Best Air Fryers
The 9 Top Air Fryer Models of 2021 According to Testing
This top-quality air fryer makes crispy wings and fries with very little oil. oil.
The story was revised in November 2021. It now includes more details about air fryers as well as what you should look out for when shopping. We also added more detail about how we test air fryers in the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliance Lab and made sure that all of our picks were in stock.
Air fryers can be compared to small ovens that crisp up wings, fries, veggies and air-fried recipes with little (or zero!) oil. There are many styles to choose from: basket-style is best for making large quantities of food like potatoes and other vegetables that can be shaken; oven-style is better for cooking on multiple shelves, and may include rotisserie accessories. Toaster ovens, in which you can also toast, bake and broil, and even air fry, are available.
Air fryers create a nice “fried” finish that your oven range can’t compete with, and they also reheat food with results that blow away the average microwave. Additionally, an air fryer requires very little oil to crisp up foods, which is a significant reduction in calories and fat compared with traditional methods like deep frying.
Is it possible to use air fryers?
The majority of air fryers use a heat source located at the top. This is coupled with a fan to circulate the hot air. This combination allows foods to be cooked quickly. It also makes it possible for you to use perforated trays and a chamber with a low heat level for faster cooking. In our tests, home use and recipe development, we’ve found that most foods cook best at high temps, like 400oF, for short periods of time. Small food items don’t typically need to be tossed or flipper, but larger ones do for the most even results.
Can air-fryers be considered healthy? Jaclyn Lonsdale, MSRD, CDN, Good Housekeeping’s former Nutrition Director, states that although airfrying won’t necessarily make food healthier, it’s a much better alternative than deep-frying and pan-frying. If you use only 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil from plants with seasoning, and air-frying vegetables more often than any other method, it’s certainly a healthier option. “Any appliance that helps you and your family increase your veggie game is key to weight management, reduced risk of chronic disease and improved long-term health as we age.” How we test air fryers We’ve tested more than 30 air fryers in the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances Lab, including traditional basket-style air fryers, air fryer ovens, air fryer toaster ovens and even several microwaves and multi-cookers with air fry capabilities. These air fryers are used in many of our recipes.
When we test air fryers, we evaluate their performance and ease of use by air frying frozen and fresh French fries as well as chicken wings. Baked goods like cakes aren’t tested as we believe they need gentle heat. Additionally, most air fryers lack heating elements. The food is scored on how crisp, juicy, even, and how fast it cooks. We also consider other details such as how easy the instructions are and how loud the machine sounds. Also, we evaluate the temperature range, control panel and accessories to ensure they are safe for the dishwasher.
These top performers air-fried food to crisp texture and moist inside. These air fryers are among the most powerful and efficient you can purchase right now.
Here are the Top Picks For Air Fryer:
Instant Vortex 6-in-1 Instant Vortex Air Fryer Ninja, Air Fryer Perfect for Large-Batch Cooking
Best For Short Order Cooks
Leah Brickley, Amanda Neal, and Ben Mims have tested air fryers for Food Network Kitchen. Although they’ve been available for some time, there are so many different shapes and sizes that it can be hard to differentiate a coupe or a bulky model. Air fryers can be slightly different than microwave ovens which are shaped differently, but have similar basic functions. There are some basic ovens available, and others that have additional bells or whistles.
To find the best models, we tested them all. This guide will help you choose the right air fryer for your needs. It was updated in January 2021 following the departure of the Crux 2.5 Qt. Air Convection Fryer is no longer available. Instant Vortex 6-Quart. We still love the 4-in-1 Air Fryer we reviewed in 2019. The original November 2018 Ben Mims review still has many of our favorite picks. Read on for our list of current favorites.
Here are some things to consider before you buy an air fryer
Air fryers come in various shapes and sizes. The smaller units can cook one- to two persons at once. The sizes XL, XXL, and XXL can accommodate enough food to feed six people.
Some air fryers come with multifunctional capabilities. You can find air fryer-toaster oven combo units and even pressure cookers with an air fry function. A combo unit may be the right choice for you, depending on how much space you have and what you intend to do with your air fryer.
There are many prices. The price range for an air fryer can be anywhere from about $40 to over $300. We’ve found that many of the best air fryers cost around $100 and are often on sale.
Accessories make your air fryer even more useful. Like the beloved pressure cooker, air fryer accessories are hitting the market making the appliance even more versatile.
Our Tested Methods
We evaluated each air fryer by making frozen, store-bought French fries, bone-in, skin-on chicken breast and prepared yellow cake from a mix to determine if the machine browned food well on the outside by the time it cooked inside and produced crispy texture on the outside. The machine’s ease of use and ability to heat and cook evenly were also tested. Also, we tested the organicity of the controls, switching from manual dials that can’t pause to digital buttons that can be set to pause and then re-open the baskets when you want to inspect your food. Extras like how aesthetically-pleasing the models were, how much noise they made while cooking, and how cumbersome they were to interact with were also measured as tiebreakers to separate the best machines from the regular joes.
Instant Pot is our favorite instant pot, and it shouldn’t surprise that Instant Brands came up with another great product: the Instant Vortex. During our tests, we found this air fryer cooked with more power than the others, delivering crispy, evenly cooked food every time. That said, we did notice a whirring sound while it works, although, it’s no louder than a microwave. We also love the size. We also love the 6-quart size. It holds a full pound of chicken. You can also use the touchscreen interface to program settings or adjust the temperature by turning the dial. The Instant Vortex has an attractive, angular design that you will enjoy seeing every day on your counter.
If you’re looking for a powerful air fryer and insist on a dehydrate function, the Instant Vortex Plus is for you. The Plus model, like our Instant Vortex is spacious and has a clean exterior. Easy to use, the Instant Vortex PLUS interface has a touchscreen with preprogrammed settings. A dial can raise the temperature up in 5 degree increments. We found the dehydrate function perfectly dried fresh strawberries and we could see it working well on other produce. However, it has a broil feature that can only be used at 400 F (for 2 minutes). We tested out broiling mac and cheese topped with extra cheese and breadcrumbs and found that neither browned particularly well.
This unit feels strong, compact, and made from quality materials. It is small enough to make enough food for 2 people. The model also cooked the test foods beautifully and had a crisp texture. The model’s multi-function display makes it more practical than a futuristic robot. Plus, you can dehydrate with this model, which slows the heated air that circulates around the food so it gradually dries out kale, apple slices and more for healthy fruit and veggie chips and other dehydrated foods.
Clocking in at 8.5 quarts, this is one of the largest capacity air fryers on our favorites list, but it’s modern and compact aesthetic are ideal for your countertop. Enjoy a big batch of crispy French fries or a delicious 8-inch square cake with Cosori Friends. To find other cooking buddies, join 31K+ Cosori Cooks on Facebook. Chat with other Cosori owners, get (and share) recipe tips and show off your finished dishes.
Here are some things to look for in an air fryer
These are the things you need to be looking out for in an excellent air fryer. These are the characteristics we found to be the most critical in an air fryer. We also considered counter real estate and cooking capabilities, as well as how easy it is to use the dials, controls, and the durability and build of the air fryers. Cuisinart also offers an air fryer with premium features, such as the ability to bake, broil, toast and air fry inside.
This should assist you in finding the best air-fryer. You’ll soon enjoy crispy, healthy chicken wings. We’ve built upon our initial round of testing by retesting some of the air fryers we loved and weaving in some new models to see if any recently released air fryers or ones we missed last time are worthy of consideration.
The first test group.
Unlike other air fryers like Krups TFal Black & Decker, these modern models are faster and more powerful. This allows you to make crisp fries, onion rings, chicken nuggets, and any other frozen food in a rotisserie or deep fryer. These air fryers are also lighter and more efficient at cooking food by using the oven.
The most important aspect of any fryer is the ability to deliver delicious food straight out of it. There are many options when it comes to using an air fryer, including whether you want to fry up frozen bags of tater-tots or cook from a cookbook. Let’s take a look at what we have learned from putting several high-quality models through their paces in order to identify the best air fryer for 2021.
Air fryers were tested for their effectiveness in chicken wings and the Ninja came out on top. This is still true. However, we discovered that the Ninja also cooks many other foods well. It landed at the top of our updated air fryer list. Ninja was by far the most powerful of all the air fryers we tested. It fried up chicken wings in record time. The Ninja’s speed is huge because it allows you to get crispy outer layers faster and less likely to dry out the chicken wing or French fry.
You can also get frozen mozzarella sticks from the Ninja, which are nicely browned and filled full of bubbly cheese. After being frozen they became crispy, crisp and gooey cheeseballs within 6 minutes. If you’re into fries, the Ninja won’t disappoint either. In just 10 minutes, frozen French fries were delicious and golden brown in both testing rounds.
The Ninja does not have a specific cooking method for vegetables. This is why the fresh Brussell sprouts were overcooked and even burned in places. Although this is not an extremely difficult fix, it will require some more caution when you air fry particular foods.
The Ninja has simple controls. Air fryers interfaces can be complicated, or have buttons and dials with no meaning. You only need four buttons on the Ninja to change the mode of cooking — roast, roast, heat, dehydrate, or air fry — and simple buttons to adjust the temperature and timing. It’s all there is. It also feels solid and sturdy, almost like high-grade material. It locks securely into its base and doesn’t wobble.
Why You Should Avoid These Things
The Chefman is not the best air fryer on the market, but it just might be the easiest to use. The Chefman is easy to use and will allow you to skip the complexity of programming. Even though we didn’t get as much crisping and browning with our air fryers than other ones, cooking times were often longer. With some trial and error, we think you could get better results by fine tuning the amount of food, the number of times you stir or turn during cooking and the length of cooking time. It was the chefman’s forte that air-frying hamburgers produced patties which looked as though they were being cooked on a charcoal grill.
We love the Chefman’s slim size and minimal design. This Chefman would be a great addition to any home. The final thing that will make the Chefman appealing is its price. This makes it a great choice for people who may not be 100% sure they want one. We call this “starter fryer”.
Check out our complete Chefman Turbofry Analog Air Fryer Review.
To find the best air fryers, we tested a range of popular models to determine how well they air fry as well as how convenient they are to use. In each air fryer, we cooked both frozen and homemade French fries, Brussels sprouts, chicken wings, chicken breasts breaded with Panko crumbs, and hamburgers. Whole chickens were prepared in fryers equipped with enough space for them to fit into. While we did add a tablespoon to the prepared-from-scratch French fries or Brussels sprouts, other ingredients were left out. Every item was prepared according to manufacturer instructions and cooked until it reached the desired tenderness or internal temperature. For toasting models, white bread was toasted on the medium, light and dark settings. All food were evaluated for their browning, crispiness, cooking time, moistness, tenderness, and overall appearance.
To rate the ease of use of each air fryer, we considered how convenient it was to set the controls, slide the basket in and out, and of course, how easy it was to clean up. Checking the instructions for each product were important due to the multi-functional nature of air fryers. To determine whether it might be dangerous, we measured the noise level in each fryer as it operated. We also took temperatures at eight locations that users are likely to touch while cooking.
How to Pick the Right Air Fryer
Size, price and capacity are all factors that influence the size of your air fryer. The most expensive ones are solidly built, but not necessarily the best at air frying, nor the most convenient to use.
Size: Most air fryers are not only large, but they’re irregularly shaped. Make sure you measure your countertop and where your machine will be stored before purchasing. You will need enough space between your countertop and the cabinets to allow for the machine to be moved backwards when it is not in use. You might also want to consider the weight of your fryer to find out if it is easy to move it from one cabinet to another.
Capacity. There is a broad range of capacity options for air fryers. They can be labeled as having capacities ranging from as low as two quarts, to as high as eight. However, the stated capacity is not necessarily a good indication of how much food you can cook at one time. Do not pile food up on the top of your basket to get best results. Most models cannot cook more than 1 lb of vegetables or French fries at once. The amount of pieces that you can place on the basket’s bottom is a limitation when you cook chicken and hamburgers. The basket’s diameter is more important than the volume.
Type of Controls: Dial controls are intuitive to operate but offer less precision. This is a way to turn an electronic timer that vibrates when the timer runs out. The digital controls require a bit more effort to learn, however they are precise and enable you to adjust the time and temperature for specific foods.
Others functions: Many air fryers are able to double-up as other appliances. You’ll be able to use more products and it will save you space. However, it also adds to the price of the air fryer so be realistic about whether or not you need the extra functions.
Price: You can spend anywhere from $50 to $400 on an air fryer. Even though the top-of-the-line air fryers can be expensive, you could get an excellent one for just $100. Don’t spend too much if you don’t think you will use it often.
How Do You Choose the Most Popular Air Fryer?
Our Top Air Fryer Picks: Best Overall: Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer. Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer. Most Versatile: Ninja Air Fryer. COSORI Air Fryer MaxXL is the best for big batch cooking. Dec 17, 2021
“>Best Air Fryers
- Instant Pot Vortex Plus 6-Quart 6-in-1 Air Fryer.
- Ninja Foodi 2-Basket Air Fryer with DualZone.
- COSORI Smart Wi-Fi Air Fryer
- Ninja Foodi 8-in-1 Flip Mini Oven.
- Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1.
- Instant Pot Pro Crisp.
- Philips Essential Airfryer.
- Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 6.5 Qt Pro.Dec 15, 2021
Where can I find the best air fryer for my needs in 2021
Best Overall Air Fryer: Ninja Air Fryer Max XL.Best Value Air Fryer: Chefman TurboFry.Best Air Fryer for a Family of Four: Instant Pot Vortex Plus.Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Cuisinart Digital Toaster Oven Air Fryer.More items…*Nov 22, 2021
Consumer Reports: Which is the best air fryer?
Best overall – COSORI Air FryerMax XL The COSORI Air FryerMax XL 5 Quart, 1200-Watt hot electric air fryer is rated as the top-quality and most reliable of all air fryers by Consumer Reports.
.Best Air Fryers