The 5 Best Air Fryers to Buy in 2018

Shop for the best air fryers on the market today

Southern Fried Chicken
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If you’re looking to trim the fat, but you don’t want to give up French fries, battered fried chicken, or breaded fried shrimp, there might be an air fryer in your future. Air frying is a cooking method that uses convection to cook foods as air moves the heat inside the cooker. Because these have fans, they’re a little bit noisy, but because of the hot moving air, they cook foods faster than a conventional oven – even a convection oven – because the fans work in a small, confined space. The food...MORE stays juicy while getting brown and crisp outside.

Air frying doesn’t yield exactly the same result as deep frying, but it’s close, and it’s even better if you use just a small amount of oil to coat the food. The one downside of air fryers is that they tend to be large appliances compared to the amount of food they can cook, so most are not great for cooking for a crowd. And of course, they take up quite a bit of counter space. On the plus side, you won’t have gallons of used oil to dispose of. 

  • 01 of 05

    Philips introduced this format air fryer to the market and it still is quite popular. The food goes into a basket that fits into the unit’s drawer. Some foods need to be shaken once or twice during the cooking time if the basket is full that airflow to foods in the center of the basket is blocked, but otherwise the cooking is hands-off. The controls are simple – just set the time and temperature with dials. There’s an audible alert when the food is done, and the unit turns off to keep from...MORE overcooking.

    Phillips uses a patented “starfish” design that sends the air all around the food in the basket for even cooking on top, bottom and sides. You can also use this for grilling, roasting, steaming, and baking. The limit, of course, is the size of the food that needs to fit in the basket.

    There are several other similar models from Phillips, including some that can cook more food in one batch. There are also accessories available for some of the models to make them more versatile. You can set the timer for up to 30 minutes, and the temperature goes up to 390 degrees.

    This model comes with recipes from Gordon Ramsay in a book and an app. The removable parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

  • 02 of 05

    If you’re not constantly cooking for a crowd, or you want an air fryer for occasional snacks, quick lunches, and late-night munchies, this budget friendly unit is the right fit. It holds 2.65 quarts and can be set for temperatures from 200 to 400 degrees, so you’ll be making wings, potato skins, and grilled cheese sandwiches in no time.

    This has nonslip feet that keep it stable on the counter, and a 30-minute timer that automatically switches the fryer to standby mode so you can keep the food...MORE warm without overcooking. Cooking control is easy, with one dial to set the time and the second to set the temperature. The removable parts are dishwasher safe, or easily washed by hand.

  • 03 of 05

    At 5.8 quarts (nearly 1 1/2 gallons) this air fryer has the capacity to cook for a crowd. It has a 30 minute timer with an automatic standby feature, so you can keep the food warm without overcooking. The temperature is adjustable from 180 to 390 degrees, so you can cook a wide variety of foods and the detachable basket makes it easy to transfer foods to a serving plate.

    A ready light indicates when the air fryer has reached the proper temperature for cooking, and a plastic cover on the...MORE basket-release button makes it difficult to accidentally drop the food basket holder. Controls are simple, with one dial to control the time and a second dial to control the temperature.

    The removable parts are dishwasher safe, and simple to wash by hand.

  • 04 of 05

    The Big Boss Oil-Less Fryer uses halogen, convection, and infrared heat to cook food, and unlike most other cookers, the cooking container is completely clear so you can check the food without losing any heat. The lid seals tight to keep the hot air in the cooker where it belongs. Two dials control cooking time and temperature. The timer goes up to 60 minutes and the maximum temperature is 480 degrees.

    Halogen promotes browning while convection circulates the air for even cooking. Meanwhile,...MORE infrared sends heat deep into the food. The result is that food cooks faster than with any single method.

    This includes two trays so you can cook different foods at the same time, and it increases the cooking space without the need to pile food on top of other food. Besides air frying, this can be used for broiling, roasting, baking, toasting bread, and steaming vegetables.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    If you like the idea of air frying, but you don’t think you’ll eat enough fries and wings to justify the price and storage space, this fryer might make you think twice. Besides air frying, it works as a grill, steamer, and rotisserie, so you’ll have a lot of opportunities to set it up and make some dinner.

    Like other air fryers, it circulates hot air around the food, but instead of relying on a bowl or basket to hold the food in place, this has a rotating basket that tumbles the food for even...MORE cooking. Remove the basket and use the spit to hold a chicken for rotisserie cooking.

    It has a digital pad and display for setting time and temperature. The timer goes up to 11 hours and the maximum temperature is 450 degrees. The interior is nonstick and removable for easy cleaning. This comes with the spit, basket, cooking rack, special tongs for removing the hot basket, and a recipe book.

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