Air Fryer And Multicooker: An Air Fryer That Does It All
These are the most advanced and versatile air fryers and they do a whole lot more than air fry. Think Instant Pot but with an air fryer function as well. Ninja’s Foodi multicooker and the Instant Pot Duo Crisp are two popular models, and if you want an air fryer and multicooker or pressure cooker but don’t have a lot of kitchen space to relinquish, one of these is a great option. I’ve used the 6-quart Duo Crisp a bunch and find it works really well, turning out some of the most delicious fried chicken ever These models generally retail for about $175 to $250
How We Chose The Best Air Fryers
Every air fryer in our top 10 roundup has been tested hands-on by the Ideal Home team for a minimum of two weeks, or four thorough recipes. This allowed us to compare air fryers directly when compiling our top 10 list, and it also helped us when deciding which air fryers will be the right pick for different living situations. Because all air fryers claim to do very similar things, it’s important to us that we put them through their paces before recommending any air fryer to our readers. We used a standard recipe for air fried homemade chips across all air fryers, recording the cooking timings and considering how evenly the crisps came out, and how well cooked they were.
Another test we replicated across different air fryers was cooking bacon. Bacon cooks brilliantly in air fryers, allowing fat to drip away and leaving crispy rashers in the basket. We used the speed and evenness of cooking as a way of measuring how well an air fryer distributed heat and how fast it circulated hot hair. Based on our findings, we gave every air fryer a rating out of five and then sorted them into a top ten list to recommend to our readers.
Nuwave Brio Air Fryer Oven + Grill
If size plays a large factor in your air fryer search, then the NuWave Brio Air Fryer Oven + Grill is a great contender. Not only is it built with a 15.5 quart capacity, it also offers plenty of impressive deluxe features including 100 preset menu selections, a drip tray, and a removable front door. It’s built with an Integrated Digital Temperature Probe and precise temperature control, with a range of 60 to 400 F. Go ahead and cook up a whole chicken in the NuWave, as it boasts a Pro-Style Rotisserie function.
As far as the reviews go, the NuWave seems to satisfy most customers in all arenas. “Just tried my new Brio 15.5-Quart Large Capacity Air Fryer Oven + Grill and it’s by far THE BEST kitchen appliance I have,” wrote a reviewer on . “The presets take the guesswork out of figuring out how many minutes and at what temperature something should cook at and cleanup is a breeze!”
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How To Buy The Best Air Fryer For You
Check the air fryer features and programmes
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.
Check Into Additional Features
Some air fryers have additional functionality that will make them a more versatile tool in the kitchen.
- Air fryer toaster ovens: One of the most popular combinations, these air fryers resemble a traditional toaster oven and can be used to bake, broil and toast.
- Air fryer dehydrators: If you like dehydrated fruits or homemade beef jerky, an air fryer with dehydrating abilities might be a good option for you.
- Air fryer rotisserie cookers: Many people love the flavor of a moist rotisserie chicken, and an air fryer rotisserie cooker combo allows you to make this delicious dish at home.
- Instant Pot air fryer lid: Dont have space for another appliance? This handy lid turns your trusty Instant Pot into an air fryer!
Air Fryers with Added Features
Also Check: Difference Between Air Fryer And Toaster Oven
What To Make With An Air Fryer
For folks new to air fryers, the simplest foods to make are no-prep. Start with basics like frozen french fries, frozen mozzarella sticks or similar snacks. To make sure they come out looking perfectly golden, use this trick .
Once youve got a handle on the basics of the air fryer, you can make so many tasty recipes from scratchand not just typical fried foods either. The air fryer can be used to get your favorite veggies nice and crisp, like these Garlic-Rosemary Brussels Sprouts . You can even bake in an air fryerbelieve it! These shortbread cookies are almost too good to be true. Ready for a healthy crunch? You can make air-fryer tortilla chips with way less oil than deep-fried tortilla chips! Dont miss these addicting air-fryer appetizers.
When all the air frying is done, be sure to care and clean for your appliance the right way. This will ensure you can air fry for years to come.
Up Next:17 air-fryer desserts youll want to make tonight.
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven
With a household name like Cuisinart, you know this multi-purpose appliance has to be good. If you’re looking for a 3-in-1 cooking workhorse, the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven is it. It actually bakes, broils, and toasts making it super handy for everything from preparing savory casserole dishes to crispy coconut shrimp. So what’s the major difference here between all of the other air fryers available? Well, it’s a countertop constant you won’t need to move it back and forth from the kitchen counter, because it’s that useful on a daily basis. Aside from functionality, its armed with an adjustable thermostat, 60-minute timer, oven rack, baking pan, and air fryer basket. It’s also programmed with a Whisper Quiet Operation to prevent noise.
A reviewer from The Strategist loves her Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven, particularly for the air frying capability. “I’ve used it to make mini frozen pork dumplings oil-free, which came out crunchy and hot in less than 10 minutes,” she wrote, adding that this was an improvement over going the pan-fried route which tends to result in burnt dumplings.
Even though this one gets high marks , some customers note that there’s a bit of a learning curve due to its multitasking features. But overall, it’s well worth the price.
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Budget Pick: Cosori Pro Air Fryer
*At the time of publishing, the price was $85.
The Cosori Pro Air Fryer was the best pod-shaped model we tested for under $100. Although the Cosoris 3.7-quart capacity is slightly larger than that of the Philips Premium Airfryer HD9741/96, it doesnt cook as evenly, but considering its relatively low price, we think its results were good enough. The Cosoris many preprogrammed settings werent as accurate as those of the Philips, eitherwe preferred using the manual controls for selecting the time and temperature instead. Like the Philips, the Cosori has a square-shaped basket that fits more food than the round baskets in other models. The Cosori also comes with a recipe booklet, which is helpful if youre new to cooking with convection technology.
Like the Philips, the Cosori has a removable basket to hold your food while it cooks. We prefer this design to the removable trays of a lot of newer models, because trays tend to fall out when you flip the bucket upside down to transfer food to a platethis was the case with the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer we testedand when the tray comes flying out, it could potentially cause burns. We also like that the Cosori has a plastic guard that covers the baskets release button , which prevents you from inadvertently pressing it while shaking your food. Without the guard, its easier to accidentally press the button, which would release the bucket and send it crashing onto the floor.
How Do Air Fryers Work
An air fryer is essentially a countertop convection oven. This compact version of a conventional oven allows you to cook food quickly and evenly in less time than a traditional oven or toaster oven. A heating element and powerful fan is set at the top of the unit. It generates and circulates hot air around the food that is set below in a basket. The basket allows air to flow all over the food, making it extra crispy. In general, most foods are air-fried at a higher temperature than a conventional oven think around 400 degrees F or more.
Smart Finish Is The Best Way For Food To Finish At The Same Time
I hate it when my food finishes cooking at different times. Smart Finish is the solution to my problems. Let’s say the chicken takes longer to cook in one basket than your vegetables. I just press Smart Finish for the air fryer to finish cooking both baskets at the same time — regardless of the time or temperature. When it’s done, I have hot food I don’t have to reheat before getting it on the table. Here’s how it works:
1. To start, press Smart Finish.
2. Press 1 and choose your cooking preference: Air fry, Roast, Reheat or Dehydrate.
3. Select the time and temperature for the food in the first basket.
4. Press 2, then repeat steps 2 and 3.
5. Press Start/Pause.
How To Buy An Air Fryer
Preheat times are short when air frying and they also use less electricity than a traditional oven. For more on these benefits, take a look at our dive into the question: ‘do air fryers use a lot of electricity?’.
Most modern air fryers consist of a pull-out drawer with a crisper tray inside, similar to the perforated trays found in a fryer or oven. This design allows any excess oil to be removed from the contents, decreasing the eventual fat content on the plate. The handle found on the drawer is also handy for shaking the food part-way through cooking, which encourages an even distribution of crispiness.
Some larger air fryers even have dual-zone modes that allow you to set specific settings for different foods you want to cook at the same time. For more tips and tricks on getting the most out of your appliance, take a look at our guide to how air fryers work.
There are many other benefits to enjoy when switching to one of the best air fryers, including the relative lack of clean-up when cooking traditionally oily foods like sausages. And even if you do end up making a mess, you can take a look at our article on how to clean an air fryer – which may involve just popping the relevant elements into the dishwasher when you’re done.
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What Size Air Fryer Do I Need
The first step to choosing your new air fryer is deciding on the best size.
For a 1-2 person household, look at 2- to 4-quart capacities. At 2 quarts, your air fryer can handle a handful of tater tots or a couple of chicken cutlets. With 3 quarts, you’ll have enough room to cook up 2 chicken breasts or about 1.5 pounds of French fries.
If you want plenty of space for add-ons and sides for two people, a 4-quart air fryer can handle the main course as well as some fried veggies and snacks.
For families of 3 to 4 people, take a look at air fryers with 4- to 6-quart capacities. A 4-quart air fryer will be on the less expensive end of the budget, but you might end up having to do several rounds of air frying to get the full course out on the table.
With an air fryer that holds 5 quarts of food, you can generally cook 4-5 chicken breasts, or one whole chicken. You can also cook several things at once, so you don’t have to wait for the protein to be done before you start frying up your veggies.
Larger households should shop for air fryers with a capacity of 6 quarts and up. At 6 quarts, you get the luxury to cook up servings for up to 5 people.
You can find air fryers with capacities up to 16-quarts, so if you find yourself hosting large parties often, you should keep sizing up. Of course, the bigger the capacity, the pricier the appliance, as well as the more physical counter space the device will take up.
Air Fryers We Reviewed But Didn’t Score As Well
We’ve always loved Instant Pot. But if you’ve never used an air fryer before, we can’t recommend the Instant Vortex Plus . Its “Getting Started Guide” wasnt very helpful. We also found cooking with the included tray yielded better results than the basket the manufacturer suggested using. Still, if you don’t mind a lot of trial and error, this device can produce solid results.
We’ve reviewed a few Krups models. We like the Krups Easy Fry Deluxe Digital a bit better than the Krups Fry Delight thanks to its design and cooking results. However, neither are very close to mimicking the crispiness of food that came out of a traditional deep fryer.
Farberware 3.2 quart Digital Oil-Less Fryer is very inexpensive and does a decent job of crisping and browning, especially with frozen foods. However, the basket sticks and it’s a little confusing to use.
The generic-looking Power Air XL has a small capacity, and its basket doesn’t glide out very smoothly.
The Black and Decker 2L Purifry is a big appliance, but comes with a much smaller basket. With no digital controls and tiny numbers, it’s really difficult to set your temperature precisely.
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How Much Money Do You Want To Spend
Many of our experts mentioned you should expect to spend around $80 on a good air fryer, though top-tier models can cost as much as $300. Some smaller models under $80 can work for smaller quantities of food.
Are they worth it? Thats up to you, Weinstein said. His $300 air fryer has lasted him a long time, but he owns air fryers half that price that have worked their way through testing the thousands of recipes in his books, too. For the uninitiated, its probably worth spending less at first to allow room for experimentation and growth.
What Are The Best Air Fryers
We think the Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer is the best air fryer for most people. In our tests, it consistently gave crispy results. Plus, it has digital controls and nonstick-coated, dishwasher safe baskets that make it easy to use and clean. At about $125, it’s also not too expensive.
If youâre looking for the best air fryer on a budget, we think the GoWISE USA 3.7 Quart 8-in-1 Air Fryer is the best value at well under $100. In spite of its low price, it has digital controls and preset programs to take the guesswork out of air frying.
And, once you purchase a model, be sure to check out our guide on how to use an air fryer for the best results. If you love rice to go with your foods, here are 8 reasons why you should buy a rice cooker.
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Many Air Fryers Are Best For One To Two Servings And Can’t Really Be Used For Big Dinners
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.
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.
Dont Worry About Buttons Or Functions
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.
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There Are Many Different Types Of Air Fryers And The One You Choose Is Important
There are many air fryers on the market, but they mostly boil down to two models: a convection-oven air fryer and a basket air fryer. The first resembles a mini toaster or convection oven. On the other hand, the basket air fryer is the more traditional air fryer that uses a drawer-like compartment to cook food.
I was not expecting there to be so many options, so I had to do a lot of research to make sure I was making the right decision. In the end, I decided to buy the Cuisinart convection-oven air fryer for around $100 because it has more capabilities, like broiling, toasting, and roasting.