That represents a tenfold increase in two years, according to the market research firm NPD Group. A fan circulates hot air to quickly cook food in the basket from the outside in.
In the lab, more than two dozen models in our air fryer ratings turned out nicely cooked food, though staffers who sampled the results weren't fooled into thinking they were deep-fried. “Even when we held cooking times and temperatures constant, the results were very similar, with no discernible differences in taste,” says Caught.
“The real difference among air fryers comes down to convenience, so we designed our tests around that.” We evaluate capacity, how easy the controls are to read and use, noise levels, and how much elbow grease it takes to clean a model.
Here's a roundup of the six bestir fryers from CR's latest tests, listed alphabetically (not by rank order). It can slow down cooking and keep air from reaching all the food, giving you uneven results.
CR's take: The shape of the Elite Platinum EAF-1506D air fryer makes it seem bigger than it is; its measured capacity is 3.4 quarts. The dials are fairly easy to read and use, but the nooks and crannies of the food basket make it tough to clean.
Its touch buttons and programmed settings are among the easiest to see and use, earning an Excellent rating in our assessment. The exterior’s crevices and the basket’s nooks and crannies take some effort to clean, however.
CR's take: Testers found that the 3-quart Ninja AF100's electronic controls with preprogrammed settings were also among the easiest to see and use, earning a rating of Excellent in our assessment of them. Like the bigger Nu Wave, the Trio has electronic controls with preprogrammed settings that are among the easiest to see and use of the tested air fryers, earning an Excellent rating.
CR’s take: The Nu Wave 37001 air fryer boasts a measured capacity of 5.8 quarts. This air fryer is on the noisy side, earning only a Good rating in our noise tests.
Some models solely offer air frying functionality, while others double as toaster ovens or have additional features such as dehydrating, baking and more. To help you find the perfect model for your needs, here’s our list of the bestir fryers available today, including the bestairfryer on the market in 2020.
It has four preset settings for popular dishes, and it comes with a recipe book that includes directions for more than 200 air -fried foods. This air fryer also has a unique “keep warm” function, and its components are easy to clean thanks to their dishwasher-safe nonstick construction.
Capacity: 10 quarts Features: Minimal preheating time, simple touch controls Additional Functions: Roast, broil, bake, toast, reheat, proof, dehydrate, rotisserie The Instant Vortex Pro air fryer offers a much larger capacity than other options on this list, sitting in at a hefty 10 quarts.
Capacity: 5.8 quarts Features: Start/stop button for changing mid-cycle, presets for popular dishes Additional Functions: Bake, grill, roast This large air fryer is available in four colors and has an impressive 5.8-quart capacity, and it features eight preset smart programs to help you cook fries, pizza, chicken, steak and more.
Capacity: .6 cubic ft interior Features: Adjustable thermostat with 60-minute timer, auto shut-off, toast shade selector Additional Functions: Bake, broil, convection bake, convection broil, toast, warm Most air fryers have a basket design, but the Cuisinart Hairdryer Toaster Oven does things differently.
The Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air fryer is large enough to cook meals for a family, but not so big that it will commandeer your whole counter. This air fryer has a 6-quart capacity, and its sleek smudge-resistant stainless steel design will make an attractive addition to your kitchen, especially if your other appliances have the same finish.
There’s even an inner light that allows you to monitor your food’s progress without opening the door, and the accessories are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. Instead, they act as a small convection oven that circulates hot air around the food.
We put the top air fryers on the market through rigorous testing, and we've determined our favorites. Size: Counter space is precious real estate, especially when you're dealing with a small kitchen.
While air fryers are designed to fit neatly on your counter, consider how much space you have to spare when you go to purchase an air fryer. It's important not to overcrowd the basket, so consider the size of your family when choosing an air fryer.
If you're planning to use your air fryer to cook specific dishes, you may want to go with one that comes pre-programmed with that setting to make life a little easier. Johnson rounded up top air fryers from popular brands including Philips, Cuisinart, Ninja, Hamilton Beach and more.
“This airfryer's large, flat basket was key in producing an even crisp on the food's surface,” says Johnson. She found that this air fryer from Philips produced the most reliable crisp on both the French fries and the chicken tenders.
The basket, drawer, and “fat reducer” heat plate are all dishwasher-safe, making for easy cleanup. For less than half the price of the Philips air fryer, this model from Color makes for efficient crisping and even cooking every time.
At 5.8 quarts capacity, Johnson was able to fit 9 to 10 nuggets and two servings of fries at a time. “The basket of this unit is significantly deeper than other air fryers, taking it a little longer to fully preheat and cook food,” says Johnson.
“However, it can fit larger objects (like a small roasting chicken) and taller items.” The sleek LED screen features a number of presets, plus displays for time and temperature.
The only issue Johnson found with this unit was the condensation collected at the bottom of the basket and spilled on the counter when opened. While this is frustrating, it can be easily overlooked for the airfryer's many features and efficient cooking abilities.
Compared to the other air fryers tested, this one worked more quickly than others, helping to cut down on cook time. The large holes of the crisper plate help to catch any fallen crumbs at the bottom of the basket.
We would not recommend this air fryer to larger families, as it only fits one to two servings of food per basket. For anyone living in an apartment or with limited counter space, this compact air fryer from Cuisinart is a great investment.
“This air fryer also functions as a toaster oven and would fit easily under a cabinet without taking up too much space on a counter,” says Johnson. And in terms of cleanup, the removable parts aren't dishwasher safe, and the mesh basket is a little hard to clean by hand.
But there are some other air fryers we tested that performed relatively well, although they had drawbacks that kept them out of the running for the final list. The removable parts are not dishwasher safe, and the temperature only works in increments of 15 degrees F. For these reasons, we didn't pick it as a top choice.
Buy It: Hamilton Beach 5-Liter Digital Hairdryer with Nonstick Basket, $120; Wayfair As cute as it is, sadly Johnson found this compact air fryer to be ineffective in terms of even crisping.
Out of all the air fryers we test, this one took the longest amount of time to fully cook the food. Plus, the small holes in the basket didn't allow for the crumbs to effectively fall to the bottom, resulting in noticeable burnt bits.
It is simple to use, but the cheap material suggests that it won't last very long,” says Johnson. This unit would be best for a single person, as it only held about four to give nuggets at a time and one to two small portions of French fries.