Top five best air fryers for 2020
By Haddi Browne
We round up the best of the air fryers to have gone through our tough tests, as well as highlighting three poor models to avoid.
If you're after perfectly-cooked low-fat chips that are crispy and golden on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside, make sure you pick an air fryer from our selection of the best models on test.
Whether you’re on a budget, want a speedy dinner, or have lots of hungry mouths to feed, we've picked out the best air fryer for you.
Some air fryers look the part, but will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. We've found air fryers that are slow, noisy, tricky to use, and make unforgivably terrible chips. Check further down the page for three air fryers to avoid.
In this article:
- Best air fryers
- Three air fryers to avoid
- Choosing the right air fryer for you
- How we uncover the best air fryers
Best air fryer overall
Table last updated: January 2020
Not found the product for you? Browse all of our air fryer reviews.
Not all air fryers make delicious chips. The worst we’ve tested made a mix of burnt and undercooked fries, were awkward to use and took ages to heat up and cook. You’d be better off making oven chips than buying one of these disappointing models.
Worst air fryers
If you commit to stirring your chips every five minutes in this air fryer they can at least look good, but there’s nothing you can do to make them taste appetising. Our expert chip taster thought they were awful. Unless you like bland fries, this model is best avoided.
Table last updated: January 2020
The main things to consider when buying an air fryer are:
- What type of chips do you want? Bear in mind that air fried chips are more akin to oven chips than proper fried chips, so if you're expecting a proper chip-shop crunch you may be disappointed.
- Capacity Most air fryers can cook around 800g (approx four portions) of chips. Some can manage up to twice as much. If you've got lots of people to cater for opt for a larger capacity, or a model with double-level cooking.
- Worktop space Air fryer designs differ, and some have a smaller footprint, or are easier to fold down into a cupboard. If you're short on space, it's worth looking at more compact models.
- Digital or manual controls Digital models can make it easier to see how much cooking time is left. Some even come with smartphone control via an app.
- Dishwasher-proof parts This can help save on cleaning time.
For more advice on features, check our air fryer buying guide.
We leave no stone unturned in finding the air fryers that will cook to perfection and be simple to use when you get them home. Here's a quick summary of our tests:
Quality of cooking
We challenge air fryers to cook batches of chips and a chicken, to ensure they can turn out tasty fried treats and keep meat succulent and tender. Our expert tasters rate the chips on taste, and we also scrutinise them to assess how evenly cooked they are. Some models will leave you with poorly cooked, even raw chips, or burnt ends.
As well as cooking performance, we check each air fryer heats and cooks quickly, so you aren't left waiting an age for your dinner. We also check if the surfaces are cool to touch - some models get very hot during cooking. Finally, we rate how noisy each model is, to catch any particularly noisy or annoying ones.
Overall ease of use
Air frying should be a simple way to prepare food, but some models can trip you up with confusing instructions and awkward food containers. If you hate clearing up after dinner time, make sure to choose one that’s easy to clean and fits tidily into your cupboards.
To find our more, see our guide to how we test air fryers.