The 12 Best Air Fryers of 2024 | Authentic Tests from my Kitchen

best air fryer review

Welcome to my in-depth air fryer review for 2024. Air fryers have truly revolutionized the way we cook, offering a blend of efficiency, versatility, and compact design. Initially, like many, I was skeptical, viewing them as just smaller versions of convection ovens. But, after diving into the world of air fryers, I’ve become a true convert. These aren’t just miniature ovens; they’re a breakthrough in cooking technology, delivering meals that are not only faster and more energy-efficient but also tastier and crispier. One of the most impressive aspects of air fryers is their energy efficiency. They use just a quarter of the energy of traditional cooking methods and can cook meals in half the time. Their compact size is a win too, making them accessible and easy to use for cooks of all ages, and a breeze to clean.

air fryer reviewIn my quest to find the best air fryer, I’ve examined the top models on the market, utilizing advanced tools like a thermal camera and decibel meter for precise evaluations. My hands-on tests involved homemade and frozen fries, marinated chicken wings, and baking rolls to thoroughly assess each fryer’s capabilities.

Additionally, I’ve taken these reviews a step further. On my YouTube channel, I‘ve created reviews of these products, offering real-time insights and demonstrating their features and performance. Check out my YouTube channel for live demonstrations and more detailed reviews, helping you make an informed decision.

My criteria for the best air fryer are:

  • Value for Money (30% weight)
  • Frying Efficiency (40% weight)
  • Odor and Noise Control (10% weight)
  • User-Friendliness (10% weight)
  • Extra Features (10% weight)

For those of you who aren’t keen on reading too much, let me give you a bit of a spoiler. For me, the best air fryer out there is the Cosori Pro LE 5qt. Itโ€™s an excellent all-rounder with superb build quality, especially its glass interface, and it has plenty of capacity for any occasion. The frying results are effortlessly near-perfect, and its operation, with innovative preset programs, is genuinely user-friendly. Itโ€™s perfect for anyone looking for a hassle-free air fryer. And for those who want a bit more, Iโ€™d recommend the Ninja Foodi with its two independent cooking baskets.

The Best Air Fryers in Our Big 2023 Test

COSORI Air Fryer Compact 5 Qt, Max 450F for Juicy Meat,...*
COSORI Air Fryer 9-in-1, Compact but Large 6 Qt, 5 Fast...*
Ninja DZ201 Foodi 8 Quart 6-in-1 DualZone 2-Basket Air...*
Ninja AF101 Air Fryer that Crisps, Roasts, Reheats, &...*
Model
1. COSORI Air Fryer Pro LE
2. COSORI Air Fryer TurboBlaze
3. Ninja DZ201 Foodi Airfryer
4. Ninja AF101 Air Fryer
Grade
Air Fryer COSORI Air Fryer Pro LE Very Good (96 %) ValueMatchers.com
Air Fryer COSORI Air Fryer TurboBlaze Good (89 %) ValueMatchers.com
Air Fryer Ninja Dual Zone Foodi Airfryer Very Good (95 %) ValueMatchers.com
Air Fryer Ninja AF101 Air Fryer Very Good (94 %) ValueMatchers.com
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Amazon Reviews
26,477 Reviews
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Rated Power
1500W Power
1725W Power
1690W Power
1550W Power
Capacity
3 lb Capacity - 5.0 Qt
3 lb Capacity - 6.0 Qt
4 lb Capacity - 8 Qt
2 lb Capacity - 4.0 Qt
Special Features
Glass Display
New DC Motor
Dual Basket System
Ceramic Basket
Amazon Price
$79.98
$89.99
$159.99
$89.99
COSORI Air Fryer Compact 5 Qt, Max 450F for Juicy Meat,...*
Model
1. COSORI Air Fryer Pro LE
Grade
Air Fryer COSORI Air Fryer Pro LE Very Good (96 %) ValueMatchers.com
Amazon Reviews
26,477 Reviews
Rated Power
1500W Power
Capacity
3 lb Capacity - 5.0 Qt
Special Features
Glass Display
Amazon Price
$79.98
COSORI Air Fryer 9-in-1, Compact but Large 6 Qt, 5 Fast...*
Model
2. COSORI Air Fryer TurboBlaze
Grade
Air Fryer COSORI Air Fryer TurboBlaze Good (89 %) ValueMatchers.com
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Amazon Reviews
-
Rated Power
1725W Power
Capacity
3 lb Capacity - 6.0 Qt
Special Features
New DC Motor
Amazon Price
$89.99
Ninja DZ201 Foodi 8 Quart 6-in-1 DualZone 2-Basket Air...*
Model
3. Ninja DZ201 Foodi Airfryer
Grade
Air Fryer Ninja Dual Zone Foodi Airfryer Very Good (95 %) ValueMatchers.com
-
Amazon Reviews
-
Rated Power
1690W Power
Capacity
4 lb Capacity - 8 Qt
Special Features
Dual Basket System
Amazon Price
$159.99
Ninja AF101 Air Fryer that Crisps, Roasts, Reheats, &...*
Model
4. Ninja AF101 Air Fryer
Grade
Air Fryer Ninja AF101 Air Fryer Very Good (94 %) ValueMatchers.com
-
Amazon Reviews
-
Rated Power
1550W Power
Capacity
2 lb Capacity - 4.0 Qt
Special Features
Ceramic Basket
Amazon Price
$89.99

Our top pick: COSORI Air Fryer Pro LE 5-Qt

COSORI Air Fryer Compact 5 Qt, Max 450F for Juicy Meat,...
26,477 Reviews
COSORI Air Fryer Compact 5 Qt, Max 450F for Juicy Meat,...*
  • ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ค๐™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™‰๐™ค ๐™‡๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™š๐™ง ๐™– ๐˜พ๐™๐™–๐™ก๐™ก๐™š๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™š,...
  • ๐˜ฟ๐™š๐™ก๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™‹๐™š๐™ง๐™›๐™š๐™˜๐™ฉ ๐™๐™ก๐™–๐™ซ๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™€๐™–๐™˜๐™...

Pros โœ”

Cons โœ—

best air fryer cosori 5qt pro leIf you’ve been following my YouTube channel, you know that I’ve tested a bunch of air fryers, but I’m particularly thrilled about this all-rounder, the Cosori Pro LE Air Fryer. It’s priced at just about $100. Sure, it doesn’t have any fancy features like a dual-basket system or anything, but it’s simply the perfect all-rounder. It’s nicely compact, with a 5qt capacity that can fit four servings of fries and a whole chicken. While you can’t fit an entire pizza, it makes up for it with an intuitive, glass-topped control panel. You just pick one of the nine preset programs and you’re ready to start. There’s even a shake reminder feature.


Practical Test: High-quality Kitchen Aid with Crispy Results

I was particularly excited about my practical test, and it arrived quickly. The packaging was really beautiful, even including a smart carrying handle. Along with the main unit, the package includes a crispy plate, and you also get various booklets. Among them is a detailed, colored recipe book, perfect for beginners. For example, I tried out the delicious garlic bread recipe. Fortunately, you don’t really need the other booklets, as the operation is intuitive. Unlike other devices, you don’t need to study a manual here. I’m definitely impressed with the design and build quality. It has a matte finish that doesn’t attract fingerprints. The control panel is made of perfectly crafted glass on the top surface. The only downside is that you can’t observe the cooking status from a distance, as the controls are located on the top.

cosori 5qt pro le reviewSo, enough talking, I want to start now with the practical test. First up, the classic: fries. I select the fries program, which shows 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. However, from my experience, I know that’s too much and it seems more suitable for fresh fries. For frozen fries, 15 minutes is enough. I adjusted the time, and off we go. Halfway through, a beep sounds as a shake reminder, prompting me to thoroughly shake the fries, which are already looking good.ย After a total of 15 minutes, I can confirm the fries are done, and the result is excellent. They’re evenly cooked and taste deliciously potato-y. It’s not quite like an oil fryer, but much better than an oven and quicker too. The Cosori passed its first test and it also perfectly cooked chicken wings and baked rolls โ€“ the former in 25 minutes and the latter in just 10 minutes.

After frying, there’s, of course, the issue of cleaning, which I really recommend doing promptly to prevent stubborn dirt buildup. But I can absolutely reassure you on this front. The cooking basket is coated with a non-stick material, allowing you to simply wipe away any mess. Besides, the whole thing is dishwasher-safe, so you can just let the machine take care of the cleaning. For greasy foods, I strongly suggest using baking paper. All the fat drips onto it, and you can just throw it away afterward. This way, there’s nothing more to clean.


My final verdict

So, let’s now get to the conclusion, and as you’ve probably noticed, I’m really impressed with the COSORI Airfryer Pro LE. There’s hardly anything to criticize. Even heat development isn’t an issue; only hot air comes out from the back. There’s room for improvement in terms of noise; at 55 dB, it’s not the quietest but still acceptable. Overall, the frying results are very even and perfect. If you’re looking for a solid all-rounder without breaking the bank, then you’ve hit the jackpot here.

Place 2: COSORI Air Fryer TurboBlaze Review

COSORI Air Fryer 9-in-1, Compact but Large 6 Qt, 5 Fast...*
  • ๐™‡๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ-๐™›๐™–๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ค๐™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ: Advanced Turbo Blaze Technology boosts your cooking...
  • ๐Ÿต-๐—ถ๐—ป-๐Ÿญ ๐™‘๐™š๐™ง๐™จ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฎ: Includes Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Broil, Dehydrate, Frozen, Proof, Reheat, and...

Pros โœ”

Cons โœ—

cosori turboblazeIn my YouTube channel, I often receive questions about the new COSORI Turbo Blaze, so I jumped at the chance to thoroughly test it. I’m on a mission to discover if it might even surpass my current favorite, the COSORI Pro LE. Unlike the usual AC (alternating current) motors, the Turbo Blaze is equipped with a DC (direct current) motor. This design ensures a steady flow of electricity in one direction, reducing energy loss and generating impressive torque. Theoretically, this should allow the Turbo Blaze to work more efficiently and heat up faster.

What really caught my attention is the option to adjust the motor across five different settings. I want to share my thoughts on the user interface, which I found to be not as beginner-friendly as one would hope. A notable absence is a shake reminder and pre-programmed automatic functions. Instead, the fryer features 10 distinct modes, each linked to a specific motor speed โ€“ a detail I plan to explore further in my testing.


My in-depth practical review: Cutting-edge technology meets proven quality

As I awaited the arrival of my COSORI Air Fryer, my excitement was sky-high โ€“ and I was far from disappointed. When it comes to unboxing, no other brand tops COSORI. Particularly striking is the high-quality recipe book with colorful photos and the handy quick-start guide. My initial impression of the COSORI was overwhelmingly positive. I’d even go as far as to say it’s the best-built COSORI fryer I’ve had the pleasure of handling. The orange elements blend seamlessly into the overall design, and the perfectly framed display, even though it’s not glass, also adds to the positive first impression. Another highlight is the revamped beep sound, which I actually find quite appealing this time.

cosori turbo blaze fries reviewStarting right off with my practical test of the air fryer, I’m impressed by its 6-QT capacity. For this test, I’m preparing a small batch of fries for my team and me using the Turbo Mode Airfryer. I’m curious to see if it can cook at 380ยฐF in just 15 minutes. Although I miss the automatic programs, I’m not deterred. I pressed start and reminded myself to flip the fries halfway through.

And indeed, after 15 minutes, they are ready: The fries are impressively even and crispy. You can expect a time saving of one to two minutes, which might not be groundbreaking but is still noteworthy. The cooking results definitely rank in the high-performance category. Of course, I also tested rolls and chicken wings. Here too, the outcomes impress with quality and a small yet noticeable time saving. My COSORI Pro LE delivers slightly better results due to improved air circulation, but the difference is truly minimal.


My Conclusion on the Innovative COSORI Turbo Blaze

Wrapping up my test, I now arrive at my conclusion and the pivotal question: Can I recommend this fryer? I am so impressed with this model that I’m even considering selling my old COSORI Pro 5 QT and keeping this one. However, this decision is largely because I’ve become quite experienced in using air fryers. For beginners, there might be a lack of intuitiveness, which is why I wouldnโ€™t recommend it unconditionally, despite its many convincing features. What I find particularly remarkable is how quiet the fryer is. On the 1st setting, it operates at just 35 decibels, which is incredibly low compared to many other models on the market.

Place 3: Ninja AF101 Air Fryer Review

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer that Crisps, Roasts, Reheats, &...*
  • LESS FAT: Now enjoy guilt-free food. Air fry with up to 75% less fat than traditional frying methods.* *Tested against hand-cut, deep-fried...
  • WIDE TEMPERATURE RANGE: 105ยฐF-400ยฐF allows you to gently remove moisture from foods or quickly cook and crisp foods with convection heat.

Pros โœ”

Cons โœ—

ninja air fryer af101 reviewMy next model under review is another one from Ninja, featuring a compact design with the usual single cooking basket. This makes it a perfect fit for any kitchen. The basket is 4qt in size, comfortably accommodating a bag of fries. Priced at under $70, it appears to be a solid all-rounder. It comes with four different cooking functions but, unfortunately, lacks automatic programs, which I find to be a downside. The temperature can be adjusted from 105 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.


My practical test with the popular Ninja air fryer

Now, let’s quickly move on to the unboxing and in the practical test, I’ll assess its user-friendliness. Upon unpacking, I find two booklets: a standard black and white manual and a colorful booklet with practical recipes and a cooking chart. I recommend keeping these, especially since this model lacks automatic programs. The unboxing experience is good, though not quite on par with Cosori. At first glance, I’m really impressed with the design and build quality. The glossy surface surprisingly doesn’t attract many fingerprints. I also find the display well-positioned; it’s easily visible from a distance. However, I wish the remaining time and temperature were displayed simultaneously.

ninja air fryer af101 fries reviewLet’s start with the practical test, and of course, I begin with a classic portion of fries. First off, I’m relieved to report that there’s no unpleasant plastic smell, so the fryer doesn’t need to run empty. I choose the air fry function and set the timer for 18 minutes at 180ยฐC, then press start. Like the Cosori, there’s no shake reminder here, so you have to remember to turn them yourself.ย 

After 18 minutes, I check the results, and they look really impressively good. While you can’t compare it to an oil fryer, the taste is wonderfully potato-like, and I personally prefer it this way. I found hardly any uneven spots. My rating would be 8 out of 10. I also tested chicken wings and rolls, rating both at 9 out of 10 since fries are, after all, the ultimate test.

After the fun comes a less pleasant topic: cleaning. But here, I can reassure you. Since we’re dealing with a single-piece system, there aren’t many nooks and crannies to clean. For greasy foods, I always recommend using baking paper anyway. This simplifies the cleaning process significantly. Besides, the entire unit is also dishwasher-safe, making the cleanup even more hassle-free.


My conclusion: Ninja Air Fryer vs Cosori – which is better?

So, let’s get to my conclusion, and it’s quite exciting. This model competes directly with the Cosori Pro, and both are on the same level in terms of frying results. However, I find the usability and beginner-friendliness of the Cosori to be significantly better, especially with the useful recipe book it includes. Nevertheless, the Ninja is also a top-notch device in its own right. It’s easy to clean and operates without much noise, making it a great choice for those in the market for a reliable air fryer.

Place 4: Ninja AF101 Air Fryer Review

Ninja DZ201 Foodi 8 Quart 6-in-1 DualZone 2-Basket Air...*
  • 2 INDEPENDENT BASKETS: The original Air Fryer with 2 independent baskets, the XL air fryer lets you cook 2 foods, 2 ways, at the same time,...
  • SMART FINISH & MATCH COOK: DualZone Technology allows you to choose between the Smart Finish feature, which unlocks cooking 2 foods 2 ways...

Pros โœ”

Cons โœ—

The next spot on my list is taken by a special air fryer, the Ninja Foodi DZ201 with a dual zone. This means it has two independent cooking baskets, allowing you to prepare two different dishes simultaneously. If you find the Cosori Pro LE a bit mundane, then the Ninja Foodi is exactly what you’re looking for. You can effortlessly prepare up to 4lbs of fries or chicken wings.ย 

ninja foodi dualzone reviewHowever, I find the controls a bit less intuitive compared to Cosori products. There are no automatic programs for one-touch frying. But it does offer a Sync and Match function to control the two baskets. With Sync, you ensure that two different dishes with varying cook times finish simultaneously. Match does the opposite โ€“ if you have two servings of fries, for instance, you can transfer the settings to the other basket and fully utilize its capabilities.

It’s also worth mentioning that you can purchase the same model in two additional sizes: 7qt and 10qt. From my experience, I can confirm that the larger the cooking capacity of the device, the more even the air circulation tends to be. However, I actually find the 10qt size a bit too large for my liking.


Practical Test: High-quality Kitchen Aid with Crispy Results

For this review, I was particularly eager to put the dual independent cooking baskets to the test, to see if they’re as practical as claimed. Starting with the unboxing, we’re provided with several booklets, including some with illustrated recipes and an important cooking chart. You should definitely keep these handy, especially in the beginning. At first glance, I find the Ninja Foodi really well-made, especially with its various chrome elements. However, these are actually quite prone to scratches, so you need to be a bit careful. Another thing to be aware of is its gigantic size. Make sure to check if such a device can even fit in your kitchen. It’s not as easy to store as a compact air fryer. Unlike some others, I didn’t notice any plastic smell, allowing me to start my practical test right away.

For my first test, I decided to simultaneously prepare a serving of fries and a serving of chicken wings using the Sync function. I set the first basket to Airfry mode at 380 degrees for 16 minutes. Then, pressing the Sync button, I set the chicken wings in the other basket to the same temperature but for 23 minutes, and off we go. The first basket is put on hold until both have the same remaining cook time, meaning the fries start cooking after 7 minutes. What I particularly noticed is that initially, only one basket consumes power, making it very efficient and using only half the electricity. Then, it’s just a waiting game. Unfortunately, there’s no shake reminder here, so you have to remember to do that manually.

ninja foodi airfryer friesFinally, the time comes to evaluate the results, and they are indeed impressive. The chicken wings are first-class, thoroughly and evenly cooked. The fries at first glance are also evenly cooked and nicely crisp, though there are some slightly uneven results here and there. In this aspect, the COSORI performed better. The cooking baskets of the Foodi, due to their compact design, don’t allow for optimal air circulation. But still, given its flexibility, this is absolutely fine and hardly worth mentioning. I also tested baking rolls, and here I have no complaints; they only needed 10 minutes.


My conclusion on the practical Ninja DualZone Foodi

Now, coming to the conclusion, as you might have noticed, I’m quite thrilled with this Ninja Dual Zone. The dual cooking baskets are extremely practical, and the possibilities are almost endless. Additionally, the compact size of the baskets makes cleaning much easier compared to other air fryers. It’s also worth mentioning that they’re non-stick coated and dishwasher-safe. The noise level is reasonable at 60 dB, though not exceptionally quiet. As I mentioned, the cooking results are almost perfect, with only minor drawbacks. So, if you don’t have an issue with the size and you like the idea of preparing different dishes simultaneously, then this is your perfect device.

Place 5: Cosori Mini Air Fryer 2.1 Qt Review

COSORI Air Fryer Compact 2.1Qt, Small Mini Airfryer...*
  • 2.1-Qt Capacity: This small air fryer is perfect for single serving items like sides, snacks, wings, and more.
  • Compact and Portable: Weighing in at less than 5 pounds, this mini air fryer is designed to be easily stored and carried with its sleek,...

Pros โœ”

Cons โœ—

cosori mini airfryer reviewThe next product in my test series is another special air fryer, but this time it’s a mini version. It’s truly ideal for on-the-go, in a camping van, or even in a student dorm room. It fits a single portion of fries, and its dimensions are just 25cm in length and width. The operation is also quite intuitive, with only four functions. Unfortunately, like the previous model, this one doesn’t have automatic programs, so you’ll need to refer to a cooking chart. I’m eager to see how this mini air fryer performs compared to the larger models.


My practical test with the Mini-Version of an Airfryer

Let’s start with the unboxing, and Cosori usually includes a recipe book with their products. Unfortunately, they’ve omitted it in this case, likely to save costs. Instead, you can turn to the VeSync app, which offers 100 recipes. However, there is a small, colored quick-start guide included. My first impression of the fryer is that it’s well-made, with really evenly narrow gaps. I must say, the surface doesn’t seem as high-quality as the more expensive models. It attracts more dust and thus doesn’t look as premium. But still, I find the build quality acceptable for the price.

cosori mini airfryer chicken wingsSo, I’ll start the practical test with a single portion of fries. The size is surprisingly smaller than one might think, but the fries fit in without any issues. I selected the air fry option and set the temperature to 180ยฐC, but increased the cooking time to 20 minutes due to its lower power. Then I start the process, eager to see the results. It’s important to shake them more frequently to ensure optimal air circulation. Indeed, the 20 minutes were the right call; as expected, it takes a bit longer, but that’s not a big deal. Thanks to the frequent shaking, I must say the result was worth it. The fries turned out quite evenly cooked and crispy.

Next, I tried baking rolls and chicken wings. The chicken wings turned out acceptably well. They took 28 minutes to cook, which led to some moisture loss, making them a bit drier than ideal. Overall, despite these minor issues, I’m satisfied with the results, especially considering the price point. This mini air fryer offers good value, particularly for those with limited space or needing a portable option.


My Conclusion: The Cosori Mini โ€“ A Specialized Choice for Specific Needs

In summary, my feelings about the Cosori Mini are somewhat mixed. Personally, I wouldn’t opt for it in my apartment since I already have more space and plan to use an air fryer more frequently. The budget isn’t a major factor here, as one can find larger models at affordable prices. However, if you’re on the go in a camping van, or only plan to fry occasionally, then it might be the right choice for you. I believe this fryer is designed for a specific audience and is ideal for them. Thanks to its compact size, it’s quite easy to clean and not as cumbersome as the larger models.

Place 6: Instant Vortex Plus 6QT

Instant Vortex Plus 6QT XL Air Fryer, 6-in-1, Broils,...*
  • 6-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Air fry, broil, roast, dehydrate, bake and reheat
  • EvenCrisp TECHNOLOGY: Advanced technology that drives air flow top down for a perfect golden finish and crispy, tender results every time!

Prosโœ”

Consโœ—

instant vortex plus reviewAs you know, I’ve tested many products from Cosori or SharkNinja and have truly been convinced by them. Now, I’m trying out a new brand from the manufacturer of the Instant OnePot. It’s also an interesting product and has earned its place. The cooking basket offers a lot of space, so it can fit over 20 chicken wings. I also particularly like the operation with the dial. Although I would prefer automatic programs, these functions are suitable, and one can quickly get the hang of it.


My In-Depth Review about the Instant Vortex Plus

I quickly unboxed the device and, unfortunately, this time there is no recipe book included like with the others. However, the build quality impressed me even more. The exterior is made of high-quality stainless steel, which gives it a very chic appearance. The dial is even better. Everything sits firmly, and I was able to get used to the operation quickly. The only thing that bothers me is that the device always needs to preheat, and this happens more often than one would like. With the others, this isn’t the case, and it can become annoying.

instant vortex plus airfryerNonetheless, I started my practical test and tried both fries and chicken wings. The time and temperature are the same as with others, and the results are quite presentable. I must say that the evenness isn’t on the same level as with Cosori or Ninja, but it’s definitely usable. Following that, the cleaning process comes into play, and there’s not much to say hereโ€”everything is dishwasher safe and easy to clean. The only issue is that the cooking basket and crisper plate are relatively large and may not easily fit into every dishwasher.


My Conclusion about the Airfryer

So, coming to my conclusion, I must say I am really very satisfied, especially surprised by the build quality and the large surface area of the cooking basket. The frying results were quite solid, though not perfect. The noise level is also quite bothersome. I can recommend the air fryer to anyone who simply wants a lot of cooking capacity.

Air Fryers - Comprehensive Guide

air fryer review

I’m glad you’re here for my deep dive into air fryers. It was quite the journey for me, and I hope you find it just as intriguing. With the best air fryer now crowned, it’s time to explore what exactly an air fryer is. Having tested numerous models, Iโ€™ve learned a lot along the way. One important myth to bust right off the bat: the notion that fried food can’t be part of a healthy diet. Air fryers challenge this by letting us enjoy our crispy favorites without drowning them in oil. This is great news for anyone trying to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor.

Air fryers donโ€™t just stop at frying; they can also bake, roast, and cook, making them incredibly versatile kitchen tools. In this guide, weโ€™ll delve into how these devices work, the variety of dishes they can create, and why they might just be the kitchen upgrade you didnโ€™t know you needed.

Some might question whether an air fryer is worth the investment, considering it similar to a traditional oven. I’ll tackle this question head-on, highlighting the distinct benefits that set air fryers apart from your average oven.

Quick Overview about AirFryers: How does an Airfryer work?

how does an air fryer workLet me give you a quick rundown on air fryers and what they are exactly. Essentially, an air fryer uses a heating element to create a stream of hot air, cooking food at up to 400ยฐF or even more. A fan ensures even and vitamin-preserving preparation, with oil almost entirely unnecessary, except for a teaspoon or so added for extra flavor and crispiness.

This hot air principle offers health benefits without compromising taste. Despite the lower fat content and healthier cooking method, you’ll hardly notice a difference compared to traditional deep-fried foods. Plus, air fryers are much safer, don’t develop unpleasant odors, and can reduce fat content by up to 80%. Cleaning usually involves just wiping down the fat container after removing any food residues.

At first glance, air fryers might seem similar to conventional ovens, but the difference lies in the details. Their compact size means that hot air circulates more directly around the food, leading to impressive energy efficiency and wonderfully crispy results. They’re much more than a passing trend; you can use them for frying, cooking, and even baking. Prices range from an affordable USD 60 to premium models around USD 250, offering something for everyone.

Difference Between an Air Fryer and a Convection Oven

air fryer or ovenNow that weโ€™ve covered the basics, let’s dive into the essential reasons why you might consider getting an air fryer, even if you already own an oven. Essentially, while it’s true that air fryers work on a principle similar to convection ovens, frying without actually immersing the food in oil, there are still plenty of differences that make a big impact. I’ve personally been convinced of their practicality. They’re compact, affordable, and surprisingly versatile in their use. But let’s take a closer look: At their heart, air fryers are indeed mini convection ovens, utilizing hot air thatโ€™s quickly and evenly distributed inside the device by a fan. However, it’s their compact design that enhances effective air circulation.

The Mechanics & Compact Design

In a conventional oven, the heating element is located at the back, whereas in an air fryer, it’s usually at the top. Both appliances circulate air, but the air fryer’s fan can reach speeds over 70km/h (about 43mph), a velocity that convection ovens can’t match. This is why fries, for instance, donโ€™t turn out as well in a conventional oven. The rapid air movement in an air fryer cooks fries and similar foods more evenly and to a perfect crisp.

Moreover, the difference in the cooking basket is significant. Typically, it’s perforated to ensure uninterrupted airflow, unlike in an oven. However, preparing food is quite similar in both: you set the temperature and time, and off you go.

Better and Tastier Food

good fries from an air fryerThe outstanding air circulation in an air fryer is what creates the crispiness we all love. Like a mini tornado, the hot air circulates rapidly around the food, cooking every side evenly and effectively. This means the exterior gets deliciously crispy while the inside remains tender and juicyโ€”a feat normal ovens often struggle to achieve perfectly. The ability to flip food during cooking ensures every bit gets evenly roasted, without worrying about some parts being too dark or others not cooked enough.

Then thereโ€™s the flexibility with oil. We all know fats carry flavor, and air fryers let us decide exactly how much or little oil we want to use. Often, just a few sprays are enough to enhance the natural taste of the food and give it that unmistakable crispy texture. The beauty of it is having controlโ€”more oil for extra richness and crispiness, or less for a lighter, healthier option. The air fryer doesn’t take away your freedom; it expands it by giving you the tools to tailor your food precisely to your taste, making the outcome not only delicious but also personalized.

Cooking Time

One of the significant advantages of an air fryer is the remarkable cooking time. Unlike a conventional oven, which seems to take forever just to preheat, an air fryer is ready almost instantly. Most models need no or at most two minutes of preheating time. This is a real game-changer for anyone in a hurry or who simply doesnโ€™t want to wait for an oven to preheat.

When it comes to actual cooking time, air fryers offer a simple rule of thumb that makes life much easier: if you look at the recommended baking time on a productโ€™s packaging for a conventional oven, you can often halve that time for the air fryer. That’s because the concentrated and rapid airflow transfers heat more directly to the food, saving not only time but also energy, making the air fryer a valued kitchen appliance in our fast-paced lives.

Energy Consumption

Not only is the air fryer a culinary jack-of-all-trades, but it’s also a real penny-pincher when it comes to energy efficiency. An air fryer uses about half the energy of a traditional oven and works faster. This means a cooking session in an air fryer consumes only about a quarter of the electricity needed by an oven for the same task.

Calculating these savings, the potential for household budgets is significant: with the lower energy consumption and reduced cooking times, you could save an average of about 70 euros a year. This means the investment in an air fryer could pay for itself in just under two yearsโ€”not to mention the positive impact on the environment from reduced electricity use.

For instance, preparing fries uses about 0.25kW, costing roughly 5 cents, whereas an oven uses 0.6kW, more than double. In our air fryer tests, the COSORI model used just 0.2kW.

Airfryer
Typical Convection Oven

What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?

pizza airfryerNow that we’ve discussed the differences between ovens and air fryers, let’s dive into the distinction between traditional deep fryers and air fryers. I’ve always been curious about the debate between traditional deep fryers and air fryers. My journey led me to prefer the air fryer, primarily for its health benefits and ease of use, though I understand why some of my friends stick to their deep fryers for that unmatched taste only oil seems to provide. The air fryer, using hot air to cook, offers a healthier way to enjoy my favorite fried foods without making my kitchen smell like a fast-food joint. Even without oil, I’ve been impressed by how crispy and golden the food comes out.

Comparing the two, traditional fryers need a bit of time to heat up but then fry foods quickly. For example my Tefal Deep Fryer takes about 15 Minutes just to heat up. My air fryer, in contrast, is ready to use almost immediately, although the cooking might take a little longer. My air fryer, on the other hand, is ready to use almost immediately, though the cooking may take slightly longer.ย 

This means that for the initial batch, they’re about equally fast, with the air fryer potentially being even quicker. But it’s worth it, considering the speed for the initial batch and not having to deal with hot oil. Cleaning up is where the air fryer really wins for me. It’s as simple as giving it a quick wipe or popping it into the dishwasher, unlike the traditional fryer, which can be quite a chore with oil disposal. This ease of use, combined with healthier cooking, makes the air fryer a standout choice in my kitchen.

Did You Know?

Interestingly, the term "air fryer" is somewhat misleading. By definition, to fry something means to cook it in hot oil or fat, yet the opposite is actually true for air fryers.

Pros and Cons of an Air Fryer

To wrap it all up, I’ll run through the pros and cons of using an air fryer, diving a bit deeper into each point to give you a comprehensive overview. Air fryers have become a significant part of my kitchen routine, and it’s clear why when you consider the balance of benefits and drawbacks.

The Advantages of Using an Air Fryer:

Fast Cooking Time

A traditional oven might linger around 30 minutes to warm up, but an air fryer jumps to the right temperature in a fraction of that time. It's impressive to see frozen fries turn golden and crispy in just 15 minutes, compared to the 45 minutes they'd sit in an oven. For those who are always on the go and need quick meal solutions, the efficiency of an air fryer is a genuine advantage.

Versatile Cooking Options

Beyond the classic frying, an air fryer makes it easy to roast, cook, or bake, effectively replacing several kitchen gadgets. To enhance these capabilities, there's a range of accessories specifically designed for different cooking methods, such as grill pans. These may come included with your air fryer or be available for separate purchase, broadening the appliance's versatility even further.

Easy Cleanup

Switching to an air fryer from a traditional deep fryer can significantly cut down on your kitchen chores. One of the standout features is the non-stick coating on most air fryer cooking baskets. This design means that a quick wipe with a damp kitchen towel is often all it takes to clean up after cooking. And on those occasions when you're faced with tougher messes, the convenience of being able to pop the basket into the dishwasher is a real time-saver. This ease of cleanup is a huge advantage for anyone looking to streamline their cooking and cleaning process.

No Lingering Odors

Everyone's likely familiar with that distinct frying smell, which can sometimes be less than pleasant. With traditional deep frying, there's no avoiding those pervasive odors. However, an air fryer operates differently, producing hardly any smell at all. This makes it a cleaner option for your kitchen atmosphere.

Healthier, Low-Fat Cooking

The main advantage of an air fryer is that it allows for cooking almost entirely without oil or fat, making the food preparation much healthier and ideal for those on a diet. Remarkably, this doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor. Through the table below, you can see for yourself just how many calories you could save by using an air fryer.

Efficient Cooking

Another standout benefit of the air fryer is its energy-efficient cooking process. Unlike traditional ovens that often require lengthy preheating times and prolonged cooking periods, air fryers reach the desired temperature quickly and cook food faster. This not only saves time but also significantly reduces energy consumption, making the air fryer an eco-friendly and cost-effective choice for your kitchen.

The Disadvantages of Using an Air Fryer:

Initial Cost:

Venturing into the world of air fryers also comes with its share of upfront investment. While the long-term benefits include energy efficiency and healthier cooking, the initial purchase price of an air fryer can be notably higher than that of traditional cooking appliances. This is especially true for high-end models that boast the latest technology and larger capacities. For those on a tight budget, the cost can be a significant consideration, weighing against the immediate adoption of this innovative kitchen gadget. Despite the potential for energy savings and reduced oil usage, the upfront expense may require careful financial planning or prioritization for many households.

Learning Curve

Another downside to consider is the learning curve associated with air fryers. While they are marketed for their convenience and simplicity, getting the best results often requires a bit of trial and error. Each model can vary in its settings and performance, meaning recipes might need adjustments in terms of temperature and cooking time. For those accustomed to traditional baking and frying, adapting to the air fryer's method can introduce a period of experimentation. This might lead to a few less-than-perfect meals before mastering the device. Although many find this exploration part of the fun, for others seeking immediate perfection in their cooking, it could be a point of frustration.

Noise Level:

Air fryers are not silent operators. The fan that circulates hot air inside the fryer can generate a considerable amount of noise during cooking. While it's not usually louder than a kitchen exhaust fan, for those sensitive to sound or living in small spaces where sound carries, the noise level of an air fryer could be a slight inconvenience. It's a small consideration but one that might affect the overall cooking experience for some users.

Taste and Texture Differences

Considering the differences in taste and texture when comparing air frying to traditional deep frying, it's evident that the results aren't identical. Air frying doesn't immerse foods in oil, which means they might not achieve the same level of juiciness or have the same crispy exterior that deep frying offers. This is especially notable for dishes where the classic fried texture and flavor are crucial. However, from my own experience, I've come to prefer the way air frying brings out the food's inherent flavors. There's a distinct purity to the taste that you don't get with oil-saturated alternatives. Admittedly, it took some getting used to, but I now find the absence of that heavy, sometimes rancid oil taste to be a major advantage. Air frying, in my view, elevates the natural flavors of the ingredients, offering a cleaner, more authentic taste experience.

How to Make Delicious Fries in an Air Fryer

cosori pro le air fryer fries reviewNow that we’ve covered the key aspects of air fryers, let’s dive into some recipes. The versatility of an air fryer allows for a variety of dishes, and yes, that includes the beloved fries. They don’t swim in a pool of oil but instead get crispy in a blend of hot air and just a touch of oil. So, it’s fair to expect they won’t taste exactly like those deep-fried, oily strips we’re all guilty of craving.

When it comes to fries, air fryer owners have a few options. You can go for the frozen variety, which comes in different thicknesses, or you can make them from scratch. I’ve tried slicing up potatoes myself after peeling them. Drying them off a bit before cooking, either by letting them sit out or patting them down with some kitchen paper, helps remove excess starch. This little step makes a big difference in the final crispiness. Making fries in the air fryer is straightforward from there.

  1. Choose Your Potatoes: Start with choosing the right potatoes. I’ve found that russets work best for their starchy content, leading to a crispier exterior.
  2. Prep the Potatoes: Peel the potatoes (if you prefer them skinless) and cut them into strips. I aim for a uniform thickness to ensure even cooking.
  3. Soak the Potatoes: Soak the potato strips in water for at least 30 minutes. This step is crucial as it helps to remove excess starch, contributing to the crispiness of the fries.
  4. Dry the Potatoes: After soaking, thoroughly dry the potatoes with kitchen paper or a clean cloth. Any moisture left on the potatoes can prevent them from getting crispy.
  5. Season: Lightly toss your potato strips in a mix of oil and your choice of seasonings. A little goes a long way here; you only need about a tablespoon of oil for a whole batch.
  6. Cook: Arrange the fries in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Avoid overcrowding to ensure they all get that perfect golden color. Cook them at 200ยฐC (approximately 400ยฐF) for about 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through for even cooking.
  7. Serve and Enjoy: Once they’re golden and crispy, take them out, maybe sprinkle a little salt if needed, and serve immediately.

How do you cook a delicious chicken in an air fryer?

chicken airfryerNow that we’ve covered fries, moving on to chicken is absolutely essential. It’s a foolproof way to achieve restaurant-quality chicken, and it’s my favorite method. For this, you’ll need an air fryer with a capacity of 4 quarts to ensure optimal air circulation, and a simple marinade made from just four ingredients: sunflower oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook it for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. My pro tip? Crank up the heat to max for the last 5 minutes on each side to get that perfect finish.

  1. Prep Your Chicken: Start by patting your chicken dry. This helps the skin get extra crispy. You’ll need a whole chicken that fits your air fryer’s size, typically around 4 quarts for optimal circulation.

  2. Make the Marinade: In a small bowl, mix together sunflower oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, a good crack of pepper, and a generous sprinkle of paprika. This simple blend brings a beautiful color and a subtle kick to the chicken, enhancing its natural flavors without overwhelming them.

  3. Marinate the Chicken: Rub your marinade all over the chicken, inside and out. Make sure it’s evenly coated for the best flavor. If you have time, let it sit for a bit to soak up all those spices. Even 20 minutes makes a difference, but if you’re pressed for time, you can skip straight to cooking.

  4. Cook: Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees, then place your chicken inside, breast side down. Cooking it for 40 minutes at this temperature ensures it’s juicy on the inside with a start on getting crispy on the outside.

  5. The Final Crisp: Here’s where my secret tip comes into play. After the 40 minutes, increase the air fryer’s temperature to its maximum setting. Turn the chicken over and cook each side for an additional 5 minutes. This blasts the skin with intense heat, making it incredibly crispy.

  6. Rest and Serve: Once done, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before carving. This ensures all those delicious juices redistribute, keeping every bite succulent.

How Many Calories Are in Air-Fried Fries?

It’s pretty clear that opting for an air fryer over traditional frying methods means you’ll be enjoying fries with fewer calories. Instead of the potato strips soaking up oil in a deep fryer, they get a quick toss in just a spoonful or two of oil and are then air-baked to perfection.

When you look at the numbers, fries made the old-fashioned way carry around 330 calories per 100 grams. Switch to an air fryer, and that number drops to about 230 calories. That’s a big reason why I, along with many others who keep an eye on their health or are into fitness, prefer the air fryer. Sure, the fries might not always have that classic crunch, and they miss out on that deep oil flavor. But for a significant calorie cut? It feels like a smart swap.

Thoroughly Cleaning Your Air Fryer

Keeping your air fryer clean is key, ideally after each use. This ensures no germs build up and keeps your food safe to enjoy. I usually take out the basket and give it a gentle wash with some dish soap and a cloth. With my model, I can even pop the basket in the dishwasher, but it’s always wise to check the manufacturer’s instructions first. You might also try using special baking paper to make cleanup even easier.

I’ve found it’s best to clean the air fryer right after cooking to prevent any grime from hardening. However, harsh chemicals and abrasive sponges are no-gos. A simple wipe with water and a soft sponge usually does the trick for me. For those tougher messes, the dishwasher has become my best friend, as the pan and basket are generally dishwasher-safe. Let me walk you through a thorough cleaning method I use for the air fryer and its heating element:

  1. Always unplug it first and make sure it’s completely cooled down.
  2. I start by wiping the exterior with a damp cloth, then drying it off.
  3. For a deeper clean, I fill the outer basket about 60% with cold water and add some lemon juice.
  4. Then, I place the basket back in and run the air fryer at its highest temperature for 20 minutes.
  5. After letting it cool down for 10-15 minutes, I open it up.
  6. Finally, I wipe down the heating element and pan thoroughly with a cloth.

This routine keeps yourair fryer in top shape, ready for its next use.

Frequently Asked Questions About Air Fryers

How does an Air Fryer work?

An air fryer operates on a simple yet effective principle. At its heart, a heating element warms up the air inside, and I can easily adjust the temperature depending on what Iโ€™m cooking. Then, itโ€™s all about the fans โ€“ they kick in to spread the heat evenly throughout the cooking space. It reminds me a lot of how a convection oven works, with the hot air moving around to cook everything thoroughly. But, in my experience, air fryers seem to do it all in a more compact package, directing intense heat right where itโ€™s needed to get food crispy and cooked quickly.

Was kann man alles in einer HeiรŸluftfritteuse machen?

The versatility of an air fryer is quite impressive. Essentially, anything you can cook in an oven can be made in an air fryer. What makes it stand out for me, though, is the lack of preheating time, which not only speeds up cooking but also makes it fantastic for reheating food. It’s so efficient that it can even take the place of a microwave for many tasks. From roasting vegetables and baking cookies to grilling chicken and even making pizzas, the air fryer can handle a wide array of dishes, often with a deliciously crispy finish that’s hard to achieve in a conventional oven.

Welche Pommes fรผr die HeiรŸluftfritteuse

You can cook any type of fries in an air fryer without a hitch. For the best results, homemade fries are the way to go. Just slice the potatoes into sticks and soak them in salted water to remove the excess starch. Then, toss the fries with a dash of oil in the cooking basket. This simple preparation can lead to deliciously crispy fries that rival any you’d get from a traditional deep fryer, with a fraction of the oil used.

Which type of Oil should I use for the Air Fryer

In an air fryer, you can theoretically use any cooking oil, provided it’s heat-resistant. That’s why I find sunflower oil to be a great choiceโ€”it handles high temperatures well, making it ideal for air frying. Olive oil, on the other hand, is less suitable due to its lower smoke point, which can affect the flavor and nutritional value of your food when exposed to high heat. I also recommend using an Oil Sprayer

How Long Do Frozen Rolls Take in the Air Fryer?

Depending on the air fryer model, reheating rolls or baking frozen ones takes just 5-8 minutes atย  (360ยฐF). In contrast, doing the same in a conventional oven would typically take about 15 minutes. This speed and efficiency are part of what makes air frying a convenient alternative for quick and delicious results.

How Much Electricity Can You Save With an Air Fryer? Air Fryer vs. Oven

Before diving into the world of air fryers, many of us might wonder: Is it really worth the investment? Beyond the culinary perks, it’s insightful to consider potential energy savings. In fact, the initial cost of an air fryer could pay for itself over time through energy efficiency.

  1. The Electric Oven: Most electric ovens consume about 3,000 watts per hour. Over 300 hours of cooking at high temperatures, that adds up to 900 kWh of energy usage (3,000 watts x 300 hours / 1,000 = 900 kWh).

  2. The Air Fryer, such as the Ninja model: It uses only 1,500 watts, half the energy of an electric oven. Given that it often cooks twice as fast, for 150 hours of use, this equates to 225 kWh (1,500 watts x 150 hours / 1,000 = 225 kWh).

Cost Breakdown: Assuming the average price per kWh in the U.S. is about 13 cents, we get the following operating costs:

  • Traditional Oven: 900 kWh x $0.13 = $117 for 300 hours
  • Ninja Air Fryer: 225 kWh x $0.13 = $29.25 for 150 hours

Comparison and Savings Potential – A Closer Look at Energy Efficiency: Adding the costs for 300 hours of cooking in an electric oven ($117) and for 150 hours in an air fryer ($29.25) โ€“ since you’d need the fryer for half as much time โ€“ totals $146.25 for the same amount of food prepared. This means you could save almost $70 a year by opting for an air fryer over using just an electric oven.

Of course, these figures can vary based on actual energy consumption, appliance types, and individual cooking habits. But even this rough estimate highlights that investing in an air fryer can offer not just culinary benefits but also significant energy savings. It’s worth considering for the sake of both your taste buds and your wallet!

How Long Do Air Fryers Last?

Air fryers tend to outlast many other small appliances, like toasters or kettles, and even larger kitchen gadgets such as bread makers and coffee machines. For specifics, you might want to check out the chart below. Many users have observed that when issues do arise, they’re often due to minor parts of the device. The three most common problems identified were:

  • 29% related to a faulty stirring arm,
  • 24% due to defective parts like buttons, power cords, handles, or timers,
  • 22% where the device stopped working entirely or was completely broken.

It’s reassuring to know that most concerns are with smaller, often replaceable components, suggesting that with a little care, an air fryer can be a durable addition to the kitchen.

sven gaiser profilbild

When my place fills up with friends and family, I get to dive into my passion for cooking, trying out a range of dishes to delight my guests. Always on the hunt for gadgets that can up my kitchen game, I’ve found a particular ally in air fryers. I’m so into them that I’ve started a YouTube channel where I review different models, sharing my finds with fellow cooking enthusiasts. Though my day job is in business informatics, my kitchen is my true domain. If you ever want to chat about air fryers or anything culinary, drop me a line at kontakt@valuematchers.com.

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*Last Updated on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate Links