This air fryer guide will help you understand what kinds of air fryers are out there, and which one might be the best bet for you!
Air fryers are one of the most useful kitchen appliances. They do not require any oil, but they are able to fry food. Air fryers circulate hot air around the food, and this convection effect browns the exterior of the food and keeps the interior moist. (Microwaves, on the other hand, work by removing moisture from the food.) You can also intentionally dehydrate foods in an air fryer, which makes it convenient with chips. We have a LOT of different kinds of air fryer recipes for you and your family to enjoy once you get an air fryer!
Types of Air Fryers
There are two types of air fryers on the market today: basket air fryers and convection oven air fryers. For the most part, the basket air fryers work better than the convection oven air fryers. The most common type of air fryer is the basket type. The basket air fryers typically come in 4 different sizes: small, medium, large, and extra large.
Small: 1-2 quarts; feeds 1-2 people; best for sides or 1 person
Medium: 2-4.5 quarts; feeds 2-4 people
Large: 4.5-6 quarts; feeds 4-6 people
Extra Large: 6+ quarts; feeds 6+ people
Finding the right air fryer can be difficult, so we have put together a guide some of the best air fryers based on size, price, brand, and overall rating.
Best Small Basket Air Fryer
The Instant™ Vortex® Mini is fast, versatile, compact, and convenient, so you can make all your favorite fried sides and snacks with less oil and none of the mess. This small air fryer is available in 4 colors and features EvenCrisp™ technology for crispy, tender results every time. We like how compact it is, the variety of color options, how quickly it works, and its low cost—around $60.
Best Medium-Sized Basket Air Fryer
Meet the Ninja® Air Fryer, a fast and easy way to cook your favorite foods. (Ninja makes all kinds of cool appliances so it's no surprise it shows up in our air fryer guide.) Cook and crisp your favorite foods, like 2 lbs. of French fries, using little to no oil in a family-sized 3.8-liter basket. This 4-quart basket air fryer is one of the best in the industry, providing a fantastic crisp, easy to clean, and some of the highest satisfaction ratings around. It's typically priced a little under $100.
Best Large Basket Air Fryer
The Cosori CAF-L501-KUS Pro LE 5.0-Quart Air Fryer looks beautiful in the kitchen while creating perfectly crispy meals in minutes with rapid air circulation, high temperatures, quiet operation, and easy cleanup. We love how quiet this air fryer is; plus it heats up super quickly.
Price: Around $80.
READ MORE: Air Fryer Tips and Tricks
Best Extra Large Basket Air Fryer
Cook healthy, delicious meals for the whole family with the updated Cosori Pro II Air Fryer. With little-to-no oil required, food cooked in Cosori’s air fryers has on average 85 percent less fat than deep-fried food. With 12 cooking functions, you can adjust and save any preset to your liking. Enjoy all the deliciousness of fried food without the health drawbacks. Consori also makes a "smart" model that can be controlled by your smartphone. We love how efficient this model is, and the 5.8-quart sized basket which enables you to cook more in one use. The digital features make it super easy to read. This base model is normally around $100.
Convection Air Fryer
Cuisinart’s signature Air Fryer just got even better! In addition to air frying french fries, baking cookies, or warming up your leftovers, now you can make even more delicious meals in your Cuisinart® Air Fryer Toaster Oven with Grill! Sear steaks and vegetables on one side and griddle the perfect breakfast on the other with the new dual-sided grill and griddle plate. Bring next-generation cooking to your countertop with the spacious 8-function oven that makes cooking a feast for family and friends — or a simple snack for one — fun, fast, and easy! These luxurious ovens have it all. The price typically ranges from $165 to $230.
How to Choose an Air Fryer
If you're a household of one or two, a small or medium-sized air fryer will work great. But for not much more money, you can score a medium to large air fryer easily. They cost around $100, give or take, depending on how fancy you want to get. Even if you're skeptical or not sure if you need one that big, hear us out. In our experience, most people fall in love with their air fryers after they buy them (and we think you will, too). So we suggest you go with a medium or large size. If you hate it, you can always sell it! But we honestly don't think you'll hate it!
What kind of air fryer do you have? Do you love it? What do you wish someone had told you when before you bought yours? Share your thoughts in the comments below!