We love air fryers so much, we had to give you an updated review with even more unique features!
Everyone knows what they have to do to eat healthier. It’s the same methods: cut out fat, sugar, and starch. There are so many alternatives to both sugar and starch, but what holds so many people (including myself) back is that no one wants to give up their fried, crunchy foods. Even if we know exactly how unhealthy deep fried french fries and chicken are, there’s just something about that crunch that gets your mouth watering just thinking about it. Since I cook for my family, I wanted to find an alternative that would let us enjoy our favorite foods without all of the consequences. Enter the best air fryer.
It’s hard to give all of those tasty foods up. But now, thanks to air fryers, we can continue to enjoy our crunchy chicken and fries without the excess oils and fats (and you can too).
The best air fryer will work by cooking your food with consistently hot or pulsing air and with little to no oil. So, if you’re ready to eat healthier without having to sacrifice what you love, but don’t feel like searching for hours to find the right one, I’m here to help. I’ve researched what’s the best air fryer on the market today so you can have deliciously healthy food!
Best Air Fryer Top Pick: Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer
Secura is one of the largest small appliance manufacturers in North America. They’ve sold well over 8 million high quality, environmentally friendly products in the USA. So it’s no surprise that such a high quality, durable unit such as the Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer is the best air fryer for consumers and businesses alike to purchase.
The Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer basket has a 4.2 quarts capacity, which means it can feed at least a family of four comfortably. It’s a versatile unit that can fry, grill, roast, bake, and reheat your food through the use of Rapid Air technology. Without excessive fat from submerging your food in grease, you can add an oil of your choice on your ingredients before placing them in the air fryer. Though not required, it’ll give your food a crunchy layer.
Shake it halfway so that your food cooks evenly. The denser the food, such as homemade potatoes, the more shaking is required for a more balanced finish.
The Secura is a smooth black air fryer that blends in well with your other kitchen appliances. It also has a smudge-resistant exterior which makes for easier cleaning. It weighs 10.3 pounds and its dimensional size is 14.8 x 12.4 x 13.1 inches.
Both the timer and temperature settings use dials. The timer goes up to 60 minutes. Once it reaches 0, it’ll automatically shut down. You also have the option to manually shut it down by turning the dial to zero if your food finished cooking before the timer went off.
The temperature is between 180° and 390°. To protect itself, it comes with a built-in overheating protection. If the sensory notices that the inner temperature is dangerously high, it’ll automatically shut itself down.
You can also preheat the Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer by selecting your desired time to cook then adding 3 extra minutes because that’s approximately how long it’ll take to preheat. The heating-up light will turn off when it’s done preheating.
The Secura comes with four skewers, a grill rack, and recipes. So, if you love a good shish kebab in the winter, but don’t feel like pulling out the grill in the frigid cold, then this definitely is a plus. You can even grill steak with it, just use the recipe book to see how to go about cooking it.
The Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer comes with a 2-year limited warranty when purchased from the manufacturer or an authorized seller. Most manufacturers only offer a one year warranty. That’s why this warranty is one of the best because it offers you longer protection and peace of mind.
Flaws but not dealbreakers of the best air fryer
- It’s a little noisy. Like any appliance that has a compressor and exhaust, it will make some noise. But it’s not loud at all, it just sounds like a low running fan.
- It’s big. Although it can hold 4.2 quarts of food at a time, the entire air fryer’s dimensions are 14.8 x 12.4 x 13.1 inches. Depending on how much counter space you have, it may or may not fit comfortably enough for you. So, before you buy it check to make sure that it can fit in your desired locations by taking its measurements. But if it doesn’t fit, you can always place it anywhere that it’ll have access to a power cord.
- Timer knob can be difficult to turn. The timer knob is round and smooth, so if your hands aren’t dry, it’ll be hard for you to turn it. It’s similar to trying to open a can top, you need grip. So, before you use it, make sure that your hands are dry or have a towel nearby so that you can use that to turn the knob.
Best Air Fryer Runner-Up: Philips XL HD9240
Philips’ air fryers are the most popular in the world with over 5 million units sold alone! The Philips XL HD9240 lives up to the hype with its digital analog, contemporary design, and its interior design that combines with the rapid air technology for evenly cooked food.
The Philips XL HD9240 basket has a 3.5-quart capacity which means it can feed up to a family of four. Similar to the Secura, you can use this best air fryer runner-up to fry, grill, bake, roast and reheat food through Rapid Air technology. You’ll also need to shake the food halfway through so all the food is cooked evenly.
The Philips XL HD9240 is an air fryer with a contemporary design that comes in the colors black and white. It weighs 18.4 lbs and its dimensional size is 16.6 x 12.4 x 11.9 inches. The unique starfish design on the bottom of the best air fryer runner-up ensures consistent air circulation from the Rapid Air technology which results in evenly cooked food.
Unlike the Secura, the timer and temperature settings are digital analogs. The timer goes up to 60 minutes and it automatically shuts down when it reaches 0. It’ll also automatically shut down if you don’t press a button in 30 minutes. Or if you didn’t set a temperature within 5 minutes of turning it on. So that makes it super convenient if you forget you turned it on
The temperature ranges from 180° to 390°. You can also preset one temperature and cooking time for the food you cook the most. For the best results, you can also preheat it for 3 minutes for a shorter cooking time.
The Philips comes with a free app and recipe book that contains 150 air fryer recipes. The grilling pan, rack, and skewers aren’t included in the purchase price. However, you do have the option to purchase them separately.
The Philips XL HD9240 comes with a one-year warranty if you’re planning on purchasing and using it in the US or Canada.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Difficult to clean if you don’t immediately soak it. The basket is made of mesh so if you allow the food to sit, it’ll stick to it and it’ll be harder to clean. Since you don’t want to use any abrasive cleaning supplies, it’ll be hard to clean it after a while. So as it cools down, make sure to immediately soak it in hot soapy water.
- It can possibly get smokey. Food that’s prone to smoke such as sausages, pork chops, and anything overly greasy can cause the unit to produce white smoke. To combat this, you can place it under your stove and put on the fan so that it can blow the smoke away.
- It doesn’t come with rack and skewer accessories. Although this unit is a versatile best air fryer runner-up that can use different accessories with it, it doesn’t come with them. You’ll definitely expect it at this price point, but it does have other nice features that make up for it. You can also purchase these accessories separately if you want.
Best Air Fryer Honorable Mention: T-fal ActiFry
T-fal is all about innovations. They’re always looking for ways to combine the latest technology with consumers’ expectations. They spent 10 years researching and eventually crafting the T-fal Actifry. Although it’s not the absolute best air fryer on the market, find out why it’s unique feature keeps it in high demand.
The T-fal Actifry basket has a 2.2 lb capacity which means it can definitely feed a family of three. You can use it to fry, grill, roast, or reheat your food using pulsing air technology. Unlike the Secura and Philips which uses Rapid Air technology, this model periodically pumps hot air through the food. It does this while giving your food a crispy outer texture without sacrificing the inner moisture.
The most unique feature of the T-fal Actifry is that you don’t have to get up to shake it half way through because it does it by itself. It’s self-stirring paddle constantly stirs your food for you.
The T-fal is a lightweight black air fryer that weighs 6 lbs. It’s dimensional size is 16.7 x 13.6 x 9.5 inches. Its lid doesn’t steam up so whenever you feel like checking the progress of your food.
It’s a very simple unit, so it only has two buttons: the ON/OFF and the timer. The temperature setting stays at a consistent 338°. The timer goes up to 99 minutes. Since you can only go up with the timer setting, if you mess up, just hold the button for 2 seconds and it’ll reset so you can start again.
The T-fal Actifry comes with a measuring spoon so you use the correct amount of oil and a cookbook with recipes for you to try with it.
The T-fal has a one-year limited warranty.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
- It doesn’t automatically turn off. When the food is finished cooking, it doesn’t automatically shut down when the timer turns off, which is inconvenient. You’ll need to be around it when it goes off so your food doesn’t overcook. Also, the timer itself may not be loud enough if you decide to relax in the living room and rely solely on the timer to tell you when your food is finished. To avoid missing the timer going off, use your kitchen or phone timer for a louder beep.
- The highest temperature setting is 338°. Unlike other units that can go up to 400°, the T-fal can only reach 338°. This means that your food will take longer to cook. You’ll need to adjust your cooking times. If you’re entertaining guests, you’ll just have to start cooking earlier.
- The stirring paddle can jam small food. The stirring paddle can crush small food and cause it to get jammed inside the T-fal. If too much food gets caught in the paddle, it’ll stop rotating and you’ll have to clean before it starts again.
Conclusion of the Best Air Fryer
It doesn’t matter what model you choose because they all are designed to help you eat healthier, less fatty foods without you having to sacrifice the flavors you love.
If you’re looking for the best air fryer that has the capacity to feed a family with incredible accessories and convenient features, then you need the Secura Electric Hot Air Fryer.
But if you’re looking for something more modern with a contemporary style, unique design for even cooking, and a digital interface where you can preset your favorite setting, then look no further than the Philips XL HD9240.
However, if what you really want is to relax and not worry about stirring your food at all, then you need the T-fal Actifry.
Q: How does an air fryer work?
Unlike deep fryers that need cups of hot grease to cook your frozen food, air fryers use consistently hot air to get your food crispy. It works by circulating the heat through and around your food. Another way to look at it is that air fryers are similar to conventional ovens.
Q: What can I cook in an air fryer?
Though it’s widely known that you can cook french fries in an air fryer, it’s definitely not the only thing you can cook in it. There are hundreds of different foods you can cook in there. Anywhere ranging from meats such as steak and beef to vegetables such as potatoes and Brussel sprouts. You can even cook pastries and cakes in them.
The only thing that sets one air fryer apart from the other is how big it is. The size of the basket can greatly differentiate if you can cook a roast or only cook a 2-pound bag of fries.
Q: What type of food can’t I cook in there?
Anything with a fresh batter isn’t recommended. It’s because the batter will fly off your food, similar to leaves flying around in high winds. It’ll cause a mess that I doubt you want to clean. So, if you’re craving buttermilk chicken tenders, you’ll need to cook them in the oven or deep fryer.
Q: What will my food taste like?
The best way to explain why your food isn’t going to taste like it just came out of a deep fryer is by explaining the science behind frying.
Foods that are deep-fried get their crispy crust from dehydration. The higher the temperature of the fat (oil) the quicker that the outer water contents of your food dehydrate. Simultaneously, the sugar and proteins in your food get broken down to create those mouthwatering flavors you love and its golden brown skin (which is known as Maillard reactions).
The crust forms as a protective barrier to ensure that the food doesn’t absorb any more oil. That’s why if you’re frying food on a low fire, it’ll be greasier than if on a medium heat. From this point, only heat is allowed through to your food’s inner content where it continues the frying process until completion.
That’s why an air fryer doesn’t produce the same crisp as a deep fryer. However, that doesn’t mean your food isn’t crispy, just not to the same degree as deep-fried food. Though you’ll have to see for yourself how it comes out because we all have different taste buds and preferences.
Q: Does it need to be preheated?
Yes, they do. It’s similar to cooking in a conventional oven. While you can place your food in there before it’s at your desired temperature, it’ll cook faster if you preheat it. However, each model is different so make sure to read your user manual to see how long you have to preheat it for.
Q: Can I use parchment paper or aluminum foil inside it?
Technically, you can. It isn’t recommended since air fryers work by producing consistently hot air so your food can cook. Parchment paper and aluminum foil can block the air from reaching and cooking your food effectively and in a timely manner. So, if you do decide to use it, make sure that it’s not hindering the air fryer from cooking your food properly.
Q: Do they really require no oil?
Some foods don’t require any oil, while others only require a tablespoon of it. However, most people choose to add a small amount of oil to their food, not the basket, for a crisper texture.
Q: How should an air fryer be cleaned?
The most important factor to extend the lifespan of an air fryer is to clean it after each use. If you don’t, it won’t last long and before you know it, you’ll be buying another one.
The first step to clean an air fryer is to unplug it and let it cool down before touching it. Once it’s cool to the touch, soak it in hot soapy water for at least 10 minutes. However, if you prefer to toss it in the dishwasher, you can after soaking it.
Then you’ll need to clean it with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Once you’re done cleaning the basket, set it aside and let it air dry. Then you’ll need to make sure that there’s no food inside the fryer itself. If there is, you can use a non-abrasive sponge with warm soapy water inside it too.
Each model is different so you’ll need to check the user manual for any specific directions. However, using hot or warm soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth are the basic cleaning instructions.