How to Choose the Best Airfryer

How do you choose the best airfryer in 2024? What properties and features should the best airfryer have to suit your needs? Read our guide and make an informed choice.

How to Choose the Best Airfryer

In today’s fast-paced world, convenience and health often seem to be at odds, especially when it comes to food. Enter the airfryer—a revolutionary kitchen appliance that promises to transform your cooking experience by offering a healthier, quicker, and more versatile way to prepare meals. But with a myriad of options flooding the market, how do you choose the one that’s perfect for you?

This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the process of selecting the best airfryer for your needs. From understanding the basic mechanics and types of airfryers to exploring the nuances of special features, cooking functions, and safety measures, we’ll cover everything you need to know. We’ll also delve into the often-overlooked aspects of ease of cleaning and energy efficiency, and why they matter.

Whether you’re a culinary novice looking for a simple and effective way to start cooking or a seasoned chef eager to expand your culinary repertoire, this article will provide you with the insights you need to make an informed decision. So let’s embark on this culinary journey and find the airfryer that will elevate your cooking to new heights.

Understanding the Basics of Airfryers

When it comes to understanding the basics of airfryers, it’s crucial to grasp how they differ from traditional cooking methods and what sets them apart from other kitchen appliances.

At its core, an airfryer is a countertop appliance that uses hot air circulation to cook food. However, there’s more to it than just hot air. Let’s explore the fundamental components and elements that make airfryers a unique and versatile cooking tool.

The Science Behind Airfrying

Airfryers operate on the principle of convection cooking. A fan circulates hot air around the food, creating a crispy outer layer while keeping the inside moist.

This method allows for a speedy cooking process, often cutting down the cooking time by up to 50% compared to conventional ovens. Moreover, because it uses hot air instead of oil, the food turns out to be much healthier, with fewer calories and less fat.

The Key Components

Airfryer basket with springrolls cooked to perfectionAn airfryer typically consists of a few essential parts: the cooking basket, the heating element, and the fan. The cooking basket holds the food and is usually removable for easy cleaning.

The heating element generates the heat, while the fan circulates the hot air. Some models come with additional accessories like grill racks or skewers, enhancing their versatility.

Temperature and Time Controls

Most airfryers come with adjustable temperature settings, usually ranging from around 180 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or approximately 80 to 200 degrees Celsius). This wide range allows you to cook a variety of foods, from delicate pastries to hearty meats.

The time control is another crucial feature, enabling you to set the cooking duration to achieve the desired results.

Safety Features

Safety is a paramount concern when dealing with hot appliances. Many airfryers come equipped with safety features like auto-shutoff, which turns off the appliance when the cooking time is up, and cool-touch exteriors to prevent accidental burns. S

ome even have overheat protection, which shuts off the appliance if it gets too hot.

Energy Efficiency

Airfryers are generally more energy-efficient than traditional ovens. They heat up quickly and maintain a consistent temperature, reducing the overall cooking time and, consequently, energy consumption. This efficiency not only saves you time but also contributes to lower electricity bills.

By understanding these basic elements and features, you’ll be better equipped to choose an airfryer that suits your needs and lifestyle. Whether you’re interested in quick and healthy meals or looking for an appliance that offers a range of cooking options, an airfryer can be a valuable addition to your kitchen.

The Best Airfryer: What to Look For

Choosing the right airfryer can be a daunting task, especially with the plethora of options available in the market.

Types of Airfryers

When it comes to airfryers, one size doesn’t fit all. The market is flooded with various types, each offering unique features and benefits. Understanding the different types can help you make a more informed decision tailored to your specific needs.

Classic Airfryers

These are the original models that most people are familiar with. They come with a removable basket where you place the food for cooking. Classic airfryers are straightforward to use and generally more affordable, making them a good fit for those new to air frying or those who prefer simplicity.

Airfryer Ovens

These models resemble mini ovens and often come with additional cooking functions like baking, roasting, and even dehydrating. They usually have more extensive cooking space and may include multiple racks or trays, allowing you to cook different foods simultaneously. If you’re looking for a multi-functional appliance, an airfryer oven could be the right choice.

Dual-Basket Airfryers

These airfryers come with two separate cooking compartments, enabling you to cook two different foods at the same time. This feature is particularly useful for preparing complete meals more quickly and efficiently. However, they do tend to take up more counter space.

Airfryer Toaster Ovens

A hybrid between a toaster oven and an airfryer, these models offer the best of both worlds. They can toast, bake, and air fry, providing a versatile cooking experience. They are usually larger and can be a good option if you’re looking to replace multiple appliances.

Instant Pot with Airfryer Lid

If you already own an Instant Pot, you can buy an airfryer lid to convert it into an airfryer. This is a space-saving option that adds air frying capabilities to your existing pressure cooker.

Examining Size and Capacity: What to Consider

The size and capacity of an airfryer are crucial factors that can significantly impact your cooking experience. Here’s what you need to consider:

Countertop Space

Before buying an airfryer, measure the available space on your kitchen countertop.

White airfryer on kitchen countertop with pancakes and ingredientsLarger models like airfryer ovens and dual-basket airfryers will require more room.

Cooking Volume

The capacity of the airfryer’s basket or cooking compartment is measured in litres or quarts.

Smaller models may have a capacity as low as 2 litres, suitable for one or two people.

Medium-sized airfryers often have a capacity of around 4 to 5 litres, ideal for a family of four.

Larger models can go up to 12 litres, suitable for larger families or batch cooking.

Number of People

If you’re cooking for just yourself or another person, a smaller model may suffice. For families, a medium to large airfryer is generally more practical. Consider the amount of food you’ll typically be cooking to determine the best size for your needs.

Cooking Speed

Larger airfryers may take slightly longer to cook food due to the increased volume. However, models with higher wattage can cook faster. If speed is a priority, look for an airfryer with a higher wattage and advanced airflow technology.

By understanding the different types of airfryers and considering the size and capacity that best suit your needs, you’ll be well on your way to making a purchase that brings convenience, versatility, and health benefits to your cooking routine.

Cooking Functions, Temperature, and Time Controls in Airfryers

When it comes to airfryers, the devil is in the details—or rather, in the cooking functions, temperature, and time controls.

These features can significantly impact your cooking experience, and understanding them can help you make a more informed choice.

Let’s delve deeper into these aspects.

Cooking Functions: More Than Just Frying

Airfryers have evolved to become multi-functional appliances, offering a range of cooking methods beyond just frying. Here’s a breakdown of some common cooking functions you might encounter:

  • Air Frying: The primary function, ideal for cooking foods like fries, chicken wings, and fish sticks to crispy perfection.
  • Grilling: Some models come with grill plates or accessories that allow you to grill meats and vegetables, adding a smoky flavor and grill marks.
  • Roasting: Ideal for cooking larger pieces of meat or whole vegetables, roasting in an airfryer can be quicker and more energy-efficient than using a conventional oven.
  • Baking: Yes, you can bake in an airfryer! From cupcakes to small batches of cookies, some airfryers come with a baking function and accessories like cake pans.
  • Dehydrating: A feature usually found in high-end models, dehydrating allows you to make homemade dried fruits, jerky, and herbs.
  • Reheating: Some airfryers offer a reheating function that revives leftover food better than a microwave, restoring its original texture.

Temperature Controls: Precision Matters

The ability to control the cooking temperature is crucial for achieving the desired results. Here’s why temperature controls are important:

  • Wide Range: Most airfryers offer a temperature range from around 180 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 80 to 200 degrees Celsius). A wider range provides more versatility in cooking different types of food.
  • Digital vs. Manual: While manual dials offer a more tactile experience, digital controls provide more precise temperature settings. Some high-end models even allow you to adjust the temperature in 5-degree increments.
  • Pre-Set Options: Many airfryers come with pre-set temperature options for common foods, taking the guesswork out of cooking.

Time Controls: Timing is Everything

Just like temperature, the ability to control cooking time is vital for perfecting your dishes. Here’s what to look for:

  • Adjustable Timer: Most airfryers come with a timer that can be set for up to 60 minutes, although some models offer extended times for slow-cooking recipes.
  • Auto-Shutoff: This safety feature automatically turns off the airfryer when the set time has elapsed, preventing overcooking and potential fire hazards.
  • Delay Start: Some advanced models offer a delay start feature, allowing you to set the airfryer to start cooking at a later time.
  • Keep Warm: A convenient feature that keeps your food warm after cooking, ideal for those times when you’re not quite ready to eat.

By understanding the intricacies of cooking functions, temperature, and time controls, you can select an airfryer that offers the flexibility and precision you need to master a wide array of culinary delights. Whether you’re a novice cook or a seasoned chef, these features can make your cooking experience more enjoyable and efficient.

Special Features of Airfryers

In today’s tech-savvy world, airfryers are no longer just about hot air and a cooking basket.

Airfryer french fries perfectly cookedMany models come packed with special features that not only make your cooking experience more convenient but also elevate it to a whole new level. Let’s delve into some of these advanced functionalities that you might find beneficial.

Digital Touchscreen Interface

While traditional airfryers come with manual dials for time and temperature settings, many modern models feature a digital touchscreen interface. This allows for more precise control over cooking conditions and often includes pre-set cooking options for popular foods like fries, chicken, and fish.

Mobile App Connectivity

Some high-end airfryers offer the ability to connect to a mobile app via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This feature allows you to control your airfryer remotely, receive notifications when your food is ready, and even access a library of recipes tailored for air frying.

Pre-Set Cooking Programs

Many airfryers come with pre-set cooking programs that take the guesswork out of preparing certain dishes. For instance, you can select a ‘Chicken’ or ‘Fish’ option, and the airfryer will automatically adjust the time and temperature based on that specific food.

Multiple Cooking Functions

Apart from air frying, some models offer additional cooking methods like grilling, roasting, baking, and even dehydrating. These multi-functional airfryers are excellent for those who want to experiment with different cooking styles without investing in multiple appliances.

Viewing Window

A viewing window can be a handy feature, especially for those new to air frying. It allows you to monitor the cooking process without opening the appliance, thus maintaining a consistent temperature and cooking time.

Auto-Shutoff and Timer

Safety is paramount, and the auto-shutoff feature ensures that the airfryer turns off once the cooking time has elapsed. This is particularly useful for those who are often multi-tasking and might forget to switch off the appliance. Some models also come with a timer that can be set for extended periods, useful for recipes that require longer cooking times.

Food Agitator

Some airfryers come with a built-in food agitator that automatically stirs the food during the cooking process. This ensures even cooking and eliminates the need to manually shake the basket, particularly useful for foods like fries or vegetable chunks.

Non-Stick and Dishwasher-Safe Components

Ease of cleaning is a significant factor for many people. Airfryers with non-stick baskets and dishwasher-safe components make the cleaning process much more straightforward, saving you time and effort.

Voice Control and Smart Home Integration

In the age of smart homes, some airfryers can be integrated with voice-controlled assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. This allows you to control the appliance using voice commands, adding an extra layer of convenience.

By considering these special features, you can choose an airfryer that not only meets your basic cooking needs but also offers additional conveniences that align with your lifestyle. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast looking for the latest innovations or someone who values safety and ease of use, there’s likely an airfryer out there with features designed just for you.

Ease of Cleaning: A Hassle-Free Experience

Nobody enjoys spending ages scrubbing kitchen appliances. That’s why ease of cleaning is a vital factor to consider when choosing an airfryer. Here are some features that can make your life easier:

  • Removable Parts: Look for an airfryer with removable cooking baskets, trays, and racks. This makes it easier to clean each component thoroughly.
  • Non-Stick Coating: A non-stick surface on the cooking basket or tray can be a game-changer. It not only makes for easier food release but also simplifies the cleaning process.
  • Dishwasher-Safe Components: Some airfryers come with parts that are dishwasher-safe. This feature can save you a lot of time and effort, especially if you use your airfryer frequently.
  • Easy-to-Wipe Exterior: An airfryer with a smooth exterior that’s easy to wipe down can help maintain the appliance’s appearance over time.
  • Built-in Oil Collector: Some models come with a built-in oil collector that gathers excess oil during cooking. This feature makes it easier to dispose of the oil and keeps the appliance cleaner.

Energy Efficiency: Good for Your Wallet and the Planet

Airfryers are generally more energy-efficient than traditional ovens, but there are still variations between models. Here’s what to consider:

  • Wattage: Airfryers typically range from 800 to 2100 watts. Higher wattage usually means faster cooking, but it can also mean higher energy consumption. Choose a model that offers a good balance between cooking speed and energy use.
  • Quick Preheating: One of the advantages of airfryers is their quick preheating time, usually around 2-5 minutes. This not only speeds up your cooking but also saves energy compared to traditional ovens that can take up to 15 minutes to preheat.
  • Auto-Shutoff: This feature not only adds a layer of safety but also contributes to energy efficiency by turning off the appliance as soon as the cooking is done.
  • Insulated Body: Some high-end airfryers come with an insulated body that retains heat better, reducing the amount of energy needed to maintain cooking temperatures.
  • Energy Star Rating: While not common for all airfryers, some models may come with an Energy Star rating, indicating that they meet energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Safety Features: More Than Just a Cooking Tool

When it comes to kitchen appliances, safety should never be an afterthought. Airfryers, with their high temperatures and electrical components, are no exception.

Digital controls smart airfryerOne of the most common safety features in modern airfryers is the auto-shutoff function. This ensures that the appliance automatically turns off once the cooking time has elapsed, preventing overcooking and reducing the risk of fire hazards.

Another safety feature to consider is the cool-touch exterior. This is especially important in households with children or pets, where accidental touches can lead to burns. Some airfryers also come with overheat protection, which automatically shuts off the appliance if it gets too hot, providing an extra layer of safety.

Price and Budget: Balancing Cost and Features

Price is often a decisive factor when choosing an airfryer, but it’s important to balance cost with features. Airfryers come in a wide range of prices, from budget-friendly models that cost around $50 to high-end versions that can go up to $300 or more. While it’s tempting to opt for the cheapest model, it’s crucial to consider what you’re getting for the price.

Budget models often offer basic features and may lack the durability and versatility of more expensive ones. On the other hand, high-end models usually come with additional features like digital displays, mobile app connectivity, and multiple cooking functions. If you’re planning to use your airfryer frequently or for various cooking methods, investing in a more expensive model may offer better value in the long run.

Reviews: The Voice of Experience

Last but not least, never underestimate the power of customer reviews. Reviews can provide valuable insights into the performance, durability, and ease of use of an airfryer. They can also highlight any common issues or drawbacks that may not be immediately apparent from the product description.

While brand reputation can give you some indication of quality, reviews offer real-world experiences from people who have actually used the product. Look for reviews that cover a range of experiences and focus on aspects that are important to you, such as ease of cleaning, cooking speed, and the quality of the food produced.

By taking the time to read reviews, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of how an airfryer performs, helping you make a more informed decision. It’s always better to spend a little extra time researching than to rush into a purchase you might later regret.

Conclusion

Choosing the perfect airfryer is more than just a shopping decision; it’s an investment in your culinary journey. From understanding the basics and types of airfryers to diving into the nitty-gritty of special features, cooking functions, and safety measures, each aspect plays a crucial role in shaping your cooking experience.

In the end, the best airfryer for you is one that aligns with your cooking needs, lifestyle, and budget. Whether you’re a college student looking for a healthier way to prepare meals, a busy parent in need of quick and easy dinner solutions, or a culinary enthusiast eager to experiment, there’s an airfryer out there that’s just right for you.

So take your time, do your research, and make a choice that you’ll be happy with for years to come. Happy cooking!

Recommended Airfryers

Taking into account the advice above, analysing buyer opinions, and the available offerings, we recommend the following models of Airfryers that offer excellent value for money.

Recommended Product No. 1
Ninja Foodi MAX Dual Zone Digital Air Fryer, 2 Drawers, 9.5L, 6-in-1, Uses No Oil, Max Crisp, Roast,...
  • ENERGY-SAVING: Save up to 65% on your energy bill* (*testing and calculations based on recommended cook time for sausages, using air fry function versus conventional ovens).
  • 2 INDEPENDENT COOKING ZONES: Cook 2 foods, 2 ways, both ready at the same time. Use different functions, times and temps in each drawer to create complete meals in one appliance, or cater to 2 tastes.
  • 6 COOKING FUNCTIONS: Max Crisp, Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate. Cook from frozen to crispy. Up to 75% less fat* using the Air Fry function (*Tested against deep fried, hand-cut French fries).
SaleRecommended Product No. 2
9L Dual Air Fryer with Visual Window, XL Capacity, 2 Drawers, 9-In-1 Cooking Presets, Touch Screen,...
  • 🍕🍕【Smart Touch Control, Convenient Visual Window】The dual air fryer features a sensitive LED display that is simple to operate and easy to set and control. Super-large visual windows with light allow you to monitor the status of food inside to avoid undercooking or overcooking. Tips: Press the match button to share the program after setting one basket
  • 🍗🍗【9 Litre Capacity, Dual Baskets】9L super-large double air fryer oven consists of dual frying baskets(the max capacity of each: 4.5L), each of which could work independently or together to cook different ingredients. The sync finish function makes it possible to get two baskets ready simultaneously, sharing healthy, tasty fried foods with the whole family
  • 🥦🥦【9 Cooking Presets for Various Food Types】Deal with different food types with varying cooking modes, choosing from fish, fries, bacon, bake, chicken-leg, steak, vegetable, shrimp, to chicken. With an intelligent shake reminder, the dual air fryer will alert you when it’s time to flip food, thus, both sides get cooked properly to serve your family tasty food only
Recommended Product No. 3
Russell Hobbs 4L Rapid Digital Air Fryer [7 Cooking Functions |10 Programs] Energy Saving, Max temp...
  • 10 Pre-Set Food Programmes You can select specific programmes for different food types: French fries, eggs, chicken, vegetable, air fry, bake, grill, dehydrate, frozen, reheat.
  • 4 Litre Capacity The SatisFry Air Medium has a generous 4L capacity, which is large enough to hold a maximum 800g capacity of chips. 500g is recommended for best browning results.
  • Air Fry Technology Air Fry technology circulates super-heated air with temperatures up to 220 °C.
SaleRecommended Product No. 4
Tefal Easy Fry Dual Zone Digital Air Fryer, 2 Drawers, 8.3L, 8in1, Air Fry, Extra Crisp, Roast,...
2,632 Reviews
Tefal Easy Fry Dual Zone Digital Air Fryer, 2 Drawers, 8.3L, 8in1, Air Fry, Extra Crisp, Roast,...
  • 2 AIR FRYERS IN 1: With two different sized drawers (5.2L/3.1L), Easy Fry Dual Black with an airfryer plategives you a single and dual air fryer in one compact footprint. Heat the small drawer on its own (and save energy) or use both to cook two foods, two ways, at once!
  • SINGLES OR DOUBLES: The small drawer is perfect for single portions. Extra guests? Double up with the XL drawer – the combined 8.3L capacity feeds up to 8! Or cook a main and a side and SYNC the finish to ensure everything is ready at the same time.
  • COOK FASTER AND SAVE ENERGY: Get that crispy crunch and taste you love in less time. With the Easy Fry Dual air fryer you can prepare a wide variety of meals 40% faster than in a conventional oven, whilst saving up to 70% energy.40% faster cooking with less energy than a conventional oven, external test cooking 1000g of frozen French fries, compared to a Tefal convection oven. | Up to 70% energy saving with air fryers by Tefal vs conventional oven Energy Class A. Tests conducted in 2022 on frozen fries.
SaleRecommended Product No. 5
Tower T17088 Vortx 9L Dual Basket Air Fryer with Smart Finish, 2600W, Black
  • DUO BASKET TECHNOLOGY: Complete with two large 4.5L baskets, providing ultimate air frying versatility. Use one basket for smaller portion cooking or both baskets at the same time to cook full crispy and healthy, large enough to feed up to 8 people at once. The combined 9L capacity can feed up to 8 people at once
  • SMART FINISH FUNCTION WITH MATCH COOK: When cooking different foods with different cooking times in each basket, the Smart Finish function will finish cooking both baskets at the same time. The handy Match Cook button quickly sets both baskets to cook at the same temperature
  • 4 WAYS TO COOK WITH 10 PRE-SET MEAL TIME CLASSICS: So much more than just an Air Fryer! Air fry crispy, delicious heathy foods, roast succulent chicken, pork beef or lamb. Create cakes, tarts or pies with the Bake function or grill juicy steaks like a pro with the crisper grill plate. Choose from 10 one-touch pre-sets to take the guess work out of cooking
SaleRecommended Product No. 7
Tower T17021 Family Size Air Fryer with Rapid Air Circulation, 60-Minute Timer, 4.3L, 1500W, Black
  • VORTX AIR FRYING TECHNOLOGY: Exclusive to Tower Air Fryers, Vortx technology rapidly circulates hot air around food, cooking up to 30% faster than a conventional oven. Vortx also cooks food with little or no oil, making it much healthier, too! Lose the fat not the flavour with Vortx Air Frying Technology
  • SAVE UP TO 70% ON ENERGY: Cooking food 30% faster, Tower Air Fryers use less power than conventional ovens. Save up to 70% on your energy by simply switching to Air Fryer cooking with savings of £241 per year
  • MORE MEAL CHOICES: Fry, roast, grill and bake functions allow you to make a variety of meals such as stuffed vegetables, muffins, pork chops and more
SaleRecommended Product No. 8
Tefal Easy Fry Max Digital Air Fryer, 5L, 10in1, Uses No Oil, Air Fry, Extra Crisp, Roast, Bake,...
  • HEALTHY MEALS IN NO TIME: Discover Easy Fry Max, an essential air fryer that produces healthy and delicious meals in no time with little or no added oil
  • COOK FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY: The generous 5 L capacity serves up to 6 people—enough for even the hungriest of families and ideal for special occasions hosting guests
  • SAVES ENERGY: Tefal Easy Fry Max saves up to 70% more energy with 46% faster results* for easy home cooking (*external test, carried out on 800 g of french fries, compared to a Tefal convection oven)

Last update on 2024-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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