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Air fryers have gained popularity for producing crispy, evenly browned "fried" foods without the use of an actual deep fryer. They work by circulating hot air around food, similarly to a convection oven, and eliminate the need for much, if any, cooking oil, resulting in grocery savings and less cleanup.
Many consumers are convinced air fryers produce a superior fried finish on French fries, tater tots, and chicken wings, compared to a standard oven. They can even be used to make homemade chicken tenders and potato chips, making them worth the investment for fried snack food lovers.
Many air fryers are programmed with multiple cooking functions and can double as a toaster oven, convection oven, warmer, rotisserie, indoor grill, and more. With so many options on the market, it can be tough to choose the one that's right for you, so we sent the top-rated air fryers to our experienced product testers to review. They cooked French fries, wings, and more, and tested out each appliance's special features and additional functions beyond air frying. They specifically rated each air fryer on its design, heating capacity, performance, versatility, and overall value.
Here, the best air fryers, based on our extensive testing insights.
Best Overall: Instant Pot Instant Vortex Plus 10QT 7-in-1 Digital Air Fryer Oven
Seven features in one
Cooks quickly and quietly
Easy to clean
Interior is small considering the appliance’s overall size
Included instructions are limited—look for the full manual online
You may know the Instant Pot company from their popular line of electric pressure cookers, but they also manufacture other gadgets that are useful in the kitchen. The Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer Oven is one of their latest offerings, combining the features of a standard air fryer with features you’d find in countertop ovens.
The cooking basket rotates during cooking, so your fries or wings will tumble during cooking, meaning they’ll cook and brown evenly. When you’re cooking something larger, you can ditch the basket, like when you're rotisserie cooking a 4-pound chicken or a roast, or you can use the two cooking trays for foods that shouldn’t tumble or spin. Our reviewer said she was able to roast a 4-pound chicken in 45 minutes and "that it tasted as good as those that are slow-roasted for an entire day."
A drip tray keeps everything tidy and makes cleanup easier. This has a 10-quart capacity, so you’ll have plenty of room when cooking for the whole family.
Capacity: 10 quarts | Power Rating: 1500 watts | Dimensions: 13.23 x 13.23 x 14.37 inches | Warranty: 1 year
"As an avid Instant Pot user, my expectations for the Instant Vortex Plus were admittedly high … luckily, it didn’t just live up to my expectations—it exceeded them." — Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
Best with Toaster Oven: Cuisinart TOA-65 Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven
Large air fryer basket
Easy to clean
Temperature runs a little hotter than the setting
Your regular toaster oven just got smarter with this compact toaster oven and air fryer in one. It can air fry up to 3 pounds of food, it can roast a 4-pound chicken, and it can bake a 12-inch pizza—and that’s just the beginning. It’s also an efficient toaster that heats from both the top and bottom for even browning whether you’re making toast for breakfast or baking chicken.
This oven isn’t just for high-heat cooking, though, since it also has low heat settings ideal for proofing bread dough or dehydrating fruit and meat for homemade snacks. Our tester successfully used it to dehydrate apples, garlic, ginger, and herbs. The digital display looks modern and is easy to set, too.
Our tester was surprised and delighted by how quiet it was compared to other appliances. One of her favorite things to use it for was air frying bacon because it was quick (a whole pack cooks up in just minutes) and less messy than cooking it on the stove. She noted there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to timing (she found setting the temperature 25 degrees lower than the recipes called for worked the best), but was impressed with the ability to fine-tune the presets to her exact preferences.
Capacity: 0.6 cubic feet | Power Rating: 1800 watts | Dimensions: 21.73 x 15.75 x 17 inches | Warranty: 3 years
"The Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven is more than just an air fryer and toaster—you will end up using it every day for roasting, baking, dehydrating, reheating, and more." — Renu Dhar, Product Tester
Best Smart: Cosori VeSync Pro II Smart Air Fryer
Wide basket for better airflow
App with recipes
Baskets might not fit well in dishwasher
App could use more recipes
The Cosori VeSync Pro II is an upgraded version of the Cosori Pro, which we previously tested, with one major difference: a highly functional app. This means you can control the settings, look up recipes, and monitor cooking all from your phone. There is also voice control. Design-wise, it's a sleek device that won't take up too much counter space and if you're cooking for a large group, the 5.8-quart capacity makes this big enough for large meals and then some.
With 12 presets that you can customize—steak, chicken, shrimp, seafood, frozen foods, French fries, bacon, vegetables, toast, bake, preheat, and keep warm—our tester found it very intuitive to use. It performed just as well as the non-smart version. Our tester had great results with grilled cheese, potato wedges, wings, frozen fish, burgers, and even air-fried cannoli.
Our reviewer would like to see even more recipes included in the app but likes that they could be customized. Plus, the app may update in the future, adding to the value. Currently, you'll find recipes like prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, chicken satay, stuffed French toast, and blackened catfish.
Capacity: 5.8 quarts | Power Rating: 1700 watts | Dimensions: 13.9 x 12.7 x 11.8 inches | Warranty: 1 year (limited)
"From the ability to preheat the fryer with a voice assistant to the app with recipes to the open-basket warning, this fryer makes cooking much much easier." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Budget: Chefman 3.7-Quart TurboFry Air Fryer
Easy to clean
Quieter than other air fryers
Temperature cannot be set above 400 degrees
Cooking basket can be tricky to insert
If you want to try air frying, but don't think you'll do it often enough to justify investing in a more pricey model, the Chefman 3.5 Liter Air Fryer is worth considering. Its dome shape is compact to save counter space, but the basket easily fits enough food for several people. The black finish is sleek and the matte model resists fingerprints so it's easy to keep looking new.
There are both digital and analog versions of this air fryer. We tested the digital version and found the touch controls simple and intuitive to use. The temperature can be set from 200-400 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer up to 60 minutes, which is plenty of cooking range for most air-fried recipes and basics like frozen fries and tots. Although, if you're interested in using an air fryer to dehydrate snacks, you might want a model that allows you to set the timer for longer.
Capacity: 3.5 liters | Power Rating: 1000 watts | Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 12 inches | Warranty: 1 year
"This has become my go-to air fryer. It barely takes up any space on my countertop, has basic, intuitive controls, and turns out crisper frozen fries and tater tots than my standard oven." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best with Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer
Inner pot has handles
Inner pot is stovetop- and oven-safe
Convenient vent/pressure toggle
Few app recipes using both cooking options
Fans of multi-functional kitchen appliances will want to check out this air fryer option from Instant Pot. It comes with two lids—one for air frying and one for pressure cooking—that enable the pot to function both an air fryer and the classic multi-cooker the brand is known for.
The pot holds up to 8-quarts, which is enough room to air-fry a whole chicken, and is equipped with 11 cooking functions which are sorted by which lid they should be paired with. The pressure cooking lid functions are: pressure cook, saute, slow cook, steam, and sous vide, and the air fryer lid functions are warm, air fry, roast, bake, broil, and dehydrate.
Our tester noted the inner pot has some upgraded features compared to other Instant Pot models, including side handles and a flat bottom for even cooking. It can also be used on stovetops and is oven-safe.
It comes with a number of accessories, including a multi-use cooking rack, nonstick air fryer basket, dehydrate/broil tray, a protective pad for the lids, and a storage cover. The accessories fit inside the cooker for compact storage.
Capacity: 8 quarts | Power Rating: 1500 watts | Dimensions: 14.75 x 12.5 x 15.5 inches with air fryer lid | Warranty: 1 year
"Instant Pot has so many different models, it’s hard to remember the differences, but the Instant Pot Pro Crisp + Air Fryer stands out from the crowd thanks to its sleek black exterior, its handy vent/pressure toggle, and the innovative inner pot that adds to the versatility of this machine." - Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Two Basket: Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Air Fryer
Dual cooking zones
Smart Finish for coordinated finish time
Extra space for large batches
Takes up a lot of counter space
Large batches cook longer
With two separate cooking baskets and heating zones, this air fryer enables you to cook different foods with different cooking times and temperatures at the same time. You won't have to choose between air frying wings or fries on game days and can prepare a complete meal—like air-fried chicken with crispy Brussel sprouts or sweet potato wedges on the side.
The magic lies in the "Smart Finish" feature, which lets you program the air fryer with two cook times and temperatures for different foods. The air fryer will automatically start the basket with the shorter of the two cook times so both baskets are finished cooking at the same time.
There are six cooking presets, including air fry, air broil, roast, bake, reheat, and dehydrate. Our tester found this air fryer cooks faster than other models and the cook time on most recipes needed to be shortened for best results. However, if you're looking for added space and the convenience of cooking two different foods at the same time, our reviewer highly recommends this model.
Each cooking basket has a 4-quart capacity for a total of 8-quarts, which equates to roughly 4-pounds of fries or wings. If you're cooking a double batch of a single recipe, the "Match" feature quickly pairs both cooking baskets to the same settings so you don't have to enter settings twice.
Capacity: 8 quarts | Power Rating: 1690 watts | Dimensions: 15.63 x 13.86 x 12.4 inches | Warranty: 1 year
"With Smart Finish, the cook can set separate cooking times and temperatures for each basket, then let the machine handle starting the shorter cooking time so the two items finish at the same time." - Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Quiet: TaoTronics Air Fryer TT-AF001
Rectangular-shaped basket design
Large 6-quart capacity
Doesn’t have a full touchscreen
Presets need some adjustment
Large countertop footprint
Love air-fried food, but not the noisy fans that accompany many air fryers? This model is well-rated for being ultra quiet. In fact, our product tester said she could barely hear it when it was turned on.
Like most air fryers, the cook can manually select the cooking time and temperature or use one of 11 cooking presets to prepare fries, steak, bacon, fish, shrimp, vegetables, chicken, potatoes, bread, cake, or thawing frozen snacks. The cooking basket holds 6-quarts, is nonstick, and is dishwasher safe.
The square-shaped design of this model gives you more room to fit food in the cooking basket compared to smaller fryers with rounded baskets. Our product tester noted the basket shape helps spread food out a bit more versus piling it on top of each other, which can lead to less crisp cooking results.
Capacity: 6 quarts | Power Rating: 1750 watts | Dimensions: 11.73 x 13.39 x 11.73inches | Warranty: 1 year
"When I first started testing it, I actually turned it off and on a few times, because it was so quiet, I didn’t think it was working." - Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
Best Small: Philips Kitchen Appliances Avance Digital Turbostar Airfryer
Digital screen is easy to use
Substantial 2.75-quart basket
You don’t have to rotate your food while cooking
Doesn’t shut off when you open it
Housing gets hot
For a reliable and attractive option, we recommend the Philips Air Fryer Viva TurboStar. Philips isn't as well known as Cuisinart or Breville, but they were one of the first manufacturers to bring air fryers into home kitchens.
The TurboStar has four preset functions for cooking popular meals (meat, fish, fries, and drumsticks), dishwasher safe parts, and a keep-warm function that makes sure your food remains warm and ready to serve while you finish other aspects of the meal. The digital display makes it easy to see the settings that are all controlled with a simple knob.
The proprietary TurboStar technology is also designed to cook foods evenly so you won’t have to stop cooking to shake the basket of fries for the perfect poutine. Our reviewer cooked French fries, chicken tenders, and apple chips and everything came out exactly as expected. To make cooking even easier, there’s a downloadable app that has 200 recipes designed for the air fryer.
Capacity: 2.75 quarts | Power Rating: 1425 watts | Dimensions: 14.5 x 10.5 x 11 inches | Warranty: 1 year
"The air fryer’s 1425 watts of power proved plenty strong enough and everything cooked evenly; the fries were nice and crisp, the chicken still moist, and the apple chips were uniformly toasted." — Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
The Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer Oven is our top pick because it's both well-designed and reasonably priced. Plus, it performed exceptionally well in all of our tests. If you want something a little smaller than this 10-quart appliance and like the addition of smart features, go with the Cosori VeSync Pro II Air Fryer.
How We Tested
We sent these air fryers to the homes of our experienced food writers so they could spend weeks testing their capabilities. They used the air fryers to cook a variety of dishes, tried out all the functions and features, cleaned them, stored them, and ultimately decided what their strengths and weaknesses were. Our reviewers evaluated the air fryers on design, heating abilities, performance, versatility, and overall value.
Other Options We Tested
- Cosori Pro Air Fryer: A previous version of this roundup included the Cosori Pro Air Fryer, which earned high marks from our product tester for its design, heating, performance, and versatility. Cosori since launched a second version of the air fryer, which we have not yet tested, as well as a smart version that we did test. After testing the Cosori VeSync Pro II SmartAir Fryer, which retails for around $30 more, we have to give the nod to the smart version because it performed equally as well and we feel the added convenience of the app and voice control are worth the price. However, if you're looking to save and don't care about the smart capabilities, we still think the Cosori Pro Air Fryer is an easy-to-use, high-performing option.
- Emeril Lagasse Power AirFryer 360: This combination air fryer toaster oven, made popular by TV infomercials, boasts the ability to replace your toaster, toaster oven, convection oven, standalone air fryer, deep fryer, slow cooker, food dehydrator, and microwave. While our tester found that it serves its purpose as an all-in-one appliance, she was disappointed in how loud it was on air-frying mode as well as how tricky it was to clean. The air fryer worked well, although she found some recipes take longer than the instructions say, but she wasn't super impressed with any of the other functions. In the end, we determined it's a steep price to pay unless you really plan to replace several major kitchen appliances with this one device.
- Dash Compact Air Fryer: We tested this air fryer as a good option for those with small spaces but were underwhelmed in the end. Our tester's fries turned out to be disappointing with some coming out really crispy and others completely soft. Her apple chips fared even worse. The aesthetically pleasing, compact design is its real selling point, but with the uneven cooking and lack of presets, we feel it falls short and isn't worth it for the price.
What to Look for in an Air Fryer
Are you frying a small batch of wings, or do you want to make French fries for the family on burger night? Make sure the fryer you choose can handle the amount of food you want to cook. There are also options that have two baskets that can cook two different foods simultaneously and at different settings. Also, make sure to consider a fryer's overall size—more capacity might mean that it needs more storage space when it’s not in use.
A wider range of temperatures will give you more options for cooking different foods. Generally, fryers that can achieve higher temperatures can cook faster and brown foods more easily—which is perfect if you plan on making wings and fries since you might not need to cook at low temperatures.
Timers are always handy, and most air fryers include some type of timer. Do you want an audible alert or a fryer that can turn off automatically? Do you need a timer that can be set for long cooking times or will all your air-fried recipes cook for a short time? Think about your needs and choose accordingly.
These days, there are so many air fryers on the market that the list of additional features can be overwhelming. Some even have smart capabilities, like voice control and an app with recipes that you can program to cook from your phone. If you simply want to use your air fryer for its intended function—air frying—you may not care that your device also doubles as a toaster or a dehydrator, but if those added features can replace another small appliance in your kitchen it may be worth additional cost.
How does an air fryer work?
Air fryers don't fry food in the traditional sense. Instead of oil, air fryers use hot air to crisp and brown foods. All air fryers contain a heating mechanism and fan that keeps the heated air circulating around the food. The process is similar to a convection oven.
Air fryers contain a perforated or mesh basket that allows air to move around the food for even cooking. The only downside to this design is you can only air fry breaded foods since battered foods would drip through the perforated air fryer basket.
How do you preheat an air fryer?
Not all air fryers need to be preheated, while others automatically preheat before starting the cooking timer.
To preheat, select the preset preheat function if your air fryer has one, or just set the cooking temperature and let the air fryer heat for 3 to 5 minutes before adding your food.
We've tested models that automatically preheat and ones that let you get cooking without any preheating. In our tests, we found foods cooked similarly whether we preheated or not. Some air frying guides recommend preheating for better results when air frying meat you want to get a nice sear on, like steak and chicken breasts.
Can you put foil in an air fryer?
Yes, it's safe to use aluminum foil in an air fryer. Lining the bottom of an air fryer basket with foil may make cleanup easier and help you remove food from the basket when it's done cooking. You'll want to make sure the foil doesn't block air circulation, though.
How do you clean an air fryer?
Most removable parts (i.e. the cooking basket, tray, and any other cooking accessories) on most air fryers are dishwasher safe. Check the owner's manual of your air fryer for which parts, if any, are ok to run through the dishwasher.
These parts are also easily cleaned by hand with warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge. If there's any particularly difficult to remove grease or stuck-on food, let the parts soak in hot, soapy water first.
The interior and exterior of the air fryer can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, but should never be submerged in water since it contains electrical components.
If the heating element gets dirty, you can wipe it with a damp cloth when the unit is turned off, cooled, and unplugged.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a cookbook author who reviews products and writes roundups for The Spruce Eats. Currently, she has no less than five air fryers in her house. She's partial to air fryers that have multiple functions and her go-to right now is the Ninja Foodi because she likes the pressure cooker option.
This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who happily makes space for any gadget that make cooking faster and easier. She has tested and reviewed several air fryers for The Spruce Eats, including the Chefman TurboFry Air Fryer and Emeril Lagasse Power Air Fryer 360 on this list.