The Best Air Fryers of 2019

By Sharon Franke, Updated June 14, 2019
UPDATE: June 13, 2019

We're in the process of testing eight new products to stay up to date with our best air fryer recommendations. Check back in a few weeks for additional reviews.

While a countertop appliance that fries veggies, meat, and more using essentially no oil may seem too good to be true (or, at best, a passing fad), air fryers are still popular among consumers looking for a deep-fry alternative. The fact that they're technically not deep fryers doesn't seem to matter, especially since any recipe in your favorite recipe book, such as chicken wings or french fries, that calls for frying, can now be made in one of these new kitchen tools.

The best air fryers promise to cook up crispy, yet juicy, foods without all that unhealthy fat. After extensive research and product testing, we found these appliances can live up to the hype.

To help you spend wisely, and get the most crispness from your food, we selected seven of the best air fryers on the market, as well as two toaster ovens with air fryer capabilities, and put them to work air frying potatoes and chicken.

Our testing results show the best air fryer is the Philips Collection Airfryer XXL (available at Amazon for $273.05), which yielded results closest to conventionally fried food. However, if you’re looking for an air fryer at a much lower price, the smaller Krups Air Delight will satisfy your crisp tooth. The Cuisinart Airfryer Toaster Oven is also a great buy if you want an appliance that can multitask.

Here are the best air fryers ranked, in order:

  1. Philips Airfryer XXL
  2. Cuisinart Airfryer Toaster Oven
  3. Krups Fry Delight Air Fryer
  4. Breville the Smart Oven Air
  5. GoWise 8-in-1 Air Fryer XL 5.9 Qt.
  6. Power Air Fryer XL
  7. Black and Decker 2L Purifry Air Fryer
  8. NuWave Brio Digital 6-Quart Air Fryer
  9. Oster DuraCeramic Air Fryer
— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Best Overall new Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Philips Airfryer XXL

Product Image - Philips HD9630/98 Avance Airfryer XXL
  • Editors' Choice

Philips Airfryer XXL

Best Overall

When it comes to frying, the Philips Airfryer XXL knocked it out of the park. We tasted an awful lot of French fries for this round-up, but we couldn't stop noshing on the fries the Philips cooked up. They had the combination of crunchiness, tenderness, and potato flavor that make great fries so delectable. Even when we loaded the basket with more than three pounds of frozen fries, they came out crispy. Battered Nashville hot chicken came out with a crackling crust and hamburgers rivaled ones made on the grill.

The downside is that this is a big, heavy, and rather expensive machine that’s noisier than most when it’s operating. It doesn’t have a digital display or digital controls, and therefore it's hard to set times and temperatures precisely. With a few more parts than most air fryers, there’s more to clean. And while all of the parts can go in the dishwasher, the huge basket will eat up considerable shelf space. However, like all air fryers, it’s still relatively easy to use—this one requires no preheat—and the results are worth the payoff. A cookbook is included to give you lots of recipe ideas. If your family really likes fried food but not the fat, the Philips is definitely worth the investment.

Best Value new Best Value
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Krups Fry Delight

Product Image - Krups Fry Delight AJ1000US
  • Editors' Choice

Krups Fry Delight

Best Value

While the Krups Fry Delight won’t give you quite as crunchy results as the Philips, it also won’t empty your bank account. We love its square design, which not only looks more attractive but makes it easy to fit in a cabinet. While this is one of the smaller models, it can still hold up to a pound and a half of fries, four chicken pieces, or a pound of meat. It doesn’t have a digital display and you have to fiddle a bit to set the cooking temperature and time correctly. Also, the grid at the bottom of the basket isn’t nonstick and it takes a bit of elbow grease to get it clean. But for the money and the size, you can’t beat the Krups. Choose from black or white housing.

Best Multipurpose Best Multipurpose Air Fryer
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Product Image - Cuisinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven
  • Editors' Choice

Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Best Multipurpose Air Fryer

While not inexpensive, the Cuisinart Airfryer Toaster Oven is definitely cheaper—not to mention more space efficient—than buying two separate countertop appliances. It comes with an air fryer basket to be used along with an air fryer setting. We found it worked as well, and in some cases better, than air fryers at browning and crisping. It also happens to be a darn good toaster oven. (See our toaster oven recommendations if you're in the market for one of those instead.)

Unlike most models in this price category, it doesn’t have a digital display or digital controls. While it’s not huge, it is taller than typical toaster ovens. It accommodates two pounds of fries, six slices of bread, and, according to Cuisinart, a four-pound chicken. If you love to toss everything in the dishwasher, be aware that all the parts need to be washed by hand. But unless you already have a toaster oven that you love, the Cuisinart is worth considering for its versatility.

How We Tested

The Tester

Hi, I'm Sharon Franke, and I’ve been reviewing kitchen equipment for more than 30 years. Before that, I worked as a professional chef in New York City restaurants for seven years. Now I’m an avid home cook. While I’ve made French fries and pan-fried chicken cutlets countless times, they’re not in heavy rotation in my house these days. Just like you, I want to avoid the oil and all that work that comes with frying. That’s why I was thrilled to test air fryers and see if they could satisfy my hankerings for crispy food, fat- and fuss-free.

The Tests

To find the best air fryer, we tested seven air fryers and two toaster ovens with air frying capabilities. Each appliance was rated on how well it cooked fresh and frozen French fries and chicken nuggets. Since this is a category with which you’re probably not familiar, you’ll be relying on the manual to get started. We checked to see if each explained how to use the product thoroughly and provided guidelines for cooking specific foods. We considered how easy it was to use the controls, slide the basket in and out, and, of course, clean up. As you may not want to use your air fryer daily or even weekly, we checked to see how easy it would be to stash away.

How we tested air fryers
Credit: Reviewed / Sharon Franke

In order to test air fryers, we cooked up dozens of batches of french fries and nuggets, as well as Nashville hot chicken and burgers.

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

For starters, air fryers are not actually fryers, but rather countertop convection ovens that circulate hot air around foods in a basket. Using at most a half tablespoon of oil, they definitely brown and crisp up food but not as evenly as frying. And things don’t always come out with the same combination of all-over crunchiness and perfect tenderness as they do when they’re dropped in hot oil. However, air fryers don't require more than a few minutes to preheat, which means from start to finish they deliver the goods faster than deep- or oven-frying. Plus, we found they didn’t give off any cooking odors, so your house never smells like a chicken shack.

An air fryer can also be used as an oven to cook meats, casseroles, or even baked goods. They are, of course, limited by their size and don’t offer any advantage here over a traditional oven. But if you use your oven for storage, it tends to heat up the kitchen, or you often wish you had an extra oven, an air fryer can come in handy. One thing to know: These appliances are big and oddly shaped, so they take up a lot of countertop space and aren’t easy to store.

Bottom line: If you find crispy foods irresistible but want to avoid the fat, an air fryer might be just what you're looking for.

What Kind of Recipes Can You Make in An Air Fryer?

It depends on how creative you can get! Meats, vegetables, and even baked goods can work in your air fryer. Plus there are tons of air fryer recipe books on the market now.

Some popular options include:

  • Vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, squash—essentially anything you would roast on a baking sheet
  • Meat dishes, such as breaded chicken, battered chicken, bacon, burgers, and hot dogs
  • Frozen foods like chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and french fries
  • Baked goods such as donuts, fritters, and funnel cake

Air-Frying Tips

Reviewed cooking staff writer Valerie Li offers this air-frying advice:

  • Preheat the air fryer before cooking. Since an air fryer is basically a compact convection oven, the preheating stage can help prevent food from over-cooking. In general, preheat at 375°F for three to five minutes, depending on the size of the fryer.
  • Use baking powder if you are making chicken wings. By coating the wings in baking powder, the peptide bond in chicken skin will break down due to an increase in the pH level. This will allow the chicken skin to become crispy and brown.
  • Lay all food as flat as possible. An overly-crowded frying basket can lead to unevenly fried foods and unwanted burns. To avoid this, make sure you divide the food and cook only small batches at a time. This is especially important if you’re heating frozen fries—the water can make them soggy!
  • Frying starchy food items produces acrylamide. One common way to decrease the starch content is to blanch ingredients before cooking.

Other Air Fryers We Tested

Breville Smart Oven Air

Product Image - Breville Smart Oven Air

Breville Smart Oven Air

What if our top-rated toaster oven added the ability to air fry? Well, you'd get the Breville Smart Oven Air. You will pay top dollar for this handsome hunk of brushed stainless-steel, but you'll get the performance you'd expect to come along with it. In air fryer mode, it consistently turned out crispy food and chicken nuggets that tasted fried. It also sports intuitive and accurate digital display and controls (sorely missing on the Philips and Krups), along with automatic preheat and a bright oven light.

Although it’s large even by toaster oven standards, it can truly replace your oven. No need for special toaster oven-sized cookware here. And Breville claims it can accommodate a 14-pound turkey. We do have one major quibble with this product. The manual contains no recommendations for what, how much, or how long to cook various foods. This may not be a problem for baking or roasting, but if you’re new to air frying, you’re on your own while getting started. Also, keep in mind that all of the parts require handwashing.

GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Air Fryer XL

Product Image - GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Air Fryer XL

Where To Buy

$84.48 Amazon Buy

GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Air Fryer XL

The GoWise 8-in-1 Air Fryer XL 5.9 Qt does very well at air frying and has some nice advantages. In addition to a large capacity, it has digital controls with eight preprogrammed settings (hence the name) and an alarm that you can set to remind you to toss food during cooking. It doesn’t require preheating and the basket is both nonstick coated and dishwasher safe. With your GoWise, you also get a cookbook that provides lots of ideas for air frying. In addition to black and white, you can choose from red and purple housing.

Power Air Fryer XL

Product Image - Power Air Fryer XL 3.4Qt

Power Air Fryer XL

Although it’s a little smaller in size and capacity, the Power Air Fryer XL can cook and crisp about one pound of food at once. It has digital controls with cooking preset programs. We found it somewhat generic in appearance and the basket doesn’t glide out as smoothly as on some. But on the positive side, it cleans up in the dishwasher, comes with a recipe booklet, and won’t set you back a bundle.

Black & Decker 2L Purifry Air Fryer

Product Image - Black & Decker 2L Purifry Air Fryer

Black & Decker 2L Purifry Air Fryer

The egg-shaped Black + Decker 2L Purifry is not all that much smaller in size than other air fryers but has a much smaller basket. B + D only recommends that you cook a half pound of fries or one burger at a time. While it gives good results, it seems like if you’re dedicating so much counter space to an appliance, you should be able to cook enough food for four at once. Plus, the basket didn’t glide in and out easily. Like many, it doesn’t have digital controls so it’s hard to set precisely. But our biggest complaint is that the numbers are so small that we literally needed to use a magnifying glass to set the temperature. Finish available in black and white.

NuWave Brio Digital Air Fryer 6 Quart

Product Image - NuWave Brio Digital Air Fryer 6 Quart

NuWave Brio Digital Air Fryer 6 Quart

The NuWave Brio Digital Air Fryer 6 Quart is on the large size and has a big capacity. In our tests, it cooked more unevenly and gave less browning and crisping than others. Thanks to digital controls that are easy to read and program, we did find it particularly convenient to use. It has a built-in preheat setting and preprogrammed settings for things like fries and nuggets that you’re likely to cook. A divider for the basket is included so that you can air fry two foods at once and keep them from mingling. In the manual, there’s a slew of recipes to help you get good use out of your air fryer. While the parts are dishwasher safe, top rack only is recommended and the basket may be too large for the upper shelf.

Oster DuraCeramic Air Fryer

Product Image - Oster DuraCeramic Air Fryer

Oster DuraCeramic Air Fryer

Unlike the others, the Oster DuraCeramic Air Fryer is round and has a see-through lid, so you can watch what’s cooking. It has a detachable handle that clips on the bowl to remove it after air frying; we found it tricky to use. For cooking items like fries, there’s a mechanism to use the fryer in a tilted position to eliminate the need to shake or toss during cooking. In our cook-off, the Oster took the longest to cook and gave the least crispy results of all we tested.

Other Air Fryer Appliances

As air fryers have become more popular, small and large appliance makers have begun integrating their capabilities into other products beyond toaster and convection ovens. So when we recently updated our guide to the best pressure cookers we got an in-depth look at one of those new products. We'll be testing the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker specifically for how it air fries for this guide in the upcoming weeks, but for now, here's what one of our reviewers had to say about it:

Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker is among the best pressure cookers and multi-cookers we tested.

Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker

Product Image - Ninja Foodi (6.5-Quart)
  • Editors' Choice

Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker

If you’re looking to go beyond the typical Instant Pot functions—and have a little extra money to spend—we recommend checking out the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker. This behemoth of a multi-cooker combines pressure cooking, steaming, slow cooking, and air frying all in one. It’s basically a mini kitchen.

With two different lids, one for pressure cooking and one for air frying and crisping, we were able to not only complete the chicken soup, veggie chili, and risotto tests with ease, we were also able to make a complete meal of rice with baked tofu and crisped veggies. The only tricky test was the yogurt, as this multi-cooker does not have a yogurt function. However, after a quick online search, we learned that you can use the dehydrate function to keep the yogurt at the proper temperature. So while a bit less creamy than the batches done with the Instant Pot, the Ninja made tasty yogurt even without a dedicated program.

By far the biggest added benefit to the Ninja is the air crisper lid. This allows you to easily crisp up meat, tofu, or vegetables without turning to your oven. While it works best to make dinner for one or two people (we tried batch cooking with this function and it worked, but not as well), it’s ideal if you don’t care about leftovers. Within 20 minutes, we were able to make a full meal that didn’t require pressure cooking—ultimately making this the most versatile multi-cooker yet. And if the recipe book is to be believed, the meal potentials are practically endless.

The downsides: It’s pricier than most of its competitors and takes up some serious counter space. While smaller than having both a pressure cooker and an air fryer, the cooker itself is larger than an Instant Pot and comes with multiple lids and accessories that will need to go somewhere.

More articles you might enjoy

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below