Our tests show that you can make tasty, low-fat chips at home with an air fryer – but only if you buy the right one.
We put popular air fryers including the Tefal Actifry, Philips Airfryer and Breville Halo Health Fryer to the test to find out which ones you can rely on to turn out fuss-free fast food.
Two of the ten air fryers we tested made the delicious golden-brown chips we were looking for, and earned Best Buy status as a result. But not all of them were so impressive. One model couldn’t cook chips properly at all, turning out half-raw spuds with charred edges. It’s so bad that we’ve rated it a Don’t Buy to avoid.
Check our air fryer reviews to find out which models make it easy to cook tasty chips, and which ones you’ll want to steer clear of.
What is an air fryer?
Air fryers started out as a low-fat alternative to deep-fat frying. However, making food in an air fryer is actually more similar to oven cooking than frying, as they cook the food with hot air and only a small amount of oil.
Compared with a deep-fat fryer, air fryers are less messy to use, as you need only a small amount of oil (around a teaspoon, depending on the model). There should be less faff, too, as you don’t have to deal with lots of leftover oil, or keep watch over the cooking process.
Low-fat chips and more
Which? members who own an air fryer already use it most often for cooking chips, according to our 2016 member survey. However, you can cook vegetables, meat, curries and even cakes in them.
Some models come with extra racks or accessories to allow you to cook several things at once, so you can fit in your fish as well as your chips – handy for a quick and effortless dinner
For more on features to look out for, see our guide to buying an air fryer.
How we test air fryers
We challenged each air fryer to cook chicken and chips. We assessed how thoroughly and evenly the food was cooked, including whether the chips were golden and crunchy with a fluffy centre, and whether the chicken came out moist and succulent.
Chef James Adams, who has worked with the River Café and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, also tasted and rated the chips from each fryer and gave his verdict on their tastiness.
We found that most air fryers, even the ones with paddles that stir your food for you, benefit from a helping hand during cooking. Some models produced significantly better results with a few stirs partway through cooking.
To find out which fryers need the least help to cook tasty chips, see our pick of the best air fryers.
2017 air fryer reviews
Here’s the full list of air fryers we’ve tested. You can click on the individual links to see the full review for each model:
- Breville Halo+ VDF122 Health Fryer, £179
- Breville Halo+ VDF105 Health Fryer, £114
- DeLonghi Multifry Young FH1130, £99
- Philips Viva Airfryer HD 9220/20, £153
- Russell Hobbs Your Creations Purifry 20810, £80
- Salter Hot Air Fryer, £60
- Tefal Actifry Original FZ740840, £110
- Tefal Actifry Express XL AH950840, £149
- Tefal Actifry Plus GH840840, £117
- Tefal Actifry 2 in 1 YV960140, £185
*Prices correct as of 28 April 2017