Air fryers are in high demand, and for good reason. They offer an easy way to cook up a delicious meal faster than a standard oven and with a fraction of the fat used in deep frying.
You probably already know, but the best air fryers are a redesign of the convection oven, which first broke onto the scene in 1945 with the Maxson Whirlwind Oven. in 2010, Philips came out with the first personal air fryer designed for home use. Since then, the capabilities and designs of air fryers have grown by leaps and bounds. It feels like air fryers get smarter every year, and pretty soon, there could be one that eliminates the need for most of your kitchen tools and appliances.
We’re still probably a ways away from that; however, there are still a lot of good reasons why you should invest in an air fryer right now. To help you out deciding on which of the many air fryer brands to choose from, here are our picks for the best air fryer brands in 2021
When you first think of the Ninja brand, blenders might be the first thing to pop into your mind. That’s because blenders were one of Ninja’s flagship products. However, through thoughtful product designs and affordably priced products, Ninja has become one of the premier air fryer brands. Its Foodie series has brought even more innovation and to the brand’s air fryer and air fryer oven selection.
Like Ninja, the air fryer wasn’t what boosted Instant to fame and fortune; it was its famous pressure cooker—the Instant Pot. Seeing the demand for air fryers, Instant launched the Vortex and never looked back. Instant and Ninja remain fierce competitors in the air fryer industry as both brands are highly dependable and reasonably priced.
If you’re a fan of originators, then you’ll want to purchase a Philips air fryer. Philips launched the first air fryer for home use in 2010. The brand has taken the, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to its air fryers, as their design hasn’t changed much since then. Philips is still one of the top-rated air fryer brands globally, so whatever they’re doing is working. If you want to buy a Philips air fryer, be prepared to pay a little more than the first two brands.
Cosori is a small appliance division of the parent company Vesync. Cosori air fryers are also very highly rated and fall into the same price range as Ninja and Instant. What stands out about Cosori is its line of smart air fryers that can be controlled via Google Assistant, Alexa, and a smartphone app. If you have a smart household, a Cosori air fryer could be for you.
Suppose you’re a fan of retro appliances and want an air fryer that most resembles an original Maxson Whirlwind Oven. In that case, a Cuisinart might be for you. That’s because Cuisinart only makes toaster oven-style air fryers, similar to the Maxson design. All but one model operates using knobs, giving them a retro feel and making cooking with them straightforward. Their digital model is the highest priced one, retailing at around $300.
Breville is a world leader in premium kitchen appliances, and its line of air fryers is no exception. Like Cuisinart, they only produce oven-style air fryers. Breville’s Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro is one of the biggest on the market, letting you air fry a whole turkey up to 14 pounds. The bottom line is that Breville’s product quality rarely comes into question, and their designs are sleek and eye-catching. However, for this premium brand, you’ll also pay a premium price.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Hamilton Beach. Most people know Hamilton Beach as a budget brand, and they wouldn’t be wrong. Still, they aren’t the cheapest on the market, and their price in no way reflects their quality. Hamilton Beach air fryers are highly rated, no-frills air fryers that get the job done. If that sounds like your kind of product, Hamilton Beach is for you.
Originating in Belgium, Kalorik has been producing quality appliances for almost 100 years. The brand has over twenty models of air fryers to choose from, including its unique universal air fryer lid that can turn practically any pot or pan into an air fryer. You can expect to pay a little more than average for the Kalorik brand name, but not as much as you would for Breville.
Little known fact: Martha Stewart bought out the Emeril Legasse brand back in 2008. So if you’ve been buying his products hoping to take his bank account up a notch — BAM, you’re sorely mistaken. Regardless of your feelings on Stewart or Legasse, the Emeril line of air fryers is a reliable budget brand that is highly rated.
NuWave is a line of air fryers that are of average price and perform well. They’re highly rated and offer models which can be controlled by an app. The thing we like about NuWave is its unique design. The Brio 7.25-quart air fryer has a slick, slanted design that looks great on your countertop.
The name GoWISEUSA can be a little misleading. The company’s products are designed in the U.S. but manufactured in China. But, these days, that’s not uncommon, nor does it indicate poor quality. In fact, it’s quite the opposite for the GoWISEUSA brand. Its 18 air fryer product offerings are highly rated for affordability, reliability, and performance.
Last but not least, we have Dash. If your living space is limited, Dash could be the air fryer brand for you. The brand designs all its air fryers to be compact and easy to operate. Dash has taken that mantra a step further with its line of Tasti-Crisp air fryers. You will also be hard-pressed to find an air fryer brand that offers its products at such a low price yet highly rated.
Size: Even the most petite air fryer takes up a decent amount of space. Consider your storage space, cabinet clearance, and countertop space before purchasing an air fryer. Also, think about what you’ll be preparing most often. If you’re looking to fry whole birds, you’re going to need to spring for a sizable oven-style air fryer.
Features: It used to be that you’d put food in an air fryer, set the temp, then cook the food. Now there are so many cooking features on some models that it can be overwhelming. Make sure you buy only what you need, and remember — sometimes less is more.
Price: Elaborating on the features point, products with more features cost more. If you’re just looking to air fry, then a standard basket air fryer should be enough and will be much cheaper. If you’re looking to replace your oven, you might spring for a larger, more expensive oven model.
- Healthier cooking with less fat needed to fry.
- Faster cooking thanks to convection oven technology and confined cooking space.
- Air fryers are energy efficient.
- Thousand of readily available air fryer recipes online.
- Way more affordable than replacing your gas/electric oven with a convection oven.
- New developments in technology allow for more cooking capabilities.
- Some models can be difficult to clean.
- It can take some trial and error to understand cooking pre-sets and proper temp settings.
- Some models take up a lot of space.
- Recipe temp and settings can vary between brands and models.
- It’s easy to pay too much for an air fryer equipped with features you don’t need.
- Is Air Fried Food Really Healthier?
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