Best Air Fryer 2021: Giving You Extra Crispiness With Just A Fraction Of Calories!

Want to enjoy juicy and crispy food without the extra trans-fat and calories? Lucky you because you can now make it possible by investing in an air fryer.

With this small yet functional kitchen appliance, cooking French fries, crispy chicken wings, or any other deep fry food you’re craving is just one push-button away.

Due to the popularity and benefits of air fryers, more and more air models exist. But the thing is that not all of them are working efficiently.

With that, we created this guide that can help you in buying the best air fryer possible.

So, if you’ve decided to get one, read on and get to know more about the best options where you can choose from. No worries because we can assure you that at least one unit suits your budget and needs.

Best Air Fryer of 2021

Best Overall COSORI Air Fryer

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What We Like

  • 11 cooking presets
  • Auto-shutoff feature
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Good capacity
  • Keep warm function

What We Don’t Like

  • The door is a bit difficult to close
  • A fan can be a bit weak
  • No digital presents

An outstanding unit designed in California, the COSORI Air Fryer is an Amazon’s Choice and loved by hundreds of users. Featuring 11 Original Presets, the COSORI Air Fryer can be used to cook your favorite fries, egg bakes, roasted veggies, desserts, and more.

With a 3.7 Quart capacity, you can fit plenty into this amazing air cooker. It operates at a temperature ranging from 170 – 400 degrees Fahrenheit and can cook from 1 – 60 minutes.

The air fryer has a one-touch LED panel that allows you to make a selection, and the unit will take care of the rest. Also, it has a unique and helpful Shake reminder that alerts you to shake the contents for an even fry. Meanwhile, the useful Keep Warm feature should keep your foods well-kept for a while.

For safety, it has an auto-shut-off function, as well as an overheats protection with a cool-touch handle and a button guard to prevent accidental detachment.

In terms of cleaning, the COSORI air fryer features a detachable basket that is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Also, its non-stick basket offers less residue left behind so that cleanup will not be so difficult.

What’s more, the unit comes with a bonus of an original recipe book with up to 100 air-fry recipes you can try.

Best Budget-Friendly: Ninja Air Fryer

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What We Like

  • Versatile
  • Programmable cooking functions
  • Multilayer rack
  • Temperatures from 170-400 °F

What We Don’t Like

  • No digital presets
  • The door is a bit difficult to close
  • Weak fan

This Air Fryer from Ninja is an easy and fast way to prepare and cook your favorite fried foods. The unit ensures that there is even hot air circulation to provide golden and crispy food every time.

This is thanks to the smart processor, which delivers a broad range of temperatures ranging from 105 – 400 °F while powering the fan automatically adjusts speeds with every temperature setting.

It features four programmable cooking functions: air frying for crispy fried foods without the oil, roasting to make your favorite casserole and roasted veggies, reheating to bring back leftover fries and chicken wings to crispy gloriousness, and dehydrating that removes moisture from ingredients and make homemade dried jerky, veggie chips, and dried fruits.

This 4-quart is perfectly sized for most families that allows you to cook enough of your favorite food. Its basket is ceramic coated for easy cleaning and can be removed and thrown into the dishwasher.

In addition, it has a multilayer rack that increases its dehydrating capacity.

Best Budget With A Touchscreen: GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer

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What We Like:

  • Eight cooking presets to choose from
  • Sleek and modern look
  • It comes with a user’s manual and a recipe book
  • Lightweight 
  • Touchscreen

What We Don’t Like

  • Can’t cook for larger guests
  • No special features are available

A touchscreen on an appliance can make even an 80s kitchen look modern. However, you don’t need to pay a considerable amount for an air fryer that has this feature. 

The GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer has an LCD touchscreen. This 5.8-quartz model is perhaps the most customizable air fry you can have for less than $100.

With this air fryer, you can roast, fry, bake, and grill. It also has eight inbuilt presets for pizza, cake, fish, chicken, pork, fries, and steak. When the ingredients need to be shaken or stirred, the air fryer will inform you in increments of either 5, 10, or 15 minutes. 

On the other hand, if you need to change the time or temperature or taste the food, press the STOP/START button to make changes while cooking. 

Design-wise, it has a stainless-steel exterior that seamlessly blends with a modern kitchen. It also features a minimalistic knob interface that keeps cooking simple. 

Best for Small Families: GoWISE USA 3.7 Quart Air Fryer

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What We Like

  • Good safety features
  • Eight presets
  • A broad range of temperature
  • Removable pan with cool-touch handles
  • Includes a recipe book

What We Don’t Like

  • Pan and fryer are poorly made
  • Coating and paint comes off
  • Tends to rust

Another great product from GoWISE USA is ideal for smaller-sized households with its 3.7-quart capacity.

Like the previous model, this one also uses rapid air technology, allowing you to use little to no oil to cook your favorite fried food. It features a total of 8 presets: fish, cake, pork, shrimp, steak, chicken, fries/chips, and a keep warm button.

This air fryer allows you to set the temperature from 170 – 400°F and cooks for 1 – 30 minutes. It also has a handy indicator that lets you know when cooking time has already been reached. Safety features include auto standby mode, auto shut off, and overheat protection.

In addition, it includes a removable pan with a cool-touch handgrip to avoid burns and accidents. The removable basket allows for easy cleaning and moving of cooked foods to a plate.

Lastly, the air fryer includes a recipe book specifically for GoWISE USA Air fryer so you can choose a different meal to make for dessert, dinner, lunch, and breakfast.

Best Multipurpose: Instant Vortex Plus 10 Quart Air Fryer

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What We Like

  • Easy to clean
  • Cooks quietly and quickly
  • Seven features in one
  • Stellar performance

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited instructions
  • Small interior

Instant pot company is known for its excellent quality pressure cookers. But aside from that, they are also manufacturing other useful kitchen gadgets.

One of the latest offerings is the Instant Vortex Plus 10 7-in-1 Air Fryer Oven, combining the features of a regular air fryer with some features available in a countertop oven.

The air fryer comes with simple touch controls that are easy to use and read. Just one touch for baking, air frying, reheating and roasting, and you’re good to go.

It also circulates hot air around your food that helps lock in moisture and cooks your food evenly, giving your meals a golden, crispy, and delicious finish without all the grease and oil.

With this best air fryer, you can cook on up to two racks simultaneously and a chicken rotisserie-style. You can also use the rotating rotisserie basket if you want to air fry your French fries and other items.

The Instant Vortex Plus 10 7-in-1 Air Fryer Oven also comes equipped with a drip tray to keep everything clean and make the cleanup much easier. And since it’s a 10-quartz air fryer, you will have plenty of room when cooking for your whole family.

Best For Big Families: Cuisinart Air Fryer, Convection Toaster Oven

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What We Like

  • No preheating needed
  • Good for air frying
  • Quiet operator
  • 3-year warranty
  • Large capacity

What We Don’t Like

  • Accessories aren’t dishwasher-safe
  • Exterior gets hot easily

If you want to have an air fryer and oven toaster simultaneously, this kitchen appliance is for you. The Cuisinart Air Fryer will only take up the space of one kitchen appliance but offers you the functionality of several. While it’s more expensive compared to other air fryers, this is a worthy investment, especially if you’re serving a big family.

The Cuisinart Air Fryer comes with a shallow and wide frying basket, which means you can cook more food in it. The air fryer also reaches more air than the traditional models providing great browning on chicken and fries.

Additionally, this appliance can bake up tended cakes, nixing the need for other machines like toaster ovens.

Design-wise, it has a stainless-steel exterior that seamlessly blends with a modern kitchen. It also comes with a minimalistic knob interface which makes cooking simpler.

King of Crispy Goodness

And now, the air fryer with an extra kick of crispiness would be

The COSORI Air Fryer!

This outstanding unit has a whopping 11 original presets for you to choose from and a good quart capacity that is enough for most households. You also have a wide range of temperature selections, and it can cook from 1 – 60 minutes.

It has handy functions such as the Shake reminder and Keeps Warm feature and an auto-shut-off function for safety and energy saving.

Not only that, but cleanup is also a breeze with its dishwasher-safe removable basket, and you will love the recipe book that contains a hundred air fry recipes you should try!

What Is An Air Fryer? How Does It Work?

Air fryers are among the hottest kitchen appliances in the market today. With a bold reputation of frying food in a healthier manner, they have been making waves since they arrived at the market scene last 2010.

For starters, air fryers are not fryers. They are more like countertop convection ovens that circulate hot air around the foods in the basket. Using at most a half tablespoons of oil with its rapid air tech to cooking any food you would otherwise cook in deep oils, it browns and crisps up food.

This rapid air tech circulates the air to temperatures of up to 200 degrees, and the cooking chamber where you place the food keeps your food close to the heating elements, which allow your food to be cooked in about 10 – 20 minutes without being pre-heated.

Above the cooking chamber, an exhaust fan provides the necessary airflow to ensure that every part of your food will receive the same eating temperature to make it nice and crispy brown. Furthermore, an air fryer comes with an internal cooling system that keeps the inside clean and makes sure that fresh air passes through the filters.

Types of Air Fryers

1. Basket Air Fryers

In general, a basket air fryer is more common and works quite similar to a deep fryer where you will need to lower a basket into the unit, close the lid and then wait for it to be cooked. Most basket air fryers require you to rotate or shake the food content to ensure an even heat distribution.

2. Paddle Fryers

Although basket air fryers require you to stop and turn your food mid-cook for even cooking, a paddle air fryer relies on the paddle to rotate and turn food for you. This helps in preventing your food from burning as well as ensuring that your meal is evenly cooked. Typically, this type of air fryer uses Rapid Air Technology, which also uses little to no oil.

3. Countertop Convection Oven

Technically, an oven isn’t necessarily an “air fryer.” But since it can heat food over convection cooking, it similarly works to standard air fryers.

Some of these come with an air fryer setting so that you can acquire the same results. The main advantage of investing in countertop convection ovens is that you can take advantage of versatility when cooking.

Aside from being a larger model, it also comes with multiple cooking choices to prepare a wide variety of dishes. What’s more, it comes with wire racks in the middle, allowing you to cook several items at the same time.

What Can Be Cooked In An Air Fryer?

Almost every food which can be prepared in your deep fryer or oven can be cooked in an air fryer as well. The air fryer doesn’t just serve to replicate traditionally-fried food, but it can also be used for roasting and baking as well— from baked fish, veggies chops to French fries, sweet potato, and apple chips— it is a deep fryer and oven in one (without too much oil).

In addition, air fryers are quite useful when it comes to whipping up some desserts, too— think doughnuts and bread.

Benefits of An Air Fryer

1. Health

Food that is cooked in an air fryer uses very little to no oil! This is good news for your overall health, particularly in weight loss and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

2. Quick Cooking

The hot air which circulates inside an air fryer should cook your food much quicker than any oven can do. Your favorite food should be ready at a fraction of the time and leave you with more time to relax and chat with your family and friends.

3. Cost-Efficient

The less time you prepare food means, the less energy spent, resulting in reduced electricity bills. And that’s not all. Less oil spent also means that you won’t have to go shopping for a new gallon of oil anytime soon.

Besides, an air fryer should not heat your entire kitchen as conventional ovens do, so there’s no need to turn on that air conditioner.

4. Safe

The best air fryers have a built-in automatic shut-off feature for safety. In addition, the heating elements are always hidden, so you do not have to worry about your little ones getting into some accident or injury.

Also, air fryers don’t need large quantities of boiling oil, making them less hazardous in your kitchen.

5. Convenience and Versatility

Most air fryers don’t just give you delicious fried food. They also have other functions, including roasting and toasting food, meaning you will need fewer appliances cluttering up your countertops and kitchen cabinets.

Expert Guide: What Makes The Best Air Fryer?

Like any kitchen appliance, the market spoilt us for choice with air fryers, and the features and options are almost limitless. Choosing one can be quite difficult, so we listed important key features that you need to consider when buying the best air fryer for you.

1. Quality

Air fryers are not that cheap, so you want to settle on something which delivers its promise. An air fryer should be made of durable materials which are preferably safe for your health. Key quality features that you need to keep in mind are the materials used, the brand’s reputation behind the appliance, the sturdiness and safety of the product, and reassurance from a good warranty.

2. Capacity

If you live alone or with a partner, there is no use splurging some money on a large air fryer. If it is smaller meals you are looking for, then get a machine that fits your requirement.

Also, pay close attention to the quarts and liters. The higher the number, the more food you can cook in the air fryer simultaneously. Also, keep in mind that smaller air fryers tend to use less energy, so if you are looking for something economical, plus you have fewer mouths to feed, then less is still more.

In general, a capacity of 2.2 quarts is suitable for 1 -2 people. A capacity of 4 – 6 quarts is suitable for 4 people. After this, extra-large units can fit up to 16 quarts is enough for more than 5 people.

3. Size

An air fryer that boasts numerous features sounds amazing. However, the more function it has, then the larger it tends to be. If you live in a tiny bachelor pad or one-bedroom apartment, then you will probably be short on available space. But, if you have ample space, go on and find the biggest one you can find.

4. Preset Programs

 People tend to be so busy nowadays. And the more guidance and direction an appliance can give, the handier it is in our lives. Air fryers that get on with your food with just a click of a button or maybe a turn of a knob are better for the busier or impatient people.

5. Ease of Cleaning

When talking about convenience, it is not just about the cooking process. Ideally, you will also want something easy to clean, too. With this in mind, you should look out for models which feature non-stick coatings and small parts which can be removed for easier cleaning. And if they are dishwasher-friendly, then that is a bonus.

6. Safety

Air fryers of today offer great safety features. These include an auto shut-off feature when the timer expires, a safety button to prevent the basket from falling when taking out the food, and cool-touch handles that prevent burns and injuries.

In addition, there are some air fryers designed to keep the smoke from building up and some designs that protect the internal components from getting damaged or dirty.

7. Price

While an air fryer can check all your boxes, it is usually the cost that determines if you should buy it or not. Most air fryer models range from under $100 – $300 and more.

To get the best investment value, you will need to consider how often you use the appliance. If your answer is “not that often” then it is better to invest in cheaper models.

8. Transparent Lid

Some air fryers come with a transparent lid that allows you to take a glance in and check the food you’re cooking. In contrast, others let you stop the machine so that you can open the basket and check the food.

Though models with a transparent lid tend to be pricey, this is worth considering, especially if you want to have a hassle-free cooking experience. 

9. Shaking

With the majority of air fryers, you need to shake the chips from time to time to check how they’re getting on. Some models come with a device that automatically turns the food. While it’s costlier, it’s another crucial factor to consider, especially if you want to leave your food to cook itself.

Crunchy Thoughts

As you can see, there’s no need to be heartbroken and ditch all your favorite fried foods to have a healthier diet.

With the best air fryer from above, you can indulge in crispiness goodness with just a fraction or less of the calories and fat!

I hope you find this article helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, maybe an air-fryer recipe, feel free to give us a heads-up and fire the comment section below.

Until then, happy frying!

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