Air fryers have quickly become a must-have appliance in many kitchens: They provide functions that microwaves and toaster ovens simply can’t match. Using significantly less oil (or none at all), these countertop appliances can recreate the deliciously crispy exterior of traditional fried foods, such as fried chicken and French fries…with far fewer nutrition “red flags.” Some models also offer additional cooking functions, allowing you to roast, bake, reheat or dehydrate foods as well.
The best air fryer for your kitchen really depends on your needs. These machines come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from simple 2-quart models that solely air-fry foods to high-end ones that double as toaster ovens. As you shop, you’ll want to consider how much food you typically cook at once, as well as if you have use for additional functions. While it may be handy to roast or dehydrate foods in your air fryer, these bells and whistles tend to drive up the overall price of the appliance.
With these factors in mind, the following are the best air fryers to recreate less oily versions of your favorite fried foods.
Best Air Fryer Overall: Philips Essential XL
Most Popular Air Fryer: Cosori Max XL
Best Mid-Size Air Fryer: Instant Vortex 6-Quart
Best Large Air Fryer: Instant Vortex Pro 10-Quart
Best Small Air Fryer: Dash Tasti-Crisp
Best Budget Air Fryer: GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart
Most Versatile Air Fryer: Ninja Foodi 12-in-1 Deluxe XL
Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Breville Smart Oven Pro
Best Space-Saving Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Ninja Foodi SP101
Best Small Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Cuisinart Digital
Best Air Fryer Overall
A Well-Made Model That Couldn’t Be Easier To Operate And Clean
Most Popular Air Fryer
A Top-Rated Model With Ample One-Touch Cooking Options
Best Mid-Size Air Fryer
An Attractive Air Fryer With A 6-Quart Basket
Best Large Air Fryer
An Oversized Air Fryer That Can Bake, Toast, Roast And More
Best Small Air Fryer
A Simple, Compact Appliance That Solely Air Fries
Best Budget Air Fryer
A Inexpensive Model With Numerous Preset Cooking Options
Most Versatile Air Fryer
A 12-In-1 Appliance That Can Pressure Cook, Slow Cook And More
Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven
A Worthy Splurge That You’ll Use Daily
Best Small Air Fryer Toaster Oven
A Toaster Oven/Air Fryer Combo That’s Efficient But Compact
What To Consider When Buying An Air Fryer
Air fryers can be fairly large, so it’s important to look at the dimensions of the appliance to ensure it will fit in your kitchen. Keep in mind that air fryers typically need several inches of room on all sides for proper ventilation during use.
The capacity of an air fryer, which indicates how much food it can hold, can range anywhere from 2 to 10 quarts (or more). A smaller air fryer with a capacity less than 4 quarts is ideal for a one- or two-person household, whereas bigger families will likely want a larger appliance that can cook more servings at once. You may also want to consider whether the air fryer can accommodate your family’s favorite foods, such as a rotisserie chicken or frozen pizzas.
Similar to ovens, most air fryers offer a range of cooking temperatures, typically between 100 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Appliances with a larger temperature range will allow you to cook more recipes, while those with a smaller range are useful for basics like French fries.
Many of today’s air fryers offer additional functions to increase their versatility. Depending on the types of food you usually cook, you may want to look for an appliance that can broil, bake, or dehydrate foods. Some more advanced air fryers can also toast, slow cook, and even cook food on a rotisserie shaft. You can also look for options with specific preset settings to take the guesswork out of cooking the meals you make most.
How We Picked Our Air Fryers
To put together this list of the best air fryers, we included some of our staffers’ favorite picks that they use in their own kitchens. We also researched some of the top models on the market, taking the following factors into consideration:
We looked at dozens of reviews from verified buyers as we compared different air fryer models, aiming only to include products with more than 1,000 reviews and an overall rating of at least 4 stars. Using these customer reviews, we noted the strengths and potential pain points of each air fryer, which helped us sort products into their best use cases.
Many of today’s air fryers do more than just air fry—some are able to roast, dehydrate, bake, broil and reheat foods, just to name a few additional functions. While compiling this list, we looked into the different functions offered by each model, selecting products that struck a good balance between versatility and value.
We also looked at each appliance’s special features (or lack thereof) as we selected models to feature. We looked for appliances in a range of sizes that would be appropriate for different sized households, as well as options at different price points. We also aimed to include air fryers that offer special settings, such as rotisserie cooking and dual-basket cooking, as these are highly sought-after features among many shoppers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Air Fryers
What Does An Air Fryer Do?
Air fryers don’t really fry. Instead, air fryers work similarly to a countertop convection oven. They have a heating mechanism and a fan that blows hot air around the food, creating a browning and crisping effect that’s similar to a deep fryer (but without all the added oil).
What Are The Pros And Cons Of An Air Fryer?
There are many benefits that come along with owning an air fryer. These appliances excel at creating a crispy exterior on food, and most are also extremely quick and easy to operate. They’re great for reheating foods like pizza—an air fryer won’t make the crust rubbery like the microwave—and certain models, such as toaster oven combos, can even replace multiple kitchen appliances.
However, there are downsides to air fryers, as well. These appliances are often large and require space all around for proper ventilation during operation. Additionally, some models have a limited capacity inside their baskets, forcing you to cook foods in multiple batches.