quality air fryer that can produce food for a large family, then Philips’ HD9630/98 is the product for you. With a capacity of up to 4 qt, you can make anything from family-sized fries to an entire chicken.

It is also a model worth considering if you want your food done fast. The combination of a large food basket and the efficient TurboStar hot air system ensure that your food will be done sooner than you can say ‘hungry.’

WE DON’T LIKE

  • No preset modes
  • No digital display
  • Pricey

2. Philips HD9641/96 Avance Digital TurboStar Air Fryer – Alternative #1

The HD9641/96 is one of the best-rated models from the brand’s TurboStar line. It comes with five preset modes and a couple of other unique features that make it a great alternative to our top pick.

It is also a very compact unit that is sure to fit no matter how spacious or crowded your countertop is.

Highlights

  • Holds up to 1.8 lbs. of food
  • 4 preset modes + ‘Keep Warm’ function
  • Compact size
  • Digital display
  • Uses only one teaspoon of oil per batch

Unit size and capacity

This air fryer’s food basket has a maximum capacity of 1.8 lb. or 2.75 qt, which is the equivalent of a packet of frozen fries. This is where it falls short compared to the Avance XXL model, and you may have to make a few rounds to feed a large group.

Controls

Like our other two top picks, this model features a simple dial controller which will make your life very easy. However, the HD9641/96 only has one dial to control all functions from the temperature and cooking modes to the timer. To manipulate the dial, just rotate it to the right section and click to set it.

There is a digital display screen that shows temperature, cooking time, and cooking mode. The display makes monitoring the cooking progress easy, especially if you are making recipe-sensitive meals.

Preset cooking modes

What truly set this model apart from the other two Philips’ air fryers are the five preset cooking programs. These are based on commonly fried and roasted foods and include a mode for:

  • Frozen fries
  • Meat
  • Drumsticks
  • Fish

So if you don’t want to bother with recipes, just throw your raw food in, set it to the specific mode and let the air fryer do the rest for you. It’s great for lazy chefs like me!

You can also customize your cooking mode for frying, roasting, baking, and grilling other foods by adjusting the temperature and monitoring time as per the recipe’s instructions.

The ‘Keep Warm’ mode is also unique to this model. It keeps the food warm and maintains the crispiness for up to 30 minutes after cooking.

Cooking technology

The HD9641/96 air fryer uses the same TurboStar hot air technology to cook the food as the two other Philips fryers. A heating unit is located above the food basket with fans swirling hot air towards the bottom of the cooker.

Does it cook evenly?

Another flaw you may have to deal with is the possibility of uneven cooking. This usually happens when the basket is overcrowded which is common when making fries.

Fortunately, there is a smart trick around this problem:

All you have to do is take the basket out and shake the contents to redistribute! It is inconvenient, but it does the job.

Cooking time frame

You don’t have to preheat the unit because of the hot air cooking mechanism is uses. It is generally a very fast system and will have your fries nice and crispy in about 10 minutes. However, it is notably slower than the Avance XXL when cooking the same amounts of the same type of food.

How much oil do you need?

The HD9641/96 model is a healthy option for frying food as it uses up to 75% less oil than other fryers. You only need about a teaspoon of oil to make an entire batch of fries. If you’re looking for something that can fry food with even less oil, go for the HD9630/98 model instead.

Final verdict

This is the perfect model for you if convenience and ease of use are your main priorities. It has a great user-friendly interface with a simple dial and an informative display. The multiple preset cooking modes make it a versatile kitchen tool, and you can’t underestimate the convenience of the ‘Keep Warm’ function.

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Smaller food basket
  • Cooks a bit slower than the HD9630/98 model
  • May not cook food evenly if the basket is too full

3. Philips HD9621/99 Viva TurboStar Air Fryer – Alternative #2

The HD9621/99 is another good alternative to our main pick if you’re looking for something simple and more affordable. It uses the same cooking technology and has the same compact design but doesn’t quite match up to the two other Philips models.

That said, it is still a pretty decent product with good features that help it hold its own against the other two more popular options.

Highlights

  • Holds up to 1.8 lbs. of food
  • 30-minute timer
  • Grills, roasts, bakes, and fries
  • No preset modes
  • Uses only one teaspoon of oil per batch

Unit size and capacity

It has the same food cart capacity as our second pick HD9641/96, accommodating up to 1.8 lb. or 2.75 qt. It’s great for smaller families, but it may not be sufficient when preparing meals for many people at a time.

Controls

The HD9621/99 has two dials for control. There is one for controlling the timer, which runs up to 30 minutes. The second dial is for regulating temperature, which is calibrated in 30-degree increments.

Unfortunately, it lacks the handy digital display of the HD9641/96 version.

Preset cooking modes

This model, just like our main pick doesn’t come with any preset cooking modes. However, it makes up for it through the wide temperature range that allows you to set your own cooking modes whether it is grilling, roasting, frying, or baking.

Cooking technology

The air fryer uses hot air generated by the TurboStar system to fry the food.

Does it cook evenly?

As with other similar sized models, there is the possibility of uneven cooking with the HD9621/99. The good news is that the remove-and-shake trick also works here!

Cooking time frame

There is no fixed cooking time for different types of foods. It all really depends on what you are preparing and the temperature you are cooking your food at. It seems to take longer than our top pick to get things ready though.

How much oil do you need?

The HD9621/99 is still a healthy air fryer as you only need about one tablespoon or less to achieve that golden crispy goodness that makes fried food so good. Compared to other similar products, you’ll use about 75% less oil.

Final verdict

The best thing about the HD9621/99 model is its affordability compared to other high-end Philips air fryers. You still get all the basic features including compactness, effective cooking, and easy operation – all that at a lower price.

Of course, there are some things you have to give up like versatility and capacity, but if you’re looking for a simple yet high-quality air fryer for a small family, then this is a great option.

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Smaller food basket
  • Cooks a bit slower than the HD9630/98 model
  • May not cook food evenly if the basket is too full
  • No preset modes

The three Philips air fryers may have made it to the top of our list, but there is a lot more out there. If the ones we reviewed didn’t seem quite right or were far out of your budget, here are five more amazing air fryer options for health-conscious fried food lovers.

4. Yedi Houseware 8-in-1 Air Fryer – Best Large Capacity Air Fryer

This 8-in-1 Yedi Houseware air fryer is one of the most versatile ones out there. There’s nothing it can’t do – from making pizza and roasting chicken to frying beautiful crispy fries and baking cakes – it cooks food to every taste. It’s the best large capacity air fryer in our opinion!

Highlights

  • Extra-large 5.8 qt food basket
  • 7 preset modes
  • Cooks food evenly
  • Suitable for making pizza, baking cakes, grilling skewers, etc.
  • Only requires one tbsp of oil per batch

Unit size and capacity

This Yedi Houseware fryer model has a 5.8-quart food basket capacity – one of the largest we’ve seen on the market today.

It fits a little over two standard bags of frozen fries. It can also fit an entire chicken and large steak cuts. If you are cooking a meal for more than four people, then this air fryer is perfect for you.

Controls

This unit has touch screen controls and a digital display that makes regulating things like temperature, setting time, and selecting cooking modes pretty easy. Thanks to that, the unit also looks really awesome and more modern than the ones with old school dial controls.

Compared to some of the other air fryers, the touch screen controls are pretty average. They are also a little more complicated to understand, especially when using for the first few times. When you get past the learning curve, it’s completely worth it though!

Preset cooking modes

The Yedi comes with a whopping seven preset modes. It’s perfect for you if you don’t want to go through recipe books or search the internet for the right settings.

The smart programs are:

  • Baked goods
  • Fries
  • Shrimp
  • Chops
  • Steak
  • Fish
  • Chicken

All you have to do is pick a function, pop in your ingredients, and the machine does all the rest.

Besides frying, the cooker is also good for grilling, baking, and roasting. It comes with lots of accessories such as an 8-inch cake tray, a small pizza pan, a silicone cupcake pan, a rubber mat, and three stainless-steel skewers. Talk about versatility!

Cooking technology

This fryer, like all eight units on our list, uses hot air to cook. There is nothing particularly impressive about the system, but it gets the job done.

Does it cook evenly?

Evenly cooked food is basically a guarantee with this air fryer because of its large size and efficient cooking system:

Unlike some other models on this list, there is no need for constant shaking to get the food uniformly fried. That said, if you overload the basket, make sure to give it a good shake every five to ten minutes to ensure even cooking.

Cooking time frame

The Yedi air fryer is pretty fast for its size. One factor that determines how fast your food cooks is the amount of food you load it with. With the Yedi, it takes less time to prepare the same quantity of fries compared to preparation on smaller capacity fryers.

How much oil do you need?

The Yedi has a low consumption of oil with only one tablespoon or less required for fries. Unfortunately, its heating system is not as efficient as the Philips Avance XXL and other models when it comes to extracting fats from food for healthier results. 

Final verdict

The Yedi Houseware 8-in-1 Air Fryer clearly has a lot to offer and is definitely worth considering if you want a durable, high-end kitchen appliance that is worth every penny. However, it is the efficient cooking system that guarantees even cooking that might end up being your biggest motivation to buy it.

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Controls may seem complicated to use at first
  • Won’t cook food evenly if you overload the basket

5. GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer XL – Another Good Large Capacity Option

This GoWISE USA air fryer is another large capacity model with multiple cooking functions for home chefs who appreciate versatility.

But what makes it different from the equally versatile and spacious Yedi Houseware option? Here is a review to answer your question.

Highlights

  • Extra-large 5.8 qt food basket
  • 8 preset modes
  • Suitable for making pizza, baking cakes, grilling skewers, etc.
  • Only requires one tbsp of oil per batch
  • Affordable

Unit size and capacity

This model has the same capacity as the Yedi Houseware model at 5.8 quarts, so it accommodates more or less the same varieties and quantities of food. 5.8 qt is perfect for larger families with more than four members.

Controls

The touch screen controls and the digital display are other features that the two large capacity fryers have in common.

According to many users, the GoWISE USA air fryer is much easier to understand and use though. The unique ‘Start’ and ‘Stop’ buttons make it even easier because you can change modes and functions mid-cooking.

Keep in mind the timer is capped at 30 minutes, which may be inconvenient for meals that take longer to prepare.

Preset cooking modes

The GoWISE XL is also a versatile kitchen appliance with its eight preset modes. It shares a few with the Yedi Houseware fryer including:

  • Fries/Chips
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Shrimp
  • Fish

However, GoWISE takes things a little further for pizza and cake lovers, giving you two extra automated settings for these culinary favorites.

Cooking technology

This model is a static air fryer that uses electronically generated heat to prepare the meals. The heating system is a lot more efficient than that of other models, including the BLACK+DECKER and ChefMan fryers reviewed below. It doesn’t quite live up to the power and efficiency of Philips’ TurboStar technology though, and this affects everything in comparison including run time and even cooking.

Does it cook evenly?

One of the things that disappointed me with this model is that it doesn’t perform very well when it comes to cooking food evenly:

Despite having a powerful system and slits at the side of the basket, you still have to shake the contents to ensure uniformity. This can be a bit inconvenient especially if you are multitasking or simply not interested in babysitting your meal.

The model compensates for this with their ‘Shake Alarm’ function:

You can set it to different time intervals to remind you when you need to shake the contents of the basket.

Cooking time frame

The powerful electric heating system on this model is responsible for the very fast cooking. You will appreciate this speed when preparing things like fries and other veggies which should be done in less than 10 minutes.

How much oil do you need?

Another reason to celebrate the heating system on this model is how little oil it needs to fry food. In fact, you’ll be good to go with less than a tablespoon. Although still a healthy option, you need more oil than for our main pick Philips Avance XXL and the low budget ChefMan air fryers.

Final verdict

If you are looking for an air fryer that will offer you convenience in the form of multiple cooking options, then this is the model for you. Its great cooking system sets it apart from the Yedi and other similar products. It also looks way better and has more user-friendly controls. If these factors matter to you, then go with the GoWISE!

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Won’t cook food evenly if you overload the basket

6. BLACK+DECKER HF110SBD Purify Air Fryer – Best Meal-for-One Option

If you live alone and rarely entertain, you probably don’t need to have a high capacity fryer. The BLACK+DECKER HF110SBD is the best meal-for-one option on the market right now.

Here’s a closer look at this popular small model.

Highlights

  • Fits about 8 cups of food (2 liters)
  • 60-minute timer
  • Cooks food evenly
  • No preset modes
  • Uses more oil than other similar air fryers

Unit size and capacity

The HF110SBD by BLACK+DECKER has a basket capacity of 2L.

What exactly does this translate to? After all, fries, nuggets and steak cuts, aren’t measured in liters, right?

Well, the HF110SBD can fit about eight standard cups of food, which should be more than enough for one-person serving recipes. If you are planning to cook for many people at once, you may have to put in a few extra rounds.

Controls

The HF110SBD has pretty basic dial controls, which is surprising for a brand as well-known as BLACK+DECKER. They give the unit an old school vibe which might take away from your kitchen’s aesthetic.

Despite all this, the dials are pretty easy to use. The timer dial runs up to 60 minutes, which is half an hour more than what you get from other similar fryers.

It also stands out with its light indicators, which let you know when your fryer is hot enough for the ingredients and when the food is ready. The indicator may look outdated, but it is undeniably convenient.

Preset cooking modes

If you are one of those people who live for automation then this model might not be your favorite:

It doesn’t come with any preset modes, so you have to go through recipe books or search online to find the right temperature and time settings.

Fortunately, BLACK+DECKER makes up for this deficit with a wide temperature range of 175 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Note that the temperature is calibrated with 50-degree intervals, which may prove to be tricky when setting exact temperatures. 

Cooking technology

This air fryer uses hot air to cook the food. It has a special Dual Convention Fan system that is comparable to the Philips TurboStar system, both in terms of functionality and efficiency. So, despite being small and seemingly old fashioned, this unit packs quite a punch!

Does it cook evenly?

You don’t have to worry about some fries looking pale and undercooked while others shine in their crispy golden glory. That’s because this BLACK+DECKER air fryer is one of the few appliances that cooks food evenly! This is largely due to the dual fan system that facilitates uniform heat distribution.

Cooking time frame

One thing that the dual fan system fails at is time. Unlike the TurboStar system, this unit needs to be preheated before using. This increases cooking time by about five minutes.

However, once the system is fired up and ready to go, it cooks really fast. For example, a batch of fries only takes 7 to 10 minutes to cook.

How much oil do you need?

When it comes to oil consumption, this model is not as impressive as the three Philips fryers, and the ChefMan reviewed below:

You will need a tablespoon of oil for fries and more for other foods like chicken. The BLACK+DECKER may be healthier than traditional deep fryers, but there are definitely better healthier options out there.

Final verdict

If you don’t want to spend money and countertop space on a monstrosity you will never really fully use then settle for the BLACK+DECKER HF110SBD Purify Air Fryer. It is a compact and efficient model that is more than enough for one person’s fried food needs.

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Uses more than one tbsp of oil
  • No preset modes

7. GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart Dial Air Fryer – Best Budget Air Fryer

This model might be cheap but do not underestimate its quality and performance. With its decent food capacity and efficient cooking mechanism, you’ll get full value for your money and then some.

Here is a review of the GoWISE USA 3.7 Qt. Dial Air Fryer.

Highlights

  • Large food basket
  • 30-minute timer
  • Cooks food evenly
  • Can fry, bake, grill, roast, and sauté foods
  • No preset modes

Unit size and capacity

This GoWISE air fryer model can accommodate 3.7 quarts of food, which is the equivalent of about two standard bags of frozen fries.

Like our top pick Philips Avance XXL, the GoWISE is a family size air fryer suitable for cooking food for four people or more.

Controls

The GoWISE fryer uses a pair of dials to control the time and temperature. The timer runs for 30 minutes, which is the industry standard at this point. Only a few other models on this list have a 60-minute timer.

There is no display screen, which means you can’t monitor or control the process. The old-fashioned look doesn’t make it less effective for cooking food though.

Preset cooking modes

GoWISE doesn’t come with any preset modes, which means you need to set the temperature manually depending on the food you cook. The fryer comes with a recipe book for meals starring your favorite meats and veggies. You can use it to fry, grill, bake, roast, and sauté foods.

Cooking technology

The unit cooks food using a Rapid Hot Air Circulation system. It is not exactly as impressive as TurboStar on Philips air fryers or the Dual Convention Fan on the BLACK+DECKER. However, it is every bit as effective as you would expect a model in its price range to be.

Does it cook evenly?

Surprisingly for its price, this GoWISE model can cook food evenly! That’s because the food basket is large enough and the air circulation system distributes hot air all around the unit. Be careful not to overload the basket though.

Cooking time frame

This air fryer has one up over more expensive models – it doesn’t need a lot of time to heat up. However, there is nothing outstanding about its cooking time frame either. It takes about five minutes for light veggies like kale, 10-15 minutes for heavy veggies like potatoes, broccoli, and carrots, and more than 20 minutes for meats.

How much oil do you need?

It is also a bit of a disappointment in terms of oil consumption. This model uses more oil than other fryers, especially for chicken and fries. You may need more than a tablespoon of oil to get the same golden crispiness as you would with other models on this list. 

Final verdict

If you are looking for a large capacity air fryer for cheap, then this is a great model to consider. You might have to sacrifice on aesthetics and convenience, but the functionality and effectiveness more than make up for these deficits.

WE DON’T LIKE

  • No preset modes
  • Needs more than one tbsp of oil for cooking

8. ChefMan RJ38-P1 2.5L Air Fryer – Great Price!

Another cheap model with a lot to offer is the ChefMan RJ38-P1 Air Fryer. Its simple compact design and low-fat cooking are just a few of the great perks you’ll get with this unit.

Here is more about this pennywise option.

Highlights

  • Great price
  • Suitable for serving 2-3 people
  • Digital display and touch screen
  • Uses less than one tbsp of oil per batch
  • Slower than other air fryers on this list

Unit size and capacity

ChefMan’s RJ38-P1 is a pretty small capacity air fryer with a 2.5-liter cooking basket. Compared to the other GoWISE cheap option, this will give you less value for your money. However, if you do not plan on frequently cooking for more than two people, then it should serve you just fine.

Controls

It might not be spacious, but it is definitely easier to use than the other low-budget alternative. ChefMan has a digital screen panel with buttons and a display unit that make controlling the device and regulating temperature very easy.

It also stands out with its automatic shut off function:

Once the 30-minute timer runs out, ChefMan automatically switches itself off and keeps the food warm until you are ready to serve.

Preset cooking modes

There are no preset cooking modes on this model. You are also limited in terms of what cooking methods you can apply. Although the unit supports frying, roasting, baking, and grilling, the user consensus is that frying and roasting are pretty much the only two that work well with it. It doesn’t seem to be that good for baking or grilling.

Cooking technology

ChefMan’s RJ38-P1 air fryer might be cheap, but it does not compromise on power. It uses Rapid Air Technology to heat and circulate hot air within the fryer for cooking. This may not be the most efficient system, but it is pretty impressive nonetheless.

Does it cook evenly?

Despite using such a powerful cooking system, this model is prone to uneven cooking results. This is most likely due to the small cooking basket size as overfilling the basket often results in uneven cooking.

To avoid this, make sure to shake the basket every 5-10 minutes. Inconvenient, yes, but necessary if you want to enjoy your food!

Cooking time frame

ChefMan is significantly slower than most other models we have reviewed here. It takes 15-20 minutes to fry rustic potato wedges, which would take you 10 to 15 minutes on most models.

How much oil do you need?

It may take long for that plate of fries to get ready, but at least you know you are enjoying a healthy and low-fat treat! ChefMan uses up to 80% less fat than ordinary fryers with less than a tablespoon of oil being all you need. This puts it in the healthy-option big leagues with models like Philips Avance XXL.

Final Verdict

If you want a healthy option that is easy to control and even easier on the pockets, then the ChefMan RJ38-P1 is the model for you. Yes, you need to give up on things like speed and cooking capacity, but the sacrifice is worth it if a low budget is your main concern.

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Small food basket
  • Slower than other similar air fryers
  • No preset modes
  • Not good for baking or grilling
  • May cook food unevenly if the basket is too full

How to Find the Best Air Fryer

Up until the invention of air fryers, crispy French fries and chicken wings fell under the ‘super unhealthy’ food category. With all the grease you needed for deep frying to obtain that glorious crunchy goodness, this conclusion was not hard to argue with.

The good news is that you can now very easily prepare your favorite fried meals in a convenient, low-fat and therefore healthy way. All you need to do is invest in a great air fryer!

In our Air Fryer Buying Guide, we’ll take a look at all the factors you should consider before buying one.

How do air fryers work?

So what exactly are you about to invest in and how is it any different from the fryers and ovens already on the market?

Well,

Air fryers use heated air to fry food with little or absolutely no oil at all. Special heating elements within the device generate heat from electricity, which is then used to cook the food.

Often, these devices also tend to have a drying effect. This is what makes them unique from ordinary ovens. The process draws out moisture from the food while it cooks, which in turn allows the food to achieve the desired crispiness without the risk of ending up a hot soggy mess.

Some of the advantages of air frying include:

  • Healthier cooking as it uses less oil.
  • Fast cooking with minimum pre-heating time.
  • Versatility in terms of recipes you can try.
  • Amazing crunchy and crispy results.

Types of air fryers

There are different types of air fryers that you will come across when shopping. One of the main differences lies in the type of heating mechanisms they use.

There are three options available:

Static air fryers

With static air fryer models, it is only the heated air within the cooker that rotates. The food remains static in the cooking rack, thus the name.

The models are a lot more energy efficient as a result of their generally low energy consumption levels. They are, however, the slowest of the three types in terms of cooking.

A static air fryer is a good choice if you want to use it for preparing light meals like French fries and other fried veggies. They are more affordable than other types of fryers, making them a great option for when you are shopping on a tight budget.

Dynamic air fryers

Dynamic air fryers have special features that move the food around as it interacts with the circulating hot air. Some have paddles that automatically stir the food while others have rotating skewers.

Dynamic air fryers are very fast and ensure even cooking of the meal. They will, however, consume a lot more power than static units.

If you want a fryer that is basically a mini oven for heavy meals including meat, this is the right type for you.

Halogen air fryers

Dynamic and static air fryers use coiled heating elements to heat the air in the oven. Halogen air fryers, on the other hand, use halogen bulbs to generate the heat.

These types of fryers are fast and highly efficient. Most models using this technology also come with a viewing window allowing you to monitor the food. The only drawback is that they are significantly more expensive than the other two options.

Buy this model if you want fast and efficient cooking and if you don’t mind the extra digits on the price tag.

Things to consider when buying an air fryer

Power consumption

The normal range for power consumption in most high-quality and high-efficiency air fryers is 800 to 2100 watts.

Higher power models are generally capable of more heat output and longer cooking time. That said, they are more expensive to operate in the long run due to their high energy consumption. 

Low power units, on the other hand, can only handle basic air fryer recipes with shorter cooking periods of not more than 30 minutes. They are more energy efficient but limiting in terms of application.

The best thing to do is to pick a unit whose power consumption falls in the middle of the range at about 1500 watts. They are powerful and versatile enough without compromising on efficiency.

Food capacity

How much food can that air fryer that you are interested in hold?

This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself if you plan on using the fryer to cook for many people:

  • Those with plenty of space for food are without a doubt the best options as they can handle 4-5 quarts of food and above.
  • Smaller units in terms of food capacities are a good choice if you are not cooking for many people. You could also go for these if you don’t mind running the cooker multiple times to prepare entire meals.

Unit size and dimensions

This refers to the external dimensions of the air fryer and will show how much space it will occupy when set up. If you are working with limited counter space in your kitchen, this is definitely something you want to take into consideration.

To be on the safe side, take measurements from spare countertop space and compare them to fryer sizes available.

Control panel and user interface features

Air fryers either come with dials, buttons, or touch screen control panels:

  • Touch screens are very modern and classy and also very easy to use. However, some models have poorly designed touch sensitive interfaces that might end up failing you with time.
  • Buttons might be a little old school, but they tend to be more resilient and durable than touch screens.
  • Dials are downright archaic, but they get the job done. So if you are not fussy about appearances, the often cheaper dial operated units are a great option.

Cooking timer

How long your unit’s timer runs directly affects what you can cook with your air fryer:

  • Most offer a maximum of 30 minutes of continuous cooking time. This is appropriate for light recipes including things like French fries and chicken nuggets.
  • If you plan to cook a lot of heavier meals including thick meat cuts, models that allow at least 60 minutes of cooking time are a better choice. Some can offer up to 90 minutes, which although more expensive, are definitely worth it.

Variety of cooking modes

Basic air fryers only allow you to control temperature and timing. High-end air fryers, however, offer a variety of options in terms of cooking modes. Once you have selected your mode, the device automatically sets the ideal cooking temperature and time. This is highly convenient and efficient and ensures better cooking results. 

Most average fryers will offer you frying and roasting options. Higher end models include modes like dehydration, baking, steaming, and so much more.

Dynamic fryers also often come with a skewer grilling mode. Of course, the more variety the unit offer, the better value you get for your money!

Financial specifications

Financial specifications include things like price, warranty, and guarantees.

When it comes to price, you want to settle for something you can afford without compromising on quality and performance.

In general, air fryers are priced like this:

  • The budget models fall within a $50 to $70 price range. These are mostly static air fryers and offer access to basic cooking modes including frying and roasting.
  • Mid-range options are around $70 to $150, depending on the models They often have more cooking modes with more control options and better interface panels.
  • High-end models will cost you upwards of $150.  This is where you find your high capacity cookers and those with a special mechanism like the halogen fryers.

Warranty agreements are also worth taking seriously as they are a reflection of the model’s quality. Most decent air fryers come with a warranty of 5 years, although it is possible to find brands that offer more or less than this.

What is the best air fryer?

The Philips HD9630/98 Avance is the best air fryer for 2019. It offers a stellar combo of size, ease-of-use, looks and even cooking. It has one of the highest air fryer food capacities on the market today, which is important when cooking dinner for a large family or preparing treats for a party.

You can also check Amazon’s bestsellers.

How does an air fryer work?

An air fryer cooks by using convection. Each air fryer has a built-in mechanical fan that moves hot air around the food with high speed. The air effectively cooks the food and adds a much-desired crispy layer.

What can you cook in an air fryer?

Using an air fryer, you can cook a variety of different foods. Anything suitable for cooking in an oven can be cooked with an air fryer too. That includes fish, beef, chicken, and so on.

How to use an air fryer?

Using an air fryer is much like using a regular oven. And like regular ovens, air fryers come in many different models. So consult your fryer manual to figure out how to operate it.

Tips on how to use an air fryer:

  • Pre-heat the oven to a temperature specific to the food you want to cook.
  • Make sure you don’t overcrowd the basket.
  • Lightly spray the food to keep it from sticking to the basket.
  • Clean the fryer to avoid excess fat building up at the bottom. Not only would using an unclean fryer create smoke, but it also ruins the taste of your food.

How to clean an air fryer?

  • Make sure you unplug the fryer and let it cool down.
  • The outside can be easily cleaned using a damp cloth.
  • You can wash the pan, basket, and tray like regular dishes using hot water and dishwashing soap. 
  • Keep from using metal utensils or scrubby sponges as they scratch the coating.
  • As with other cooking appliances, small pieces of food can get trapped in the nooks and crannies. To solve this problem, mix a bit of baking soda with water and stir until it forms a paste. Use the paste and an old toothbrush to get to areas you can’t reach by hand.

Wrapping It Up

Investing in the right air fryer will allow you to continue indulging in crispy and crunchy guilty pleasures without risking a negative impact on your health.

There are many different air fryer brands and models on the market, so it’s easy to become overwhelmed when trying to find one that’s right for you. Start by defining your budget and then narrow down the choice depending on the size of your family.

In this air fryer review guide, we looked at units in four different categories: best overall, best large capacity, best small, and best cheap air fryer. We hope these reviews help you find a model that fits you perfectly!

If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.

About the Author

Karen is a freelance writer/blogger who helped launch this website so consumers like you could find honest and trustworthy product reviews. She enjoys researching these buying guides, but also loves writing about different topics such as health and nutrition.

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