In some households, air fryers have become the family's preferred way to cook pretty much everything, as they're quicker than conventional ovens, especially when you include cleaning your oven in the process. They can also come with preset modes, reminders and auto-shut off capabilities, taking the stress out of cooking for the whole family.
If you're ready to take the plunge and purchase your first air fryer or are looking to upgrade your current appliance, we've compiled a list of the best air fryers to help you out. We've also got some tasty and healthy recipes for you to try.
The best air fryers
Best Air Fryers
1. Pro Breeze XL 5.5L Air Fryer
This air fryer has a 5.5 litres of cooking capacity so it's perfect for large families. The LED display lets you choose from seven preset cooking modes which guarantee the ideal cooking conditions for chicken, pork, chips, cake and more. The independent temperature control, intuitive cooking timers, over-heat protection and auto-off sensors give you peace of mind, no matter how busy your day-to-day life is. It has a large fully detachable, dishwasher safe fry basket for easy cleaning. We love the preset cooking times as it takes the guesswork out of cooking even new dishes. It's also really easy to clean. One drawback: the back of the device does get hot and it can heat up the counter-top, so children should always be supervised and adults should be mindful when it's being used.
2. Ninja Electric Foodi OP300UK Multi-Cooker: Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer
Ninja prides itself on its TenderCrisp Technology - which involves pressure-cooking to lock in juices, then crisping to perfection. It's a real multi-tool, meaning you can pressure cook, air fry, slow cook, steam, sauté, bake and grill. It has a 6 litre cooking pot and a 3.6 litre Cook and Crisp basket. Is there anything this thing can't do? Although this cooker is bulkier than some of the others on the list, it's remarkably quiet, which is a welcome treat. The controls could be a little more intuitive, so reading the instructions is a must.
3. COSORI Air Fryer Oilless 3.5L
For food that contains 85% less fat than traditionally fried foods but with all the delicious and textures flavours you crave, this air fryer is spot on. The digital one-touch screen menu features 11 presets including steak, poultry, seafood, bacon, chips, frozen foods - honestly, everything you can think of. The square basket is a welcome change, meaning you can fit more food in, although it's still a smaller model, offering only 3.5L of capacity. It should still feed a family of 3-4 happily, though. The basket is dishwasher safe and it has a reminder for you if you're likely to forget shaking your food while cooking. We love the design of this one, as well as how easy it is to use and how it just cooks perfectly, every time.
4. Tefal Actifry Air Fryer
Tefal's leading low-fat fryer has a few nifty additions that some people may enjoy. It has a unique stirring paddle so there's no need to manually shake or stir the food you're cooking, as well as a removable digital timer so you can carry it around with you and never miss a beat. It has a 1kg capacity so it'll feed 2-3 comfortably. You can cook chicken, stir fries, curries and even desserts in this device and if you're ever stuck for inspiration, head to the free My ActiFry app to get over 150 recipes. The lid, bowl and stirring paddle are removable and dishwasher safe so cleaning is a breeze. It doesn't work too well with coated foods, the stirrer tends to take off any coatings and it doesn't have an auto-stop so is a little more basic compared to some of the competition.
5. Bagotte 4.5L Air Fryer
This digital air fryer comes with six presets, including fries, nuggets, steak, poultry and fish. You can fry, bake, steam, grill and roast at the touch of a button. The 4.5L capacity means it's perfect for a family of four and the square basket gives you a bit more room to spread food out. The non-stick coated fry pot and basket are dishwasher safe and it has a cool touch handle, button guard and auto-shut off to prevent any injuries. The 100-recipe book is a nice touch, with the melt-in-the-middle chocolate puddings being a standout creation.
6. Philips Viva Collection HD9220/20 Air Fryer
Philips is a well-known brand in this area and the Viva Air Fryer is perfect for two people who want to eat healthier options, as it only has an 800g capacity. It lets you fry, grill, roast and bake, it's ridiculously easy to use and has dishwasher safe parts. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of some of the other options, but it gets the job done. It comes with access to over 200 dishes on the accompanying app and it looks great.
7. Proscenic T21 Smart APP & Alexa & Google Assistant Control
Tried and tested, June 2020If you've never used an air fryer before, this is a great place to start. It's simple and easy to use even for those who aren't that tech-savvy. The first time you switch it on, you'll have to let it run for around five minutes – not only will this pre-heat the fryer, but it can also emit smoke or odour the first time you use it, so make sure you keep the room well-ventilated. I opened a window, as it did emit a slight plastic smell. After the prep, it took just 18 minutes to take my uneven sliced and diced potatoes and turn them into chips. With just one tablespoon of vegetable oil, they had a deliciously crispy texture. If you have a small kitchen, it won't be suited to you - I can't store it in the kitchen due to its size, so we have this tucked away in a cupboard under the stairs. One key feature we love is the quick-start guide, which provides step-by-step instructions on how to download the ProscenicHome app and connect it to the air fryer. This app allows you to schedule, adjust and monitor your food, so it's ideal for when you're at work. It's non-stick and has a dishwasher safe basket, making it easy to clean. It has eight set menus, allowing you to cook meat, fish, pizza, cake and more. The large 5.5L capacity means it can comfortably tackle food for three to seven people and the auto shut-off feature keeps it safe from overheating and overcooking.
8. Salter EK2559 Air Fryer
This Salter air fryer cooks food quickly, making those last-minute but healthy mealtimes a doddle. It's really simple to use and has a 4.5L capacity, which is great for the price. The removable, non-stick coated cooking basket makes the fryer easy to clean. Make sure to turn on the fryer for a few minutes before using to get the perfect cook.
How does an air fryer work?
Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food using convection - basically a smaller version of a convection oven. They're great for getting that crispy outer layer we all love, while the inside remains fluffy or moist, depending on what you're cooking.
They were created to replace deep fryers, which use hot oil, but instead, they use either a minute amount of oil or none at all. This means we can have healthier versions of our favourite fried treats in our homes. Over time, they've been tweaked to include many other features, such as steaming, grilling, baking, roasting and more.