The Magic Bullet Air Fryer offers the speed and convenience of air frying, but in a compact gadget that won’t take up too much valuable counter space. This 2.5-quart / 2.5-liter air fryer is best suited to 1-2 person households, or kitchens where space is limited. It’s inexpensive, and featuring just two dials, it’s simple to use too. It produces crisp results; but it isn’t quite as fast nor is cooking as even as it is with some of the bigger, fancier air fryers.
Automatically switches off when timer runs out
Tricky to set timer and temperature dials accurately
Basket needs to be cleaned by hand
Why you can trust TechRadar
You might not be surprised to learn then that the Magic Bullet brand is an extension of Nutribullet’s offering, with the Magic Bullet Air Fryer the first air fryer we’ve seen from the brand. It’s a compact and affordable model that’s a great choice for those who are short on space – or, for your first foray into the world of air frying. Nutribullet is well known for offering an array of personal cup blenders, some of which rank among the best blenders and are loved by fans of smoothies and protein shakes the world over.
This model lacks some of the bells and whistles included with the best air fryers we’ve seen; but therein lies a simplicity that will be welcomed by some users. Featuring just the one function, which is air frying, you can adjust cooking time and temperature via a couple of large dials – but that’s really the extent of the controls.
It’s this foolproof design that makes the Magic Bullet Air Fryer suitable for even the most technophobic cooks, plus it switches off automatically to deliver added peace of mind.
Its compact size provides sufficient cooking space for just one or two portions, making it ideal for people who rarely feed a crowd. On test, it proved itself up to the job, creating crisp and brown foods. While it can’t quite match more expensive air fryers for speed and evenness of cooking, given its size and price, we think that’s forgivable.
Magic Bullet Air Fryer price and availability
- List price: $79.99 / £69.99/ AU$129
The Magic Bullet Air Fryer is available to buy direct through Nutribullet in the US and UK, or from BIG W in Australia. It’s inexpensive in comparison to most other air fryers, but remember that lower price is reflected in its 2.5-quart/ 2.5-liter capacity and limited functionality.
Magic Bullet Air Fryer: design
- Timer doubles as on/off switch
- 2.5-quart / 2.5-liter capacity
- 180-400°F / 80-200°C temperature rang
As mentioned, the Magic Bullet is a compact air fryer at 10.75 x 8.5 x 9 inches/ 27 x 22 x 25cm (h x w x d). Note, too, that the power cord is fairly short, too, measuring just 31.5 inches for the US model and 75cm in the UK. As such, you’ll have to consider whether your power outlets are positioned close to where you want to use it.
The small overall size means cooking capacity is also reduced compared to other air fryers on the market. The basket’s 2.5 quarts/2.5 liters should be enough for up to two portions of most foods. There’s a good-size handle on the basket, which is perfect for shaking your fries mid-cook; but unlike some rival air fryers, there isn’t a reminder function, so you’ll have to remember to shake or stir for yourself.
The controls are super simple. There’s a dial on top of the unit to select the cooking temperature; the temperature markers jump up in quite big intervals, though, so it can be tricky to be exact. Handily, the air fryer includes a guide to the correct temperature for cooking six common foods, which is printed on the top, allowing you to view at-a-glance the ideal temperature to cook fries, vegetables, fish and more.
On the front there’s a 60-minute timer dial that also acts as the on/off switch. As soon as the timer is turned, the air fryer starts up; it will turn off automatically once the set time has come to an end. Note that the timer makes a ticking sound while it’s on; it isn’t too loud, but might annoy some folk. The Magic Bullet Air Fryer sports a glossy black finish, which will likely fit into most kitchens.
Like most air fryers, the basket comes with a removable perforated crisping tray. Both the basket and the tray are made from non-stick aluminum, making them easy to keep clean. However, neither are dishwasher-safe, so will need cleaning by hand.
Magic Bullet Air Fryer: Performance
- Slower than other air fryers
- Easy to use
- Preheat is fiddly to set on the timer
The Magic Bullet Air Fryer is super-simple to use, so much so, we wouldn’t have needed to look at the instruction manual to get started. But as part of our thorough testing process, we scoured it carefully and noticed that it recommends preheating for three minutes before cooking.
However, it also notes that to set the timer for anything less than 10 minutes, it’s necessary to turn it to 10 minutes first, and then turn it counter-clockwise to your desired time. This is easier said than done – turning the dial counter-clockwise to reduce the time is tough, making you feel like you might damage the dial. In the end, we were more comfortable turning the timer way past 10 minutes and then just setting a kitchen or phone timer for the three-minute preheat.
First to be cooked in the Magic Bullet was a batch of frozen thick-cut fries. We weighed out around 1lb/ 450g of fries – enough for two people. Following the temperature graphic on the top of the air fryer, we preheated it to 190°C (our tests were carried out in the UK).
The US model suggests a cooking temperature of 390°F – which isn’t quite the equivalent to the UK temperature, but it’s close enough. The fries took 20 minutes to cook, and through that duration, we removed the basket to give them a shake about three times.
The resulting fries were crisp, with a good fluffy texture inside. Crisping was a bit uneven and, in comparison to other air fryers, the fries took longer to cook than we’d expected. Nevertheless, they still cooked faster than the 26-28 minutes oven cooking time suggested on the item’s packaging.
Next, we managed to fit five chicken wings side-by-side in the compact basket; but they were snug. Once again, we followed the temperature guide on the top of the air fryer, preheating the gadget first for three minutes.
We didn’t add any cooking oil to the wings, and they were ready in just 20 minutes. The cooked wings were moist and succulent on the inside with a crisp golden skin – a pleasingly tasty result.
Our second batch of fries were home-made, cutting raw potato into chunky batons. There wasn’t any information in the instruction manual on whether or not we have to soak the raw fries before cooking, or the quantity of oil required for cooking, so we had to rely on experience here.
We opted to soak the 1lb/ 450g batch of fries in cold water for 10 minutes before drying off and coating them in 2tsp of oil. Initially, we set the timer for 20 minutes; but they took 30 minutes to cook through and reach a good color. To help them cook and brown evenly we gave the basket a good shake after 10 minutes and then at five-minute intervals thereafter. The resulting fries were fluffy inside and generally a good color, but browning and crisping was slightly uneven despite the regular shaking during cooking.
In terms of noise, the Magic Bullet registered 62dB on our decibel meter, which makes it one of the louder air fryers we’ve tested. And despite not being dishwasher safe, the small non-stick basket and crisper plate proved easy enough to clean.
Should I buy the Magic Bullet Air Fryer?
Buy it if...
You're short on space
Its small footprint means the Magic Bullet Air Fryer won’t take up too much space on your counter. Likewise, its compact form won’t take up too much storage space in a cupboard when it isn’t in use, either.
You generally only cook for 1-2 people
The size of the cooking basket is sufficient for two portions of fries or chicken nuggets; but it isn’t big enough for a long fillet of breaded fish or for more than one grilled cheese sandwich.
You want an air fryer on a budget
The Magic Bullet is a good option for those on a budget, or if you’re looking to buy your first air fryer and don’t want to invest a huge sum on a gadget you might not use very often.
Don't buy it if...
You want an accurate digital timer
The timer dial is tricky to set accurately. We’d suggest using a separate timer on your phone if you need to be super-accurate, or look for an air fryer with a digital timer.
You want an air fryer than can perform several functions
Many air fryers offer multiple cooking modes such as roast, bake and reheat, in addition to standard air frying. The Magic Bullet comes with only an air fry mode. For anything more, you should consider another model.
You want a dishwasher-safe basket
While the instruction manual doesn’t specifically say not to put the basket and crisper plate in the dishwasher, it also doesn’t say it can go be cleaned in such an appliance. It only includes cleaning instructions for hand-washing.
First reviewed: April 2022
Helen is a freelance writer who specializes in kitchen appliances and has written for some of the biggest home-related titles around. She has been reviewing small appliances, including blenders, juicers, and multi-cookers, for more than 8 years, and also upholsters furniture when she's not testing the latest food tech gadgets.