Buying Guide

Best Air Fryers In 2022 – Tested by Simply Fresh Dinners

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Air fryers are no longer just a trend, they’ve quickly become a kitchen staple. They really became popular because of their compact shapes, minimal cleaning requirements and multi functions. Some can very well replace toaster ovens, pressure cookers, toasters and even crockpots.

If there’s one thing all air fryers are known for it’s using less oil than traditional methods. I was hooked with my first air fryer because it was healthier for making foods I loved. I no longer had to drain excess oil from fried foods and clean up was a whole lot easier. That being said, my first air fryer was a long time ago and after trying many of them, I can attest that they are not created equal. In this article, I will review the best air fryers in 2022. Here’s what I’ll cover:

  • How air fryers work.
  • How to use an air fryer.
  • Types of air fryers
  • Cooking tests
  • Amazon reviews analysis
  • Downsides

All of the above will be discussed in detail so keep reading to find out more.

Why you should trust us.

Every product that we investigate is put through rigorous testing that can last for several days, weeks, or even months. Before making a decision about whether or not to purchase a product, we acknowledge that consumers have the right to be informed of everything there is to know about that product. We consult professionals in the field and manufacturers, but the most important thing is that we put the products through our own rigorous testing.

 

In addition to being a home cook, I have evaluated a number of different kitchen appliances over the course of many years. This isn’t my first rodeo; I have tested many other air fryers and I am fully aware of what criteria to consider in order to determine which is best. For the purpose of the test, I selected particular foods in order to obtain the most reliable data. Rest assured, I will provide the most accurate review based on all these factors.

How air fryers work and what are the types of air fryers.

Regarding how food is cooked, most air fryers operate similarly. Each air fryer features a heating mechanism that, in essence, simulates deep frying, although more quickly and with less oil. The same heating process works for other air fryer functions such as roasting, pressure cooking and steaming. Below is a generic description of how to use an air fryer but first, some best practices.

  • Air fryers have different wattage and voltage depending on the size. Always read through the specifications of your air fryer to prevent damage.
  • The air fryer unit gets very hot, so make sure you’re using it on a heat-resistant surface. Keep it at least a few inches away from other appliances or kitchen items. Because hot air is emitted from the vent, it can’t be covered or placed near plastic items.
  • Whatever you’re cooking, whether it is fries, vegetables, or chicken, keep everything in a single layer in the basket; otherwise, the food will steam instead of crisp up.
  • While cooking, remove and shake the basket at least once. This will assist the air fryer in evenly cooking smaller items that are difficult to turn individually, such as fries, and tater tots. (Not all air fryers require shaking).
  • When you cook something fatty like bacon or burger patties in your air fryer, the grease that drips into the drawer may get too hot and make smoke. To avoid this, put about 2 tablespoons of water in the drawer before you start cooking. This works well for things like burger patties, but it can make bacon a little less crispy, so you can also put a slice of bread in the drawer to soak up any grease.

How to use an air fryer.

Air fryers must be preheated like ovens. Don’t skip this step, no matter your model. You can heat the air fryer basket within it. Check the recipe and air fryer temperature. Small to medium air fryers heat about 2-3 minutes. Larger models take 5 minutes. I personally prefer air fryers that preheat automatically and we will get into that later.

Once your air fryer is hot, add the food, set the timer, and enjoy. It’s that simple. Even though most air fryer manufacturers say otherwise, most air fryers aren’t dishwasher-safe. Cool your air fryer before cleaning it to avoid burns. Unclean air fryers can cause kitchen fires so proper maintenance is key to extending its life.

What We Tested and How We Tested

I tested five top reviewed air fryers from the most prominent brands on the market; Ninja Foodi, Gourmia, Instant Pot, Cosori and the Instant Vortex. In each air fryer, I used vegetables (zucchini, carrots, and eggplant, white sandwich bread, chicken legs and frozen fries.

While all air fryers performed well, the Cosori Max XL did come out on as the winner.

COSORI Air Fryer Oven Combo 5.8QT Max Xl Large Cooker

Specifications :

  • Model Name Air Fryer Max XL(100 Recipes)
  • BrandCOSORI
  • Capacity5.8 Quarts
  • Color Black
  • Item Weight : 11.9 Pounds

Check Price on Amazon

Amazon reviewers raved about Cosori’s cooking performance, and my own testing proved true. The air fryer actually heated to 400 degrees, unlike others. The chicken legs were perfectly crisp on the outside and juicy inside, the fries were also better when compared to the other four air fryers.

I describe the tests in detail below so keep reading to find out more!


Gourmia 6 Quart Digital Air Fryer GAF698

Specifications :

  • BrandGourmia
  • Capacity6 Quarts
  • Item Weight: 5.42 Kilograms
  • Control Method : Touch
  • Has Nonstick Coating : Yes

Check Price on Amazon

You don’t have to spend a small fortune on an air fryer oven in order to have one of decent quality. The Gourmia was quite inexpensive despite scoring highly in most of our tests.

 

Chicken Legs

Chicken legs took longer than the recommended time but I was determines to have edible food so I removed the air fryer basket after 15 minutes and turned the legs before continuing for another 15 minutes.

Frozen Fries

The Gourmia didn’t perform so well with this cooking test. The recommended cooking time is 15 minutes for frozen fries but after taking them out, the fries were still a bit soggy and the colour just wasn’t up to par. In terms of taste, it didn’t taste anything like deep fried fries. The texture was way off .

White Sandwich Bread

I air fried the white sandwich bread at 400 degrees F for 4 minutes and I have to say I was not disappointed. This air fryer is a basket type so it had a better capacity and more even heating than air fryers of other shapes. The bread wasn’t toasted to my liking but it was decent enough, with only a few hot spots.

Vegetables

This air fryer gets hot really fast. I used the vegetables function to see the results on the zucchini, carrots and eggplant. I thought they would have more of a crisp but overall it was also a decent test.


Key Performance Factors Analysis

Noise

The Gourmia has a dBA reading of 60 when in operation, which is slightly louder than the typical air fryer and is around the volume of a humming air conditioner.

Control

The bottom plastic housing of the sides got up to 157°F while cooking, which is dangerously hot to the touch. Even if the air fryer’s controls and handles stay at room temperature, you shouldn’t leave young children in its vicinity. I would be wary about putting anything plastic in close proximity to it because of how hot it gets.

Cooking

This model is not as efficient as some of the other pricier and sturdier air fryers but it did do a good job in most of the cooking tests. It heats fast so I recommend checking food occasionally while using the presets.

Cleaning

The non-stick coating on both the basket and the rack makes clean-up a breeze whether you want to wash the items by hand or use the dishwasher’s top rack.

Noise demonstration:

Downside detected during testing.

One minor flaw with this equipment is its badly designed frame. The basket didn’t fit into the oven as flush as I’d like, which could cause problems in the long run, though it didn’t impact my usage of it in any way. The basket may no longer fit and will be impossible to close correctly with time. In my Amazon reviews research, a lot of purchasers did say the same about their models.

Overall, this Gourmia model is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars. A whopping 79 percent of purchasers, amounting to 565, loved their unit and that mostly good things to say about it. The negative global ratings amounted to 61 which is 5 percent for 1 star reviews and 1 percent for 2 stars.

The main pain points were from purchasers who bought refurbished models that either arrived dented or still had food stuck to them. Other complaints were that the frame of the air fryer was thin and did not last for years. Most agreed that the air fryer was decent and you were getting what you paid for. For an air fryer that costs $79, I also think it’s decent for the price and will work for one or two people who aren’t expecting to use it for a wide variety of items.

NINJA OP301 Foodi 9-in-1

Specifications :

  • BrandNinja
  • Capacity6.5 Quarts
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH : 17.1 x 19.1 x 18.8 inches
  • Material : Plastic, Metal, Rubber
  • Operation Mode : Automatic

Check Price on Amazon

In our comparison of the best air fryers, the Ninja multi-cooker was by far the largest and heaviest machine. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given what this beast of a machine is capable of.

 

Chicken Legs

I cooked the chicken legs in the pressure cooker for 25 minutes (minus the amount of time it took for the pressure to build). After that, I let it air fry for another 15 minutes. Although the handbook recommends draining the pressure cooking liquid from the bottom of the pot for maximum results, the skin was crackly crisp even without it.

Frozen Fries

I was happy with both the results of this cooking test and that I didn’t have to shake the basket to ensure even cooking. The fries were perfect browned and crisp but the taste just didn’t do it for me. I would definitely be able to tell the difference between the batch I did and some deep fried fries. I wasn’t happy that for such a huge unit, the air fryer basket could only hold 2 pounds of fries without it being overcrowded.

White Sandwich Bread

The bread slices were too crisp, too fast but with some adjustment to the timing and temperature I’m sure the air fryer would perform better.

Vegetables

The vegetables came out great, maybe a little soggy after the pressure cooking but the vegetables function itself was perfect. I air fried them for a few minutes after and they had a good crisp to them.

 

Key Performance Factors Analysis

Noise

I noticed that using the Foodi to air fry was noisier than using the pressure-cook feature. The noise level might be excessive in a tiny kitchen but it not exhaust fan loud.


Beeping noises are also tolerable. It does not beep constantly, merely when you lift the lid or hit the function buttons. When you first start using the Foodi, don’t be alarmed if the lid makes a horrible creaking noise. I did some research and turns out it’s completely fine for the first couple times.

Control

The Foodi includes a nice display window that shows you what’s cooking, how much time is remaining, and when to close the lid. While the Foodi is pressurizing, blue lights on the display rotate in a square, and they stop circling once it has attained pressure.

Cooking

It performed great in the cooking tests but it wouldn’t work for large portions. I discovered that a 5.5-pound chicken could fit in the air fryer basket, but the legs would protrude somewhat. This indicates that the basket is too small for larger chickens.

Cleaning

The air fryer basket’s legs have several crevices that are tough to clean. This, along with the model’s total weight, are disadvantages to acquiring it.

Noise demonstration:

Downsides during cooking

While utilizing the pressure cooking lid, there must be enough room for the crisping lid to be open. You can’t cook with the Foodi on a counter under your cabinets because of the attached air fryer lid. Because the Foodi electrical chord is only 33 inches long, you’ll need to use it near an outlet. (The instructions state that an extension cord should not be used.) The Foodi’s pressure release valve is short and a little more difficult to use than the Instant Pot’s without coming into contact with the steel.

The 5 star ratings make up 85 percent of the overall score and a lot of those purchasers say they ditched other brands for the Ninja Foodi. I can relate with some reviews that were especially impressed with the pressure cooking function. The 1 star reviews make up only 5 percent of the overall reviews and most comments were about getting a used item that had some defect. Others said they got an error on the LED screen after a few uses and the manual was no help. A few purchasers said the item didn’t work at all.

COSORI Air Fryer Oven Combo 5.8QT Max Xl Large Cooker

Specifications :

  • Model Name Air Fryer Max XL(100 Recipes)
  • BrandCOSORI
  • Capacity5.8 Quarts
  • Color Black
  • Item Weight : 11.9 Pounds

Check Price on Amazon

With thousands of excellent ratings across the brand’s line of fryers, the Cosori Air Fryer is an Amazon favorite. For its air fryers, the company has won numerous awards and is currently ranked number one on Amazon in the air fryer category.

 

Chicken Wings

This test revealed what might be the crispest and juiciest I’ve seen chicken wings from an air fryer, and I’ve tried countless others! Other air fryers I tried didn’t exactly get to 400 degrees but this model certainly did.

Frozen fries

Frozen fries came out perfectly and did I mention that this model has a large capacity? The “shake” feature that pops up on the screen half way through cooking ensured that all the fries were evenly cooked and crispy.

White sandwich bread

The toast turned out great but I would recommend choosing the time and temperature on your own instead of using pre-sets for this. You have to remember that the air fryer is using circulated hot air to cook to get the desired crust.

Vegetables (carrots, Zucchini, eggplant)

My roasted vegetables were perfectly cooked and a little crisp on the outside. The colour and flavour was also great.

Key Performance Factors Analysis

Noise

This model is very loud. There’s no going around it. Out of all the models I reviewed this is definitely the loudest.

Control

The Cosori is controlled electronically, and it comes with a variety of pre-sets for commonly prepared dishes.

Cooking

When using the Cosori air fryer Max XL, your food will cook evenly thanks to the device’s 360-degree revolving basket. It eliminates the need for trial-and-error in the kitchen thanks to its 13 preset cooking modes, (very accurate by the way) each of which regulates the oven’s temperature and cooking time to optimal levels for the ingredient being prepared. I was thoroughly impressed that it aced all the cooking tests.

Cleaning

What I like best about clean-up is how simple it is to clean the air fryer itself. Everything just falls right off. I barely scrubbed it, and each time it was clean. I know it says dishwasher safe, but I just wash it in the sink because nothing ever gets dried on and attached to it.

Noise Demonstration:

Downsides during cooking

It may take a few days to get used to the temp/time button because you must change between them. I’m still guilty of pressing the wrong button now and then.

From just the numbers alone you can tell that there’s more than hype around this air fryer. At 83 percent, it has the best percentage of 5 star reviews compared to the other air fryers. That’s a total of 92, 367 happy consumers who have bought this product. After analysing over 2000 reviews that were rated 1 star (including picture and video evidence) I realised that a most of the models that they purchased has manufacturer defects like the handle coming broken. Others said their models stopped in the middle of the first use and this could be for a number of reasons including that the wrong voltage was used.

Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 Air Fryer

Specifications :

  • BrandInstant Pot
  • Material Stainless steel
  • Color Black/Stainless steel
  • Capacity  8 Quarts
  • Item Weight : 22.18 Pounds
  • Control Method : Touch

Check Price on Amazon

Because of their distinctive name and ability to shorten the cooking time of many dishes in half, Instant Pots have exploded in popularity. Nothing beats being able to eat your favorite slow-cooking meals in half the time as you would with traditional methods.

Chicken Legs

Testing the air fryer with chicken legs gave me a chance to try to pressure cooker function since legs take longer to cook. I pressure cooked them for 25 minutes to make sure they were thoroughly cooked and then air fried for another 15 minutes. They were great, evenly cooked and crisp.

Frozen fries

The manufacturer of the Instant Pot Duo Crisp gave no clear information about the amount of fries to be air fried at one time so I used my judgement. I didn’t want to overcrowd the basket and block air flow so I put just over 1 pound of fries in and used the recommended time of 10 minutes. The fries were perfectly crisp on the outside and tender to the bite. They were also evenly browned and tasted just like deep fried fries.

White sandwich bread 

I could only get a few slices of white sandwich bread in the basket because of it’s shape but they were toasted under 6 minutes. I would have liked them to be a little more evenly browned but they were crisp.

Vegetables (carrots, Zucchini, eggplant)

Vegetables were cooked perfectly and with only a drizzle of oil. They crisped up nicely and weren’t mushy, which I half expected for the zucchini and eggplant since they have such a high water content.

 

Key Performance Factors Analysis

Noise

The use of a pressure cooker is bound to create some noise. The hissing sound produced by the pressure cooker function is identical to that of a standard pressure cooker. The general level of noise is reasonable.

Control

features a wide range of options that, at first glance, can be intimidating, but are actually quite simple. There are buttons for the air fryer lid, the pressure cooker lid, and a combination of the two.

Cooking

This model sears better than older versions I‘ve tried and faster too. Unlike older models, I can easily release the pressure by pressing a button.

Cleaning

I cleaned with a moist cloth and mild dish soap, then removed the soap residue with a damp dish sponge. I was annoyed by the splatter on the lid, but I followed the manufacturer’s advice and sprayed baking soda and vinegar on it before wiping it clean.

Noise demonstration:

Downsides while cooking.

The air fryer is large so it takes up a lot of counter space and the hissing of the pressure cooker is loud. The air fryer basket holds a lot less than you expect from the overall size.

More than 200 of the 311 customers who gave a two-star review complained about the ceramic coating on the air fryer basket. Photos of severely chipped baskets were circulated.

The Duo Crisp is ranked second among sous vide devices and third among electric air fryers. I mean, Amazon has thousands of products in various categories, so the results are impressive. The following is a breakdown of the Amazon reviews:

84 percent of the ratings were 5 stars, indicating that 20,008 buyers adore this model. Customers praised the air fryer’s ease of use. Some even claimed that they couldn’t cook, but the air fryer worked flawlessly. The Instant Pot Duo Crisp has received a 4 out of 5 rating from 2889 customers. A few people complained about the scratched air fryer basket and the inadequate instructions. Others complained that the device was simply too large and difficult to store. The air fryer lid has a storage base that you must connect once it has cooled, which most reviewers found inconvenient. The reviews for the three-star ratings were nearly identical. All 819 buyers agreed that the Instant Pot brand was fantastic, but the air fryer was not. It is too heavy, difficult to store, and has too many moving parts to clean.

Instant Pot Vortex Plus 6-in-1 6-Quart Large Air Fryer Oven

Specifications :

  • Model NameVortex Plus
  • Brand Instant Pot
  • Capacity 6 Quarts
  • Color Stainless Steel
  • Voltage 120 Volts
  • Control Method : Touch

Check Price on Amazon

On Amazon, the Instant Vortex is rated number 6 in air fryers and number 3 in dehydrators. This unit is made by Instant Pot so I had big expectations.

 

Chicken legs

The Instant Vortex didn’t arrive with a recipe book in the package and the manual was hardly any help. I air fried the chicken wings for 35 minutes and they came out well. Not as good as the Cosori Air fryer but definitely evenly browned.

Frozen fries

This test turned out fairly well. The air fryer indicated that I should “turn food” halfway through and by the end the fries were crisp. A few showed that they were cooked thoroughly but just didn’t have a nice crisp. I’m happy that the air fryer stayed warm to the touch while cooking. Some air fryers have a tendency to overheat.

White sandwich bread

Thanks to the square basket, I was able to fit 4 slices of white sandwich bread easily. They came out crisp but did take longer than the Ninja Foodi and the Cosori to toast. Overall it was a good test for the bread.

Vegetables (carrots, Zucchini, eggplant)

Vegetables were perfectly done. The carrots seemed to dry out a little more than I liked but overall, the zuchini and eggplants were perfectly done.

Key Performance Factors Analysis

Noise

It’s small and compact so the noise level is not as high as larger air fryers. It really sounds like a hair dryer on low.

Control

The controls are nothing special on this unit. They are straightforward and easy to use.

Cooking

The touchscreen and dial are easy to operate, without any unnecessary complexity. When using the air fryer, you will receive notifications when the appliance is ready and when it is time to flip the food.

Cleaning

I cleaned the heating coil with a damp cloth and washed the basket by hand since it’s not dishwasher safe.

Noise demonstration: 

Downsides while cooking

The roasting and baking settings are limited to relatively particular products – don’t expect to bake a large variety of items here. Using the bake function on potatoes will have them crisp on the outside and tender in the centre but muffins will be far too crisp.

Because the Instant Vortex does not give any recipes, you will have to hunt for them online. They’ll offer you a general time and temperature guide, but that’ll be it. In fact, the bare-bones instructions are my primary gripe with this air fryer. It’s not user friendly. As a result, much of what you accomplish with this air fryer will have to be learned by trial and error.

A total of 84 percent of the global ratings were 5 stars. Many images of perfectly cooked food were uploaded as purchasers praised the Instant Vortex. Many reviews spoke about a solution to the burnt plastic smell that the air fryer emits on first use. Over 3000 of them agree that if you run the air fryer for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, it will get rid of the smell.

The 4 star reviews were much the same and most of those purchasers said their issues were fixed and they loved the air fryer. Of the 420 ratings that were 1 star, the majority of the complaints were about the plastic smell that they couldn’t get rid of after 6 or 7 cycles. Others said they ended up burning food in the air fryer because it got too hot, too fast. Only 420 ratings were 1 star reviews which means the majority of customers loved the air fryer.

Final Thoughts

Based on all the doctors I covered, I’ve decided that the winner of all these air fryers is the Cosori Air Fryer Max XL. The Cosori air fryer truly is as good as the reviews claim it to be. The air fryer is easy to use, great for stress-free cooking, and consistently produces delicious food, although the handle might become loose after some time and need to be tightened.

It offers 13 fine-tuned cooking settings that activate with a single touch, so there’s no need to battle with complicated cooking procedures. One of the best features of this fryer is that the inside basket is square rather than spherical, as with most others. This gives you more room to add ingredients and allows you to serve three to five people in one basket. And even if it gets really messy the non-stick coating makes it incredibly easy to clean. It aced all of the performance tests and is the most loved by Amazon shoppers.

Runner Up

The Gourmia Digital Air Fryer is, in my opinion, one of the best models available. It virtually always produces excellent air fried results and is also suitable for roasting and broiling. The computerized controls are especially useful, and clean-up is a breeze because the basket can be thrown in the dishwasher.

Lifting the air fryer cover can be difficult. The weight is obvious even if you only flip lids once or twice while cooking. This is also one of the more expensive models.

Also Great

The Ninja Foodi also performed well overall and has a 4.6 out of 5 rating on Amazon. The wide, colourful digital display was simple to operate and was divided into distinct parts for each function.

The slow cooker features a high and low setting, as well as 15-minute intervals for cooking. When the food is finished, the Ninja automatically changes to warm mode, and the timer displays how long it has been at that temperature. This is really great if you want to run some errands but still come back to warm food that is safe to eat.

Except for the pressure cooker lid, all removable elements are ceramic-coated, non-stick, and dishwasher safe. This aspect of the washing-up is a little problematic because the main unit and lids have weird gaps that are difficult to get into.

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