Air fryers have been buzzy appliances for several years, and they’re not showing any signs of fading out. And for good reason: these electric countertop appliances bring the taste of deep-fried food home in a safe and healthy way. Not to mention, they’re much faster and cheaper than grabbing take-out or fast food. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around food in a small, enclosed environment. This convection heat crisps food up from the outside in so you get the crispy, golden edges and tender center from french fries, fritters, and more.
These days, there are entire online communities and cookbooks bursting with new ideas of delicious meals to make in an air fryer. So if you’re thinking of joining the club, these are the best air fryers to buy for every budget, household, and home cook.
— Best Overall: Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1
— Best Dual-Zone: Ninja DZ201 FOODi
— Best Mini: Instant Vortex 2-Quart Air Fryer
— Best Smart: COSORI Smart Air Fryer Oven Combo
— Best Budget: Dash Tasti-Crisp Electric Air Fryer
How We Picked the Best Air Fryers
To select this list of the best air fryers, I tested a dozen of the most popular appliances from leading and lesser-known brands available online. I set up, cooked with, and cleaned each air fryer on this list to assess how easy they are to use and maintain, how quickly and evenly they cook various types of food, and the overall design. I also took into account price, size, and durability, including product specs and long-term customer reviews in my research. The list below includes the most loved appliances for every kind of household.
The Best Air Fryers: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1
Why It Made The Cut: This is the best-performing and most well-rounded air fryer for a variety of jobs — plus, it’s also easy to use and store.
— Product Dimensions: 13.03 inches L x 10.2 inches W x 11.02 inches H
— Capacity: 4 quarts
— Weight: 10.78 pounds
— Touchscreen display
— Compatible recipe app
— Heats very quickly
— More narrow temperature range than other models (120 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit)
With six useful cooking functions (air frying, broiling, roasting, dehydrating, baking, and reheating) and a four-quart basket, you really can’t go wrong with this countertop air fryer. This appliance displays Instant Brands’ smart engineering at its best, as the machine crisps up food evenly and exceptionally well.
Its sleek, stainless steel design gives it a sophisticated look compared to plastic air fryers. The machine has a helpful preheating phase that takes just a few minutes and ensures your food comes out delightfully golden brown and crisp all over.
Once your meal is inside, EvenCrisp technology ensures that the hot air fully encompasses the food for the most even cooking. The clear, large digital display lets you know the exact temperature and how much time is left at a glance, but if you want to step out, the machine will automatically shut down at the end of your cooking time. For cleanup, the basket and tray are dishwasher safe.
Best Dual-Zone: Ninja DZ201 FOODi
Why It Made The Cut: This is the best air fryer with two baskets, so you can prepare two dishes at once and have them finish at the exact same time.
— Product Dimensions: 15.63 inches L x 13.86 inches W x 12.4 inches H
— Capacity: 8 quarts
— Weight: 17.86 pounds
— Smart finish technology syncs cook times
— 6 cooking programs
— Two independent cooking zones
For big households and busy parents, this two-zone basket-style air fryer can be a lifesaver. The two baskets run completely independently, so you can cook two separate meal components at the same time, using distinct cooking functions. And the best part is that thanks to Ninja’s Smart Finish features, both baskets will be hot and ready to enjoy at the same time.
Each basket has a four-quart capacity, which is large enough to hold four pounds of frozen fries or chicken wings, which feeds about four people. The air fryer has six functions, including dehydrating, air broiling, roasting, reheating, and baking. That means you can bake a cake for two and air fry crispy burgers at the exact same time.
The clear digital display panel and touch screen makes figuring out all of these features easy. Plus the machine will automatically shut off when it reaches the end of the programmed cooking time, so you can walk away. It has a large temperature range of 105 degrees Fahrenheit to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, for everything from homemade beef jerky to golden, cheesy lasagna.
Best Mini: Instant Vortex 2-Quart Air Fryer
Why It Made The Cut: This mini version of the Instant Vortex has all of the same power and smart technology, in a compact and easy-to-store shape.
— Product Dimensions: 10.9 inches L 12.8 inches W x 12.8 inches H
— Capacity: 2 quarts
— Weight: 8.53 pounds
— Four cooking functions
— Too small for more than two people
If you want a high-quality crisping appliance that won’t dominate your countertops, the miniature Instant Vortex is what you’re looking for. This two-quart air fryer is high-performing and even offers four cooking functions (air frying, broiling, roasting, and reheating), without a bulky frame. Because of its small size, the machine can also heat up very quickly and circulate air faster than larger models, which helps your food cook faster and more evenly. For safety, the appliance has built-in overheat protection and will automatically shut off at the end of your cooking time.
The simple digital touchscreen couldn’t be easier to operate, with well-labeled buttons and a single knob to manipulate the time and temperature. The basket and crisping rack are both dishwasher-safe and the machine comes in four attractive color options. It’s also the easiest air fryer on this list to store, with a slim profile that won’t take up your entire pantry or countertop.
Best Smart: COSORI Smart Air Fryer Oven Combo
Why It Made The Cut: This smart air fryer has futuristic features that set it apart from competitors, including an easy-to-use mobile app and Bluetooth compatibility.
— Product Dimensions: 11.7 inches L x 12.9 inches W x 13.8 inches H
— Capacity: 5.8 quarts
— Weight: 14 pounds
— Dishwasher safe basket and tray
— Connects to smart home assistant
— 11 built-in cooking presets
— Narrow temperature range (170 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit)
— The touchscreen can be difficult to learn
Control your cooking from afar with this WiFi-enabled air fryer from COSORI. The appliance can connect directly to Alexa or a Google Assistant, so you can even go totally hands-free in the kitchen. The app is also stocked with over 100 recipes for endless meal inspiration. The 5.8-quart basket is a great size for four people and is large enough to hold an entire roast chicken.
The appliance’s touch screen has 11 icons that correspond to built-in cooking presets for common ingredients like fries, green veggies, and bacon. You can use COSORI’s suggested temperatures and cooking times, or you can override the system and dial in your own settings to match a recipe. The cooking basket and rack are non-stick coated and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and the appliance is fueled by 120 volts of power, making this one of the faster air fryers we tested.
Best Budget: Dash Tasti-Crisp Electric Air Fryer
Why It Made The Cut: Despite the low price tag, this cute air fryer packs a high power wattage and crisps food evenly and very quickly.
— Product Dimensions: 10 inches L x 12. 2 inches W x 12.2 inches H
— Capacity: 2.6 quarts
— Weight: 1 pound
— Easy to use
— Small capacity
— One cooking function
This compact air fryer from Dash does away with the bells and whistles of pricier options without sacrificing results. Though you won’t find buttons for broiling or dehydrating on this lightweight appliance, it does its one job (air frying) like a pro. The machine has two controls: a 30-minute timer and a temperature control dial. This minimalist design makes it one of the easiest air fryers to operate — perfect for first-timers.
The machine also has a 2.6-quart basket, which is a good size for one to two people. It’s very lightweight and easy to store, making this a great choice for travel, RVs, campers, and college dorm rooms. The air fryer also comes in seven colors, including a cute retro teal and fire engine red, to match any design scheme.
Things to Consider When Buying an Air Fryer
Size: It’s first important to decide how large of an air fryer you’d like to use. A four-quart fryer is a good size for households of four or fewer, but a two- to three-quart appliance is easier to store in small spaces. If you regularly feed a crowd of five or more, you may want a six-quart or larger air fryer.
Cooking Functions: Most air fryers do more than air fry. From dehydrating to broiling to baking, you’ll find an air fryer that does nearly every cooking function. If having a range of options is important to you, be sure to choose a device with four or more cooking functions. On the other hand, if you know that you’re only here for the crisping, a simple one-function appliance is a great way to get the job done.
Q: What are the best things to make in an air fryer?
For the most part, anything that you want to be crispy, golden, and hot can be made in an airfryer. Some of the most popular air fryer foods include frozen french fries and tater tots, chicken wings, and roasted vegetables. Most recipes that are cooked in the oven can be adapted to use in the air fryer.
Q: What are the advantages of an air fryer?
If you already have an oven, you might be wondering if an air fryer is really worth it. And it depends on how you plan to use it. The genius of an air fryer is that it traps heat in a very compact environment, which allows it to heat quickly and circulate food evenly for crispy results without deep-frying in a very short amount of time.
Q: How do I clean an air fryer?
Most air fryers have dishwasher-safe baskets and trays. So after cooking, you can rinse them out and pop them directly into the dishwasher. Of course, it’s always best to check the manufacturer’s recommendations, as some should be cleaned by hand with hot, soapy water. The exterior of the appliance can usually be wiped clean with a damp cloth and mild soap.
If you’re looking for a healthier way to enjoy all of the crunch and crispiness of your favorite deep-fried foods at home (that also doesn’t include vats of hot oil), you’re going to love an air fryer. In particular, the Instant Vortex 4-quart is a great option for most households. It’s the perfect size to feed four people and is small and light enough to store fairly easily. It has handy cooking functions, a compatible recipe app, and great safety features. Plus, this countertop appliance is reasonably priced and built to last.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.