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Generously Proportioned Air Fryer At An Affordable Price Point

Should You Get an Air Fryer or an Air Fryer Toaster Oven? | Gear Heads

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  • Bringing soggy leftovers back to life

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  • You want a multifunctional gadget with lots of extra bells and whistles

For shoppers looking for a large, efficient and functional air fryer at an affordable price, the Instant Vortex 6-quart Air Fryer is an incredible value. Many of the other machines I tested have a few redundant functions that most cooks wont need. The Instant Vortex, in contrast, cuts out the noise by focusing on four main functions. Its a convenient machine that features a more straightforward control panel than some of the competitors, so you can easily select from four different presets. The control panel uses a digital screen with easy-to-read push buttons for each function, with a dial to manually increase time or temperature. Its also bigger than the Ninja if youd like to cook more food at a time.

The Instant Vortex yield crispy, crunchy foods in our tests.

Laura Denby

This is a great option for home cooks, but if youre looking to have more precise control over temperature in order to achieve super-crispy foods, having a machine with a higher temperature range might be helpful. It has a 1-year limited warranty, and replacement parts or accessorieslike a wire rack and pizza pan setcan be purchased separately.

Ninja Af101 Air Fryer

Ive been an air fryer enthusiast for several yearsthis is actually the third model I own! For my first use of the Ninja AF101, I decided to create a head-to-head battle of air-fried chicken, putting half the batch of thighs in my trusty Cosori and the other half in the Ninja. I was initially disappointed that there wasnt a preheat button on the Ninja, a one-button option I rely on with my Cosori, but it only took a few seconds to manually create a preheat session for five minutes. The Ninja chicken thighs came out quite a bit crispier than the Cosori batch, which I assume was due to the addition of a crisper plate. My fiancé also found the Ninja easier to clean than our other air fryers.

The next day, I tried out a dish we air fry in the Cosori at least once a week because its so easy and tasty: salmon filets. The Ninja version came out perfectly cooked with a crisp coating on top of the spices and a moist and flakey interior. We were blown away. Well never cook salmon in anything but this Ninja ever again. Speaking of, heres what it looks like to use your air fryer every day. Jill Schildhouse, Health Editor

P.S. If youre shopping during the , you can get a whopping $50 discount!


  • Easier to clean than other air fryer models
  • Food turns out even crispier than with other air fryers


Make The Most Of Your Air Fryer

When we think about all of the reasons to love the air fryer, versatility is always at the top of our list. You can use it to make easy appetizers, dinnertime mains, veggies to serve alongside and even chocolate chip cookies for dessert. And, although not everything made in the air fryer is automatically healthy, plenty of your favorites can be made with less fat and oil by utilizing this smart countertop appliance. Youll be surprised at how many different foods you can make in it. You cant go wrong with any of the recipes in this roundup but these kid-friendly chicken fingers are a good place to start. Theyre a healthier alternative to the ones you order from your local pizzeria and guaranteed to please young and old alike.

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders: Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Also Check: What Can I Make For Dinner In My Air Fryer

How To Buy The Best Air Fryer For You

Look for easy-to-use controls for both temperature and time, as these are the most important features on any air fryer. Auto-stop and keep warm functions can be useful but chips, if left for any amount of time will soon lose their crispness. More expensive machines will feature touch screens rather than dial controls, which will help with accuracy.

The bigger the basket capacity, the more people youll be able to cook for. So if youve got a family, then a 5 litre machine is probably a must.

A loud beep to signal the end of cooking time is a good idea if youre using the time to wander off and do something else. Most air-fryers will only cook one food group at a time but some will cook a whole meal in one go if youre after a one-pot solution.

How Much Oil Should You Use In An Air Fryer

aigostar air fryer, 3.4qt

Hannah Niu, marketing manager at Xiaomi explains that “the oil inside the food is thoroughly fried through the 360° heated air circulation, providing delicious food with less grease and fat.” Niu also adds that the technology within an air fryer results in food that’s cooked through and crispy on the outside.

The exception in our experience of testing is that if you’re going to make homemade chips, a little oil goes a long way in ensuring your chipped spuds have a golden and crispy exterior.

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Is The Ninja Dz201 Easy To Use

Ill be honest, the Ninja Double Air Fryer can be intimidating at first with its multitude of buttons and the dual basket setup. Luckily, after a few runs, youll get the hang of it.

If you watched the video above, its just like a mini version of a full-sized oven. The only challenging part is setting the right amount of time and temperature for each recipe.

You wont be able to memorize it, but the good thing is youll have a quick start guide courtesy of Shark Ninja.

On top of that, theres also an included recipe book to get you started right away.

In comparison to the Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Max XL, this model doesnt automatically pause when removing the air fryer basket. To ensure youre following the cooking time religiously, youll have to pause and start it manually whenever youre shaking or flipping your ingredients.

On a slightly different note:

The cleanup is easy-peasy.

First of all, its dishwasher safe, so you can simply load the basket and crisper plate into the dishwasher.

If not, then you can always hand wash itwhich is also straightforward.

It has a non-stick coating, so most food residue will come off quickly.By the way, only use a soft sponge and non-abrasive cleaners to prevent damaging the coating.

Last but not least, use a damp cloth to wipe the main unit.

Thankfully, the brand has a quick guide on how to clean it.

What To Look Forward To

Were conducting a new round of testing to expand our coverage of pod-shaped air fryers. In addition to new models, were also testing a wider range of sizes, and special features like dual baskets and smart app connectivity. Were trying out larger air fryers, like the Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket Air Fryer and the Ninja Foodi DZ201 Dual Basket Air Fryer, and more models from popular brands, including the Dash Deluxe Electric Air Fryer, the Ultrean Air Fryer AF01, and the new Cosori Air Fryer. While well be looking at more versatile and accessible features this time around, our foundational criteria for a great air fryer remain the same: an intuitive user experience, even cooking, and consistent temperatures.

Read Also: Stuff To Cook In An Air Fryer

Bottom Line: Are Air Fryers Worth It

Now that you know the pros and cons of air fryers, its time to decide whether its an appliance you want in your kitchen.

The upsides are plenty.

An air fryer is easy to use, cooks and heats fast, and can mimic crispy food without using a deep fryer. Plus, they are easier to clean than deep fryers and safer to use.

You can reheat crispy foods quickly and make healthier meals using less oil. And since there is no need to recycle oil , you wont experience lingering odors when you cook.

Yet, there are downsides to consider.

Just because you use an air fryer, it does not mean the meal is automatically healthy. Besides this, you are limited to what you can cook. Cooking times and temperatures can vary, so youll have to endure a learning curve and might waste a lot of food before you get the hang of it.

It takes more time to clean an air fryer than cooking in an oven.

Finally, air fryers can be expensive, bulky, difficult to store, noisy, and they offer limited cooking capacity.

Bottom line air fryers have been trending for years, but they are only worth the buzz if they fit your lifestyle. If you have a large family, itll take too long to make a meal to satisfy a crowd. But for couples or people looking for ways to cook quick meals with less oil, it could be the perfect kitchen upgrade.

Dont Worry About Buttons Or Functions

Should You Get an Air Fryer?

Similar to capacity, our experts agreed that the buttons on an air fryer are just marketing jargon. Those buttons do the same thing, Weinstein said, which is turn the heating element on and turn the fan on. Dont be fooled by an air fryer with a thousand different functions if youre using an air fryer to air fry, then all you need is the air fry button.

Also Check: How Long To Cook Wings In Air Fryer

How To Use An Air Fryer

These devices are easy to use and often easy to clean. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions, but most will follow these basic procedures:

1. Preheat before cooking.Many air fryers need time to come to temperature before cooking. In general, preheat to 375°F for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the fryer.

2. Donât overcrowd the food and lay food down flat.Just like conventional frying, overloading your air fryerâespecially with frozen foodsâcould produce soggy or uneven results. Plus, it could also increase the cooking time.

3. Flip while frying.Don’t forget to batter and/or bread items properly before dropping them into the air fryer, and be sure to flip your food halfway through the cooking process. Also, keep an eye on your food while it cooks. This will let you adjust timing as necessary and help get you used to your new appliance.

4. Clean the air fryer when you’re done.Donât forget to clean the appliance after you finish cooking and the device has cooled down. Food particles can build up over time and cause issues down the line.

So Are Air Fryers Or Convection Ovens Better

Air fryers cook quicker than convection ovens and don’t require heating a large appliance, like your full-sized oven. Their perforated racks also allow fat to drip onto the drip pan so your food doesn’t absorb excess oil, which minimizes calories and becomes crispier since it is more dry.

The downside of air fryers is they can’t cook as much food at one time as you can in an oven. Food cooks better in an air fryer when it’s in a single layer. Some foods, like French fries, can be stacked, but should be tossed at least once. Air fryers can also be loud although many manufacturers consider this in development.

Recommended Reading: Best Large Air Fryer Oven

Top 10 Picks Of Best Air Fryer For 4

Besides the above specifications, you can also check these key features of the 10 best air fryers for 4 people in a family quickly.

The first item that I want to show you first is the Ninja AF161 because everything you need for a quality and functional air fryer is in this one. Packed with many cooking programs, high-intensity air that can circulate 450 degrees, perfect size for 4 people, I am not even overselling it.

But if you do mind the price tag, the Philips HD9650/96 and its advanced Fat Removal technology are amazing in offering the healthiest meals.

1400W to 1600W

Air Fryer Breakfast Tacos

Eagle 17qt 1800W 8

This clever recipe uses silicone ice cube stick molds to quickly create the components for breakfast tacos in an air fryer. One mold holds corn tortillas in a U-shape so they transform into hard taco shells while they cook. Another mold holds beaten eggs, which cook at the same time as the tortillas. Pop the finished “scrambled” eggs out of the mold, then stuff them into the cheese-filled taco shells. Add some spicy mayo, tomatoes and avocado and the result is an extra-crispy, extra-tasty breakfast treat.

Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Breakfast Tacos

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Dash Dcaf150gbaq02 Compact Air Fryer

Dash DCAF150GBBK02 Compact Air Fryer Oven Cooker with Temperature Control, Non Stick Fry Basket, Recipe Guide + Auto Shut off Feature, 2qt, Black

Here is one of those air fryers that are incredibly compact. It is also available at an affordable price and wont weigh heavy on your pocket. This unit is equipped with AirCrisp Technology that reduces added fat by as much as 80%. And that too with sacrificing your foods texture and taste.

This air fryers control panel also features a powerful dial. It lets you decide how long you want your food to cook inside the bucket. The 0 to 30 minutes range of the timer means that you can rely on this product to cook frozen foods, veggies, pizza and other similar dishes.

Overcooking isnt a problem youd face with this model. Thats because it comes with an auto-shutoff function which automatically turns off the fryer once the timer is up. And the fact that it comes with a 1-year warranty means that you can purchase this air fryer worry-free.

Also on offer is a temperature dial. It doesnt specify the exact range but clearly gets the job done with its min and max ratings. Dash has also equipped this air fryer with anti-rubber feet to protect its integrity as well as the finish of your countertops.


About This Review And The Reviewer

Millie Fender is our Editor for all things small appliances at Homes & Gardens. She spends a lot of time testing everything from toasters to air fryers in her own apartment and recommending the very best ones to readers.

Millie put this air fryer to the test for a number of weeks to make fries, bacon, and roasted vegetables. She will keep this review updated with any thoughts on how it compares to other models on the market.

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The Ninja Dz201 Smart Finish

As I have mentioned, the Ninja Foodi DZ201 is the one of the few air fryers that features separately controlled baskets.

You can cook different types of food with distinct settings across the two zones. I mean, even traditional ovens cant do this. So, thats a major win for the Ninja Foodi Double Air Fryer.

An Overview On Air Fryers

Best Air Fryer 2022: Cheap vs Expensive!

Fried foods are a distinctly American obsession. From chicken nuggets in our school lunches to funnel cakes at the county fair, digging into a fried meal is a tasty endeavor. However, its no secret that fried foods arent doing any favors for your health. Indulging in fried food once or more every week puts you at a higher risk for some health issues.

You dont have to kiss fried foods goodbye entirely if youre watching your waistline, though. Over the last few years, air fryers have boomed in popularity for lightening up deep-fried goodness for a more heart-friendly meal at home.

Air fryers are an entirely different beast than the countertop oil fryers you may have bought in the past. Instead of immersing baskets of your food in hot oil , air fryers use a very small amount of oil to crisp your food. A light spritzing from an oil spray bottle should be all you need. Just choose whatever food youd like to fry, preheat the unit for a few minutes, and place it in the removable basket. Then set the timer and temperature, pop the basket inside the contained countertop unit and get ready to chow down.

The meals you make may not taste exactly like the fast-food French fries or deep-fried chicken wings you might be craving, but theyre a worthy, tasty substitute for anyone who doesnt want to completely give up the fried lifestyle. Your heart and taste buds will thank you!

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What Are The Best Foods To Cook In An Air Fryer

Popular air fryer recipes include the classics like French fries and chicken wings, but you can also get creative with veggie alternatives like cauliflower tots, crispy brussels sprouts, and more. Find yourself cooking up everything from mozzarella sticks to sweet potato chips in just a matter of minutes with your new air fryer.

If your recipe fits inside the air fryer without overfilling it, then you can likely cook it.

You Can Make Sweet And Savory Baby Carrots In An Air Fryer

Chef Zach Cummings of Timbers Kauai in Lihue, Hawaii, told Insider that baby carrots are one of his favorite foods to prepare in an air fryer.

“The intense, focused heat of the air fryer achieves this beautiful caramelization in a fraction of the time it takes to cook baby carrots that way in a traditional oven,” said Cummings.

For perfectly caramelized carrots, Cummings said, coat them in extra-virgin olive oil, toasted fennel seeds, fresh thyme, sea salt, and pepper. Cook them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes and shake the basket halfway through.

Also Check: Small Oven With Air Fryer

Benefits Of Air Fryers

What makes air fryers so great is that they come with a whole list of benefits. For starters, they help reduce cooking timesdelicious foods, such as potatoes, chicken wings, and burgers can be made in under ten minutes. You can prepare air fryer recipes that are healthy and just as crispy and delicious but with less oil. Note that when we mention healthy food at SELF, we refer to foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfyingwe know healthy is a loaded word that can mean different things to different people. Air fryers can be an efficient tool for creating delicious and healthy meals in less time without compromising your health, says Laura Gilstrap RD, LD/N, owner of LG Nutrition LLC. Compared to deep-frying, air fryers can still achieve the beloved fried texture and taste but without the excess oil, resulting in less saturated fat and calories.

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