Best air fryers in 2024 tested and rated

Best Air Fryers: Quick Menu

The best air fryers can help you cook delicious meals effortlessly within a matter of minutes. These mini convection ovens use a fan to circulate heat around your food to create crispy, yet tender results without needing tons of oil. They’re popular because they're easy to use and make healthier meals. But, not all air fryers are equal — so how can you tell which to buy? That’s where we come in. 

We’ve tested and reviewed a range of air fryers as well as some of the best toaster ovens with air fryer functions, to find the best options out there. To assess the performance, we cooked up a range of recipes, scoring each for browning, crisping, evenness, tenderness and moistness. Recipes included French fries (both frozen and from scratch), chicken wings, breaded chicken, hamburgers, and Brussels sprouts. For toaster ovens, we had to assess alternative functions too, which allowed for even more tests, ranging from baking yellow cake to roasting a whole roast chicken. On top of this, we factored in the overall design, including the intuitiveness of the control panel, external surface temperature, and ease of cleaning.

We then compiled our results to form the below list, with recommendations for different scenarios. Whether you need a compact design, or a smart toaster oven with all the bells and whistles, these are the best air fryers you can buy.     

The quick list

Here’s the best air fryers you can buy right now based on our testing and reviews. Scroll on for our full in-depth reviews. 

The best air fryers you can buy today

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The best air fryers you can buy today

an image of the Cosori Pro II 5.8-Quart Smart Air FryerTom's Guide Awards 2022 logo

Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer  (Image credit: Cosori)
Best air fryer overall

Specifications

Type: : Digital
Size: 11.8 x 13.9 x 12.7 inches
Weight: 11.9 pounds
Capacity: 5.8 quarts
Dishwasher-Safe Parts: Yes
Easy to Clean: Yes
App Control: Yes
Reacipes: Booklet included

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent at air frying
+
Excellent at roasting a chicken
+
Exterior stays cool to the touch
+
Baskets are nonstick and dishwasher safe
+
Connects to Wifi for remote control and connection to digital assistants

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor at toasting
-
Controls are a bit sluggish

The Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer is the best air fryer for most people, and because of that it won the Tom's Guide 2022 Award for Best air fryer. It consistently browned and crisped everything from frozen crinkle cut fries to brussels sprouts. It also quickly and superbly roasted a chicken and broiled hamburgers with a lot less of the fuss and mess you get from a traditional oven. 

The Cosori has electronic controls with preset programs for commonly cooked foods. During cooking it stays cool enough to touch without risking a burn. The baskets are not only nonstick, they can be popped in the dishwasher. If you like technology, you’ll appreciate the ability to control this appliance and search for recipes from your mobile device or give it orders with a digital assistant.

This air fryer is also one of the best gifts for home cooks this holiday season. Check out our guide for more inspiration.

Read our full Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer review

Best budget

GoWISE USA 3.7 Quart 8-in-1 Air Fryer reviewbest value

GoWISE USA 3.7 Quart 8-in-1 Air Fryer (Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best value air fryer

Specifications

Type: Digital
Size: 10.5 x 12.5 x 12 inches
Weight: 13 pounds
Capacity: 3.7 quarts
Dishwasher-Safe Parts: No
Easy to Clean: Yes
App Control: No
Recipes: Booklet included

Reasons to buy

+
Very good at air frying
+
Excellent at roasting a chicken
+
No preheating necessary
+
Exterior stays cool to the touch

Reasons to avoid

-
Timer can only be set for 30 minutes
-
Baskets are not dishwasher safe

Don’t let the low price of the GoWISE USA 3.7 Quart 8-in-1 Air Fryer fool you. It’s no slouch at air frying and comes with the digital controls and preprogrammed settings you’d expect from a much more expensive machine. Although the basket is smaller than in many models and could only hold 3 burgers in one layer at once, it was able to roast a 4-pound chicken. 

You don’t have to preheat the GoWise, which is a timesaver, and as it cooks, it doesn’t get too hot to touch so you don’t have to worry about an accidental burn. While the baskets aren’t dishwasher safe, they are coated with a nonstick finish for easy hand cleaning. To give you inspiration as to what to cook, the GoWise comes with a cookbook full of recipes. If you find black appliances boring, the GoWise also comes in bright red and purple. If you’re on a budget, the GoWise is the best air fryer for you.

Read our full GoWISE USA 3.7 Quart 8-in-1 Air Fryer review.  

Best dual zone air fryer

Ninja Foodi DualZone Air Fryer DZ701 on kitchen counter

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best air fryer for families

Specifications

Type: Digital
Size: 18.2 x 11.8 inches
Weight: 17 pounds
Capacity: 7 quarts
Dishwasher Safe Parts: Yes
Easy to Clean: Yes
App Control: No
Recipes: Booklet included

Reasons to buy

+
Two cook zones can prepare foods different ways simultaneously
+
Removable divider gives full access to 7 quart Mega Zone that fits whole chicken
+
No preheating necessary
+
Baskets are dishwasher safe

Reasons to avoid

-
No reminder to flip your food at the halfway mark

The Ninja Foodi DualZone Air Fryer is perfect for serving families with a diverse pallet. Its generous 7 quarts of cooking space can be divided into two baskets in which you can cook two different items like salmon and steak at the same time at different temperatures; the machine makes sure they’re both ready simultaneously. The included divider ensures meals and their juices don't touch. Remove it and you get the full 7 quarts of cook space to roast a whole chicken unlike standard dual basket air fryers which waste their space.

This is a well-thought out and easy-to-use machine that doesn't require pre-heating to cut down your cooking process. With that said you won't get a halfway alert to tell you to flip your foods if you're someone who's about maximizing the crispness on every inch of their proteins. However, even without flipping, this air fryer produces great results, particularly for meats such as strip steak, salmon and chicken wings. With its matte black finish, the Ninja looks sleek and comes in around the size of a small microwave. This takes up minimal countertop space considering how much food this can cook and is light enough to stow away in a cabinet or closet.

Best toaster oven

Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven cooking food inside with a tray of fries and fried chicken beside it

Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven (Image credit: Cuisinart)
Best air fryer toaster oven

Specifications

Type: Analog
Size: 16 x 14 x 13.5 inches
Weight: 21 pounds
Capacity: 3 pounds
Dishwasher Safe Parts: No
Easy to Clean: No
App Control: No
Recipes: In manual

Reasons to buy

+
Very versatile
+
Good at air frying
+
Excellent at roasting a chicken
+
No preheating necessary
+
Very quiet in operation
+
3 year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Exterior gets very hot to the touch
-
Accessories are not dishwasher safe

We think the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven is the best air fryer if you want the functionality of several appliances in one package. In addition to air frying, it can crisp up bagels, roast a 4-pound chicken, and bake a 12-inch pizza. There’s no preheat required which adds to the cooking time but saves you a step. As it cooks the Cuisinart is very quiet so it won’t prevent you from chatting in the kitchen or having a phone conversation. 

Unlike most air fryers, the Cuisinart isn’t housed in plastic and it’s not shaped like a space capsule or giant egg. Instead, it’s constructed of stainless steel and has a boxy design. Not only will it fit neatly on your countertop, it will actually look good. The controls aren’t digital which means they’re very straightforward to operate — you simply set the well-marked dials. However, there are no  pre-programmed settings so you have to refer to the manual for air frying temperatures and times.

Read our full Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven review.   

Best compact

Dash Compact Air Fryer in aqua blue color with tray showing fries inside

Dash Compact Air Fryer (Image credit: Dash)
Best air fryer for small families

Specifications

Type: Digital
Size: 8.1 x 9.5 x 12.5 inches
Weight: 5.7 pounds
Capacity: 2 quarts
Dishwasher Safe Parts: Yes
Easy to Clean: Yes
App Control: No
Recipes: Booklet included

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive
+
Compact size
+
Baskets are dishwasher safe
+
Available in a range of colors
+
Great for chicken wings

Reasons to avoid

-
Can't be used for roasting a whole chicken
-
Hot exterior

The best air fryer for small families is the Dash Compact Air Fryer. It's not much bigger than a coffee maker and does a good job of cooking up an air-fried chicken dinner or hamburgers for just one or two people. With a pair of dials, one for temperature and one for time, it couldn’t be easier to program. When you use the Dash, you may find air frying times are a little on the long side and you will want to be vigilant about tossing your French fries and turning over your chicken cutlets to get evenly browned and crisped results. 

Thanks to its petite, cylindrical shape and glossy finish, the Dash Compact Air Fryer is adorable. In addition to black and white, it also comes in red and aqua. The basket is safe for dishwasher cleaning and because it’s small, it won’t hog too much of your precious rack space.   

Read our full Dash Compact Air Fryer review.  

Most versatile

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro showing front control panel and window

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro (Image credit: Breville)
Most versatile air fryer

Specifications

Type: Digital
Size: 21.5 x 16 x 12.7 inches
Weight: 38.9 pounds
Capacity: 13 pound turkey
Dishwasher Safe Parts: No
Easy to Clean: No
App Control: No
Recipes: eBook available to download

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile
+
Large capacity
+
Excellent at roasting a chicken

Reasons to avoid

-
Exterior gets hot
-
Accessories are not dishwasher safe

The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro is a handsome appliance that does a lot more than air fry, but it comes with a huge price tag. We think it’s worth the splurge though. Large enough to roast a small turkey, it can just about replace your full-size oven for everyday cooking and serve as a second one at the holidays. On the LCD panel, in addition to the air frying, toasting, baking, and broiling settings you expect from a toaster oven, there are ones for slow cooking, dehydrating, proofing, and reheating among others. 

The controls are intuitive to operate and we found that it excelled at roasting a chicken and frying breaded chicken. The brushed stainless steel surfaces give the Breville a professional look but they do get excessively hot during cooking, reaching 252°F during our tests, although the towel bar handle and controls stay cool to the touch. With this oven, you get several racks and pans for pizza and baking which you will have to store when you’re not using them. Breville doesn’t recommend placing them in the dishwasher and the air fryer rack in particular can take a bit of work to get clean. 

Read our full Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro review.  

Best small air fryer

Ninja Air Fryer Pro 4-in-1 ready to use on a kitchen counter

(Image credit: Future)
Ninja's smallest air fryer is also one of its smartest

Specifications

Type: Digital
Size: 14.84"D x 11.29"W x 10.39"H
Weight: 10.34 pounds
Capacity: 5 quarts
Dishwasher Safe Parts: Yes
Easy to Clean: Yes
App Control: No
Recipes: Ninja recipe book

Reasons to buy

+
Simple, user-friendly controls
+
Extra-fast cooking
+
Dishwasher-safe basket

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited capacity for some 
-
No pre-heat setting 

For the price, you don't get a whole lot of machine with the Ninja Air Fryer Pro 4-in-1. However, if you're willing to invest, this is an immensely capable option that wowed us when we put it to the test at home. It's got a five-quart basket, but we found that it was capable of meal prepping for four without any trouble thanks to the improved shape and design of this air fryer when compared to Ninja's earlier models.

When testing, this air fryer crisped up french fries in under 10 minutes, although it could use a 'remind to turn' alarm as we did note it cooks faster at the sides of the basket, leaving the center fries a little less crisp than the ones that lined the exterior. When roasting vegetables, the basket filled up very fast. Despite this, we were able to cook slow and low on the Roast setting and achieved some good charring on our zucchini and peppers. 

We did note the shallower basket and overall lower profile of the Ninja Air Fryer Pro 4-in-1. It will slot easily under any cabinet and could be stowed in a cupboard easily if you're short on counter space.

Read our full Ninja Air Fryer Pro 4-in-1 review.

Best odor-free

Instant Vortex Plus

(Image credit: Future)

8. Instant Vortex Plus with Odor Erase Technology

A smart air fryer with odor-erasing technology

Specifications

Type: Digital
Size: 12.9 x 11.8 x 14.9 inches
Weight: 15.77 pounds
Capacity: 6 quarts
Dishwasher Safe Parts: Yes, but not the drawer
Easy to Clean: Yes
App Control: No
Recipes: Instant app

Reasons to buy

+
Clearview panel for easy monitoring
+
Quiet operation
+
Odorerase filter really works

Reasons to avoid

-
Drawer is not dishwasher-safe
-
Filters need replacing

The Instant Vortex Plus 6QT Air Fryer with Odor Erase Technology is one of the top air fryers we tested for quiet operation. At an average noise level of 64dB, we were hardly distracted by it during testing. The big selling point of this air fryer is its odor-erasing technology which uses a filter to remove the smell of your food when the fryer circulates air. This was highly effective, and while it is slightly irritating to have to buy replacement filters, we only found that this was required after six months, at which point the air fryer will prompt you to switch out its filter. 

The cooking process was seamless when testing this air fryer. We enjoyed that it pre-heats and reminds you to shake your food while cooking, and it has pre-set options for air frying, roasting, baking, dehydrating, broiling and reheating. The maximum temperature of 400° F can be beaten by other brands such as Ninja, but we still achieved a good crispy coating on our breaded chicken, and our fries had a nice browned exterior that offered a good crunch. Because of the clear viewing panel, the drawer can't go in the dishwasher, but other than that we have very few complaints with this option. 

Best smart toaster oven

Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro on counter

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best toaster oven with smart connectivity

Specifications

Type: Digital
Size: 21.5 x 17.3 x 12.8 inches
Weight: 23 pounds
Capacity: 13 pound turkey
Dishwasher Safe Parts: No
Easy to Clean: No
App Control: Yes
Recipes: Joule App recipe assistant

Reasons to buy

+
Great selection of functions 
+
Plenty of accessories 
+
Companion app comes in handy 
+
Makes an excellent roast chicken 

Reasons to avoid

-
Exterior gets hot
-
Accessories are not dishwasher-safe 

You might notice something familiar about this toaster oven — it looks very similar to the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro. In fact, the Joule Oven is the upgraded version of this model and we consequently found the design, accessories and cleaning instructions were along the same lines. There were however some minor differences in performance, which is why this upgrade ranked slightly lower. 

First, we loved that this toaster oven comes with smart connectivity. Simply download the Joule App recipe assistant and you get step-by-step guidance to create some delicious dishes. Plus, with 13 settings at your disposal on this toaster oven, the possibilities are pretty endless. You can also use Alexa or Google Assistant to change settings or set timers remotely, although we found this was a bit unnecessary. 

In terms of performance, the Joule Oven exceeded its Smart Oven predecessor when it came to making toast. It was also slightly better at frying up chicken wings as well as frozen French fries. However, the Smart Oven came out on top when cooking French fries from scratch and breaded chicken. On the whole, recipes emerged beautifully cooked from the Joule Oven and we were particularly impressed by the roast chicken it produced. This model still gets hot to the touch, particularly on the glass, and it’s by no means a cheap investment, but if you love all things tech and you want your toaster oven to make a statement, it’s worth considering. 

Read our full Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro review.  

Best large capacity

Philips Premium Airfryer XXL in black with LED control display

Philips Premium Airfryer XXL  (Image credit: Philips)
Best air fryer for feeding a crowd

Specifications

Type: Digital
Size: 12 x 16 x 12 inches
Weight: 19 pounds
Capacity: 3 pounds
Dishwasher Safe Parts: Yes
Easy to Clean: Yes
App Control: No
Recipes: Booklet included

Reasons to buy

+
Solid construction
+
Very good at air frying
+
Excellent at roasting a chicken
+
No preheating necessary
+
Baskets are dishwasher safe

Reasons to avoid

-
Noisy compared to other air fryers
-
Heavy to move around

The Philips Premium Airfryer XXL is one solidly built machine with a sky high price tag. In our tests, it was one of the only air fryers that could crisp up two pounds of French fries to perfection. In fact, your kids might just be  convinced that they came from their favorite fast food restaurant. However, other foods, like chicken wings and French fries made from scratch, came out less evenly browned and crunchy. It did broil burgers well and turned out an impressive crispy-skinned roast chicken though. The Philips doesn’t require preheating, which saves a step, but it does take longer to cook than other air fryers as a consequence.  

On this model you’ll find digital controls and a dial to select the setting, temperature, and time. The basket glides out on a track, but when you lift it out, it can drip on the countertop or floor and it’s a little tricky to replace. Because the Philips is so heavy, you won’t want to store it away between uses so we suggest you make sure you really want an air fryer before investing in this expensive machine. If you feed a lot of people who love French fries often, it’s definitely the best air fryer and is worth the expense. 

Read our full Philips Premium Airfryer XXL review. 

Easiest to use

Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 XL Pro Air Fry Oven DT201 roasting a turkey inside and roast vegetables at the top rack

(Image credit: Ninja)
Easiest to use toaster oven

Specifications

Type:: Digital
Size:: 17 x 20 x 13 inches
Weight: : 34 pounds
Capacity:: 9 slices bread, 12 pound turkey
Dishwasher Safe Parts:: Yes
Easy to Clean:: Yes
App Control:: No
Recipes:: Cookbook included

Reasons to buy

+
Makes perfect toast
+
Bakes and roasts well
+
Innovative easy to use digital controls 

Reasons to avoid

-
Exterior gets very hot to the touch
-
Noisy when operating 

The Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 XL Pro Air Fry Oven DT201 will deliver exceptional results, no matter which setting you’re using. The display and controls can all be found on the handle, which means this oven is making the most efficient use of its space — this puts the controls in an easy-to-read position as well. It can fit nine slices of bread at once, or a 12 pound turkey and comes with 10 cooking settings including roast, bake, broil and air fry. Two oven racks are also included, which can fit two 12-inch pizzas at once. 

When put to the test, we found it was brilliant at baking yellow cake as well as browning toast and air frying chicken wings. Our only real complaint about the design was how hot the glass door grew in use, reaching temperatures as high as 282°F. It’s not the quietest of toaster ovens either, with noise readings of 61.3 dBa. All of the parts are dishwasher safe though for easy cleaning, and the manual couldn’t be more thorough in terms of guiding you through multi-rack cooking.

Read our full Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 XL Pro Air Fry Oven DT201 review.

Best small air fryer

Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer

(Image credit: Future)

12. Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer

Best small air fryer

Specifications

Type:: Digital
Size:: 11 x 9 x 11 inches
Weight: : 7.3 Pounds
Capacity:: 2QT
Dishwasher Safe Parts:: Yes
Easy to Clean:: Yes
App Control:: No
Recipes:: Recipe app available

Reasons to buy

+
Extra speedy cooking
+
Dishwasher-safe drawer and liner
+
Very energy-efficient

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for more than two people 
-
Only four settings 

Sometimes less is more, especially if you're in a two-person household or you're dealing with limited kitchen space. The Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer is the ideal choice for those who are interested in trying an air fryer, but don't have much space to spare. Many of the options in our guide are large and expensive, but at $60 the Instant Mini is a great budget-friendly option that packs all the quality cooking features we'd expect from a much more premium option.

We loved how fast this air fryer crisped up bacon, and our potato chips were cooked in just 20 minutes with a good, even char on all sides. The cooking basket is a little small for cooking a large cut of meat, and as a result we found that our chicken breast was a little dry at the top due to its proximity to the heating element. Although this wouldn't be our top choice if you're looking for a versatile option, everything the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer does, it does well. 

How we test

To find the best air fryers, we tested a range of popular models to determine how well they air fry as well as how convenient they are to use. In each air fryer, we cooked both frozen and homemade French fries, Brussels sprouts, chicken wings, chicken breasts breaded with Panko crumbs, and hamburgers. We cooked whole chickens in those fryers that had baskets large enough to accommodate them. We added a tablespoon of oil to the made-from-scratch French fries and Brussels sprouts but otherwise added no other ingredients to any items. Everything was cooked on the setting recommended by the manufacturer until tender or cooked to a safe internal temperature. In those models that can toast, we toasted white bread on the light, medium, and dark settings. Each food was evaluated for browning, crisping, and how evenly it cooked and how moist and tender it came out.

To rate the ease of use of each air fryer, we considered how convenient it was to set the controls, slide the basket in and out, and of course, how easy it was to clean up. We checked to see if the manual adequately explained how to use the product, which we think is particularly important in view of the fact that air fryers are more often part of a multifunctional design. We measured the sound level of each air fryer while it was operating to determine how much it would interfere with conversation in the kitchen and took surface temperatures on eight places that the user is likely to touch during cooking to determine if it could be a hazard.

Test results

The following table shows the noise produced from each air fryer in operation as well as the highest recorded external temperature.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Average Noise (dB)Highest external temperature (°F)
Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro53245
Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro61.4252.1
Chefman TurboFry 3.5L Analog Air Fryer59.3166.2
Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer65.3128.8
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven54.7259.6
Dash Compact Air Fryer60.6143.6
Gourmia 6 Quart Digital Air Fryer60157.5
GoWISE USA 3.7 Quart 8-in-1 Air Fryer58.8124.3
Instant Pot 6 Quart Vortex 4 in 1 Air Fryer Oven66.5126.6
KitchenAid Digital Countertop Oven With Air Fryer54.4278.3
Ninja Air Fryer Pro 4-in-167.5173
Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer65.5137.1
Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 XL Pro Air Fry Oven DT20161.3282
NuWave Brio 6 Quart Digital Air Fryer63.4151.7
Philips Premium Airfryer XXL64.7138.5
Instant Vortex Plus Odor Erase64145

How to choose

Air fryers vary in size, shape, capacity and price. The most expensive ones are solidly built, but not necessarily the best at air frying, nor the most convenient to use. 

Here are the five things to consider when shopping for an air fryer. Also, be sure to check out the best air fryer recipes to get the most out of your air fryer and the biggest air fryer mistakes people make.

If you're stuck between buying an traditional air fryer or a toaster oven design, our Homes Editor would buy an air fryer over a toaster oven — here's why

Size: Most air fryers are not only large, but they’re irregularly shaped. Be sure to measure the space on your countertop where you plan to keep your air fryer and the machine itself before making a purchase. Don’t forget to check how much room you have from the counter surface to the bottom of your cabinets if you want to be able to move the fryer back and out of the way when you’re not using it. If you don’t plan on using it often, also consider how heavy the appliance is to see if it will be convenient to lift it in and out of a cabinet or closet.

Capacity: Air fryers are labeled with a wide range of capacities from as little as two quarts to as much as eight. However, the stated capacity is not necessarily a good indication of how much food you can cook at one time. For best results, it’s not a good idea to pile up food to the top of the basket. Few models can cook more than a pound of food like French fries or veggies at a time. When you’re making chicken or hamburgers you’re limited to how many pieces you can fit on the bottom of the basket. It’s more important to check the diameter of the  basket than its volume. 

Overfilling a toaster oven is one of the 7 toaster oven mistakes to avoid at all costs, so take care with capacity here too.  

Type of Controls: Dial controls are intuitive to operate but offer less precision. To set the time you’re basically turning a mechanical timer that dings when time is up. While digital controls can take a little more work to figure out, they are exact and allow for special settings for various types of food so you don’t have to guestimate what temperature to use and how long to cook.

Other functions: Some air fryers double up as other appliances. This gives you more versatility and means you’ll have fewer products taking up space in your kitchen. However, it also adds to the price of the air fryer so be realistic about whether or not you need the extra functions. Whatever you purchase, air fryers are more versatile than you'd think, here are 7 foods you never knew you could cook in an air fryer.

Want to know more? Check out 9 things to think about when buying an air fryer.

When to replace

An air fryer will last for as long as you take care of it, although there are ways to make an air fryer last longer. There are reports of some breaking within a few months because there are things you should never put in an air fryer, while others last up to eight years. Most brands will offer around three years of warranty. The best way to extend the life of your air fryer is to keep it clean and wash it thoroughly between each use; see our guide on how to clean an air fryer for more details. If you hand wash the basket and avoid using metal tools, the non-stick finish won’t take damage — this is one of the most common problems with air fryers.

Another common complaint is the handle breaking away from the basket. The answer to this, once again, is washing by hand, as being exposed to the high temperatures within a dishwasher won’t help the plastic. Try not to pull on the handle with too much force during everyday use as well. If your air fryer malfunctions, and it’s not under warranty, it’s best to replace it. If you request a repair quote, and find it’s more than half the price of a new air fryer, we recommend replacing the model. 

When you’re on the market for a new air fryer, you might notice that there are more options than there’s ever been before. There are compact designs for small families, which will save space on your countertop, and then there are multifunctional options which can bake, toast and roast, as well as air fry. This can get bulky and expensive though, so make sure you only buy what you intend to use. Some can also pressure cook and slow cook as well, such as one of the best instant pots. If you want to air fry two different things at once, some even offer two baskets.  

If you're looking at cast iron skillets, we have a guide on the best cast iron skillets to choose from.

Air fryer FAQs

Is there a downside to air fryers?

Of course, an air fryer will never be able to fully replace your oven — it has neither the power or versatility. Depending on the model you choose, it can also be lacking in capacity. While the picture on the box may show a basket brimming with French fries, the truth is the capacity will be much less than this. In fact, if you’re frying something more substantial, like breaded chicken, you’re limited to the surface area of the basket. This is worth considering if you’re looking to cook for a large family. You can batch cook to get around this, but some parts of the meal may cool down by the time everything is ready to serve.

Air fryers don’t tend to look very attractive on display either, unless you opt for a premium design toaster oven model. So you may need to make room to store it while it’s not in use. Keep in mind that while everyday cleaning will be easy, thanks to most parts being dishwasher safe, you will need to take the time to deep clean your appliance on occasion too. So these machines aren’t entirely free of maintenance. Finally, if you’re buying an air fryer based on the belief of it being a healthy cooking method, this isn’t necessarily true. You’re still cooking in oil, and the healthiness largely depends on what you’re cooking and how often. While it is healthier vs deep-frying, the air fryer should be used in moderation with appropriate recipe selections. See are air fryers actually healthy for more details. 

While these drawbacks are worth considering, remember that the pros still far outweigh the cons. Air fryers can create tender and delicious dishes in a matter of minutes, surpassing the oven in terms of both cost and time.  

How much should you spend on an air fryer?

You can spend as little as $40 on a compact, entry-level air fryer. This will likely provide analogue controls and a reduced capacity of around 2-4 quarts. Spend a little more and there will be more capacity and features on offer, with your average air fryer costing around $100. Premium designs exist as well, costing up to $400 for the latest technology. 

The more expensive offerings will likely include toaster ovens. These multi-functional machines technically provide several appliances in one, but its ultimate value will come down to your use. Spending more naturally opens up the possibility of additional accessories and features as well, such as meat probes and two-basket designs. Smart connectivity is becoming more popular too, although this always adds to the price tag. 

While some of the above features may entice you, you don’t necessarily need to spend top dollar to get the best air fryer for your home. We recommend deciding on some of the basic specifications before you start shopping. For instance, you may already know the required capacity or whether a toaster oven would be more appropriate versus an air fryer. Give yourself an absolute budget as well. By combining these factors, you can look for exactly what you need without overspending on unnecessary features. 

What food can you cook in an air fryer?

Air fryers are very versatile and are good at cooking a wide variety of food. However, crispy foods cook particularly well. As an air fryer works by convection heat, hot air surrounds the food and cooks it evenly and quickly, making delicious French and sweet potato fries with just a small oil coating. Chicken works particularly well in an air fryer, producing a crispy skin and juicy meat. Try chicken wings, drumsticks, breasts and thighs. They can also cook frozen foods like chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks and vegetables. Although an air fryer can cook most vegetables, including cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus, green leafy vegetables can dry out and are best steamed.

Snacks also work successfully in an air fryer — enjoy onion rings, spring rolls, and samosas as an appetiser. You can also enjoy a tasty sweet treat and bake churros, doughnuts, cookies and muffins.

Millie Fender
Senior Homes Editor

Millie is the Senior Home Editor at Tom's Guide. She's been reviewing home tech for over five years, testing everything from coffee makers to the latest vacuum cleaners. Starting out in 2019 as a Staff Writer at TopTenReviews, Millie then moved on to Future's Homes portfolio, where she eventually oversaw all product testing as Head of Reviews.

With particular expertise in cookware and kitchen appliances, you'll struggle to find an air fryer Millie's not tested. She's traveled the world reporting on the latest home innovations and product launches, learning how to use pizza ovens from Pizzaiolos in Naples, and touring the De'Longhi factory in Venice.

When she's not reporting on home and appliance trends, Millie loves watching live music. She's currently learning the guitar - naturally, she plays a Fender.

With contributions from