Having one of the best air fryers will make cooking up tasty treats an absolute breeze. These machines can cook everything from homemade fries and vegetable chips, to healthy desserts or even pies. With so many models on the market though, it’s hard to know which will be the right choice for you.
Some of the front runners when it comes to air fryers include models such as the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer or even one of the best Instant Pots, but other big players in the air fryer world include NuWave and GoWise air fryers which we put head to head right here.
Both sitting in a similar price bracket (around the $100-$120 mark), the NuWave air fryers and models from GoWise are both popular choices. Here we give you all the information you need from features and the capacity each model has, to the design and the accessories on offer.
Since both brands offer a range of air fryers, we have focused on the GoWise USA 7-Quart Air Fryer and the NuWave Brio 6-Quart Air Fryer for this comparison.
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What is an air fryer?
An air fryer is a small appliance that uses hot air to cook whatever you place inside it rather than by using a flame or hot oil, as you find with deep frying or oven cooking. A heating element works alongside a fan to circulate intense heat around the air fryer, and it’s this motion that ensures your food cooks quickly and evenly too. These machines are electrically powered and it’s simply a case of plugging them in and switching them on. Air fryers are a popular choice because they don’t require much oil in order to cook your food.
What can you make in an air fryer?
Most people who are considering getting a new air fryer will know that they are great for making homemade fries, but these handy machines are actually pretty versatile. You’ll be able to cook frozen fried food straight from the freezer, healthy chips made from vegetables, as well as apple desserts, pies, and even mini pizza. You can also cook raw meats in these appliances but you normally need to turn it halfway through.
Are air fryers easy to use?
In terms of getting your air fryer set up and running, these cooking appliances are easy to use. You simply need to plug them in, place your food inside and switch the machine on. It’s worth noting that air fryers will require you to shake the food around every so often so that it can cook more evenly. They’re not the kind of appliance you can switch on and forget about. Air fryers also cook more quickly than a standard oven, so it may take a bit of time to get used to faster results.
Are air fryers really any good?
Air fryers have many benefits - speedy cooking times, crispy and tasty food, and no need for lots of oil. They can also be used to make a range of dishes. How much you use one will depend on the types of food you like to cook. If you love a good plate of fries but don’t want the grease or hassle of using a deep fat fryer, an air fryer will be a great option for you. These appliances are also good if you often find there’s not enough space in your oven as you can cook one dish in your air fryer and the rest in your cooker. If you eat a lot of deep fried battered food, an air fryer might not live up to your expectations. This is because air fryers don’t cope well with wet batter.
The Head to Head
The NuWave Brio Air Fryer is the cheaper option of the two at $99.99, whereas the GoWise Air Fryer is $119.99. Considering the GoWise model is slightly larger though, this seems a fair price difference. There are cheaper alternatives from the brands but you will compromise on the capacity.
When it comes to design, we’ll start with the NuWave Brio air fryer. This model is slimmer than some more rounded air fryers such as the Tefal Actifry Genius XL and it has a glossy black exterior. It is only available in one color though, so if black isn’t your thing, then this might be an issue. The NuWave Brio is complete with a basket drawer that pulls out with the use of a large handle on the front of the machine.
The NuWave’s controls are positioned on an LED touch screen and from here you’ll be able to adjust the temperature from 100F to 400F, and you’ll also be able to choose one of the six presets. This model also lets you adjust the wattage of the machine - you can choose between 900 and 1,800 watts.
The GoWise Air Fryer also has touch controls and its front is also fitted with a handle so that you can remove the crisping drawer. Finished in a black and copper coating, this machine can also be used as a dehydrator and its temperatures range from 90 to 170F. There are eight different cooking functions and the GoWise also comes with three stackable racks.
In terms of the frying baskets in each of these models, there’s a difference in design. The NuWave Brio’s basket has holes in the sides to allow the hot air to work its way around the food from all angles. The GoWise Air Fryer, however, has a solid basket but features holes on the lid of the basket so that air can get to the food from the top.
When it comes to features, the GoWise Air Fryer and Dehydrator takes the top spot as it offers eight functions in one, compared to the NuWave’s seven functions. The GoWise allows you to air fry, roast, bake, broil, grill, dehydrate, keep warm, and preheat. The NuWave doesn’t have the capability to keep food warm, however, unless you’re actually cooking it. Both are designed to be really easy to use with the preset buttons designed to take the guesswork out of finding the right temperature or cooking duration for each type of food you cook in it.
Designed to let you create more than one thing at once, the NuWave Air Fryer has a basket divider which the GoWise is lacking and may make your cooking options more restrictive. However, both machines come with racks that you can use for dehydrating foods or drying herbs.
In terms of safety features, the NuWave Brio has an auto shut-off function that kicks in as soon as you remove the basket drawer from the machine. The air fryer then won’t start back up again until the drawer is properly clicked back into place, the GoWise Air Fryer doesn’t offer this functionality.
So that you can get cooking in no time, the NuWave and the GoWise air fryers have preheat functions, and both also have functions for reheating food too. The GoWise lets you select the preheat function at the same time as the cooking function so that once it’s up to optimum temperature, you simply need to add the food and not worry about anything else. To help you remember to give your food a shake, the GoWise machine has an alarm that tells you it’s time to give your food a move around. You can also silence this alarm if you’d prefer not to use it. The NuWave air fryer in comparison has a timer but no alarm functionality.
If you need all the extra cooking capacity, the GoWise has a 7-quart frying basket. This is ideal for families and it means you’ll be able to cook a whole chicken at once, or four to five burgers. The NuWave Air Fryer isn’t exactly small at 6-quarts (many models are 4-quarts), but at this size, you can expect to fit 2lbs of fries in the air fryer drawer. It makes the NuWave suitable for smaller households.
Both the NuWave and the GoWise can reach temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In terms of easy adjustments, both models let you adjust the temperature in five-degree increments. If you’re using the dehydrating mode on the GoWise air fryer, you can select a temperature between 90 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit and there’s also a timer so you can choose between two and 24 hours for the machine to get to work.
Both air fryers come with removable racks and air frying baskets that can slide out so that you can tip your food onto a serving plate, and then wash the basket after with ease. The NuWave air fryer does come with a basket divider - something the GoWise is lacking, and the NuWave also has an app that you can download for a whole host of recipes. GoWise’s air fryer comes with a recipe book that has 100 recipes to help you get started on creating tasty dishes.
The good news is that both models have removable air frying baskets so that you can give them a good clean and keep them in top condition. Both are also coated in a non-stick finish so that you won’t need to use lots of oil to prevent your food from getting stuck to the bottom of the basket. Removable parts are suitable for the dishwasher, however, NuWave’s website warns of placing these baskets into a dishwasher because it can damage the non-stick finish.
Both the NuWave and the GoWise air fryers have glossy coatings on the exterior of the machines, these can be difficult to keep clean as they’re not fingerprint-resistant.
When it comes to the warranty, both the NuWave air fryer and the GoWise model offer a one-year warranty.
In terms of features, these two air fryers are pretty much on par. What the NuWave model lacks, however, is a keep warm functionality which would have been a nice addition. Both feature simple displays and preset buttons but the GoWise Air Fryer edges forward slightly because its capacity is one quart larger than the NuWave.
If safety is super high on your agenda, the NuWave’s built-in auto shut-off is a nice addition that the GoWise doesn’t have, and the wattage control is another good feature that the NuWave offers. The GoWise, however, has three dehydrating racks (the NuWave has two) and because it offers slightly more features, it makes it a more versatile option and a great all-rounder.
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Sophie writes about all things appliance-related and is currently the Home Editor at TechRadar's sister site, Top Ten Reviews. When she's not testing coffee machines and appliances, Sophie is thinking of eating delicious food, and asking people what they're having for dinner.