Air Fryer What To Look For

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Many Air Fryers Are Best For One To Two Servings And Can’t Really Be Used For Big Dinners

Air Fryer Buying Guide | Consumer Reports

Though the air fryer was bigger than I expected, and I struggled to find counter space for it, the space where food is cooked is quite small. I can’t imagine you can cook for a large group of people with this appliance at least not in the model I own. You’d have to cook in batches.

For instance, some recipes I’ve followed said I should put in only two strips of chicken breasts at a time to ensure even cooking and then do a second batch.

I’d recommend staying away from the air fryer if you’re cooking for more than two people.

What Should You Know Before Buying An Air Fryer


There are many different benefits of using an air fryer which has helped to make it one of the most popular kitchen appliances in recent years. Some of the most common claims made air fryer manufacturers include:

  • Fast cooking. Instead of having to wait 15 minutes or more for an oven to preheat, air fryers can be used quite soon after being switched on. Most models only take around 3 minutes to preheat, cutting down your total cooking time.

  • Healthier meals. Air fryers use far less oil than standard deep fryers, allowing you to achieve similar results without the need to use high-calorie oils.

  • Easy to use. Air fryers are typically quite easy to use, with only a few controls used to select temperatures, cooking times and cooking modes.

  • Crispy food. Even without using oil, food is cooked in such a way that ensures the outside is nice and crispy, while the inside remains moist.

  • Safer than using a deep fryer. Using air to cook food instead of a deep fryer reduces your exposure to large amounts of hot oil, making it a safer option.


If youre time-poor or find it hard to get motivated to cook a healthy dinner, air fryers can help to cut some of the time out of preparing delicious quick meals. Vegetables, chicken and other meats can be cooked perfectly without creating excess mess.



0.5 litres to 2 litres

  • Great for small kitchens

How To Choose The Best Air Fryer

Air fryers differ in size and versatility so the choosing the best one for you will depend on a few key elements. For example, consider what youll most likely be cooking in it, how many youre cooking for and how much space you have in the kitchen.

If its simply a healthier, more efficient method of cooking chips that youre after, you can narrow your search down to one without bells and whistles and save some pennies on a machine that does the core function well.

Top tip: Watch out for those that will require you to part-boil the cut potatoes prior to crisping air fryers worth having should be able to fully-cook chips on their own.

More sophisticated models will offer multiple functions like the ability to bake, roast, dehydrate, grill and reheat food.

The circulated hot air from inside these fryers gets released from fans often at the back of the air fryer, which means they can require a lot of room around them for safe use. Style and aesthetics on a countertop are also important.

Recommended Reading: Instant Pot Air Fryer Parts

The Least Best Of The Rest

Next in our line-up of sub-par air fryers are three units that received the same overall score. Two of them are from the same brand , and one of them is a shelf unit .

They all have different features, and different pros and cons. But they have one thing in common: our kitchen experts don’t recommend them.

“Unfortunately both Tefal models have only basic instructions that can be difficult to comprehend,” says Fiona.

“Having easy-to-read instructions with guidelines and recipes allows the user to get the most from their purchase.”

Miracle Chef 7 in 1 multi cooker TXG-DT10L

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 71%
  • Performance score: 73%
  • Price: $349

Despite scoring a very healthy 85% for cooking homemade French fries, this unit isn’t the miracle it claims to be. We’ve tested plenty of models for this price that perform far better.

It’s particularly poor at cooking marinated chicken wings, scoring just 40% for this test, and our experts say it’s not especially easy to use and the shelves only have a small surface area.

Don’t expect a hallelujah moment with this unit.

Tefal Easy Fry Deluxe Digital EY401D

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 71%
  • Performance score: 73%
  • Price: $280

This unit didn’t score too badly on most of our tests, but really bombed out on cooking homemade French fries it scored just 45% on this test. It did ace the crumbed chicken cooking test, scoring 80%.

But even if you’re crumbed chicken-obsessed, there are better buys out there.

Tefal Easy Fry Classic EY2018

What To Look For When Buying An Air Fryer

BrylaneHome 16 Liter Air Fryer Oven , Black

“When choosing an air fryer it’s important that it comes with comprehensive instructions including cooking guidelines and recipes, particularly if you have never used an air fryer before,” says CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair.

“Digital controls give better accuracy, and pre-programmed settings take the guesswork out of choosing a temperature and cooking time, and may also give you a reminder to shake the food to ensure even cooking.”

Read Also: Which Is The Biggest Air Fryer

The Worst Performing Air Fryers In Our Tests

Kmart Anko AF606 3.2L Air Fryer

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 64%
  • Performance score: 63%
  • Price: $59

While we’ve found many a Kmart appliance that delivers great bang for your buck, unfortunately this isn’t one of them.

It disappointed our testing experts on tests like cooking homemade French fries and frozen thick-cut chips, and was rated as only OK overall.

It does have some redeeming features, however. It has seven pre-set cooking functions, is easy to clean, a cooking temperature guide on the front of the unit, an audible sound when the timer ends, and an automatic shut-off function.

Overall it’s just not worth it, even for the bargain price of $59

But overall it’s just not worth it, even for the bargain price of $59. Save your money for an air fryer that’ll actually do the job.

Unfortunately for bargain hunters, air fryers are one appliance that you do need to spend a little more on for good performance. Of the air fryers we recommend, the cheapest is $149, but most are over the $300 mark.

  • Performance score: 75%
  • Price: $199

Look, a score of 70% overall isn’t terrible it’s still classed as ‘Good’ by our experts. And a 75% performance score is good, too.

But if you’re going to drop $200 on an air fryer, you might as well buy one that works well .

An air fryer that costs this much should deliver out-of-this-world performance the EasyCook does not

The EasyCook’s dial controls for temperature and time are simple to use but may not be accurate, our experts found.

Baked Goods & Pastries

Contrary to popular belief, air fryers arent just for savoury foods. Prepare to have your mind blown an air fryer can bake cupcakes, cookies, brownies, lava cakes, cheesecakes, doughnuts and many more indulgent desserts! As an air fryer does not have the same capacity as a traditional oven, preparing certain baked goods may require you to cook in multiple batches. Just make sure you follow an air fryer-specific recipe and get one that comes with a baking dish to avoid a kitchen nightmare.

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Air Fryer Buying Guide

Deep-fried food is delicious, but its not the healthiest option when youre hungry for a snack or meal. Because deep frying involves dipping your food in oil, it can add calories and fat to everything you make. Thankfully, there is a healthier way to get that deep-fried flavour and crispy coating. All you need is an Air Fryer. It will take everything from chicken strips to wings or French fries and make it crispy and delicious, and it uses nothing more than hot air to do so.

  • Choose the best air fryer for you
  • Air Fryer Chicken Thighs With Salsa Verde And Lemony Kale Salad

    How to choose the best air fryer | Expert Reviews Buying Guide

    An air fryer practically guarantees crispy, juicy chicken thighs. Seasoned simply with lemon zest, salt and pepper, they make a satisfying meal with an Italian-inspired salsa verde and bright kale salad . Air fried panko is the final crunchy touch.

    Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Chicken Thighs with Salsa Verde and Lemony Kale Salad

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    What Are The Pros & Cons Of Air Fryers

    If youve heard the buzz around air frying and are wondering if its worth the expense, then you should be sure whether this appliance will suit your needs. Whilst there are some major benefits to using an air fryer, there are also some downsides. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

    Pros of buying an air fryer Cons of buying an air fryer
    Can cook foods quicker and more efficiently compared to most ovens and cooktops Limited capacity to cook larger amounts of food which may not suit larger households
    Comes with different user-friendly automatic functions Cooking results typically differ between models, settings and temperature functions
    Can cook a wide variety of foods, including both savoury dishes and desserts Air-frying produces high temperatures quickly, so foods must be monitored while cooking
    Reduces the amount of oil typically needed to cook foods, offering a healthier alternative Can be loud and noisy
    Compact size Some models can be bulky

    High Power Wattage And Temperature Control

    When you are going to purchase a new air fryer, always check its power wattage capacity. The higher the power wattage, the better it is.

    Some of the average air fryers have 900-1000 watts power wattage. These are best for frying vegetables or other soft items but not chicken or steak. So to make all the items conveniently, you should always opt for the 1400-1500 watts power variant.

    Basically, more power can supply more heat and can quickly prepare the items. Your chicken will be more crispy from the outside and soft and tender from the inside.

    Other than high power wattage there should be a proper temperature control option so that you can control the temperature when needed. This feature is very helpful when you are pre-heating the appliance.

    Recommended Reading: Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Costco

    You Need An Air Fryer If:

    • You love fried foods, but want to make healthier choices
    • You want to consume fewer calories
    • You like a variety in your diet
    • You are bored of cooking and need a little excitement in the kitchen
    • You dont like to heat up your oven for a small meal
    • MAYBE you dont have a stove/oven
    • You love kitchen gadgets and want to experience the fun of cooking with an air fryer!

    What Does An Air Fryer Do

    What is an Air Fryer? The Ultimate Air Fryer Guide!

    Air fryer ovens make crunchy snacks that taste like theyve been fried, but the not-so-dirty secret is that theres no frying. Instead, air fryers rely on super-hot, fast-circulating air to replicate the effects of oil-frying but without any of the unwanted calories and fat. I love mine and use it almost every day. For me, the only thing better than an air fryer is a cheap Air fryer, and thats exactly what youll find during this sprawling cut-out early on Black Friday.

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    How To Use An Air Fryer

    Air fryers, despite their name, don’t do too much actual frying, but they are good for cooking foods you’d typically fry. In fact, they’re great for when you’re looking to cook something relatively quickly, but you want it to end up a little crunchier than it typically would in a microwave. This means that everything from leftover pizza to frozen mozzarella sticks, to cookies cook quickly and conveniently in an air fryer basket. Additionally foods you might typically pan-sear like chicken thighs and pork chops cook quickly and end up tasting delicious when made in an air fryer. And game-night foods are better than you can make baked, cook lightning quick, and need just the barest spritz of oil.

    Which Air Fryers Are Best

    The pull-out basket is the shape often associated with the air fryer’s rise to fame. Oven-shaped air fryers typically afford more features outside of air frying due to the large, flat cooking space. Because they’re larger, cook times may be longer than the drawer design but both will still kick your conventional oven’s ass.

    The amount of food on the menu is a quick way to narrow your air fryer contenders. Couples or folks cooking for one could get away with a capacity as small as 4 quarts, especially if countertop space is a deciding factor. Families of four or a group of roommates should probably expand to at least 5.8 quarts, while hitting 10 quarts provides ample space for full households or entertaining enthusiasts who like to offer a variety of appetizers.

    So, here’s what you need to know about the best air fryers of 2021 we’ll keep it simple so your brain doesn’t get too fried.

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    Different Styles Of Air Fryers

    Basket/Bucket Style Food is added to a basket or a bucket and then air fried with a hot circulating fan on top. Bucket styles have one main compartment and has an insert that keeps the food slightly elevated, allowing grease and oils to drip to the bottom. Some basket styles have a handled basket that actually separates from the main bucket. This basket is what keeps the food separated from the oil drippings. This is the most common style where recipes will say shake because the basket/bucket allows you to do that.

    Rotisserie Feature: Some air fryers offer a Rotisserie feature or a rotisserie cage to add you food into. The turning rotisserie feature cool, but expect these models to be large in size. This feature is normally found in oven style air fryers.

    Read this first: Our> Helpful What is Air Frying? Guide when you make the purchase!

    Shopping For Air Fryers Or Maybe Air Fryer Toaster Ovens Our Air Fryer Buying Guide Will Help You Find The Perfect Appliance For Your Needs

    How to choose an airfryer

    Air fryers have become a household staple for many people, thanks to their ability to replicate the crunchy taste of fried foods without all the unhealthy oil.

    But so many models are available today that it can be hard to choose onedo you want a no-frills model? An air fryer-toaster oven combo? One with presets for your favorite foods? Before you commit to buying an air fryer, use our buying guide to find the perfect model for your needs. Weve rounded up our Test Kitchens favorites, plus the best-rated air fryers on the market.

    Check out our complete guide to air fryers, including the best recipes, cooking tips and more.

    Also Check: What To Make In A Air Fryer

    How To Choose An Air Fryer

    There are two main kinds of air fryers: traditional “pod” shaped fryers, that come with baskets, and cube-style toaster ovens with an air fryer setting. Both work more or less the same. Some air fryers come with lots of bells and whistles, like a bluetooth app that lets you control the with your phone, or the ability to do things like dehydrate or even proof bread. Others are stripped down, no-nonsense machines that do what they do, and do it well. In general, we’ve found that the bells and whistles tend to distract from an air fryer’s primary purpose. However, if there are deal-breaking features you can’t live without, it’s best to take note of them before buying. Below, find the seven air fryers we tested, what they can do, and what we thought.

    If you’ve already got the internet’s most beloved countertop appliance, there’s no need to get another. Instant Pot makes a lid and basket attachment that will let you air fry foods directly in the pot! Our tests found it heats foods quite quickly and it still crisps fries in a relatively speedy time, if not the fastest. We found it easier to clean than many other air fryers and it comes, as you’d expect, with a bevy of other functions, such as broil, roast, reheat, and even dehydrate. And the price is very reasonable.

    • Easy to clean, easy to use with an item you may already have.
    • Without a pull-out basket, it’s a little harder to flip food when cooking.

    Clutch Recipeswhat To Cook In Your New Air Fryer

    McManus raves about Brussels sprouts: Theyre really easy and super delicious.

    And Mims says okra and eggplant are two of his top air fryer choices they get crunchy on the outside and soft but not gooey on the inside. The things I like most are things that benefit from partial dehydrating and partial crisping, he says.

    Hes also a fan of chickpeas, which crisp up to a level between a corn nut and a regular chickpea, and using the fryer to crisp-cooked grains like rice and quinoa to add to a salad.

    You can also bake in the air fryer, with accessories like loaf pans and muffin molds.

    And the air fryer is great for reheating leftovers, especially pizza. It revives it and makes it crispy, Mims says.

    Some people think you cant air fry food with wet batter, but thats not the case. Crawford shares her tip for foods like onion rings after you dredge them, freeze them for about 10 minutes so the batter doesnt drip inside the fryer.

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