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Best Air Fryers 2021 – Top-Rated Air Fryer Reviews

Hi, I’m Nicole Papantoniou from the Good Housekeeping Institute. Today, I’m going to show you why an air fryer deserves a permanent spot in your counter, whether you already have one or in the market to buy one. I also get asked, Do I need an air fire? And the answer is yes, especially if you like cooking things quickly without drying them out. Air fires work like small ovens. They have a very concentrated heat to ourselves, top paired with a very large fan that helps circulate the hot air. This makes food very crispy on the outside and very juicy on the inside. It’s also really good for leftovers. Best part is you barely need any oil, and the oil that you do use will drip into the bottom of the basket and won’t soak into your food. This makes it a healthy alternative to some cooking methods, like Deep Frying and the Good Housekeeping Institute. We’ve tested more than 30 air fryers. Here are three different styles, and some of our best performers from our test basket style air fryers are some of the most popular and probably what you’re most used to seeing. They’re really good for frozen items and small items like french fries that you could shake during cooking. They’re also really good for items like meatballs or even chicken wings. Just make sure to keep things in a single layer. Air fryer. Toaster ovens offer all the functionality of a typical toaster oven from baked to broil, toast and bagel. But they can also verify which cooks food even quicker than they normally. What they’re really good for. Cooking items in a single layer like protein, or even something like grilled cheese. Lastly, we have air fryer ovens, and these are gaining more and more popularity for the versatility. They have multiple racks so you can cook more things in a single layer or even dehydrate items like apple chips, pineapple rings, Mingo or you can even cook the £4 chicken using the rotisserie function. For more information on some of these air fires and others we’ve tested, go to good housekeeping dot com. Mhm
(bright music) – Hi, I’m Nicole Papantonio from the Good Housekeeping Institute. Today I want to show you why an air fryer deserves a permanent spot on your counter, whether you already have one or are the market to buy one. I often get asked, do I need an air fryer? And the answer is yes, especially if you like cooking things quickly without drying them out. Air fryers work like small ovens. They have a very concentrated heat source up top paired with a very large fan that helps circulate the hot air. This makes food very crispy on the outside and very juicy on the inside. It’s also really good for leftovers. Best part is you barely need any oil and the oil that you do use will drip into the bottom of the basket and won’t soak into your food. This makes it a healthy alternative to some cooking methods like deep frying. In the Good Housekeeping Institute, we’ve tested more than 30 air fryers. Here are three different styles and some of our best performers from our test. Basket style air fryers are some of the most popular and probably what you’re most used to seeing. They’re really good for frozen items and small items like French fries that you can shake during cooking. They’re also really good for items like meatballs or even chicken wings. Just make sure to keep things in a single layer. Air fryer toaster ovens offer all the functionality of a typical toaster oven, from bake to broil, toast and bagel, but they can also air fry, which cooks food even quicker than they normally would. They’re really good for cooking items in a single layer like protein or even something like grilled cheese. Lastly, we have air fry ovens and these are gaining more and more popularity for their versatility. They have multiple racks, so you can cook more things in a single layer or even dehydrate items like apple chips, pineapple rings, mango. Or, you could even cook a four pound chicken using the rotisserie function. For more information on some of these air fryers and others we’ve tested, go to good housekeeping.com.

The best air fryers of 2021, according to kitchen appliance pros

Here’s why an air fryer deserves a permanent spot on your kitchen counter.


Air fryers are small ovens with a highly concentrated heat source and powerful fan that moves the hot air around to crisp up wings, fries, veggies and more air-fried recipes with little (or zero!) oil. They create a nice “fried” finish that your oven range can’t compete with, as well as, reheating results that blow away the average microwave. Plus, an air fryer requires only a small amount of oil to make foods crispy with a fraction of the calories and fat of traditional cooking methods, like deep frying.The Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances Lab regularly tests kitchen appliances large and small to find the only ones that are actually worth your money. We tested 18 traditional, basket-style air fryers and cross-referenced our most recent tests on toaster ovens, microwaves tests, and multi-cookers with air fry capabilities. When we test, we evaluate air fryers and air fryer toaster ovens on ease of use and performance by air frying frozen and fresh French fries and chicken wings. We scored the resulting food on its crispness, juiciness, and evenness. Our top performers air fried food to a crispy texture with a moist interior and were easy to use with large, easy-to-read controls that barely required the owner’s manual. These are the best air fryers of 2020 you can buy right now:Best Overall Air Fryer: Ninja Air Fryer Max XL Best Value Air Fryer: Chefman TurboFry Best Air Fryer for a Family of Four: Instant Pot Vortex Plus Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Cuisinart Digital Toaster Oven Air Fryer Best-Selling Air Fryer on Amazon: Cosori Air Fryer Best Large Capacity Air Fryer: GoWise 7-Quart Electric Air FryerBest Compact Air Fryer: Philips Compact AirfryerBest Air Fryer for One Person: Dash Compact Air Fryer Best Overall Air FryerNinja Air Fryer Max XLThe 5.5-quart Ninja Air Fryer Max XL was the top performer in our traditional, basket-style air fryer test. It scored the highest marks across the board for ease of use, thanks to its easy-to-use and -read buttons and clear owner’s manual. During our tests, the air fryer basket slid in and out easily, which made handling a breeze. We’re fans of the basket’s slick, ceramic interior and removable tray, which makes it nonstick. The tray also fits snugly and securely on the bottom of the basket so you don’t have to worry about it falling out when you turn the food out onto a plate. Both are dishwasher safe and easy to clean, even if you choose to hand wash.In addition to being easy to use, The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL scored the highest in performance. It produced crispy and even frozen fries, homemade fries, and chicken wings that were moist on the inside. The model we tested comes with a broiling rack for even quicker and juicier results and melty cheese. It also features several cook settings, including max crisp and air broil, which reach 450°F, and dehydrate, which reaches a low of 105°F. The different settings are programmed with unique maximum and minimum temperatures, so you can intuitively achieve different cooking results. Another unique feature is the timer, which counts down to the second. Best Value Air FryerChefman TurboFryIn our tests, the 3.7-quart Chefman TurboFry produced crispy and even results. It was also easy to use with a lightweight air fryer basket. One thing to keep in mind is its vented basket, which promotes air circulation, also allows for dripping if you don’t empty the grease buildup between rounds. The removable tray has many vents that benefit from cleaning with a brush. A digital version is available, which we’ve tested in the past and allows for more precise temperature and time selection, but if you’re not one to program specific times, the TurboFry is a great value. Best Air Fryer for a Family of FourInstant Pot Vortex Plus We were impressed with the performance of this air fryer from the makers of one of our favorite multi-cooker brands. Instant Pot’s Instant Vortex Plus is sleek with its stainless steel face and large, easy-to-read buttons. It boasts six cooking settings, including air fry, roast, broil, bake, reheat, and dehydrate, with different programmable temperature and time settings. The dial allows for easy selection so you don’t have to click a button 100 times to get to the temperature you’re looking for. The air fryer basket is large (6 quarts) and square, which creates more cooking space than its round competitors, making a smart home investment for a family. Its removable tray has a thin, hinged handle, which allows for easy removability, but also lays flat to not disrupt the cooking area. Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven Air Fryer Cuisinart was the first brand to introduce a toaster oven air fryer that allows you to toast, bake, convection bake, and air fry. We tested the pictured digital version, which not only made the most evenly-colored toast, but also the crispiest air fried food in the shortest amount of time. The rectangular 15.5 by 16-inch air fry rack offers a large cooking surface and sits atop a drip/crumb tray for easy cleanup. Since introducing the toaster oven air fryers, Cuisinart also introduced a smaller version with the same features and quality performance. Best-Selling Air Fryer on AmazonCosori Air FryerThe Cosori’s 3.7-quart square basket offers a lot of cooking space, especially compared to its round competitors. It’s removable and lightweight, with many vents for optimal air circulation. The control panel is loaded with presets that are programmed with recommended cooking temperatures and times, including a preheat option, which is not common on air fryers. The Cosori Air Fryer can also be used on a manual setting if none of the presets are the perfect fit.In our tests, the Cosori scored high for ease of use, and over 800 five-star reviewers on Amazon agree. It also made good fresh fries and wings. Frozen fries required almost 10 minutes less than the manufacturer’s instructions, so keep an eye on the goodies you’re cooking. Steam came out of the air fryer during cooking, which caused condensation to develop on the drawer – this steam did not seem to affect results. Best Large Capacity Air FryerGoWISE USA 7-Quart Electric Air Fryer The GoWISE USA 7-Qt. Air Fryer is the one we turn to most for cooking in large batches since it’s so big. In our tests, it air fried crispy fries and juicy wings that we kept going back to nosh on. It’s air fryer basket has an oblong shape, which allows for more cooking in a single layer than round baskets, and is big benefit when it comes to dehydrating. This GoWise air fryer comes with three additional racks that stack, which sets it apart from others on the market. The racks stack, which allow you to air fry thin and dehydrate up to four layers at a time. Best Compact Air FryerPhilips Compact AirfryerOur favorite feature of the Philips Premium Air Fryer is its compact shape that still cooks enough food for one to two portions. At 2.5 quarts, it’s the smallest of the Philips air fryers, which comes in XL and XXL sizes. It’s also the only air fryer we tested with a splatter lid. In our tests, the lid helped make crisp frozen fries that were moist on the inside, not dried out and evenly golden. It also allows for air frying greasy foods, such as sausages, which are not typically recommended in an air fryer because they can cause smoking. In addition to the lid, the Philips is very easy to use with a user friendly control panel and four preset settings. The basket handle removes for easy cleaning. Best Air Fryer for One PersonDash Compact Air Fryer The Dash is perfect for people who cook only for themselves. At 1.7 liters, it has a small footprint that can quickly cook one portion of food. A smaller footprint means it takes up less room on your counter, and a smaller basket means easier cleaning. The Dash has a mechanical timer, which makes it a little tricky to program to the exact minute. The temperature dial also doesn’t offer many temperature options, but we use the max 400°F temperature to air fry most foods anyway. We love that it comes in an assortment of colors that pop, unlike most air fryers on the market. The aqua, pictured here, is a fave.

An air fryer deserves a permanent spot on your kitchen counter, whether you already have one or are thinking about buying one. If you like to cook food quickly without drying it out, an air fryer is a perfect addition to your kitchen.

If you haven’t owned one before, here’s how it works: There’s a highly concentrated heat source and a large, powerful fan that moves the hot air around. It requires little to no oil to make food crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Whatever oil you opt to use will mostly collect underneath the cooking surface, so your food doesn’t soak in it, making it a healthier alternative to deep-frying. Air fryers also bring soggy leftovers back to life in a way that traditional ovens and microwaves just can’t compete with.

There are a lot of different air fryer brands, styles, and even colors to choose from. At the Good Housekeeping Institute, we tested more than 30 of them to determine which are easiest to use, and which ones crisp up wings and french fries the best.

Here are three different styles to consider (basket, toaster oven, and oven) and some of our other top-performing air fryers.

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Best Overall & Best Basket Air Fryer

Ninja Max XL Air Fryer that Cooks, Crisps, Roasts, Broils, Bakes, Reheats and Dehydrates, with 5.5 Quart Capacity, and a High Gloss Finish

amazon.com

Basket style air fryers are the most common, and likely what you’re most used to seeing. They’re great for foods like french fries that just need a quick shake during cooking, or small portions of protein. This one here has a five and a half quart basket so it’s big enough for most recipes.

Not to mention, this 5.5-quart Ninja Air Fryer Max XL was the top performer in our traditional, basket-style air fryer test. It scored the highest marks across the board for ease of use, thanks to its easy-to-use and -read buttons and clear owner’s manual. During our tests, the air fryer basket slid in and out easily, which made handling a breeze. We’re fans of the basket’s slick, ceramic interior and removable tray, which makes it nonstick. The tray also fits snugly and securely on the bottom of the basket so you don’t have to worry about it falling out when you turn the food out onto a plate. Both are dishwasher safe and easy to clean, even if you choose to hand wash.

In addition to being easy to use, The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL scored the highest in performance. It produced crispy and even frozen fries, homemade fries, and chicken wings that were moist on the inside. The model we tested comes with a broiling rack for even quicker and juicier results and melty cheese. It also features several cook settings, including max crisp and air broil, which reach 450 degrees, and dehydrate, which reaches a low of 105 degrees. The different settings are programmed with unique maximum and minimum temperatures, so you can intuitively achieve different cooking results. Another unique feature is the timer, which counts down to the second.

Best Value Air Fryer

Chefman TurboFry 3.6-Quart Air Fryer Oven

amazon.com

$59.99

In our tests, the 3.7-quart Chefman TurboFry produced crispy and even results. It was also easy to use with a lightweight air fryer basket. One thing to keep in mind is its vented basket, which promotes air circulation, also allows for dripping if you don’t empty the grease buildup between rounds. The removable tray has many vents that benefit from cleaning with a brush. A digital version is available, which we’ve tested in the past and allows for more precise temperature and time selection, but if you’re not one to program specific times, the TurboFry is a great value.

Best Air Fryer for a Family of Four

Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer

amazon.com

$119.95

We were impressed with the performance of this air fryer from the makers of one of our favorite multi-cooker brands. Instant Pot’s Instant Vortex Plus is sleek with its stainless steel face and large, easy-to-read buttons. It boasts six cooking settings, including air fry, roast, broil, bake, reheat and dehydrate, with different programmable temperature and time settings. The dial allows for easy selection so you don’t have to click a button 100 times to get to the temperature you’re looking for. The air fryer basket is large (6 quarts) and square, which creates more cooking space than its round competitors, making a smart home investment for a family. Its removable tray has a thin, hinged handle, which allows for easy removability, but also lays flat to not disrupt the cooking area.

Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Cuisinart TOA-65 Digital Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer

bestbuy.com

$279.99

Next up, we have an air fryer in the toaster oven style. This style has all the functionality of a toaster oven plus an air fryer so you can cook food even quicker. This design is best for foods that should cook in a single layer like protein or even grilled cheese.

Featured here is the Cuisinart TOA-65 Digital Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer. Cuisinart was one of the first brands to introduce a toaster oven air fryer that allows you to toast, bake, convection bake, and air fry. We tested the pictured digital version, which not only made the most evenly-colored toast but also the crispiest air fried food in the shortest amount of time. The rectangular 15.5 by 16-inch air fry rack offers a large cooking surface and sits atop a drip/crumb tray for easy cleanup. Since introducing the toaster oven air fryers, Cuisinart also introduced a smaller version with the same features and quality performance.

Power XL Air Fryer Pro

amazon.com

Air fryer ovens offer more space to cook (and dehydrate if you want to!) in a single layer through the use of multiple racks. The one downside is you often have to rotate the racks for the evenest results. In our tests, the Power XL Air Fryer Pro required the least maintenance during cooking, producing evenly browned chicken wings on the top and middle racks. It also made crispy fries in the rotating basket although we prefer cooking them on the racks for quicker and crispier results. Another perk of most air fryer ovens is their ability to cook like a rotisserie – it took the Air Fryer Pro less than one hour to make a juicy, four-pound chicken; plus, it comes with skewers for kebabs. Juices collect on a removable, dishwasher-safe drip tray, and the door removes for easier cleaning.

Best-Selling Air Fryer on Amazon

COSORI Air Fryer

amazon.com

$99.99

The Cosori’s 3.7-quart square basket offers a lot of cooking space, especially compared to its round competitors. It’s removable and lightweight, with many vents for optimal air circulation. The control panel is loaded with presets that are programmed with recommended cooking temperatures and times, including a preheat option, which is not common on air fryers. The Cosori Air Fryer can also be used on a manual setting if none of the presets are the perfect fit.

In our tests, the Cosori scored high for ease of use, and over 800 five-star reviewers on Amazon agree. It also made good fresh fries and wings. Frozen fries required almost 10 minutes less than the manufacturer’s instructions, so keep an eye on the goodies you’re cooking. Steam came out of the air fryer during cooking, which caused condensation to develop on the drawer – this steam did not seem to affect results.

Best Large Capacity Air Fryer

GoWISE USA GW22956 7-Quart Electric Air Fryer

amazon.com

The GoWISE USA 7-Qt. Air Fryer is the one we turn to most for cooking in large batches since it’s so big. In our tests, it air fried crispy fries and juicy wings that we kept going back to nosh on. It’s air fryer basket has an oblong shape, which allows for more cooking in a single layer than round baskets, and is a big benefit when it comes to dehydrating. This GoWise air fryer comes with three additional racks that stack, which sets it apart from others on the market. The racks stack, which lets you to air fry thin and dehydrate up to four layers at a time.

Philips Premium Twin Turbostar Digital Airfryer

amazon.com

$249.95

Our favorite feature of the Philips Premium Air Fryer is its compact shape that still cooks enough food for one to two portions. At 2.5 quarts, it’s the smallest of the Philips air fryers, which comes in XL and XXL sizes. It’s also the only air fryer we tested with a splatter lid. In our tests, the lid helped make crisp frozen fries that were moist on the inside, not dried out and evenly golden. It also allows for air frying greasy foods, such as sausages, which are not typically recommended in an air fryer because they can cause smoking. In addition to the lid, the Philips is very easy to use with a user-friendly control panel and four preset settings. The basket handle removes for easy cleaning.

Best Air Fryer for One Person

Dash Compact Air Fryer

amazon.com

$49.99

The Dash is perfect for people who cook only for themselves. At 1.7 liters, it has a small footprint that can quickly cook one portion of food. A smaller footprint means it takes up less room on your counter, and a smaller basket means easier cleaning. The Dash has a mechanical timer, which makes it a little tricky to program to the exact minute. The temperature dial also doesn’t offer many temperature options, but we use the max 400-degree temperature to air fry most foods anyway. We love that it comes in an assortment of colors that pop, unlike most air fryers on the market. The aqua, pictured here, is a fave.

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