The 7 Best Air Fryers of 2023, According to Our Tests

These top-performing models bake, broil, dehydrate, and even rotisserie with speed and efficiency.

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best air fryer: instant vortex plus 6-quart air fryer

Food & Wine / Russell Kilgore

Sometimes the fastest way to a home cook’s heart is a shortcut, and the ever-present air fryer has proven that true. They aren’t the sleekest appliances, nor the typical chef’s darling like the cast iron skillet or the sous vide cooker, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t find a great use for this decade’s must-have kitchen tool. 

Our recent years of testing, researching, and judging more French fries than we can count (not that we’re complaining) have brought us to this point in selecting the best air fryers. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly (read: soggy Brussels’ sprouts and grayish chicken wings), so we know a great air fryer when we see one. We’ve pored over countless air fryer reviews, tried dozens of machines, and can confidently say: We might know too much about air fryers — and we’ve distilled that knowledge here, so you don’t have to do the same.

What is an air fryer? 

An air fryer is, for all intents and purposes, a convenient countertop convection oven. It uses a fan to circulate hot air to cook, crisp, or caramelize food faster than the usual radiant heat in a regular toaster or traditional oven. Air fryers began with the reputation of being a “healthy” eating appliance thanks to the lack of oil needed to make classic comfort food like chicken wings and French fries. These days they’re present in plenty of home kitchens, including those looking to make quick and simple meals or those adding an option beyond the oven or the stove while cooking for a crowd.

Types of air fryers

These days air fryers have a few possible configurations, but the main types of air fryers are basket-style (including single and dual baskets) and toaster oven-style (often multifunctional with tray inserts). The capabilities of both can vary, and the best air fryer results are determined by convection power (how consistently the heat rotates through) and the capacity of the basket or tray. We wouldn’t recommend one style over the other since it depends on your kitchen needs, but this particular roundup is primarily focused on classic basket-style air fryers, with a few great air fryer toaster oven options added in.

Best Overall

Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart 6-in-1 Air Fryer

  • This is the most user-friendly tool with the strongest cooking results of any machine we’ve tested.

  • It isn’t the largest air fryer available and lacks smart functions.

Instant Brands has moved beyond the famous rice cooker in leaps and bounds, and its air fryers are truly formidable in the kitchen appliance game. Rivaled only by Ninja for accessible, top-performing tools at an affordable price, Instant has our most current best air fryer pick in the Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart. It hits the sweet spot of ideal (but not oversized) capacity with the wider square-shaped basket accommodating fries and wings without overcrowding. It has just the right number of presets for a useful but manageable user experience. The air circulation and power provided the best cooking results for every food we tried, including tricky coconut shrimp and Brussels sprouts. It’s quiet enough to run in a busy kitchen, and the nonstick interior makes cleanup easy. It's no surprise this is also one of the best-rated air fryers by thousands of shoppers — all of our tests confirmed it's a great option for most kitchen needs.

Price at time of publish: $160

  • Type: Basket-style
  • Capacity: 6 quarts
  • Overall Dimensions: 12.36 x 14.92 x 12.83 inches
  • Presets: Air fry, broil, roast, dehydrate, bake, and reheat
instant vortex 6-quart air fryer testing

Food & Wine / Russell Kilgore

Best Value

Cosori Pro LE 5-Quart Air Fryer

Cosori Pro LE 5-Quart Air Fryer


  • The price is generous for the size and quality of the machine.

  • It’s smaller than other mid-size air fryers and lacks smart features.

*Editor's note: This Cosori model is not part of the February 2023 Cosori product recall. You can learn more about the recalled products here.

For something that looks nice and fits neatly on the countertop, this 5-quart Cosori air fryer is the best budget air fryer pick. It gave excellent results for performance at a lower price than any 4- to 6-quart models we tested. We found it surprisingly roomy for a 5-quart, which is a pleasant surprise for any air fryer basket. It has a pre-heat cycle which can make it more efficient at quickly crisping foods (the fries, wings, and shrimp fared well). It has a bright, easy-to-use display and comes clean with no extra effort. The temperature and time are also easily adjustable down to the minute, which other air fryers lack in precision. The Cosori Pro punches above its weight and is the perfect size for most households.

Price at time of publish: $100

  • Type: Basket-style
  • Capacity: 5 quarts
  • Overall Dimensions: 10.71 x 10.83 x 11.9 inches
  • Presets: Chicken, seafood, French fries, frozen foods, steak, veggies, bacon, preheat, keep warm

Best Splurge

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer


  • There are several settings that basic air fryers won't manage, and this multifunctional tool looks great on the countertop.

  • It’s a bigger up-front investment and doesn’t have the capacity of larger air fryers.

For families who are serious about investing in a multi-use tool that can handle dozens of functions and be on permanent display on the countertop, the Breville is the best choice. Though the brand name precedes it for premium kitchen tools, this smart oven still impressed us amongst the tight competition in the toaster oven category overall. It’ll take on complicated convection needs like chicken wings or French fries just as easily as simple tasks like toast. We also love a viewing window, which many basket-style air fryers lack. So check on doneness and watch an intelligent machine go to work for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Who says a kitchen workhorse can’t be sleek as well?

Price at time of publish: $350

  • Type: Toaster oven-style
  • Capacity: 4.4 quarts
  • Overall Dimensions: 18.5 x 15.75 x 11 inches
  • Presets: Toast, bagel, broil, bake, roast, warm, pizza, air fry, reheat, cookies, slow cook

Best Smart

Cosori VeSync Pro II Smart Air Fryer



  • A smart app offers more versatility than other machines, and it produced the best fries we’ve tested from an air fryer.

  • It takes a little more time to familiarize yourself with the options and usage, and it struggled with the coconut shrimp test.

*Editor's note: This Cosori model is not part of the February 2023 Cosori product recall. You can learn more about the recalled products here.

The new and improved Cosori 5.8-Quart Air Fryer now has a smart app and the original bells and whistles. If you’re a tech-savvy cook and love a gadget, this air fryer produced excellent results for both fries and Brussels sprouts and can even work with Alexa or Google Assistant to stop and start programs. It’ll give cooking status notifications to your smartphone, so you know exactly how things are progressing, and the dishwasher-safe parts are easy to clean regardless. We found that the performance of this air fryer is well above similar competitors, so the smart functions just sweeten the deal.

Price at time of publish: $140

  • Type: Basket-style
  • Capacity: 5.8 quarts
  • Overall Dimensions: 11.8 x 13.8 x 12.6 inches
  • Presets: 150+ (sync from the app)

Best Small

Ninja 4-Quart Air Fryer

Ninja 4-Quart Air Fryer


  • This small air fryer outperformed every other air fryer in our tests with six different foods.

  • It will be too small if you’re cooking more than one small side or for more than two people.

This Ninja air fryer is not only the best small air fryer but also performed better in our tests than larger air fryers with more presets across the board. Ninja’s 4-quart tool came through swinging for the fences, with near-perfect cooking results on garlic, wings, shrimp, biscuits, and of course, fries. It’s perfectly nonstick for cleanup, quiet while running, and, thanks to the compact footprint, it's easy to store. Though the settings are simpler than some advanced models, it does the trick for every classic air fryer function. Beginners and advanced cooks alike will appreciate this Ninja air fryer, and it’s a smart pick for solo cooks and apartment dwellers.

Price at time of publish: $130

  • Type: Basket-style
  • Capacity: 4 quarts
  • Overall Dimensions: 8.5 x 12.3 x 11 inches
  • Presets: Air fry, roast, reheat, dehydrate

Best Large Capacity

Instant Pot Vortex Plus 10-Quart 7-in-1 Digital Air Fryer

Instant Pot Vortex Plus 10-Quart 7-in-1 Digital Air Fryer


  • For the size and performance, the price of this air fryer is an absolute steal for anyone cooking for large groups often.

  • It isn’t ideal for smaller batches and the attachments for the interior need to be purchased separately.

The Instant Vortex 10-quart Air Fryer produced great fries, wings, and air-fried apples and was a breeze to operate thanks to the clear display and good instructions. The removable trays and rotisserie insert made it easy to use and easy to clean after every recipe we tested. Though there are no smart features, the presets and available accessories on this large air fryer make it an attractively versatile tool in the kitchen. The massive capacity is an asset, and the price for all the features included is a no-brainer as the best air fryer option for any household planning to cook for a crowd.

Price at time of publish: $150

  • Type: Oven-style with rotisserie
  • Capacity: 10 quarts
  • Overall Dimensions: 13.23 x 13.23 x 14.3 inches
  • Presets: Air fry, broil, bake, roast, dehydrate, reheat, rotisserie

Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Instant Omni Plus 18L Air Fryer Toaster Oven


  • The huge capacity, powerful wattage, and extra features compete above and beyond other air fryer models.

  • The size won’t be ideal for some kitchens, and storage can be an issue for smaller households.

This large oven-style air fryer is a versatile countertop oven with extra functions to boot. It can bake, broil, air fry, and even dehydrate, thanks to the consistent air circulation and powerful heating elements. The size accommodates a 12-inch homemade pizza, a rotisserie chicken, or even a 9 x 13 snacking cake for baking. We struggle to find a downside with the performance and features of this air fryer toaster oven (of course, the toast we made was also perfect). If we had to choose a con, the size might be cumbersome for some cooks, and it’s certainly not portable or easily stored. But the many presets, generous size, and accompanying app make this one of the best multifunctional air fryers available.

Price at time of publish: $250

  • Type: Oven-style
  • Capacity: 19 quarts
  • Overall Dimensions: 16.5 x 13 x 14 inches
  • Presets: Air fry, bake, broil, toast, dehydrate, rotisserie, reheat, toast, warm, convection

Our Favorite Air Fryer

The Instant Vortex Plus 6-quart Air Fryer has impressed us time and time again as the best air fryer available. It’s the right balance of manageable size yet useful capacity, blasting convection power necessary for crispy results, and of course, the user-friendly interface.

What We Consider When Choosing an Air Fryer


These days, basket-style air fryers can range from $50 to $350, and toaster ovens with air-frying capabilities generally run from $100 to $400. Our favorites we’ve tested land between $100 and $200, as we found cheaper models either lacked in performance or capacity and more expensive machines generally didn’t offer much more than their $150 counterparts. Air fryers don’t generally need to be flashy to be efficient, and the prices reflect that as well.

cleaning cosori air fryer

Food & Wine / Russell Kilgore

Ease of Use and Cleaning

This factors in a few things: the display and functionality, how loud it is while running, and the cleanup afterward. If it’s user-friendly, has an easily readable display and straightforward operation, and gives excellent cooking results, we weighted those aspects above all others. If you’d rather not yell over the whirr of the air fryer in the kitchen, the sound is a natural consideration, and our winners won’t drown out your conversations. Finally, you can rest easy knowing that cleaning the air fryer after a messy batch of homemade chicken tenders is simple for the winning picks here.

Capacity and Footprint

Knowing the volume of what you’ll want to cook in an air fryer is just as important as the type of food itself. If you’re slinging standard grocery store frozen fries, you can generally manage with 4 to 6 quarts, as long as you give them a good shake halfway through cooking. For more finicky recipes like homemade air fryer chicken wings and hand-cut fries, the more surface area inside your air fryer, the better. If the air isn’t circulating while it’s cooking, you’re not going to get the crispy, consistent results you’re looking for. At the same time as wanting that sweet spot for capacity, you won’t want to hit it at the expense of countertop or cabinet space, so our winners strike the right balance between the size of the basket and the actual cubic feet of space needed for the machine.

cosori 9 in 1 5-quart air fryer testing

Food & Wine / Russell Kilgore

Versatility 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. 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. Though we didn’t evaluate every smart feature since they varied widely, we did put special consideration for machines that had helpful presets and those that had app/Wi-Fi connectivity. Ultimately, the flashy additions don’t hold as much weight as the cooking results, but a helpful app is a welcome addition for those that performed well.

Our Air Fryer Tests

Over the past few years, our editors at home and our testing lab have had their hands full with air fryers from dozens of brands. We’ve noticed that in the second or even third generation of products, some items with the same name have changed from the first models we tried in the initial boom of the air fryer phenomenon. This list of the best air fryers reflects our historical testing data and the most recent models we’ve tested — some brands still held strong, and others have not advanced in comparison, knocking them down in our ratings.

testing ninja xl air fryer

Food & Wine / Russell Kilgore

Our testing methods have always included frozen fries, vegetables, and chicken as a baseline. The most recent tests included frozen and fresh-cut fries, Brussels sprouts, garlic cloves, chicken wings, coconut shrimp, and apples. We ranked all results and factored in the nonstick abilities of the baskets and trays during cleanup, as well as the sound levels of the air fryers. Aside from performance and ease of use, the machine's size, weight, and general feel are all factors in deciding which we would recommend most. We also monitor the internal temperature to note how accurately the machine hits temperature settings, and how consistently it holds the mark. We pitted basket-style air fryers against each other, then air fryer toaster ovens we tested separately to determine the overall winners in each section. Finally, we compared the data for all to come to our most current list of seven overall excellent picks and a few runner-ups that won’t disappoint.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • 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,"  says Anna Theoktisto, a recipe developer behind some of our air fryer dishes including this take on fried chicken. “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 finds it easier to cook for two people using it. I'd recommend it to empty nesters, working parents, and single people."

  • How do I clean my 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. According to Julia Levy, another recipe tester and developer with ample air fryer experience, users should always follow the manufacturer's instructions when cleaning any kitchen appliance. 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."

  • Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer?

    Yes, since there is no microwave element, it is safe to use tin foil in an air fryer. However, depending on the food or cleanup required, it’s often best to keep the grates exposed to ensure air is circulating as efficiently as possible and to separate oil from fatty ingredients for maximum crispiness.

  • Can you put parchment paper in an air fryer?

    Yes, although you should never leave the paper in the machine while preheating. The forced air will push the paper with no resistance straight into the heating element. You can purchase air fryer parchment paper with perforations to allow air to circulate, which will aid in cooking and cleanup, but the paper should always be weighed down when inserted into the air fryer.

  • Can I use my air fryer straight out of the box?

    We’d advise running one or two cycles on empty, just as you would wash your new clothing before wearing it. Residual dust or particles will clear out (and any first-use smells will dispel), so you won’t impart odd flavors into your food.

testing instant vortex 10-quart air fryer

Food & Wine / Russell Kilgore

Other Air Fryers We Tested

Strong Contenders

TaoTronics Air Fryer ($100 at Taotronics)

What the Taotronics lacked in presets, it made up for in handle comfort and performance, but it was just shy of the results of our winning air fryers. It has a great capacity and produced mostly great food results. Unfortunately, only the fries didn't make the mark.

Ninja Max XL Air Fryer ($170 at Amazon)

A larger version of the star performer Ninja 4-quart, I own this model at home and truly find great results for the basic functions we use it for. It was touch-and-go on Brussels sprouts in our tests but we can forgive it for the excellent fries, shrimp, and wings.

Cosori 4-Quart Smart Air Fryer ($100 at Amazon)

The fries, Brussels, and biscuits were all slightly lacking here, but it was extremely easy to use with a great basket for easy cleanup. The dreaded dishes after cooking is an underrated factor in all appliance needs, and this model made that infinitely easier.

Cosori Pro Gen 2 Air Fryer 5.8-Quart ($120 at Amazon)

A little lacking in the Brussels and garlic arena, this air fryer won't do you wrong if you're not too worried about caramelizing vegetables. Great ease of use and smooth operation is an added bonus.

What Didn't Make the List

We've tested dozens more air fryers, including more Cosori models, the Philips Premium XXL, the tiny Dash Compact, and the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone. We were surprised to see a few of these struggle with the most straightforward food, like fries and chicken wings. Others had decent performance but lacked some of the features that our winners included as a default, like presets, large baskets, and easy cleanup processes. Some we felt the cumbersome size outweighed the results, and others were simply too small to recommend for most household uses.

Our Expertise

Megan Soll is a Senior Commerce Editor at Food & Wine and a frequent air fryer user at home. For this piece, she referenced multiple rounds of testing data and research to rank our favorite air fryers in several categories. Commerce Director Taysha Murtaugh also contributed to this piece, and interviewed recipe developers and testers Anna Theoktisto and Julia Levy for their insights. Our team spent days evaluating air fryers side by side in our testing lab, judging each on a variety of qualitative and quantitative factors and curating a list just for Food & Wine readers.

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