Last updated on January 3rd, 2020
We tested and reviewed some of the best air fryers to buy on the market. If you’re a lover of fried or deep-fried food, you should definitely invest in an air fryer. Why you might ask? Air fryers don’t require much oil as your standard deep fryer does, therefore your food is much healthier for your body overall.
Air fryers have made a huge positive impact in households around the United States and we stand by these small appliances with no doubts whatsoever. These air fryers are very easy to use and very easy to clean up as well. In addition, you can save a bunch of time with cooking because they save a lot of time when cooking for your family.
We tested all kinds of good food in the air fryers that we tested and reviewed. We tested french fries, cheese curds, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, and much more. What’s great about these air fryers is that they clean up very easily. No more dealing with grease and oil!
This review will be a bit long as we like to answer as many questions as possible so that you know what you’re getting before making a purchase. Below you will find a table of contents. Feel free to skip to whichever section you would like.
What Is An Air Fryer?
In simple terms, an air fryer is a small appliance that cooks just about any type of food that you would normally cook in a deep fryer. The best part about it, it cooks your food without the use of oil, or barely any oil at all. Not only is this less messy, but it makes for easy cleanup as well.
Air fryers recently hit the shelves in the past few years and they have been leaving those shelves just as fast as they arrive.
Homeowners all around the United States are replacing their greasy deep fryers with an air fryer. Who wouldn’t? The food comes out tasting “cleaner” and the cleanup is much easier! In addition, they are a lot safer for your kids to use as well, considering they don’t have to deal with a pot of blazing hot grease!
If you don’t already have an air fryer, I suggest you get one. We had never tried them before testing and reviewing them. When our tests were completed, all three of my employees (product testers) took one home with them, they loved them that much. They really are a great small appliance to have.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
Ready to get technical? Air fryers work by circulating hot air around any food of your choosing by using the convection method. (Not sure what convection is? Read about it here.) While hot air is circulating your food, a fan circulates the hot air around the food at very high speeds. This ultimately cooks to food which produces that crispy layers we all look for in deep-fried foods.
Ultimately, the taste you get from foods that are cooked in a traditional deep fryer is much different from the taste you get with an air fryer. With an air fryer, you get a “cleaner” taste because there’s no oil penetrating the meat like what happens with a deep fryer. Not only is this method healthier because there’s no oil, but it seriously tastes ten times better and less greasy.
Are Air Fryers Cleaner Than A Deep Fryer?
Air fryers are much cleaner than a deep fryer. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant I’m sure you’ve seen the ugly mess that you can get with a deep fryer. Not only that but you have to empty that grease into a “special bin” at the end of the day. This just requires more work and more random crap that you shouldn’t have to deal with when cooking food.
When you have an air fryer, there’s no mess whatsoever. If there is a mess, it’s likely inside the basket itself and that’s about it. Sometimes if you’re cooking fish or chicken and you’re using a wet batter (not recommended) then you will get a little bit of a mess but it’s not too bad. It’s really just a couple of crispy crumbs that you have to worry about when it comes to cleanup time.
You will be absolutely amazed when you realize how easy it is to clean an air fryer. Towards the bottom of this review, we included a section that will go over how to clean your air fryer.
Are Air Fryers Healthier For You?
Let’s be honest, in today’s day in age and with FDA constantly testing food, who really knows what is and what isn’t healthy for human consumption anymore, right? However, in regards to air fryers versus traditional deep fryers, air fryers are a lot healthier for you.
The food that comes out of an air fryer doesn’t have pools of oil or grease inside of it. Instead, it’s just food cooked to perfection. Take a chicken nugget for example. When you deep fry a chicken nugget, oil from a traditional deep fryer injects itself into the batter and then seeps through the pores of the chicken meat. With an air fryer, since there is no oil, you don’t have to worry about any of that.
It’s the same with cheese curds as well. Drop a bunch of cheese curds in some oil and the oil surrounds the batter and seeps into the cheese. That’s pretty gross when you think about it actually. With an air fryer, all you get is clean and lean food!
Can Air Fryers Cook Battered Food?
Air fryers can cook battered food with no problem. The only thing that we would suggest is DO NOT use any liquid batter. Trust us on this one. We caught some fish prior to doing our review and we tried using liquid batter on one of them and it did not work at all. What happened was, the batter ended up coming right off the fish.
In a traditional deep fryer, you just put the battered fish in the basket and dump it into the oil and the oil grabs onto the batter from all sides and makes it crispy that way. With an air fryer, that process doesn’t happen therefore your batter will just drip off. Because of this, we suggest using a flour batter with crumbs instead.
What Size Air Fryer Do I Need?
Air fryers come in many different sizes. You can get air fryers in 2-quarts, 3-quarts, 4-quarts, 5-quarts, 6-quarts, and we’ve even seen 8-quart air fryers. However, for our review, we only chose to review air fryers that had a 3-6 quart basket. We felt that size is generally the size that most families would be using on a regular basis.
If you’re a family of 4-6, then a 5.5-6 quart air fryer would be perfect. If you’re single or living with one other person, you can easily get by with just a 3 or 4-quart air fryer. The choice is really up to you as the user. Bigger never hurts, but the larger air fryers you can cook an entires chicken.
Top 5 Best Air Fryers To Buy
Below you will find five of the best air fryers that we tested and reviewed. Each of these air fryers worked great for fish, chicken strips, french fries, and cheese curds. You will be more than happy with any of these five air fryers.
If you have any questions about any of these air fryers, feel free to let us know in the comments below or message us on our contact page.
1. Air Fryer By GoWISE
Create healthier versions of your favorite foods by using a GoWISE USA air fryer. The rapid air circulation technology makes it possible to cook with little to no oil while producing delicious, crispy food. However, you don’t have to limit yourself to fried food. The possibilities are endless! You can even bake a cake in our air fryer.
- Enjoy your favorite food without the extra calories. This air fryer allows you to fry, bake, grill, and roast with little to no oil. Make crispy fried chicken, steak, French fries, pizza and much more in one countertop appliance
- Sleek and modern look with advanced touch screen menu. Take the guesswork out of cooking with the built-in touch screen menu featuring 8 cooking presets Fries/Chips, Pork, Chicken, Steak, Shrimp, Cake, Fish, and Pizza. Equipped with a wide temperature range from 180F to 400F in 10-degree increments and a cooking timer up to 30 minutes.
- Featuring a new Start/Stop button to change time and temperature in the middle of a cook cycle. Don’t forget to shake, with the new built-in alarm function that reminds you to shake your ingredients in 5, 10, 15-minute increments.
- Comes with non-stick FDA-certified and PFOA free pan and detachable basket equipped with a cool-touch handle and button guard to prevent accidental detachment. Shake and flip contents in the middle of your cooking program with the detachable frying basket.
2. COSORI Air Fryer
With one-touch selections and 11 presets, the Cosori Air Fryer will manage the perfect frying calculations for you. Whether you’re eating fries or frittata, all your meals, sides, and desserts are ready to be air-fried.
- Air crisp technology with 85% less fat than traditional frying methods, but delivers the same deliciously crunchy taste of fried food with little to no oil.
- Enjoy your favorite fried foods with 100 original, delicious & easy recipes for every meal.
- Built-in digital touch screen menu featuring 11 presets, just tap and go! Temp and time adjustable, 170°F to 400°F, °F/°C switching.
- Cooking time is faster than a conventional oven, but with crispier and tastier results.
- Automatic shut off prevent overcooking, overheat protection. The XL 5.8-quart size serves food for 3-5 people.
- Removable nonstick coated drawer and the food basket are dishwasher safe, PFOA-free & BPA-free, with a cool-touch handle & button guard to prevent accidental detachment.
3. Air Fryer By GoWISE
The GoWISE USA Air Fryer allows you to enjoy your favorite fried snacks and food without the added calories. Rapid Air Circulation Technology cooks food by circulating hot air in all directions, ensuring fast and even cooking. This air fryer is designed to automatically turn off when the basket is removed from the air fryer or after the timer is done.
- This air fryer lets you cook your favorite foods with little to no oil. Thanks to rapid air technology there is no need to add oil to prepare fried foods. This technique uses the hot air circulating to make healthier versions of your favorite fried foods.
- It comes with presets to make cooking easier. There are a total of 8 presets featuring: warm, fries/chips, chicken, steak, shrimp, pork, cake, and fish. Just press one and you’re done.
- The digital screen allows you to set temperature from 170F to 400F and cook from 1-30 minutes. This option is perfect for those who tend to cook their own recipes or from recipes found online.
- The indicator lets you know when cooking time has been reached. The timer will beep 5 times to let you know when your food is ready. The air fryer fan will stop after approx. 20 seconds.
- Includes a recipe book as well! This recipe book is filled with 50 recipes specifically made for GoWISE USA Air Fryers. Choose from a variety of meals to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.
4. ZenChef Air Fryer
- This air fryer has the largest air frying capacity on the market. The 5.8-quart basket provides enough space to cook food for an entire family or main event. You can even put a whole chicken in the basket if you’d like!
- Cooks for a family of up to 7 people.
- Revolutionary superheated rapid air technology cooks your food without the need for fatty, unhealthy oils. 8 one-touch preset buttons. Use it to cook: fries, baked potatoes, steak, pork chops, hamburgers, drumsticks, cakes, roast chicken, lasagna, mac and cheese, quiches, gratins and more. It delivers a golden, crispy exterior and a moist, juicy, super tender interior to foods, with little to no oil needed!
5. OMORC Air Fryer
Cook for up to 7 hungry people with Omorc’s generous 6-quart capacity. The basket on this one is big enough for an entire chicken as well. Enjoy healthier fried foods at any time of day!
- No Need to press setting buttons too many times like other products. The easy operation brings you excellent fries, ribs, shrimp, cake, chicken, steak, and fish.
- Uses less oil less than traditional frying methods.
- Nonstick and easy-to-clean fry basket and pot, equipped with a cool-touch handle and button guard to prevent accidental detachment.
- Removable parts are dishwasher safe, free yourself from doing even more dishes.
How To Clean An Air Fryer
Now that you’ve seen some of the best air fryers to buy, below are some details on how to properly clean an air fryer. (It’s really easy)
- First, unplug your air fryer from the wall and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Wipe the outside of the air fryer with a warm damp cloth.
- Wash the pan, tray, and the basket with hot water and soap. (all air fryers have removable components and are safe for dishwashers)
- Wipeout and clean the inside of the air fryer with a hot wet cloth or sponge if you have one.
- If there is any food stuck to the heating element above the food basket, clean it with a small brush.
- Make sure all the components are completely dry before putting them back into the air fryer.
- That’s it! It’s that easy, no longer do you have to deal with grease!
Air Fryer Usage Tips
Use The Inserts
Don’t let us fool you, you can cook plenty of good foods with your air fryer as it is, and without the inserts too! But, when you use your inserts, you create many more possibilities to what you can cook. The inserts are like a tool kit that comes with a new grill for instance. For example, with the pan inserts, you can use those for cakes, bread, foods with glazing, etc.
The possibilities are endless when you start to use your inserts that come with your air fryer. Don’t just limit yourself to basic foods.
Don’t Be Afraid To Bake
You’ll eventually realize that you can use your air fryer as a high powered oven. You can bake loaves of bread, pizza crusts, cinnamon buns, and all sorts of baked goods.
With how easy it is to clean these air fryers, you don’t have to deal with extra dishes either, so bake whatever you feel like baking! These air fryers are a real game-changer when it comes to overall efficiency!
Use The Air Fryer Instead Of Your Microwave
Another great aspect of an air fryer is that it can literally replace your microwave for many things. Not only does this save some pennies on your power bill, but fried/baked food is always healthier than microwaved food. You can use your air fryer for anything, even leftovers, and frozen packaged foods.
Don’t Overfill Your Fryer Basket
Yeah, it’s tempting, especially if you’re cooking up an entire bag of cheese curds or french fries, but don’t do it. Why? With an air fryer, you don’t have oil that cooks on all sides of your food at the same time as you do with a regular deep fryer. Because of this, if you try to fill the entire basket with a bunch of cheese curds, for example, you’ll get an uneven cook in your cheese curds.
So instead of trying to cook a giant bag of food at once, just cook a small handful at a time instead.
Don’t Use Wet Batter!
When you use a traditional deep fryer you can put beer batter on your fish or chicken with no problem. However, with an air fryer, you’re going to want to use flour, egg, and breadcrumbs if you’re looking for a crunch factor. The reason why is because the air fryer won’t cook the wet batter. It’ll just drip off while the meat inside cooks.
Air fryers are a great way to cook some of your favorite fried foods without having to deal with a big mess! We stand by them and use ours on a regular basis now that we know how easy they are to use. If you’re a fan of fried food and don’t enjoy using a deep fryer, invest in an air fryer.
If you have any questions about the air fryers, feel free to leave us a comment below! However, if you have questions but don’t want to leave a comment, feel free to reach out to us directly. You can use our contact form on our contact page and we will respond to your email in a timely manner.
Have you used an air fryer in the past? What is your favorite food to cook in an air fryer?