What is an Air Fryer?

Air Fryer ShrimpAir fryers are brand new cooking appliances that use much less oil than conventional deep fryers. Air fryers cook food faster and more efficiently than a conventional deep fryer, yielding much healthier results. As an example, a store bought bag of french fries can contain around 80% less unhealthy fat than that same bag of fries cooked in a conventional deep fryer. If you’re ambitious, you can make your own homemade french fries that contain only 1-2% of the fat that a regular batch of deep fried french fries contains. Homemade air-fried french fries are a delicious snack that the whole family will love as well.

Air fryers are super fast, too; It’s easy to whip up a batch or french fries in less than 15 minutes. If french fries aren’t your thing, it’s easy to cook beef, chicken, pork, fish or any kind of meat. Some people even use their air fryers to bake cakes!

Air fryer health benefits

  • Uses much less oil than conventional fryers, resulting in less fat intake.
  • More choices regarding what kind of fat that you cook with. You can choose healthier fats.
  • Can be compatible with most diet plans depending on what you cook and what type of oil you choose to cook with.

Top 5 Air Fryers

ModelFeaturesRatingPrice

Philips HD9220/26 AirFryer
Adjustable temperature control

Rapid Air technology heatings up to 390 degrees to ensure all food is cooked evenly throughout.

Grills, roasts, and bakes. Smartphone app

Best Price Here
4.4/5$$$

GoWISE USA GW22621
Programmable through a really nice looking LCD touchscreen.

Built in cooking programs for food type, or manual control

Best Price Here
4.5/5$$

Avalon Bay AB-Airfryer100B
Simple to use interface

Rapid Air Circulation technology

Detachable mesh basket

Cook, bake, and airfry.

Best Price Here
4.3/5$$

Cozyna AirFryer
Fry, bake, grill, and Roast all in one.

Cookbook included.

All parts dishwasher safe

Best Price Here
4.2/5$$

BLACK+DECKER HF100WD
High Capacity - 2.2 Pounds

Very easy to operate

Diswasher safe

Odorless filter which means no frying smells

Cookbook included

Best Price Here
4.6/5$

How do air fryers work?

Air fryers cook food by circulating the air around the frying basket, super heating the food that’s in the fryer while cooking it from every direction. The result is perfectly cooked food in much less time than a conventional fryer. Different fryer models use different technologies to cook. Some use halogen (but these are not technically “Air Fryers” as you will find out in a moment), infrared, and convection heat in different combinations. It’s a new technology and a little confusing at first but that’s where I come in. I’m going to help you choose the very best air fryer for your budget.

An added bonus is that air fryers also filter the air that comes out of the fryer so there are no strong fried food smells like there are with conventional deep fryers.

How to choose the best air fryer

Have I convinced you yet that an air fryer is a convenient and healthy addition to your kitchen? Good! Let’s get started shopping. First there are a few things to take into consideration when you’re choosing which air fryer to buy.

Controls

Some air fryers have a fancy LCD touchscreen while others have analog controls. The LCD touchscreen models have programs to run for the most common types of food, and the timer is perfectly accurate. The air fryers with analog controls are a lot cheaper but not as accurate in cook times. If you’re working off of a recipe book and already have a favorite kitchen timer then the cost savings of an analog model may be worth it for you.

Air Fryer French FriesCapacity

Air fryers vary in capacity. Some are large enough to fit a whole chicken while others are too small for even a turkey leg. Be aware of the capacity of the air fryer you’re interested in buying and make sure that it’s large enough to fit the foods that you plan on cooking. Smaller capacity air fryers are good for people with space constraints.

Brand Reputation / Customer Support

When choosing an air fryer, brand reputation is as important as features. Air fryers are not that cheap, and you’re going to want to buy one that lasts. If something does go wrong you want to be able to easily work with the manufacturer to get the problem solved fast. In my Air Fryer Review section, I try my best to review brand reputation and customer support alongside the feature reviews.

Color

This one almost goes without saying. Choose an air fryer that goes with your kitchen’s style and color scheme. Trust me, you’re going to have your air fryer out a LOT, and many people use theirs so often that they don’t put them away, so it’s nice to have one that makes your kitchen look better rather than worse.

Accessories / Extras

Almost all Air Fryers come with accessories or extras. Some models and brands have more accessories than others, and with some models you have to purchase accessories separately. Be on the lookout for air fryers that offer layer racks, baking dishes, recipe books and smartphone apps as extras. Some accessories that you can buy separately are large baking pans, grilling racks, double layer racks and variety baskets. Some of the accessories that you can buy are well worth the extra money but always try to find an air fryer that does most of what you need it to do without having to purchase a bunch of extras.

Clean Up

Most air fryers have parts that are dishwasher safe, so don’t settle for one that doesn’t at advertise that the basket is dishwasher-safe.

To get the most up-to-date information about specific brands and models of air fryers, visit my Air Fryer Reviews page.

 Frequently asked questions about air fryers

Q: What kinds of food can I cook in an air fryer?

You can cook anything from meat, potatoes, cheese, vegetables, and yes, even some desserts in an air fryer. Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Q: What can I do with an air fryer besides just fry?

Air fryers allow you to bake, grill, and roast as well as fry… You can’t do that with a conventional deep fryer!

Q: What kind of temperature control options do I have?

Some air fryers have a lcd touchscreen with programs for the most common types food. All of them have basic temperature controls for fine-tuned temperatures

Q: How long does it take to fry french fries?

If they’re raw – 16 to 20 mins. Frozen fries take 14-18 minutes

Q: How easy is cleanup?

Nearly all air fryers have non-stick surfaces, which makes cleanup a snap. They come in several colors but my favorite is black because it stays newer looking for longer. Without all of the oil, there is a lot less of a greasy mess to clean up.

Q: Can I cook greasy foods like bacon in the air fryer?

You can with most air fryers, but I wouldn’t suggest it. Since the fat will drip out, the bacon will most likely end up dried out and cardboard-like.

Q: How is an air fryer different than a halogen oven? How about a convection oven?

Air fryers use super heated, rapidly circulating convection to cook foods. A halogen oven uses heat from a halogen lamp. Air fryers are closely related to convection ovens in that they use hot air to cook the food

Common Complaints and Problems with Air Fryers

There’s always a reason to NOT buy something, so if anything on the list below are deal breakers, take them into consideration.

  • Some people complain that the taste is not the same. Less grease equals a slightly different taste.
  • The result can be more like baking than frying, especially with foods that are dry to begin with
  • Some of the cheaper air fryers don’t have the durability that the top brands have. There is a lot of heat and moving parts so durability is important.
  • On smaller air fryers the cooking area is REALLY small. Make sure that you do your research regarding the capacity of the air fryer before purchasing.
  • Non stick coating can flake off of the cooking area on cheaper fryers. Make sure that you read reviews and scan the negative reviews regarding this possible issue.