The best air fryer 2024: for faster and healthier cooking

One of the best air fryers could completely change your food preparation. Air fryers need a lot less oil than you’d use for regular frying, which means you’ll get healthier food that’s just as delicious, and because they’re much smaller than standard ovens they heat up quicker and cook faster and more efficiently. So not only will you get your dinner much sooner, you’ll save on energy bills too.

Air fryers don’t actually fry food in the conventional sense. They’re compact ovens that sit on your countertop and mimic the effects of frying with hot air and powerful fans that are large relative to the cooking space. Combined with designs that maximize airflow, they quickly deliver crisp and great-tasting results with not very much oil.

Our expert reviewers have tested a wide range of air fryers, from budget models with minimal options through to high-end smart models and dual-basket fryers that enable you to cook an entire meal in one go. They put them through standardized tests to gauge their performance on basic cooking, and also assess how easy they are to use and clean, and whether they offer good value for money. Based on those tests, we’ve rounded up what we think are the best air fryers for a range of needs and budgets.

The quick list

Below is our quick guide to the best air fryers around. Use it to narrow down your options, then either hop down to the more in-depth entry, or head straight to a retailer to buy. 

The best air fryer 2024: tried and tested

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The best air fryer for most people

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The best air fryer overall

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer

Wattage: 1700W

Capacity: 6qt / 5.7l

Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.43 x 11.81 x 13″ / 39.2 x 30 x 33cm

Weight: 13lbs / 5.9kg

Modes: 6

Reasons to buy

+

Crisps and browns brilliantly

+

Handy window for checking food

+

Filter reduces cooking smells

Reasons to avoid

Crisper plate can fall out 

Display is a fingerprint magnet

The brand behind the iconic Instant Pot also makes air fryers, and its top-of-the-range model consistently turned out the crispiest fries and chicken wings of any air fryers we tested. In our testing, the fries had crisp exteriors but soft, fluffy insides, and the chicken was moist, while its skin was crispy and retained loads of flavor. 

The Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer with ClearCook & OdourErase improves on the previous iteration, the Instant Vortex Plus, with a plastic window in the basket and an interior light so you can keep an eye on food while it’s cooking, and it has a built-in filter to reduce smells, too. 

However, it doesn’t come with any cooking guides, which means you will need to spend time experimenting to achieve the right cooking duration and temperature, particularly when it comes to frozen food. We also found the crisper plate tends to fall out if the basket is tipped up too much when removing food, and the display doesn’t take long to attract fingerprint marks. However, these are minor gripes on what is in our eyes, the best air fryer on the market for most people right now.

Read our full Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 with ClearCook & OdourErase review

The best budget air fryer

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The best budget air fryer

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer

Wattage: 1500W

Capacity: 5qt / 4.7l

Dimensions (HxWxD): 10.6 x 10.6 x 11.8″ / 27 x 27 x 30cm

Weight: 12lbs / 5.44kg

Modes: 1

Reasons to buy

+

Delivers crisp chicken wings and fries

+

Sleek, minimal design

+

7 presets for bacon, seafood and more

Reasons to avoid

Not great with frozen food

Struggles to brown evenly

If you want a budget-friendly air fryer that’s as stylish as it is effective, then the Cosori Pro LE Air Fryer L501 is worth considering. It’s easy to use, with its LED touch control panel located on its glossy top, and it features seven presets for various foods including bacon, chicken and vegetables, and it enables you to adjust the temperature and cooking time to suit your tastes. 

On test, we found the air fryer produced crisp, crunchy fries with soft, fluffy insides, and succulent juicy chicken wings. However, it struggled to evenly brown foods, so we found ourselves tweaking cooking times, and it wasn’t effective when cooking frozen foods either.

The Cosori Pro LE Air Fryer L501 has some useful safety features: you have to fully insert the air fryer basket before the controls will work, and the basket as a button that you need to press before you can remove it from the air fryer. It also has a reminder to shake, which can be activated when setting the cooking time that will alert you halfway through cooking so you can turn the food to achieve an even crisp. 

Read our full Cosori Pro LE Air Fryer L501 review

The best premium air fryer

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The best air fryer if money is no object

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer

Wattage: 1800W

Capacity: 6qt / 5.7l

Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.67 x 10.59 x 14.65″ / 39.8 x 26.8 x 37.2cm)

Weight: 15.4lbs / 6.97kg

Modes: 3

Reasons to buy

+

Precise cooking

+

Transparent glass basket

+

Easy-to-use interface

+

Dishwasher-safe components

Reasons to avoid

Doesn’t have the usual presets

If you’re willing to splurge on the best air fryer, the Dreo ChefMaker will seriously impress you with its cooking precision and ability to deliver moist-on-the-inside and crispy-on-the-outside results.

While it’s missing a lot of the usual presets, it offers an app-supported Chef Mode, which enables you to fine-tune the cooking experience, Classic Cook to simply set it and forget it, and Probe Cook, in which the ChefMaker cooks your food until its internal temperature is right where you want it, thanks to a nifty food thermometer probe that’s included in the box.

In our tests we found that it cooked to perfection with every recipe we threw at it, delivering everything from chicken wings and pork belly through to just-right steak and wonderfully crisped potato wedges. However it kicks out a lot of heat and our reviewer found that even though it was well-ventilated, it managed to the smoke and carbon monoxide detector in her hallway.

The transparent glass basket is also a nice addition as you can keep visual tabs on your food without pulling the basket out. We also appreciate the fact that the components are dishwasher safe. And, though water atomization and super convection seem like buzzwords that Dreo applies here, make no mistake. This is a powerful, if pricey, air fryer.

Read our full Dreo ChefMaker review

The best air fryer for small kitchens

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The best air fryer for small kitchens

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer

Wattage: 2470W

Capacity: 10qt / 9.5L

Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.14 x 11.25 x 19.22″ / 38.5 x 28 x 47cm

Weight: 23.15lbs / 10.3kg

Modes: 6

Reasons to buy

+

Big capacity for its small footprint

+

Additional trays for extra cooking space

+

Performance is excellent

Reasons to avoid

Cheaper dual-basket fryers available

Larger foods won’t fit

With most air fryers, the more generous the cooking capacity, the more counter space you’ll need to sacrifice. This Ninja model cleverly avoids that issue by stacking its baskets one on top of the other, rather than side-by-side. Each drawer holds 5qts / 4.75L, and you can create even more cooking space by slotting in one of the provided trays. Although do note that the tall-rather-than-wide approach means you won’t get able to fit in, say, an uncut pizza. (If you just need something compact and don’t need a large capacity, head to our guide to the best small air fryers.)

In our review, our tester noted no compromise in performance with this new design approach – the Double Stack delivers the same excellent performance as other Ninja air fryers we’ve tested. A wide range of different cooking modes make this model ultra-versatile, while the Sync and Match functions take all the pain out of cooking foods with different timing requirements – select your cooking mode, set your finish time and, if you’re synchronizing the two baskets, select the cooking times for each, and it’ll do the math for you. There’s also virtually no heat leakage between the two trays, which is good news if you’re dealing with precise foods or don’t want to waste energy when only using one basket.

The main down-side here is that the Double Stack is pricier than other dual-basket air fryers, so if you don’t need to save on counter space you could get something as good for a lower price. But if you have a small kitchen, it could be well worth the extra investment. Currently only the ‘XL’ version is available, but we’re expecting a smaller version to hit the market soon.

Read our full Ninja Double Stack review

The best air fryer for first-time users

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The best simple air fryer for first-time users

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer

Wattage: 1500W

Capacity: 5.3qt / 5l

Dimensions (HxWxD): 12.1 x 10.7 x 10.7″ / 30.6 x 27 x 27cm

Weight: 9.02lbs / 4.1kg

Modes: 11

Reasons to buy

+

Automatic preheat

+

Reminds you to shake food

+

11 cooking presets

Reasons to avoid

Slightly cluttered controls

App needs 2.4GHz Wi-Fi

If you have yet to ever own an air fryer, but are a little nervous to try out new appliances and / or are conscious about spending money, the Ultenic K10 is a good beginner-friendly option to consider.

During our review, it was hard to find fault in its results. Its full-featured control panel comes with options like keep warm, automatic preheat, and a reminder to give the food a shake, giving you a lot of bang for your buck, especially with its budget-friendly price tag. It doesn’t have any other cooking function, however, apart from air frying, but its 11 presets  and its app (which only works on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi) will make it a really easy-to-use and nice addition to the kitchen countertop.

In our tests we found it did a great job of producing crunchy, golden fries with fluffy insides, as well as crispy chicken wings with moist, tender meat inside. A particular feature we loved is that there’s a little beep half way through select cooking modes to remind you to shake the foods, which is something that’s really easy to forget about if you’re an air fryer novice. You won’t be able to cook two food types at the same time, though, and the controls are on the top so placing it on a high counter may not be the best position for it.

Read our full Ultenic K10 review

The best air fryer toaster oven

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The best air fryer toaster oven

Specifications

Type: Toaster oven

Wattage: 1800W

Capacity: 11l (top), 15.6l (bottom)

Dimensions (HxWxD): 16.39 x 18.6 x 13.26″ / 41.6 x 47.2 x 33.7cm

Weight: 31lbs / 14kg

Modes: 12

Reasons to buy

+

Ultra convenient

+

Smart Finish synchronizes cooking

+

Consistent cooking results

Reasons to avoid

Not easy to clean

Second crumb tray would be useful

Only available in US

To the best of our knowledge the Ninja Double Oven is the only air fryer with a toaster oven design and two separate cooking compartments. Dual-zone air fryers usually achieve this with two drawers, but having two distinct cavities means this model is very flexible. The downside is that it’s also harder to clean than models with removable drawers.

With the Ninja Double Oven air fryer, you can engage two different cooking functions at the same time: the top cavity can broil, toast, bagel, reheat and keep warm, while the bottom works like a standard air fryer. And there are 12 functions to choose from, including not just air frying but roasting, baking, toasting and more. In our tests we found it cooked very well across all its functions, and the Smart Finish feature makes it easy to co-ordinate two different kinds of cooking or two different temperatures so everything’s ready at the same time.

The Ninja Double Oven is expensive, but if you want to have all your cooking bases covered, it’s an ideal solution for cooking for small or large groups alike. Unfortunately at the time of writing it’s only available to customers in the US.

Read our full Ninja Double Oven Air Fryer review

The best quiet air fryer

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The best quiet air fryer

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer

Wattage: 1450-1700W

Capacity: 6qt / 5.7l

Dimensions (HxWxD): 12.7 x 12.1 x 15.3″ / 30.1 x 25.9 x 45.2cm

Weight: 14.6lbs / 6.8kg

Modes: 5

Reasons to buy

+

Super quiet

+

Compact and well-built

+

Fantastic results

Reasons to avoid

Lacks premium features

Limited display

Display easily gets grubby

Called the Instant Vortex Slim 6-quart Air Fryer in the UK, the Instant Vortex Slim 6-quart Air Fryer is designed for people with limited counter space or compact kitchens. In order to accommodate that space limitation while still giving you a full-sized air fryer, Instant Pot has redesigned its popular air fryer line so that it’s 20% smaller and only weighs 6.8kg.

Just because it’s compact, doesn’t mean that it’s less capable when it comes to cooking. It air fries brilliantly and does it quietly too; it comes with Quiet Mark certification and only reached 50.4dB during our testing. It’s also well-built and has a fairly spacious inside.

However, due to its compact design, compromises have inevitably been made. There’s no dehydrate setting, for one, and instead of a progress or text bar, you only get a tiny seven-segment screen that shows you the temperature, time, and stage in cooking. There’s also no window or interior light, and you lose two standout features you’ll find on the regular Vortex models: OdorErase and ClearCook. If those are important and saving space isn’t as vital, we’d recommend getting the larger models instead.

Read our full Instant Vortex Slim review

The best outdoor air fryer

(Image credit: Future / Helen McCue)

The best outdoor air fryer

Specifications

Type: Multi-cooker / basket fryer

Wattage: 2400W

Capacity: 2.5qt

Dimensions (HxWxD): 23.6 x 13.4 x 18.1″ / 60 x 34 x 46cm

Weight: 30.62lbs / 12kg

Modes: 7

Reasons to buy

+

Use it outdoors!

+

Barbecue flavors without the hassle

+

Straightforward to use

Reasons to avoid

Not a huge capacity

Accessories aren’t dishwasher-safe

Though it’s still electric, the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill is designed for outdoor use, making it a fantastic addition to your backyard or garden and just the perfect cooking appliance to see you through your summer barbecues and backyard parties. It’s primarily a grill and a smoker, but it comes with a few additional cooking functions that give you a bigger bang for your buck – it can also air fry, bake, and roast. 

Even if you haven’t used an electric grill or smoker before, you won’t have a hard time using this one. On test, we found it incredibly easy to use, thanks in large part to its clever self-igniting woodfire smoke box that utilizes wood pellets to give your food that smoky flavors that traditional wood or charcoal grills deliver. And it does so without a flame and with very minimal mess. If you hate the clean-up after grilling, this might be a better option for you. Just bear in mind that the accessories here aren’t dishwasher safe so you still have some cleaning to do.

As far as its air frying function, it works well too. It comes with a 2.5-quart basket that gives you enough room to cook around 3lbs (1.5kg) of fries, every single piece of which came out crispy and fluffy during our testing. 

Read our full Ninja Woodfire review

The best air fryer for complete meals

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The best air fryer for complete meals

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer

Wattage: 1700W

Capacity: 8qt / 7.6l

Dimensions (HxWxD): 12.5 x 15.9 x 15.11″ / 31.7 x 40.3cm x 38.4cm

Weight: 16.4lbs / 8.05kg

Modes: 6

Reasons to buy

+

Cook two foods and sync timing

+

Inspection window and light in cavity

+

Crisps and browns evenly

Reasons to avoid

Relatively small baskets

Needs experimentation for best results

Known as the Instant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer Air Fryer in the UK, the Instant Vortex Plus Dual Air Fryer has a lot going for it. Not only will it let you check in on your food without pulling the basket out, thanks to its basket windows and cooking chamber light, but it will also let you cook two different dishes at the same time, thanks to its dual-basket design and dual-cooking functionality. This means that it’s capable of cooking a complete meal for you, and because it also has the capability to sync finish times, it’ll all be ready to serve up in one go.

When it comes to its air frying performance, we have no complaints. It delivered crispy and evenly-browned results during our tests, whether we were cooking fries or chicken wings. And because it can cook two different dishes at once, we have found that it saves us a bit of time and effort.

Just bear in mind that while it does have a bigger capacity overall, each basket does have a smaller capacity. It also doesn’t come with cooking charts, which means you may have to do some trial and error to get the cooking times and temperatures just right.

Read our full Instant Vortex Plus Dual air fryer review

The best smart air fryer

(Image credit: Future / Jennifer Oksien)

The best smart air fryer

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer

Wattage: 1700W

Capacity: 8.8qt/ 6.4l

Dimensions (HxWxD): 12.9 x 11.7 x 13.8″ / 32.7 x 29.7 x 35.2cm

Weight: 13.7lbs / 6.22kg

Modes: 6

Reasons to buy

+

Easy to use and clean

+

12 accurate presets

+

App for remote control and recipes

Reasons to avoid

Bit small for families

No Alexa functionality in UK

App requires 2.4GHz Wi-Fi

If you need an air fryer that’s smarter than average, the Cosori Pro III Dual Blaze, also known as the Cosori Dual Blaze in the UK, could be an attractive option. It’s a smart air fryer, but there are some caveats: its Alexa support is US-only, and it needs to be connected to a 2.4GHz wi-fi network to communicate with devices such as smart speakers. 

The app is very good, featuring over 100 tasty-looking recipes, with ingredients, method and settings required on the air fryer all outlined. It is possible to select a recipe and the temperature and time remotely on the app, however you’ll need actually press the start/pause button on the air fryer itself to activate it. 

Beyond its app, the Cosori Pro III Dual Blaze features an innovative design that includes an upper and lower heating element to cook foods quickly and evenly. It comes with 12 presets including chicken, veggies, fries, frozen, bake, reheat and roast. Each of these can be adjusted by temperature and/or duration, however we found in testing that they were pretty accurate by default, delivering golden waffles, crispy hash browns with fluffy insides, and equally crispy fries with no need to pre-heat the air fryer or shake the basket mid-cook.

This is one of the most expensive air fryers in the Cosori line-up, but it’s one of the biggest and fastest too. It’s worth considering even if you’re not too bothered about the app recipes or control as it’s a very capable cooking appliance.

Read our full Cosori Pro III Dual Blaze review

How to choose the best air fryer for you

Most modern air fryers consist of a pull-out drawer with a crisper tray inside, similar to the perforated trays found in a fryer or oven. This design allows any excess oil to be removed from the contents, decreasing the eventual fat content on the plate. The handle found on the drawer is also handy for shaking the food part-way through cooking, which encourages an even distribution of crispiness.

Some larger air fryers even have dual-zone modes that allow you to set specific settings for different foods you want to cook at the same time. For more tips and tricks on getting the most out of your appliance, take a look at our guide to how air fryers work.

Preheat times are short when air frying and they also use less electricity than a traditional oven. For more on these benefits, take a look at our dive into the question: ‘do air fryers use a lot of electricity?’.

There are many other benefits to enjoy when switching to one of the best air fryers, including the relative lack of clean-up when cooking traditionally oily foods like sausages. And even if you do end up making a mess, you can take a look at our article on how to clean an air fryer – which may involve just popping the relevant elements into the dishwasher when you’re done.

Of course, despite all of these pros to getting an air fryer, sometimes they’re not the right fit for every kitchen. If you’re short on space, for example, you could consider an Instant Pot or alternative multi-cookers, which includes some models that mimic the effect of a standalone air fryer.

Frequently asked questions about air fryers

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What to consider when buying an air fryer

There are a number of considerations that need taking into account when choosing the best air fryer for you. 

First of all, what kind of air fryer do you want? Basket air fryers tend to be healthier because they funnel the juices, as well as the fat, away from the food but you can’t check on the food without opening them and letting cold air in, which can stall the cooking process.

Bowl air fryers often have glass lids so you can keep an eye on your meal, but the cooking juices remain in the air fryer and in contact with the food, making it tastier but not as healthy.

If you’re feeding four or more mouths, look for larger air fryers, which can hold around 6.5 quarts / 6 liters, while couples will find designs that have a capacity of around 2.5 quarts / 2.5 liters will be sufficient. Some of the best air fryers also have more than one compartment, which means you can cook multiple foods at the same time.

As we’ve already mentioned, if you’re tight on space look for air fryers that offer a multitude of different cooking methods, to cut down on the number of appliances that clutter up your kitchen countertop. Also, consider whether you want an air fryer with smart features that means you can switch it on or off from your smartphone.

What type of air fryers are there?

There are a few designs of air fryer to consider. The size, functions and over all user experience will play in to the design you end up with.

Basket air fryers are the most popular type of air fryer. They have a slide-out basket or tray which slots in to the main unit, and tend to be available as a single or dual-drawer. When cooking food types such as fries, an uneven bake can sometimes be achieved if the food isn’t rearranged or tossed around.

Oven-style air fryers are much larger than basket air fryers, but they are often much smaller than convection ovens owing to their counter-top design; they’re about the same size as a microwave. They have a door rather than a drawer, and use shelves rather than baskets. The air frying function is able to circulate air around the food more efficiently to achieve a more even crisp. Some may also include a rotisserie, and other accessories.

Halogen ovens. Although sometimes described as air fryers, halogen ovens work in a different way. Instead of circulating hot air a halogen oven uses infrared to constantly heat the food. This means that they can be more versatile than the more traditional air fryer, with a larger capacity and more forgiving shape of cooking area.

Is air-fried food healthier?

Air fryers use substantially less oil than deep frying: some foods, most of which are frozen or have naturally occurring fat, like Chicken Wings, are suitable for air frying without any oil at all. Fries, roast potatoes, and other traditional crisp foods will need some oil, but how much varies between air fryers.

In our tests, manufacturers’ instructions have recommended anywhere from 1tsp to 1tbsp of oil per 1.1lb / 500g of fries, so if you want to use as little oil as possible – we’d suggest you check how oil is required before you purchase a specific model.  It’s also crucial to remember the healthiness of what you make in your air fryer all depends on what you actually put in it, to begin with. To find out more, read how healthy are air fryers?

What can you cook in an air fryer?

Fries, roast potatoes, chicken wings and other deep-fried favorites are obvious dishes to cook in an air fryer, but that’s not all you can whip up in one of these handy kitchen gadgets. You can prepare anything you can cook in a traditional fan oven, space permitting, because they work in the same way.  

So whether that’s frozen foods, mini pizzas, or even gnocchi and ravioli – it can all be cooked in an air fryer. You can even make fudgy brownies in an air fryer, in less time than it takes in an oven. 

We’ve tried to cook pretty much everything apart from soup in an air fryer. We found that an air fryer can rival KFC when it comes to fried chicken, and was also the answer when it came to creating crisp, crunchy crackling on pork belly. 

It also proved to be the best way to cook cinnamon rolls and Krispy-Kreme-style donuts. 

As well as being used in place of an oven, air fryers can be an easier way to prepare dishes usually cooked on a stove, without having to watch them like a hawk and turn them before they burn. In particular, we discovered French Toast and grilled cheese work extremely well in the kitchen gadget.   

If you’re a fan of fries but unsure how to go about making them in an air fryer, then check out our advice, which even details an air fryer trick that’s a game-changer when it comes to cooking fries. 

We’re also big fans of reheating takeout in air fryers: they’re particularly good for pizza and fried chicken.

If you’re still unsure we’ve got plenty of inspiration when it comes to what you can cook in an air fryer?.

What can’t be cooked in an air fryer?

Air fryers are very versatile but there are some things you should avoid. For example, we found 5 foods to avoid putting in an air fryer. These include foods dipped in batter, as the liquid will simply slide off the item and leave a mess in the frying basket. And anything lightweight such as an individual slice of bread or leafy greens is likely to get blown around the cooking cavity. That means it may cook unevenly or even burn. 

With many air fryers large joints of meat can be tricky too: if they’re too big for the drawer the hot air can’t circulate properly. That means the joint won’t be evenly crisped and browned. And we wouldn’t recommend trying to cook red meat medium rare or medium: the outside cooks too quickly and can leave the center raw.

How does an air fryer work?

Despite its name, an air fryer doesn’t actually fry. Utilizing a very cleverly designed fan oven, it efficiently uses airflow to cook in a way and at a speed that conventional ovens, even fan ones, cannot.

Some of the best air fryers are also multi-cookers, meaning that the air circulated doesn’t just air fry. A single countertop device can make tasty fries but also work as a toaster oven, a dehydrator, a slow cooker and a pizza oven, as well as heat up last night’s takeout leftovers and bake brilliant bagels too. 

How we tested these air fryers

To compare each air fryer, we’ve cooked up batches and batches of fries and chicken wings. As well as evaluating how, crisp, evenly browned and in the case of chicken wings, how moist and juicy the meat was, we’ve also compared how easy they are to use.

We rated each design on how many settings it offers, how durable and easy to clean the body and parts are, how loud their fans are and how hot the exterior casing gets. For each model we wanted to know whether it was simple to use design and didn’t require reading a thick instruction manual before use, came with useful accessories such as frying baskets, or a recipe book for inspiration.

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