Science

Best Air Fryer: All the Flavor With Fewer Calories

The magical promise of an air fryer is crispy and delicious food without vats of oil. How can we pull off this culinary miracle? Air fryers don’t actually fry food. They’re small, countertop convection-style ovens with fans that circulate hot air to cook food from the outside in. You could do the same in a standard convection oven, but thanks to their small size and strong heating elements, air fryers deliver more power for faster, more even cooking. Air fryers are great appliances for French fries, chicken fingers, tater tots, crispy veggies, perfect tofu, and more. Many of them can also broil, bake, and toast, too.

  • Cooking Temperature: We all want crispy and evenly-cooked food, which is why checking the temperature capacity is key. To properly cook meat, you’ll need a fryer that reaches at least 400 degrees, so be sure to check the product description before you buy. 
  • Size:  Though no air fryer can cook big batches of food like your traditional oven, they do have a range of sizes to suit your household. For a four-person household, a 3.7L air fryer will be large enough to cook a family-sized meal. If you have less counter space, you may want to opt for a smaller model and cook multiple batches when necessary. 
  • Cleaning: The only downside to air fryers is that some can be challenging to clean, which is why we recommend scoping out the removable features of your appliance before purchasing. Some models offer non-stick baskets, dishwasher safe bins, or removable pans so you can more easily scrub away any residue. 

Our Picks for the Best Air Fryers on Amazon

Top pick overall: Ninja Max Air Fryer

Large Capacity

This product delivers 400 degrees of superheated air, while the 5.5-quart basket and crisper fits two pounds of fries or wings. The basket is also non-stick, which makes for faster clean-up. Ninja

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Runner up: Instant Pot Vortex Plus

Multi-Function and Versatile

Roast, bake, dehydrate, broil, and reheat with the six built-in smart programs on this product. Digital controls provide quick access to cooking functions including temperature and time. Instant Pot

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Great for families: COSORI Air Fryer Max

Dishwasher-Safe Basket

With a six quart square basket, you can easily cook meals for the family in a flash. The square design can fit an entire five-pound chicken, so you don’t need to stress about dinner on a whim. COSORI

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Budget pick: GoWISE USA 1700-Watt 5.8-QT 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer

Detachable Basket

Designed with an incremental alarm function, cool touch handle, and button guard so you can easily shake and flip contents as you cook—so each bite is crispy and well-done. GoWISE USA

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Popular Science is here to help you choose among the most popular products on Amazon, and hidden gems our experts think are worth checking out.



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