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The Best Air Fryer: Top 5 Air Fryers to Buy in 2022 – Tested Reviews, Buying Guide and FAQs

If you like fried food, but without the excess fat and oil content, a good air fryer with hot air cooking ability is just the right kitchen appliance for you.

An air fryer (often misspelled as “airfryer”) is essentially a countertop convection oven that allows you to cook or fry food quickly in less time than a traditional oven or toaster oven, using hot air.

Top Best air fryers reviews and buying guide

After hours of testing various air fryer brands and models, the best air fryer is the Ninja AF161 Max XL Air Fryer. This is because, it is suitable for cooking different food, easy to use and has large capacity to cook enough food for 2 – 4 people.

For most home cooks, the best air fryer should consistently produce the familiar crunch of deep-fried foods, while still being easier to maintain and use than a traditional deep fryer. In this air fryer reviews and buying guide, you will know which air fryer is best, after rigorous testing, and learn how to choose the best air fryer for your cooking needs and kitchen.

Top Rated Air Fryers

Show Summary

These are the top-rated best air fryers to buy in 2022:

Best compact size for 2 – 3 people:

Ninja Air Fryer Max XL

Our Rating: 4.5

Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is the best compact size air fryer for 2 – 3 people.

Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is a compact sized air fryer with great cooking ability. It boasts of six cooking functions including Air fry, Bake, Max Crisp, Reheat and dehydrate – to suite most of your cooking needs. Read more.

Power consumption1,750 watts
Capacity5.5 Quarts / 1.4 gallons
power sourceElectric
Where to buyBest Buy | Amazon US, UK | Target

Best large capacity for a family of 4:

Philips Premium Airfryer XXL HD9650/96

Our Rating: 4.6

Philips Premium Airfryer XXL HD9650/96 is best for a family of 4.

The Philips Premium Airfryer XXL HD9650/96 delivers excellent hot air cooking resulting in a delicious fried food that is crispy using little or no oil if you choose. It is ideal for a family of 4, and boasts of a large capacity basket that can air fry a whole chicken. Read more.

Capacity7 Quarts (1.3 liters)
Power consumption2,225 watts
Power sourceElectric
Where to buyPhilips | Amazon US, UK | Walmart

Bestselling toaster oven air fryer

Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Our Rating: 4.5

Cuisinart TOA-60 is the largest air fryer and toaster oven for large family cooking.

The Cuisinart TOA-60 is a full-size large capacity toaster oven with a built-in air fryer to give you a variety of cooking options. It features an adjustable thermostat with 60-minute timer/auto shutoff feature and can toast up to 6 slices of bread, air fry 3lbs of chicken wings, roast a 4-pound chicken or bake a 12-inch pizza in a go. Read more.

MaterialStainless steel
Power consumption1,800 watts
Cooking methodHot Air, Convection
Where to buyCuisinart | Amazon US, CA, UK | Target

How Do Air Fryers Work?

An air fryer cooks food with hot air instead of oil, essentially replacing the conventional deep oil fryer and ovens with a healthy alternative. Air frying is a cooking method that uses convection to cook foods as air moves the heat inside the cooker.

It combines several different cooking methods in one convenient appliance.

  • An electric coil placed above the food provides radiant heating, much like a broiler element or stove top burner. This dry heat penetrates the food and warms it internally.
  • A fan positioned above the coil creates a current of super-heated air that flows around and under the food. This is convection heating, a cooking method often found in commercial ovens.
  • The convection action converts the small amount of oil you use into a fine mist that coats the food as it circulates. This action mimics the effect traditional deep frying has on foods submerged in hot cooking oil.
  • As the hot air flows, the food’s own moisture creates the steam needed to finish the cooking process.

Here are Our Top Picks for Best Air Fryer 2022

We took real consumer reviews and examined consumer reports before bringing in the top 10 air fryers for hands on testing and review. We tested different models from popular air fryer brands such as Ninja, Cuisinart, Philips, Breville and Gowise USA. After series of air fryer testing and reviews, we have shortlisted the best air fryer for home cooks and chefs who loves to air fry food below.

Here then is a reviewed list of the best air fryers:

1. Our #1 Pick: Ninja Air Fryer Max XL

The 5.5-quart Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is a sturdy and versatile air fryer ideal for cooking enough food for two or more people. In our test kitchen, it was a top performer in our traditional, basket-style air fryer test, and cooked all the foods we tested to a beautiful golden brown and with crisp texture.

Ninja AF161 Max XL
Ninja Air Fryer Max XL review

Brand: Ninja | Model: Ninja AF161 | Capacity: 1.4 gallons | Power consumption: 1,750 W | Cooking method: Hot Air | Power source: Electric

why we choose it

Features

  • Max crisp technology delivers up to 450 degrees of super-heated air to cook foods faster and crispier results with less oil.
  • The 5.5-quart large capacity ceramic coated nonstick basket and crisper plate can fit up to 3 pounds of chicken wings or French fries.
  • The versatile cooking functions consists of 7-in-1 cooking programs including Max Crisp, Air Fry, Air Broil, Air Roast, Bake, Reheat & Dehydrate.
  • It is easy to clean as the ceramic basket is nonstick and dishwasher safe.
  • Comes with a chef inspired air fryer recipe book.

Quality design construction.

This Ninja air fryer model is sturdy and portable, built with quality materials and great to touch, unlike many other models we tested that felt like they’re made of plastic and gets too hot to touch.

It scored the highest marks across the board for ease of use, all thanks to its handy, multi-function display which has easy-to-read and understand buttons. During our air fryer tests, the air fryer basket on this model slid in and out easily and made handling a breeze.

The dehydrate cooking program on the Ninja air fryer XL lets you dehydrate with this model. The heated air that circulates around the food is slowed down, so it gradually dries out kale, apple slices and more for healthy fruit and veggie chips as well as other dehydrated foods.

2. Best air fryer toaster oven: Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven

A high preforming combo fryer for large family cooking.

Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Oven Toaster
Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven review

Brand: Cuisinart | Model: TOA-60 | Power consumption: 1,800 Watts | Dimensions LxWxH: 15.5 x 16 x 14 inches | Cooking functions include: air fry, convection bake, convection broil, bake, broil, Warm, toast

If you’re in search for an air fryer that offers more than the standard air fryers, the Cuisinart TOA-60 is an all-in-one convection oven, toaster oven and hot air fryer perfect for large family cooking.

The Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven Air Fryer is an easy to operate air fryer with simple option. It ditches the whole digital display and fanciful touchscreens to give it the look and feel of a traditional oven. The TOA-60 boasts a 0.6 cubic foot interior, an adjustable thermostat and a 60-minute timer.

Heating and Cooking Features.

The Cuisinart air fryer comes with an impressive 1800 watts of power for fast heating, and in-depth cooking or hot air deep frying.

Whether you’re frying a chicken, cooking up some asparagus, or roasting a turkey, this Cuisinart toaster oven and air fryer performs really well when it comes to cooking. To carry out every of your cooking task, there are seven preset functions to select from, and the controls are easy to use.

Size and Portability.

Because this air fryer offers so much to kitchen users in an all-in-one versatile package, the device is much larger than other air fryers reviewed on this list. But as expected, it does eliminate the need for other large appliances on your kitchen counter.

Overall,
If for any reason you happen not to be a fan of fanciful digital displays and touchscreens in a cooking appliance, the Cuisinart air fryer will certainly appeal to you. It keeps it old-school in the best way, and is perfect for those who prefer manual controls and a traditional vibe.

3. Best for a family of 4: Philips Premium Airfryer XXL HD9650/96

Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XXL HD9650 is the best air fryer with fat removal technology for a family of 3, 4 to 5.

Philips Premium Airfryer XXL HD9650/96
Philips Premium Airfryer XXL HD9650/96 review

Brand: Philips | Model: XXL HD9650/96 | Power source: Electric | Power consumption: 2,225 watts | Capacity: 7 Quarts

What we like

  • Excellent cooking
  • Raised arm construction
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Doesn’t get too hot on the outside

What we don’t like

  • Its more expensive than the other models of similar use case

Why we chose it

Top notch cooking features

  • Digital display with quick control dial.
  • Unique TurboStar technology for healthier cooking and deeper frying.
  • 200+ air fryer recipes in app with a free recipe book included.
  • up to 5 presets for popular dishes, plus, a keep food warm function.

Excellent cooking.

The Avance didn’t outperform our top pick with homemade fries, but it was still significantly better than the other air fryers we tested in same category of performance and use circumstance. Most of which either overcooked the fries or didn’t brown them enough to have much of any texture or taste.

The Philips Avance digital air fryer aced our chicken strip testing, with one saying they would even order them in a restaurant. We also appreciated the fact that we didn’t have to stir the strips at all during cooking: They came out perfectly crispy on the outside, yet tender on the inside.

image showing air fried chicken crisps of Philips premium airfryer in our test kitchen
Chicken crisps produced in our test on the Philips Avance

Raised arm construction.

The Philips Avance air fryer employs the same rapid air-circulation technology that most other air fryers do, but the swirling, starfish-like arms that cover the bottom of the bowl set it apart from the competition.

These thick, raised wedges force the air to first spread out and then rise back up to the top, helping move the air more evenly around the bowl rather than simply blowing hot air into it.

While this technology may seem odd at first glance, in our test, we found it actually cooked the food more evenly than other air fryers. All our fries came out nice and crispy, unlike what we got from the other low budget air fryers.

Easy to clean.

Another handy element we found in the starfish design of this air fryer is that oil and food fragments gather in neat little piles at the bottom of the basket, allowing us to simply wipe it all down in a flash for quick cleaning.

And with its removable grill bottom and a detachable basket, we were able to hand clean the entire contraption with very little effort and time.

Doesn’t get too hot on the outside.

Like the T-fal, this Philips’ surface area also stayed the coolest out of our finalists. We were able to easily pick it up and bring it over to the sink after cooking, feeling only the slightest warmth from the sides of the machine.

What you should know and points to consider

It costs more than the other digital models of same categories of performance.

Unfortunately, the Philips Avance is over $70+ more expensive than the Ninja Max. Although it does have some valuable qualities we didn’t find in most other brands, like adjustable temperature settings ranging from 150-400 degrees, plus presets for commonly air-fried foods.

In all, if you like to customize your cooking settings and try different air fryer recipes, it might be worth the upgrade.

4. Best affordable and cheap air fryer: GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer

A budget friendly small air fryer under $100.

GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer
GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer review

Brand: GOWISE USA | Capacity: 5.8 Quarts | Power source: Electric | Power consumption: 1,700 Watts

Striking the balance between productivity and budget, this air fryer cooks impressively well.

For all those who needs a good and compact sized air fryer but do not wish to spend lots of money buying one, the GoWise USA Electric Air Fryer delivers effective air-frying for a lower price than most brands.

The Design.

First, this size of this appliance is compact and can cook food for 2 – 3 persons. There is an easy-to-use digital touch screen display with intuitive pre-set programs with an auto standby mode which triggers once your cooking is complete. Additionally, the basket is removable basket which makes the whole cleaning process easy.

Expert Advice: If you plan to bake or cook liquids or semi-liquid ingredients, it is recommended that you buy the baking pan which comes as a one of the many available accessories.

Heating features and performance.

Not undermining the small size, this air fryer provides its user a variety of cooking options to completely customize their cooking experience, not forgetting the rapid air circulation which ensures fast and evenly cooked foods.

There are 7 built in smart options and pre-sets to easily cook your favorite food: chicken, meat, fish, shrimp, steak, chips and cake are just some of the available options to choose from. It also allows you to manually adjust the temperature and time if required.

Overall,
For the price at which this oil less air fryer comes and the features it bags, we could hardly turn our attention off it. Overall, if you do not wish to cook large foods for over two (2) persons, this is a great air fryer anyone can get for less and cooks well too. There’s also a 1-year manufacturer warranty which keeps you in a safe spot. Cleaning is also very easy.

5. Best Large-Capacity Air Fryer: Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer
Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer review

Other air fryers are great at using hot air to fry your foods, but none can simply replace the good old conventional oven. The Breville Smart Oven Air fryer does everything from toasting to dehydrating and down to air-frying.

The Design.

The design of the Brevile smart air fryer is beautifully done, with a brushed stainless-steel exterior. There is also a two-speed convection fan and six independent heating elements which makes up for a more advanced heating, deep heating for deep air frying. Additionally, we saw up to 13 cooking functions on this machine which served as an enhancement to its versatility.

Heating and cooking.

We did not call this cooking appliance smart for nothing, I mean, when I used the word “smart” I really meant it.

With the 13 cooking functions included in the Breville smart air fryer, this small kitchen appliance can do almost everything you’d want to do in the kitchen. I mean the spicy things though, not the hard ones.

So, what are some of the things it can do?

From our test, we discovered it can accommodate nine slices of bread and toast them to a golden crisp. We also did find out that it can cook a 13-inch pizza or 12 muffins in a tray, but what really blew me away is that, it was able to roast up a 13-pound turkey, which made me just remembered thanksgiving.

Additional Features for home cooks and families.

When it comes to cooking or air-frying food, there are two different fan speeds with an easy-to-program timer and preset functions for cooking various types of food. Not to forget, the high heat maximizes airflow, which further makes your “fried” foods amazingly crispy.

Overall,
Breville air fryer is a highly recommended and best air fryer for large family cooking. It is ideal for a family of 4 or above, who loves to air fry food a lot. This one smart cooking appliance can conveniently replace your conventional toaster, slow cooker, dehydrator, and probably even your regular oven. So, if you value having one good appliance instead with multi functions instead of clustering your kitchen and home with plenty others, this is it.

Buyers Guide: Things You Should Consider When Shopping for an Air Fryer

If you already know what you want, the whole process of finding a good air fryer is fairly easy. To get the most suitable air fryer for your cooking needs, your decision should be guided by the following factors:

  • Wattage: Most of the air fryers in operation today operate within the power range of 700 watts to 1500 watts. Any fryer withing this range is a good start.
  • Capacity (small or large): The capacity of the air fryer you want to buy will depend on the amount of food you want to cook. A large number of air fryers today, are designed to prepare foods weighing between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds. If you need something to cook for a large family, then an air fryer with large capacity will fit just fine.
  • Adjustable cooking settings: The cooking settings fitted in the air fryer are designed to enhance sound cooking decision making. The settings can also go a long way to define the taste and how well the food is cooked.
  • Size of the fryer: With regards to size, consider your family size and amount of food consumption to come up with a good size reading.
  • Your cooking style: This is perhaps the most important determinant factor when buying an air fryer. Only buy an air fryer if you love fried food, and desire something that will cook fast without leaving too much mess.

How to Choose the Right Air Fryer for Your Cooking Needs

When you’re shopping for air fryers, you’ll soon encounter a bewildering array of options in terms of shapes, sizes, capacity, and price. To get the most suitable fryer for your specific cooking needs, do the following:

Check for Size: How many people are you cooking for?

When shopping for hot air cooking appliances, whether you’re looking for the best air fryer there is or just want an affordable hot air cooker, the most important feature to consider is size: how many people are you cooking for at one time? A compact size is good for one to two people, while a bigger size works better for a family of four or more. But if you have a large family, then an air fryer with large capacity such as Cuisinart is ideal.

Consider your cooking choice and style

Basket-style air fryers are good for cooking small quantities of foods that are easy to shake, like fries and veggies, in which case, an air fryer that doesn’t heat outside the body will be a great fit.

Hot air toaster ovens are usually larger in size and can perform multiple cooking functions, including air fry. Food is typically air fried on multiple shelves, but they require more monitoring and often need to be rotated during cooking.

Pricing

Price is also a determinant factor on which fryer you should get. Digital air fryers tend to cost more than mechanical air fryers, as do stainless steel versus plastic.

Multi-function

If you are also in the market for another appliance of similar use case, such as Toaster ovens, pressure cookers and microwaves, it might help to check for air fryers or any other kitchen appliance with multi-function capacity. In the past, Kitchen appliances like the Instant Pot used to be the only multi-functional cooker available, however, new models of Air fryers now even let you grill and perform other forms of hot air cooking.

Methodology: How We Tested and Choose the Best Air Fryers

We started by compiling a list of popular brand names and models, drawing from retailer websites and online best-of sources. We then evaluated each air fryer by making frozen, store-bought French fries, bone-in, skin-on chicken breast and then prepared yellow cake from a mix to determine if the hot air fryer machine browned food well on the outside, in the same time ratio it cooked inside and produced crispy texture on the outside.

image of air fryer collection showing all the air fryers we tested in our test kitchen

We also checked how easy it was to clean each air fryer models in our test kitchen and how effective each machine was at even heating and cooking. Controls, display, safety features and design were also a determinant factor. We also looked for fryers that could cook enough food for an average family — roughly 2 pounds.

Things you Should Know

Check for safety certification

First and foremost, we were looking for products that were ETL certified. This certification shows that the product has been tested and approved in accordance with national safety standards determined by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and is safe for home use.

Top-performing brands

We soon found that the majority of air fryer brands on the market carry essentially the same internal cooking technology — circulating hot air around the food — only really differing in their external designs and features. Philips and a few others were the exceptions, and we discovered that both companies hold patents on air-frying technology.

From there, we narrowed down our search by researching the technology, reading cooking blogs, and sifting through customer reviews to find top-performing brands and top air fryer models.

Cooking ability

We wanted to see if our finalists could cook our favorite fried foods: French fries (fresh and frozen), chicken strips, and healthier options like zucchini and broccoli. In addition to being commonly fried fare, these foods allowed us to see how the air fryers handled different textures, densities, and tastes.

Since French fries are supposed to be the easiest food for an air fryer to handle, we tested fresh and frozen fries across all models, seeing which ones got closest to that deep-fried crunch. Three of our air fryers couldn’t even give us decent french fries, so we knocked them out of testing. We took the four top performers through additional testing to see which could cook the crispiest chicken strips (two of our models) and the juiciest grilled veggies (none of the models).

Convenience

Finally, we compared the basket weight of the products, how easy the controls were to operate, and whether the machine was actually hassle-free to clean up. Fortunately for our co-workers, the air-frying process was measurably less messy than deep frying.

We didn’t have an oily pool to clean up afterward; the components were smaller than deep fryer parts; and the total cook time was pretty short, so you don’t have to waste all that time waiting. The controls are all pretty intuitive and simple to use: You can choose from the presets or go rogue and set your own temperature and time.

How to Use an Air Fryer the right Way

If you want to get the most out of your new air fryer, we strongly recommend you do the following:

  • Do not use Lard or Crisco in portable air fryers. Use only olive oil or what the suggested oil in the user’s manual. Overall, the best oils are usually olive oils, grape see, safflower, peanut, canola, walnut, sunflower etc. Cooking sprays such as Pam® and spray olive oil Works well too.
  • If you live outside the United States, you will need to buy a 220/240-Volt adapter. United States normally uses 110/120-Volts.
  • Frying sausage in air fryers is not recommended because of its greasy content.
  • Shaking or flipping of the food is recommended to be sure it’s well cooked all over.
  • Cooking spray oils are better than drizzling oil for a healthier and good food.
  • Do not put excess of food in the air fryer basket or overfill it. Outside the fact that it can cause the unit to overheat and burn out, your food stands a chance of not cooking well since air cannot be circulated properly. Air fryers uses hot air to cook food, hence, it is recommended to add a quantity of foods that will still have space for the hot air to flow freely.

Use oil

Some air fryers claim to be oil-free, meaning you don’t need to use any oil while cooking as opposed to the commonly suggested 1 tablespoon. While you don’t technically have to use oil in these products for functionality purposes, we recommend using some oil if you’re going for the traditional fried food texture.

Use a spray-on oil instead of just drizzling it directly on the food. This can help spread the oil over a larger area more evenly, crisping up the food more effectively.

Shake the basket

One of the stranger aspects of air fryers is that they recommend shaking the basket a few times during cooking to make sure the results are even. With the added weight of the foods you’re cooking, this can turn into something of an arm workout. A good air fryer with a self-stirring mechanism will save you time and stress.

Clean after each use

Although most of the air fryers we tested are technically dishwasher safe with good detergents, we suggest you wash any non-stick surface by hand with warm, soapy water.

A dishwasher’s high-water heat combined with the abrasive chemicals found in detergent can wear down the non-stick coating over time. You should also avoid using a harsh material like steel wool, which will have the same effect — ultimately ruining the surface of your cookware.

Top Air Fryer FAQ

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