Most shoppers have only three questions in mind while searching for the best air fryer Consumer Reports. How much is the air fryer’s capacity? Does it offer digital or manual controls? How much will it cost? These questions suggest that they aren’t aware of the need for other air fryer’s functions.
Some of which will take the air fryer’s utility to the next level. Examples of such features include multiple cooking options, an interior light controlled from outside, and more. Others, like the dishwasher-safe parts and non-stick interior, will make the air fryer incredibly easy to use.
Still other functions will make the unit safe for you and your household. They include an auto-shutoff function and a cool-to-the-touch handle. That’s why you shouldn’t rest on the three questions mentioned at the start – but insist on a unit with the features we discussed after that.
Top 5 Best Air Fryer Consumer Reports for 2021.
Here are the five Best Air Fryer Consumer Reports in 2021:
1. COSORI Electric Hot Oven Oilless Cooker.
The Cuisinart Electric Hot Oven Oilless Cooker offers multiple unique features. Most notable among them is its award-winning design. The combination of an angled display and a front-facing handle has made this unit impossibly stylish. It is also incredibly compact and won’t take enough space on your counter.
Equally noteworthy is its 5.8-quart capacity basket. Its square shape allows the basket to hold up to 6lbs of chicken pieces at once. You can also count on the basket to be easy to clean. That’s because it’s dishwasher safe and has a non-stick surface that won’t attract oil droplets.
Then comes this model’s stylish control panel. Cosori has loaded it with 11 one-touch presets capable of serving steaks, poultry items, seafood dishes, French Fries, and more. Also there are timers using which you can set cooking time and temperature.
Cosori has further upped the ante by supplementing this model with a 100-recipe booklet. All of them are original and have been prepared specifically for this device. And their number is so huge that you can easily find loads of ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts.
- 11 one-touch presets.
- Nonstick coated and dishwasher-safe removable basket.
- Comes with 100 recipes.
- Outside may get warm.
2. Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven 7 in 1.
Most top-rated air fryers on the market cost a lot of money. Others that are available in your budget cut corners to keep their asking price low. The Instant Vortex Plus is different. It offers high-end features at a price that won’t blow a hole in your pocket. Here’s why we’re sure about that.
Take the example of its user-friendly control panel. It is equal parts elegant and user-intuitive, with two rows of touchscreen buttons. The first row contains all seven cooking programs – air fry, roast, broil, bake, reheat, dehydrate – whereas the 2nd row has to do with this model’s operation.
Below the control panel is a gigantic cooking basket. One which counts on this model’s Even Crisp Technology™ to give your meals a tender inside and crispy outside. And it’s big enough to boast a 10-quart capacity, enough to roast a whole chicken or prepare multiple meals in one go.
That is not all. You also get loads of accessories in this model’s package. Some of them, like the drip pan, will help with the post-cooking cleaning. Others, including the cooking trays, rotisserie spit, rotisserie basket and forks, increase the number of meals you can prepare in this unit.
- Massive 10-quart capacity.
- Contains seven smart programs.
- Affordably priced.
- Might give off a plastic smell at first.
3. GoWISE USA 5.8-Quart Air Fryer.
Here’s another competitively priced air fryer that won’t make a dent in your bank account. But it ridicules its asking price by offering various sought-after features. Take its LCD display as an example. It contains all the options you’d ever need to get this model up and keep it running.
Most notable among them are this model’s eight cooking functions. They surround the central temperature rating and let you fry, bake, roast, grill, and more. Beneath them are options to start/pause the cooking process, set time/temperature and activate the shake reminder.
Further beneath is a stylishly designed and cool-to-the-touch handle. Pulling it out will expose the unit’s 5.8-quart capacity basket. It’s given a non-stick coating and has a button guard to minimize accidental detachment risk. And the best thing about the basket?
It is big enough to prepare up to 1.5lbs of French Fries, up to 10 chicken wings and a 7-inch round cake. Or to put it another way, the basket lets you prepare meals for up to four persons in one go. And once you’re done cooking for the day, you can give the basket a tumble in your dishwasher.
- Touchscreen menu.
- Shake reminder function.
- Non-stick and detachable basket.
- Might not last long.
4. Ninja Air Fryer that Cooks, Crisps and Dehydrates.
The Ninja Air Fryer is one of those models that don’t occupy much counter space. It’s incredibly compact and has a rounded base that prevents it from covering much area. The bottom is held up by two rubber feet which minimize the chances of scratches on polished countertops.
Its digital touchscreen panel is impressive too. With a big display in the middle surrounded by two columns of buttons on either side – all of which have neat icons telling what they’re supposed to do, you would never feel lost while using this product. That’s not where the good news ends.
Ninja has also equipped this product with dehydration mode. It might be one of the four cooking options that this product can muster – with the other three being air fry, roast and reheat. But it’s by far the most impressive because this mode will retain the vast majority of your meals’ original nutritional value.
- Dishwasher-safe parts.
- Offers 4 cooking options.
- Shiny and stylish exterior.
- Needs time to preheat
5. Dash Compact Air Fryer Oven Cooker.
Three features of the Dash Compact air fryer oven cooker caught our eye. It is equipped with an auto-shutoff function whose name betrays its intentions. This feature will turn off the unit immediately upon detecting something is amiss. You can thus count on it to keep you safe.
Then there is this model’s Air Crisp Technology. It has maintained a delicate balance between reducing the added fat in meals while maintaining their crispiness. One side benefit of this approach is that you won’t notice any residual oil smell while cleaning this device.
Equally eye-catching are the two dials. The first, located on top of the unit, lets you adjust its inner temperature for various foods. The second dial is front-facing and enables you to set the cooking time up to half an hour, with impressive 1-minute increments.
- Reduces added fat.
- Auto sshutoff function.
- Cool to the touch housing.
- Only 2-quart capacity.
What is an air fryer?
Air fryers are basically high-end versions of countertop convection ovens. These units have a built-in fan and a heating element in their roof. The fan is positioned just behind the element and is responsible for carrying its heat to every nook and cranny of the air fryer’s interior.
The circulation of hot air initiates a convection effect that browns the exterior of the food placed in the basket and cooks its interior. The final ready-to-eat meal is as crispy as if you had prepared it in a deep fryer – but without the oil. Here’s how you can use an air fryer.
First of all place your meal in the basket. Add up to 2 teaspoons of oil to ensure the final product is nice and crispy. Then set the cooking time and temperature using the two dials on the unit’s control pad. The last step involves waiting and letting the air fryer do its thing.
How to choose an air fryer?
Here are key factors to consider when choosing an air fryer:
Size and Capacity
Most air fryers you see in this review can hold more than 3-quarts of food. Others can cook up to 5-quarts. Still others offer up to 9-quarts capacity. Which of the three you should choose depends, among other things, on the size of your household. Let us explain.
Models with up to 3-quarts capacity are ideal for a household of up to 2 persons. Those that can hold up to 5-quarts of food can satiate the appetite of 5 member families. Others whose capacity touches 10-quarts are suitable for households that maintain an open-door policy for guests.
Manual Vs. Digital controls
Manual air fryers are extremely easy to use, occupy less counter space and cost less than their digital peers. Some of them also provide as many, if not more, cooking programs. Though the lack of display means you have to guess about the food’s status inside the basket.
That is one issue you won’t face with digital air fryers. Their LED display and touchscreen panel give you all the info you need about the unit’s inner parameters. These units also offer safety functions that make them safe to use for the elderly in your household.
Does your air fryer come with safety features? The answer to this question is crucial regardless of whether you or the elderly in your home will use the unit. Mainly because air fryers tend to get extremely hot when they heat up, and could do with multiple features.
The most important of which is an auto shutoff function. It will turn off the unit when its inner temperature exceeds a safe limit, thereby saving you from any mishap. Equally useful is a cool touch exterior which will reduce the risk of burn injuries.
Some of you might use the air fryer only for what its name implies. Others who like spending time in the kitchen might want a more versatile device. It’s for them we suggest that they invest in a model with multiple cooking options. Here’s how that will benefit.
The best air fryers let you roast, grill, bake, toast, preheat and warm your meals. Some of them even give the facility to ferment your food and dehydrate the frozen ones. Such units can therefore rival your full-fledged cooking range in the variety of dishes they can come up with.
Non-stick and dishwasher-safe parts
Do you like the idea of cleaning the dishes late into the night? Of manually scrubbing oil off of them long after the last guest has left your premises? Neither do we. Which is why we recommend going for an air-fryer with non-stick and dishwasher-safe parts.
Rather than filling the sink every time you have a party at home, you can just collect the dishes, rinse them with water and then fill the dishwasher with dirty dishes. You won’t only save time but also save water and kill germs as dishwashers use heat during the cleaning process.
Make sure your air fryer comes with a recipe booklet and manual. The former will make you aware of the dishes you can prepare inside the unit. It will also give you a step-by-step demonstration of how to prepare all the meals the air fryer can come up with. Here’s why we’re saying that.
Even though the internet is inundated with recipes of dishes you can prepare in your air fryer, none of those dishes are specific to the model you will buy. It’s better than to have a booklet containing recipes that you can make as soon as you take the air fryer out of its package.
Still unsure as to which of the abovementioned models is right for you? Here’s a tip using which you can identify the air fryer that is best for your household.
Calculate your family’s size, identify the features you may want in your ideal air fryer (you can take help from our buying guide section) and then buy the model that can feed the former while having the latter.