Fried foods may not be the best cuisine if we’re talking about improving our health, but let’s be honest: isn’t everything better fried? Even ice cream! Yes, from fries to chicken to our favorite veggies, adding that crispy golden shell can make meals so good. Everything in moderation, right? So if you’re looking to try some home fried recipes, you might be looking for the best air fryer around. StudyFinds is here to help, scouring expert reviews for the most popular items.
Now listen, we’re here to help you find the best air fryer, but we have a few caveats to keep in mind. As mentioned, frying food is far from the healthiest way to cook and it’s important to be aware of the harm that too much of this delicious good thing can do to our bodies. A study highlights that for every 114 grams (about four ounces) serving of fried food a person eats, their risk of heart disease and stroke increases.
It may also be best to avoid fried foods during the work day. Researchers at Ohio State University say just one meal high in saturated fat — one of the biggest drawbacks of deep-frying — can seriously hamper a person’s ability to focus or concentrate. The study compared the scores of 51 women on an attention test after eating either a meal high in saturated fat or the same food, cooked only with sunflower oil, which contains unsaturated fat. Test performance was much worse in participants who ate the saturated fat meal.
That said, there may be an ironic benefit to filling your home with that sweet smell of fried goodness. A study of the University of South Florida claims that smelling unhealthy foods for long periods of time can actually make people eat healthier. Researchers say that when people stop and take in the inviting smell of a high-calorie snack for more than two minutes, they’re less likely to eat it.
Alright, enough healthy gibberish. You came here to find the best air fryers, and we did the dirty work for you. For our findings, StudyFinds visited 14 “expert” websites to see which air fryers topped their reviews. Our list includes the items that appeared most frequently in these lists. If you have your own suggestions, please add them in our comments section at the bottom of the page. If you are specifically looking for the best turkey fryer, here is our list according to the experts.
The list: the best air fryers, according to experts
1. Instant Vortex Plus 6 Quart Clear Cooking Air Fryer
“The brand behind the iconic Instant Pot also makes air fryers, and its top model has consistently produced the crispiest fries and chicken wings of any air fryer we tested. In our tests, the fries had crispy exteriors but soft and chewy interiors, and the chicken was moist, while its skin was crispy and retained lots of flavor,” says TechRadar, who calls this fryer the best overall.
“We can’t stop singing the praises of the Instant Vortex, with its Odor Erase Technology, which actually neutralizes cooking odours, easy, high-tech controls and a transparent cooking window, where you can actually watch how air frying transforms your food,” writes Homes & Gardens.
Engadget also names the Instant Vortex Plus as its top pick: “We like the Instant Vortex’s intuitive controls, easy-to-clean non-stick basket and spacious interior – it’s big enough to hold four chicken legs.”
“For shoppers looking for a large, efficient and functional air fryer at an affordable price, the Instant Vortex 6 Quart Air Fryer is an incredible value,” says Forbes.
2. Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven
“The Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Mini Oven is a little more expensive than others, but you get what you pay for because it has all the cooking features you could possibly need,” says Radar Tech. “It doesn’t just fry, roast, bake and reheat. It also does convection bake, convection broil, bake and toast.
Add US News: “This versatile product receives top pro marks for best toaster oven style air fryer. It can fry up to 3 pounds of food, roast a 4 pound chicken, bake a 12 inch pizza and toast six slices of bread at once. Experts were particularly impressed with the cooking quality of whole chickens and found that its performance as an air fryer was the best among air fryer/toaster oven combo units.
“In terms of performance, the Cuisinart TOA-60 cooked food to perfection – and even resulted in our favorite fries of the bunch,” says CNN’s opinion. “One of the most valuable features of the Cuisinart is its three-year warranty, the longest (most only have a one-year warranty) of any oven-style version we tested. The fact that Cuisinart supports this product should address any concerns about the relatively high cost of this model.
3. Ninja Foodi Dual Zone 4
The food web Calls the Ninja Foodi DualZone the best dual basket air fryer in their review: “If you’re already an air fryer convert, you know how diverse they are – maybe it’s time to take it to the next level. Enter the slim-profile Ninja Foodi with its dual 4-quart baskets. Take advantage of Foodi’s Smart Finish feature: finish cooking two different foods at different times and temperatures at the same time – think chicken breasts and fries (these worked really well in our tests).
CBS came to the same conclusion. They write, “Ninja’s 8-quart (two 4-quart baskets) is our top pick with tons of power at a great price. As with the single basket Ninja, this machine feels rock solid and the baskets glide firmly without wiggling.
Add Homes & Gardens: “We liked the fact that you can synchronize the two drawers so that each element of your meal ends up together. When you’re done, you can place both drawers and the crisper drawer in the dishwasher, so not only is it easy to use, it’s also easy to clean.
4. Cosori Max XL Air Fryer
Enjoy your meal calls the Cosori Air Fryer Max XL the best basket air fryer of the bunch. “This is a roomy 5.8 quart air fryer that’s both larger and more affordable than most other basket air fryers, so you can get a double serving of fries in one fryer basket at a time,” their reviewer reads. “The removable basket is non-stick and dishwasher safe, and it’s easy to unplug and store under the counter, great if you have limited counter space.”
Taste of Home calls the Cosori Air Fryer Max XL a “super star” among its tested products: “The Cosori air fryer consistently delivers beautiful and delicious results. Our Test Kitchen staff love how batch after batch of hot Nashville chicken came out of the basket brown, crispy and too tempting not to taste before heading to the photo studio. In fact, every ingredient our team tossed into the generously sized basket, including corn on the cob, mini quiches, frozen apps and more, came out beautifully golden.
5. Dash Compact Air Fryer
The Dash Compact Air Fryer was a popular choice for those looking for a great product that wouldn’t take up too much counter space.
“While most air fryer models have a capacity of nearly 6 quarts, this model can only hold half that, making it ideal for cooking for one person,” writes Food Network. “Its smaller footprint also means it takes up less space on your counter and fits perfectly in a dorm, apartment or RV. And the smaller heating volume browned fries, chicken and cake that we tested as well as the Instant Vortex.
For young chefs at home, NY Mag’s The Strategist calls this model the best air fryer for kids.
Add Good Housekeeping: “The Dash Compact is a good air fryer for people who only cook for themselves or someone who is new to air frying and wants to try it out. At 1.7 liters it can cook a serving of food quickly.The smaller footprint means it takes up less space on your counter and the compact basket makes cleanup a breeze.
Note: This article has not been paid for or sponsored. StudyFinds is not affiliated or associated with any of the brands mentioned and does not receive any compensation for its recommendations.