Best Air Fryers

Best Air Fryers | 2021 Review And Buying Guide

Are you searching for a great air fryer for you or a loved one this season? Here are some of the best air fryers on the market.

Air fryers have taken the kitchen appliance market by storm. Experts predict that the air fryer market will be worth over 100 million by 2026! These clever new devices are hugely popular and for good reason.

Air fryer machine

Not only are air fryers convenient and easy to use, but they’re also healthy! You can get crisp, delicious food without having to take in all the oil. But how do you pick the best air fryers?

There’s such a wide selection of fryers, you may not know which one to purchase. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the different air fryers on the market! Whether you’re trying to feed a family of five or just yourself, there’s a device perfect for you.

Read on to find out everything you need to know before air fryer shopping.

How Do Air Fryers Work?

Before you can decide which fryer is best for you, let’s break down what an air fryer is and how it works. They’re basically what they sound like: devices that fry food using hot air instead of grease or oil. This makes food healthier, crispier, and quick to make.

Air Fryer Review

Except…they don’t technically fry your food. Air fryers are mini convection ovens, which circulate super-hot air to cook food from all sides. This browns and crisps the food while cooking it all the way through.

Because of this, you can’t put items dipped in the batter into an air fryer. They’re best for dry or breaded items, as any liquid will just drip to the bottom and make a mess. That said, you can still make a wide variety of meals with an air fryer; you can even bake a cake!

Why Everyone Loves Air Fryers

Even though air fryers have been around for a few years, they’re enjoying a boom in popularity lately. People are more enthusiastic than ever about their fryers, but why? And why now?

Air fryers have been thrust into the limelight for a few reasons. Many brands have recently developed state-of-the-art air fryers to stay ahead of the competition. Every year, the devices seem to improve!

Best Air Fryer for the Money

This has also been a great year to have an air fryer. With stay-at-home orders and restaurant shutdowns in place, families have had to figure out the most convenient way to make more food at home. The air fryer was the perfect answer!

A perfect storm has made the air fryer highly sought-after. They allow you to make food that tastes as it came from the deep fryer, but with a fraction of the oil. But with so many brands to choose from, how do you know which is best for you?

How to Choose the Perfect Fryer

When browsing air fryers, always make sure to read the reviews. Customer feedback can reveal any downsides of the device you’re eyeing.

Air fryers come in two styles: one that looks similar to an oven, and a bucket or basket style. Oven style air fryers are larger and often have multiple functions. The bucket or basket style models are closer to a traditional fryer.

Top Rated Air Fryers

The first consideration when picking out an air fryer is size and capacity. Some air fryers are truly huge (like, rotisserie-huge), and won’t do well in a cramped studio apartment. But we’ve found plenty of compact models that operate like behemoths.

If you’re only cooking for yourself, a two-quart air fryer should suffice. For feeding 2 to five people, we recommend choosing a fryer with a three to seven-quart capacity. If you have a family of six or more, your best bet is to go with an oven-style air fryer, as they can cook the most food at once.

The Best Air Fryers For The Money

Here at Side by Side reviews, we believe in reviewing the best products for you. We compare hundreds of businesses every year, so we’ve become experts in product testing.

These air fryers are the ones most worth your money. We’ve analyzed all their reported features to see if they stand up. Included are the best of the best.

In the following list, we’ve included an air fryer for every budget. You can splurge on a fryer, and it will be worth it. But if you’re shopping on a budget, we’ve found several models under $100 that we love.

1. Ninja Max Air Fryers Review

Ninja has created high-quality appliances for a long time, so you know you can trust their fryer.

Ninja Max Air Fryer

The Ninja Max is a 5.5 qt basket style fryer that has stayed a cut above the competition for years.  The Max Air Fryer has an intuitive display and a ceramic interior, which is amazingly easy to clean (the tray and baskets are even dishwasher safe!). It’s also made of sturdy materials that won’t get scalding hot to the touch.

The timer counts down to the second, and this fryer has multiple easy-to-use settings to make sure you cook your food perfectly. It cooks faster than many other models, making it the perfect choice for a first-time fryer buyer.

Pros: Easy to use, easy to clean, cooks quickly.

Cons: Somewhat bulky; will not fit easily in a cabinet or shelf, not great for large families.

Fryer Capacity: 5.5qt

Fryer Wattage: 1750 watts

Fryer Material: Plastic

Features: Dehydrator setting, broiling rack, LCD display, high gloss finish.

Price Range: $119.99 – $191.99

Find it on Amazon

2. Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer Review

The Instant Pot is an appliance that’s enjoying a similarly trendy moment. The Instant brand is dedicated to making top-notch devices, and their air fryer is no exception.

Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer

This fryer has an impressive 6-quart capacity, but the design is attractive and unobtrusive. You can make large amounts of food without sacrificing counter space.

The Instant Vortex is a quick and effective cooker, though it is a little louder than some of the other fryers on this list. However, it’s no louder than a microwave and only needs to run for a few minutes at a time.

Pros: Elegant design, user-friendly interface, quick cook time.

Cons: Whirring sound, prone to overcooking, weighs 15lb.

Fryer Capacity: 6 quarts

Fryer Wattage: 1500 watts

Fryer Material: Heat-resistant plastic

Features: six cook settings, total temperature control.

Price Range: $99 – $137

Find it on Amazon

3. Cuisinart Toaster Oven Air Fryer Review

This air fryer/toaster oven is perfect for families. With bake, broil, toast, and air fry settings, this is a true all-in-one device. This Cuisinart model also has a large capacity: you can fit a 12″ pizza or a whole chicken in there.

Cuisinart Toaster Oven Air Fryer

If you’re looking to feed 5 or more people every night, the Cuisinart is your best choice. It provides quick, even cooking and looks attractive on your counter. This fryer creates amazing crisping and browning on all your meals.

The only downsides to this model are its size and weight. If you’re short on counter space, this fryer will take up a lot of it. Make sure you know exactly where to place it too: the Cuisinart weighs in at 22 pounds!

Pros: High capacity, even cooking, excellent temperature control.

Cons: Takes up a lot of space, very heavy, slight learning curve.

Fryer Capacity: 3.3 cubic feet interior

Fryer Wattage: 1800

Fryer Material: Stainless steel

Features: Baking, broiling, fry rack.

Price Range: $159 – $280

Find it on Amazon

4. Cosori Smart Air Fryers Review

Finally, an air fryer that connects to all your Alexa and Google Home devices! Automate your kitchen with this sleek Wi-Fi compatible air fryer. Controlling your air fryer via voice command is a thrilling new experience.

Cosori Smart Air Fryer

Aside from the novelty of being an internet-compatible device, Cosori makes a great air fryer. Their 5.8-quart model is great for families without taking up too much space in your kitchen. You’ll also receive a booklet of over 100 recipes with your purchase!

Cosori’s air fryer is Amazon’s best-rated and top-selling air fryer. When using it, don’t underestimate how quickly it cooks; some people reported accidentally overcooking.

Pros: High-tech, intuitive interface, full control over temperature.

Cons: Perhaps does TOO much, prone to overcooking.

Fryer Capacity: 5.8 quarts

Fryer Wattage: 1700 watts

Fryer Material: Stainless steel

Features: Manual cook setting, voice control, Alexa integration.

Price Range: $119.99 – $180

Find it on Amazon

5. Phillips Air Fryer Review

Though not as big a name as Cuisinart or Ninja, Phillips was one of the first manufacturers to put air fryers on the market. As such, they’ve had a few years to really perfect their device.

Phillips Air Fryer

The Phillips air fryer is an attractive, compact fryer that does its job perfectly. The 2.75-quart size is great for feeding 2-3 people at a time. The price is a bit higher than the other models we’ve shown so far, but that’s because you’re paying for a finely-tuned device.

This device also comes with a free downloadable app with over 200 recipes. The Phillips fryer is designed to cook perfectly with as little intervention as possible, so you can truly “set it and forget it”.

Pros: Dishwasher-safe parts, intuitive interface, total temperature control.

Cons: Limited capacity, higher price.

Fryer Capacity: 2.75 quarts

Fryer Wattage: 1400

Fryer Material: Plastic

Features: Double rack, multiple functions, sleek exterior.

Price Range: $229.99 – $299.99

Find it on Amazon

6. GoWISE 8-in-1 Air Fryer Review

This air fryer is not only easy on the eyes, it’s fun to use. GoWISE prioritizes the user experience with their air fryer, which boasts a bright blue display and touch-sensitive buttons. The fryer is round and sleek too, almost resembling a device from the future.

GoWISE 8-in-1 Air Fryer

The GoWISE fryer also has a larger capacity than others in its price range, comfortably fitting more food at once. It has a preset for multiple foods, including fries, chips, steak, pizza, and more! If you want an air fryer that’s easy to use and makes a great statement, go with GoWISE.

If you’re looking for a device with a little more panache, they also make an adorable “retro” air fryer that comes in groovy colors.

Pros: Aesthetically pleasing, takes out the guesswork, high capacity, easy to clean interior.

Cons: Exterior shows fingerprints easily.

Fryer Capacity: 5.8 quarts

Fryer Wattage: 1700

Fryer Material: Plastic

Features: Cooking presets, one-wipe cleaning, touch screen.

Price Range: $80.00 – $98.00

Find it on Amazon

7. Farberware Air Fryers Review

This is a great no-frills design for the beginner air fryer user. Farberware has engineered this product to peak performance. The exterior is smooth and uncluttered, making for an aesthetically pleasing device.

Farberware Air Fryer

This fryer has eight settings as well as a manual setting. You can either set a timer or let the device do the work for you. The interior is unfussy and easy to clean.

This is a budget-friendly option that delivers on everything an air fryer should do, and not much more. This isn’t a bad thing. The Farberware fryer is a master of its trade.

Pros: Easy to use, sleek design.

Cons: Somewhat bulky, minimal temperature control.

Fryer Capacity: 3.1 quarts

Fryer Wattage: 1500 watts

Fryer Material: Plastic

Features: Eight cooking presets, digital touch screen.

Price Range: $65 – $99

Find it on Amazon

8. Dash Compact Air Fryer Review

The Dash air fryer is the perfect choice for a college student or person living alone. With only a 1.2 quart capacity, the Dash Compact makes enough to feed one in minutes. It’s also the most affordable option on this list.

Dash Compact Air Fryer

The Dash fryer won’t take up a lot of room in the kitchen and is great if you only plan to air-fry occasionally. If you have a bright color scheme in your kitchen, the Dash fryer will fit right in: it’s available in a distinctive bright blue.

The Dash fryer is so affordable is because the manufacturers have pared it down to the simplest functionality possible. The device is controlled via two knobs: one for time, one for temperature. Make sure you read the manual thoroughly to know how long to cook your food.

Pros: Only weighs 5 pounds, aesthetically pleasing, compact enough for dorm rooms and studio apartments, budget-friendly.

Cons: Limited capacity, low power, no LCD display or presets.

Fryer Capacity: 1.2 quart

Fryer Wattage: 1400 watts

Fryer Material: Plastic

Features: Comes in attractive colors, auto shut-off, timer, and temperature controls.

Price Range: $50 –  $80

Find it on Amazon

You’re Ready to Elevate Your Lifestyle

We hope this article helped you to figure out which of the best air fryers is right for you. There’s a lot of innovation and variety on the market, and there’s a perfect fryer for every lifestyle. Enjoy the delicious, crisp meals you can make in minutes!

For more reviews and guides, check us out at Side By Side Reviews. We test and review services and devices so you don’t have to. We have hundreds of reviews on our site, so come see what we have to offer!

Best Air Fryers