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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, less clean up, and fewer calories.
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. No matter which features you're looking for, there's an air fryer to meet your needs. Here's a roundup of the ten best air fryers available now.
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, so they’ll cook and brown evenly. When you’re cooking something larger, you can ditch the basket and 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.
"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
Easy to clean
LED is simple to use
Cooks food quickly
Outside can get warm
Larger than other models
With 11 presets, a beautiful LED screen for selecting your functions, and a reminder when it’s time to shake the cooking basket, this model couldn’t be easier to use!
If you're cooking for a large group, the 5.8-quart capacity makes this big enough for large meals and then some. It can fit a 5-6 pound chicken or plenty of wings, so it’s great for more than just after school snacks. Another great feature? This air fryer comes with a cookbook that features over 100 recipes so you’ll never run out of things to cook.
Does much more than air frying
Manual provides guide for cooking times
Air fryer lid isn't removable
Heavy and large
You might be familiar with Ninja's multifunctional blenders and cookers that blur the line between cooking categories. But if you're looking for a gadget that functions as a pressure cooker too, the Ninja OP301 is the perfect blend of an air fryer and pressure cooker. While you can’t use both functions at the same time, you can use them one after the other, or use either one separately, so you can quickly pressure cook a whole chicken, then use the air fryer function to perfectly brown and crisp the skin.
This has a 6.5 quart capacity in the cooking pot, while the Cook & Crisp Basket holds 4 quarts and can be used for both pressure cooking and air frying. A reversible stainless steel cooking rack is also included, for even more versatility.
Has multiple functions
Has a small footprint
Beautiful stainless steel design
Exterior gets hot
Air frying takes longer than other models
Drip pan is difficult to clean
If you're looking for a kitchen gadget that has the benefits of both an air fryer and toaster oven, the Power AirFryer 360 by Chef Emeril Lagasse fits the bill. It looks like a big toaster oven, but it’s so much more than that. This air fryer boasts five heating elements and 360° Quick Cook Technology so you can produce perfect fries, meats, and vegetables with delicious flavor (and with less oil). There are 12 pre-set cooking functions, which is more than most air fryers, so you can choose how you want to cook your meal.
Other notable features include an interior light, LCD digital display, and the memory feature that remembers your last pre-set and temperature so you can repeat the cooking process without fiddling with the controls. It comes with a cookbook, rotisserie spit, drip tray, pizza rack, baking pan, and crisper tray. While the feedback for this product is largely positive, several users noted that it took longer to cook their food than other models they've tried.
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. The digital display looks modern and is easy to set, too.
Has several racks to use at one time
Small footprint on your countertop
Crisps food well
Loud beeps while programming
This handy air fryer oven offers a whopping 15 different cooking presets, which make it easy to use this oven to toast, bake, dehydrate, and much more, while the 50-recipe cookbook offers plenty of ideas for using this oven for all of your cooking and baking.
This model comes with all the accessories you’ll need for whipping up delicious meals, including two rotating baskets, a rotisserie spit, a kebab rack, and a selection of racks and trays. It has a 12.7-quart capacity so there’s plenty of space to feed a family.
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°F 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.
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.
"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
Great for singles, or for families whose schedules have them eating meals at different times, this petite air fryer won’t eat up all your counter space, but it still has the features you need to make the perfect crispy potato wedges to pair with your steak dinner.
This air fryer has a 1.6-quart capacity, so it’s not the biggest model you’ll come across, but it's still got enough room to handle a dozen wings or a pound of fries, and since it cooks so quickly you can always make multiple batches back to back if you’re feeding a larger crowd.
"It worked about the same as every other air fryer we’ve ever used—which is to say it got the job done, but didn’t wow us." — Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
Fits a large amount of food
Eight different rack positions
Functions are very versatile
Some settings are noisy
Has a large footprint
Breville is known for manufacturing high-quality appliances that will last for years, and the Breville BOV900BSS Convection and Air Fry Smart Oven Air is no exception. It offers two airspeeds so you can choose to cook faster or slower depending on what you're making. It also has six separate heating elements so your food will cook evenly whether you’re roasting, reheating, or frying.
There are a total of 13 different cooking functions to choose from, including everything from proofing bread dough to toasting the finished slices. It’s a large oven that will let you toast 9 slices of bread at once or roast a 14-pound turkey, and it can accommodate most 5-quart Dutch ovens, 9 x 13 baking pans, and 12-cup muffin pans, as long as they don’t have extra-large handles.
Like your oven, this model has an internal light that turns on when the cooking is done so you can see the finished product or just monitor the cooking progress.
Fat Removal Technology helps drain fat away from food
Built-in cord storage
Available in digital or analog
Keeps food warm up to 30 minutes
Add-on accessories are pricey
Some reviewers have noted peeling and/or rust on the cooking basket after several months of use
Philips Airfryers are available in compact, XL, and XXL sizes. Each size is also available with your choice of digital or analog controls. If you have more space to dedicate to an air fryer and more than just one or two people to feed, we recommend trying the XXL digital model.
The cooking basket on the Philips Airfryer XXL can hold 4-quarts, which is big enough for a 4-ish pound whole chicken or 2 bags of frozen fries. It has cooking functions to air fry, bake, grill, roast, toast, dehydrate, and reheat, along with give cooking presets for some of the most popular air fried recipes, including frozen fries, meat, fish, whole chicken, and chicken drumsticks.
There's also a keep-warm function that runs up to 30 minutes after cooking to make sure your food remains warm until you're ready to serve.
The proprietary Fat Removal technology refers to the unique starfished shaped bottom of the air fryer that helps drain excess fat away from food for a healthier and crisper finished meal. There’s a downloadable app that has hundreds of recipes designed for the air fryer to help inspire you.
Cooking parts are dishwasher safe and there are lots of add-on accessories for making pizza, dehydrated snacks, and baking in the air fryer.
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, try the COSORI 5.8 Qt Electric Air Fryer. It can fit a five-pound chicken with ease.
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, including the Power Air Fryer 360 on this roundup, for The Spruce Eats.
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.
What to Look for in an Air Fryer
Capacity: 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. 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.
Cooking temperatures: 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.
Timer: 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.