Best air fryers 2019: Make fried food without all the guilt
Get the crispiness without the grease with this futuristic kitchen accessory.
Disclosure
Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.
Our pick
Philips Digital Air Fryer
Pricey but worth it, Philips offers a stellar combo of size, user-friendliness, looks, and even cooking.
best for hands-off cooking
T-fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker
Get even, golden brown cooking without the effort with T-Fal's unique ring shape and built-in stirring paddles.
Best for families
Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven
Air fry, bake, roast, and broil in this versatile 2-in-1 that's clutch for families or large groups.

We're calling it now: Air fryers are the Instant Pot of 2019. 

We're always on the lookout for new kitchen gadgets that will make cooking easier and more fun — so pumped was an understatement we first heard claims of a countertop appliance that can make our favorite greasy foods less unhealthy, all with speed similar to an Instant Pot. Air fryers started popping into mainstream eye in Spring 2017, and now that they've had their chance to marinate in the market (food pun intended), it feels like an appropriate time to compare the best ones.

If you thought you were overwhelmed with all of the different Instant Pot models, just wait until you see the air fryer market.

Before we dive into the different devices, let's answer some lingering questions.

What is an air fryer and how does it work? 

Simply put, it's deep frying without the oil — AKA deep frying without the unhealthy part. Some may tell you to just cut back on fried foods all together, but is that really the only option?

Nope.

Deep fryers flash heat foods and take them from frozen to ready-to-eat in minutes by dunking them in a bath of super hot oil. This process jumpstarts the Maillard reaction, which is when food gets brown and crispy and delicious — and drenched in fat.

While your typical deep fryer needs enough oil to completely drown the food, an air fryer barely uses any (like, a tablespoon at most). Other than that, air fryers basically use the same method, using a convection fan to surround the food with hot air instead of oil. The air bounces off of the bottom of the air fryer and back up through the food, cooking it all over to create that crisping effect in just minutes — something that was previously only possible with deep frying. Not only are you getting that coveted taste and texture without the part that makes it unhealthy, but you're getting it in half the time. 

Air fryers can also cook a hell of a lot more food than a deep fryer and can be used for things like grilling a steak or baking a pizza. It's like having a combo oven and deep fryer, except it fits on your counter and doesn't require frozen food to be thawed before cooking. 


But is it actually healthy?

Taking the guilt out of guilty pleasure snacks is probably the main reason you're looking to buy an air fryer, right? We will say it's health-ier: Manufacturers claim that air frying can reduce calorie intake by up to 80% — so yes, air frying is certainly a much better preparation alternative. However, scientists aren't bullshitting with the whole "moderation is key" thing, and calories aren't the only factor to measure health. Having an air fryer does not mean that a diet consisting of french fries and pizza rolls is a good path to take, and making sure you get those plant-based oils and vitamins from fruits and veggies should still be worked in somehow.

Got a picky eater at home? Air fryers are a bomb way to crisp up zucchinis, carrots, squash, and more to give them some added taste and crunch, teaching kids that they don't always have to run for cover when the veggies come out.

Which air fryers are best?

As with any beloved appliance, there are various sizes, features, and physical interfaces from all of the major kitchen brands you'd expect — and some don't. We'll keep it simple and fill you in on the need-to-know details and differences, so your brain doesn't get too fried.

Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f908040%252fa04116c0 0439 4d70 a22f 6337c07efd10.jpg%252f480x0.jpg?signature=njr3asfx80vboyvx rrbqfnjn08=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws
Image: philips
The Good
Screen size is just right • Reputation for cooking food evenly • Multiple sizes
The Bad
Significantly pricer than others • No stainless steel details
The Bottom Line
If you're willing to fork over the cash, the Philips air fryer has a great reputation and a simple screen interface.

1. Philips Digital Air Fryer

Pricey but worth it, Philips offers a stellar combo of size, user-friendliness, looks, and even cooking.
  • Capcity: 2.75 quarts, 4 quarts
In search of the holy grail? Look no further. Philips is no stranger to being #1 in TVs, smart home, and even electric toothbrushes, and somehow, they're killing the air fryer game, too. We've picked their Avance Digital Turbostar as the best overall model — if you're willing to splurge. It is one of the pricier options, but is almost always on sale.
Even cooking seems like it should be a given with air fryers, but it's not as easy to find as you'd think. Luckily, that's not a worry with here, as customers in the Amazon reviews rave about how their consistent turnouts. All you need is a little practice, and you (and your food) will be golden.
The HD9641's straightforward interface is a mix of sleek and simple, with a QuickControl dial for temperature and time, five cooking presets for popular dishes, and a large screen. (It's rare to get a screen at all, and most with screens are borderline overwhelming). Also included are a grease tray and food basket, both dishwasher safe.
This is the second generation of the HD9641 model and is 20% smaller than the original so it frees up counter space, but still has the same 1.8-pound capacity inside. While that's enough room for a chicken breast or a good amount of french fries, it probably won't be enough if you're cooking for more than two. Luckily, Philips also makes a 2.65-pound XL version as well. 
Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f908080%252f193e9713 fa19 4e61 a433 e25b5ac30fb2.png%252f480x0.png?signature=oxdiv6dwat0lhglr6dxskicq7zw=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws
Image: gowise
The Good
Rare touchscreen option • Super versatile color selection • Multiple sizes
The Bad
Reviews mention it breaks easily • Bigger sizes have less color options
The Bottom Line
GoWISE has a great product on their hands, with plenty of design choices and a touchscreen interface.

2. GoWISE USA Air Fryer

This colorful device takes the guesswork out of cooking with a touch screen menu and eight cooking presets.
  • Capacity: 2.75 quarts, 3.7 quarts, 5.8 quarts
  • Color options: Black, white, red, purple, mint, red, mustard yellow, blush
When an air fryer comes in enough colors to match your outfit, you know you're in for a good time. GoWISE has been in the air fryer game for a while, and their XL Air Fryer is a tried and true choice. The 5.8 quart GoWISE fryer sports a large, attractive touchscreen (think spaceship dashboard), with multiple options for food presets, temperature, a timer, and more. If nearly six quarts is overkill for you, GoWise offers two smaller options that are just as stylish.
This all-inclusive puppy takes the guesswork out of cooking with the built-in touch screen menu featuring a whopping eight cooking presets: Cook fries, pork, chicken, steak, shrimp, cake (yes, cake!), fish, and pizza without fear of under or overcooking. And if those aren't enough, you'll also get a GoWISE recipe book that features 50 yummy ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Food options aren't the only versatile thing here: Choose from a smaller retro model in an assortment of adorable pastels (1950s home aesthetics, anyone?), or opt for the extra capacity and get a futuristic touch screen. There's truly one for every decorating style. 



Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f907565%252ff6fa1196 ccb5 4e6b bd0f ca9f359ea850.jpg%252f480x0.jpg?signature=9kcnmuaqzsxss4ysy1hvrunnod0=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws
Image: tfal
The Good
Built-in stirring paddle rotates food automatically • Transparent lid for checking progress
The Bad
Awkward shape for storage • Only one size
The Bottom Line
Weirdly-shaped but futuristic as hell, the Actifry stirs for you while you sit back and relax.

3. T-fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker

Get even, golden brown cooking without the effort with T-Fal's unique ring shape and built-in stirring paddles.
  • Capacity: 2.2 pounds (around 2.75 quarts)
  • Colors: Black
While you may recognize the brand T-fal for their heavy duty pots and pans, they're also a force to be reckoned with in the air fryer game. The FZ700251 ActiFry multi cooker is futuristic as hell and has a major "set it and forget it" vibe that most other cookers can't offer.
Unlike most of the competition, the Actifry does not sport a pull-out food drawer. Instead, the overhead lid opens to reveal a (dishwasher-safe) ring-shaped basket that can hold up to 2.2 pounds. Once turned on, the Actifry's built-in stirring paddle will rotate your food under the hot air, so you don't have to depend on stirring or flipping for even cooking, which is the hardest part. Can we get a hell yeah?
The transparent lid allows you to look in on how your food is coming along. But if you don't have time to check in (or just don't feel like it), don't worry — a buzzer will go off once the timer is done. Along with your purchase, you'll also get a 38-recipe cookbook and a measuring spoon.


Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f906255%252fa09da34c ad5f 4b08 87e7 49d84297ce5f.jpg%252f480x0.jpg?signature=vsvwzhnzsv0zbytfg1kklhxxbxg=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws
Image: black+decker
The Good
Ultra simple to use • Heats up fast • Classy color options
The Bad
Pricey for low number of features • No preset cooking functions • Only one size
The Bottom Line
Newbie? No problem. Black+Decker offers a straightforward mid-size device that's perfect for snacks.

4. Black+Decker 2-Liter Air Fryer

  • Capacity: 2 liters (2.11 quarts)
  • Colors: Black/stainless steel, white/black
Intense snackers, look no further: Hailing from home gadget megabrand Black+Decker. Their Purify 2-Liter Air Fryer is a bomb midsize option to squeeze on that last inch of open counter space and promises perfectly-crisped appetizers or small meals.
The best part? There's next to no learning curve. Once you perfect the flipping action, it's one of the most straightforward on the bunch — so even if toast is the furthest you've been able to make meal wise, this machine is nothing you can't handle. With no screen and only two dials to control temperature and time (with two lights to show preheating status), it's a basic approach that's nearly impossible to mess up.
Quick bites are the name of the game here: An eight cup capacity gives wiggle room for 10 chicken nuggets or onion rings, 15 pizza rolls, or a half pound of french fries — it's also been said to be one of the best models to tackle frozen foods. Frying up a main course (like an actual chicken) probably isn't likely, but it's clutch for those side dishes or meals for one.
Bonus: It's also one of the most aesthetically pleasing options. Its stainless steel accents make it a seamless addition to any modern kitchen — but if you're more of a traditional decor person, there's a white model as well. 


Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f850029%252f408cdd4f 32ee 4a8c affd bdc51e0ad231.jpg%252f480x0.jpg?signature=cepw9iox8pr2wxebhl1 6jlih8e=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws
Image: secura
The Good
Offers indoor grilling options • Preset cooking functions • Next to no negative reviews
The Bad
Complaints of not getting hot enough • Only one size
The Bottom Line
Bring that warm-weather grilling indoors with the BBQ rack, skewers, and handy preset functions.

5. Secura 3.4-quart Electric Air Fryer

It air fries, it lets you grill indoors, and it's totally affordable. Sign us up!
  • Capacity: 3.4 quarts
  • Colors: Black
Burgers, anyone? Get your summer BBQ on year round with the Secura Electric Air Fryer, one of the only on the market to include accessories like a BBQ rack and tongs for easy indoor grilling. At 1500 Watts, it's a true powerhouse and has garnered one of the best collection of reviews we've seen compared to the rest of the list 
At a pretty hefty 3.4 quarts, Secura's basket is more than enough to hold a decent amount of appetizers like quiche or ingredients for shish kebabs, as well as main entrees like falafel, three patties at once, or even a five pound turkey.
Though the Secura fryer doesn't have a screen, its complexity is upped by six preset food settings (fries, steak, chicken wings, cake, bread, and other meat) to do the work for you, as well a temperature dial and a timer dial. Its stainless steel interface allows it to blend seamlessly with the rest of your stainless steel appliances.


Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f904507%252fd72fafef 26a3 4d3e 81eb 41a05f63ba0a.png%252f480x0.png?signature=5vuowqevtwnotvjcyai9tlvp3se=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws
Image: cuisinart
The Good
2-in-1 space saving • Massive capacity for an air fryer • Entirely stainless steel
The Bad
Unnecessary if you don't need a toaster oven, obviously • Cheap knobs
The Bottom Line
If you've been wanting a toaster oven as well, this modern 2-in-1 crosses two big appliances off your list.

6. Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Air fry, bake, roast, and broil in this versatile 2-in-1 that's clutch for families or large groups.
  • Capacity: 4 pounds
  • Colors: Stainless steel
Counter space is not a thing to take lightly, especially if you're an apartment dweller. Thankfully, this 2-in-1 from Cuisinart exists. It's a toaster oven with a built-in air fryer, that's built for baking, toasting, broiling, and air frying while saving you the counter clutter — unless you already have a toaster oven, that is.
If you live in a full house or host a big group often, the 4-lb capacity of this 2-in-1 device ensures that everyone can be fed on the first batch (whether that's a 4-lb chicken or 4 pounds of fries). The 16-inch baking tray allows for the hot air to circulate and hit your food evenly, so stirring or flipping probably isn't necessary. 
Its totally stainless steel exterior makes it a perfect addition to a stainless steel kitchen (while most other options are black with a stainless steel handle), using four dials across the top for temperature, function, time, and a special toast timer. This particular bundle also throws in a free five-piece knife set and a bamboo cutting board (ooh, fancy) to cross even more kitchen necessities off the list.


Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f908270%252f0b4e3ac8 06f5 4f90 956b 08f184d8429b.jpg%252f480x0.jpg?signature=g2vymx2vct ernqhaaroyewqzba=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws
Image: dash
The Good
Super affordable • Great color options • Small and portable
The Bad
Small basket is limiting • Only one size option • Won't last the longest
The Bottom Line
If you're snacking on a budget, Dash's no-frills air fryer gets the job done and can be taken anywhere.

7. Dash Compact Air Fryer

  • Capacity: 1.6 quarts
  • Colors: White, black, grey, red, aqua
No matter how great they sound, forking over $100 or more for an air fryer may not be within your budget. Thankfully, there are a few cheap air fryers on the market that don't sacrifice quality. Our favorite cheap air fryer is the Dash Compact Air Fryer, a reliable little sidekick that can be taken nearly anywhere.
This no-frills fryer offers the bare minimum of features — and when you're a newbie or only planning on using it sparingly, there's no point to paying for extras. Set your temperature and time using their respective knobs, stir or flip once if you're feeling ambitious, and come back in a few minutes to a hot, crispy snack. Dash's model is the scrawniest of the bunch, offering a 1.6-quart capacity to fit personal batches of fries, hot wings, fish, cinnamon rolls, and more — perfect for a college dorm, apartment, or camping RV. (Just don't expect to feed more than one at a time.)
There aren't many negative reviews, and most that do exist speak to the manufacturer quality. Unfortunately, you can't expect restaurant-grade longevity in a model that costs so little, but if you use it sparingly, it'll get the job done.
Dash always shines in the looks department: Offering a handful of adorable colors to match any decorating style, this little fryer makes an easy gift.
Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f906935%252fb8eb4635 429a 47f2 9bfc b13bd4fc4839.jpg%252f480x0.jpg?signature=aj49alayhkvfgn5damq9zqcn7u8=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws
Image: ninja
The Good
2-in-1 pressure cooking function • Massive food basket • Amazing safety features
The Bad
Takes up a lot of space • Not compatible with accessories from other 6-quart devices
The Bottom Line
Knock numerous appliances out with the air frying and pressure cooking Foodi – as long as you have room for it.

8. Ninja Foodi

  • Capcity: 6.5 quarts
  • Colors: Black
The Instant Pot took the foodie world by storm with its ability to perform numerous appliance duties in a singe machine — the only thing it can't do is air fry. Ninja saw that as an obvious way in.
Just released in fall 2018, the Ninja Foodi (fitting, right?) is coined "the pressure cooker that crisps." Here's the thing, though: It also does so much more.
For max precision, the pressure cooking and the air frying are done in two different compartments. The top crisping lid is where Ninja's TenderCrisp technology works its magic, with options to air fry, bake, broil, and roast. Underneath, the Foodi's pot does the tenderizing, sautéing, and pressure cooing for juicier parts of the meal like soups, dips, and more. They can't be used at the same time, but it's still nicer than having to buy two separate appliances.
As you can probably guess, two compartments don't make it the most compact thing in the world. This thing is big, awkwardly shaped, and heavy, so if you're short on counter space (or muscles), you might want to opt for a smaller machine.