The 8 Best Air Fryers of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Cook up delicious fare in no time

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Our Top Picks
A high-quality, dependable machine, it features seven modes to cook anything perfectly and a large 5.5-quart basket.
It doesn’t require preheating, and cooks food quickly and evenly in its 3.5-liter nonstick, dishwasher-safe basket.
This small air fryer has two controls for setting temperature and time, and an auto-shutoff function for added safety.
It’s a rotisserie toaster oven that features twelve functional presets and a 30-liter capacity.
With a wide temperature range of 80 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, you can perform low heat tasks like slow cooking and dehydrating.
This model features an extra-large capacity basket, perfect for larger families.
Its sleek design features two controls dials—one for temperature and the other for time.
It features Element iQ technology to create an ideal cooking environment.

Air fryers are one of the most popular kitchen gadgets on the market right now. They cook all kinds of food quickly, evenly, and efficiently. Air frying food imparts an irresistible crispy texture reminiscent of deep-fried food to whatever you cook, but with a fraction of the calories. 

Air fryers come in a variety of styles and sizes, some of which have extra features. Whether you want a no-frills gadget or an air fryer with all the bells and whistles, we’ve rounded up the best air fryers for all your needs.

Here, the best air fryers:

Best Overall: Ninja Max XL Air Fryer

The Ninja Max XL Air Fryer is the perfect air fryer to suit all your needs with a simple to use, high-quality design. It features seven modes to cook anything perfectly: Air Fry, Air Roast, Air Broil, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate, and Max Crisp. Just select your desired mode by pushing a button and set your time and temperature—so easy!

Air fryers are known to cook food faster than an oven, but you can cook your food up to 30% faster with the Ninja Max Crisp mode, which heats to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The 5.5-quart basket is large enough to cook 3 pounds of French fries and is coated in a non-stick ceramic coating to make clean-up a breeze.

The Ninja Max XL air fryer won’t set you back hundreds of dollars like other similar models. If you’re new to air frying and want to get yourself a high-quality, dependable machine, you should seriously consider this model.

Best Budget : Chefman Turbo Fry 3.5L Airfryer

If you want an air fryer but don’t want to spend more than 100 dollars on a kitchen gadget, the Chefman Turbo Fry is for you. This model cooks food quickly and evenly, with a temperature range of 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Chefman Turbo Fry is super easy to use because there is only one air frying setting. Just set your desired time and temperature and press the start button to cook. It doesn’t require preheating, and you can make anything from lamb chops to donuts in the 3.5-liter nonstick, dishwasher-safe basket.

You can purchase the Chefman Turbo fry in both digital and analog models, both of which have an easy-to-read interface. The Chefman Turbo Fry is a solid option for air fryer beginners and novices alike, without spending a pretty penny.

Best Compact : DASH DCAF150GBGY02 Compact Air Fryer Oven Cooker

If you have a smaller home, apartment, or even dorm room, there’s no need to purchase a big air fryer. The Dash air fryer is small and takes up less space than similar products but still cooks effectively and quickly. It features a 2-quart frying basket, which can cook half a pound of french fries or a half a dozen chicken wings in one batch.

The Dash air fryer has two controls for setting temperature and time, with an auto-shutoff function for added safety. You can find this compact air fryer in both analog and digital models, the analog being the less expensive of the two. It comes in five fun colors to add personality to your home decor.

Being so compact, this air fryer model is best for smaller households of 1 to 2 people. If using this for larger crowds, you’ll have to cook multiple batches of food for full meals.

Best Rotisserie: COSORI CO130-AO 12-in-1 Convection Roaster

If you’re a more experienced chef and need your air fryer to perform many functions, check out the Cosori CO130-AO model. It’s a rotisserie toaster oven that features twelve functional presets: Pizza, Roast, Air Fry, Toast, Bagel, Bake, Broil, Cookies, Rotisserie, Dehydrate, Ferment, and Keep Warm.

This air fryer resembles a toaster oven and has a 30-liter capacity. You can rotisserie cook an entire chicken, a whole pizza, or 6 slices of toast at once. However, it may take longer to cook foods in the Air Fry mode than in a simpler, basket-style air fryer because of its design.

If you want an air fryer that does much more than just air fry, consider this Cosori model. The extra features do impart a bit of an additional cost, so keep that in mind when making your purchasing decisions.

Best Toaster Oven: Cuisinart TOA-65 Digital Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer

Cuisinart Digital Air Fryer Toaster Oven

The Cuisinart TOA-65 is another air fryer that does much more than just air fry. It has several cooking modes: Bake, Broil, Pizza, Roast, Toast, Bagel, Reheat, Warm, and Dual Cook. With a wide temperature range of 80 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, you can also perform low heat tasks like slow cooking and dehydrating. 

The Cuisinart toaster oven air fryer has a large 17-liter capacity, so it provides plenty of room to cook food for a family. You can use this air fryer to toast 3 bagels at once or cook a 4-pound chicken. The interior is nonstick, and the air fry basket and baking pan are dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up.

This versatile and high-quality toaster oven air fryer is one of the more expensive options, but since it has so many features, you will likely use it more often than air fryers with just one setting.

Best for a Family: GoWISE USA GW22956 7-Quart Air Fryer

GoWISE 7-Quart

This GoWise air fryer model features an extra-large capacity basket, perfect for larger families. Cook an entire chicken or five burger patties at once in the 7-quart basket. The simple digital interface allows you to choose from eight different cooking methods: Air Fry, Roast, Broil, Dehydrate, Grill, Bake, Reheat, or Keep Warm.

The air fryer basket features PFOA-free nonstick coating, making clean up easy. It comes with three dehydrating racks, so you can make your own dehydrated fruits, vegetables, jerky, or even dried herbs.

If you have many mouths to feed or love to entertain, this air fryer is a great option for you. While it does take up a lot of space given its larger size, it is an affordable model in relation to the other options on this list.

Best Analog: Philips Premium TurboStar Analog Airfryer

Prefer the simplicity and ease of use of analog controls? Try the Philip’s Premium Turbo Star air fryer. The sleek design features two control dials—one for temperature and the other for time. 

The latest 2020 model has been redesigned to be 20% more compact but still cooks the same amount of food. You can cook nearly 2 pounds of French fries in the air fryer basket at once, enough for four people.

This air fryer interior features a starfish design, which allows airflow to be evenly distributed throughout, allowing for evenly cooked food from all angles. If price is a concern, the analog model costs less than the same model with digital controls.

Best Splurge: Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro

Breville BOV900BSS Convection and Air Fry Smart Oven Air

For a major treat-yourself appliance that air fries, you’ll want to check out the Breville Smart Oven. It resembles a large toaster oven that features 13 cooking functions, from roast to dehydrate.

The Breville Smart Oven features Element iQ technology to create an ideal cooking environment. This technology steers power where it’s needed with sensing and digital temperature control, so your food will be evenly cooked with no cold spots.

The extra-large capacity can accommodate a 14-pound turkey or a whole 12-cup muffin tray. You’ll be able to cook a wide variety of foods efficiently, evenly, and faster than your regular oven. With its state-of-the-art technology and variety of features, the Breville Smart Oven is definitely a splurge. If you’re able to invest, you’ll greatly enjoy using this kitchen appliance.

Final Verdict

We recommend trying the Ninja Max XL Air Fryer (view at Amazon). Its 5.5-quart capacity is large enough to cook a lot of food without taking up too much valuable counter space. With an easy-to-read digital interface, you’re able to select from seven different cooking modes.


This model is also priced well and comes out in the middle of the range compared to the other models we featured. It’s appropriate for both small and large families and beginners and professionals alike.

What to Look for in an Air Fryer

Basket Size:

The basket or interior space size dictates how much food you can cook in your air fryer. The appliance will not cook your food properly if it is overfilled, so the basket size is an important factor depending on how you plan to use your air fryer.

If you have a larger family or love to entertain, you probably want to purchase a larger air fryer, like the Cosori and GoWISE models mentioned in this article. But if you only plan to use your air fryer occasionally for a smaller crowd, you can save money by buying a smaller model, like the Dash Air Fryer

Additional Cooking Modes:

Some air fryers have additional cooking presets that do more than air fry. When purchasing your air fryer, it’s important to consider how you want to use it.

If you already own several kitchen appliances, you have the option of replacing them and getting an air fryer with multiple features such as a toaster oven and rotisserie. But if you don’t need the extra features or realistically don’t anticipate using them, save yourself some money and buy a simpler model.

Accessories:

Some air fryer models may require additional accessories for the different cooking modes you’d like to use it for. The accessories may not come with the base model, so you might need to factor in an additional cost for them.

FAQs 

How does an air fryer work? 

Fun fact: air fryers don’t actually fry food. An air fryer is a small convection oven that circulates hot air at high speed around the food, which creates a crispy outer layer that mimics the texture of deep fried food. 

Traditional frying methods require completely submerging foods in hot oil. Because air fryers require little to no oil to cook, you’re able to get super crispy food with less calories and fat. Air frying generally uses 70 to 80% less oil than using a traditional deep frying method.

How do you clean an air fryer?

It’s important to clean your air fryer after each use; otherwise, oil and fat that drips off from the food will build up in the drawer. If it builds up too much, you may see smoke or smell odors as your food cooks.

To avoid this, use warm, soapy water to clean the air fryer basket and drawer shortly after using it. You can soak the air fryer components if food is extra stuck on. If bits of food get stuck in small holes or crevices in the basket, you can use a toothpick or wooden skewer to poke them out.

You also want to wipe down the whole interior and exterior of the air fryer with the basket and drawer removed. You can use a damp cloth with warm, soapy water to do this.

What can you cook in an air fryer? Are there any limitations?

Generally, whatever you can cook in a regular oven, you can also cook in an air fryer. Since an air fryer is just a small convection oven, it’s appropriate for vegetables, meat, fish, and baked goods. You can make anything from burgers to chicken wings to homemade potato chips in your air fryer.

Some foods you should avoid cooking in an air fryer include heavily battered foods, foods that require a lot of liquid to cook (like rice), or cheese. With an air fryer model that has multiple cooking modes, you’ll be able to prepare even more items like toasted bagels and a whole roasted chicken.

What Experts Say

"Air frying can be a great way to include classically high-fat foods with a fraction of the oil. While fats are an essential part of any diet, they can contribute high amounts of calories, especially when used to deep fry. By using an air fryer, you can get the satisfying crunch of classically fried foods with significantly fewer calories and a fraction of the oil." —Nicole Bodin, MS, RD

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Alex Aldeborgh, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian with years of cooking and recipe development experience. She features healthy, easy-to-make recipes on her blog and deeply understands different cooking methods and the science behind food preparation.

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