Crispy fried foods are delicious, but cooking them usually involves copious amounts of oil, which isn’t exactly great for your health. Air fryers — which cook foods by circulating hot air around an inner chamber, yielding a crunchy texture much like you would get with frying — can solve that issue, allowing you to recreate the crispiness of fried foods without using oil. The best air fryers not only cook food with less oil than traditional frying methods, but many even cook food faster than regular ovens.
While an air fryer is a specialty appliance, because it’s so convenient and cooks so efficiently, its popularity has spiked over the past few years, resulting in many different models. Which is why it’s important to consider a number of factors before investing in one for your own kitchen. First, there’s size. Do you want a petite option that’s great for occasional use and stows easily in the cupboard? Or do you have the space for something bigger that can cook large batches and be a fixture on your countertop?
You’ll also want to consider versatility. While many basic air fryers are single-use, others double as smart ovens or have additional features that make them good for other things, like steaming, toasting or slow cooking. Lastly, you’ll want to consider budget, with some of the best air fryers starting as low as $50 and topping out at $400.
With these considerations (and more) in mind, here’s our list of the best air fryers out there for every need, including the best air fryer on the market in 2020.
Best Air Fryer Overall
Philips TurboStar Technology Air Fryer
- Capacity: 2.75 quarts
- Features: Digital display, keep warm function, presets for popular dishes
- Additional Functions: Grill, roast, bake
The best air fryer on the market in 2020 is the Philips TurboStar Digital Air Fryer. While pricey, this highly rated appliance is spacious, powerful and reliable, making it a worthwhile investment for those who love french fries or fried chicken (and really, who doesn’t?) and want to make them at home. It has a 2.75-quart cooking capacity and can grill, roast, bake and fry at temperatures up to 400°F.
The Philips TurboStar Air Fryer is designed to cook fried foods quickly and evenly with little to no oil, resulting in delicious food that has 75 percent less fat than traditional fried preparations. It has four preset settings for popular dishes, and it comes with a recipe book that includes directions for more than 200 air-fried foods. This air fryer also has a unique “keep warm” function, and its components are easy to clean thanks to their dishwasher-safe nonstick construction.
Best Extra-Large Air Fryer
Instant Vortex Pro 10-Quart Air Fryer
- Capacity: 10 quarts
- Features: Minimal preheating time, simple touch controls
- Additional Functions: Roast, broil, bake, toast, reheat, proof, dehydrate, rotisserie
If you’re cooking for a family or want to be able to air fry for guests, you may want something that’s a little larger. The Instant Vortex Pro air fryer offers a much larger capacity than other options on this list, sitting in at a hefty 10 quarts.
Thankfully, it’s not just big — the Instant Vortex Pro air fryer is also highly functional, boasting nine functions, including the ability to bake, broil, air fry, dehydrate, and more. It’s a little more expensive than some of the others on this list, but it’s still very affordable — and no where near the price of the premium options.
Best Affordable Air Fryer
GoWise Digital Air Fryer
- Capacity: 5.8 quarts
- Features: Start/stop button for changing mid-cycle, presets for popular dishes
- Additional Functions: Bake, grill, roast
Not sure if an air fryer is right for you? Then you may want to consider a more affordable option, such as the GoWise USA 8-in-1 Air Fryer, which comes with a six-piece accessory set. This large air fryer is available in four colors and has an impressive 5.8-quart capacity, and it features eight preset smart programs to help you cook fries, pizza, chicken, steak and more. It can cook at temperatures between 180 and 400°F, and its cooking timer can be set for up to 30 minutes.
However, what sets this air fryer apart is its accessories kit, which includes an 8-inch baking pan, an 8-inch pie/pizza pan, insert a rack, insert a rack with skewers, toasting/warming rack and a silicone pot holder. With these tools, you can cook a wide range of foods in your new appliance — anything from crispy chicken to decadent cakes.
Best Premium Air Fryer
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- Capacity: .6 cubic ft interior
- Features: Adjustable thermostat with 60-minute timer, auto shut-off, toast shade selector
- Additional Functions: Bake, broil, convection bake, convection broil, toast, warm
Most air fryers have a basket design, but the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven does things differently. This unique appliance is actually a full-sized toaster oven that’s equipped with air frying capabilities, as well. In fact, the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven has seven cooking functions, including air fry, convection bake, convection broil, warming, toasting and more.
This air fryer and toaster oven combo has a wide temperature range of 80 to 450°F, and it can accommodate up to 3 pounds of food at a time, including a 12-inch pizza. With your purchase, you get an oven rack, baking pan and air fryer basket, and you’re sure to be impressed with its whisper-quiet operation. Plus, the sleek stainless steel exterior will look attractive as part of your kitchen decor.
Best Air Fryer For Small Kitchens
Dash Compact Air Fryer
- Capacity: 2.6 quarts
- Features: Simple temperature and timer dial, auto shut-off
- Additional Functions: Bake
Perhaps you want to save on space, and in that case the Dash Tasti air fryer is probably your best bet. This air fryer may not allow you to cook quite as much at the same time, but its 2.6-quart capacity is still enough to cook some great meals, and it comes with a non-stick fry basket and a recipe book to help get you started.
The air fryer is pretty functional too. It comes with a built-in timer, and has an auto shut-off feature to ensure that it remains safe, even if you forget that it’s on. And, it’s easy to set the fryer up whenever you want to use it. The device is cheap too — it comes in at only $49, which makes it perfect for college students or those who will only use it occasionally.
Most Versatile Air Fryer
Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker with TenderCrisp
- Capacity: 5 quarts
- Features: Simple digital touchpad, crisping lid
- Additional Functions: Pressure cook, steam, bake, roast, slow cook, sear
For a versatile appliance, the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker has air frying capabilities, as well as pressure cooking, baking, slow cooking and steaming functions. This appliance has a large 5-quart ceramic-coated pot and a 3-quart cook-and crisp-basket that can hold up to a 4-pound chicken or 3 pounds of French fries — its large capacity makes it an ideal option for large households.
This 8-in-1 appliance includes a special Crisping Lid that gives food a crispy, golden finish, and it has 14 safety features to prevent accidents while pressure cooking and air frying. The pressure cook setting prepares foods 70 percent faster than traditional cooking methods, all while sealing in juices, and the appliance can even cook frozen foods, saving you the hassle of defrosting. If you’re looking for an appliance that can do it all, the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker should definitely be a contender.
Best Mid-Size Air Fryer
Gourmia 6-Quart Digital Air Fryer
- Capacity: 6 quarts
- Features: Touchscreen digital control with preset icons, 60-minute timer
- Additional Functions: None
You may want a larger air fryer, but don’t want something that’s going to take up the whole counter top — in which case the Gourmia 6-Qt. stainless steel air fryer is an excellent option. The fryer has a classy stainless steel design, along with a digital display to easily get the information you need, and a non-stick basket with crisping trays.
This air fryer also comes with everything you’ll need to get started with air frying, including two removable crisping trays and a non-stick basket. And, it’s relatively easy to use, thanks to its built-in 60-minute timer.
Best Smart Home Appliance Air Fryer
Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer
- Capacity: 1 cubic ft interior
- Features: auto shut-off, 72-hour programmability
- Additional Functions: Bake, broil, toast, warm, roast, proof, dehydrate, slow cook, reheat
The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer is another multifunctional appliance that can take the place of several gadgets in your kitchen. This air fryer resembles a toaster oven, but it features air frying, slow cooking, baking and broiling settings and a temperature range of 120 to 450°F. The spacious interior of this appliance is one of its main selling points — it can fit up to six slices of bread or a 13-inch pizza — and it comes with several accessories, including a nonstick pizza pan, enamel roasting pan, air fry basket, wire rack and broiling rack.
The Smart Oven Air Fryer comes in five stylish finishes, and it has the brand’s unique Element iQ system, which makes cooking easy by setting the ideal cooking time and temperature based on what you’re making. Plus, the appliance features a dual-speed convection mode, which cooks food up to 30 percent faster, as well as “super convection” to crisp up the exterior of food, delivering that fried texture you’re craving. While this air fryer is quite expensive, it’s a worthwhile investment for households who will use it frequently, especially because it’s incredibly versatile and delivers consistent results.
If you’re looking for other appliances to upgrade your cooking, we’ve found four great smart home appliances for your kitchen. If you’re looking for a great coffee maker or immersion blender to up your other cooking ventures, we’ve found the best in the market.