Table of Contents
- 1 1) BLACK+DECKER HF110SBD
- 2 2) Secura 1500
- 3 3) Cozyna Air Fryer XL
- 4 4) GoWISE GW22621
- 5 5) BELLA 14538
- 6 6) Philips Airfryer
- 7 7) Power Air Fryer XL
- 8 8) Nu Wave 33201 Deluxe
- 9 9) Big Boss
- 10 10) T-fal FZ7002
- 11 How we picked the best Air Fryer
- 12 Our Winner
- 13 Which Factors should I consider before choosing an Air Fryer?
- 14 Who needs an air fryer?
In the Information Age, gadgets come and go, some useful, some rather gimmicky. One of these, one that has been continuously gaining popularity amongst many buyers, is the air fryer, which is supposed to be a high-tech alternative to traditional deep fryers.
But what are its benefits and advantages over the tried and true method of deep frying?
Should you really spend your hard-earned cash on such a device?
And how can you decide which is the best Air Fryer?
In this comprehensive overview, we will show you just that.
1) BLACK+DECKER HF110SBD
The HF110SBD comes from none other than Black+Decker, a company that has already successfully made its name in other branches and is now venturing into the territory of air fryers.
The HF100SBD, their flagship product, so to speak, is designed to attract the attention of almost any kind of buyer, and attract attention it does.
With its unique, egg-like oval shape and round 2L basket that slides out of the main body, it certainly looks the part.
The price-performance ratio is admirable, as well; at just $99, the Black&Decker isn’t a bargain, but sits below the price point of many more luxuriously crafted air fryers.
In terms of features, there is not a whole lot to choose from, but the great thing about the HF110 is that you don’t need to.
Simply set the timer and temperature via the two well-crafted knobs and off you go. Good non-stick materials, a so-called ‘Cool touch Handle’ and a sturdy build with many elements of the device made out of stainless steel complement the few amenities that the fryer does have.
Of course, the most important aspect to determine an air fryer’s quality is the consistency of the fried food and how it compares to traditional deep frying.
If the air fryer makes any sort of compromise, it isn’t really worth buying, or is it?
Fortunately, the HF110SBD is really good at frying any kind of meal quickly, not just that, the taste is quite comparable to other air fryers as well as deep fryers in the same price range.
The maximum frying time of 60 minutes allows for many different kinds of meals, as does the included separator which parts the 2L into two 1L sections.
This way, two meals can be fried at the same time without accidentally mixing the taste of them. All in all, the Black+Decker is a formidable performer in all fields for a good price. What’s not to like?
Well, nothing is flawless, and that applies to the Black&Decker as well. For example, the black glossy paint used on the fryer has a habit of showing each and every fingerprint, which, after some time, makes it look low-quality and heavily used.
Also, some foods retain a slight chemical taste to them when fried for more than 15 minutes or so. The tiny font used on the control knobs could be a little larger as well.
Not to mention the rather small 2L basket which becomes even smaller with the included, albeit helpful, separator. And finally, the cooking speed could be a little bit better.
- Pricing: Satisfying price-performance ratio, low $99 price tag
- Design: Great practical design; very easy to clean
- Capacity: 2L basket and separator option are nice to have
- Controls: Easy to use; simple control knobs; 60 minutes of maximum cooking time and 400F of maximum temperature give the user a broad range of control
- Build quality: Non-stick materials all around make it easy to clean and maintain; Stainless steel parts convey an image of reliability and quality
- General performance: Fantastic cooking and frying performance in general
- Accessories: ‘Cool touch Handle’ is comfortable to hold, convenient to use
- Build quality: Glossy plastic surface, although stylish, shows fingerprints too easily, looks cheap
- Cooking quality: Sometimes, a slight chemical taste can be felt on certain food-time combinations
- Miscellaneous: Font used on temperature and timer knobs often too small to read easily
- Speed: Cooking speed lacks a bit compared to other offerings in the same price range
- Accessories: No-nonsense design means competition offers more extras, optional features
- Capacity: 2L really is on the lower side in terms of capacity, only gets smaller when using the separator
In conclusion, the Black+Decker HF110BSD is one of the best air fryer deals on the market right now.
Thanks to a sturdy build, fantastic capacity—especially in accordance with the separator feature—a great choice of non-stick materials and truly competitive pricing, there are few reasons not to consider getting this air fryer in favor of any other.
We hope that these few reasons will be addressed in the future, though, as the HF110 is still far from perfect.
2) Secura 1500
The Secura 1500, named after its maximum output in Watts, can’t stand on the shoulders of its manufacturer’s reputation like the Black+Decker HF110 above can, but, thanks to great performance, it doesn’t need to.
With a huge 4L removable basket, it’s got enough space for almost any meal. Unfortunately, the Secura does not have a separator, even though its extra large capacity would have greatly profited from just that.
Besides the basket, the Secura’s specs closely mimic those of its Black+Decker rival.
Like on the B&D, there are but two control knobs for temperature and timing, respectively.
The maximum cooking time is, yet again, 60 minutes and even the temperature range is almost the exact same as on the HF110.
Design-wise, the Secura also borrows a lot from the competition, featuring a very similar egg-like oval shape for both the main body as well as the 4L basket.
However, the obvious similarities at hand don’t mean that the S1500 has got nothing up its sleeve. On the contrary, it is equipped with numerous extras that you won’t find anywhere else in the same price category.
For example, the Secura comes bundled with a toaster rack and some skewers, handy tools to have that you would otherwise need to buy in addition to the air fryer.
Thanks to a built-in pan, you can even bake food with it. Also, on the Secura’s main body, temperature and time settings for various popular meals are engraved in white-on-black print. Neat!
But how does the food taste when prepared with the Secura 1500? After all, even the most gadget-filled device in the world would be useless if it couldn’t fulfill its actual purpose.
Luckily, though, the Secura wins on this front, too, as, no matter what you like to eat, the Secura will make it crisp, tasty and fresh, almost better than the Black+Decker in some ways.
You may ask yourself at this point, “Does this thing even have a weakness?”.
Well, to answer your question, that’s hard to say. It’s not the price, that’s for sure.
At an MSRP of $110, the Secura is just $10 more expensive than the Black+Decker, which, considering the features and extras that you’re getting, sounds like a bargain.
Perhaps the Secura’s greatest weakness is just that: It’s made by a no-name company. As such, the build quality does leave a bit to be desired.
While it looks good from the outside, the body is prone to collecting various signs of use very quickly, like fingerprints, dust, scratches and so on.
The rather thin plastic used to build it doesn’t help, either. Add to that the lack of reputation and brand recognizability and voila, you got yourself a big flaw of an otherwise great machine.
- Accessories: Included toaster rack, skewers and cooking guides are helpful and unique; included pan makes baking not just possible, but easy
- Cooking quality: Cooks and fries very well; crisp, fresh taste and quick cooking action
- Capacity: Ultra-large removable 4L basket can hold almost anything
- Controls: 60 minutes of maximum cooking time and up to 390F in temperature provide the user with great flexibility; control knobs are easy to use
- Pricing: Below average $110 price tag
- Build quality: Plasticky, cheap build hurts the fryer’s image
- Reputation: No-name brand nullifies reputation
- Accessories: No separator, which would have been useful given the extra-large basket
- Competition: Very similar to the Black+Decker at roughly the same price and inferior build quality
- Design: Uninspiring and largely borrowed from competition
In conclusion, the Secura 1500 is a great performer among air fryers and is surely not to be underestimated, but the uninspired exterior design, low-quality materials and lack of recognizability will probably convince many to save $10 and go for the higher-quality, more reliable Black+Decker HF110.
Still, the Secura offers some features not present on any of its competitors, like the bundled extras and 4L XL capacity removable basket.
All in all, probably the best option if you’re looking for extra high capacity and high convenience.
3) Cozyna Air Fryer XL
The Cozyna Air Fryer XL, or Air Fryer XL by Cozyna as it’s called officially by its manufacturer, is a highly unique air fryer that is sure to stand out from the crowd.
Armed with an almost absurdly high 5L capacity and, originally, a $250 price tag that has since been lowered to $150, this fryer will probably polarize many.
Let’s look closer at the Cozyna’s specs.
The Air Fryer XL, as previously stated, comes with a whopping 5 Liters of capacity, and there really is no trick behind that.
The basket, like most other popular air fryers’ on our list, is round, but that generally doesn’t pose any problem, especially thanks to the enormous size. Other unique features are the very high cooking speed—most simple meals can be cooked easily in few minutes—and the included cooking book.
Yes, you read that correctly, cooking book. The Cozyna comes with such a book, which should, fairly speaking, be rather described as a sort of booklet and includes some 50 recipes including, of course, instructions and detailed info specific to the Cozyna.
Apart from these extras, the Cozyna is very similar to the two air fryers above, the Black+Decker HF110 and the Secura 1500.
However, unlike the latter and very much like the former, the Cozyna is very well-built, using stainless steel for some of its components and thick, matte high-quality plastic for others.
Only the control knobs are a bit peculiar. Whilst they are easy to use and have a nice feel to them, only the topmost knob, the one regulating temperature, is labeled at all, the lower one is left blank.
Although the cooking book tells you very clearly which setting does what, it would have been nice to have handy descriptions on or next to the knob itself.
Cooking itself is not just fast, but of high quality. A crisp, fresh taste and the lack of any chemical flavor grace all meals that you can prepare with the Cozyna. The fryer is also very versatile: It can cook, bake, fry, grill and roast food.
The only real drawback is the cost. Though Cozyna has consistently lowered its flagship model’s price tag over the years, at $150, it is still pretty high.
Most customers will probably not willingly pay almost twice the price of a reliable Black+Decker model for a larger basket and some nice, but unnecessary extras.
Also, just like the comparably large Secura 1500, the Cozyna, completely in contrast to its large basket, lacks a separator, so you can only prepare one whole meal at a time.
- Capacity: Extremely large basket can hold 5L, more than enough for any meal
- Speed: Great cooking speed and quality at the same time
- Cooking quality: Exquisite taste, no traces of chemical flavors
- Accessories: Helpful cooking book with more than 50 useful recipes available both in digital or physical form
- Build quality: Sturdy, high-quality plastic and metals are used in all the right places
- Controls: 60 minutes of maximum time, high temperature range, well-built and comfortable to use buttons
- Pricing: Expensive MSRP of $150 isn’t for everyone
- Controls: No lettering for the timer knob
- Capacity: No separator which the 5L basket would’ve benefited from greatly
- Design: Though stylish, pretty standard and similar to many of its competitors
In short, the Air Fryer XL by Cozyna really is a great performer in almost every way. Like its brethren, though, it is not without flaw.
The price, even though it has been consistently lowered ever since the Cozyna’s release, is still probably too high for most potential buyers and some standardized lettering for the device’s controls could have really helped, as could have a separator option for the huge basket.
We hope that Cozyna plans rectifying these flaws, in which case their air fryer would become one of the best on the market.
4) GoWISE GW22621
The GoWISE GW2261 is a very, very peculiar air fryer. Let’s start with the price, for example.
Originally, the GW2261 was priced at about $260, which made it one of the most expensive air fryer models out there. Recently, though, that price has been lowered. To $95.
So now, the GoWISE is in the least expensive class of air fryer models. Does that make the product itself any more tempting to get? We’ll see. Furthermore, there are the controls. These, too, are very unconventional.
Instead of simple knobs to regulate speed and cooking temperature, there’s a glowing blue-on-black LCD touchscreen display that you can use to select various settings, from speed to temperature to presets for various dishes which are pre-installed onto the device.
It’s a handy system and it works well. The question, though, is whether it’s any easier or quicker to use than traditional knobs which are lighter, cost less and rarely, if ever, break.
The answer, unfortunately, is no. This is largely thanks to the layout of the LCD which only lets you change one setting at a time, drastically reducing the speed at which you can set everything up.
For fans of high-tech gadgets, though, the GW22621 has got quite something. The rest of the GoWISE’s features are pretty standard, to be honest.
There’s a removable round basket with an optional pot that can hold about 3.5L and the exterior design, apart from the glowing LCD, is very similar to other air fryers the GoWISE is competing against.
Like the Cozyna we already took a look at, the GoWISE comes bundled with its own cooking book full of recipes for popular dishes.
Material-wise, it’s quite predictable, too. Though the GoWISE unit uses three differently colored tones for its exterior, all of them are made out of either a glossy or matte plastic.
Although the materials feel well-made and don’t accumulate fingerprints or scratches too easily, it’s still plastic, after all.
There is a downside to all this gadgetry, though. For example, the GoWISE’s rather conservative capacity of only 3.5L isn’t anything to brag about.
Neither is the cooking time limit of mere 30 minutes, half of what equally-priced, more well-made air fryers offer.
The GW22621’s general performance could be better, too, as it can neither cook particularly fast nor completely without a strange residual taste.
- Accessories: LCD display offers unique control scheme; handy booklet provides the user with a variety of cooking recipes
- Controls: LCD display makes overview of temperature, speed settings easy; touchscreen comfortable and convenient to use; unique control solution including presets
- Pricing: Affordable $95 price tag puts it in the same category as budget models with fewer features
- Design: Simple, not highly innovative, but thanks to the LCD, modern and sleek; easy to clean
- Capacity: 3.5L will not be enough for some; equally-priced competitors offer more capacity
- Speed: Not severely slow, but nothing to brag about, either
- Build quality: Plastic materials all around; doesn’t have a very high-end feel to it
- Cooking quality: Slight residual taste is prevalent; though not critical, competition does it better
- Controls: Maximum cooking time of 30 minutes is not enough for some applications
- Accessories: LCD touchscreen is not any more efficient or convenient than traditional knobs, is prone to failure due to complex electronics
Summarizing, the GoWISE is a rather niche budget option for the buyer looking for an interesting air fryer that is not without compromises.
From cooking speed to overall quality, including the exterior build of the device, the GoWISE is not perfect by any means, on the contrary, there are far better devices out there.
But the GW’s target audience will probably not care too much about that, as they will spend too much time ogling the fancy LCD display. Because that is what matters most when you’re buying a gadget.
5) BELLA 14538
The 14538 by little-known manufacturer BELLA is a small, cheap and fairly competent air fryer for the kind of customer who doesn’t care about specifics and just wants down-to-earth performance for a cheap price.
The BELLA is a fairly compact air fryer, smaller in size than many others and designed in a similar fashion to the Secura 1500, rounded, but not oval like many other air fryers.
This also means that its basket is quite tiny as well. Only 2.5L can fit inside the thing, which might be enough for most, but not for everyone. A separator is unfortunately not an option.
Same goes for many of the BELLA’s other features. A bake pan? Not included. A handy booklet full of recipes like in some other fryers? Nope. Some presets for common dishes, maybe? No. Any gimmicks at all?
What you get with the BELLA is the most barebones form of any air fryer on the market, made out of equally barebones, if not truly cheap components.
It can cook. It can fry. It hopefully won’t break. If it does, there’s a warranty. That’s it. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you.
But how can you really go that wrong with only $69? This is the BELLA’s main appeal, the price. Offering one of the least expensive products in your branch or genre is always an advantage as buyers looking for the best possible deal will come to you first.
This, and only this, seems to be the motivation behind the BELLA. We can’t say that it won’t work, because it surely will, but it doesn’t put the 14538 in a particularly bright light when it needs an especially low price to justify the purchase.
So, then, the BELLA’s most prominent weakness seems to be the lack of any special features to put it apart from the competition, right? Well, yeah, mostly.
The low cost might seem like a godsend for buyers looking for something on the cheap, but a lack of generally useful features, bland design decisions, an obviously cheap build, lacking capacity and accessories and more fail to justify the purchase.
- Pricing: Extremely cheap price of only $69,99
- Design: Simple, easy to use; not a lot of parts to break
- Controls: Contains all necessary features for general use; 60 minutes of maximum time and temperatures of up to 400F supported
- Accessories: Lack of extras puts a limit to the usability of the device
- Capacity: 2.5L is sufficient, but not particularly large in terms of capacity
- Build quality: Cheap through and through; probably not that reliable in the long term
- Design: Bland, uninspired and generally uninteresting; not that well-thought out or easy to clean
- Cooking quality: Nothing special, but not very high-quality; residual tastes from chemicals are almost always apparent
- Speed: Subaverage, but not critical
So, who is the BELLA 14538 made for, then? The budget hunter? That would seem to be the most likely answer. How about the simplicity-loving buyer? No, he would choose something more reliable, something more trustworthy. And that really is a way to sum up the BELLA 14538:
A testament to how the lack of certain features can not always be a feature in and of itself.
6) Philips Airfryer
The Philips Airfryer, so named as it was one of the first of its kind on the market, is one of the more luxury-oriented air fryer models.
This immediately becomes apparent looking at the price. $185 is the sum that Philips wants you to shell out for this device, but why? What makes it so special?
Well, apart from brand bias and the reputation that Philips as well as this specific model have, there are a multitude of reasons.
Let’s start with the design. Exterior-wise, the Philips Airfryer doesn’t re-invent the wheel or anything, but the style is fresh and rarely found on other models.
Instead of the oval-like shape that most manufacturers seem to be going for nowadays, the Philips Airfryer employs an almost rectangular style with rounded edges.
This also applies to the basket, which, brace for it, holds no more than a maximum of 0.8 Liters.
This obviously gives the Philips a very small footprint, but gravely compromises its compatibility with certain dishes.
Moving on, the controls on this air fryer are analog knobs as on many other models, but these ones are exceptionally well-crafted.
The lower knob, regulating time, rotates like any other, though its metallic surface is much more comfortable to hold than most competitors’, while the topmost knob, used for changing the temperature, rotates into the air fryer’s body, giving it a half-circle shape.
The rest of the materials on the outside of the fryer are plastic, of course, but Philips knows how to package something convincingly, and they did just that with this model.
Everything feels robust and well-made, and the air fryer certainly looks the part as well. And the cooking performance can speak for itself. Even Gordon Ramsay officially endorses this particular model because of its efficiency.
Also included is a very extensive booklet containing a staggering number of 150 recipes. Thumbs up for that!
However, even though Philips likes to brag about this model being the best-selling and most widely known air fryer currently available, there is one big, glaring disadvantage to owning this device.
Two, in fact. The first is rather straightforward: The Philips Airfryer is expensive.
At $185, it’s not for the people looking for something on the cheap.
The second problem, though, is much more critical: It’s not even an air fryer!
Yes, you heard that right. The Philips Airfryer is not an actual air fryer.
It cooks and bakes food without oil, yes, but it doesn’t fry it. As such, it is best compared to a traditional convection oven, not to other air fryers. This certainly deliberate act of misinformation by Philips is sure to disappoint many future customers.
- Build quality: Great choice of materials; high-end feel throughout; everything looks and feels like a deluxe model
- Cooking performance: Great performance through and through; Taste is nigh-perfect
- Accessories: Cookbook with more than 150 recipes is one of the Airfryer’s most redeeming features
- Design: Fairly unique, attractive and well thought-out; easy to clean
- Controls: Knobs feel fantastic to use, are neatly designed and well-made
- General performance: Not an actual air fryer; name misleading; only bakes and cooks food
- Pricing: High price that is (almost) not justified by the feature set
Finalizing, the Philips Airfryer is probably the most polarizing device on our list.
It’s an air fryer that’s not an actual air fryer.
It’s high quality for a high price, but without the essentials.
It’s got a booklet full of 150+ recipes. But what about the ability to, you know, fry things?
With an air fryer?
Add to that the weight of over $180 riding on your buying decision and you got yourself a device that is sure to disappoint many. But perhaps equally as many people will enjoy it greatly.
7) Power Air Fryer XL
The Power Air Fryer XL. What a name. The device bearing it is equally full of itself.
Looking like a red-and-white portable computer that came right out of a low-budget science-fiction movie, the Power Air Fryer XL is a peculiar little thing.
Featuring a similar touchscreen LCD interface as the GoWISE air fryer we looked at earlier on, it also forgoes the traditional dual-knob layout and instead completely puts all control onto the display.
In fact, both devices use the same user interface, which suggests that there is some third party manufacturing these LCDs for both Tristar, the people behind the Power Air Fryer XL, as well as GoWISE.
Tristar labels the Power Air Fryer XL as a ‘6-in-1 model’, a reference to its ability to both bake, cook, fry, steam, saute, grill and roast food.
This is perhaps also its greatest redeeming feature and ability. The XL is also available in two basket sizes, 3.2 or 5.0L, both of which are more than large enough for various dishes.
The available temperature and time ranges are pretty standard:
Up to 400F and 60 minutes tops. Nothing special, but a nice thing to have.
Material choices are equally standard, for the most part, at least. Plastic is used almost everywhere except on some interior parts.
The handle, like many other air fryers’, is a ‘cool touch’ version, meaning it doesn’t conduct heat and stays cool at all times. Again, nothing special, but nice to have.
This air fryer doesn’t ship with any sort of cookbook, but what it does have are 7 presets for popular dishes selectable on the LCD interface.
Also a rare feature that the XL fortunately does include is a separator for the basket, at least on the larger 5L capacity model.
Cleaning is not a chore, but the shape of the basket combined with the choice of materials don’t make it the easiest thing in the world.
However, only good things can generally be said about the actual cooking performance. The taste is just how you want it to be, and chemical leftovers or traces of any artificial flavors can’t be found.
There are a couple of flaws gracing the otherwise pretty neat Air Fryer XL, but, fortunately, these are all relatively minor ones.
First, there’s the price. $120 for a model that barely offers more than air fryers for over $40 or even $50 less?
Even worse, the cost inflates to $155 should you choose the larger 5.0L capacity model. Other minor flaws are the gimmicky LCD touchscreen, the glossy exterior surface prone to collecting scratches and fingerprints and more.
- Cooking performance: Great taste, no chemical flavor of any kind, 6-in-1 action really useful and works well
- Design: Fairly unique, albeit a little quirky and sci-fi-like
- Accessories: Basket separator a welcome add-on; LCD touchscreen works well, includes 7 presets
- Capacity: Either 3.2L or 5.0 more expensive liters of capacity available; both more than enough for general use
- Controls: Touchscreen elements are intuitive; 60 minutes and 400 maximum follow the industry standard
- Design: Uniqueness and outlandish feel may not be for everyone, not that simple to clean
- Build quality: Not very bad, but still for the most part very plasticky; Exterior easily collects dust, fingerprints, scratches and more
- Accessories: Basket separator only available on the more expensive 5L model; LCD touchscreen a little too gimmicky at times
- Controls: Touchscreen interface not as intuitive as a pair of knobs
- Pricing: $120 minimum and $155 maximum price are both just a little too much to ask for such a low-end device
In conclusion, the weirdly-named Air Fryer XL by Tristar is a worthy member of this list, just not one of its best. The little fryer tries its best, though, and some parts of its design really stand out.
The LCD display, whether you think it’s just a useless gimmick or not, is at least something we’re not used to from most other air fryers and the same goes for the basket sizes—which barely any manufacturers let you choose—and the 6-in-1 feature. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether the Air Fryer XL suits you.
8) Nu Wave 33201 Deluxe
The 33201 Deluxe by Nu Wave is a rather bland air fryer. Only by using this air fryer do you really learn to appreciate even the most boring aspects of the competition.
The concept of the Nu Wave is simple: Combine the most popular aspects of other air fryers on the market and put them all into one device. The result is something that has no identity or particular feel to it whatsoever.
But are the buyers really going to care?
Let’s look at the specs. The Nu Wave costs $90, making it a budget air fryer. You get a basket holding a maximum of 3.3L, a rectangular touchscreen LED display and…that’s it. That really is it.
A top temperature of 390F is slightly below average, but perfectly okay for all intents and purposes. What is not okay is the total lack of any special features. No separator. No booklet.
No baking, cooking, sautéeing or anything of the sort. Nothing. What you see is what you get.
This is simplicity in its ultimate form, really. Even the BELLA 14538, which we derided for its distinct lack of important features had more character and more usability than this.
Which, yet again, begs the question:
But are the buyers really going to care?
Probably not, as the Nu Wave in the end provides the average user with more than satisfying frying performance at an only slight cost. It’s nothing to boast about, but it gets the job done.
Cleaning the unit is not that easy, but why would you? You’re going to buy a new one in a few months anyway.
The taste is, well, average, really. Nothing special at all. But, as we said, it gets the job done.
That’s the important thing here, after all.
The Nu Wave’s flaws should be glaringly obvious by now. The truth is that this machine is so incredibly simplistic, so incredibly barebones and spartan that it almost doesn’t do its job. Almost.
But yet it works. It works in the way that it does what it’s supposed to do, not what the competition that costs the exact same amount of money does.
Maybe there’s a way to appreciate the Nu Wave’s total lack of even the most simple featuers. We haven’t found it. However, if you’re looking for a first air fryer and if you’re on a budget, go for this one.
We’re sure you won’t be terribly disappointed.
Just a little bit, perhaps.
- Design: Simple, easy to use, intuitive
- Cooking performance: Good taste, good crispness, quality and consistency
- Controls: LED touchscreen is modern and easy to use
- Capacity: 3.3L is more than enough
- Pricing: At just $90, this is one cheap air fryer
- Accessories: Lack of any extras, add-ons or accessories seriously diminishes the device’s value
- General performance: Only frying available out of the box; no baking, cooking or anything else
- Design: Bland, so boring it’ll tire your eyes out, uninteresting, hard to clean
- Controls: LED screen more of a gimmick than a useful part of the device
Summarizing, the Nu Wave air fryer really isn’t easy to like. It’s almost impossible to sum this thing up without saying “But hey, it gets its job done”. Because that’s its selling point. That’s the idea behind it.
If you have only $90 to spare and for some reason can’t or don’t want to go for one of the higher-quality fryers in this price range, like the Black+Decker model, for example, then go for this one.
There’s actually a good chance you’ll be happy with the Nu Wave, especially if it’s your first time using an air fryer. After all, it will get its job done.
9) Big Boss
This air fryer simply named “Big Boss” is one hell of a product. Everything from the design to its feature selection is excessive. Let’s start, shall we? You’ll see just what we mean by “excess”.
First, there’s the basket, made out of thick glass and holding an unbelievable 15L! This makes the Big Boss by far the highest-capacity air fryer currently available. Nothing comes close.
Of course, there’s also a separator taking advantage of this gargantuan size in order to allow you to cook or fry two foods at the same time.
Next, there are the controls. Literally embossed on a metal plate are two large analog knobs used for setting temperature and cooking time.
Speaking of these settings, whilst the cooking time limit is a standard 60 minutes, the temperature setting goes up to 480F, almost 100 degrees more than most competitors.
There are also some heat and time settings for various foods engraved on the metal face next to the buttons for your convenience.
The cooking performance is pretty good, too. Nothing really tastes artificial, the cooking itself is faster than on most comparable models and the separator really does separate the flavors of any two dishes you might want to cook at the same time.
Unlike most air fryers, the Big Boss uses three separate systems for frying and cooking: Convection, infrared heat and halogen power.
And you can get all of this for only $75, making the Big Boss one of the best air fryers in terms of its price-performance ratio on our list.
So what flaws does it have? It must have some, right? It can’t be all perfect, after all. Even the very best contenders on our list aren’t perfect, so let’s take a look.
Unfortunately, yes, the Big Boss does have a few weaknesses. Starting with the controls, the knobs aren’t that precise.
If you measure the temperature separately, for example, you will notice that there is always a few degrees of difference between what you put in and what temperature actually reaches your food.
Also, the Big Boss, thanks to the size and choice of materials, is quite heavy, weighing only slightly less than 7 kilos. And, as you may have feared, the Big Boss does not come included with any sort of recipe book. Cleaning the unit isn’t that easy, either.
- Capacity: Staggering capacity of 15 liters leaves the competition in the dust
- Build quality: High-end, albeit unusual, choice of materials, from glass to stainless steel
- Pricing: Only $75 make this one of the most cost-efficient air fryers ever
- Controls: High-quality analog knobs feel great and are easy to use; 480F temperature limit is far beyond the competition
- Cooking performance: Good taste, no artificial flavors
- Speed: Faster than most competitors at no compromise in cooking quality
- Design: Very unique, both in terms of materials as well as shape and styling
- Accessories: Separator included
- General performance: Imprecision in the control knobs is noticeable; high weight can be a nuisance
- Accessories: No recipe book or other extras besides the basket separator available
- Design: Not that easy to clean thanks to unique shape and variety in materials
So, is the Big Boss the air fryer for you, then? Probably not. Most people can live without the ability to cook for two entire families in one go thanks to an absurdly large glass basket.
Or the option to heat food up to 480 degrees instead of just 400. To be honest, the Big Boss isn’t as practical as it may sound.
But hey, for $75, you are getting a truckload of features and generally good quality. Unfortunately, that quality can’t really live up to the standards of, say, Black+Decker.
10) T-fal FZ7002
The FZ7002 looks like the experimental in-development form of an air fryer that hasn’t been released yet. With strange looks often come strange features, and the T-fal sure has got those.
From awkwardly placed buttons to a half-transparent basket that’s like nothing you’ve seen on other models, it’s almost as if the T-fal was made to be strange.
Let’s start with those buttons. There are two small green ones next to the little monochrome LCD display that tells you information about, say, temperature or timing settings.
The left button is an on/off switch for the entire device, the right one sets the timer in certain increments. It’s hard to get used to, at least at first, and makes you wonder why they didn’t just use regular knobs.
Also, the temperature can’t be manually set.
An automatic algorithm matches the heat to the selected time and type of food, which can be selected with two more buttons on the lower left and right corners of the T-fal.
The basket, on the other hand, is a semi-transparent plexiglass circular casing that goes on top of where your food is. It’s a unique setup, and one that only T-fal seems to be using at the moment.
Thus, the basket acts more like a lid on this particular air fryer. It can hold up to 2.9L, which is more than what it looks like due to the fryer’s small footprint and circular shape.
Extras include a measuring spoon, a colored recipe booklet with 38 recipes and a filter for odorless cooking. Also interesting is the fact that the entire T-fal system was made to be easy to clean.
This will surely positively surprise many customers as cleaning has been one aspect many air fryer manufacturers typically ignored. The whole package will cost you $115, a mid-range price for an air fryer.
The downside? Primarily, it’s the controls. The weird button layout T-fal chose really doesn’t feel intuitive, neither does the fact that all buttons are scattered all over the device as far away from each other as possible. Also: No baking. Sorry.
And good luck trying to get a pan or pot into that basket with its weird shape and lid-like opening action.
- Design: Unique, but not impractical; circular basket increases capacity whilst maintaining a low profile; very easy to clean
- Pricing: Not expensive, but not cheap, either
- Capacity: 2.9L will be enough for most users
- Accessories: A measuring spoon for careful addition of oil when need, a colored recipe book and filters are all useful and work as they should
- Cooking performance: Good taste, little to no chemical flavor
- Controls: Button-based controls are rather awkward to use; analog dials or knobs would have been better
- Design: Strange, circular motif may not appeal to everyone; not a lot of high-end materials used
- General performance: No baking option available; unique basket design poses a problem with most pots and pans not designed specifically for the fryer
- Accessories: LCD display isn’t touch-capable or colored; no separator for the basket
In the end, the T-fal FZ7002 is quite an interesting experiment in air fryer development.
Is it a good retail product, though? Maybe. Its cooking and frying performance is certainly okay, but what the T-fal is so obviously trying to get people to buy it with is its radical styling, the button controls and the unique basket solution.
And those things just happen to be what is wrong with the T-fal.
Maybe you should think twice before putting those $115 into this thing. Maybe.
How we picked the best Air Fryer
How we tested
Our top criteria for any air fryer on our list generally are cooking quality, taste, cooking speed, reliability, build quality, ease of use and the ease with which one can clean the device.
These criteria are so important because they sum up what an air fryer needs to be for most, if not all consumers.
Even an air fryers that’s the best at cooking, though, is not worth much if it doesn’t allow you to clean or maintain it.
Likewise, a clean-friendly air fryer that doesn’t feature a proper timer that you can manually set up is worthless.
So, even when grading these criteria by relevance, keep in mind that any air fryer completely missing any of these is not worth considering at all. Graphically, these could be listed in terms of relevance like this:
Cooking quality (Taste, speed, cooking options and overall quality)
Cleaning (Cleaning options, ease of cleaning and design’s friendliness to cleaning)
Build quality, functions and features (including extras and accessories)
Ease of use
So, which is the best out of our Top 10, then?
Which air fryer beats them all?
That prize would have to go to the Black+Decker air fryer, which won fair and square.
Now, why and how did it win against such varied and interesting competition, some of which even outperformed the Black+Decker in certain aspects?
The answer is that the Black+Decker air fryer, although it isn’t the best at everything, certainly beats every other air fryer on the market when you take all features into account.
Yes, the B&D has its flaws, but it performs very well in all of the 4 most important categories above, something that most of its competition simply can’t do.
The cooking quality is one of the best of its class, it’s very easy to clean and maintain, it’s well-built and contains many higher-end materials like stainless steel to boost its longevity and it’s surprisingly easy to use thanks to a simple two-knob layout.
It even nails minor points beyond the 4 important criteria like customer support, thanks to a 2 year-warranty, or pricing: At just $99, the Black+Decker is not just one of the best, it’s also one of the least expensive air fryers.
With the B&D, you simply get the most complete, most well-rounded package possible.
Yes, some on our list may exceed it in some respects, but the Black+Decker air fryer clearly shows that the big picture is very, very important.
What is an air fryer, anyway?
Simply put, an air fryer is a fryer that cooks / fries with heated air, more rarely in addition to infrared radiation or convection, instead of with oil.
The lack of oil severely decreases the amount of fat and calories contained within the finished dish, which makes the air fryer a very healthy option.
The Case against deep frying
Now, you may ask yourself,
“Why should I choose an air fryer when I have this deep fryer already?”
That’s a good question. Let’s answer it!
Basically, ever since air fryers first came out, the dangers and negative side-effects of deep frying have only been made more and more apparent. Firstly, there’s fat.
Deep frying, unlike air frying, involves quite a bit of oil, which in turn makes the food it is subjected to very fatty. Air frying circumvents that by not using oil at all.
The fat, of course, is not healthy for your body. Excessive amounts of adipose tissue can lead to obesity, which is a serious health risk that should not be underestimated.
But also when you don’t take the fat into account, deep frying creates a lot of chemicals and artificial byproducts that, eventually, land in your body via the food that you eat.
Some of these can be very dangerous in larger amounts.
Even from a financial perspective, deep frying is not very efficient. As oil breaks down after a certain time when subjected to air, it has to be replaced.
The costs for buying new oil add up, of course, and eventually accumulate to pretty large sums of money.
Then, the final nail in the coffin for deep fryers is the difficulty with maintaining them, even during use. The oil can’t get too hot for too long, for example, so oil filtering with a deep fryer is only possible thanks to some workarounds.
But even then, you might not achieve a perfect oil temperature, which is necessary for the optimal taste. Not to mention the fact that you’re potentially putting boiling hot oil in the vicinity of children, which can get seriously dangerous.
Which Factors should I consider before choosing an Air Fryer?
Wattage: The air fryer’s wattage should always be of interest to you. Of course, a higher number means a heftier electricity bill, but even from a non-financial standpoint, you have to ensure that your wall outlet can even support the device’s wattage.
Capacity: The capacity determines how much food fits into the air fryer’s basket. About 2 Liters should be enough for most people, but think about who you’re going to cook for.
Is it a large family? In that case, higher capacities may be necessary. Be aware, though, that the capacity is also indirectly linked to the device’s size.
Size: Most air fryers are pretty small machines, but you should always check the exact measurements to make sure that your air fryer will fit where you want to put it.
Settings: Temperature and time should both be manually adjustable settings on your air fryer. Temperatures of up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit are common and it’s not hard or expensive to get some models that reach 400.
The standard for cooking time is a maximum of either 30 or 60 minutes.
Think about what kind of dishes you’re planning to cook and what settings you consequently need.
Functions: If you need any special features or extras, there is probably some air fryer out there that has them. Some models, for example, include a split basket that lets you cook two things at the same time.
Some can not just cook or fry, but grill, bake or more. You’ll also need to decide whether or not you’ll go with a completely oil-less air fryer or one that uses just a little oil.
The former is the healthier option whilst the latter might be cheaper.
Price: Prices for air fryers can range from $50 to about $300, but don’t let any price fool you:
A low price isn’t an indicator for low quality; likewise, a high price says nothing about the quality (or lack thereof!) of the fryer.
Most budget fryers are actually pretty good and can outclass their more expensive counterparts in numerous ways.
Programs: Many air fryers come with built-in programs for different foods. These can come in handy.
For example, wouldn’t it be easier to just press one button labeled as “French fries” instead of having to guess and set the timer and temperature yourself?
Unfortunately, air fryers with lots of programs tend to be more on the expensive side, so carefully consider how much automation you need.
Ease of Cleaning: Air fryers have to be cleaned and maintained regularly, that’s a fact.
And if your fryer’s design doesn’t allow for any of that, it’s a bad one. You should look up reviews to see how easy it is to clean the air fryer you’re looking at. Really think about it carefully.
No matter which model you choose, you’re going to have to clean it a lot.
Non-stick materials: Non-stick materials might not sound like much, but they’re a godsend in practice for every air fryer user out there.
Non-stick materials are simply coatings that reduce surface tension, allowing all sorts of food bits, dirt or dust to simply fall off of the air fryer’s body instead of sticking to it like glue and hardening after a few hours.
It really makes the whole thing a lot easier to clean at no additional expense or compromise.
Temperature Control: Having control over your temperature sounds like a given, but it’s actually not.
Many ‘modern’ air fryers use some sort of automatic temperature algorithm where a computer regulates the temperature based on your choice of food and what you set on the timer.
Some are even worse and only feature one constant temperature.
Many people prefer being able to control the temperature themselves, but this is largely personal preference.
The important thing is that, if you or anyone in your household has a meat-based diet, choosing some kind of air fryer with variable temperature is a must.
Otherwise, you can stick with less expensive, static-temperature models.
Temperature limit: How hot you can cook with your air fryer is more important than you might think.
Generally, for meat, fish or things like french fries, up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit should be fine, but if you want to roast veggies, for example, higher temperatures of up to and in excess of 400 degrees are necessary.
Display type: Many air fryers nowadays have LCD or LED displays, few have none and even fewer have their own proprietary display solutions that differ from the norm.
Some displays do just that, they display information, others act as touchscreens and can be used to control certain features.
The user experience here is largely up to the user him/herself, as the feel of touching glass versus turning a knob is highly subjective.
You should better try out some similar devices with touchscreens first to see what it feels like to use one.
All of these displays are, for the most part, nothing more than gimmicks, though, and you’ll always be able to save some cash by choosing an old-fashioned model that doesn’t include them.
Who needs an air fryer?
The health-conscious: Air fryers truly are a very healthy way to cook, fry, bake or do just about anything related to food.
Without any oil, the amount of fat and calories that make their way into your stomach drastically sinks, making everything you eat healthier.
This way, people can change their body without changing their exercise plan or their diet.
The busy families: Since air fryers cook faster on average than deep fryers, they’re a perfect option for large, busy households that need to get a lot of things done at the same time.
Whether it’s packaged, frozen or any other kind of food, the air fryer will get it done in a fraction of the time a deep fryer would need. And they can be cleaned in just about a few minutes as well.
Those with small kitchens and budgets: People who value space, mostly because they don’t have a lot of it, find air fryers to be a greatly helpful appliance as it can effectively replace their toasters, toaster ovens, convection ovens, microwaves and more.
Since they also cost a fraction of the cost of all of the above put together, the reasons not to get one when you live in a tight space, such as a college dorm or RV, for example, become fewer and fewer.
The air fryer’s core elements
Of course, an air fryer, like any other machine, is made up of a bunch of different components that interact with each other to make the device work.
Every air fryer ever made has these, and they all work in a really simple way, actually. Let’s take a look.
Heat source: Since the air fryer’s purpose is, simply put, to heat stuff up, it need something to generate that heat.
Almost all air fryer’s use an electric coil for this, which converts electrical energy from your wall socket into thermal energy, or heat. Genius!
Airflow: Of course, the heat can’t just stay where it is, it needs to get to your food somehow.
That’s what the convection system is for.
This is mostly just a fan that spins, pushing the hot air into the general direction of the food.
Different models have different airflow layouts, some really complex with multiple fans, air vents and strange directions the air has to take, but the concept always remains the same.
Fryer Basket: The basket is where you put your food, and it usually just sits on top of the coil.
The basket can be coated in a non-stick material and is most of the time designed to be exceptionally easy to clean compared to the rest of the device.
There are often holes in the bottom of the basket for the hot air from the coil to get through.
Cooking styles: Air fryers are known for combining the features of many devices into one. Some of the most feature-rich air fryers can not just fry, but also steam, roast, grill, bake, and broil.
This is only possible thanks to the coil-fan-basket layout employed by the air fryer. Different styles can be used by, for example, changing the speed at which the fan rotates or amplifying the coil.
Different baskets may also be available to allow for different styles. Some baskets even support add-ons like pans or pots.
Some of the most expensive models can be true Jacks of all trades, pulling off almost any kind of cooking style flawlessly.
As long as you know how to use them, that is.
Make the Healthy Choice: Invest in an Air Fryer
It is no secret that deep frying isn’t really the healthiest thing in the world, but now, after the advent of air frying, doctors and nutritionists alike are beginning to realize just how bad it is for your body.
Deep fried food has been linked to many things from Type 2 Diabetes to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), acid reflux and many more.
An air fryer, being based on a completely different mechanism than a deep fryer, doesn’t have these health risks.
Another benefit of choosing an air fryer is the fact that it’s compact, quicker than a deep fryer and generally cheaper, as well.
The ten benefits of using an Air Fryer
1. Ease of use: Air fryers are generally very easy to use, especially when equipped with up-to-date touchscreen control systems that make cooking your food just a touch away.
Many air fryers nowadays are also at least partially automated with functions such as automatic switch-off, semi-automatic timers or even self-adjusting temperature.
2. No mess: The chance of oil spills with an air fryer is literally 0% unless you’re using a model that accepts limited amounts of oil. Even then, air fryers are generally fool-proof when it comes to things like these.
3. Safety: Cool-grip handles and advanced safety features make air fryers resilient and safe to use, even in the face of an emergency.
4. Functions: Almost all air fryers can do much more than just fry. The very best models can fry, bake, grill, roast, cook and even more.
5. No overheating: All air fryers are cooled by a built-in fan, sometimes even multiple ones.
This prevents them from overheating like deep fryers.
6. Energy efficiency: Air fryers are generally more efficient when it comes to their use of electricity compared to ovens and deep fryers.
7. Environmental: Air fryers generally don’t exhibit the smell of oil that is so characteristic of deep fryers, even the models that do use some oil.
This is due to air fryers having air filters that are not just better for your nose, but also for the environment.
8. Space saving: Most air fryers are much more compact and easier to store compared to deep fryers.
9. Taste and crispiness: Even though they have all these differences, a good air fryer will still be able to give you the kind of crispy, rich taste you’ve come to expect from the best of deep fryers.
If you still don’t like it, most air fryers allow you to add your own oils to your food to further enhance the taste.
10. Ease of cleaning: Air fryers are made to be exceptionally easy to clean.
Not just that, cleaning generally doesn’t take more than a few minutes at best.
Three Air Fryer Types
There are many kinds of air fryers, far too many to count, really, but they can all roughly be grouped into one or more of the following categories:
Basket Air Fryers: These are the most common kind of air fryer available. They feature a basket that is inserted into the fryer, containing the food.
The basket sits above the electrical coil that produces the heat, which makes the heating and pre-heating process very quick and efficient.
And all of that’s possible without any oil!
Paddle fryers: These fryers feature a so-called paddle that moves, stirring your food for you.
There are both automatic paddle fryers where the paddle moves on its own as well as manual ones where you have to turn it yourself. There are also a few basket air fryers with built-in paddles.
Oil-free turkey fryers: These specialist’s air fryers are specifically made for cooking up to an entire turkey, be it for Thanksgiving or any other occasion, without any oil.
They usually have capacities exceeding 1kg, meaning they’re really large in comparison with other air fryers.
Three Handy Tips for Using you Air Fryer
Here are three tips that should get you out of any difficult situation when using your air fryer:
1. Read the instruction manual: This might sound a little too straight-forward, but many people neglect to read the instruction manual of their device, leading to many complications.
Remember that the manual was written by the people who designed the device and that they should know best how to handle it.
So, before freaking out, at least take a quick look at that dust-catching booklet in the corner.
2. Clean the fryer regularly: Of course, every device needs regular maintenance in order to continue functioning properly.
Even our own bodies do! The same goes for the air fryer. Don’t forget that most air fryers are designed to be really easy to clean, so it maintenance should almost never be a challenge.
And when you doubt that you know how to properly service your air fryer, fall back to tip number 1!
3. Size Matters: Depending on the number of people you’re cooking for, of course.
Generally speaking, the size of your air fryer compared to the standard air fryer’s size should reflect the size of your household compared to the standard household’s.
Plant-based Oil-Free Frying
Unlike traditional deep frying, air frying can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of diet choice.
Even vegetarians and vegans now choose air frying in favor of other methods because of its simplicity, effectiveness and health benefits.
Many different dishes can be prepared: Spring rolls, Wraps, even something like rutabaga, let your imagination run wild! Without oil, you’ll be missing out on a lot of fat and calories, but we’re sure you won’t regret any of it!
The most popular Air fryer brands
A. Black+Decker: An incredibly famous company mostly known for its power tools, Black+Decker has just recently ventured into the territory of air fryers. With great success, too.
B. Secura: Secura are a relatively new firm completely focused on creating air fryers.
They’re specialists in the business and create some true best-sellers.
C. Cozyna: Eastern-European company Cozyna focuses on more luxury-oriented, expensive air fryers, often including various user-centric goodies and useful add-ons.
A good choice if you can pay the price.
D. GoWISE: GoWISE doesn’t only create air fryers, they’re also behind various other kitchen appliances like pressure cookers and even non-food related devices like fat scales.
Their air fryers have a reputation for being inexpensive, effective and good-looking.
E. BELLA: A new marque still trying to find its footing in the market of air fryers, BELLA has already released a handful of air fryers so far.
Their models are nothing special in terms of features, but are generally thought to be reliable and cheap.
F. Philips: It was only a matter of time before electronics megacompany Philips would begin producing air fryers, and now they are doing it en masse.
Their models are generally well-made, using high-quality materials, but they also have a reputation for being overpriced.
G. Nu Wave: A young, but relatively well-known company known for its various kitchen appliances, among them air fryers. They have a good reputation, mostly because their models are very affordable and simple.
H. Big Boss: Big Boss, belonging to Tristar, is a new brand of air fryers that tries to be revolutionary by including high-end features in very inexpensive products. Will it fail or succeed?
Nobody knows at this point. Their current sales aren’t very impressive, though.
I. Power Air Fryer XL: This brand sells only one eponymous air fryer model in the US and Europe and has been doing so for a few years now. The Power Air Fryer XL is a fairly competent device, not that cheap, but easy to maintain and reliable.
Having read through our overview, you are now armed with everything you need to make a conscious buying decision concerning your future air fryer.
Should you have any questions about this topic, be sure to fall back on our guide. We’re sure the answer is somewhere in here.
In any case, we wish you great success with whatever decision you’ll make and whatever air fryer you’ll choose in the end!