You have no items in your shopping cart.
When you're trying to eat healthier but still want to keep your favorite fried foods in your diet, an air fryer will be your new best friend. Using typically a maximum of 1 tablespoon of oil to coat your food, air fryers use a high powered fan to move heat quickly and evenly around food in a small space to recreate the effects of deep frying food. Now you can enjoy fried chicken and french fries without the guilt!
Which air fryer is the best though? We tested our top three models to see which one fries the best and also take a look at the additional features offered by these multi-cookers and how they perform.
Quick Specs: 1800-Watt | 0.6 Cubic Ft. Interior | 7 Functions | 15.50" x 16.00" x 14.00" | Weight: 21 lbs. | 3-Year Warranty
Best For: Multitaskers in the kitchen. Not only does the Cuisinart air fry, it is also a spacious toaster oven. It can toast, convection bake, and broil and is basically a fun-size oven that you can leave on the counter. Perfect for small apartments where space is important, for a secondary oven for small dishes or to utilize for dishes during the holidays.
Chef Austin's Thoughts:
The Cuisinart Air Fryer is truly more than just that. It really is a toaster oven with the capability to air fry. That being said, you can bake, convection bake, broil, toast, and air fry in this model. You really are getting your money's worth out of the Cuisinart when this is basically a countertop oven you can use for so much more.
Cuisinart is more than just an air fryer. You can do all a traditional toaster oven can do - bake, toast, and broil!
The Cuisinart really does look like an oven too, the build quality is exceptional. The stainless steel build and spring loaded glass oven door make it feel hefty and not cheap like the other plastic air fryers. There are two tray positions in the oven - top rack and bottom rack. The oven is big enough to roast a whole chicken when using the bottom rack, but to air fry, the directions say you must use the top rack only.
You only have an inch or so of clearance while air frying. This is fine for french fries and cut chicken strips, but bone-in chicken pieces will not fit and hit the top heating elements.
That is the biggest drawback - there isn't much room for taller foods, like bone-in chicken pieces, on the top rack when air-frying. If you tried to air fry chicken on the top rack, they wouldn't even fit because the top heating elements would come in direct contact with them. And that is the other drawback - the heating elements are exposed and non-removable, so cleaning between the top four elements is a pain.
Other than that, the Cuisinart did a decent job air frying. As far as speed goes, the Cuisinart Air Fryer was the fastest, finishing in at 15 minutes from start to finish. The fries were crispy and evenly browned on top, but unevenly browned underneath and on the sides. The inside was light and fluffy and not dry. We were able to comfortably fit 1lb 2 oz, or around 3 medium potatoes across the air frying rack. We were able to fit around 18 chicken wings on the air frying rack - they tasted good, but they did get a little darker than we liked because they are so close to the top heating elements - you may want to turn the temperature down 25 degrees from what the instructions recommend.
Quick Specs: 1800 Watt | 1 Cubic Ft. Interior | 13 Functions | 21.4" x 17.2" x 12.8" | Weight: 43 lbs. | 2-Year Warranty
Best For: The do-it-all superhero in the kitchen. If you love to cook, the Breville Smart Oven Air will have a function for you - dehydrate, air fry, proof bread, toast, and more all in the same smart oven.
Chef Austin's Thoughts:
If you're going to spend the money on an air fryer, you can spend a little more and get a lot more functionality with the Breville Smart Oven Air. Yes, the Breville does a great job air frying but, it can do so much more. Out of the box, the Breville Smart Oven Air has 13 different functions that you can cook with. These functions turn the Breville Smart Oven Air into a multi-appliance. It has a proofing function to proof bread dough. It has a dehydrate function (with temperatures as low as 83°F) to make treats like jerky or banana chips. You can also toast up to 9 slices of bread, slow cook an entire meal in a 5qt dutch oven, and even bake pizzas.
Breville's user interface is a major benefit over the other air fryers. You can clearly see all the 13 functions it offers on its large LCD. You can easily navigate through the menu and select time and temperature with the large stainless steel dials. Breville also makes it easy to start cooking without a manual by printing suggested oven rack positions right on the glass oven door. This is convenient when you go to make a pizza or dehydrate banana chips - you'll know the optimal position in the oven where the food will cook most optimally. The Breville Air Fryer also has a dedicated oven light button so you can see the progress of your cooking food without opening the oven door.
One cubic foot of space is large enough to fit a 5qt Dutch oven - slow cook on a low or high setting just like in a slow cooker.
The Breville Smart Oven Air also has the largest cooking space at one cubic foot. That makes the Breville almost twice as large as the Cuisinart Air Fryer (which has 0.6 cubic ft of cooking space). To put that into perspective, the Breville Smart Oven Air can roast a 14lb turkey, fits standard 9" x 13" baking pans, 12-cup muffin tray, or fit a 5qt Dutch oven easily inside. You won't have to compromise on the amount of food you usually make with all the space Breville offers.
As far as air-frying goes, the Breville did a great job on the french fries and chicken wings we tested. It did take a bit longer to cook (maybe around 10 minutes extra) compared to the other air fryers. I think this is mostly because the Breville Smart Oven Air does have a larger space to heat up. Speaking of larger space, the air-frying basket is huge - it can hold almost two and a half pounds of french fries. Fatty foods like chicken wings actually have to be air-fried on the included roasting pan - the air frying basket does not come with a drip tray like Cuisinarts air fryer. We were able to still air fry 22 chicken wings at once.
Air fry four times as much! You can buy extra air-frying and roasting racks to fit up to four racks in the Breville Smart Oven Air. Because the high-powered convection fan is mounted on the side of the oven (as opposed to the top of the oven like in the other air fryers) that means you can load up to 4 racks of fries in the Breville and air fry multiple pounds of food at once. No other air fryer can do this - Breville's air fryer is king of space.
Quick Specs: 1800 Watt | 3.5qt / 0.12 Cubic ft Capacity | Single Function - Smart Phone App | 12.4" x 16.65" x 12" | Weight: 15.7 lbs. | 1-Year Warranty
Best For: People wanting a straightforward and compact air fryer WITH an app! Just set the temperature and you can even use your smartphone to find recipes for your Philips air fryer.
Chef Austin's Thoughts:
The Philips Air Fryer is simple to operate. Select a temperature, set the timer and press play. The control panel is a touch-sensitive interface that's easy to understand. You'll see the 'star' button here as well - this is a programmable favorite button. With a single press, the Philips air fryer will adjust the time and temperature to whatever you want it to remember. This is perfect if you're always making french fries or chicken wings - no digging out the manual or memorizing the recipe, you can quickly get cooking with one touch.
There's even a food guide printed right on the machine so you don't have to get their cookbook out. Actually, if you never want to get their cookbook out, you don't have to because they have a smartphone app with tons of recipes you can view digitally. The app is full of great recipes from ratatouille to brownies - the Philips air fryer is for more than just french fries. There are hundreds of recipes as well as a shopping list app, tips and tricks, and even instructional videos on using your Philips air fryer all built into the app. This makes it easy so anyone can learn to use their new air fryer to cook healthy meals at home with low amounts of oil.
The Philips air fryer reminds me of a traditional fry basket. There is lots of space here!
Though Philips is the smallest air-fryer in our test, it's capacity for wings and fries exceeds the larger-size Cuisinart and almost matches the massive Breville. The Avance XL air fryer can fit around 26 chicken wings in the basket which is a pretty big amount. You comfortably fill the bottom with 43 oz of french fries, perfect for 3-4 servings. You are going to have to toss them around halfway through cooking for an even air-fry. The machine is more narrow and tall compared to both the Cuisinart and Breville air fryer - almost egg-shaped. Philips' air fryer is much more compact in size and lighter in weight compared to the competition making it easy to move and store when you're done with it.
The Philips Avance XL also has a nifty cord storage spot in the back of the unit making it easy to store.
Crispiest Results. We tested chicken wings in all of our air fryers and surprisingly the Philips had the best-tasting wings! The Philips Avance XL was designed to be an air fryer and not just a toaster oven with an air fryer functionality added. Philip's purposeful design makes crispier wings for sure - they actually puffed and crisped up like a deep-fried chicken wing. There was a satisfying crunch from all around our chicken wing that the Breville and Cuisinart didn't have. The french fries we tested also turned out crisp for the most part - some of the fries stuck towards the middle were a bit soft. Overall, Philips had the best performance for air frying.
Above is over 2 lbs of frozen french fries and 3 lbs of chicken wings - the maximum capacity for the Philips Avance XL Air Fryer.
If you need even more space to air fry, Philips also offers their Avance XXL air fryer which has a 3-lb/4-qt capacity and prepares up to 6 portions at once and easily handles a whole chicken or 2 bags of fries.
About the Author:
Chef Austin Merath is Everything Kitchen's Culinary Wizard, Kitchen-Gadget Reviewer, and New-Product Tester. He studied under chefs in College of the Ozarks' Culinary Program. It's his job to make sure you choose the kitchen tools that are right for you by testing the best we have to offer. When not cooking, Austin is tinkering with computers or exploring the Ozarks with his wife Amy. Click here for his full bio.