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.
The easy pull-out drawer allowed for smooth and secure motion when checking the food for oneness. 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 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. This air fryer would take some trial and error to get things just right, but overall it acts as an all-in-one appliance that's great for small kitchens.
Buy It: Cuisinart Compact Hairdryer Toaster Oven, $80; Amazon 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.
Keep reading for Johnson's thoughts on the air fryers that didn't quite make the cut. 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.
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. These greasy guilty pleasures have a special place in our hearts, but so much deep-fried food can give your body a real beating.
If all this heavy food has you craving a slightly healthier twist any time you can get one, an air fryer might be your secret weapon. With the touch of a button, an air fryer allows you to make all the foods above at a fraction of the fat content and calorie count.
While all air fryers can crisp up your ingredients, differences between models range in terms of functionality and overall capacity. Some are better for single-serving cooking, others have smart designs that can make meal prep hands-off and there’s a whole host of differences in between.
The Vortex Hairdryer has eight simple touch controls, which makes cooking a breeze. Four built-in smart programs go beyond just air -frying and can roast, bake and reheat food in a flash.
Other benefits of the appliance that have won over past customers include its easy-to-clean basket as well as its spacious design that can hold large quantities of food, such as a whole 4-pound chicken. It can also dehydrate fruits, crisp up pizza crust, act as a rotisserie for your proteins and bake desserts to perfection.
It’s also scored extra points from past customers for its ease of use and sleek design. This design comes with eight preprogrammed settings to choose from, based on your ingredients (which include fries, steak, bacon, pizza, chicken, fish and shrimp).
If you’re not sure where to start, the device comes with a guide with nearly 100 recipes to get your creative juices flowing. It’s also been named an Amazon’s Choice product, a special distinction for goods on the site that are highly rated, well priced and available to be shipped immediately.
This dishwasher-safemodel is best known for its ability to help foodies enjoy healthier alternatives to fried foods that contain 75% less fat than traditional cooking methods. This 11-in-1 toaster oven and air fryer from Instant Pot is the king of kitchen decluttering.
Its large 26-liter capacity allows you to toast six pieces of bread at once, bake a 12-inch pizza or even roast a whole chicken. Plus, it has an easy-to-use interface comprised of simple buttons and dials so you’ll be well on your way to becoming an air -frying pro.
This 25-liter option from Chef man gives you plenty of space and seven ways to cook any meal you can think up. It’s equipped with an auto shutoff function and dishwasher-safe components so cleaning is a breeze.