The 7 Best Air Fryers of 2023, According to Food Experts

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Air fryers offer the delicious texture of fried food without all the fat.
Image Credit: CASEZY/iStock/GettyImages

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Instead of relying on cups of oils as traditional deep-fryers do, all the air fryer needs is a single tablespoon or even a spritz from an oil sprayer to create that crispy crunch. Some air-fryer recipes forego the oil altogether.

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Investing in an air fryer can to help you make the recipes you love a little more nutritious, and many come with additional functions that make meal-prepping simpler. Check out some of the best brands below.

What Is an Air Fryer?

Despite the name, an air fryer doesn't actually fry your food. Instead, it circulates hot air around your food to give it a crispy texture on the outside. If that sounds familiar, it's because your convection oven works in the same way.

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"An air fryer will cook your meals fast, using hot air that circulates around the food. This cooks [food] similarly to a frying technique, just without the added fat," explains Jenna A. Werner, RD, creator of Happy Strong Healthy.

In her opinion, one great thing about this gadget is its speed: The air fryer takes less time to reach the desired cooking temperature than a regular oven, ​and​ it cooks food faster using convection heat. In fact, many air-fryer recipes can be made in 20 minutes or less, which is ideal for people with busy schedules.

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Plus, dousing your chicken or potatoes in bubbling oil isn't necessarily the most nutritious option. Eating deep-fried foods often has been linked with a higher risk of disease and mortality from all causes, especially heart disease, per a January 2019 study in the ‌British Medical Journal.‌​

How to Choose an Air Fryer: Types and Uses

There are a few different types of air fryers, each with their own conveniences and drawbacks. Here's a breakdown of them all to help you choose the best air fryer for you:

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Single Basket

The standard air fryer is shaped like a pod and cooks food in a single basket. A basket air fryer is a compact option for those with limited counter or storage space, so the capacity is usually limited to 6 quarts or less. However, this isn't your only option.

Dual Basket

If 6 quarts doesn't sound like enough, try a dual-basket air fryer. It operates much like a single-basket air fryer but has double capacity. This allows you to cook bigger portions of food at one time (which is ideal for people feeding many mouths.)

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Another nifty thing about dual-basket air fryers is you can cook two different foods at the same time — no more waiting for your potatoes to finish cooking so you can pop in your salmon.

Toaster Oven Air Fryer

If you want to make even bigger batches or want an appliance that does it all, consider a toaster oven with an air-fryer function, which is common nowadays (see our list of the best toaster ovens for more).

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Not all toaster ovens have an air-fryer function (along with many others, like baking and dehydrating, for even more convenience), but many on the market do. If you're looking for an appliance that does it all, this might be the option to choose.

Other Multipurpose Appliances

Like a toaster oven, other multipurpose appliances may also be capable of air frying. Some pressure cookers, indoor grills and multi-cookers double as air fryers. Consider what you like to cook and how best you minimize the number of small appliances in your kitchen.

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The type of air fryer that's best for you usually depends on the capacity you're looking for and whether you want one with multiple functions. Consider your budget, too, as the extra capacity and functions usually come with a higher price tag.

Is Using an Air Fryer Healthy?

The hype surrounding air fryers is largely related to their ability to yield a crispy "fried" texture without heaping doses of oil.

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"Using an air fryer is a great way to make certain types of foods more nutritious," says registered dietitian Jenna Volpe, RDN, LD. "Foods like French fries, chicken wings and chicken cutlets can be made with significantly less oil and subsequent trans fat."

While fried foods can be enjoyed in moderation, health experts generally recommend that you don't eat it often. Fried food is high in saturated fat, which should be capped at about 13 grams per day, according to the American Heart Association. While saturated fat isn't as bad as trans fat, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, both should be limited.

What's more is that heating cooking oils to high temperatures increases the amount of trans fat in them, according to a 2022 review in Nutrients. This is considered the worst type of fat to eat because it's tied to many heart disease risk factors, according to the Mayo Clinic.

But don't be quick to rely on the air fryer at every meal. Volpe warns that air-fried foods aren't automatically "healthy" and moderation still applies to foods like air-fried French fries. Air fryers are only as healthy as the foods you cook in them, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

For example, your air fryer doesn't automatically eliminate the fat from bacon, chicken wings and other foods that are naturally high in fat. But, they can encourage you to make healthier choices, such as eating more veggies.

How We Chose

If you've decided that an air fryer is right for you, the criteria we've used to choose the best air fryers on the market might help you narrow down your choices.

First, we spoke to qualified experts like registered dietitians and professional chefs to determine which air fryers are worth it and what constitutes a good one. We also relied on personal experience from both our writers and verified reviews on retail sites.

The air fryers on our list made it here based on:

  • firsthand experience
  • expert advice
  • reviews
  • materials
  • capacity (or size)
  • features

We chose models that come in different sizes and at varying price points. An air fryer can be a budget-friendly or premium purchase depending on the features that are important to you.

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1. The Best Air Fryer Overall: Cosori Pro Air Fryer

If you're looking for a reliable basket air fryer, it doesn't get much better than this one.
Image Credit: Cosori

Pros

  • Large enough to serve up to five people at a time
  • 12 cooking functions
  • Reminds you to shake the basket during cooking

Cons

  • Can be noisy

You'd never guess from its award-winning, sleek and compact design, but this 5.8-quart air fryer can roast a whole 5-pound chicken and cook food anywhere from 170 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Air fryer newbies will appreciate the 12 one-touch presets that take the guesswork out of cooking seafood, bacon, steak, desserts and more. Plus, it comes with a cookbook of 100 air fryer breakfast recipes, lunch, dinner and dessert.

The Cosori Pro, one of the best-selling and most-reviewed air fryers on Amazon, got a makeover and now has an even more intuitive interface. The presets are customizable and have an option to remind you to shake the basket midway through the cook time, which comes in handy if you tend to forget to flip your chicken tenders.

I can speak to this model's speedy cook time from personal experience. The air fryer is smaller than my old one but has a larger capacity, so I can cook more while utilizing more of my counter space.

In terms of efficiency, this one also beats out my previous air fryer. It roasts potatoes, buffalo cauliflower wings and kale chips more evenly than I'm used to, and I appreciate the reminder to shake the basket or flip the contents.

The cherry on top is the competitive price tag — for a smart appliance, this is a great value.

"I love the Cosori Pro 2 because of its 360-degree air circulation system and auto-shutoff, which makes it safer than most other models on the market," says chef Daniel P. Craig. "Also, the basket in this appliance is nonstick and dishwasher safe, which means cleanup is easy!"

Buy It:Amazon.com; ‌Price:‌ $99.98

2. The Best Budget Air Fryer: Chefman 4-in-1 Air Fryer Oven

Check on food in the middle of cooking with the convenient viewing window on this air fryer from Chefman.
Image Credit: Chefman

Pros

  • Viewing window allows you to check on food without removing it
  • Capacity is larger than similar models
  • Integrated air filter minimizes food smells

Cons

  • Drip tray isn’t large enough to catch all grease

Home chefs on a budget don't have to miss out on the air fryer action. The 6.3-quart capacity by Chefman rings in at under $90, though the price varies depending on the size you choose. The temperature ranges from 90 to 400 F.

Volpe recommends this model because of the BPA-free materials. "This one is best for anyone trying to stay aware of hormone balance. Excessive exposure to BPA, which stands for Bisphenol A, can disrupt hormones," she says.

She also likes it because it's highly versatile: This air fryer comes with a few accessories to help you make use of its different functions. Instead of a standard basket, it uses a rotisserie basket. You can also cook a whole chicken on a rotisserie split.

For something a little more traditional, this model also comes with two removable racks, so users can cook multiple dishes at the same time.

Buy It‌: Amazon.com; ‌Price‌: $85.18

3. The Best Dual Basket Air Fryer: Ninja Foodi 2-Basket Air Fryer

If one kid wants nuggets while the other wants tots, make them both simultaneously with this dual-basket air fryer.
Image Credit: Ninja

Pros

  • Heats up to 450 F
  • Two baskets to cook independently
  • "Smart finish" feature ensures both baskets finish cooking at the same time

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Pricier than other models
  • Each basket has a smaller capacity than a single basket

Imagine being able to make an entire dinner with one small appliance without having to cook one thing at a time. This is the reality of the thousands of happy users of Ninja's unique dual-basket air fryer.

Instead of a single basket that can hold 5 to 6 quarts, this model has two side-by-side baskets that hold up to 4 quarts each. So, you can cook your protein in one basket and your veggies in the other. On nights you don't need to use both baskets, you can just use one because they operate independently.

Some of the meals real reviewers have made in this air fryer include chicken nuggets and tater tots, salmon and asparagus and steak and baked potatoes.

With its versatility, the sky's the limit. This air fryer can broil, dehydrate, bake, reheat and more with a maximum temperature of up to 450 F.

Buy It‌: Amazon.com; ‌Price‌: $199.95

4. The Best Air Fryer for Small Kitchens: Instant Vortex 2-Quart Mini

This smaller air fryer model doesn't just offer more counter space, but it also saves your bank account.
Image Credit: Instant

Pros

  • Small footprint is easy to store
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Smart features make it easy to use

Cons

  • Small capacity isn’t for everyone
  • Doesn’t have as many programmable options as other models

With every extra appliance purchase comes the burden of finding counter or storage space, but not with this air fryer. It measures just 9 x 11 x 12 inches, so it's small as far as air fryers go.

This makes it perfect for those with limited space. You can choose between 2- and 4-quart capacities. On average, each quart equals one serving.

Small-capacity air fryers also tend to preheat quickly, and this one is no exception. It requires almost no time to preheat up to 400 F, which cuts down your cook times. And even with how quickly it operates, reviewers agree it cooks evenly and efficiently.

People cooking for just one person find the 2-quart size to be perfect, though some wish there was enough room to ensure leftovers for later. Others have even found creative ways to use this air fryer for more than just roasting, such as melting cheese and reheating leftovers.

Buy It‌: Amazon.com; ‌Price‌: $49.99

5. The Best All-in-One Air Fryer: Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill and Air Fryer

Grill, roast, air fry and more with this multipurpose air fryer from Ninja.
Image Credit: Ninja

Pros

  • Extremely versatile with five cooking methods
  • Heats up to 500 F
  • Durable stainless steel construction

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Heavy to move around kitchen
  • Small air fryer basket size than other models

I can personally attest to the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill and Air Fryer's versatility. I wanted an appliance that could cook veggie burgers but also roast and air fry veggies, so I went with this model and I'm glad I did.

After owning multiple air fryer models, I found this one to be the easiest to use. It only has a few programmable options, but I personally prefer having fewer buttons to press.

While the maximum capacity is 6 quarts, the air fryer basket can only hold up to 4 quarts. I found this to be on the smaller side, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in cooking functions. In addition to air frying, this unit can grill, bake, roast and dehydrate.

It can even grill on multiple heat settings, allowing you to grill on low, medium, high and maximum depending on the food. It doesn't yield the same charred texture as a traditional grill, but like air frying instead of deep frying, it gets pretty close.

Buy It‌: Amazon.com; ‌Price‌: $179.99

6. The Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven: Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro

With 13 cooking functions, this is the most versatile air fryer yet.
Image Credit: Breville

Pros

  • Large 14-pound capacity
  • Window lets you see in during cooking
  • 13 cooking functions

Cons

  • Much pricier than other models
  • Large interior doesn’t always evenly distribute heat

Whenever you're researching a appliance, eventually you're going to come across splurge-worthy options. In the case of air fryers, that would be this toaster oven by Breville.

It has a large capacity of 14 pounds (about 11 quarts), and it can hold up to four trays of food at once. This is equivalent to nine slices of bread, 12 muffins or a 14-pound turkey.

This device boasts an impressive 13 cooking functions and can reach high temperatures of up to 480 F. In addition to air frying, it also dehydrates, slow cooks, warms, broils, bakes and more. Preset buttons make it easy to quickly cook foods like toast, bagels, cookies and pizza.

People love the interior light that comes on automatically and the accuracy of the heat settings. And while reviews are overwhelmingly positive, some mention that heat may not distribute evenly when cooking large quantities of food.

While some found it intimidating with its 13 cooking functions, reviewers seem to agree that this air fryer and toaster oven combo is like a mini oven that sits on your countertop, heats up faster and doesn't use as much energy.

Buy It‌: Amazon.com; ‌Price‌: $399.95

7. The Best Air Fryer for Large Families: Nuwave Brio 15-Quart Air Fryer

Looks and operates like a mini oven but offers the speed and versatility of an air fryer.
Image Credit: Nuwave

Pros

  • Reaches temperatures from 50 to 425 F
  • Internal light and viewing window eliminate the need to open the door
  • Non-stick and dishwasher-safe parts for easy cleaning

Cons

  • Markings wear off quickly

Air fryers are often compared to traditional ovens because they both circulate hot air to cook and crisp food.

While they come in all shapes and sizes, this one actually looks like a mini oven complete with an LED display panel that makes it intuitive to use. It has a viewing window so you can peek at your food without disrupting the cooking process and a light that automatically turns on to view the progress.

It has three cooking racks — each one wide enough for a full-sized pizza — with a total capacity of up to 15.5 quarts.

Some air fryers have difficulty with temperature accuracy and heat distribution, but not this one. It reaches a wide range of temperatures — from 50 to 425 F — and precisely at 5 F increments. It's equipped with technology that not only detects small changes in temperature but corrects them, so your recipes come out perfectly every time.

Reviewers find this model easy to use and clean, though some long-term reviews mention the markings start to wear off quickly. For many, this appliance quickly becomes the most used tool in the kitchen.

Buy It‌: Amazon.com; ‌Price‌: $150.09

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