The best air fryers are ideal for cooking everything from chicken nuggets and fries to veggies and even fries. That's because air fryers are an efficient way to satisfy your craving for "fried" foods with a much lower fat content - so you can nibble on your favorite foods with less oil or possibly no oil at all.
In this article, we'll explain all the main features that you'll find useful or even essential to get the most out of your new appliance. Here, too, we have tested all the airfryers we recommend, so we know that all the models here are capable of serving delicious dishes again and again.
If you want some quick recommendations, read ourat a glancelist below, or scroll through and our quick buying guide and mini-reviews will help you find your perfect air fryer.
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Best air fryer: at a glance
- Best Air Fryer overall:Tefal Genie+ | £220
- Best Mid-Range Air Fryer:Ninja AF100UK | £ 150
- Melhor airfryer high-end:Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2em1 | £ 285
- Best air fryer for most people:Instant Vortex Plus Dual Tray Air Fryer | £220
This is how you choose the best hot air fryer for you.
How do airfryers work?
Fryers work with convection, which means they circulate hot air around the food, exposing every inch of the surface to oil and heat. You just need to spray or pour a little oil on whatever you're cooking before turning the unit on - although you don't always have to use oil if you don't want to. Just add a dash, however, and a clever chemical process called the Maillard reaction produces a crispy result with far less fat - in some cases up to 99%.
Fryers generally operate between 150 and 200˚C, although different models can vary. Because so little oil is used, a deep fryer won't produce exactly the same results as your local deep fryer, although most of our options below come close.
If you want to learn more about how fryers work and what advantages they have over a standard oven, read our helpful explanation here:What is an airfryer?
How much should I spend?
Airfryers are not the cheapest devices, but you can get a decent airfryer for a starting price of around 80 euros. This should be the basic task of deep-frying food with minimal fat, but cooking times can be slow compared to more expensive models and you don't always get perfection.
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Style is also a factor, as is machine capabilities. Some air fryers have quick cook functions and stirrers that do all the heavy lifting for you, while others can also grill or bake. Also consider the fryer's capacity: some are big enough for a family meal, while others are smaller and fit in small kitchens. You should pay anywhere from £150 to £250 for a large, quick fryer.
What are the standard features?
The best air fryers have a few basics to remember. This includes weight and temperature settings so you can adjust the heat and cooking time to suit your ingredients.
Good models come with removable parts that are dishwasher safe and a pull-out cargo box that fits inside the machine. For easy cooking right from the start, also look for models with preset functions for popular dishes. They calculate times and temperatures for you.
Most also come with a recipe booklet for cooking inspiration, which is ideal if you're new to outdoor frying.
Do they come with accessories?
While most air fryers don't come with anything other than the standard basket, there are a variety of accessories that can turn your air fryer into a mini oven. For example, some Philips and deep fryers have compatible grills, while others, like the Tower, have baking plates so you can cook on them too.
Do you know how to prepare a complete meal in an airfryer?
While economy or compact fryers compromise on cooking capacity and therefore can only prepare a portion of vegetables, chips or similar, you will find that larger models are capable of preparing several dishes at once. Increase your budget and you will often end up with a larger capacity or multi-compartment machine. Some premium models even allow you to cook an entire Sunday roast, potentially allowing you to mash a whole chicken along with potatoes and vegetables for the ultimate in energy-efficient, tasty cooking.
What else should I pay attention to?
Airfryer technology just keeps getting better. Older models can take a while to start up and may require more oil than newer models. Cheaper models may also require you to pre-cook the chips, which might not be ideal if you're looking for quick cook times.
Also look for additional features if you plan on using your fryer for more than just fries and nuggets - some fryers can cook curries, stews, risottos and more.
How do we test an airfryer?
We put all air fryers through a series of rigorous tests to ensure they do everything they claim to do, whether that's perfectly crispy fries, tender fish, evenly browned food in the oven, or even whole chickens.
Not only do we watch how they cook a single serving of potatoes and vegetables, or single pieces of protein like fish and steak, but we also fill each fryer to its advertised capacity. This shows us the consistency with which each appliance cooks, to ensure that the four-portion air fryer really is big enough for a family dinner.
We ran these tests on manual cooking settings and any automatic presets for common ingredients or dishes. Some fryers also have additional functions such as roasting and roasting. In these cases, we use a similar testing method, looking for fast and consistent results.
READ FOLLOWING:Are air fryers healthy?
The best air fryer you can buy in 2023
1. Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK: Best Mid-Range Air Fryer
Price on review:£ 150 |Check the price at Ninja
One of the other great features is the reheat setting, which is perfect for bringing leftovers to life without turning the oven on, as well as toasting a few slices of pizza. It goes without saying that the Ninja is great for frozen foods, but simple controls and a digital display mean it's also easy to customize the programs to suit whatever you're cooking. If the 3.8 liter model isn't big enough for the whole family, there's another one too.version 5.2l MAXfor £169.
Read our completeAirfryer Ninja review
Key Specifications - Power:1.550 W;Capacity:3,8 l;Show:Digital,Accessories:Removable crisp plate
Check the price at Ninja
2. T17005 Tower: Best Cheap Hot Air Fryer
Price on review:£ 58 |Consult the price with Maraz
The price isn't the tower's only attraction: it seats two and is supposed to reduce fat by 99% compared to traditional frying. The pieces are dishwasher safe, ideal for quick cleaning after cooking. Accessories such as a basket divider can also be purchased separately.
And while the Tower can still boast a 30-minute manual timer with auto-off, what gives it an added benefit is that it can also be used in conjunction with the Tower Recipe Alexa skill - so you're not limited to making good ones. crispy chips.
Key Specifications - Power:900W;Capacity:1,5L;Show:manual timer;Accessories:Multiple available, sold separately
Consult the price with Maraz
3. Tower Xpress Pro Combo 10 in 1: Best Chicken Fryer
Price on review:£ 140 |Check the price on Amazon
The real shining star, however, is the fryer's automatic rotisserie function, which can cook a very small 1 kg chicken in just 45 minutes. The results are fantastic, producing chicken with crispy skin and a perfectly cooked, juicy interior with little effort. As if that weren't enough, this new and improved model also comes with kebab skewers, silicone oven mitts and a small pizza crust plate.
Tower also sells a cheaper one (£100)5 in 1 model, which comes with fewer features but still has that great grill and 11 liter capacity. Ideal if you want to save more money but don't mind giving up a few extras.
Read our completeTower Xpress Pro Combo 10-in1 heteluchtfriteuse review
Read our completeTower 5 in 1 Hot Air Fryer Review T17039
Key Specifications - Power:2.000W;Capacity:11l;Show:digital touch cloth;Accessories:Roast skewers, kebab skewers, 3 crusty trays, 1 pizza tray, 1 multipurpose grill, heat-resistant silicone gloves
Tower Xpress Pro Combo T17076 Vortx 10-in-1 Digital Hot Air Fryer with Rapid Air Circulation, 60 Minute Timer, 11 L, 2000 W, Black
see the price
4. Instant Vortex Plus Double Tray Air Fryer: The best air fryer for most people
Price on review:£ 220 |Check the price in Lakeland
The ability to use different modes in each basket - for example, grilling bacon in one tray while cooking fries in the other - gives the Instant Vortex Plus a real advantage for people who want to cook entire meals in their air fryer.
What helps the Instant Vortex Plus stand out is the subtle ease of use and versatility it offers. Transparent basket windows and in-machine lighting allow users to keep an eye on the food as it cooks, a feature many other models lack. Meanwhile, the digital touchscreen is sleek, responsive and easy to use. Overall, the Instant Vortex Plus Double Drawer is one of the smoothest and most impressive air fryers we've tested in this price range.
Read our completeInstant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer luchtfriteuse review
Key Specifications - Power:1.700W;Capacity:7.6 liters;Show:Digital;Accessories:Two grill plates with non-stick coating
Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket with ClearCook - 7.6L Digital Health Air Fryer, Black, 8-in-1 Smart Programs - Air Fry, Bake, Roast, Grill, Dehydrate, Reheat, XL Capacity -1700W
£ 179,99 see the price
5. Ninja Foodi Dual Zone: Best Ninja Air Fryer
Price on review:£ 220 |Check the price at Ninja
The Dual Zone's Max Crisp feature is also worth mentioning, as it cooks thinner frozen foods like fries, onion rings, and nuggets in a fraction of the time a standard convection oven would take. In tests, a serving of frozen roast potatoes was perfectly crispy and browned in just six minutes, compared to the recommended 15-minute cooking time listed on the packaging. This air fryer can also bake, fry, dehydrate and reheat, making it a versatile tabletop multicooker.
Read our completeNinja Foodi dual zone review
Key Specifications - Power:2.400W;Capacity:7.6l;Show:Digital;Accessories:No
Check the price at Ninja
6. Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2 in 1: the best high-quality air fryer
Price on review:£ 285 |Check the price with John Lewis
In addition to all that space, you can also fry french fries in it. The extra-large capacity houses Tefal's 2-in-1 function, which allows you to prepare two different elements of your meal in one place. With a rotating blade at the bottom and a static top tray at the top, you can cook curry and samosas in the same machine, saving you time and dishwashing.
During the test, chicken and home fries were beautifully crispy with a tablespoon of oil and were ready in just 25-30 minutes. Plus the rudder paddle meant we didn't even have to turn or check them. This may be a bigger investment than some of the other fryers on this list, but nothing beats it.
Read our completeTefal Genius XL 2 in 1 review
Key Specifications - Power:1.500W;Capacity:1.7kg;Show:Digital;Accessories:Measuring spoon, 2-in-1 removable container
Check the price with John Lewis
7. Tefal Actifry Genius+: The best air fryer with automatic stirring
Price on review:£ 220 |Check the price with John Lewis
The 360-degree stir bar is incredibly useful, ensuring food is cooked evenly and consistently without having to shake food midway through the cooking cycle. Nine automatic cook functions take most of the guesswork out of air frying, but there's still an option to manually set the time and temperature if needed. Plus, if you use these presets, the Genius+ (and every other Genius model in the lineup) will automatically adjust the temperature and stirrer as it cooks, so your food doesn't overcook.
There's no doubt that Tefal's Genius range is expensive, but you really won't find a fryer range that does the job better.
Read our completeTefal Genius+ review
Key Specifications - Power:1.500W;Capacity:1,2kg;Show:digital touch cloth;Accessories:measuring spoon
Check the price with John Lewis