We Tested the Best Air Fryers—Here Are the Ones Worth Buying

Shop our favorite air fryers, including our top choice: the Phillips Premium Airfryer XXL.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Air Fryer Tested
Photo: ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

If any kitchen appliance has taken home kitchens by storm, it's the air fryer. And honestly, it makes sense: They give fresh and frozen foods a delicious crispy texture with minimal oil, offer a speedy cooking process, and work wonders on leftovers. Whether you use it to fry up delicious golden fries, crispy chicken wings, or crunchy vegetables, air fryers are one of those kitchen appliances that you don't necessarily need, but once you have one, you can't live without it.

There are a ton of options on the market, so we did the research for you by testing a variety of air fryers from popular brands. In each air fryer, we cooked frozen fries, chicken nuggets, and more and then evaluated each one's performance, versatility, and ease of use and cleaning. Ultimately, we landed on the Phillips Premium Airfryer XXL as our No. 1 pick because of its user-friendly control panel and perfectly golden crust it produced. Ahead, you can browse our entire list of the best air fryers for every home cook's needs.

Our Favorites

Best Overall: Phillips Premium Airfryer XXL

Electric Air Fryer
BestBuy

Also available at Crate & Barrel.

Why It's Great

  • Top-notch crispiness
  • Easy to operate
  • Roomy basket

Grain of Salt

  • Fairly bulky

We've tested the Phillips Premium Airfryer XXL a couple of times over the past few years, and it consistently takes the top spot. Our product tester, Rachel Johnson, found that it produced the best taste and texture results in comparison to the other models. "This air fryer's large, flat basket was key in producing an even crisp on the food's surface," she says.

In addition to its top-notch cooking performance, this air fryer is durable, versatile, and easy to use. It features helpful preset buttons, so you can cook your foods for the right amount of time. Plus, not only does it air-fry, but it also grills, roasts, bakes, toasts, and reheats. Its extra-large basket is great for families, providing enough space to fit 10 to 12 nuggets and two to three servings of fries. The easy pull-out drawer allows for smooth and secure motion when checking the food for doneness.

The basket, drawer, and "fat reducer" heat plate are all dishwasher-safe, making for easy cleanup. "This is the most expensive unit, but it was also the most effective," Johnson says. "This air fryer would be ideal for larger kitchens. It would be cumbersome to move from cabinet to counter, so the best-case scenario is that it would live on the counter full time."

The Details: Measures 15.55 x 15.55 x 15.67 inches; 7-quart capacity; 1750 watts

Air Fryer Tested
ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Best Budget: GoWise 5.8-Quart 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer

Electric Air Fryer
HomeDepot

Also available at Home Depot and Walmart.

Why It's Great

  • Affordable
  • Features preset programs
  • Cooks evenly

Grain of Salt

  • Basket can be hard to clean

For a fraction of the cost of some of the air fryers on this list, you might not expect much from this GoWise air fryer, but it gets the job done. With eight cooking presets and 1700-watt power, this model warms up and cooks quickly and gives foods a crispy crust with a tender inside. Plus, it features a built-in alarm function that reminds you to shake the food, so you don't have any soft spots (or any burnt ones, for that matter).

At first glance, the touchscreen control panel can seem a bit overwhelming, but it's very easy to operate. Once you add your food to the basket, simply press the power button and then either choose one of the cooking presets or manually select your temperature and time. Finally, tap the power button again to start and wait patiently for your food to be done cooking.

The nonstick pan and basket aren't dishwasher safe, but they're fairly easy to remove and hand wash. GoWise offers a one-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to get the hang of it and decide if it's a good fit for you.

The Details: Measures 13.5 x 12.5 x 11.5 inches; 5.8-quart capacity; 1700 watts

Air Fryer Tested
ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Electric Air Fryer
Bed Bath and Beyond

Also available at Walmart, Amazon, and Target.

Why It's Great

  • Variety of functions
  • Cooks evenly
  • Suitable for pizza

Grain of Salt

  • Doesn't have cooking presets

No need to create clutter on your countertop (or cabinets): This clever appliance serves as an air fryer, toaster, and convection oven. The compact-yet-roomy device can reach up to 450 degrees and provides enough space to bake a 12-inch pizza. There are a lot of air fryer toaster ovens out there, but this one stands out from the rest because of its incredible high-volume convection capabilities and crispy, delicious results.

A downside to this appliance is that it doesn't have preset programs to take the guesswork out of cooking different foods. In the beginning, you'll have to monitor your food, but then eventually you'll learn how long your go-to recipes take to cook.

We also tested the mini version of this model, the Cuisinart Compact AirFryer Toaster Oven, which we love for small kitchens. "This air fryer also functions as a toaster oven and would fit easily under a cabinet without taking up too much space on a counter," Johnson says.

The Details: Measures 15.50 x 16 x 14 inches; 0.6 cubic foot interior; 1800 watts

Air Fryer Tested
ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Best Compact: Ninja 4-Quart Air Fryer

Electric Air Fryer
Amazon

Also available at Target and Home Depot.

Why It's Great

  • Can be stored in cabinets
  • Multiple functions
  • Cooks quickly

Grain of Salt

  • Round basket is not suitable for some foods

Want to save kitchen space? Consider this compact air fryer by Ninja. It heated up more quickly compared to the other models we tested, which made for speedy cooking times. In addition to an air fryer feature, this Ninja model also boasts dehydrating, roasting, and reheating features.

When testing its air frying capabilities, we found the fries and chicken to have a reasonable amount of crispiness, although there was some uneven surface browning. The large holes of the crisper plate caught fallen crumbs at the bottom of the basket. Cleanup was a breeze, as both the nonstick basket and the crisper plate are dishwasher-safe.

Most suitable for individuals or couples, we would not recommend this air fryer to larger families, as it only fits one to two servings of food per basket. Below, you will find a Ninja model perfect for feeding crowds.

The Details: Measures 13.6 x 11 x 13.3 inches; 4-quart capacity; 1550 watts

Air Fryer Tested
ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Best Large Capacity: Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 2-Basket Air Fryer

Electric Air Fryer
Amazon

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Target.

Why It's Great

  • Features two baskets
  • Innovative technology
  • Quiet

Grain of Salt

  • Takes up a lot of space

Whether you like to host friends or have a big family, this is the air fryer for you. Built with two 4-quart baskets, this air fryer lets you cook your entrée and sides at the same time. It's also perfect for appetizers and desserts—bring on the stuffed mushrooms and air fryer donuts.

Since it has two baskets, the appliance is divided into two temperature-controlled zones, enabling each basket to cook at different degrees. You can also split cooking styles, so one side can air-fry veggies, while the other roasts meat. That convenience is only possible with this two-basket air fryer.

The best part about this dual-basket air fryer is its "smart finish" function that allows you to cook two foods at different times and temperatures and have them finish at the same time. In other words, you won't have to worry about one dish getting cold before the other is done.

The Details: Measures 18.58 x 16.3 x 15.83 inches; 8-quart capacity (4 quarts in each basket); 1690 watts

Air Fryer Tested
ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Best for Instant Pots: Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid

Electric Air Fryer
Amazon

Also available at Williams Sonoma.

Why It's Great

  • Can switch from pressure cooker to air fryer
  • User-friendly interface
  • Comes with a protective pad

Grain of Salt

  • Only suitable for Instant Pots

If you already own an Instant Pot or are thinking about purchasing one, there's no need to have both an air fryer and a pressure cooker. Instant Pot offers an air fryer lid that's compatible with any of its 6-quart pressure cookers, plus it's cheaper than most air fryers and will save you storage space. Our favorite part about the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid is that you can pressure cook first with the regular lid and then give your food a nice crisp at the end by swapping it out for the air fryer lid.

The lid comes with a multi-level air fryer basket and a broiling tray to make sure it's circulating hot air throughout the chamber, as well as a protective pad that doubles as a countertop tray when the lid is hot and a storage cover when it's not in use. Beyond air frying, it can be used to broil, bake, roast, reheat, and dehydrate, making it well worth the money.

The Details: Measures 10.75 x 12.75 x 6 inches; use with 6-quart Instant Pot; 1500 watts

Related: The Best Electric Pressure Cookers, According to Our Test Kitchen

Air Fryer Tested
ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

Our Takeaway

We selected the Phillips Premium Airfryer XXL as our best overall pick because it outperformed all the models when it came to taste and texture, producing the best, most even crisp on different foods. It's also easy to use and provides enough room to prepare multiple servings.

How to Pick the Right Air Fryer

Size

Counter space is precious real estate, especially in small kitchens. While air fryers are designed to fit neatly on your counter, consider how much space you have (or want) for your appliance. There are plenty of quality compact air fryers to choose from.

Capacity

In the same vein as size, capacity varies greatly among different types of air fryers. They typically range in size from 2 quarts up to 7 quarts. It's important not to overcrowd the basket, so keep in mind the size of your family when choosing an air fryer. A 2-quart air fryer would be suited for one to two people, while a seven-quart air fryer can accommodate up to six or seven servings.

Wattage

Wattage levels can go up to 1800 watts and beyond, so make sure your kitchen outlet supports the watts consumption of the air fryer you choose.

Presets

Some air fryers have presets for popular foods, like chicken or vegetables. If you're planning to use your air fryer to cook specific dishes, you might want to go with one that comes pre-programmed with settings to make life a little easier.

Additional Features

One way to maximize counter space is to get an all-in-one appliance. Some air fryers feature extra features like a toaster oven, dehydrators, and rotisserie cookers. Of course, this can cause a bump in price, so consider whether or not you would use those features before choosing an air fryer.

Price

Air fryers typically cost between $50 and $300, depending on the size, features, and style. If you know you'll use an air fryer multiple times a week, you might want to splurge on a more expensive model with all the bells and whistles. Those who mainly want one for special occasions, say holiday gatherings or Sunday football games, might want to consider a more affordable option.

Air Fryer Tested
ALL RECIPES / KEVIN NORRIS

About Our Tests

Our product testers, including Rachel Johnson, spent hours performing side-by-side testing of air fryers in our kitchen. We evaluated each air fryer's cooking performance with a variety of foods, including frozen fries and homemade breaded chicken nuggets. From there, we assessed the food's crispiness and taste, plus the air fryer's versatility, ease of use, and maintenance.

Here's how each air fryer was rated:

  • Ease of Use: Are the controls easy to follow? Is the basket easy to remove? Does it have multiple functions?
  • Cooking Performance: How long does it take to heat up? Does it cook the food evenly?
  • Crisp Factor: How crunchy does the food get? Is the texture comparable to deep-fried or oven-baked?
  • Versatility: Can you use it to cook food in other ways?
  • Ease of Cleaning/Storage: Can you easily clean the removable parts in the dishwasher? Does it fit reasonably on a countertop?

The Leftovers: Other Air Fryers We Tested

Dash Compact Air Fryer

Electric Air Fryer
Bed Bath and Beyond

As cute as it is, we found this compact air fryer to be ineffective in terms of even crisping. Out of all the air fryers we tested, this one took the longest amount of time to fully cook the food. Plus, the small holes in the basket didn't allow for the crumbs to effectively fall to the bottom, resulting in noticeable burnt bits.

"This machine is the cheapest air fryer out of all tested units, and it definitely shows. It is simple to use, but the cheap material suggests that it won't last very long," Johnson says. This unit would be best for a single person, as it only held about four to give nuggets at a time and one to two small portions of French fries.

Cosori Air Fryer XL

Electric Air Fryer
Amazon

The Cosori Air Fryer XL has a sleek LED screen with several presets and displays for time and temperature, and it reminds you when you need to shake the basket. While we were impressed by these features, it was lacking in other areas.

We found that condensation collected at the bottom of the basket and spilled on the counter when opened. Also, because of its deep basket, it took longer than expected to cook the food and achieve our desired texture.

Hamilton Beach 5-Liter Digital Air Fryer with Nonstick Basket

Electric Air Fryer
Wayfair

While this Hamilton Beach model did give foods an even, crisp surface, it took a long to get there. The removable parts are not dishwasher safe, and the temperature only works in increments of 15 degrees. For these reasons, it didn't make it on our favorites list.

Common Questions

How does an air fryer work?

The name is a tad misleading, as air fryers don't actually fry food at all. Instead, they act as a small convection oven that circulates hot air around the food to get that satisfying crisp texture without excessive amounts of oil. And you'll get it in less time than you would with a traditional oven.

Are air fryers worth it?

Air fryers are essentially countertop convection ovens that cook food quickly and achieve that crispy texture deep-fried food lovers crave without the excess fat and calories. But air fryers are great for so much more than just French fries and chicken tenders; they work well with almost every food you can think of—salmon, stuffed peppers, Brussels sprouts, and beyond. All in all, you don't need an air fryer, but it's certainly a versatile appliance to have in your kitchen.

How do you preheat an air fryer?

Some air fryers have an automatic preheating setting, while others don't. In general, you can set the air fryer to the temperature your recipe calls for and let it heat up for about three to five minutes to warm up. After a few minutes, add your food into the preheated basket and reset your cook time. It's best to check your air fryer's manual for preheating instructions before use.

Can you put foil in an air fryer?

Yes, it's safe to put aluminum foil in your air fryer. Just like convection ovens, adding foil to your air fryer creates an easy cleanup, especially when cooking with sauces and breading. It's important to read over your instruction manual for specific directions.

Why Take Our Word For It?

Rachel Johnson and a few of our editors spent hours testing a variety of air fryers in our test kitchens, evaluating each one's cooking performance, versatility, and ease of use and cleaning. Editors Melanie Fincher and Bridget Degnan carefully assessed the results and selected the best ones. Between our expertise and hands-on testing, we are confident that our picks are the best air fryers on the market.

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