The best air fryer will operate with little or no oil, provide you with good health benefits, and keep your wallet in check. When it comes to air fryers, you want the best bang for your buck!
Whether you want to make delicious French fries, onion rings, Tater tots, cheesecake, or succulent chicken wings, you will be able to count on the healthful method by which these air fryers operate. They use very little oil and you can even get away with having no oil at all by using parchment paper or oil spray. Make sure to add a healthy dose of spices to give your food a delicious taste, compensating for the oil.
Other names given for an air fryer include: Airfryer, air cooker, air fryer oven, hot air fryer, hot air deep fat fryer, airfrier, and countertop air fryers.
What is an air fryer? An air fryer is a hot air cooker. It cooks food by using circulated hot air around the nutrients at a much higher speed than an oven. The food comes out ready to eat much faster than cooking it in the oven. It produces crispy layers of foods with little to no added oils.
You can airfry almost anything as long as the food does not have excess amounts of fat that may burn and produce smoke (like bacon, or very fatty sausages). All good air fryers should come with a user manual for guidance.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at who makes the best air fryers for your budget.
A quick glance: Our top 5 best air fryers
- Top Pick #1: Avalon Bay Air Fryer 3.7 Qt With Recipe Book.
- Pick #2: Black & Decker Purify 2-Liter Air Fryer.
- Pick #3: Farberware Multi-Functional And Versatile Air Fryer.
- Pick #4: The Original Philips Air Fryer & Cookbook.
- Pick #5: T-fal ActiFry Low-Fat Healthy AirFryer.
Your chosen top air fryer can make a great birthday gift, Christmas gift, valentine’s gift, or a general gift for vegans, vegetarians, plant-based dieters, conscious low fat dieters, whole foods followers, or paleo and ketogenic dieters. It can also add to the list of best gifts you can give someone with arthritis who wants to avoid inflammation that usually occurs when high fats and high carbohydrates are present together.
Detailed airfryer review of our top 5 air fryer choices
Let’s be honest here… All these products are going to have the same type of technology, which is to mimic a frying machine with little or no oil, and make food.
These are not real fryers because frying means the food needs to be submerged in a lot of oil. These air fryers will produce healthier foods that may resemble oven-tasting foods, but take less time to cook.
The air fryer ratings were based on many factors, and some air fryers are not necessarily the most expensive ones. Here are the best deals on air fryers.
This air fryer will offer the most bang for your buck and is the largest air fryer on our list! It is not as famous as the more established brands shown below, but it made it to our #1 spot thanks to its features, capacity, and positive user experience.
- Affordability. If you want the best fryer and a complete product without breaking the bank, then this Avalon Bay air fryer is your top option. It is not only an affordable air fryer, but it also has added features and capacity that you may not find in other more established and more expensive brands. The idea is to get the absolute best product for your money.
- Functionality. This top rated air fryer shows a highly rated user experience. Its functionality and volume capacity (a really nice 3.7 Quart, which is 3.5 liters) compensates for the fact that you’re not buying a very old established brand. This capacity makes it the best large air fryer on our list.
- This product has 3 main areas: The main unit, the basket, and the drip tray.
- It has a very powerful fan technology that removes fats from the foods such as chicken wings, producing crispiness on the outside and tenderness on the inside. You can always reheat chicken wings and other foods in the air fryer as well, bringing them back from dullness to crispiness.
- Tater tots come out crispy and delicious, and you can even brown foods without oil. For that, you can use spray, or parchment paper, and a healthy amount of seasoning. Check out this post for tips on how to make the best French fries.
- The foods that you probably don’t want to cook with these air fryer products are the very high fatty foods, such as bacon and fatty sausages. Just be careful with those, since the fat can burn from the excess heat. Make sure to follow the instructions in the user manual. These high fat foods are best cooked over a stove or in a microwave.
- While in operation, make sure the surface underneath the unit does not act as an additional heating agent (i.e. do not operate it on top of a stove).
- Delicious food without anyone endorsing the product. Like we said before, good products do not need to have endorsements. Save up to 80% (if not 100%) of fat by cooking with this deluxe product. You can cook a bag of French fries, a small to medium chicken, or 2 Cornish hens thanks to the large capacity of this Avalon Bay air fryer.
- Bonus air fryer accessories and cookbook included. This product includes a non-stick baking dish, a multi-use rack, and a 52 page cookbook. The guide will help you determine cooking times for various foods.
- Auto-shut off. This product has a 30 minute auto-shutoff timer feature. It is always best to get products that have this safety feature when possible.
- Dimensions and weight. Just like all the other air fryer products, this 3.7 Quart (3.5 liter) capacity product is made of plastic. The food basket is coated with food grade metal (all are) for the excess heat function. It weighs 12.5 pounds (fairly light compared to other ones), and its dimensions are 13.5 x 11 x 12.75 inches.
- The manual is not very elaborate. The user manual has great safety tips, but is a bit short on the usage instructions. Remember, you can always purchase air fryer cookbooks, such as “Air Fry Everything“, by Blue Jean Chef Meredith Lawrence. You can also experiment and find a bunch of air fryer recipes online.
Since 1910, the Black & Decker brand has enriched American homes with improvement products, hardware items, drills, and power tools. Recently, it found its place in American and International kitchens with products such as the Black and Decker Purify air fryer, which is our #2 choice, thanks to its functionality and affordability.
- Affordability. This top 5 best rated Purify Black and Decker air fryer is not the most expensive product on the market, but we are extremely impressed with it, especially that many other air fryers are double its price.
- Functionality. This model worked great for all the foods we experimented with.
- Delicious taste without the endorsements. If you are a person who can care less about famous people endorsing a product, and if you are looking for a good quality air fryer, then you probably appreciate this hot air fryer BLACK+BECKER Purify model.
- The French fries shown in the post “Are Air Fryers Healthy For Vegans, Vegetarians, And Plant Based Dieters?” were made with it, and we had to make more batches, because the fries were devoured in no time.
- The food tasted great once it came out of the pan. It’s not only French fries that we made out of this Purify model; we have made many dishes that were surprisingly delicious with this product, including frozen chicken wings (turned delicious and crispy) and easy to make quick onion rings.
- We simply relied on the included manual to guide us and it was very helpful to make many delicious and quick meals.
- Basket separator function. Single people can make 2 meals in 1 basket. This is absolutely great if you want to experiment with foods in the same basket. Not all models come with this feature, and we found this to be a good bonus for a single person who may want to make 2 types of foods at the same time.
- Auto-shut off. Just in case you forgot to shut off the unit, the 60 minutes timer automatically turns off the fryer once the food is cooked. This is a good safety option.
- Dimensions and weight. The product is made of plastic (apparently, they all are) and the basket is coated with food grade metal that allows it to withstand the heat. The dimensions of the product are 11.1 x 9.8 x 11.5 inches, and it weighs 12.4 pounds, making it easy to move around.
- Medium capacity, but not a family size. This BLACK+DECKER air fryer has a 2 liter capacity, meaning it will fit about 1 pound of cut French fries, or up to 6-8 pieces of chicken wings. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise if you’re a single person and want to have someone else over for dinner. The positive side is that for a larger family, you can eat the first batch, and then prepare the second one immediately.
Perhaps the biggest asset of this American Manhattan based Farberware Company is its reputation. Farberware was started in 1900 by S.W. Farber and has stood the test of time, making a big dent into the market of bowls, vases, pots, and kitchen accessories. Farberware now brings you an air fryer that is durable and affordable and it made it to our #3 top picks.
- Affordability. This Farberware air fryer is one of the best airfryers on the market, but it’s not one of the least expensive products. The Farberware air fryer is within most people’s budget.
- Functionality. All air fryers are going to have similar functionality. This one also works great for French fries, wings, onion rings, meats, and other foods. Just like with any other good air fryer, you can make crispy veggies, kale chips, homemade sweet potatoes, and apple chips with this type of cooking technology.
- Auto-shut off. This unit has an auto-shut off feature, and the timer can be set for 30 minutes before the unit auto-shuts off, alerting you with a “ding” sound. This is especially important for people who tend to “forget” to turn things off.
- Dimensions and weight. This Farberware air fryer is made of plastic (they all are), and the basket is coated with metal, just like other baskets by other brands. It weighs 11.75 pounds, and is 26.6 x 14 x 13.2 inches in dimensions. It’s not too heavy, and it can be moved easily.
- It does not come with a basket divider. It’s not really a big deal to have a divider, and there’s very little need to buy air fryer accessories. However, if you absolutely positively cook each day, then you may want to invest in some accessories. You can always purchase air fryer accessories online.
- Established product. This Philips Air Fryer HD9220 is a very established brand and product version.
- Endorsed by Chef Gordon Ramsay. If you’re partial to anything Chef Ramsay (of Hell’s Kitchen) does, then this product may be just the right one for you. If you really don’t care for an endorsed product, then this feature should not matter.
- Good basket size. This air fryer is a standard size 900 grams capacity (almost 1 liter) and can fit 1 whole bag of frozen French fries.
- Patented and cooks foods evenly. This unit has a patented design that allows the food to be evenly cooked. For best practices we found that poking some holes in the meats evenly allows for even smoother and a better cooking experience.
- You can buy accessories for it. It has good accessories that you can buy and that will make your cooking experience more efficient. When choosing your air fryer accessories, double check that they are compatible with the HD9220 air fryer model.
- It comes with a bonus air fryer recipe cookbook. It comes with recipe book, and the recipes are endorsed by Gordon Ramsay.
- Auto-shut off. This unit has a 30 minutes auto shutoff feature.
- Dimensions and weight. This original Philips airfryer is made of plastic and is 13.8 x 13.8 x 15.1 inches in dimension. The basket is food grade and is made of coated metal. It weighs 16.36 lbs, making it a bit bulkier than other products.
- Medium capacity, but not a family size. The Philips Air Fryer is not the largest product. In fact it’s a small air fryer, capable of feeding 2-3 people but not a large family.
- Weight. This product is about 30% heavier than our top #1 choice.
If you grew up with French culture all around you like I did, then you definitely know the French appliance and cookware brand Tefal (marketed as T-fal in the United States).
The original brand Tefal, founded in France in 1956, was primarily known for leading the revolutionary non-stick cookware style that we know today. This model air fryer stays true to its innovators, making it one of our best air fryers on the market, and reaching our #5 top position.
- A 2.2 pound basket size. This best rated ActiFry air fryer model FZ7002 from T-fal is a favorite among many other reviewers.
- It has a ceramic, non-stick coating good size basket that fits 2.2 pounds of food (the equivalence of 1 kg of food). This is enough to feed 2-3 people.
- On the French fries front, it will probably feed 1.5 people, since those fries will be gone in no time. Just make sure everybody’s read to eat when you’re done air frying, because the food will cool off faster than if baked in the oven (remember, the oven uses different technology).
- Odor filter. This unit has a built in filter that allows for odorless cooking. I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, because part of the charm of cooking is actually being able to smell the food. But, if you like less scents when you cook, then you probably enjoy the benefits of this feature.
- It is easier than some other air fryers to replace the oil and clean the unit. If you do want to use oil (and not oil spray or parchment paper), the T-fal is very easy to clean. The heating element and the reservoir can be lifted out of the unit, making cleaning easy.
- It comes with an air fryer recipes cookbook. This unit also comes with a bonus color cookbook that has 38 delicious recipes, making it a best rated air fryer.
- Bonus spoon: It comes with a spoon from the manufacturer to measure your oil that goes into the pan, but honestly, don’t let that determine your choice. You can use any other spoon, or you can use the alternative to oil methods listed in this post (oil spray method or parchment paper method).
- Dimensions and weight. This T-fal air fryer is made of plastic with a basket that is coated in ceramic for heat. It is 19.1 x 11.8 x 15.6 inches in dimension and is fairly light, compared to other products, weighing 10.9 lbs.
- Built-in filter is not replaceable. We would have preferred to see the built-in oil filter be user replaceable, but it’s not. At any case, it doesn’t matter, but make sure you don’t damage it while you use the unit.
- Medium capacity, but not a family size. It’s not designed for a large family. It can, however, feed a small family of 2-3 people.
- No auto-shut off. The timer beeps for you to shut off the unit. Make sure you shut off the unit after you hear the beeps. This is perhaps our least favorite feature in this T-fal air fryer product.
Are air fryers worth it?
They certainly are if you want to avoid bad fats in your food or don’t want to combine carbohydrates with fats. We have written extensively on the subject of vegans, vegetarians, and plant based dieters and air fryer benefits. Check it out and read about how to make the best French fries Belgian style, and the healthiest Aioli sauce for dipping pleasures.
Air frying is not just for people who avoid animal products. It can also work for people who follow the low-fat diet, paleo diet, ketogenic diet, or for those who may just want a different way of cooking low inflammatory foods that may be high in carbs and low in oils (or with no oils), such as people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
There are certain inflammatory foods to avoid for these RA suffers, and they include foods high in fats and high in carbs. Therefore, an air fryer can be a great tool for everyone.
Best air fryer cleaning method with no mess
Recipes offered in some of the accompanying air fryers cookbooks ask for 1 tablespoon of oil, but that can be messy to clean, and you can even do without. Here are some tips to eliminate oils all together…
- Use parchment paper under your food. Use Parchment Paper under the food, which can come in a circular form. You can also cut out the correct dimensions from regular parchment papers. It will make your cleaning session easy and quick. Once done, just throw away the parchment paper and use a towel to wipe clean the basket.
- Experiment with cooking with oil sprays instead of any suggested oil. You can use cooking spray inside the fryer’s basket instead of 1 tablespoon of oil, or whichever amount of oil is recommended by the manufacturer.
Our search criteria for the best air fryer
So… What is the best air fryer?
As you saw in the previous sections, there are many good air fryers that you can choose from and we narrowed down the list to our top 5 best air fryers. To be transparent, we based our results on the following criteria:
- Price. We don’t want you to have to pay too much for these products, and we wanted to make sure that the price is justified by the quality of the air fryer.
- Quality. The quality of the cooked foods is crucial in this review. French fries, for example, should come out crispy and delicious. You can soak or blanch your French fries prior to preparing them in the air fryer as noted in this post. We also wanted to make sure that these air fryers cook meat properly, as well as make various other dishes.
- Features and functionality. We wanted to ensure that the functionality of these air fryers is helpful and beneficial to anybody trying to cook foods in a fast and healthful way.
- Accessories. The best rated ones are those that have multiple accessories, or can handle accessories that can be purchased separately, and can handle a variety of cooking needs, i.e. making pizza, or cheese cake.
- User reputation. We want to make sure that a lot of people have had a positive experience with the product.
Air fryers are a great option if you want to cook with little to no oil using heat in less time it takes to bake in the oven. Here’s a recap of our top 5 choices (see detailed reviews above).
- 1. Avalon Bay Air Fryer 3.7 Qt.
- 2. Black And Decker Purify 2-Liter Air Fryer.
- 3. Farberware Air Fryer.
- 4. The Original Philips Air Fryer.
- 5. T-fal ActiFry.
These air fryers will make you fairly quick and delicious foods with little or no oil.
You can enjoy French fries straight out of the bag, crunchy onion rings, yummy vegetable dishes, versatile shrimp dishes, various meat dishes, frozen chicken wings cooked to crispiness, delicious desserts such as cheesecake, and other popular foods. Just follow the instructions provided, add spices, and enjoy!
In conclusion, a good air fryer can be a great addition to your kitchen and can also make an amazing gift for someone you love.