The best air fryer 2024: for quicker, healthier cooking

Investing in one of the best air fryers could revolutionize your cooking routine. They require far less oil than regular frying, which means tasty food that's better for you, and are also typically far quicker and more efficient than cooking with a full-sized oven – is a win both for both your energy bills and how quickly you can get dinner on the table. It's easy to see why these gadgets have become so popular.

The term 'air fryer' is a little misleading. These are basically compact, countertop ovens that mimic the effects of frying using hot air and powerful fans. In an air fryer, the fan is big relative to the cooking space, and it's usually paired with a design that maximizes airflow – that's what delivers the crispy, tasty results, with only a little oil.

We've tested out a wide range of air fryers – from basic, easy-to-use models, to fancier options with lots of presets, to dual-basket fryers that let you cook two things at once at two different temperatures. As well as putting them through their paces in terms of cooking, our reviewers also assess how easy they are to use and clean, and whether they offer good value for money. Based on those tests, we've rounded up what we think are the best air fryers for a range of needs and budgets.

The quick list

Below is our quick guide to the best air fryers around. Use it to narrow down your options, then either hop down to the more in-depth entry, or head straight to a retailer to buy. 

The best air fryer 2024: tried and tested

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The best air fryer for most people

The side view of the Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 air fryer with ClearCook and OdourEase

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best air fryer overall

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer
Wattage: 1700W
Capacity: 6qt / 5.7l
Modes: Air fry, roast, bake, reheat, broil, dehydrate

Reasons to buy

+
Crisp, evenly browned results
+
Window for checking on cooking food
+
Reduces cooking smells

Reasons to avoid

-
Crisper plate can fall out 
-
Display suffers from fingerprint marks

The brand behind the iconic Instant Pot also makes air fryers, and its top-of-the-range model consistently turned out the crispiest fries and chicken wings of any air fryers we tested. In our testing, the fries had crisp exteriors but soft, fluffy insides, and the chicken was moist, while its skin was crispy and retained loads of flavor. 

The Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer with ClearCook & OdourErase builds on the previous iteration, the Instant Vortex Plus, with a plastic window in the basket, and a light, that lets you keep an eye on food while it's cooking, and has a built-in filter to reduce smells too. 

However, it doesn't come with any cooking guides, which means you will need to spend time experimenting to achieve the right cooking duration and temperature, particularly when it comes to frozen food. We also found the crisper plate tends to fall out if the basket is tipped up too much when removing food, and the display suffers from fingerprint marks. However, these are minor gripes on what is in our eyes, the best air fryer on the market for most people right now.

Read our full Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 with ClearCook & OdourErase review

The best budget air fryer

The side view of the Cosori Pro LE Air Fryer L501

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best budget air fryer

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer
Wattage: 1500W
Capacity: 5qt / 4.7l
Modes: Air fry

Reasons to buy

+
Produces crisp fries and chicken wings
+
Sleek, minimalist design
+
7 presets for dishes like bacon and seafood

Reasons to avoid

-
Struggles with frozen foods
-
Needs some experimentation for best results

If you want a budget-friendly air fryer that's as stylish as it is effective, then the Cosori Pro LE Air Fryer L501 is worth considering. Unlike any of the air fryers we’ve tested previously, the LED and touch control panel is located on the glossy top of this kitchen gadget creating a streamlined look. 

On test, we found the air fryer produced crisp, crunchy fries with soft, fluffy inside and succulent juicy chicken wings. However, it struggled to evenly brown foods, so we found ourselves tweaking cooking times, and it wasn't effective when cooking frozen foods either.

It has seven presets for dishes such as bacon, seafood, and cake. It also has a reminder to shake, which can be activated when setting the cooking time that will alert you halfway through cooking so you can turn the food to achieve an even crisp. 

Read our full Cosori Pro LE Air Fryer L501 review

The best premium air fryer

Dreo Chefmaker on a table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)
The best air fryer if money is no object

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer
Wattage: 1800W
Capacity: 6qt / 5.7l
Modes: Chef, Classic, Probe

Reasons to buy

+
Precise cooking
+
Transparent glass basket
+
Easy-to-use interface
+
Dishwasher-safe components

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn’t have the usual presets

The Dreo ChefMaker is so impressive with its cooking prowess and its ability to deliver moist-on-the-inside and crispy-on-the-outside results. That’s due to the fact that this air fryer is able to cook more precisely than many others.

While it’s missing a lot of the usual presets – at least without app support – it offers Chef Mode, Classic Cook, and Probe Cook, so that you can either fine-tune the cooking experience, set it and forget it, or have the ChefMaker cook your food until its internal temperature is right where you want it, thanks to a nifty probe aka food thermometer that’s included in the box.

The transparent glass basket is also a nice addition as you can keep visual tabs on your food without pulling the basket out. We also appreciate the fact that the components are dishwasher safe. And, though water atomization and super convection seem like buzzwords that Dreo applies here, make no mistake. This is a powerful, if pricey, air fryer.

Read our full Dreo ChefMaker review

The best air fryer for small kitchens

Ninja Double Stack air fryer in reviewer's home

(Image credit: Future)
The best air fryer for small kitchens

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer
Wattage: 2470W
Capacity: 10qt / 9.5L
Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.14 x 11.25 x 19.22" / 38.5 x 28 x 47cm
Modes: Max crisp, air fry, roast, reheat, dehydrate, bake

Reasons to buy

+
Large capacity, small footprint
+
Extra trays for more cooking space
+
Performance is excellent

Reasons to avoid

-
Cheaper dual-basket fryers available
-
Can't fit wide foods whole

With most air fryers, the more generous the cooking capacity, the more counter space you'll need to sacrifice. This Ninja model cleverly avoids that issue by stacking its baskets one on top of the other, rather than side by side. Each drawer will hold 4.75L, and you can create even more cooking space by slotting in one of the provided trays. Although do note that the tall-rather-than-side approach means you won't get able to fit in, say, an uncut pizza. (If you just need something compact and don't need a large capacity, head to our guide to the best small air fryers.)

In our review, our tester noted no compromise in performance with this new design approach – the Double Stack delivers the same excellent performance as other Ninja air fryers we've tested. A wide range of different cooking modes make this model ultra-versatile, while the Sync and Match functions take all the pain out of cooking foods with different timing requirements – select your cooking mode, set your finish time and, if you're synchronizing the two baskets, select the cooking times for each, and it'll do the math for you. There's also next-to-no heat leakage between the two trays, which is good news if you’re dealing with precise foods or don't want to waste energy when only using one basket.

The main down-side here is that the Double Stack is pricier than other dual-basket air fryers, so if you don't need that extra counter space then you could get something as good for a lower price. But if you have a small kitchen, it could be well worth the extra investment. Currently only the 'XL' version is available, but we're expecting a smaller version to hit the market soon.

Read our full Ninja Double Stack review

The best air fryer for first-time users

Frozen fries in the ultenic k10

(Image credit: Future / Helen McCue)
Th best simple air fryer for first-time users

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer
Wattage: 1500W
Capacity: 5.3qt / 5l
Modes: Shrimp, French fries, wings, steak, vegetable, fish, onion rings, pizza, bacon, cake, toast

Reasons to buy

+
Reminder to shake foods
+
Optional auto preheat
+
Produces great food

Reasons to avoid

-
Controls on top
-
App requires 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection

If you have yet to ever own an air fryer, but are a little nervous to try out new appliances and / or are conscious about spending money, the Ultenic K10 is a good one to consider.

During our review, it was hard to find fault in its results. Its full-featured control panel comes with options like keep warm, automatic preheat, and a reminder to give the food a shake, giving you a lot of bang for your buck, especially with its budget-friendly price tag. It doesn’t have any other cooking function, however, apart from air frying, but the app and 11 presets will make it a really easy-to-use and nice addition to the kitchen countertop.

A particular feature we loved is that there's a little beep half way through select cooking modes to remind you to shake the foods. You won't be able to cook two food types at the same time, though, and the controls are on the top so placing it on a high counter may not be the best position for it.

Read our full Ultenic K10 review

The best air fryer toaster oven

A photo of the Ninja Double Oven cooking vegetables

(Image credit: Future)
The best air fryer toaster oven

Specifications

Type: Toaster oven
Wattage: 1800W
Capacity: 11l (top), 15.6l (bottom)
Modes: Bake, broil, reheat, keep warm, bagel, toast, air fry, convection bake, pizza, air roast, whole roast, dehydrate

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra convenient
+
Synchronize cooking times with Smart Finish
+
Cooks evenly and timely

Reasons to avoid

-
Tricky to clean
-
Second crumb tray would be useful

This Ninja air fryer is unique, because to the best of our knowledge it's the only air fryer with a toaster oven design and two separate cooking compartments. Normally dual-zone air fryers achieve this with two drawers, but having two distinct cavities means this is very flexible. The downside is that it's also harder to clean than removable drawer models.

With the Ninja Double Oven air fryer, you can engage two different cooking functions at the same time. And there are 12 functions to choose from, including not just air frying but roasting, baking, toasting and more. In our tests we found it cooked very well across all its functions, and the Smart Finish feature makes it easy to co-ordinate two different kinds of cooking or two different temperatures so everything's ready at the same time.

The Ninja Double Oven is expensive, but if you want to have all your cooking bases covered, it’s an ideal solution for cooking for small or large groups alike. Unfortunately at the time of writing it's only available to customers in the US.

Read our full Ninja Double Oven Air Fryer review

The best quiet air fryer

Instant Vortex Slim

(Image credit: Future)
The best quiet air fryer

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer
Wattage: 1450-1700W
Capacity: 6qt / 5.7l
Modes: Roast, bake, grill, air fry, reheat

Reasons to buy

+
Quietest air fryer from Instant Pot
+
Compact yet powerful
+
Dishwasher-safe components

Reasons to avoid

-
No ClearCook
-
No OdorEase
-
Slightly limited cooking settings

Called the Instant Vortex Slim 6-quart Air Fryer in the UK, the Instant Vortex Slim 6-quart Air Fryer is designed for people with limited counter space or a compact kitchen. In order to accommodate that space limitation while still giving you a full-sized air fryer, Instant Pot redesigned their popular air fryer line that’s 20% smaller and only weighs 6.8kg.

Just because it's compact, doesn’t mean that it’s less capable when it comes to cooking. It air fries brilliantly and quietly as well, only reaching 50.4dB during our testing. It even comes with a Quiet Mark certification. It's also well-built and has a fairly spacious inside.

Still, there were compromises to be made due to its size. There’s no dehydrate setting, for one, and instead of a progress or text bar, you’re only getting a tiny seven-segment screen that shows you the temperature, time, and stage in cooking. There’s also no window or a light, and you’re losing two marquee features you’ll find on the regular Vortex models: OdorErase and ClearCook. If those are important and saving space isn’t as vital, we recommend getting the bigger models instead.

Read our full Instant Vortex Slim review

The best outdoor air fryer

cooked fries in the ninja woodfire

(Image credit: Future / Helen McCue)
The best outdoor air fryer

Specifications

Type: Multi-cooker / basket fryer
Wattage: 2400W
Capacity: 2.5qt
Modes: Air fry, grill, smoke, roast, bake, dehydrate, reheat

Reasons to buy

+
Smoky flavors with minimal mess and hassle
+
Very intuitive to use
+
It's an outdoor air fryer!

Reasons to avoid

-
Not big enough for larger gatherings
-
Accessories can’t go in dishwasher

Though it’s still electric, the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill is designed for outdoor use, making it a fantastic addition to your backyard or garden and just the perfect cooking appliance to see you through your summer barbecues and backyard parties. It’s primarily a grill and a smoker, but it comes with a few additional cooking functions that give you a bigger bang for your buck – it can also air fry, bake, and roast. 

Even if you haven’t used an electric grill or smoker before, you won’t have a hard time using this one. On test, we found it incredibly easy to use, thanks in large part to its clever self-igniting woodfire smoke box that utilizes wood pellets to give your food that smoky flavors that traditional wood or charcoal grills deliver. And it does so without a flame and with very minimal mess. If you hate the clean-up after grilling, this might be a better option for you. Just bear in mind that the accessories here aren’t dishwasher safe so you still have some cleaning to do.

As far as its air frying function, it works well too. It comes with a 2.5-quart basket that gives you enough room to cook around 3lbs (1.5kg) of fries, every single piece of which came out crispy and fluffy during our testing. 

Read our full Ninja Woodfire review

The best dual-basket air fryer

The side view of the Instant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer Air Fryer

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best dual-basket air fryer

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer
Wattage: 1700W
Capacity: 8qt / 7.6l
Modes: Air fry, roast, bake, reheat, broil, dehydrate

Reasons to buy

+
Crisp, evenly browned results
+
Cook two foods at once
+
Window to check on cooking food

Reasons to avoid

-
Frying baskets hold a smaller quantity
-
Investment pricing

Known as the Instant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer Air Fryer in the UK, the  Instant Vortex Plus Dual Air Fryer has a lot going for it. Not only will it let you check in on your food without pulling the basket out, thanks to its basket windows and cooking chamber light, but it will also let you cook two different dishes at the same time, thanks to its dual-basket design and dual-cooking functionality that also has the capability to sync finish times.

When it comes to its air frying performance, we have no complaints. It delivered crispy and evenly-browned results during our tests, whether we were cooking fries or chicken wings. And because it can cook two different dishes at once, we have found that it saves us a bit of time and effort.

Just bear in mind that while it does have a bigger capacity overall, each basket does have a smaller capacity. It also doesn’t come with cooking charts, which means you may have to do some trial and error to get the cooking times and temperatures just right.

Read our full Instant Vortex Plus Dual air fryer review

The best smart air fryer

display panel on the cosori dualblaze air fryer

(Image credit: Future / Jennifer Oksien)
The best smart air fryer

Specifications

Type: Basket fryer
Wattage: 1700W
Capacity: 8.8qt/ 6.4l
Modes: Air fry, keep warm, bake, reheat, roast, broil

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to set up
+
Simple to keep clean
+
Accurate presets

Reasons to avoid

-
Bit small for families
-
Not recognized by Alexa in the UK

If you're looking for an air fryer that offers good cooking capacity then the Cosori Pro III Dual Blaze could be ideal. The fryer, also known as the Cosori Dual Blaze in the UK, features an innovative design that includes an upper and lower heating element to cook foods quickly and evenly. It doesn't require pre-heating or a mid-cook shake, and comes with 12 presets including chicken, veggies, fries, frozen, bake, reheat and roast. Each of these can be adjusted by temperature and/or duration.

The Cosori Pro III Dual Blaze is a smart air fryer, but there are some caveats: its Alexa support is US-only, and it needs to be connected to a 2.4GHz wi-fi network to communicate with devices such as smart speakers. However the app is very good, featuring over 100 tasty-looking recipes, with ingredients, method and settings required on the air fryer all outlined. It is possible to select a recipe and the temperature and time remotely on the app, but you'll need to remain close by to press the start/pause button to activate it. 

This is one of the most expensive air fryers in the Cosori line-up, but it's one of the biggest and fastest too. It's worth considering even if you're not too bothered about the app recipes or control as it's a very capable cooking appliance.

Read our full Cosori Pro III Dual Blaze review

How to choose the best air fryer for you

Most modern air fryers consist of a pull-out drawer with a crisper tray inside, similar to the perforated trays found in a fryer or oven. This design allows any excess oil to be removed from the contents, decreasing the eventual fat content on the plate. The handle found on the drawer is also handy for shaking the food part-way through cooking, which encourages an even distribution of crispiness.

Some larger air fryers even have dual-zone modes that allow you to set specific settings for different foods you want to cook at the same time. For more tips and tricks on getting the most out of your appliance, take a look at our guide to how air fryers work.

Preheat times are short when air frying and they also use less electricity than a traditional oven. For more on these benefits, take a look at our dive into the question: 'do air fryers use a lot of electricity?'.

There are many other benefits to enjoy when switching to one of the best air fryers, including the relative lack of clean-up when cooking traditionally oily foods like sausages. And even if you do end up making a mess, you can take a look at our article on how to clean an air fryer - which may involve just popping the relevant elements into the dishwasher when you're done.

Of course, despite all of these pros to getting an air fryer, sometimes they're not the right fit for every kitchen. If you're short on space, for example, you could consider an Instant Pot or alternative multi-cookers, which includes some models that mimic the effect of a standalone air fryer.

Frequently asked questions about air fryers

Chicken wings and homemade chips are shown side by side in the Tower Vortx Eco Duo air fryer

(Image credit: Future/Victoria Woollaston)

What to consider when buying an air fryer

There are a number of considerations that need taking into account when choosing the best air fryer for you. 

First of all, what kind of air fryer do you want? Basket air fryers tend to be healthier because they funnel the juices, as well as the fat, away from the food but you can’t check on the food without opening them and letting cold air in, which can stall the cooking process.

Bowl air fryers often have glass lids so you can keep an eye on your meal, but the cooking juices remain in the air fryer and in contact with the food, making it tastier but not as healthy.

If you’re feeding four or more mouths, look for larger air fryers, which can hold around 6.5 quarts / 6 liters, while couples will find designs that have a capacity of around 2.5 quarts / 2.5 liters will be sufficient. Some of the best air fryers also have more than one compartment, which means you can cook multiple foods at the same time.

As we’ve already mentioned, if you’re tight on space look for air fryers that offer a multitude of different cooking methods, to cut down on the number of appliances that clutter up your kitchen countertop. Also, consider whether you want an air fryer with smart features that means you can switch it on or off from your smartphone.

What type of air fryers are there?

There are a few designs of air fryer to consider. The size, functions and over all user experience will play in to the design you end up with.

Basket air fryers are the most popular type of air fryer. They have a slide-out basket or tray which slots in to the main unit, and tend to be available as a single or dual-drawer. When cooking food types such as fries, an uneven bake can sometimes be achieved if the food isn't rearranged or tossed around.

Oven-style air fryers are much larger than basket air fryers, but they are often much smaller than convection ovens owing to their counter-top design; they're about the same size as a microwave. They have a door rather than a drawer, and use shelves rather than baskets. The air frying function is able to circulate air around the food more efficiently to achieve a more even crisp. Some may also include a rotisserie, and other accessories.

Halogen ovens. Although sometimes described as air fryers, halogen ovens work in a different way. Instead of circulating hot air a halogen oven uses infrared to constantly heat the food. This means that they can be more versatile than the more traditional air fryer, with a larger capacity and more forgiving shape of cooking area.

Is air-fried food healthier?

Air fryers use substantially less oil than deep frying: some foods, most of which are frozen or have naturally occurring fat, like Chicken Wings, are suitable for air frying without any oil at all. Fries, roast potatoes, and other traditional crisp foods will need some oil, but how much varies between air fryers.

In our tests, manufacturers' instructions have recommended anywhere from 1tsp to 1tbsp of oil per 1.1lb / 500g of fries, so if you want to use as little oil as possible - we'd suggest you check how oil is required before you purchase a specific model.  It's also crucial to remember the healthiness of what you make in your air fryer all depends on what you actually put in it, to begin with. To find out more, read how healthy are air fryers?

What can you cook in an air fryer?

Fries, roast potatoes, chicken wings and other deep-fried favorites are obvious dishes to cook in an air fryer, but that's not all you can whip up in one of these handy kitchen gadgets. You can prepare anything you can cook in a traditional fan oven, space permitting, because they work in the same way.  

So whether that's frozen foods, mini pizzas, or even gnocchi and ravioli - it can all be cooked in an air fryer. You can even make fudgy brownies in an air fryer, in less time than it takes in an oven. 

We've tried to cook pretty much everything apart from soup in an air fryer. We found that an air fryer can rival KFC when it comes to fried chicken, and was also the answer when it came to creating crisp, crunchy crackling on pork belly

It also proved to be the best way to cook cinnamon rolls and Krispy-Kreme-style donuts

As well as being used in place of an oven, air fryers can be an easier way to prepare dishes usually cooked on a stove, without having to watch them like a hawk and turn them before they burn. In particular, we discovered French Toast and grilled cheese work extremely well in the kitchen gadget.   

If you're a fan of fries but unsure how to go about making them in an air fryer, then check out our advice, which even details an air fryer trick that's a game-changer when it comes to cooking fries

We're also big fans of reheating takeout in air fryers: they're particularly good for pizza and fried chicken.

If you're still unsure we've got plenty of inspiration when it comes to what you can cook in an air fryer?.

What can't be cooked in an air fryer

Air fryers are very versatile but there are some things you should avoid. For example, we found 5 foods to avoid putting in an air fryer. These include foods dipped in batter, as the liquid will simply slide off the item and leave a mess in the frying basket. And anything lightweight such as an individual slice of bread or leafy greens is likely to get blown around the cooking cavity. That means it may cook unevenly or even burn. 

With many air fryers large joints of meat can be tricky too: if they're too big for the drawer the hot air can't circulate properly. That means the joint won't be evenly crisped and browned. And we wouldn't recommend trying to cook red meat medium rare or medium: the outside cooks too quickly and can leave the center raw.

How does an air fryer work?

Despite its name, an air fryer doesn't actually fry. Utilizing a very cleverly designed fan oven, it efficiently uses airflow to cook in a way and at a speed that conventional ovens, even fan ones, cannot.

Some of the best air fryers are also multi-cookers, meaning that the air circulated doesn't just air fry. A single countertop device can make tasty fries but also work as a toaster oven, a dehydrator, a slow cooker and a pizza oven, as well as heat up last night's takeout leftovers and bake brilliant bagels too. 

How we tested these air fryers

To compare each air fryer, we've cooked up batches and batches of fries and chicken wings. As well as evaluating how, crisp, evenly browned and in the case of chicken wings, how moist and juicy the meat was, we’ve also compared how easy they are to use.

We rated each design on how many settings it offers, how durable and easy to clean the body and parts are, how loud their fans are and how hot the exterior casing gets. For each model we wanted to know whether it was simple to use design and didn’t require reading a thick instruction manual before use, came with useful accessories such as frying baskets, or a recipe book for inspiration.

Jennifer Oksien
Editor, Top Ten Reviews

Jennifer (Jenny) is currently the editor of Top Ten Reviews, but prior to that, she was TechRadar's Homes Editor. She has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UK's leading retailers and magazine titles such as Real Homes, Ideal Home and Livingetc. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or attempting to make a cake that is edible. 

With contributions from