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.
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. The result is that you get that crispy finish to your food, but it’s a healthier process, and you don’t have a vat of hot oil to clean up afterwards.
Air fryers are brilliant but one of the biggest issues with them is that you can usually only cook at one temperature or setting at a time. There are options to air fry, max crisp (a 240C turbo setting), roast, reheat, dehydrate or bake.
Performance is excellent across the board, delivering crispy chips, succulent burgers and perfectly cooked corn. The only minor complaint is that while capacity is large, each drawer is the same size as a regular air fryer, so you can’t fit in larger ingredients, such as a whole chicken.
Size : 315 × 375 x 350 mm, Number of compartments : 2, Cooking modes : Air Fry, Max Crisp, Bake, Roast, Dehydrate, Reheat, Total food capacity : 7.6-litres, Accessories : 2x crisper plate, Power : 2400W The Ninja Hairdryer Max AF160UK is completely different, as this model is family-sized, designed to cook for multiple people fast.
Cheaper air fryers can suffer from poor cooking and a lack of room, but the Tower 4.3L Manual Hairdryer avoids both of these pitfalls. You’ll need to remember to shake and turn chips regularly to prevent this issue.
What’s good about this budget machine is that the 3.2-litre basket means that there’s room inside for larger items: we managed to cook three chicken legs to perfection. Spend more and you can get machines that cook faster and more evenly, but the benefit of this model is that it’s well priced and does a good job.
The Ninja Food 6L Multi-Cooker OP300UK is designed to save space and acts as a pressure cooker, grill and air fryer all-in-one. On the air crisp setting, we cooked our potato wedges, and ended up with them having a nice crispy finish and soft and fluffy inside.
Thanks to the 6-litre capacity, we could even cook an entire chicken inside, taking roughly half the time of traditional oven. The downside of the Ninja Food 6L Multi-Cooker OP300UK is its size and price; however, if you’re already thinking about buying a pressure cooker and an air fryer, this model gives you everything you need in one package.
The oven can also employ its Element IQ tech to direct power where it’s needed to eliminate cold spots in food. In practice, it worked perfectly, leaving us with evenly cooked home chips that had a crispy outside and fluffy inside.
And, the size the oven means that you can use it for larger items, including chicken legs or even an entire pizza. Comparatively expensive, this model won’t be for everyone, but its unique design lends itself to foods that other air fryers can’t even think about.
While you’ll get similar results for most food, air fryers aren’t very good when it comes to wet batters, such as for fish and chips. Some air fryers have optional basket separators, which let you cook different foods at the same time.
Some models even have muffin or cake trays, although you’ll probably find it easier to just use a regular oven. A larger basket also upgrades what you can cook, with some models even managing an entire chicken.
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.