The 5 Best Air Fryers for 2022, Tested and Reviewed

After evaluating top models side by side, we love the Philips Premium Airfryer XXL.

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Best Air Fryers for 2022
FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS

There's a reason the air fryer is one of the most popular kitchen trends of the past few years: The versatile appliance can make crispy fried chicken, fish and chips, fries, and more with minimal use of oil by circulating hot air throughout its inner chamber. Apart from fried foods, air fryers are also capable of roasting vegetables, baking pizza, and even making bread or cakes. But whether you want the toaster oven type of air fryer or the more modern basket style, there are plenty of factors to consider.

"The main qualities I look for in an air fryer are even cooking and uncomplicated user functions," says Anna Theoktisto, a recipe developer behind some of our own air fryer dishes. Capacity and ease of cleaning are also important, according to Julia Levy, another recipe tester and developer with ample air fryer experience.

So, to narrow the field, we tested a dozen air fryers, evaluating each one on those very qualities. We spent days cooking frozen food, crisping chicken, and baking inside each model, ultimately determining that the Philips Premium Airfryer XXL is the best option. Read on for our full list of the best air fryers worthy of your investment and your counter space.

Best Overall: Philips Premium Airfryer XXL

Philips Premium Airfryer

Amazon

Pros: We love the sleek design and durable build, and the foods made in this fryer beat out every other option in terms of texture and flavor.

Cons: The plastic tray at the bottom collects an oily residue that's a little trickier to clean.

Here's an appliance that's actually worth adding to your kitchen. Our top choice of all the air fryers we tested, the Philips is extremely easy to use, with an LED display and helpful push buttons and alerts. It's also super versatile, offering grill, bake, roast, and reheat functions in addition to air-fry.

Setup was as simple as plugging in the air fryer, turning its incredibly sleek knob to the correct temperature, time, and, if you like, one of the preset programs (frozen fries, meat, fish, whole chicken, and chicken drumsticks) and pressing the knob to begin frying.

From veggies to a 4-pound chicken, everything we made inside this fryer turned out great. We were particularly impressed with the even, golden-brown corn bread it produced, as well as the perfectly roasted chicken it churned out in just 45 minutes. This last test allowed us to try out Philips' "fat removal technology," a design feature which the brand claims can make fried food "with up to 90% less fat … compared to conventional deep fryers." While we can't confirm that exact percentage, our testers could see the collected grease in the basket's removable nonstick mesh insert and bottom tray.

These pieces, plus the basket and nonstick bin, do mean more pieces to clean, but the parts are dishwasher-safe, so the process was pretty seamless. Our biggest issue was with the plastic tray below the mesh insert, which seemed to collect an oily residue that was difficult to remove. Overall, the construction feels high-quality, and we appreciated extra details like the cord compartment on the back of the machine.

Price at time of publish: $350

  • Type: Basket
  • Dimensions: 15.55 x 15.55 x 15.67 inches
  • Capacity: 7 quarts
  • Temperature Range: 104°F-392°F
  • Functions: Air-fry, bake, grill, roast, reheat, keep warm

"This air fryer gave us an evenly roasted, crispy chicken that almost looked grease-less. Throughout the cooking process, there was no smoke, and the noise level was kept at a very minimum." — Collier Sutter, Review Editor

Philips Premium Airfryer XXL, the best air fryer we tested
FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS

Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Airfryer Toaster Oven

4.6
Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: This toaster oven offers more functionality for those who hesitate to collect new kitchen gadgets.

Cons: Like other oven-style fryers, this one requires more hands-on cooking than basket models, and it's also harder to clean.

If versatility is your top priority and space is no issue, consider a toaster oven. "I feel like if you are going to invest in an air fryer, the two-in-ones are your best bet," Theoktisto says. "Look for a toaster oven-air fryer combo; that way you can get two appliances in one and fit more things in the air fryer, especially if you plan on using it a lot."

This Cuisinart model was our favorite oven-style air fryer. Not only can it air-fry 3 pounds of wings and roast a 4-pound chicken, but it can also toast six slices of bread and bake a 12-inch pizza thanks to its spacious interior. But with that large capacity comes a sizeable footprint. "I love that it fits a lot, but the thing is so large it won't fit under my cabinets," says Theoktisto, who cooked with this toaster oven-air fryer combo for a week. Before buying, be sure to check the dimensions and make sure it would fit in your kitchen.

There are no cooking presets like with the basket-style fryers on this list, so you'll have to figure out cooking times yourself or from recipes and then monitor and flip ingredients—though that's a plus if you're the type of cook who likes to have a little more control. The cleaning process is more involved, too, as rendered fat settles into hard-to-reach corners. However, your efforts will be rewarded with delicious results. The roasted chicken we made was particularly good, with gorgeous, crispy skin and juicy meat.

Price at time of publish: $230

  • Type: Toaster oven
  • Dimensions: 15.50 x 16 x 14 inches
  • Capacity: .6 cubic foot interior
  • Temperature Range: Warm to 450˚F
  • Functions: Air-fry, bake, broil, bake, broil, warm, toast

RELATED: The 6 Best Air Fryer Toaster Ovens of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven
FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS

Best Dual-Basket: Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Air Fryer

4.8
Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 Air Fryer

Pros: Dual zones and separate controls allow you the flexibility to simultaneously cook two dishes at different temperatures, and it's very user-friendly.

Cons: The zones can be a bit inconsistent in heating, and the baskets can't accommodate a whole chicken or baking pans larger than 4 inches in diameter.

"I think my favorite air fryer so far has been from the Ninja brand," Theoktisto tells us. "Both the basket style and toaster oven style get my vote."

The Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 air fryer hooked us with its high-tech features, and after extensive testing, we can confirm that it delivers. We tried out the 8-quart model, but there's also a 10-quart upgrade for larger family dinners. In both versions, the two baskets are held in separate compartments, which means you can make two dishes at the same time—great for households with multiple dietary needs.

This appliance was easy to set up and use and very versatile, with broil, roast, bake, reheat, and dehydrate programs in addition to the main event, air-fry. The temperature and cook time settings can be adjusted separately thanks to Ninja's DualZone technology, which helps distribute power across each compartment, but we did find that heating was a bit inconsistent across the zones (our test ingredients came out darker on the left basket than they did on the right). We especially loved the "Smart Finish" feature, which ensures the two baskets complete cooking at the same time, but you can also choose "Match Cook" to copy settings across both baskets.

The veggies and chicken prepared during our tests had a great texture—crispy on the outside and tender on the inside—and there was no off-putting plastic smell during operation like with competitor models. In addition to the fryer and removable baskets, you'll get two nonstick, dishwasher-safe crisper plates. The pieces were easy to clean, though we did find that the racks inside each basket were a bit tricky to remove and replace. "At first cleaning, this can easily be mistaken for non-removable parts," noted Test Kitchen Assistant Felisia Tan.

Price at time of publish: $200

  • Type: Basket
  • Dimensions: 18.58 x 16.3 x 15.83 inches
  • Capacity: 8 quarts (two 4-quart zones) or 10 quarts (two 5-quart zones)
  • Temperature Range: 105°F–450°F
  • Functions: Air-fry, broil, roast, bake, reheat, dehydrate

Related: The 9 Best Deep Fryers to Buy Right Now

Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 2-Basket Air Fryer testing
FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS
Today’s Deal

Best Value: Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer Stainless Steel

Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer Stainless Steel

Courtesy Best Buy

Pros: This one offers solid performance, usability, and versatility at a reasonable price.

Cons: The stainless steel body gets hot to the touch, and ingredients sometimes come out slightly overcooked.

In our experience, Instant Brands offers the best performance at a low price. We tested both the Instant Vortex and the Instant Vortex Plus and found them to be comparable in terms of ease of use and results. The Plus preheats faster and has a larger capacity (6 quarts versus 5.7) while somehow seeming sleeker, with its stainless steel body (though that does mean it gets hotter, so handle with care).

Both models were extremely easy to use and clean and produced good results, though this is where the Plus inched ahead, with its super crispy—if sometimes slightly overcooked—fries and chicken tenders as well as flavorful roasted veggies. It's also more versatile than the older model, with the added ability to dehydrate and bake as well as air-fry, broil, roast, and reheat.

Price at time of publish: $160

  • Type: Basket
  • Dimensions: 14.92 x 12.36 x 12.83 inches
  • Capacity: 6 quarts
  • Temperature Range: 95-400° F
  • Functions: Air-fry, broil, roast, dehydrate, bake and reheat

Related: The 9 Best Food Dehydrators for Every Home Cook

Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer testing
FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS

Best Splurge: Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer

Amazon

Pros: This oven boasts a large interior and many functions, and it's beautiful enough to display on your counter.

Cons: The large footprint and price tag may not be for every kitchen or budget.

With 13 functions, this air fryer offers the most versatility of any on our list—with a price tag to match. We're firm believers in investing in products that look great and make cooking easier and more fun, though, and this Breville oven certainly fits the bill.

Large and heavy, it's best for those with spacious kitchens where it can remain stationary and on display—versus more compact fryers, which can be tucked away inside a cupboard. The good news is thanks to its stainless steel body and handle (which stays cool while cooking) and glass window, it's attractive enough that you'll want to leave it out.

We found the LED menu very easy to read and operate, but note that even on air-fry mode, it takes a while to preheat and cook. In this way, it's more like a traditional oven than a true air fryer. Results were good: Though ultimately we preferred the food made in the Cuisinart, this option has a larger capacity, allowing for larger pizzas, poultry, etc. Similar to the Cuisinart and other fryers of the oven variety, cleaning took some effort, as with other fryers of the oven variety.

Price at time of publish: $500

  • Type: Toaster oven
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 21.5 x 12.7 inches
  • Capacity: 1 cubic foot interior
  • Temperature Range: 80°F-480 °F
  • Functions: Bake, broil, toast, bagel, warm cookies, roast, pizza, air-fry, proof, dehydrate, slow cook, reheat
Breville the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro testing
FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS

Our Favorite

The type of air fryer you choose depends on your needs. For a compact option that's super easy to use and makes great-tasting food, we love the basket-style Philips Premium Airfryer XXL. If you're looking for a multi-functional appliance that offers more control and capacity, choose the Cuisinart Toaster Oven.

Factors to Consider

Type

Air fryers come in two different forms. There's the traditional convection toaster oven and the more modern basket style. Because of their larger capacity and footprint, oven air fryers are better for those who have ample counter space, a larger family, or a need to prepare big batches of food at a time. This style also tends to be more versatile, with better baking and toasting capabilities. They require cooks to be a bit more involved by manually selecting settings and rotating foods for more even cooking, and they can be harder to clean.

Testing the Breville the Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro
Tamara Staples

The more futuristic-looking basket air fryers are more compact, so they'll take up less space but they're also not going to be able to accommodate as large of a pizza or bird, for example. They may not cook quite as evenly but they operate much more automatically for those who prefer to simply press a button.

Size

Size refers to both overall dimensions (the height, width, and depth of the machine) and capacity (as in how much volume can the fryer hold in quarts). You'll want to take into consideration the size of your own kitchen—will the model you purchase fit in your cupboards or on your counter—as well as the size of your family.

Testing the Ninja DZ201 Foodi 8-quart 6-in-1 Air Fryer
Tamara Staples

"I use a 5-quart air fryer, and honestly, anything smaller, even when cooking for one, is useless," Levy says. "You'll have to make anything in multiple batches and that's just annoying."

Temperature Range

Most air fryers can cook at a range of temperatures up to around 400 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. In our tests, we didn't find the ones with extra-high heating abilities to perform better. In fact, our Best Overall pick tops out at 392 degrees. More important is temperature control, says Levy, which is why we used an air probe thermometer inside each fryer to make sure that each could maintain a set temperature. We also checked for hot spots by evaluating the ingredients we cooked for even browning.

Settings and Features

Most air fryers can also perform other tasks including broiling, roasting, and even dehydrating. However, similar to pressure cookers, they may not perform each function especially well. We baked corn bread inside each of these models, for example, which helped us judge versatility, but the baking results ultimately weren't the most helpful in identifying the best air fryers. Other features to look for include a timer—crucial, according to Levy—and the interface (is the display easy to read, and is it a touchscreen?). If you're sensitive to sounds, pay attention to alerts and other operating noises.

The Tests

After researching all the options on the market and analyzing the ones our competitors ranked as the best, we selected a dozen air fryers in both the oven and basket styles. Since even cooking and ease of use were the top priorities identified by our pro panel, we devised tests that would allow us to rate each air fryer on those features, as well as versatility and ease of cleaning. Our preliminary tests included filling each air fryer with batches of frozen and homemade fries, followed by an air-fryer fried chicken and a corn bread recipe. We noted the cooking time and the evenness and crispness of each ingredient, as well as tenderness of the chicken.

Testing air fryers with roast chicken
Tamara Staples

Additionally, we measured the capacity and dimensions of each appliance and tracked their internal temperature as well using an air probe thermometer. The models that made it through the first round moved on to the next test: cooking a full roast chicken. Throughout our tests, we also paid special attention to other factors including style, quality of materials, and even noises and smells occurring while operating.

Pro Panel Q+A

How does an air fryer work?

Air fryers essentially work their magic the same way a toaster oven does—by circulating hot air throughout an inner chamber, giving your food crunchier and crispier skin than if you'd tossed it into the oven.

"The beauty of an air fryer is that you don't need to preheat it," Theoktisto tells us. If you want to get your kids some crispy nuggets or chicken tenders on the table fast, this thing will do it. My mom recently purchased one and she finds it's easier to cook for two people using it. I'd recommend it to empty nesters, working parents, and single people."

Is an air fryer the same as a convection oven?

"An air fryer is basically a convection broiler," Theoktisto says. "It cooks your food fast and evenly. You can get the same results in your oven if you have a convection setting on it."

What can you cook in an air fryer?

"Way more than you think!" Levy says. "It's for all intents and purposes a tabletop convection oven, so it can be used as such. It's wonderful for getting certain things crispy, but also for roasting meats that might take a long time in the oven. I know of people who have used it to bake cakes and the like, but I prefer it for the roasting and getting a crispy crust."

How do you clean an air fryer?

With pull-out food drawers, air fryers are far easier to clean than their greasier cousin, the deep fryer, but the specific steps will depend on the type and the exact model you have. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when cleaning any kitchen appliance, but in general, Levy recommends handwashing with soap and water and a non-abrasive sponge; most air fryers are not dishwasher-safe, as detergents will deteriorate their nonstick coating.

"You will want to clean it after each use so oils don't build up and particles don't burn," she adds. "I recommend placing a thin layer of foil in the bottom basket for ease of cleaning."

What Didn't Make the List

Chefman Small Compact Air Fryer

Chefman Small Compact Air Fryer
Courtesy of Amazon

This Chefman was actually one of the top performers in nearly every category of our tests, cooking up great-tasting, perfectly textured "fried" appetizers. The display is easy to read, with intuitive buttons, and the parts are easy to clean. It's also nice and compact, but ultimately we decided such a small capacity isn't practical. We couldn't even fit a cup of fries evenly across the bottom of the fry basket. Just as Levy warned us, anything smaller than 5 quarts would require making multiple batches, so we'd recommend opting for a larger model.

COSORI Air Fryer XL

COSORI Air Fryer XL
Courtesy of Bed, Bath & Beyond

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Though a trendy choice, we were underwhelmed with the Cosori. The sleek, minimal interface was attractive and easy enough to use, but the basket required more of a learning curve; we struggled to reattach its base. Most disappointing were the results of the taste test: From frozen fries and chicken fingers to veggies, everything came out somewhat soggy. The fryer compensated a bit for those flaws with how easy it was to clean, but ultimately we think there are better air fryers out there.

GoWISE Air Fryer Oven

GoWISE Air Fryer Oven
Courtesy of Amazon

GoWise's low price is as appealing as its various presets and functions—eight to be exact, with programmable temperature and cooking times—and we did give it a great versatility rating. However, we found it challenging to use, and the results of the food test didn't impress us. We think it's worth the extra investment to go with one of the other options on our list.

Instant Omni Pro 18L Toaster Oven and Air Fryer

Instant Omni Pro 18L Toaster Oven and Air Fryer
Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Also available at Williams Sonoma.

This air fryer oven touts 14 functions (air-fry, broil, bake, roast, dehydrate, reheat, rotisserie, toast, warm, convection oven, slow cook, proof, split cook, and temperature probe), which certainly sounds impressive, but we're not sure we'd use them all. Setting up the rotisserie chicken, for example, was quite complicated. For all its functions, the control panel is surprisingly intuitive to use, with its large LED display, though we found the button beeps a bit annoying. The taste tests were pretty impressive, too, so it's a good cooker overall, though cleanup was less than ideal, as with other oven models.

Dash Compact Air Fryer Oven Cooker

Dash Compact Air Fryer Oven Cooker
Courtesy of Amazon

Once again, this air fryer performed well—especially considering its affordable price—but it's just too small to offer any real convenience to a home cook, regardless of the number of servings being made. Available in a few different shades, it is undeniably adorable, though, and as a bonus, it's easy to use and clean.

Our Expertise

Taysha Murtaugh is the Editorial Director for the Commerce Food Group at Dotdash Meredith. A home cook and Breville Toaster Oven owner herself, she is passionate about kitchen products and has nearly a decade of experience creating food and lifestyle content. For this piece, she interviewed experts including recipe developers and testers Anna Theoktisto and Julia Levy for their insights. Our team then scoured the market and analyzed competitor recommendations and spent days evaluating air fryers side by side in our test kitchen, judging each on a variety of qualitative and quantitative factors and curating a list just for Food & Wine readers.

Read Next: The Best Kitchen Utensil Sets for All Your Cooking and Baking Needs

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