If speed, versatility, and ease of use are your air fryer priorities, check out this quality model. The 6-quart capacity Vortex Plus by Instant Pot has six preset programs: air fry, roast, broil, bake, reheat, and dehydrate. EvenCrisp technology gives food a crispy exterior and tender interior while using up to 95 percent less oil than deep frying. This impressive appliance features an extra-large air fryer basket and convenient touch control display so you can access your favorite settings with the tap of a button.
The Best Air Fryers for the Kitchen
Enjoy crispy, delicious foods without loads of fat, thanks to a quality air fryer that fits your kitchen, tastes, and budget.
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- Best OverallInstant Vortex Plus Air Fryer 6 in 1Check Latest Price
- Best BudgetGoWISE USA 1700-Watt 5.8-QT 8-in-1 Digital Air FryerCheck Latest Price
- Best Air Fryer OvenBreville BOV900BSS Smart Air Convection Air Fry OvenCheck Latest Price
Looking for a quick way to make crispy, tasty, golden-brown food without too much fat? An air fryer could be just the ticket. Similar to the way convection ovens work, these modern kitchen appliances circulate hot air to cook and crisp a variety of foods from French fries to Brussels sprouts to a whole butterflied chicken. Air fryers do more than fry, however, and different models offer various features.
To choose the right one for you, read on, and learn what to look for and why the following are considered among the best you can buy.
- BEST OVERALL: Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer 6 in 1
- BEST BUDGET: GoWISE USA 1700-Watt 5.8-QT 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer
- BEST AIR FRYER OVEN: Breville BOV900BSS Smart Air Convection Air Fry Oven
- BEST LARGE AIR FRYER: Paula Deen 9.5 QT (1700 Watt) Family-Sized Air Fryer
- BEST WITH TOASTER OVEN: Cuisinart TOA-60BKS Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer
- BEST SMART AIR FRYER: COSORI Smart WiFi Air Fryer with 11 Cooking Presets
- MOST VERSATILE: Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Air Fryer with 6.5 Quart Capacity
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Air Fryer
To find the best air fryer for your kitchen, think about important factors and features such as size, power, temperature, and functionality.
Size and Capacity
Air fryers come in different sizes and capacities to accommodate a range of kitchen sizes and food quantities. Air fryer capacity typically ranges from 2 quarts to 7 quarts, but larger models do exist. Smaller capacity air fryers can generally cook enough to feed one to two people, while larger models can feed six to seven people. Dimensions for a smaller model may be 9.75 inches by 9.75 inches by 12.5 inches, while larger capacity air fryers and those with convection oven or toaster oven capabilities may run 18.5 inches by 26 inches by 17 inches. Consider a more compact appliance if your kitchen is small or your counter space is limited.
Air fryers plug into outlets and are powered by electricity. The power of an air fryer is measured in watts, which can range from 800 to 2,000, with most models using between 1,400 and 1,700 watts of electricity. Air fryers with larger cooking capacities require more power. No matter which type of air fryer you choose, make sure your outlet can support the power consumption.
Most but not all air fryers have the option to select different temperatures, all the way up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature control is an important feature to look for, as it allows you to set the precise temperature recipes call for, in order to get foods done just right.
Similar to multi-cookers, many air fryers can handle a variety of cooking functions in addition to air frying, including baking, broiling, toasting, and convection baking. Such functionality makes the appliance highly versatile. In fact, some fans of air fryers may use them more than they do a traditional range with an oven and stove top.
Preset cooking programs are a convenient feature of most air fryers and let you prepare a variety of dishes, such as chicken, vegetables, and cake, with the click of a button. The temperature and time settings automatically adjust for each preset program.
To maximize the use of an air fryer, look for one with extra features and functionality. For example, some models have the option to pause cooking so you can store or flip your food without resetting the time or temperature. Some air fryers also double as toaster ovens and rotisserie cookers. Extra features typically mean extra cost, so think about whether you’ll actually use the bells and whistles before paying for them.
An air fryer is considered to be safer than a deep fryer because it does not involve a large container of hot oil that might spatter. However, there are some safety guidelines to follow when using an air fryer, so be sure to read the manual that comes with the appliance. Position it on your countertop with enough space on all sides to ventilate it properly, and use an oven mitt or silicone trivet to prevent accidental burns. Monitor your food while it’s in the air fryer and use a timer so you remember when to flip food. Always unplug your air fryer when it’s not in use.
Ease of Cleaning
Air fryers are simple to clean. Some parts (like the basket, tray, and pan) should be removed and washed with warm water and soap after each use. The interior should also be washed frequently with a damp cloth or sponge and a small amount of dish soap. The exterior needn’t be cleaned as often, but it can be wiped down with a damp cloth. Some air fryers come with dishwasher-safe parts to make cleaning even easier. Always unplug your air fryer before cleaning it and wipe everything dry before reassembling it.
Our Top Picks
The air fryers you’ll read about below all have a range of convenient features and preset cooking functions and are considered to be some of the best on the market.
If you want to lose unnecessary fat without spending a lot, this model from GoWISE may be your best bet. The 5.8-quart air fryer can be used to fry, bake, grill, and roast. It boasts eight preset cooking functions for items such as fries, steak, and pizza. The temperature can be adjusted between 180 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit in 10-degree increments, and the timer can be set for up to 30 minutes. The detachable frying basket comes with a cool-touch handle for added safety. Convenient features include a start/stop button that allows you to adjust the time and temperature settings during a cook cycle and a built-in alarm that reminds you when to shake your ingredients.
The more varied the recipes you enjoy, the more versatile you’ll want your countertop cooker to be. This smart Breville model is a solid choice, featuring both a regular and a super-speed convection fan for greater cooking control, with the super-convection setting designed for air frying, dehydration, and roasting. Breville touts its Element IQ heating technology, which moves the power where it is most needed for precise results. It has 13 preset cooking functions for items such as cookies, bagels, and pizza. Its 1 cubic foot interior has room to roast a 14-pound turkey or pop in a 5-quart Dutch oven.
For folks who like to feed a crowd, this 9.5-quart air fryer aims to please with its large capacity. It has a single oversized basket and a rapid circulation system for quickly cooking big portions. Set the timer for up to 60 minutes and, using the simple control knobs, adjust the cooking temperature up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to air frying, this countertop appliance can also bake, roast, and reheat. As a bonus, 50 of the celebrity chef’s recipes are included.
In some homes, breakfast isn’t breakfast without toast; if that sounds familiar, this may be the air fryer for you. Cuisinart created an air fryer convection toaster oven with seven preset cooking functions including air fry, convection bake, convection broil, bake, broil, warm, and toast. The adjustable thermostat has a 60-minute timer, auto-shutoff function, and even a toast shade selector. This versatile countertop appliance comes with an oven rack, baking pan, and air fryer rack/basket to help with a host of cooking duties from everyday meals to special-occasion fare.
Smart homes can now enjoy a Wi-Fi-enabled smart air fryer. Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, this countertop appliance from COSORI can be controlled via your smartphone or voice commands so you can remotely monitor cooking progress. It has a 5.8-quart capacity and 11 preset cooking functions including steak, French fries, and desserts. Convenient features include a keep warm setting, shake reminder, and preheat function. The temperature can be adjusted between 170 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and the timer can be set between 1 and 60 minutes. You can manually choose a preset function, or select a recipe from the app and the settings will automatically adjust.
Folks who like the convenience and versatility of a pressure cooker but want to add air fryer capabilities may appreciate this Ninja Foodi model. This multifunctional 6.5-quart appliance is a pressure cooker that crisps, so you can use it to air fry, bake, roast, and broil quickly. Start by pressure cooking your food to lock in juices, and then use the crisping lid to add a crispy finish touch. The Ninja Foodi comes with a reversible rack for steaming or broiling; a nonstick, ceramic-coated cook and crisp basket; and 14 built-in safety features.
FAQs About Air Fryers
Having reviewed some of the best air fryers for the kitchen, you may still want more info. Take a look at the answers to these frequently asked questions.
Q. How does an air fryer work?
Rather than frying food in a tub of oil, air fryers operate similarly to a convection oven but on a much smaller, more powerful scale. Food is placed into a perforated basket and hot air circulates around it to create crispy-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside fare.
Q. How do you use an air fryer?
Air fryers are relatively simple to use. Plug in the appliance, turn it on, and place food (ideally sprayed with a tiny amount of oil or cooking spray to prevent sticking) in the basket. Then set the timer, and choose the temperature. For best results, leave plenty of space for the air to circulate, and rotate food every few minutes.
Q. How do you preheat an air fryer?
Some air fryers come with built-in preheat functions that make it easy to preheat with the push of a button. If not, you can set the timer, and then select the highest temperature setting after plugging in and turning on your air fryer. Preheating typically takes about three to five minutes.
Q. How do you clean an air fryer?
Some air fryers come with dishwasher-safe parts. Otherwise, remove and wash the basket, tray, and pan with soap and warm water after each use. Clean the inside with a damp cloth or sponge and a small amount of dish soap. Wipe everything dry before reassembling your air fryer. The exterior needn’t be cleaned as often but can be wiped down with a damp cloth.
Q. How long does an air fryer last?
Air fryers can last from six months to three years depending on how often you use it. You can prolong the life of your air fryer by keeping it clean and following the manufacturer’s user guide.