Bed Bath & Beyond

7 of the Best Air Fryers on the Market

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Once upon a time, air fryers were the sort of appliances that had a specialized place on the countertop of your nutrition-obsessed friend or as the butt of a joke about the merits of "real" frying. While we can all agree that deep frying has its own special place, it's also safe to say that air fryers have had the last laugh. With that many units filling home kitchens, there's a lot of data about what separates the best air fryers from those that are full of hot air. Fortunately, we're here to cook those numbers down into something that satisfies.

When it comes to purchasing an air fryer, there are a lot of things to look for, and so it can get confusing if you're not prepared. The first question you should be asking yourself is, "how many people do I plan on serving?" If you have a family, or like entertaining, the size of an air fryer is especially important. You'll want to know the number of servings your new favorite appliance can pump out — a figure that can be determined based on the capacity of the air frying chamber. After contemplating proportions, you should next consider the power and preheating time of the air fryer in question.

One of the biggest advantages to these appliances is that you can have dinner prepared quickly, so long as you've purchased a fryer up to the task. If you're working with a low-wattage machine that requires extensive preheating, you may end up wondering why you spent money when you could've just used the oven. That said, while you want to see a unit with a high top temperature, hotter isn't always better. Air fryers that offer the possibility of a greater temperature range are going to give you more control over what you cook and how you cook it. Some air fryers go above and beyond a wide temperature spread by also offering multiple functions, such as dehydrating, baking, searing, or even pressure cooking.

Finally, the last (but not least) aspect to factor into your air fryer considerations should be the construction material. Plastic air fryers certainly aren't bad for business as they'll be light and easier to maneuver around the kitchen. Sturdier steel units might find themselves permanent mainstays on your countertop but will offer increased durability over the years. They say that beauty is on the inside, and this is especially true with air fryers; Is the cooking basket nonstick? Dishwasher safe? Giving you its best to reduce the amount of oil within your recipe? Your air fryer may have tons of bells and whistles, but if it's a greasy and hard-to-clean mess, you may not find it all that worth it.

1. Best Overall Air Fryer

Cosori Premium Air Fryer - Bed Bath and Beyond, $142.99

Cosori's Premium air fryer offers the ultimate mix between the best of the air fryers on this list. At nearly 6-quart, it has a capacity capable of satisfying your family, while the 10 presets give you a wider range of cooking options. Sure enough, you can even save your favorite settings to maximize your control over the appliance. The LCD screen and fingerprint-resistant exterior are aesthetically pleasing design choices that match any kitchen scheme, but the 11.7-pound unit weight is light enough to remove from your countertop if you prefer to stash the appliance away.

Cosori promises that its air fryer will reduce the oil used in cooking by 85%, a promise kept via a removable grease container that traps loose oil dripping from the air frying rack. You'll have a skewer rack set, and recipe book included within your Cosori, fully preparing you to get cooking immediately after unboxing. Our Commerce Editor swears by this air fryer and the delicious recipe book.

2. Best Air Fryer for a Big Batch

Philips Premium Airfryer XXL 7.3-quart capacity - Amazon, $267

Air fryers are often designated in sizes of large (L), extra-large (XL), or extra-extra-large (XXL) based on quart size. The Phillips Premium fits an industry-best 7.3 quarts into a single basket, making it the ideal option for anyone planning a large meal. This air fryer can feed 6 people comfortably. Since the machine requires no preheating time, dinner is only a few buttons away, and Phillips boasts that its Rapid Air technology has increased airflow 7x over previous units.

Another proprietary technology, Phillips's Fat Reduction tech, traps and removes additional oil during the cooking process, which not only makes your food crispier but more nutritious as well. Nonstick coating on the basket makes clean-up just as fast as cooking.

3. This Dual-Basket Air Fryer Cooks Whole Meals at Once

Instant Vortex Plus XL Dual Basket Air Fryer Oven - Amazon, $179.99

Instant Pot may be best known for an amazing line of pressure cookers, but the Vortex Plus puts the company on the map for air fryers. While this unit has an overall greater capacity than any others on this list, that space is split between two baskets. That may sound like a downside, but trust us when we say it isn't. Toggling between two functions, SynchCook or SynchFinish, allows you to match the cooking time and temperature of each basket or prepare them at different inputs. This makes managing multiple dishes easier than with any other air fryer on the market.

Thanks to ClearCook windows, you can monitor the status of either food. Any of the Instant Vortex's 6 functions can be simply programmed via the easy-read LCD screen, and overheating protection and automatic shut-off are standard.

4. Best Oven-Style Unit

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro - Bed Bath & Beyond, $399.99

Come ye' air fryer enthusiasts and toast oven aficionados to worship at the altar of the Breville Smart Oven, a unit that is the holy matrimony of these two appliances. Although it doesn't offer basket-style air frying, the fact that you can fit an entire Thanksgiving turkey in this hot box will make a convert out of even the most skeptical. It also proofs, dehydrates, roasts, bakes, toasts, broils, and more — with 72 hours of programmability that culminates in a can't forget automatic shutoff.

The 6 heating elements are made from electrified quartz, which generates high temperatures faster than an oven ever could, circulated by built-in convection fans. At nearly 40-pounds, you likely won't be moving the Breville Smart Oven very often, but you won't have to. The interior components are easy to remove when it comes time to wash, the insulated and double-walled steel body is wipe-clean, and the glass window shines.

5. Our Pick for a Multi-Purpose Air Fryer

Ninja Foodi 6.5 qt. 11-in-1 Pro Pressure Cooker + Air Fryer - Bed Bath & Beyond, $199.99

Although the 13 functions of the Breville Smart Oven may seem like enough for it to classify as the best multi-use air fryer, the diversity of the Ninja Foodi's functions offer a greater range. It air fries, yes, but this unit also pressure cooks, dehydrates, bakes, roasts, broils, sears, and makes yogurt, rice, or sous vide steaks. With the included stainless steel nesting rack and pressure lid, anything is possible. The outside handles and body are made from stainless steel and stay-cool rubber, and the interior pot from nonstick, easy-wipe, BPA-free materials.

Ninja's Precision Cook Control technology heats from the bottom, maintaining a precise temperature that you can operate from the external digital display. The wattage is powerful enough to cut the preheating time, though the Foodi does have one of the longer ones on the market. Still, the advantages of the unit far outweigh the minute or two of extra wait time.

6. This Air Fryer is Perfect for Compact Spaces

Chefman Compact Air Fryer - Amazon, $36.99

The Chefman comes in several different sizes, but the smallest option (2-quart) is still perfect for single people, couples, or anyone living where space is limited. The temperature range doesn't allow for a huge breadth of variability in terms of cooking function, but the Chefman's virtue is in its basic utility. This unit is controlled via a simple-to-adjust temperature knob as well as a similar input for the temperature, which you can time for automatic shutoffs. The flat basket is dishwasher safe, and at a total dimension of 9.75" x 9.75" x 12.5", you can easily use the Chefman air fryer for dinner and then stash it in your RV cupboard, dorm room cabinet, or on a kitchen shelf.

7. Best Value for a Budget Air Fryer

Ninja Air Fryer - Amazon, $99.99

Coming in at a fairly inexpensive price, the basic Ninja air fryer offers a lot of features at a pretty accessible price. Not only does it heat quicker than nearly any other unit on the market, but the Ninja also offers the potential to cook from 4 primary functions (roast, fry, dehydrate, and reheat), with a temperature range that is one of the widest on the market.

Although the exterior is a plastic body, the Ninja's cooking basket is made from food-grade, nanoceramic material which holds on to nonstick properties for a much longer period and is a breeze to clean. In fact, all of this air fryer's accessories and internal components are dishwasher safe. Like the Ninja Foodi, this unit does require some preheating time, but it's not a long wait, especially when considering the value for your money.

Read More: Best Frozen Foods for the Air Fryer