By now, you probably know at least one person who swears by their air fryer. And for good reason! Not only do they require less oil than standard frying (if any!), they also crisp up your favorite foods more effectively than baking them in an oven. If you’re someone who loves crunchy French fries, crispy potato chips, and crackly fried chicken (*raises hand*) but never thought you’d be able to replicate them at home, an air fryer just might make you a believer. Since air frying has become so popular, there are many options out there — but we’ve taken the guesswork out by rounding up our picks for the best air fryers of 2021. Keep reading to see what all the hype is about!
13 Best Air Fryers of 2021
- Best rated air fryer : Ninja AF101 Air Fryer
- Best Philips air fryer : Philips Essential Air Fryer XL
- Best air fryer at Walmart : Gourmia 8-Qt. Stainless Steel Digital Air Fryer
- Best Instant Pot vortex air fryer : Instant Pot Vortex Plus 10 Quart 7-in-1 Multi-Use Air Fryer
- Best small air fryer : Nuwave Brio 3-Quart Digital Air Fryer
- Best large air fryer : Kalorik 26 QT Digital Maxx Air Fryer
- Best multi-use air fryer : Breville Combi Wave 3-In-1
- Best air fryer under $100 : Farberware 3.2 Quart Oil-Less Multi-Functional Air Fryer
- Best compact air fryer : Dash Compact Air Fryer
- Best air fryer toaster oven combo : Ninja DT200 Foodi 8-in-1 XL Pro Air Fry Oven
- Best air fryer for families : Aria ATO-898 Toaster Oven Air Fryer
- Best air fryer on Amazon : Yedi Total Package Air Fryer
- Best air fryer pressure cooker : Ninja Foodi TenderCrisp 8-in-1 6.5-Quart Pressure Cooker OP300
What can you cook with an air fryer?
Think of your favorite fried foods: maybe you’re a fan of fish and chips, chicken wings, or doughnuts (I personally love a good fried buffalo cauliflower recipe!). The good news is, you can make pretty much any fried food you could think of in an air fryer. Air fryers’ claim to fame is that they yield those crisp exteriors we all crave, without requiring nearly as much oil as deep-frying. According to the Cleveland Clinic, those who are trying to reduce their caloric intake will do so “by 70 to 80 percent, on average, when using air fryers,” so if you’re looking for lighter, less-greasy versions of your favorite foods, these handy appliances are the way to go.
Even if you’re not counting calories, using an air fryer is a less wasteful cooking method than deep-frying. Take it from someone who once tried making homemade doughnuts and wound up with six cups of hot oil left over!
As great as air fryers are at producing less-oily versions of fried foods, they can also be used to make non-fried dishes as well. In fact, air fryers don’t technically “fry” foods (surprise!), rather, they perform similarly to a small convection oven, rapidly circulating heat to crisp up foods and trap in moisture. This means they yield tender vegetables, meat, and seafood — and some can even be used for baking cakes and cookies!
What is the best air fryer on the market?
Air frying has taken off in the past few years, and the sheer number of products on the market prove it! Just like many kitchen appliances, not all air fryers are made the same — most notably, they differ in size and functionality. To narrow down the best air fryer for your needs, you’ll want to take into account how much space you have in your kitchen (some can be quite large), and what you plan on using it for.
While I personally wouldn’t classify even the most basic air fryer as a single-use appliance (they do so much!), it’s understandable that some people would want to invest in one that takes the place of multiple kitchen devices. In that case, an air fryer toaster oven is a great choice, since it essentially acts as a countertop convection oven (we love the Ninja DT200 Foodi 8-in-1 XL Pro Air Fry Oven). You can accomplish almost any cooking task in these workhorses, from roasting a whole chicken to reheating pizza. Air fryer pressure cookers are another option for multitaskers, such as the Ninja Foodi TenderCrisp 8-in-1 6.5-Quart Pressure Cooker OP300.
That being said, these appliances run on the larger side, so if you have a smaller household and want a more standard air fryer, the Philips Essential Air Fryer XL might be a good fit for you (Philips is the brand that first brought air fryers to the consumer market). And if you’re really short on room, this adorable Dash Compact Air Fryer takes up less than one square foot of counter space!
Which air fryer does Consumer Reports recommend?
We included several air fryers recommended by Consumer Reports on our list:
- Ninja AF100 Air Fryer : The best rated air fryer, with 86 percent of its more than 24,000 ratings being five-star reviews
- Nuwave Brio 3-Quart Digital Air Fryer: The best small air fryer, which is taller than it is wide and only takes up eight square inches of counter space
- Farberware 3.2 Quart Oil-Less Multi-Functional Air Fryer: The best air fryer for less than 100 dollars (it has over 1,600 five-star ratings)
One of the best things people have to say about air fryers is that they inspire them to get creative in the kitchen, so whether you plan on whipping up the best air fryer recipes or want to invent your own creations, keep scrolling to see the rest of our picks for the best air fryers of 2021!
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13 Best Air Fryers of 2021
Why we like it:
- Over 24,000 ratings with 86 percent being 5-star reviews on Amazon
- Dishwasher-safe accessories
- Includes a dehydrating function
With over 20,000 five-star ratings, this Ninja air fryer is a bonafide Amazon hit. While it clocks in at under five pounds, this small yet mighty machine can air fry your favorite foods to crispy perfection, and also includes roasting, reheating, and dehydrating settings. According to the manufacturer, the ceramic-coated basket and crisper plate can fit up to two pounds of French fries, which, the last time I checked, is reason enough to give this air fryer high marks. And if you’re looking for snack ideas, the dehydrating function opens up a world of options, from homemade veggie chips to dried fruit and jerky.
Happy customer: “There is nothing bad I can say about this air fryer. I absolutely love it and it’s worth the money. Chicken comes out crispy, French toast comes out perfect, fries are crunchy, and so on. Yum! I admit I’ve been going a little air fryer crazy haha, plus it’s super easy to clean after use.”
Why we like it:
- Rapid Air Technology promotes even cooking
- NutriU app provides personalized recipe ideas
- Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that one of the best air fryers on the market comes from the company that first introduced the genre to consumers. The Philips Essential Air Fryer lives up to its name by allowing you to bake, roast, and fry practically any food you’d like, making it a true go-to for basic kitchen tasks. With the large 6.5-quart capacity, you’ll be able to prepare family-sized portions of meat, vegetables, and seafood, and the seven pre-set options make it easy to switch between cooking methods. Best of all, it comes with a two-year limited warranty for peace of mind.
Happy customer: “One of the best decisions we [made] last year was to purchase the Philips Essential Air Fryer. We usually fry a lot of items (regular ones being chicken lollipops, French fries, falafel and samosas) over the weekend, especially when friends come over. Last year in 2020 (since we were spending so much time at home) we decided to invest in Philips Essential Air Fryer and this surely has been one of the best decisions … It has reduced the effort of cooking by almost 70 percent, giving us a healthier choice and much faster option as well. We love trying new recipes and food items because it has made our cooking experience much more enjoyable! … Most of the stuff we have tried turns out well-cooked, crispy, delicious — keeping the taste intact. It is very easy to clean and does not take too much counter space in your kitchen.”
Why we like it:
- Sleek stainless steel design
- 12 one-touch cooking functions
- Large 8-quart capacity
One of the best things about this 8-quart air fryer from Gourmia is how user-friendly it is. The easy-to-read display offers 12 one-touch cooking functions, including dedicated settings for bacon, wings, and fries! It also comes with guided cooking prompts, which alert you when it’s time to turn your food or add ingredients. And, to make things even easier, the nonstick pan and crisper tray are dishwasher-safe for no-hassle clean up.
Happy customer: “First air fryer and I’m hooked. A really beautiful machine, looks great on the counter top, extremely easy to clean, the basket and tray are both dishwasher safe, if that’s your thing. Extremely versatile and can handle just about any solid food item you would otherwise fry. Made me French fries in 15 minutes – no oil – crunchy outside, soft and juicy inside.”
Why we like it:
- EvenCrisp Technology results in a crispy outside and tender inside
- Over 18,000 5-star ratings on Amazon
- Overheat Protection reduces the risk of burning food
Yes, your favorite pressure cooker brand is in the air fryer game, too! The Instant Pot Vortex Plus is another hot item on Amazon, with over 18,000 five-star ratings. And they’re well-deserved, as this device employs EvenCrisp Technology to achieve golden brown perfection, giving foods a satisfyingly crispy exterior and juicy interior. Great for families, its large, 10-quart capacity fits a whole chicken, which you can roast with up to 95 percent less oil using the rotisserie feature. The best part? Dinner will be ready in a snap, thanks to the super-quick preheating time.
Happy customer: “I replaced my toaster oven with this gem about 2 weeks ago. I wish I had done it ages ago! I really mostly just use the air fryer mode, but I use it just the same and more than my toaster oven. My nacho game is at a whole new level. Waffles taste better than any regular toaster. I even air fried ravioli last night and it was delish! And bacon. Oh, man, it’s the most perfect I’ve ever cooked it and it’s consistent.”
Why we like it:
- Small size takes up less counter space
- Comes with 6 presets
- Auto “Pre-Heat” feature
We’re not all blessed with expanses of counter space, but that doesn’t mean we can’t air fry up a storm! This nifty gadget from Nuwave is taller than it is wide, meaning you’ll save precious kitchen real estate (without sacrificing functionality). Equipped with six presets, you’ll achieve crispy results when cooking fresh or frozen French fries, fish, chicken, and practically anything else you’d use your full-size oven for. One feature we love about this model is its precision temperature control, which you can adjust in five degree increments up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure accuracy.
Happy customer: “Great addition to my kitchen. Quiet, quick to pre-heat, and takes up very little counter space. Perfect size for one or two – possibly three – people. I love the ability to be able to manually set the times and temperature range as well as the wattage … Easy to clean – more so than I had thought it would be, so that’s a plus.”
Why we like it:
- 26-quart capacity can easily feed a family
- Temperature reaches up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
Talk about a workhorse: not only is the Kalorik Digital Maxx Air Fryer huge (it has a 26-quart capacity!), it also includes the functions of ten different appliances! From searing and grilling to toasting and baking, there’s not much this versatile machine can’t do — and all with very little to no oil. Unlike many other air fryers, this model can reach temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the best options for high-heat cooking. And from a purely aesthetic standpoint, the French-style double doors and stainless steel construction will look stylish in any kitchen.
Happy customer: “I was looking for a one-stop-shop machine that could handle a little bit of everything… and this does not disappoint! It does take up some counter space, but that is the trade off for all that it does! It is super intuitive to use (don’t like having to read a huge manual to get going), it is fast (cooks in half the time as what my recipes traditionally call for), it is quieter than the average range fan so it isn’t too disturbing for the general cooking ambiance, and it locks in the flavory goodness. I love that it helps me cook healthy, quick, and versatile meals and that I then don’t have to spend 20 minutes cleaning up after! It comes with a nice little starter recipe book, but I am already joining air fryer cooking FB groups and exchanging recipes with family and friends. This was an absolute kitchen win!”
Why we like it:
- Air fryer, convection oven, and microwave all in one
- Includes 19 built-in smart presets
- Power Smoothing Inverter Technology automatically adjusts power intensity as needed
This air fryer is on the pricier end, but Breville is famous for its high-quality countertop ovens, and the Combi Wave 3-In-1 is no exception. With 19 built-in smart presets, you’re actually getting multiple appliances in one, which justifies the steep price tag. Billed as an air fryer, microwave, and convection oven, it’s garnered many reviews from users saying they’ve stopped using their full-size ovens and microwaves since purchasing this model, making it a worthwhile investment. One helpful smart feature is the Power Smoothing Inverter Technology, which automatically adjusts its intensity based on what you’re cooking. Perhaps best of all, this model comes with a two-year warranty, just in case.
Happy customer: “This Combi Wave was purchased when our old range oven broke and due to its age was not worth repairing. We planned to use this oven for baking a few items that would have been cooked in the range oven. But since receiving it we find ourselves cooking everything from muffins and pies to grilling chicken and fish. The grill function is great for meat, air fry cooks fries very well, and the fast Combi mode cooks food faster than either oven or grill alone … I highly recommend this Combi Wave 3 in 1.”
Why we like it:
- Over 1,600 5-star ratings
- 3.2 quart basket fits up to 2 pounds of food
- Includes a recipe book
The great thing about air fryers is that they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. For people with smaller households, this no-fuss device costs less than 100 dollars, and has over 1,600 five-star ratings! The dishwasher-safe basket can fit up to two pounds of food, and uses Rapid Hot Air Technology to cook your food quickly with hardly any oil. Simply set your cooking time and temperature with the easy-to-use dials, and you’ll have your meal on the table in no time!
Happy customer: “I have had my air fryer for two weeks now, and it has not left my counter. We have pretty much used it every day. It does a great job ‘frying’ anything that is battered and frozen. We have cooked French fries, fried pickles, mozzarella sticks, chicken nuggets, breaded fish fillets, and even baked a spaghetti squash! We have found that if you spray the food with olive oil cooking spray, it appears even more ‘deep fried.’ The machine parts are super easy to clean … This is truly my favorite appliance ever. My family agrees!”
Why we like it:
- Over 9,000 5-star ratings on Amazon
- Available in 5 colors
- Takes up less than one square foot of counter space!
What first attracted me to this compact air fryer was how darn CUTE it is (I want one in each of the five colors!). But looks aside, it’s also a well-made little appliance that cooks like a dream, as evidenced by its more than 9,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. The two-quart fryer basket can fit up to a dozen chicken wings at a time and crisp them to a perfect golden brown in a matter of minutes. Its lightweight, low-footprint design also makes it easy to travel with, should you want to fry up some food in your camper or Airbnb. And at under 50 dollars, it’s a total steal!
Happy customer: “PERFECT little air fryer for one, maybe two, people! Heats wonderfully and cooks foods super fast. Chicken wings are my favorite to cook in this amazing little contraption and you would swear they were fried! I’m hooked. I’ve already recommended to a few friends.”
Why we like it:
- Up to 10 times the convection power of a traditional full-size convection oven
- Fits a 5-pound chicken and a tray of vegetables at the same time
- Has 8 functions, including roast, bake, and broil
If you’ve been curious about using an air fryer but don’t have room for another appliance, an air fryer toaster oven is a great practical option that earns its precious kitchen space. This two-in-one air fryer toaster oven from Ninja is actually more than its name implies, as it also bakes, roasts, and broils, delivering up to ten times the convection power of a full-size oven. Another convenient feature is that you can cook a five-pound chicken and a tray of vegetables at the same time, and the two-level even cooking design means you won’t have to do any rotations or swaps halfway through. Perhaps best of all, weeknight cooking just got a whole lot speedier, as this air fryer reduces cooking times by up to 30 percent compared to a standard oven.
Happy customer: “My favorite appliance. I have not used my actual oven or toaster since my Ninja arrived, about 2 weeks ago. I’ve baked cookies, biscuits, and pies. Roasted whole chickens, and chicken breasts, I’ve made toast for a family of 6 in less than half the time it would normally take. I use it at least once a day and I’ve actually started cooking more just to find out what my little Ninja can do.”
Why we like it:
- Comes in 2 finishes
- Spacious 30-quart capacity
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
If you’re feeding a family (and a large one at that!), this mammoth air fryer has a whopping 30-quart capacity, so you might even have leftovers! It comes in either a stainless steel or black and white finish, and combines the functions of your deep fryer, microwave, toaster, and convection oven all in one. Not only can you cook multiple 12-inch pizzas or a large whole chicken, you can also grill, roast, and dehydrate meat and vegetables with less grease and in less time than using the stove or oven. And the fact that it’s backed by a lifetime warranty? That’s the icing on the cake, which, yes, you can also bake in this machine.
Happy customer: “Exceeded all of my expectations! I absolutely love it. First of all the aesthetic looks great, suits my counter well, and doesn’t take up too much space. Industrial design, with incredible function. I would argue it can replace my regular oven, toaster, and air fryer! … It really is surprisingly large on the inside, you can even fit a pretty big whole chicken / turkey inside without a problem … My favorite is cooking French fries, chicken wings, vegetables in the air fryer. Always cooked to perfection. Tons of different cooking modes, you won’t have any problem with any type of food you put in it. Very consistent results with cooking, precise. One small quirk that I like about this oven is that there is a light on the inside that comes on when you open the door! Overall, absolutely recommend this oven if you’re looking for a counter top oven that can replace a full size and that functions as an all-in-one to replace a toaster, oven, and air fryer! The price, aesthetic, and function of this oven are right on the money, you can’t go wrong.”
Why we like it:
- Comes with 11 accessories and a recipe book
- Included on Oprah’s Favorite Things list in 2019 and 2020
- Backed by a 2-year warranty
It’s good to do your own research when it comes to celebrity endorsements, but when Oprah recommends something, I listen! The Yedi Total Package Air Fryer appeared on her Favorite Things list not once, but twice, and it’s easy to see why. Not only does it fry up crispy foods with minimal oil like a pro, it also comes with a built-in rotisserie and 11 accessories, so you can whip up practically any dish you’d like. Among the accessories are a skewer rotisserie for making kabobs, and silicone mini mitts for safe handling — oh, and this set also includes a recipe book with 25 meal ideas. As Oprah says, “Anything that promises a healthier version of deep-fried deliciousness gets my vote.” And on top of that, a two-year warranty? Sold!
Happy customer: “There is nothing about this oven that I don’t like. I get home after 5 and I have a meal ready in 20 -30 minutes. The three racks allow for air frying several items at a time. I was looking for an air fryer that I could do my entire meal in vs. air frying one thing at a time and then waiting for the side dish to air fry. I was also looking for a product with accessories. This has everything you need for a delicious meal. I found it easy to clean.”
Why we like it:
- Includes a 6.5-quart pot for pressure cooking and a 4-quart basket for air frying
- Comes with a reversible steam/broil rack
- 14 safety features
If you thought you had to decide between a pressure cooker or an air fryer, you’re in luck! This two-in-one device by Ninja gives you the best of both worlds, and while it’s on the larger side, it’ll save space in the long run by doing the job of multiple appliances. A six and a half-quart pot will have you making delicious stews, soups, and other one-pot meals in far less time than letting them simmer away on the stove, while the four-quart basket can be used to roast and crisp up anything you’d like, including a five-pound chicken. And since this machine comes equipped with 14 safety features, you can cook with confidence.
Happy customer: “Wow. I am beyond impressed with the Ninja Foodi OP300 … I already have an air fryer and crock pot but have been in the market for a pressure cooker. When I saw this one appliance might be able to replace all three, I could not wait to try it out! With a simple switch of baskets and lids, you can air fry, bake, roast, broil, or create a one pot meal … I was thrilled with how quickly and easily I was able to use the pressure cooker for rice and chicken … The only downside to this appliance is that it is really big (it has to be to do all of that, though!) … Considering that it does allow me to get rid of two other appliances I already had, however, it is essentially a space saver. Highly recommend!”