You are reading this because you’re looking for the best air fryer 2018, right? Well, your search is over! Here, understand with new fryer models and brands entering the market every day, it can be a little confusing choosing a unit that will meet your needs. Besides, you’re never sure of what to expect with a particular air fryer, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.
That’s the reason we review the best air fryers based on functionality, ease of use, features, and efficiency, with the aim of helping you narrow down your options.
Benefits of Using an Air Fryer
Your decision to add an air fryer into your cooking apparatus is certainly well-thought as it will help you make healthier, evenly cooked. Other benefits include;
- You will reduce the amount of oil in your food by up to 80%
- Your cooking transforms into a simple, straightforward process
- It is pretty easy to use an air fryer (a simple push of a button and you’re ready to go)
- Fast and convenient cooking
- Extra safety when cooking
- You get a machine that can perform a variety of tasks including baking roasting and grilling
…And now our top 10 picks
What is a Hot Air Fryer?
Simply put, a hot air fryer, as the name suggests is a kitchen appliance that uses, well, hot air to cook food. In essence, this a piece of technology that seeks to revolutionize cooking as we know it, making less tedious and incredibly fast.
As you may have probably figured out by now, with an air fryer, you don’t necessarily have to use oil when cooking food. Using a fryer is, therefore, one of the best ways to cook healthy food, whether you’re talking about baking, roasting or grilling. In fact, air fryers could as well be the answer to making heart-healthy food with little or no cholesterol typically found in cooking oils.
According to some of the leading brands, air fryers can help you cut down the usage of cooking oil by up to 80% in comparison to conventional cookers.
A hot air fryer resembles a large rice cooker fitted with a chunky detachable tray. The tray (or basket if you may) is filled with ingredients and put back in place. It takes 10 to 30 minutes to cook depending on the ingredients. One of the most intriguing aspects of hot air fryers is the ability to cook food to precision without distorting the taste or texture.
Even though some models come with a basket that has to be shaken periodically to ensure even cooking, the best air fryer should have a food agitator that continually churns the ingredients during the cooking process. (You need to check on that before making your purchase).
From the way it sounds, you may want to argue that hot air fryers are more or less like deep fryers. But, make no mistake about it; the two appliances are entirely different both in functionality and results.
The obvious difference between the two is the fact that you have to use cooking oil with a deep fryer while you may use little or no oil with a hot air fryer.
Differentiating the two, Gordon Ramsay, the celebrated chef says “Do the fries taste deep-fried?Look – nothing is going to replace that deep-fried taste, so no, they don’t, but, the Airfryer uses a tablespoon of oil and the chips come out crisp on the outside and tender on the inside – they’re a healthier version, and they taste great.”
And because more and more people are becoming cognizant of its benefits, a hot air fryer is now becoming a standard appliance in many kitchens.
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
A hot air fryer uses Rapid Air Technology to prepare food. In essence, this appliance works by circulating hot air around the ingredients placed in the integrated basket, making it to cook in the process. You can adjust the temperature at which the fryer heats the air. High-end fryers can heat air at 400 degrees centigrade and are therefore able to cook foods chicken, pastries, and fish among other foods.
Here are some pointers to help you understand Rapid Air Technology
- An air fryer features a cooling chamber that radiates heat from the heating point (placed closer to the food)
- There’s an exhaust fan above the cooking chamber to help generate and circulate the heated air.
- The cooking chamber has an opening that lets in the hot air so that it can pass through the food. There’s also an exhaust system to control temperature that may be created by internal pressure.
- As the process continues, food cooks.
Most models shut off automatically after the preset cooking time elapses to reduce the likelihood of overcooking. You don’t have to worry about the cooking time if you’ve never used an air fryer before. Almost every other model comes with a large LCD screen that allows you to set the cooking time based on the ingredients.
Once the food is ready, just remove the basket and transfer the food to a serving dish. Because this appliance has a built-in cooling system, the chances of fire-related injuries as you move the meal from the dishes is almost non-existent.
While using a hot air fryer is pretty straightforward, be sure to read the user’s manual to understand how get the most out of your unit, more so how to cook different recipes.
Why Should You Buy an Air Fryer?
If you want to take your cooking to the next level and most importantly cook healthier meals, a hot air fryer is an appliance you ought to add to your kitchen’s countertop. And the beauty of it is that air fryers seek to serve everyone’s needs whether you’re a busy mom, a cramped apartment dweller, elderly, teenage or a fitness enthusiast who wants to shed off some weight.
Here’s a checklist of some of the benefits of owning an air fryer;
- Depending on the model you purchase, you can cook two meals at the same time allowing you to save a significant amount of time
- You have multiple cooking choices from roasting to grilling, baking frying
- Most units are easy to clean and dishwasher safe
- You can eliminate cooking oil into your meals, which can come in handy if you’re diagnosed with ailments such as diabetes or hypertension
- The ability to cook automatically means that you can attend to other chores around the house. In other words, a hot air fryer makes hands-free cooking possible
- The ease of operation means that anyone (including the elderly) can use the appliance – all it takes is to place ingredients in the basket, push a button and you’re good to go
- Hot air fryers are fast and convenient – come in handy when you want to fix a quick meal
- Unlike deep fryers, they are safer to use primarily because they almost require minimal or no human resources
- No cooking oil means that your kitchen’s countertop stays clean
In short, there are numerous reasons you should purchase a hot air fryer. With this appliance in your kitchen, you could as well say goodbye to fat and salt laden meals that clog your arteries.
Air Fryer Buyer’s Guide
To purchase the best air fryer, you must consider a couple of things. While a fryer is not that expensive (depending on the unit you choose of course), it is going to be part of your cooking apparatus, and you’d want a machine that offers value for money. You certainly don’t want to end up with a crappy model that will break down soon or later.
What Cooking Capacity I’m I Looking For?
Your pursuit for a fryer that best serves your needs should start here. How many people will you be serving? How often will you be using the unit? Do you entertain a large number of guests often? Ultimately you want a fryer that will handle your cooking needs.
Speaking of the cooking capacity, it is important to know that fryers are available in large, medium and small sizes, with the capacity measured in liters. If you don’t have a lot of cooking needs, you may choose a small model with a capacity of 1.2 liters. However, if you have a large family (which translates to more food) you’re better off with one that has a bigger capacity. Some models have a capacity of up to 5 liters.
Do I Need a Unit With Multiple Baskets?
As stated, hot air fryers aim to help you to cook healthy meals, fast. However, some units come with dual baskets to allow you to make two meals at the same. This is an important consideration especially if you prepare meals often. A model with multiple baskets will without a doubt save you cooking time.
Does the Fryer Have a Rotating Basket?
While air fryers are meant to cook with less or oil, you should choose a model that enables you to use as little oil as possible. Look for a unit that comes with a rotating basket as it requires less oil than conventional models. When you use lesser oil, your food is crispier, evenly cooked and healthier than if it were made in a traditional fryer.
How Big is the Model?
Choose a fryer that will fit into your kitchen’s countertop without taking a lot of space. When preparing meals, you will need to use your countertop to mix ingredient and you don’t want a model that occupies all the space. Check the dimensions to ensure it has the correct fit.
Note – the bigger the capacity, the more likely that the fryer will occupy more space
What is the Range of Temperature Regulation?
An air fryer’s heat control range could make the difference between cooking crispy, tasty food, and wet, soggy meals. Besides, it also dictates the number of recipes the model can handle.
Choose a unit that has a wide-ranging capacity so that you can cook your meals evenly without compromising the texture and flavor. At the very least, the fryer should have an indicator light that shows you when the food is cooked. In essence, an adjustable thermostat eliminates guess work and allows you to make meals at the correct temperature.
Any kitchen appliance should guarantee the safety of its user(s). Let’s face it; using an air fryer comes with some level of the fire hazard that could lead to loss of life and property.
You should, therefore, ensure that that the unit you’re about to buy has the standard safety features such as;
- Insulated exterior handle to make sure that the model is cool to touch
- A locking lid to reduce the risk of splashing
- A non-slip base to eliminate the likelihood of spilling or splashing in case the accidentally nudges the fryer
- An automatic shut off to prevent overcooking and by extension lower fire risk
- Detachable basket to enable you to transfer food to the serving dishes with relative ease
Note – The safer the fryer, the more the number of people who can use it. In other words, you can rest assured that your teenage girl will make French fries in your absence without the risk of splashing oil onto their bodies.
How are the Customer Reviews and Ratings?
Listen, the best air fryer reviews indicate that previous users trust the unit. Ask yourself, how else could any model attract positive customer reviews if it doesn’t offer what it promises? At times, even with the best of knowledge of the market, you still need a second opinion before making your decision. One of most trusted ways of getting a clue about what to expect with a particular air fryer model is to read what others have to say about it.
Of course, you’re better off with the unit that is highly rated and has quite a substantial amount of reviews. As always, be sure to read the negative reviews to get the possible flaws of the model you’re about to buy.
How is the Unit’s Wattage?
You need to be sure that your kitchen’s power outlets can support the wattage of the fryer that you’re about to buy. A standard model uses 800 to 1500 watts.
With the above considerations coupled with a bit of research, narrowing down your options to find a model that is in line with your needs shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, the more information you have, the easier it is to choose the ideal machine among the many on the market.
Popular Air Fryer Brands
Some air fryer brands are more popular than others. While the top brands have been around for a while, it is the ability to consistently produce high-quality, state of the art models that have kept them a cut above the rest. The way a manufacturer deals with its customers also contributes to creating brand loyalty. Here are the most popular air fryer brands based on the sales of their models and most importantly, what the customers are saying about the quality of their products and service.
For a company that has been around for more than a century, you’d expect nothing but the best. Philips was founded in Eindhoven in 1891 and has grown to become one of the leading manufacturers of electronic, lighting and healthcare products. Their kitchen appliance division is equally a force to reckon.
Philips air fryers are the only models to get a nod from the world renowned chef, Gordon Ramsay. They are some of most versatile as well. And if you had any doubts that this is a favorite brand among shoppers, you may want to know that Philips has sold more than 7 million of its fryer models across the globe.
Black & Decker
It is almost impossible to talk about kitchen appliances without the name Black & Decker popping up whether we’re talking about juicers, toast makers, blenders or well, air fryers. The company was established in 1910 in a small garage in Baltimore by Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker. Since the early days, the outfit had a knack for high-quality products, and that has remained to be the standard up to date.
Their flagship air fryer, the BLACK+DECKER HF100WD has attracted positive reviews across the board from the company’s official website to a host of leading online retailers. Want to talk to Black & Decker? Not a problem! Just hit the contact button on their website and they’ll back to you, after all, the site says that the company is steadily focused on customer needs and satisfaction.
Avalon Bay makes some of the most stylish air fryers on the market. Their units are innovative, deluxe, useful, a perfect combination for anyone who wants to live healthily. While the company is not known for making large units, their models have proven to be popular among mid-sized families and individuals looking for a compact air fryer with the performance and efficiency of a high-end model.
Avalon Bay is family owned and has invested in human expertise to ensure that customers get value for money. Buyer’s sentiments across various platform show that their customer service is reliable and quick to address any arising issues. In fact, on their official website, the company says “At Avalon Bay, we promise to never lose sight of what really matters to you, our customer.”
Power AirFryer XL
The Power AirFryer brand is owned by Eric Theiss’s, a culinary expert, chef, former author and restaurant owner. Theiss’s affair with the cooking world started in New Jersey when he was 6 years old. As a teenager, he worked at The Culinary Renaissance under the mentorship of Frank Falcinelli. He went on to open Meritage, a dining bar, and restaurant in West Chester.
In the quest to take his culinary endeavors to the next level, Theiss’s ventured into product development, and that’s how the Power AirFryer XL brand was born. His company’s units have earned rave reviews from prominent food critics and in the process propelled the brand to even greater heights. If Theiss’s talent and ability is anything to go by, then Power AirFryer XL will remain a top brand for a long time.
GoWISE believes that food should be good, and that’s why they’ve invented in air fryers that help you enjoy good food. According to their official website, the company specializes in making its customer’s life better. All their products are ETL certified, FDA approved and meant to help the buyer LIVE WISER.
It is such promises and the commitment to fulfill them that has set GoWISE apart from its competitors. The GoWISE USA GW22621 4th Generation Electric Air Fryer is not only the best-selling unit from the company but also one of the most innovatively designed models on the market.
Call it the power of branding but Big Boss knows how to do it! Their premier unit, the 9063 1300-watt Oil-Less Fryer is arguably one of the very few models that use the exclusive combination of infrared, convection and halogen technology to cook food. Better yet, it is one of the fastest not to mention that it can make two different meals at the same time. What does that tell you? That Big Boss takes innovation seriously, and it’s not surprising that they’re one of the most popular air fryer brands.
Air Fryer Frequently Asked Questions
Which foods can I prepare using my air fryer?
An air fryer designed to make an assortment of ingredients including potatoes, snacks, French fries, poultry, and meat. If you’re the type who likes to get creative with recipes, you can use it to make large meals such as tapas. You can even use it to bake brownies!
You can grill vegetables such as peppers, corncobs, and zucchini. However, when it comes to veggies, you can only steam or cook them which by extension means that you cannot prepare beans, carrots or broccoli in an air fryer.
You can use your unit to make fresh as well as frozen ingredients. You don’t have to thaw the ingredients before cooking them.
Nonetheless, it is important to note that frozen ingredients take relatively longer to cook, but that doesn’t meant they will be less tastier. Be sure to select the correct temperature as per your ingredients because that determines time it take to have your meals ready.
You can also prepared two meals at the same time, but that depends on the model you choose. To cook double meals, place a divider in the basket and fill your ingredients on either side. For instance, potato wedges on one side and chicken drumsticks on the other. However, to cook two different ingredients this way, ensure the preparation temperature match.
How much food can I prepare using an air fryer?
To know the amount of ingredients you can cook in your unit, all you have to do is check the “max” indication in the basket. Of course, the maximum amount of ingredients you can prepare is determined by the type of food you want to cook.
If you’re making French fries or potatoes, a standard basket will hold up to 700g of frozen fries or 800 g of homemade French fries, enough to feed a family of four. Do not fill the basket with more ingredients than it is designed to handle as the end results may not be even. The optimal amount of French fries that you can prepare at a go is 500 g and the same applies for frozen fries. When cooking large quantities of fries, ensure that you shake the basket halfway through the process to promote even results and to reduce the oil coating on your food.
Note – you can air fry up to 500 grams of small snacks simultaneously but even then, be sure to shake the basket half way.
If you want to prepare meat, significant amounts of snacks or poultry, make sure that you evenly distribute the layer of snacks over the bottom the basket. However, do not cover the bottom completely to ensure that there’s enough room for hot air to circulate over and around your ingredients.
If you’re cooking stuffed vegetables, fragile foods or filled dough, place on layer on the bottom of the basket. Leave enough space between the ingredients so that you can easily lift them using a pair of tongs.
If you want to prepare bake, quiches, or cakes, use an oven tray whose diameter is not less than 16 cm. Avoid filling the oven or tray more than half because the dough will rise during the cooking process. Besides, putting too much dough on the pan or tray increases the risk of burning the fryer’s heating element.
How effective is an air fryer?
An air fryer is one of the most efficient cooking appliances you can own. It makes you food crispy on the outside while keeping it fluffy on the outside. It works well with snacks and fries. Up to 75% of those who taste fries prepared using an air fryer say that they like the taste and texture.
Note – even though your unit can make other foods such as vegetables, poultry, and meat, it may not be as crispier. You can, however, make them crisper by brushing the cooking oil on the outside of your ingredients.
Which is the best oil to use in an air fryer?
You can use most oils in the market and still get crispy and tasty meals. However, you will get even better (and healthier) foods if you stick to conventional cooking oils such as peanut, sunflower, coconut and olive oil. You may also use spices or flavored oils. Better yet, you can soak the spices in the oil before using it or use butter sprays.
Note – Air fryers seek to eliminate the need to use cooking oil in your meals and by extension make them healthier. Thus, the only time when using oil is necessary is when you’re preparing homemade dishes from fresh ingredients that have not been preheated including un-marinated chicken or freshly peeled potatoes. The oil improves taste and adds a crispy layer on the untreated parts.
Which parts are dishwasher safe?
It is common to come across phrases such as “all parts are dishwasher safe” when shopping for air fryers. For a first time buyer, this might be a little confusing. The only components that are dishwasher safe include the pan, the divider, and the basket. Note that these are the parts that come into contact with the ingredients it only makes sense if they’re easier to clean.
How long will my air fryer take to cool down?
Your unit will take 30 to 45 minutes to cool down, but you have to remove the pan first to speed up the cooling process. Fill the pan with cold water to cool it down. It is important that you allow your appliance enough time to cool down before storing it.
Is it safe to place my air fryer on the worktop?
Absolutely! Most models on come with rubber feet and plastic exterior to ensure that the hot metal pan doesn’t get into contact with your worktop. However, if the worktop is made of materials such as laminated wood, be sure to place an oven glove or coaster under the pan.
Air fryers are phenomenon kitchen appliances. In this day and age of healthy living, any cooking equipment that can help you to reduce the amount of oil and salt in your meals is a must have. Judging by the trend and air fryer reviews spread across multiple platforms, it is evident that the number of people using air fryers (and getting satisfied) is on the rise.
That can only mean one thing; that more models and brands are getting into the market as manufacturers seek to meet the growing demand. We are here to ensure that you don’t get caught in the thick of things – by providing you with the latest reviews, tips, tricks and anything in between that would prove helpful.
We understand that the marketplace changes as time goes by and our commitment is ensure we review the latest fryers as they enter into the market. In short, with us, you will always know what’s buzzing in the air fryer world anything else around it.
So, what are you waiting for, grab an air fryer that meets your lifestyle and start living healthily right away!