11 of the Best Rated Air Fryers According to Me, a French Fry Enthusiast
I’ll admit that—if I could—I’d absolutely have a diet that consists exclusively of French fries and pigs in a blanket. While my palette hasn’t evolved much since I was a toddler, my metabolism, unfortunately, has devolved. And so, despite my preferences, I have to add in a few salads in between my beloved fried foods.
However, I’ve found one kitchen gadget that makes it (almost) viable to reintroduce a plate of fries into my life on a near-nightly basis: an air fryer. While deep fryers create that crispy, crunchy, golden goodness by using a ton of oil, an air fryer uses just a tablespoon or so of fat to create the same effect—most use a convection fan to cover your meal in hot air instead of hot grease. This allows for a quick crisping method that is not only efficient, but considerably healthier than the alternative.
Air fryers, however, can do a lot more than just fry food—if you’re looking to quickly crisp up a pizza or sear a piece of salmon, this handy appliance has it handled. So yeah, it’s probably not a bad idea to have an air fryer somewhere in your arsenal of kitchen gadgets. We’ve included some of our favorites below.
1. Instant Vortex Plus
The cult-favorite Instant Pot has expanded its lineup with the Instant Vortex Plus, a sleek air fryer that’s totally fool-proof and large enough to whip up a family-sized portion of fries (yes, I do measure everything in terms of French fries). It comes with six cooking settings and an easy to operate temperature dial. Its 10 quart basket is actually a square shape, so it’s able to hold more than some other options. This an ideal kitchen appliance if you want an occasional fried indulgence—without dropping a ton of money.
2. Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven
Best for the multipurpose cook
Don’t be fooled by the name, this convection toaster oven is also a fryer that gets your jalapeno poppers popping. Not to mention, it will cook them more evenly than other air fryers on the market. It has 15 different cooking functions and room to fit a 13-inch inch pizza, so you can either make a meal from scratch, or crisp up leftovers in no time.
3. Chefman TurboFry 3.6-Quart Air Fryer
Best for small spaces
Simple and straightforward, this smaller-volume air fryer is ideal if you’re just whipping up dinner for one. It cooks quickly, thoroughly and is small enough that if you’re low on counter space, you won’t feel as though the fryer is adding any clutter. Chefman also makes a range of other smart kitchen appliances, and this air fryer keeps with the Chefman trend in being both easy to use and durable. Plus, you just can’t beat that $60 price tag.
4. Ninja Max XL Air Fryer
Best for game day
If you’re looking to dish up some Buffalo wings or cauliflower bites (or fries, obviously), the Ninja Max XL is certainly the way to go. It has a large basket that can handle big batches of game day grub for your hungry crowd, and the ceramic interior and removable tray make cleanup a breeze. Seriously, you can just toss the removable parts in the dishwasher. Frozen foods will be returned to their pre-frozen glory, and a timer will countdown your meal’s readiness to the second.
5. Cosori Smart Air Fryer
The best smart air fryer
One of the more high-tech options comes from Cosori, whose large-volume air fryer has 11 preset cooking modes that can add crunch to anything from brussels sprouts to mozzarella sticks. The Cosori can be linked to your smartphone via mobile app, which provides you with cooking alerts, timers and reminders to shake up your frying basket when needed. And while it has a generous six-quart capacity, it won’t take up too much precious space on your countertop.
6. Dash Deluxe Electric Air Fryer
Best for the aesthetically-minded cook
If you’re looking for a pop of color in your kitchen, check out the Dash Deluxe Electric Air Fryer, which comes in four bright colors (don’t miss out on the aqua) and offers a retro take on the modern appliance. Rather than relying on digital displays and preset buttons, the Dash fryer leverages manual settings, which are very easy to use. The single knob design coupled with the rounded profile makes for an aesthetically pleasing appliance but because it’s fully manual, you’ll have to pay extra attention to timing.
7. GoWISE USA 7-Qt Air Fryer
Best for large families
The GoWISE fryer is a Texas-sized fryer for, well, Texas-sized appetites. With its seven-quart capacity, it can handle even a whole chicken. Whereas most air fryer baskets are either squared or fully circular, this fryer has an elongated basket that makes it easier to spread out ingredients in a single layer, just like your favorite sheet-pan recipes. Plus, thanks to the brilliant stacking ability of the racks, you can air fry multiple layers at once.
8. Secura 3.4-quart Electric Air Fryer
Best for complete meals
While we’ve established that I could (and do) eat fries as an entire meal, for folks who are interested in using their air fryers for a main dish, the Secura 3.4-quart Electric Air Fryer has the multitasking abilities you need. It also has a grilling function, which allows you to make a juicy steak to serve alongside those onion rings you crisped to perfection. And as the weather gets colder, being able to grill inside will become something to actually look forward to on a dreary Wednesday night.
9. Bella 2-quart Electric Air Fryer
Best for budget cooks
Getting a good air fryer on a budget is not a particularly difficult task but the $52 Bella 2-quart electric option doesn’t skimp on quality. It’s simple to use, quiet during operation, and it pays for itself with just a few uses. It’s also relatively compact, making storage a cinch—although it’s so sleek that you won’t be embarrassed if you have to leave it out on an open kitchen shelf.
10. Black + Decker 2-liter air fryer
Best for new cooks
If the notion of an air fryer scares you, there’s no option less intimidating than this small Black + Decker air fryer that is about as straightforward as they come. Even if you’re completely new to the air frying game, it’s hard to mess up with this appliance. One dial controls temperature, and the other controls time. That’s it. In effect, if you know how to operate an oven, you can work this air fryer.
11. T-Fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker
Best low-lift air fryer
Most air fryers will require you to do some amount of shaking or flipping of the basket during the cooking process, which means that you have to do some babysitting. But that’s not the case for the T-Fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker. The unique ring shape of the cooker also comes with built-in stirring capabilities, which means that once you’ve set this fryer, you can literally forget about it until you’re ready to eat. And if you want to check on the progress of your food, the see-through lid lets you keep tabs on the crispiness of your fries.