Deep fryers deliver that yummy, traditional fried food taste by submerging food in large amounts of hot oil, while an air fryer takes a healthier approach by using minimal oil and cooking food like an oven would. Once you have experienced the ease of cooking with an air fryer, savored the delectable foods, and have enjoyed the health benefits gained from using only a tiny amount of oil or no oil at all, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without this totally efficient and modern kitchen appliance. Whichever air fryer you decide is right for you, we’re sure these machines will be a great alternative to the deep-fried, fatty foods you’re used to. And with these fryers, you won’t have to sacrifice those great foods entirely, but you will be able to enjoy them in moderation without all the added fat of cooking oils. Up-to-date pricing and reviews for 5 qt air fryers on the market can be found at the Air Fryer Adviser website.
As mentioned just above, digital air fryers usually come with preset cooking programs that enable you to automatically set the time and temperature with the push of a button for a number of common food items. And even some avowed air fryer fans admit that the taste and texture of air-fried foods aren’t exactly like what you’d get with eight inches of oil and a metal basket—yet many are willing to make that small compromise for the benefits of relatively healthier eating and easier, less-messy cooking. At one time, the Power Air Fryer XL was the largest capacity unit on our list, but the competition has caught up. Verified purchasers liked that it is easy to clean (though for a longer lifespan, you should not put parts in the dishwasher), has a food separator, and it will make all of your most disgusting frozen junk foods crispy and crunchy.
Air fryers help you cook home-style classics like French fries, fried chicken, fried vegetables, and other deep-fried, oil-heavy American delicacies. Of all the pod-shaped air fryers we tested, the Philips Avance Collection HD9641/96 Airfryer had the smallest footprint and did the best job of cooking food evenly when the basket was filled to capacity. Though it took the Cuisinart a few minutes longer than most models to cook frozen french fries, the fries didn’t come out dry and dehydrated, like the ones we prepared in the Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven , or soggy, like the ones we made in the NuWave Bravo XL Air Fryer Smart Oven There were a few limp fries in each batch, but overall the fries were crispy and evenly cooked, with a creamy center.
Our Lab’s pick for the best air fryer is Black & Decker’s Purifry 2L Capacity Air Fryer Testers gave it high marks for its ability to cook 8 cups of food (a hearty amount for a countertop appliance!) and quickly pre-heat up to 400°F, plus we found that it was exceptional at cooking frozen French fries. Some hot air fryers come with a food divider With this basket divider, you can cook different foods at the same time without them coming into contact with each other. An air fryer is a great appliance to have in your kitchen as it will definitely ensure that you eat a more healthy meal since you will use little to no cooking oil to prepare those crispy meals.
Rogers points out that an air fryer is much less about frying and more about a healthier means of cooking traditionally fried foods. While the air in a convection oven moves pretty slowly, it circulates much more briskly in an air fryer and the confined, compact nature of the appliance helps encourage quick and even cooking with no damaging oils ruining your food and your health. Cooking with an air fryer means that you and your family will be able to enjoy the taste and flavors of the food without any lingering scent remaining in the kitchen from having just cooked fried foods.
It does require a bigger air fryer, 5.3 quarts or larger, since even a small whole chicken can be 3 pounds or more and will not easily fit into the standard 2 to 4 quart capacity models without breaking the chicken’s backbone to reduce the needed cooking space. Air fryer models are designed to handle certain amounts of foods during a cooking cycle and this information is often shown in quarts, liters, or pounds. With color options in both black and white, the Philips Airfryer is the cream of the crop when it comes to delicious fried foods without the fatty cooking oils.
This air fryer has digital controls so that you can easily adjust the time and temperature to cook many different types of foods. Instead, as the Life Hacker article above noted, air fryers might be best for foods that are already pre-fried (such as frozen french fries, chicken strips, fish sticks, etc.). The fries and chicken wings were pretty evenly browned but took longer to cook and were not as crispy as some of the food produced by our other air fryers.
Simply place the food in the basket, push the on/off button, choose the time and temperature (or use one of the built-in pre-programmed cooking modes), and wait for your favorite food to finish air frying. The air fryers circulate hot air around the food inside, cooking food at a fraction of the time a typical oven requires. Air fryers won’t produce the greasy crunch of traditional fried foods, but they’ll definitely deliver a crisp exterior and moist interior without the need for a gallon of oil.
Still following the same principles of using very little oil to make fried food creations, this model has a 3-pound capacity, meaning it can handle more food than your average air fryer. Using just a few tablespoons of oil, the air fryer acts as a countertop convection oven to create browned, crisp fried foods at home. Air fryers imitate fried foods but use little or no oil for a healthier alternative.
Probably the most well-known kinds of air fryers among the likes of the farberware air fryer, the halogen air fryer, better known as, the halogen oven, utilizes a halogen bulb rather than standard heating coils to cook food. The multifunctional knob in this air fryer makes it easy to adjust the temperature of your food as it cooks, while the dishwasher-safe, nonstick basket makes it easy to clean. Not having to constantly deal with fry spatter and the overhead fan makes the air fryer even more of a joy to use, but the resulting texture of the food fried” inside is what sold me. I’m one of those people who will buy frozen french fries to cook at home, but instead of frying them, I bake them.
Air fryers can also be used to refresh leftovers that aren’t crispy anymore, which is great for reviving french fries, egg rolls, or any other foods that don’t usually hold up well as leftovers. It turns out that an air fryer is actually a mini conductive oven; it circulates hot air around the food and by stretching the small amount of oil that you might either spray on the food being cooked or mix into the food being cooked, it allows you to get a similar effect to deep-frying without using so much oil. By doing this, the appliance is able to fry foods like potato chips, chicken, fish, steak, cheeseburgers, french fries or pastries using 70% to 80% less oil than a traditional deep-fryer.
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. 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. The Air Fryer by Cozyna has more than 700 5-star reviews on Amazon Buyers had success cooking a variety of foods in this air fryer, including quail, French fries, hash browns, and an array of snack foods.
The Yedi Houseware Deluxe Digital Air Fryer is our top pick thanks to its large capacity and built-in smart programs that make perfect cooking incredibly easy. ) Air fry, bake, steam, sauté, grill and roast Use little or no oil at all Non stick coating basket Recipe book and basket divider Philips Air fryer Viva Collection with Recipe Book and Bonus Fry Grill Pan 0. 5 qt CapacityFry, Grill, Bake, or Roast FoodOne-Touch Digital PresetsPatented Starfish DesignIncludes Recipe Book. Cook mouthwatering fried treats from crispy chicken, french fries, wings to cinnamon rolls in your deep fryer or air fryer.
Some foods may cook (read brown/crisp) better with a coating of cooking oil spray, but this is like a convection oven, not a deep fryer. In theory, the rotisserie basket (which rotates food automatically while cooking) is a good idea, but in practice it can hold only a couple of handfuls of fries at a time, and you can’t sample a fry for doneness without removing the entire basket from the oven. (Since cramped, pod-shaped air fryers heat up quickly and keep food so close to the heating element, things would overcook if you didn’t reduce the temperature.) We did find that when you’re air frying vegetables with lots of moisture, like eggplant and zucchini, it’s best to chop them into 1-inch or smaller pieces, to prevent them from getting mushy.
Since the Cuisinart isn’t marketed as an air fryer, it doesn’t come with a cooking chart for commonly air-fried foods. For our original guide, in 2017, we ran the air fryers through a series of tests: We cooked frozen and hand-cut french fries, frozen finger foods, and pork chops. Some air fryers ran so hot and had such powerful fans that they cooked unevenly and concentrated heat on top of the food, behaving more like convection broilers than convection ovens.
Air fryers are really mini convection ovens that use a fan to rapidly circulate hot air, cooking food faster and more evenly than a conventional oven would. When we first tested air fryers, in 2017, most of the models we found were small, pod-shaped appliances that looked like they’d be more at home in a sci-fi movie than on a kitchen counter. Deep fryers use vegetable or peanut oil to fry your favorite fried culinary creations like chicken wings, french fries, and nearly any food you can dip in fry batter.
Cook frozen foods, chicken nuggets, French fries, mini pizzas, and more with this impressive air fryer without grease and fat. The temperature goes from 175- to 400-degrees F. with the 60-minute timer turning the unit off automatically when your cooking time is up. So, cook up a dinner or snacks using the full-size or even lower amounts in the frying basket using the fryer that has 2 convection fans for preheating quickly, then cooking. Analog air fryers: The simplest air fryers use analog dials for setting the temperature and cooking time.
An air fryer saves you from all the disadvantages of deep frying-you can have French fries or fried chicken, without having to be concerned of all that fat that the food absorbed. You do not have to allow frozen foods to thaw before cooking in the Power AirFryer Oven. The Power AirFryer Oven is a full-oven multi-cooker that gives you all the crispy, juicy, delicious, and healthier benefits of oil-free air frying.
There are also a few combination convection toaster oven and air fryer like the Breville model above that Chef AJ swears by. I have the Cuisinart model myself and love that you can cook even more food at one time in them. This is because air fryers do not use as much oil as the traditional fried foods. Many air fryers are equipped with preset cooking programs that help you do away with the hassle of looking up temperature and timing for cooking certain food items.
All air fryers are manufactured with timers to help you control your cooking time and are either digital or analog. It takes less time to cook your food in this air fryer than it takes to pre-heat your oven, making this an energy efficient appliance. The rapid hot air circulation technology that the air fryer uses for cooking, allows you to use 85% less fat to get the same taste and texture as deep fried foods.
The adjustable temperature goes up to 400 degrees, which is pretty much standard across the board, and this unit also features an easy-to-read LED digital touch screen with 11 pre-set cooking functions, including frozen foods, vegetables, and even french fries. In the lab, all 25 models in our air fryer ratings turned out nicely cooked food, though staffers who sampled the results weren’t fooled into thinking they were deep-fried. Some air fryers will only allow you to cook one food item at a time, while other units have more than one cooking compartment for complete meal preparation all at once.
There are a number of popular name brand air fryers suitable for roasting whole chickens and they come with rotisserie forks or rotating spits for complete even temperature cooking. In order to reap the rewards that air fryers offer, the appliance has to be big enough to cook enough food for the entire household, yet small enough to fit in your kitchen. The GoWISE USA 3.7 quart air fryer uses hot air circulation to cook your favorite fried foods in a healthy way without requiring lots of unhealthy oils.
Cooking your fried food favorites without all the extra grease is easy with the Air Fryer by Cozyna. This air fryer’s digital controls weren’t quite as intuitive as those of the Philip TurboStar, but it was still easy to program once we got the hang of it. It cooked foods quickly and crisply, and its display was bright, large, and easy to read. I have a family of 6, so we bought the Power Air Fryer Oven and love it, we use the fry basket to make Jicama fries and the rotisserie option all the time for chicken and game hens.
We have 2 air fryers in our kitchen, we like to do chicken or fish in 1 and fries in the other, this way everything comes out at the same time. I got a basket type of air fryer a few years ago and I loved it except that I couldn’t cook enough food for my family of 5. And we loved it for fries as well as chicken strips but I had to do them in batches so stuff got cold waiting. As you might imagine, since you’re not cooking your food in hot oil or fat, Power Air Fryer XL isn’t actually frying anything. Be sure to visit the air fryer adviser for the top air fryers on the market to buy.
Prices vary widely, but expect to spend at least $60; one of the the top-rated models on Amazon is currently $75.71 , but similar models run closer to $100—and some, like the Ninja Foodi Multi Cooker , hover around or even top $200 (but to be fair, it does have more functions than plain old air fryers).