Best Air Fryer 2021 Plus Pro Tips

Best Air Fryer 2021 Plus Pro Tips

Last updated:

Best Air Fryer 2021 and Guidelines

Best air fryer to the rescue. As we look for healthier eating alternatives, air fryers one of the faster-growing appliance categories have emerged as a great way to decrease the fat we eat.

Our goal with these best air fryer guidelines is to help you “know better, choose better” as you shop for an air fryer. We’ll help you understand what questions to ask, what features to look for, and what are the best air fryers.

Is An Air Fryer Healthy?

An air fryer uses a lot less oil than a deep fryer, providing a more healthy frying alternative. Using a small amount of oil and then frying your food with only hot air, an air fryer cuts the fat and calories that normal frying produces. Studies have shown that an air fryer uses up to 80% less oil than traditional frying methods.

So in comparison, an air fryer is healthier than say, deep frying. It’s worth noting that a vital component of a healthy diet is what you are eating. So when you cook french fries with an air fryer, think of them as being less “unhealthy” than “healthy”.

Should I Buy an Air Fryer Or a Deep Fryer?

Before buying an air fryer, you first need to understand what are you looking at in a fryer. If your focus is on food, taste, texture, and getting your recipes right, then skip the air fryer and buy a deep fryer. It uses a lot of oil and is unhealthy, but you won’t get the exact taste and texture from an air fryer, and you risk drying out some foods.

If healthy eating is your goal, then an air fryer is a better bet. As mentioned, it’s much healthier than a deep fryer while it comes close to the cooking experience of a deep fryer.

Still not sure? If you are sitting on the fence, our call is that you go with the air fryer. Its cooking performance is almost that of a deep fryer, and you will feel good about the health benefits. Many consumers give feedback that it’s more versatile in the kitchen and you can use it for other tasks.

What Features Should I Look For in an Air Fryer?

When you are evaluating a new air fryer, you need to look at many features to determine which is right for you. Your needs will drive which features are most important. We have identified six key features to evaluate.

Feature #1: Is An Air Fryer High-Quality?

The web reviews on air fryers focused on the quality of the appliance more than what we see in other appliance categories. We know most reviews are about features, usage, and results, but for air fryers, we saw more reviews about defects, breakage, parts not working, etc.

Pro Tip: Our best tip for evaluating quality is to read the reviews as they go in-depth into the issues that customers faced with individual products. Each air fryer model has similar quality issues discussed in the reviews. This feedback will help identify which air fryers have quality issues, what the problems are, and how this might affect your choice.

Feature #2: How Easy Is It To Clean An Air Fryer?

From the reviews, we noticed many consumers were not using their air fryers on a regular basis. Even though it’s an air fryer, it creates grease during the cooking process. People would get a messy surprise when opening their air fryer after not using it for some time. This often happened due to the difficulty of cleaning the areas where grease accumulates.

Pro Tip: When buying an air fryer, look at how easy it is to clean and read anything about cleaning that the manufacturer provides. After purchasing, don’t forget to clean your air fryer well so you don’t get surprised by its condition after it has been sitting for a couple of weeks.

Feature #3: How Much Can An Air Fryer Cook?

Due to how they work, air fryers have a defined capacity for food. It’s typically less than a deep fryer, which was a cause for complaint from users.

Pro Tip: Before buying, research the amount of food that an air fryer can cook compared to what your family needs. Understanding this will help you choose the right-sized air fryer and also set your expectations up front for how much it can cook.

Feature #4: How Fast Will An Air Fryer Cook?

One advantage of a deep fryer is they cook very fast. Hot oil can cook french fries or chicken in mere minutes. An air fryer works differently, and the trade-off for more healthy cooking is that it will take longer to cook your food. Having only a deep fryer as a reference point for the speed of cooking, some consumers felt that an air fryer took too long to cook their food.

Pro Tip: Air is always going to take longer to cook than oil, so our tip is to set your expectations. Research how long it takes to prepare types of food, the differences among models, as well as how this will potentially impact your satisfaction.

Feature #5: Will An Air Fryer Smoke?

Any frying, even with air, is going to cause some smoke to occur. Several customers complained about the level of smoke that their air fryers created in their kitchens. High levels of smoke drove dissatisfaction as using their air fryers became more difficult.

Pro Tip: Before buying, think about the ventilation in your kitchen and where you will put your air fryer to minimize smoke. Also, think about what foods you would cook in your air fryer as fattier foods create more smoke than others.

Feature #6: What Are The Baskets & Drawers In My Air Fryer?

Air fryers use baskets or drawers to hold food while cooking. This design increases the complexity of using an air fryer over a deep fryer. Consumers commented on the quality of the baskets, ease of inserting them, cleaning after cooking, as well as the condition of the baskets after many uses.

Pro Tip: If you are not familiar with using an Air Fryer, this is where buying in-store can provide a benefit. You can better see how an Air Fryer works, the set up of the baskets or drawers, how easy it is to insert them, as well as their overall size.

The above features are the ones that we saw the most complaints from the reviews. So what were the areas where we did not see issues?


Reviewers often will comment and complain about the price of appliances, even in positive reviews. We did not see this in Air Fryer reviews, with references to pricing usually only present together with quality issues.

Quality of the Food

Consumers by and large were happy with the quality of how their Air Fryers cooked their food. There was some feedback about speed and the amount they could prepare, but the overall cooking results were positive. The reviews mentioned ease of cooking, temperature, and even heating of food.


What are the best air fryers?

As of July 2021, out of all air fryers, the top five rated are:

Best Air Fryer #1: COSORI Air Fryer Max XL

COSORI Air Fryer Max XL
COSORI Air Fryer Max XL

Critically Acclaimed: COSORI Pro Air fryer (Red Dot Award, 2019) features 13 one-touch cooking functions and rapid 360° air circulation to provide crispy results using less oil

Less Oil: The air fryer uses up to 85% less oil than traditional deep frying methods while maintaining the same delicious taste, making it the perfect gift for family members and friends

Large Capacity: The air fryer’s spacious 5.8-quart square baskets can fit a whole 5-pound chicken. Additionally, the corner spaces provide more cooking footprint and flexibility than round designs. Cook the perfect amount of food for 3–5 people in one go

13 Cooking Functions: 11 presets, Preheat, and Keep Warm help you cook meat, veggies, desserts, and more to perfection. Just choose your preset with 1 easy tap and you’re ready to cook. You can also set the temperature and cook time for personal recipes

Safe Materials: The removable, nonstick baskets are dishwasher safe, PFOA free, and BPA free. To find additional and replacement accessories for your air fryer, search for C158-6AC and C158-FB

100 Included Recipes: Find inspiration for every meal with 100 original, Cosori chef-created recipes

Convenient Design: The air fryer produces crispy results in less time than a conventional oven and includes a shake reminder function. Preheat the air fryer before adding your ingredients for improved texture

Fully Certified: The air fryer is ETL Listed and has a power rating of 120V/1700W and a temperature range of 170°–400°F. Please note that this voltage only applies to the US and Canada

California Roots: Based in California, Cosori is proud to call the Golden State home

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
53,993 global ratings
5 star 84%
4 star 10%
3 star 3%
2 star 1%
1 star 2%

By feature

Versatility 4.8
Temperature Control 4.8
Durability 4.7
Easy to use 4.7
Easy to clean 4.7
Flavor 4.7

Cosori Air Fryer Max XL at Amazon

COSORI Air Fryer Max XL(100 Recipes) Digital Hot Oven Cooker, One Touch Screen with 13 Cooking Functions, Preheat and Shake Reminder, 5.8 QT

Review: Cosori Air Fryer Max XL Review


Best Air Fryer #2: COSORI CP137-AF

Cosori cp137-af air fryer
COSORI CP137-AF Air Fryer

Easy to Use: Designed in California, the air fryer’s simple icons and touch panel make air frying simple, while the angled digital LED display gives you a full view of your cooking progress.

85% Less Fat: Enjoy crispy food that has all the flavor of deep frying without all the fat. With 85% less fat than traditionally fried food, this air fryer is the perfect gift for health-conscious family or friends

Perfectly Portable: No matter where you need to cook, take the air fryer with you. Lightweight and portable, the air fryer is perfect for a college dorm, apartment, or even RV

11 One-Touch Presets: Choose from Steak, Chicken, Seafood, Shrimp, Bacon, Frozen Foods, French Fries, Vegetables, Root Vegetables, Bread, and Desserts. Just tap a preset to automatically set a temperature and time, or choose your own settings for personal recipes

100 Recipes Included: Our Cosori chefs handcrafted over 100 delicious recipes to inspire ideas for every meal. Join our Cosori community to share your ideas and see what everyone else is cooking

Quick Cooking: Using quick air circulation, the air fryer can cook food faster than a traditional convection oven with crispier, tastier results

Easy to Clean Baskets: The removable square baskets fit a variety of food and are nonstick, dishwasher safe, PFOA-free, and BPA-free. Purchase replacement baskets by searching for “C137-FB”

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5,422 global ratings
5 star 81%
4 star 12%
3 star 3%
2 star 2%
1 star 2%

By feature

Touch Screen 4.9
Easy to use 4.8
Easy to clean 4.7
Versatility 4.7
Durability 4.7
Flavor 4.6

COSORI CP137-AF Air Fryer at Amazon

COSORI CP137-AF Air Fryer (100 Recipes Book) 1500W Electric Hot Oven Oilless Cooker 11 Presets, Preheat & Shake Reminder, LED Touch Screen, Nonstick Basket, 3.7 QT


Best Air Fryer #3: Ultrean Air Fryer, 4.2 Quart

Ultrean Air Fryer, 4.2 Quart
Ultrean Air Fryer, 4.2 Quart

Enjoy Food with Less Fat or Oil: With an Ultrean air fryer you can enjoy the same fried and crispy foods with less fat and grease

Get a Multifunction Cooker That Saves Your Time and Money: Aside from air frying you can also grill, roast, and bake your favorite food with its innovative heating system-rapid air technology, which is designed to cook your food evenly without the hassles of using hot oil or thermometer

Hassle-Free Operation: With accessible buttons and an easy cooking setup, It comes with an auto switch-off timer (0-30mins) and adjustable temperature setting (180°F-400°F)

Easy to Clean: It has a nonstick pan, heat-resistant handle, and a detachable dishwasher-safe basket, so it’s easy to cook and clean the unit after cooking

Contemporary Design: With an LCD display and a bonus recipe book to help you prepare your fried food, snacks, grilled, and baked foods

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
20,875 global ratings
5 star 83%
4 star 12%
3 star 3%
2 star 1%
1 star 2%

By feature

Easy to use 4.8
Easy to clean 4.7
Flavor 4.7
Giftable 4.6
Durability 4.5
Touch Screen 4.5

Ultrean Air Fryer, 4.2 Quart at Amazon

Ultrean Air Fryer, 4.2 Quart (4 Liter) Electric Hot Air Fryers Oven Oilless Cooker with LCD Digital Screen and Nonstick Frying Pot, ETL/UL Certified,1-Year Warranty,1500W


Best Air Fryer #4: Ninja AF101

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer
Ninja AF101 Air Fryer

Now enjoy guilt-free food; Air fry with up to 75 percent less fat than traditional frying methods; Tested against hand-cut, deep-fried French fries

Wide temperature range: 105 degrees Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit allows you to gently remove moisture from foods or quickly cook and crisp foods with convection heat

4-quart ceramic-coated nonstick basket and crisper plate fit 2 pounds of french fries. Cord length (feet) – 2.6

The unit will need time to preheat before coming up to temperature. We recommend that you preheat the unit for 3 minutes before adding your ingredients to achieve the best results

Dehydrate: Create flat, chip-like dehydrated foods for fun, homemade snacks pounds; The combination of low fan speed and low temperature enables thorough dehydration

Dishwasher safe parts: Easy to clean basket, crisper plate, and multi-layer rack

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
25,503 global ratings
5 star 86%
4 star 9%
3 star 2%
2 star 1%
1 star 2%

By feature

Giftable 4.8
Versatility 4.8
Easy to use 4.8
Easy to clean 4.8
Temperature Control 4.8
Flavor 4.7

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer at Amazon

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer that Cooks, Crisps and Dehydrates, with 4 Quart Capacity


Best Air Fryer #5: Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1

Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer
Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer

Air fryers give you all the flavor of deep-fried cooking, without the oil and mess. Get crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, perfection every time

Air fryer with 7 built-in smart programs, including bake, roast, toast, broil, dehydrate, and rotisserie

1-step EvenCrisp TechnologyTM allows you to achieve a crispy outside and tender inside. Whether you tumble-fry in the rotating basket or roast meat rotisserie style, deliciousness is guaranteed

Get a deep-fried flavor with little to no oil for healthy and tasty versions of your favorites. Air fry, bake, and roast multiple meals at once

The Instant Vortex Plus air fryer oven circulates super-hot air around your food so it cooks evenly and locks in moisture — giving you the crispy, golden texture and delicious taste of deep-fried, without the guilt (ETL Certified)

With little to no preheating time, you can whip up dinner in half the time of a conventional oven, without heating up the whole kitchen. Plus, you can fit both cooking trays at once to make multiple meals in one go

Minimal grease means minimal mess. Sleek surface wipes clean. Plus, the drip pan, cooking trays, rotisserie basket, Rotisserie spit, and forks are all dishwasher safe

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
26,959 global ratings
5 star 75%
4 star 14%
3 star 5%
2 star 2%
1 star 4%

By feature

Easy to use 4.3
Flavor 4.3
Easy to clean 4.3

Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer at Amazon

Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer Oven with built-in Smart Cooking Programs, Digital Touchscreen, Easy to Clean Basket, 10 Quart Capacity, and a Stainless Finish



Healthier Veggie Chips Recipe

PREP 5 mins + 15 mins standing
COOK 1 hr 30 mins SERVES 4



1 large washed white potato, cut into 1mm-thick slices

300g beetroot, trimmed, cut into 1mm-thick slices

150g carrot, trimmed, cut into 1mm-thick slices

1½ tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked, finely chopped



1. Place potato in a medium bowl and cover with cold water.
Stand for 15 minutes to soak. Place beetroot and carrot in separate bowls. Add 2 tsp oil to beetroot and carrot bowls and toss to coat.

2. Preheat the air fryer to 180°C for 2 minutes. Working in 4 batches, cook beetroot and carrot for 15 minutes, shaking basket every few minutes, or until golden and crisp.

3. Drain potatoes, and pat dry with a clean tea towel. Transfer to a dry bowl, add remaining oil, and toss to coat. Working in 2 batches, cook potato for 15 minutes, shaking basket every few minutes, or until golden and crisp. Sprinkle chips with rosemary to serve.

* Nutrition Per serve: 3g protein, 7g fat (ig sat fat), 18g carb, 9g sugars, 5g dietary fibre, 60mg sodium, 670kJ (160 cals)


Parmesan Pasta Chips Recipe

PREP 5 mins COOK 35 mins SERVES 4



½ x 500g pkt rigatoni

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

40g parmesan, finely grated

1 cup sour cream

2 parsley sprigs, finely chopped



1. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water according to packet instructions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add oil and parmesan and toss to combine.

2. Preheat the air fryer to 180°C for 2 minutes. Working in 2 batches, cook pasta mixture in the air fryer for 12 minutes, shaking halfway through cooking, or until golden. Transfer to a dish. Serve with sour cream topped with parsley.

* Nutrition Per serve: 13g protein. 36g fat (19g sat fat), 45g carb, 1g sugars, 2g dietary fibre, 145mg sodium, 2335kJ (560 cals)


Healthier Apple Chips Recipe

PREP 5 mins COOK 30 mins SERVES 2



olive oil cooking spray

1 Pink Lady apple, cut into 1mm-thick slices

½ tsp cinnamon sugar



1. Preheat the air fryer to 180°C for 2 minutes. Lightly spray the air-fryer basket with oil. Place apple in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and toss to combine.

2. Working in 3 batches, cook apple in an air fryer for 10 minutes or until dehydrated, separating slightly halfway through cooking. Stand for 5 minutes to allow to crisp, then serve.

* Nutrition Per serve: 0.5g protein, 2g fat (0.2g sat fat), 11g carbs. 11g sugars, 3g dietary fibre, 1mg sodium, 310kJ (75 cals)


Cheesy Mozzarella Chips Recipe

PREP 10 mins + 5 mins standing
COOK 10 mins SERVES 6



2 tbs plain flour

2 tsp onion powder

½ tsp garlic salt

¼ tsp ground paprika

3 free-range eggs

1½ cups panko breadcrumbs

550g block mozzarella



1. Combine flour, onion powder, garlic salt, and paprika in a shallow bowl. Season with pepper. Whisk eggs in a separate shallow bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a separate shallow bowl.

2. Cut mozzarella block in half crossways. Then cut each in half horizontally to form 4 thin pieces. Cut each piece into 5 sticks. Dip mozzarella sticks in flour mixture to coat. Shake off excess. Working in batches, coat mozzarella sticks in egg mixture and then in breadcrumbs. Repeat the crumbing process to double crumb. Spray the chips with oil after double crumbing.

3. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C for 2 minutes. Working in 2 batches, cook mozzarella sticks in the air fryer for 4 minutes or until golden. Stand for 2 minutes, then transfer to a board. Top with basil and serve with pesto.

* Nutrition Per serve: 30g protein, 38g fat (16g sat fat), 30g carb, 2g sugars, 2g dietary fibre, 885mg sodium, 2450kJ (585 cals)



Cheesy Cauliflower & Spinach Soup

PREP 15 rnins COOK 6 hrs 5 mins SERVES 6



1 celery stalk, trimmed, roughly chopped

1 brown onion, roughly chopped

1.2kg cauliflower, cut into small florets

2 medium washed white potatoes, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1L salt-reduced vegetable stock

120g pkt baby spinach leaves

1½ cups shredded light tasty cheese

½ cup Greek-style yogurt

1 tbs pistachio dukkah with thyme

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

6 x 1cm-thick slices sourdough ancient grains & sprouted seeds miche



1. P1ace celery, onion, cauliflower, potato, garlic, stock and 2 cups water in a 5.5L slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 3 hours) or until vegetables are tender. Add three-quarters of the spinach and cook, covered with a lid, for 5 minutes or until spinach has wilted. Turn off the slow cooker.

2. Using a stick blender, blend soup until smooth. Stir in cheese. Season with pepper.

3. Ladle soup into bowls. Dollop a little yogurt into each bowl, then swirl over top. Top with remaining spinach and sprinkle with dukkah. Drizzle with oil, then serve with bread.


In Step 1, place ingredients in a large heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add three-quarters of the spinach and cook, covered, for 2 minutes or until spinach has wilted. Continue with steps 2 and 3.

* Nutrition Per serve: 20g protein, 14g fat (7g sat fat), 34g carb, 10g sugars, 6g dietary fibre, 750mg sodium. 151OkJ (360 cals)


Lamb with Cucumber & Mint Vinegar

PREP 15 mins + 5 mins standing COOK 6 hrs 5 mins SERVES 6



1kg COOK butterflied lamb leg garlic & herb

1 garlic bulb, top trimmed

½ cup white wine

6 small wholemeal Lebanese bread rounds

320g punnet mix-a-mato tomatoes, thickly sliced

½ cup Greek-style yogurt

1 sprig of mint, leaves picked

Cucumber & mint vinegar

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

2 tbs caster sugar

½ bunch of mint leaves picked, finely chopped

1 Lebanese cucumber, diced



1. Place lamb in a 5.5L slow cooker. Add garlic, cut~side up. Pour wine around the lamb. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6 hours (see tip, below) or until very tender.

2. To make the cucumber & mint vinegar, place vinegar, sugar, and ¼ cup of water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stand for 5 minutes before stirring in mint and cucumber. Transfer to a small bowl.

3. Transfer lamb to a large bowl. Using 2 forks, shred lamb. Remove garlic cloves from the bulb. Top each bread round with yogurt, lamb, garlic, tomato, cucumber mixture, and mint leaves. Wrap to enclose and serve.

* Nutrition Per serve: 35g protein, 36g fat (2Og sat fat), 40g carb. 11g sugars, 7g dietary fibre, 470mg sodium, 277OkJ (660 cals)


To ensure lamb is very tender, it’s best cooked on low heat.


Vegetarian Gnocchi Stew

PREP 10 mins COOK 3 hrs 35 mins SERVES 4



700g btl traditional pasta sauce

500g pkt pumpkin cubes

420g can no-added-salt chickpeas, rinsed, drained

500g pkt potato gnocchi

½ bunch of kale leaves picked, roughly chopped

¼ tsp dried chili flakes

¼ bunch of basil leaves picked



1 Place pasta sauce in a 5.5L slow cooker and add pumpkin, chickpeas, and 2 cups water, then stir to combine. Cover with lid and cook on high for 3 hours or until pumpkin is almost tender. Add gnocchi and gently stir to combine. Cook, covered with a lid, for a further 30 minutes or until gnocchi is tender.

2 Gently fold kale through tomato mixture (see tip, below). Cover with lid and cook for a further 2 minutes or until wilted. Spoon mixture among bowls. Serve scattered with chili and basil, and seasoned with pepper.

* Nutrition Per serve: 30g protein, 5g fat (3g sat fat), 124g carb, 27g sugars, 20g dietary fibre, 7i0mg sodium, 2865kJ (685 cals)


Rather than folding through the kale, try making kale chips to serve with the stew. To make, place leaves on a large baking tray lined with baking paper. Spray with oil and massage leaves. Season with pepper. Bake in a preheated 210°C/190°C fan-forced oven for 10 minutes or until kale is lightly golden and crispy. Cool for 5 minutes.