Aside from the Instant Pot, the most popular kitchen trend of the past few years might just be the air fryer. It’s not hard to see why—the versatile appliance makes crispy, finger-licking foods like fried chicken, fish and chips, and chicken tenders with minimal use of oil. Yes, making fried food without a large ladle of oil sounds too good to be true, but air fryers work their magic by circulating hot air throughout its inner chamber, giving your food crunchier and crispier skin than if you’d tossed it into the oven.
Apart from fried foods, air fryers are also capable of roasting vegetables, baking pizza, and even making bread or cakes. But choosing a great air fryer is no simple matter. There are plenty of factors to think about (size, value, and versatility are just some of the most important considerations). The good news, however, is that unlike their greasier cousin, the deep fryer, nearly all air fryers are easy to clean. Air fryers usually contain a pullout food drawer from the bottom that’s easy to wipe. And with so little oil, there’s almost no risk of splatters getting everywhere.
So, to find the best air fryer you can get according to your needs, we’ve rounded up seven top choices from thousands of customer reviews. You’ll find options from luxury brands such as Philips and Cuisinart, as well as Ninja, the brand nearly synonymous with the words “air fryer.”
Read on to find out more on each air fryer, and get ready to enjoy some not-so-guilty pleasures with your favorite fried foods.
Don’t let its low cost fool you—GoWise’s digital air fryer comes with tons of presets and functions that make it one of the best value air fryers available. There are eight settings with programmable temperature and cooking times, and frying is as simple as toss-and-go. Its automatic shut-off function saves energy too, so no wonder it has scored a 4.4-star rating from over 2,400 reviewers at Amazon.
To buy: $84; amazon.com
Philips’ TurboStar Air Fryer is a worthwhile splurge. You’ll find it super easy to make crispy chicken wings, fries, and more by following its accompanying recipe book. Simply plug in the air fryer, turn its incredibly sleek knob to the correct temperature and time, and press to begin frying. The super silent machine makes you almost forget it’s there, and tons of shoppers on Amazon have given it a five-star review. One wrote, “The turbo feature of this air fryer is what makes it great and worth a little extra money over cheaper brands. I can't live without it!”
To buy: $226 (originally $300); amazon.com
A pressure cooker and air fryer rolled into one, Ninja’s Foodi multi-cooker comes with searing, sautéing, baking, broiling, steaming, slow cooking, dehydrating, and yogurt making functions. It uses the brand’s signature TenderCrisp technology to pressure cooks while air frying, so you’ll get soft, juicy meats with crispy skin. Plus, Ninja’s air fryer comes with a reversible rack that lets you roast vegetables, fries, and more above your meats, so one-pan dinners are a whole lot simpler to make. More than 8,200 reviewers have given this air fryer a 4.6-star rating, with some calling it a new kitchen essential that “really does do everything.”
To buy: $180 (originally $250); amazon.com
With Dash’s small air fryer, those who live alone or just want to fry up single-person portions will be able to make just the right amount of food without leftovers—after all, nobody likes cold, soggy chicken tenders. Cleaning this air fryer is a total breeze as well, since the basket and the frying pan are both dishwasher-safe. What’s more, at just under 12 inches tall, Dash’s air fryer will barely take up any space in the kitchen. Shoppers have given it a 4.4-star rating with more than 1,000 reviews, and some have called it “convenient,” “super easy to use,” and “great for one person.”
To buy: $47; amazon.com
The Instant Vortex Pro isn’t just big in size, but in features, too. With 9 pre-programmed settings such as proofing, broiling and dehydrating, there’s almost nothing you can’t cook with this massive fryer. Its huge rotating basket can fit a whole chicken, and the fryer even comes with a rotisserie kit so you’ll have everything you need for big family dinners. Plus, the Instant Vortex Pro includes two baking trays that you can fit in the air fryer simultaneously, so it’s incredibly simple to fry up your main course and side dish all at once. You can even create custom programs based on your go-to temperature and preferred time settings, and return to them for reheating dinner from the previous night. As one reviewer wrote, “It's the best thing I've added to my kitchen since the Instant Pot.”
To buy: $140 (originally $280); amazon.com
With seven cooking functions (air fry, convection bake, convection broil, bake, broil, warm, and toast), Cuisinart’s toaster oven air fryer is the go-to appliance for making morning bagels as well as crispy potatoes at dinner time. It comes with an oven rack, baking pan, and air fryer basket, so you can fit nearly anything you want. Its nonstick interior makes cleanup a breeze, but even more impressively, over 4,300 reviewers on Amazon have given it a 4.4-star rating. A reviewer called a “magic oven,” saying, “I’ve fried, baked, broiled, toasted, and warmed pretty much every kind of food you can imagine, and I love it.”
To buy: $160 (originally $200); amazon.com
Yes, it’s technically not an air fryer, but the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid deserves a spot on this list purely for its ingenuity. For those who already own an Instant Pot, it could be difficult to commit to another big appliance, but this lid solves that problem by turning your Instant Pot into an air fryer. It fits most Instant Pot models to fry, roast, bake, broil, reheat, and dehydrate, and comes with a multi-level air fryer basket as well as a broiling tray. Thousands of reviewers snapped it up when it was quietly released back in November, with some calling it a “game changer.” Grab it now at Amazon.
To buy: $80 (originally $140); amazon.com