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For most home cooks, a good air fryer should consistently produce the familiar crunch of deep-fried foods, while still being very easy to maintain and use, compared to the traditional deep fryer.
Our Top Air Fryer Picks
These are the top-rated best air fryers to buy in 2023:
- Best overall: Ninja Air Fryer Max XL.
- Best air fryer toaster oven: Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven.
- Most versatile: Philips Premium Airfryer XXL HD9650/96.
- Best small air fryer: GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart Programmable Air Fryer with 8 Cook Presets.
- Best large capacity for families: Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer.
Each appliance was tested by Maria Hines, an experienced chef and culinary expert.
Our Best Air fryer rating for 2023
Best compact size for 2 – 3 people.
Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is the best all-around compact size air fryer for crispy chicken and fries.
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 suit most of your cooking needs. More ↴
|Capacity||1.4 gallons (5.5 qt)|
|Power consumption||1,750 watts|
|Where to buy||Best Buy | Amazon US, CA, UK | Target | Ninja kitchen|
Best large capacity for a family of 4.
Philips Premium Airfryer XXL HD9650/96 is best for a family of 4.
This Philips Premium Airfryer XXL HD9650/96 delivers excellent hot air cooking, resulting in 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. More ↴
|Best for||Large capacity family cooking|
|Capacity||7 quarts (1.3 liters)|
|Power consumption||2,225 watts|
|Where to buy||Philips | Amazon US, UK | Walmart|
Best air fryer toaster oven combo.
Cuisinart TOA-60 is the biggest air fryer and toaster oven combo for large family cooking.
Cuisinart TOA-60 is a full-size large capacity toaster oven air fryer combo, that gives 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. More ↴
|Features||Air fryer toaster oven combo|
|Power consumption||1,800 watts|
|Cooking method||Hot Air, Convection|
|Where to buy||Amazon US, CA, UK | Target | Crate and Barrel|
While Ninja Air Fryer Max XL is a bestseller (compact and affordable), Cuisinart TOA-60 still dominates as the best large capacity air fryer with a toaster oven, while Philips AirFryer XXL still retains its position as consumers choice for the best digital air fryer for a family of 4. GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer notwithstanding, is still the best buy small air fryer under $100, as Breville makes a comeback with the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer for large family cooking.
What is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer (also spelled “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.
In this air fryer reviews, consumer ratings 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 kitchen and cooking needs.
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.
How we tested and picked
“The most important factor when testing and reviewing these air fryers was how effective they were at cooking chicken wings and French fries. I also looked at features such as capacity/size, price, cooking settings and wattage. Other key decision-making factors I checked include ease of use, ease of cleaning and aesthetics (typically the design, noise level, and counter space.” Says Maria Hines, an experienced Chef.
To help you make a guided decision when shopping for air fryers, we took real consumer reviews and examined consumer’s report, critics and ratings before bringing in the top 10 airfryers for hands on testing and trial. We air fried chicken, chips, cake and fries to test and compare different airfryer models and find the best air fryers you can buy, including top rated small, large capacity and affordable models from popular brands such as Ninja, Philips, Cuisinart, GoWISE USA and Breville.
The Best Air Fryers of 2023
Some of the top air fryer brands we tested include: Ninja, Cuisinart, Philips, Breville and GoWISE USA.
After countless hours of review, testing and comparison of a wide range of products, the best air fryer in 2023 is the Ninja Air Fryer Max XL. This is because it is suitable for cooking different food and features a large capacity basket that can cook enough food for 2 – 4 people. In our testing, this appliance scored high in our versatility, and ease of use rating. It produced the best tasting chicken wings!
Best overall: Ninja Air Fryer Max XL
Capacity: 1.4 gallons (available in four sizes, ranging from 2 to 10 quarts) | Power consumption: 1,750 watts | Cooking method: Hot Air | Power source: Electric
This 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.
Why we picked it
Functional cooking 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 fry recipe book.
Quality design construction.
This Ninja Air Fryer Max XL 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.
Best air fryer toaster oven: Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven
A large capacity combo fryer for large family cooking.
- Brand: Cuisinart
- Capacity: 0.6 cubic feet
- Power consumption: 1,800 Watts
- Dimensions LxWxH: 15.5 x 16 x 14 inches
- Cooking functions: air fry, convection bake, convection broil, bake, broil, Warm, toast
If you’re in search of an air fryer that offers more than the standard hot air cooking, this Cuisinart TOA-60 is an all-in-one convection oven, toaster oven and hot air fryer perfect for large family cooking.
Cuisinart makes some of the best toaster ovens we’ve tested so far, and this appliance didn’t disappoint.
The Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven Air Fryer is an easy to operate air fryer with a 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 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.
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-fashioned in the best way, and is perfect for those who prefer manual controls and a traditional vibe.
Best for a family of 4: Philips Premium Airfryer XXL HD9650/96
Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XXL HD9650 score highly in our test as the best air fryer with fat removal technology for a family of 3, 4 to 5.
Brand: Philips | Model: XXL HD9650/96 | Power source: Electric | Power consumption: 2,225 watts | Capacity: 7 Quarts
Pros and Cons
Things we like
- Excellent cooking
- Raised arm construction
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Don’t get too hot on the outside
Things we dislike
- It’s more expensive than the other models of similar use case
Why we picked 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.
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 the 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.
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.
It doesn’t get too hot 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 the 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.
Best small air fryer under $100: GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart Programmable Air Fryer with 8 Cook Presets
This GoWise USA air fryer is our pick for the best budget friendly, affordable and cheap small air fryer because it exceeded our expectations in performance, and it retails for under $100.
- Brand: GoWISE USA
- Capacity: 3.7 Quarts
- Power source: Electric
- Power consumption: 1,400 Watts
Striking the balance between productivity and budget, this hot air cooking appliance cooks impressively well.
If you are in the market for a budget friendly cheap and affordable small air fryer, the GoWISE USA digital air fryer is the best affordable air fryer you can get for under $100. In our test kitchen, it delivered excellent cooking results when compared with other cheap and small fryers in the same category of performance.
First, this appliance is compact and can cook food for 2 – 3 people. 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 a 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 with 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 8 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.
For the price at which this oil less air fryer comes and the features it bags, we could hardly turn our attention off it. If you do not wish to cook large foods for over two (2) people, GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart Programmable Air Fryer with 8 Cook Presets 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.
For all those who need 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.
Best large capacity airfryer: Breville BOV900BSS the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro
Other air fryers are great at using hot air to fry your food, 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 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 make up for 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.
Breville air fryer is a highly recommended and best air fryer for large family cooking. It is ideal for a family of 4 or 5 and 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 with multiple functions instead of clustering your kitchen and home with plenty of others, this is it.
What to Consider Before You Buy an Air Fryer
After a series of air frying food to test and compare top air fryers, we’ve taken time to also show you the important factors you need to consider in the purchase of red hair dye.
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 food weighing between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds. If you need something to cook for a large family, then an air fryer with a 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 airfryer if you love fried food, and desire something that will cook fast without leaving too much mess.
Buying Guide: Air Fryers
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:
How to choose the best air fryer for you
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 a large capacity such as Cuisinart is ideal.
Type: 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.
Air fryer prices
The average price of an air fryer ranges from $40 – $450. Price is also a determinant factor regarding which fryer you should get. Digital air fryers tend to cost more than mechanical air fryers, as do stainless steel versus plastic.
Multi-function and dual cooking ability
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 researched and tested air fryers to find the best
We started by compiling a list of popular brand names and models, drawing from retail 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.
We also checked how easy it was to clean each air fryer model 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.
Expert advice of things to look out for
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.
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.
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).
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 cooking 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
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 an 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 use 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.
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 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 hot air cooker 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.