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Air Fryer

10 Best Air Fryers to Use in 2021: Find Your Perfect Kitchen Companion

Lucian L
Lucian L Gadgets

Air fryers have revolutionized the way we approach fried foods, offering a healthier alternative to traditional deep frying. By using rapid air technology, these compact appliances simulate the frying process without submerging foods in oil, drastically reducing the fat content of the final dish. This innovative cooking method has made it possible to enjoy the crispy texture and savory flavor of fried foods with reduced calories and potentially less harmful effects on health.

When shopping for an air fryer, it’s important to consider several key factors to find the right fit for your kitchen. Size and capacity are crucial, as they determine how much food you can cook at once, making it important for accommodating family meals or entertaining guests. Features and controls also vary, with some models offering basic settings while others boast advanced functions like pre-programmed cooking modes, digital displays, and smart connectivity. The build quality and ease of cleaning are further considerations, given that durable materials and non-stick surfaces will contribute to the longevity and maintenance of the appliance.

Our meticulous research and testing have pinpointed the top ten air fryers of 2021, focusing on user-friendliness, cooking performance, and consistent results. We've taken the guesswork out of selecting the right model to fit various lifestyles and culinary needs. Whether you’re looking for a compact option for quick meals or a larger unit capable of preparing food for a crowd, our findings aim to guide you to an informed decision.

Top 10 Air Fryers for Your Kitchen in 2021

With the ever-growing trend of healthier cooking methods, air fryers have become a kitchen staple for those looking to indulge in their favorite fried foods with less oil and fewer calories. We've researched and tested a variety of models to help you find the perfect addition to your cooking arsenal. Our selection prioritizes ease of use, consistent results, and cleaning convenience, ensuring you can enjoy a wide range of crispy delicacies effortlessly. Here are our picks for the best air fryers of 2021.

Instant Vortex Plus

We think you'll love the Instant Vortex Plus for its EvenCrisp Technology and versatile cooking options, making meal prep both easy and healthier.


  • Crisp and even cooking results
  • Variety of functions from baking to rotisserie
  • Intuitive one-touch smart programs


  • Preheating can be inconsistent
  • Larger footprint on the counter
  • Door and accessories require careful cleaning

Ever since we started using the Instant Vortex Plus, we've noticed a significant decrease in our oil usage without compromising on the crispy texture of our foods. The EvenCrisp Technology really does what it promises, giving every bite that satisfying crunch. Cooking has never been so effortless, especially with the one-touch smart programs, which allow us to prepare a rotisserie chicken or vegetable sides at the push of a button. It's like having a sous-chef right in our kitchen.

Despite all its advantages, we have occasionally run into some preheating issues, where it does not always get up to speed as quickly as we'd like. While it can handle a feast, keep in mind it does take up its fair share of counter space. However, the breadth of its culinary capabilities does help to justify its presence.

Cleanup is a part of any cooking process, and with the Vortex Plus, even though the oven door and provided accessories are designed for easy cleaning, they do require some attention to maintain. On the bright side, it's pretty straightforward, and the non-stick surfaces mean less scrubbing for us.

In our collective experience, this air fryer is a game-changer, encouraging us to try out new recipes and enabling us to eat healthier without saying goodbye to our favorite fried delights.

Instant Vortex Pro 10QT

We think the Instant Vortex Pro is a versatile choice for families looking to cook healthier meals quickly and with ease.


  • Multifunctional with 9-in-1 capabilities
  • User-friendly with customizable one-touch smart programs
  • Easy to clean with dishwasher safe parts


  • Larger footprint may not suit small kitchens
  • May require some trial and error for perfect results
  • Pre-set programs can limit manual control

Having recently taken the Instant Vortex Pro for a test run, I'm quite impressed with its multifunctionality. It’s replaced several of our kitchen gadgets without skipping a beat. The ease of tossing in some vegetables and getting them crisped to perfection is simply unmatched. And if you’re like us, always forgetting to preheat, you’ll appreciate its fast preheating feature.

The thing that stood out to us was the EvenCrisp technology. Making a batch of homemade fries resulted in a finished product that was golden and crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside, which is often promised but rarely delivered by kitchen appliances. The rotisserie feature is a showstopper, allowing us to cook a chicken that rivals our traditional oven-roasted ones.

Cleaning up is a breeze. I personally dread kitchen cleanup, but the dishwasher-safe accessories and the non-stick surfaces made it easy. However, due to its size, it does take up a considerable amount of counter space, so those with smaller kitchens might find it cumbersome.

Overall, the benefits of the Instant Vortex Pro far outweigh its downsides, particularly for those looking to simplify meal preparation with a single appliance. It's clear this air fryer will be a workhorse in our kitchen.

Paula Deen's Family-Sized Air Fryer

Based on our experience, this Paula Deen Air Fryer is a solid choice for large families who prioritize healthy cooking and easy cleaning.


  • Ample space for family-sized meals
  • Versatile cooking options with user-friendly presets
  • Non-stick ceramic coating ensures swift clean-up


  • Occupies considerable counter space
  • May require a learning curve for optimally using presets
  • Slightly heavier than smaller models, so it's less portable

Cooking with the Paula Deen 10 QT Digital Air Fryer makes meal prep feel like a breeze. Its spacious basket easily accommodates a whole chicken or enough fries to satisfy a hungry family. The touch screen control panel is intuitive; we jumped right into trying various presets without fuss. Whether it was crispy chicken wings or delicate fish fillets, the results were consistently delightful—crisp exteriors and moist interiors, just how we like them.

One of the key attractions of this air fryer is its health factor. Using minimal oil, we whipped up meals with significantly less fat. Our homemade pizza came out with a perfectly golden crust, and the veggies retained their natural taste and crunch. It's reassuring to prepare foods we love with reduced calories without giving up on the taste.

When it came to cleaning, the ceramic-coated basket made us forget about the scrubbing nightmares associated with traditional fryers. A simple wipe-down after cooling was sufficient, saving us precious time after dinner. However, we did have to make some space for it on our kitchen counter, but its stylish stainless-steel finish ensured it didn't look out of place. Despite its size and weight, which hindered moving it around, the benefits it brought to our kitchen routine far outweighed these minor inconveniences.

West Bend Dual Basket Air Fryer

If you're seeking a versatile and efficient air fryer for large family meals, this West Bend model is a solid pick.


  • Accommodates a range of cooking needs with 15 presets
  • Dual basket design enables cooking different foods simultaneously
  • Nonstick coating ensures easy cleanup


  • Learning curve due to comprehensive features
  • Plastic construction may concern some users
  • Manual not included, which can be a hassle for some

Our recent culinary endeavors introduced us to the West Bend Dual Basket Air Fryer, a capable kitchen companion that left us quite impressed by its expansive 10-quart capacity. The dual baskets opened up new avenues for preparing a varied meal in one go – quite the timesaver. The presets made choosing the right settings almost effortless, and we experienced a noticeable difference in the taste and texture of our dishes.

We especially cherished the freedom to set different temperatures for each basket, making it a breeze to synchronize the completion of both dishes. Its ergonomic handles were a boon for safety and convenience, minimizing the dance of hot pots and pans on the countertops. We found meals came out consistently crispy and well-cooked, reaffirming the air fryer's dependable performance.

One thing to note was the initial challenge we faced in navigating the sheer number of cooking options available. We dearly missed a detailed manual, which would have smoothed out the learning process. That said, once we got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing. The plastic body might raise durability questions over time, yet, it did not compromise our cooking results.

In conclusion, the West Bend Dual Basket Air Fryer proved to be a formidable ally in the kitchen, offering functionality and ease of use once acquainted with its features. Whether it was crispy fries or a succulent roast, our results were consistently delightful, easily overshadowing the minor drawbacks we encountered.

Chefman TurboFry Touch

We believe this Chefman air fryer is a top pick for those seeking to create healthier meals without sacrificing the delectable crunch and flavor of fried foods.


  • Dual basket setup allows for versatile cooking of multiple items at once.
  • Intuitive one-touch digital controls simplify the cooking process.
  • Nonstick baskets and dishwasher-safe accessories make cleanup a breeze.


  • Size may be cumbersome for smaller kitchens.
  • Some users report longer cooking times than expected.
  • Exterior can accumulate fingerprints and smudges, requiring regular maintenance.

Our recent use of the Chefman TurboFry Touch Dual Air Fryer has significantly streamlined our meal prep routine. The dual-basket design lets us cook our main and side simultaneously, saving us precious time, especially during those hectic weeknights. We've been able to indulge in crispy, golden fries and juicy chicken wings with less oil, feeling better about these healthier choices.

Swapping from the kitchen to cleaning up is just as simple. We're saved from the dreaded after-dinner tidying since the baskets pop right out and slide seamlessly into the dishwasher. The smooth exterior, while attractive, does entail a quick wipe now and then to keep it looking pristine on our countertop.

Yet, even with the convenience, there have been occasions when we've had to adjust cooking times to ensure that our meals are cooked thoroughly. While not a major issue, it does necessitate a little trial and error to get the perfect finish. Despite this, the benefits of the Chefman TurboFry have been undeniable, and our experience has cemented its position as a reliable kitchen companion.

Dreo Pro Max Air Fryer

We think this Dreo Air Fryer Pro Max is a smart buy for those aiming for efficiency and versatility in their cooking routine.


  • Reduces cooking time considerably
  • Multiple cooking modes and presets for versatility
  • Convenient transparent window to monitor food


  • Cord management could be better
  • Nonstick coating may not be durable long-term
  • Some may find it too large for smaller kitchens

From the moment we unboxed the Dreo Pro Max Air Fryer, the potential to cut down on cooking time was apparent. Heating up quickly and evenly, the snacks we whipped up came out delightfully crispy on the outside while staying juicy inside. Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are ready in a jiffy, something anyone with a tight schedule can appreciate.

The appliance's all-in-one functionality shone through when we decided to test its abilities beyond mere frying. Whether it was roasting chicken or whipping up some yogurt, the variety of temperature settings and modes made this air fryer a true powerhouse. Transitioning between cooking tasks with ease, the need for multiple kitchen gadgets has been eliminated.

Watching our food cook through the transparent viewing window felt like a treat rather than a necessity. However, when it was time to clean up and put everything away, we noticed the power cord could use a wrap-around feature. Furthermore, after several uses, there were some early signs of wear on the nonstick tray, a fact worth considering for heavy users. While the air fryer's size was perfect for feeding our entire family, those with more compact kitchen spaces might find it a bit cumbersome.

Ultrean Large Air Fryer

If you're seeking a kitchen companion that caters to healthier cooking for a large group, the Ultrean Large Air Fryer stands out as a wise investment with its ample capacity and versatile functions.


  • Accommodates large meals, ideal for family gatherings
  • Cooks with significantly less oil for healthier meals
  • Offers preset options for various foods, simplifying the cooking process


  • Takes up sizable counter space due to its capacity
  • May require some trial and error to perfect certain recipes
  • The initial cost could be a consideration for budget-conscious buyers

Having recently used the Ultrean Large Air Fryer, I'm impressed by its generous 9-quart capacity, which easily handles a whole chicken or large batches of fries. Its ability to cook with much less oil without compromising on the flavor or texture of the food is a definite plus, making mealtime both delicious and nutritious.

The convenience of preset options makes it a breeze to select the perfect cooking mode for chicken, steak, or fish. Adjusting temperatures and times is just as straightforward, meaning I can tailor the settings to whatever recipe I'm trying out, from crispy shrimp to baked goods.

Despite its bulky size, the sleek LCD panel enhanced the look of my kitchen. Cleaning the nonstick basket post-cooking was no hassle at all. While it's on the pricier side, the time saved and the quality of food it produces make the Ultrean Large Air Fryer an appealing choice for those who value efficiency and healthful eating.

Nuwave 8-Quart Brio

If you're seeking a dependable air fryer with smart features, the Nuwave Brio is a strong contender that won't disappoint.


  • Intuitive digital controls for on-the-fly adjustments
  • Easy cleanup with dishwasher-safe components
  • Integrated digital temperature probe for perfect cooking results


  • May be too large for small kitchen spaces
  • A learning curve for fully utilizing all pre-programmed presets
  • Outer surfaces can get very hot during use

Having spent ample time with the Nuwave Brio, we've found its ability to crispen up a batch of fries or roast a chicken to perfection rather splendid. There's no second-guessing if the food's cooked right, thanks to the integrated temperature probe that halts cooking at the ideal temp.

The ease of tossing components into the dishwasher post-meal makes cleanup a breeze. We no longer dread the after-dinner mess, knowing every bit can be de-greased and ready for another round without hassle.

The variety of presets is like having a personal chef guide us through just about any recipe, though it has taken us a bit to master them. Whether we're in the mood for juicy steak or dehydrated fruit snacks, we've got it covered, all with a few button presses on the Brio's user-friendly interface.

COSORI Smart Oven

Our experience with the COSORI Smart Oven confirms its place as a powerhouse in the kitchen, adept at crafting meals that taste just as good as they look.


  • Multi-functionality with 14 cooking presets
  • User-friendly smart control features
  • Easy cleaning due to dishwasher-safe accessories


  • Bulkier on the countertop due to its size
  • Initial odor during the test run
  • Touch-sensitive buttons can be finicky

The moment we unboxed the COSORI Smart Oven, we could tell that it meant business. The heft and build quality conveyed a sense of durability, and the matte black finish gave it a sleek, modern edge suitable for any countertop.

When we set it up, we were impressed by the intuitive interface—preparing our favorite meals was a breeze with the smart presets. The app's connectivity added a layer of convenience we didn't know we needed, allowing us to adjust settings on-the-go and receive notifications when our meals were ready.

The 10-quart capacity managed to serve our entire group without any issues. Air frying a batch of fries resulted in a crispy, golden brown texture, rivaling traditional fried foods but with significantly less oil. The included accessory kit broadened our meal possibilities and the nonstick surfaces made cleanup almost effortless.

However, it's not without its quirks. The touch buttons demanded a firm press, occasionally testing our patience. Also, during the initial test run, we noticed a fleeting odor, which is expected with most new appliances and dissipated after a few uses.

In all, the COSORI Smart Oven holds its own, marrying functionality with convenience. Whether we were roasting vegetables or dehydrating fruit, it delivered consistent and satisfying results. For anyone looking to streamline their cooking process without sacrificing quality, it's an investment that's hard to overlook.

HotKing 20 QT Airfryer

We find that the HotKing 20 QT Airfryer would make a fine addition to any kitchen looking for a do-it-all appliance suitable for large families and varied cooking preferences.


  • Versatile cooking options with the 10-in-1 functionality
  • Generous capacity suitable for large meals
  • User-friendly with simple touch controls and easy cleaning


  • May be too large for smaller kitchens
  • Can be a bit noisy during operation
  • Some users reported malfunction after a few months

Upon first use, it's immediately clear that this air fryer is user-friendly and versatile. The 10 preset options take the guesswork out of cooking times for different dishes, and the touch control panel is quite intuitive. We were able to get it up and running without any hassle—prepping a crispy yet juicy chicken in no time.

Despite its large size, the HotKing Airfryer doesn't disappoint when it comes to performance. It's like having a capable sous chef on the counter. The capacity is perfect for family gatherings, handling multiple dishes effortlessly. We've roasted a whole chicken to golden perfection and baked pizzas that came out with a deliciously crispy crust.

Cleaning up is often a dreaded task after cooking, but this machine simplifies that with dishwasher-safe parts. We appreciate the convenience of chucking the stainless steel accessories in the dishwasher, saving precious time post-dinner.

All things considered, the HotKing Airfryer impresses with its 10-in-1 functions and substantial capacity. It caters to a range of culinary needs while being straightforward to operate and clean. However, for smaller spaces, its size could pose a challenge. We've heard some concerns about durability, but with proper care and attentive use, it's been a reliable asset in our cooking arsenal.

Buying Guide

In selecting the best air fryer for your needs, we recommend considering several key features. Our guide will focus on these factors to ensure you make an informed decision.


  • Small (1-2 people): Typically 1-3 quarts
  • Medium (3-4 people): Range from 3.5 to 5 quarts
  • Large (5+ people): 5 quarts and above

Power Consumption

A vital aspect to note is wattage:

  • Lower Wattage: Can be slower and less powerful (800W to 1100W)
  • Higher Wattage: Faster and more efficient cooking (1300W to 1700W+)

Temperature Range

Opt for a model offering a wide temperature range:

  • Low-Temperature Cooking: Around 100°F - good for dehydrating.
  • High-Temperature Cooking: Up to 400°F or higher - ideal for crispy textures.

Features and Functions

  • Preset Programs: Look for air fryers with preset cooking modes for ease of use.
  • Manual Controls: Can offer more precision for experienced users.
  • Additional Features: Such as auto-shutoff, timers, and digital interfaces may enhance convenience.

Ease of Cleaning

Check if parts are:

  • Dishwasher Safe: Aids in easy clean-up.
  • Non-Stick Surfaces: Help reduce the need for rigorous scrubbing.

Design and Footprint

Consider your kitchen space:

  • Compact Design: Better for smaller kitchens.
  • Larger Footprints: May offer more capacity but will take up more counter space.

By focusing on these key features, we position ourselves to select an air fryer that not only meets our culinary needs but also fits seamlessly into our lifestyle and kitchen. Remember to compare these factors across different models to find the optimal choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we address some of the most common inquiries about air fryers, covering everything from essential features to maintenance advice.

What are the key features to look for in a high-quality air fryer?

When choosing an air fryer, we recommend looking for a model with a range of temperature settings, a timer, and a sizeable basket capacity that fits your needs. A non-stick surface and presets for common foods can also enhance the user experience.

How do air fryers differ from convection ovens and toaster ovens?

Air fryers use rapid air technology to circulate hot air around the food at high speed, resulting in a crispy layer similar to frying. They are generally smaller and heat up quicker than convection ovens and toaster ovens, making them ideal for single-layer cooking and smaller portions.

Can you recommend some versatile recipes that work particularly well in air fryers?

We find that recipes such as crispy French fries, chicken wings, roasted vegetables, and even baked goods like muffins adapt well to air fryers due to their ability to evenly cook and crisp food with minimal oil.

What are the benefits of using an air fryer over traditional frying methods?

Using an air fryer can significantly reduce the amount of oil needed to achieve a fried texture, making it a healthier option. It also minimizes kitchen mess and reduces cooking odors compared to traditional frying.

How does the performance of top air fryer brands compare according to consumer reports?

Consumer reports often highlight that top air fryer brands offer excellent performance in terms of cooking speed, evenness of cooking, and ease of use. Philips, Ninja, and Cosori are frequently praised for their reliable and efficient air fryer models.

What maintenance and cleaning tips should one follow to ensure the longevity of an air fryer?

For maintenance, we suggest regularly wiping down the exterior with a damp cloth and checking the heating element for oil residue. The basket and pan should be cleaned after each use, preferably with warm soapy water, to prevent build-up and ensure the unit operates efficiently.