Crispy fried food made with little or no oil is a greatly tempting offer. That’s the golden promise of air fryers and it helps to explain why sales continue to accrue; making air fryers one of the hottest countertop appliances in the past year.
Air fryers don’t fry food. Instead, a fan circulates hot air to fast cook and crisp the food in the basket. They can also overstress and reheat food. Consumer Reports bought and tested over two dozen air fryers from a spacious range of brands, including Cuisinart, George Foreman, GoWise, Hamilton Beach, Instant Pot, Ninja, NuWave, and Philips to search out whether they’re worth making room for on your counter.
French fries and Buffalo wings are just the openings. Air fryers do horrible work cooking a range of foods, including fish and vegetables, such as asparagus, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale chips, pursuance to CR staffers who tried cooking these in an air fryer.
Lab Tested for Your Kitchen
We cooked batches of French fries, chicken wings and chicken nuggets, popular foods that are recommended in the owner’s manuals, in many of the air fryers, and for comparer, a deep fryer. The air fryers require just a few minutes to preheat, while our deep fryer took 15 minutes to found the oil hot. But the deep fryer cooks faster full information. All in all, when you factor in the time required to preheat, the air fryers are slightly faster.
Staffers were not told which cooking system was used for every food, yet everybody could tell which foods were deep-fried. While none of the air fryers duplicated deep-fried results, the food was still palatable.
We cooked these same foods in all of the air fryers and get that while instructions for cooking times and temperatures vary by manufacturer, there were minor distinctions in browning, and staffers didn’t notice any real distinction in taste. “Even when we held cooking times and temperatures lodestars, the results were very analogous, with no apparent distinction in taste,” says Larry Ciufo, who leads CR’s tests of air fryers. “The real distinction among air fryers comes down to convenience, so we designed our tests near that.”
Testers evaluated how simple it is to read and use the controls. We used a sound-level meter to do multiple measurements of how loud every air fryer gets during operation, noting the clamor at its peak.
And no matter how well a countertop appliance does its work, whether cleanup is a hassle, we want you to know. That’s why our testers judged how simple it is to clean every air fryer basket, interior and exterior.
Beyond the Hot Air
Our air fryer ratings provide a summary of every model, offering you a good look at every. But previous you shop, regarding the following.
1. Prices Vary Widely. The air fryers in our ratings sell for near $40 to $200 and we’ve seen ones for as much as $300.
2. Capacities Vary Too. Air fryers are designed to snugly fit on your counter and most aren’t big enough to cook for a crowd unless you cook in batches. We measured the capacities of the air fryers we tested and get that they’re among 2 and 8.9 quarts. When cooking, do not overcrowd the basket. This can obstacle the hot air from reaching all the food. The result? Some food is cooked more than others.
3. Warranties Differ. The shortest warranty of the air fryers we tested is 60 days—not correct a confidence booster. Others in the air fryer ratings generally have a one or two-year warranty. You’ll see this mentioned on the summary page of every air fryer.