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The best air fryers: save on energy and cook quicker, healthier meals

Looking for an energy-efficient way to cook and reduce the amount of oil you use in the process? An air fryer might just be the solution. We've scoured the web to bring you the best air fryers for cost-effective, healthy cooking.

Best air fryers

Air fryers are undoubtedly one of the biggest innovations in countertop cooking. These relatively new kitchen appliances circulate hot air incredibly efficiently to create a ‘fried finish’ on foods with little to no oil.

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Using an air fryer to bake, roast and fry will speed up the process and save money, as you won’t have to use a larger oven for smaller portions and side dishes. In comparison to deep-fat frying, air frying is a much healthier alternative – using convection cooking rather than oil means there’s less fat in the finished food, which in turn means fewer calories. What’s not to love?

We spoke with our friends at BBC Good Food, who are experts in all things cooking, to get some tips on what to look for when buying an air fryer, and used their expert advice to help pull together our list of the best air fryers to buy online.

Happy frying!

The best air fryers at a glance:

The best air fryers

Best overall air fryer: COSORI Air Fryer 5.5L

A great all-rounder

COSORI Air Fryer with 100 Recipes Cookbook

The Cosori air fryer features 11 fuss-free preset cooking modes built-in, including steak, chicken, seafood, bacon, fries and vegetable modes, as well as a special bread-baking function, making it one of the most versatile air fryers you can buy.

In addition to practical cooking functions, this air fryer features a detachable, non-stick basket that’s dishwasher-safe, making cleaning it incredibly easy. In addition to the air fryer itself, you get a booklet with 100+ air fryer recipes, giving you plenty of inspiration for your next fuss-free meal.

Best oven-style air fryer: Chefman Multifunctional Digital Air Fryer+

Simple countertop cooking

Chefman Multifunctional Digital Air Fryer+

With 17 preset cooking functions and a large 10L capacity, the air fryer is the perfect countertop cooking solution for large families, allowing you to cook three separate trays of food at the same time.

This air fryer is probably the closest it gets to a conventional oven set-up, but with the benefit of not needing pre-heating, saving you both time and money on energy use. Not only is it quick and convenient to use for cooking, but its removable drip tray and dishwasher-safe parts make cleaning a breeze.

Best two-compartment fryer: Ninja Foodi MAX Dual Zone Air Fryer

Two separate cooking zones

Ninja Foodi MAX Dual Zone Air Fryer

This air fryer has a total capacity of 9.5L, with two separate cooking zones, each with a drawer capacity of 4.75L, meaning you can cook two different kinds of foods in different ways at the same time.

The ability to air fry, crisp, roast, bake or reheat different components of your meal simultaneously makes this air fryer one of the most versatile bits of kitchen kit you can own, and its included chef-created recipe guide has a load of recipe ideas to get you started.

Best for cooking chicken: Daewoo 12L Rotisserie Air Fryer

Three shelves and rotisserie function

Daewoo 12L Rotisserie Air Fryer

This super versatile air fryer is ideal for those looking for a healthier way to cook chicken, with a dedicated rotisserie function that will cook a full chicken in a fraction of the time of a conventional oven, using less energy to do so.

Not only is this air fryer ideal for cooking chicken, but it can also hold three shelves for more conventional oven-style cooking. Its large glass door also makes it easy to keep an eye on your food as it cooks – making the switch to air fryer cooking has never been easier!

Best large-capacity air fryer: COSORI Smart Air Fryer Oven Dual Blaze 6.4L

Ideal for larger households

COSORI Smart Air Fryer Oven Dual Blaze 6.4L

This air fryer feature 12 one-touch preset cooking functions and has a huge 6.4L capacity, making it ideal for big families or batch cooking.

With preset functions specifically for chicken, steak, fish, fried and vegetables, this air fryer could not make home cooking any simpler. Its huge capacity means it can make up to 6 portions at one time, making it ideal for fuss-free family dinners, and its app compatibility allows you to control cooking functions remotely.

Best budget air fryer: Tower T17024 Digital Air Fryer

A great investment

Tower T17024 Digital Air Fryer Oven

This Tower air fryer has all the functions you need, using rapid air circulation to create delicious dishes quickly, with 99% less fat than deep fat frying at a fraction of the running cost of a conventional oven.

With a 4.3L capacity, this air fryer is ideal for cooking chips, roasting veg or reheating leftovers, ensuring nothing goes to waste with minimal hassle. Not only is it great for cooking, but its automatic switch-off function also gives you extra safety assurance and peace of mind.

Best smart air fryer: COSORI Air Fryers Lite 3.8L

Great app-controlled functions

COSORI Air Fryers Lite 3.8L

This compact air fryer takes up minimal space on your countertop, and its brilliant smart features mean you can control it via an app on your phone or your home smart assistant for hands-free cooking.

With a maximum temperature of 230 degrees, this air fryer is perfect for crisping up chips and vegetables, as well as getting a crispy finish on meat that’s still perfectly juicy and cooked throughout. The accompanying app also has access to over 140 online recipes, so you’ll never run out of cooking inspiration, and its basket and crisper plate are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.

Best basic air fryer: Chefman TurboFry 3.5 Litre Air Fryer

Easy-to-use controls

Chefman TurboFry 3.5 Litre Air Fryer Oven

With a large central analogue dial controlling both temperature and timings, this air fryer could not be simpler to use.

If you’re not keen on having to navigate smart features or overcomplicated touch screens, this air fryer is a great option. Not only is this air fryer super simple to use, but it’s also easy to clean, with a non-stick dishwasher-safe basket.

Best small-capacity air fryer: Tristar FR-6980BS Air Fryer 2L

Ideal for solo cooking

Tristar FR-6980BS Air Fryer

If you’re worried about countertop space, this little 2L air fryer from Tristar might be the perfect option. Its compact design and smaller capacity make a great option for students or small families.

This air fryer is ideal for cooking one to two portions of food, and its analogue dial-controlled timer and temperature settings are super simple to use, making it a great option for those looking to try out air frying food for the first time.

How to choose the best air fryer

To get the low down on how to choose the best air fryer for you, we spoke to our friends at BBC Good Food, who are experts in everything air fryer related. They gave us some helpful advice and tips on what you should consider before you purchase, and we’ve detailed all their tips below!

What to consider when buying an air fryer

Think of your individual requirements before investing. You may want to consider the following:

Manual or digital?

The simplest air fryers come with manual knobs that you twist to set the time and temperature. You may prefer a digital version, where you press buttons to set this and can see the remaining time digitally displayed.

Choice of pre-set programmes

Do you like to choose your own temperature and how long to cook things for, or would you prefer to leave all that to the machine? Some of our fryers had up to nine pre-set programmes for popular foods like chips and, bizarrely, shrimp.

Speed

It took between 17 and 30 minutes to cook chips in our samples, so this might be a factor. Some models need preheating, but only for a few minutes (much less than an oven).

Size

Always check the size as the capacity varies enormously – important if you’re feeding the masses or just want dinner for one. But bigger isn’t always better. Some take up more space on the kitchen surface, and if you’re going to keep it in a cupboard, check the dimensions, some are sizeable beasts.

Transparent lid or internal light

Some models have a see-through lid so you can glance in and check your chips are browning well. With others, you have to open the basket to check, stopping the machine. The transparent ones tend to be a feature on more expensive machines, so you need to decide how important this is to you.

Shaking

With most air fryers, you need to shake your chips halfway through cooking (or more often if you want to see how they are getting on). Some fryers have clever devices built in to turn the food for you. Again, these tend to be the more expensive models, but this could be a factor to consider if you want to go off and leave your dinner to cook itself.

Cleaning

You’ll need to wash the basket and pan after use. Some need to be hand-washed, while others are dishwasher-proof. (The main parts of the machine should just be wiped with a cloth.)

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If you want to read more expert-recommended round-ups and product guides, check out our Household page, where you’ll find more home recommendations, including the best clothes airers, the best dehumidifiers, and the best hooded blankets.