Picking a suitable air fryer that’ll grace your kitchen countertop and suit your culinary needs is not an easy task.
Why? There are lots of very good ones with amazing features that you’ll practically be spoilt for choice.
Some of the gadgets can serve as multi-cookers with indoor grills (like the Instant Vortex), and others as toaster oven air fryers (like the Cuisinart toaster oven air fryer, which unfortunately didn’t make my list).
So we’ve literally penned every detail you need to know about this kitchen gadget so you can pick which best suits your culinary needs.
But first, here are the criteria to consider when choosing your next (or first) air fryer.
What to Look Out for When Buying an Air Fryer
When choosing your air fryer, the first thing that comes to mind is how much it costs.
While there are very affordable ones that cost around $40 and are super easy to use, there are also pricey ones with more functionality that could result in you saving up on other kitchen appliances. It all depends on what role(s) you’d like your cooker to play in your kitchen.
Do you mostly cook for just yourself and your little family or do you entertain guests often?
If your case is the former, you can go for a smaller fryer which will use your cabinet storage and won't take up much space. But if you’re the joie-de-vivre kind of person who loves having people around, then a square or rectangular fryer with a larger surface area will be great for you.
Cleaning your countertop, doing the dishes, and maintaining a sanitary environment in your kitchen area are already enough bother – cleaning your air fryer shouldn’t be another bother!
So when choosing one, get the one with a smaller fryer basket.
Aside from choosing an air fryer that will look good on your countertop, you should also consider the size of your kitchen counter.
Oven-type air fryers usually take up more space on the counter, can accommodate large amounts of food, and carry out more cooking functions. Basket-style ones, on the other hand, are usually smaller, have fewer features, and will allow you to shake your food for more even cooking (and browning).
Now we’ve got that out of the way, here are the 5 best air fryers to help you cook healthier fried foods.
5 Best Air Fryers in 2021
1. Dash Compact Air Fryer 2-Quart: best air fryer for singles
Amazon rating: 4.5/5
At a capacity of 1.7 L, the Dash Compact is perfect for people living alone. Its sleek design will ensure it adds some ambiance to your kitchen counter, and its small foot print also means you’ll have enough room to accommodate other kitchen appliances on your countertop.
As for ease of use, this is one of the easiest air fryers to operate. And with a smaller air fryer basket, you shouldn’t have problems cleaning this one.
It’s also got a mechanical timer and a temperature dial: with its maximum temperature reaching 400°F. At this temperature, you can air fry most foods.
So if you need an air fryer that can quickly cook and brown your crispy fries (or snacks) but is wary of the ones with large units, then the Dash Compact is your best bet.
2. COSORI Smart Wi-Fi Air Fryer 5.8-Quart: best digital air fryer
Amazon rating: 4.7/5
If you need an air fryer with cutting-edge technology, that is easy to use and has a large capacity, look no further.
With just the push of a button, this masterpiece that comes with 11 preset cooking options will air fry your chicken wings, French fries, steak, frozen and seafood, etc. Furthermore, its modern and compact design will make it a great fit for your kitchen counter.
One of the preset modes is the vegetable root mode which is good for air frying vegetables. Despite all the technology this air fryer is endowed with, it’s still very easy to use. This will air fryer will make your food look brown and taste just good. Need I say it’s also a very fast cooker?
A Wi-Fi-enabled software has been installed into this kitchen appliance that links to an app on your mobile phone. With this, you can control the air fryer. It can also give you prompt notifications like telling you when to shake the fryer.
And finally, it’s got a large basket that can cook in large batches and is super easy to clean – if you hate doing the dishes like me.
3. GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer 5.8-Quart 8-in-1: best large-capacity air fryer (with free recipes)
Amazon rating: 4.6/5
When it comes to user experience, the GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer comes out as unique.
This digital model features a touchscreen and stunning display that’s fun to engage with and easy to use. It can be used to roast vegetables like Brussels sprouts (something usually difficult for many air fryers) and will ensure that your sweet potatoes, chicken wings, cookies, and steak are thoroughly air fried.
Another perk about this gadget is that it’s got a large basket that can handle cooking for large families. Regardless of its capacity, it’s easy to use and clean. Added to these impressive features, your fried food comes out tasting great.
So if you’re looking for a user-friendly air fryer that comes with a book of 50 recipes to tantalize your taste buds, search no more. Try the GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer today.
4. Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven 10-Quart 7-in-1: best value-for-your-money air fryer
Amazon rating: 4.6/5
On our list, we’ve got the Instant Vortex Plus from a household name: Instant Pot – makers of the awesome electric pressure cooker.
But this time, the multi-cooker company made an air fryer with two trays you can put in at a time. They know you’ve got a large family and would prefer to have enough food to go around. This gadget from Instant Pot has got a rotating rotisserie basket that allows for even cooking and browning of your fried food.
This Instant Pot appliance is perfect for roasting foods and basically makes your fries super crispy (even without adding oil). It just gives your food an exotic taste and appearance, making it more appealing to your palates.
So if a powerful dehydrate function is your priority, and you’re looking for a gadget with a large air fryer basket, has a user-friendly touchscreen interface that’s also dishwasher-safe, and is easy to read, then go get Instant Pot’s Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven.
Shop this 7-in-1 digital air fryer oven at Amazon.
5. Chefman TurboFry Digital Air Fryer 3.6-Quart: best budget air fryer
Amazon reviews: 4.6/5
And finally (but in no way the least), this sleek and dome-shaped kitchen gadget is the best air fryer out there that will look ‘gorge’ on your countertop.
It’s got a vented lightweight air fryer basket that allows for air circulation. This small air fryer has got a temperature dial that allows for intuitive controls and a 60-minute timer which is good for frying most food.
This appliance is best for homeowners that want to try this air fryer thingy for the first time but aren’t sure they’ll be using it often. So to air fry and make your tater tots and frozen fries crispier, shop this digital air fryer.
So there you have it: the 5 best air fryers in 2021.
Now you can make an informed decision. And I hope this guide helps a lot.