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Best Air Fryers of 2020

Do you love fried food but want to eat healthier? We’ve reviewed the best air fryers on the market that promise just that, and these are our top picks.

Best Air Fryer Reviews of 2020

Best-in-class
COSORI CP158-AF

COSORI CP158-AF 5.8Qt Air Fryer

The best air fryer you can get

Modern air fryer thoughtfully designed to fit even on narrow countertops.

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1 COSORI CP158-AF Review

With a modern design and a sleek brushed finish, this versatile air fryer packs all the latest technology into a compact frame. Thoughtfully made to fit on your countertop, it’s still big enough to feed up to 5 people.

Complete with an intuitive digital screen, this unit takes healthy cooking to the next level by using approximately 85% less fat than a traditional fryer. But that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste – the COSORI air fryer will still give that deliciously crunchy fried taste everyone loves.

If you don’t want to use the presets (which are perfect for most meals), the temperature and time are easily adjustable. You can use this fryer to cook virtually any meal, from healthy veggies to delicious meats. And if you’re stuck on what to make for dinner, it also comes with 100 original recipes to try out.

This air fryer is the must-have kitchen gadget that will impress your family and friends at a price that won’t break the bank.

Best value
Ninja AF101

Ninja AF101 1550-Watt Air Fryer

Great for air fryer novices

An easy-to-use air fryer offering great value for money.

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2 Ninja AF101 Review

If you’re new to air frying, our best-value pick is a great place to start. This powerful fryer has easy to use settings making any meal effortless. From crispy fries to dehydrated fruit, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

The programmable control panel lets you air fry, roast, reheat and dehydrate at the push of a button. It couldn’t be simpler for those who are new to air fryers. And at an affordable price, you won’t have to worry about having another expensive kitchen gadget gathering dust in the cupboard.

The easy-to-clean basket pulls out for easy cleaning between uses and the lack of oil means you won’t have the greasy residue of normal fryers.

Although this one doesn’t have as much functionality as our best-in-class, it does everything you need for a great price.

If you’re thinking of trying out air frying to help your whole family eat healthier, the Ninja AF101 is the model for you.

Also great
OMORC 6QT XL Air Fryer

OMORC 6QT XL Fast Cook Air Fryer

No-frills operation

Very easy to use; it keeps your delicious food at just a knob turn away.

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3 OMORC 6QT XL Air Fryer Review

If the square shape is not your style or you need slightly more cooking space, the OMORC Air Fryer is a great alternative to our best-value.

This one is perfect for the traditional type who’s not so fond of technology, or for those who love to recall past times now and then.

It seamlessly combines digital functions with a quick knob, and you can choose from 8 preset functions or adjust temp and time to your liking.

Perfect to cook anything from hot appetizers to desserts; this no-frills air fryer can undoubtedly satisfy most of your cooking needs.

Best budget
GoWISE GW22731

GoWISE USA GW22731 1700-Watt Air Fryer

High functionality, low-cost air fryer

Modern design and a range of functions for an unbeatable price.

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4 GoWISE GW22731 Review

If you’re looking for an air fryer with enough settings to handle any meal at a price that won’t break the bank, look no further than the GoWISE GW22731. This impressive air fryer has 8 cooking presets that can handle anything from fries to cake. This reliable machine will take the stress out of dinner time without blowing the budget.

The modern touch screen menu looks sleek when sat on a countertop and the easy-to-use interface takes the guesswork out of preparing any meal.
This one isn’t quite as sturdy as the other options, and the basket has a tendency to release without pressing the button. However, with a little care and diligence, this shouldn’t be an issue.

With a great range of cooking options, modern design and an affordable price tag, this air fryer is perfect for families looking to eat healthy on a budget.

1. Why buy an air fryer?

Air fryers are the perfect solution for those who want a healthy diet makeover, but can’t give up satisfying fried foods.

Air fryers help you cook home-style classics like French fries, fried chicken, fried vegetables, and other deep-fried, oil-heavy American delicacies.

Why are fried foods bad?

The occasional plate of French fries won’t hurt you. But research shows that too much fried food can lead to health problems like obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. That’s primarily because they’re cooked in oil, which is a high-fat, high-calorie addition to otherwise benign foods.

What’s different about air fryers

On average, they use about 70-80 percent less oil than a deep-fryer. They’re also impressive technological innovations: they use quick-circulating hot air to cook your fries, chicken, or other typically deep-fried food evenly on all sides.

What this means is a quick-cooking, less greasy, less oily version of your favorite foods that’s generally received as just as crispy, flavorful, and enjoyable as its deep-fried counterpart.

Other benefits

Time

Air fryers also tend to cook your food quicker than an oven, stovetop, or regular deep-fryer.

Weight loss

They’re ideal for people who want to lose weight but don’t want to give up their favorite foods—with air fryers, you can cut out the fat without cutting out the fried foods.

Money

Plus, they’re typically more energy-efficient than an oven, so the initial investment pays off in energy savings in the long-term.

Versatility

Don’t let their name fool you—air fryers do more than fry. They can also boil, bake, broil, and even grill, but they’re far more mobile than an oven (great for camping trips or efficiency apartments in the city) and take up a lot less space.

And, finally, there are some things most people just don’t cook at home—most people don’t have a deep-fryer in their kitchen—so investing in an air fryer can save you tons of money on diner runs and fast food in the long-term, too.

Of course, not all air fryers are created equal. The right one for you will depend on its cooking capacity, wattage, extra features, and other model-specific options.

2. Cooking capacity

First and foremost, let’s talk basket size. Air fryers range in size from the very small to the family-sized. For reference, your average bag of frozen French fries is about 1 pound. Use the chart below as a general guide for finding the right fryer.

Capacity

Use for…

.5 lb

A single person

1 lb

A couple or 2-person household

2-3 lbs

A family of 3-6, depending on serving size

These are general estimates. Exact serving sizes will vary depending on the type of food you plan to cook, whether you entertain, and how much you and your family eat in a sitting.

Generally speaking, if you’re certain that you’ll be the only one (or two) using it, it’s safe to save money by getting a .5-1-lb model. But, if you have a larger family or like to host dinner guests, an investment in a larger model will be more versatile.

3. Analog Air fryers vs. digital air fryers

Another important consideration is how the air fryer operates. Like watches, phones, and other modern devices, some have a touch screen, some have a screen with buttons on the side, and some use old-fashioned knobs.

All of these options are equally as effective, but it’s important to consider which is most convenient for you before settling on an air fryer.

Pros of a touch-screen or partially screen-operated air fryer

  • They look more modern.
  • They’re more intuitive for people accustomed to smart devices.
  • They often come with more options.

Cons of a touchscreen air fryer

  • They are more expensive.
  • They can sacrifice looks for efficiency (but not always).

If you can’t stand knob-operated anything, a simpler air fryer won’t be satisfying for you. But if you’re on a budget, it may be just what you need.

The difference between touchscreen and analog air fryers largely comes down to preference, as the more modern touchscreen designs don’t necessarily come with more options than their simpler counterparts.

4. Consider cleanup time

Specifically, is the air fryer on your shopping list dishwasher-safe? Washing by hand will almost always save you a few dollars, but the best air fryers come with dishwasher-safe parts that can save you cleanup headaches.

How easy is it to take apart?

Also keep in mind how easy it is to disassemble. Even if you’re washing by hand, parts that don’t detach from each other—especially the electronic elements—can make it nearly impossible to scrub them thoroughly.

5. Temperature matters

Just like with a regular oven, cooking something at the wrong temperature—or for the wrong amount of time—can be disastrous.

How to choose a temperature range

Luckily, most of the mid- to high-end air fryers out there have adjustable temperatures. Generally, the temperature (and time) at which you cook something in a regular oven is a good starting guide. And many air fryers will come with a temperature guide or pre-set options for certain foods.

Temperatures range from 100-400°F (38-204°C), and the more range you can get in your air fryer, the more cooking options you’ll have and the faster you’ll be able to prepare food. However, most modern air fryers go up to (or get close to) 400°F (204°C).

Things like frozen French fries and chicken nuggets fare best around 350°F (176°C), while fresh meats like chicken breasts and pork chops can be cooked at between 300 and 400°F (148 to 204°C) for the fastest results. Remember, though, that you can always cook something at a lower temperature for more time.

6. The Best Air Fryers in 2019 & 2020

7. Cook time matters too

Temperature and cook time are inseparable. So, remember that with lower temperature options, you need more cook time options. Most air fryers offer timers ranging from anywhere between 15 minutes and 60 minutes.

Obviously, if you can set the time instead of monitoring it manually, that’s ideal. Some units also have pre-set options (for French fries or burgers, for example), and these can help ensure your food is thoroughly cooked too.

Volume of food affects cook time

Although it likely goes without saying, even these pre-set options are meant as guides. That means that, if you cook a lot of food at once or have a larger family, you’ll want to make sure you have longer cook times available.

8. Air fryer size and weight

Here is where storage options come into play. Cooking capacity and air fryer size are often intertwined, so those who need to cook more food at a time can reasonably expect a larger fryer.

Size

However, sizes of air fryers can vary widely, with heights, lengths, and depths as low as five inches and as high as 40 inches or more. That’s a lot of variability, but size doesn’t have anything to do with quality. Just measure your intended storage space (or be prepared to make room for your fryer) before buying to make sure it will have a convenient place to sit.

Weight

Fryer weight can also vary widely, from as little as 10 pounds to as many as 20 or more. Go for a lighter model if strength or high-up storage is an issue.

9. Other helpful air fryer features

There are also a range of smaller features that vary widely between fryers. Some of the bonus features available on air fryers can make or break your cooking experience.

  1. Pre-programmed settings: These are useful for those who value convenience, and are most common on touchscreen air fryers. Some common options include cook times and heats for French fries, burgers, chicken, steak, and other popular foods.
  2. Adjustable heat: As mentioned earlier, adjustable heat settings allow you to prepare a variety of foods to a variety of consistencies as easily as in an oven.
  3. Adjustable cook time: With this feature, the machine monitors the cook time for you so you don’t have to. Available options typically range from 15-60 minutes, but you do usually still have to turn the machine off manually when the time is up.
  4. Pre-set timer with auto-off function: These are incredibly helpful for the busy chef. Cook times range from 15-60 minutes and, upon completion, the fryer will turn itself off.
  5. Buzzing timer: Much like an oven, this alerts you when your cook time is up so your food doesn’t get overdone.
  6. Removable basket and pan: This makes cleaning and serving much less of a hassle.
  7. Temperature light: This feature activates a light to let you know when your desired temperature has been reached.
  8. Cooking tray: These may come either separately or with the air fryer. They’re like oven or toaster trays and broaden the cooking “styles” your fryer is capable of.
  9. Grill pan insert: A must-have for burgers, meats, and other typically pan-fried foods, this provides an alternative to a frying pan. Make sure it has holes in it to keep the air flow in your machine even.
  10. Recipe book: Many air fryers come with either a leaflet or a full book of recipe ideas to get you started. They also serve as great guides for cook times and heats, even if you don’t use the recipes themselves.

10. Air fryer buying tips

Some people like to keep their appliances simple and cheap; others prefer a fully decked-out cooking experience. Use these tips to determine the essential features for a basic air fryer, the one-step-up features in a mid-range product, and the top-of-the line features necessary to classify a product as one of the best air fryers on the market.

Must-have features for a budget fryer

  • Go for at least a one-pound basket capacity (enough for two servings).
  • An analog air fryer (with adjustable knobs) works well and is more affordable.
  • Adjustable heat settings are a must for versatile cooking.
  • A pre-set timer will ensure the safety of both your food and your family.

Good-to-have features for a mid-priced fryer

  • Step up to a two-pound basket for larger households.
  • Look for a display screen with buttons for a more modern feel.
  • Adjustable heat up to 400°F (204°C) will provide the greatest freedom.

Great-to-have features for a top-notch air fryer

  • Prioritize a model that offers, or includes, a grill pan and rack.
  • Invest in a 5- to 3-pound basket for serving size freedom.
  • Pre-programmed settings are excellent for thought-free meals.
  • Models with touchscreens are more high-end and easy to use. 

11. The Best Air Fryer for the Money

Best value
Ninja AF101

Ninja AF101 1550-Watt Air Fryer

Great for air fryer novices

An easy-to-use air fryer offering great value for money.

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