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Best air fryers for crispy chips, roasted chicken and more!

Sizzle up a flavour-packed Sunday roast or a tray of deliciously crispy chips in minutes with one of these time-saving air fryers

Published: March 8, 2022 at 3:20 pm
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Air fryers have become hugely popular over the last few years thanks to their convenience, speediness and healthy cooking properties. But how do they work?

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How does an air fryer work?

Essentially an air fryer is a countertop oven. It rapidly circulates hot air to evenly cook your food from every angle and crisp the food’s outsides without the need for oil.

Not only are air fryers ideal for making healthier meals but they also heat up much faster than conventional ovens, meaning you can have a tray of crispy chips or a sizzling roast chicken in half the usual time.

What can you cook in an air fryer?

Quicker cooking doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste. Whether it’s pork crackling, jacket potatoes, joints or roasted vegetables, food cooked in an air fryer is packed with flavour and texture. Some people enjoy air fried food so much, they rarely use the oven at all!

Various styles of air fryer are available, from fuss-free, compact drawer designs to more advanced mini ovens. But before you part with your cash, consider which style is best for you and how many cooking functions you’re likely to need – some air fryers also have baking, slow cooking, grilling and reheat functions.

We showcase a range of models in this guide so you can find the one that’s right for you. So, if time is tight, healthy food is a priority, or you just love a big bowl of chips (who doesn’t?), one of the six air fryers here could be what you need…

Best air fryers 2022

Tower Vortx Air Fryer Oven

Tower Vortx Air Fryer Oven
Tower Vortx Air Fryer Oven, £97, Amazon

Size 38.2 x 32.4 x 33.9cm (H x W x D)

Capacity 11L

Power 2,000W

Key features

  • Air fry, rotisserie, dehydrator, roast and bake functions
  • Viewing window to keep an eye on your cooking
  • Eight pre-set cooking programs
  • Removable wire shelves

The low-down

Love a crispy-cook chook? If so the Tower Vortx air fryer could be a great option for you. As well as air frying, roasting, baking and even dehydrating, the Vortx has an excellent rotisserie function, and comes with a rotating spit and handle specifically for that method of cooking.

A window and interior light let you keep a close eye on your food, which cooks fast – Tower claims it takes just 40 minutes to cook a 1kg chicken. And it does all this with little or no oil, thanks to its rapid air circulation.

Three wire racks can be added to cook chips, pizza, jacket potatoes and more, and they’re super easy to clean. The Vortx’s 11L capacity makes it a great choice for families or keen dinner party hosts, and its automatic switch-off function keeps things safe if you’re juggling several tasks at once.

Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Multi-Cooker

Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Multi-Cooker
Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Multi-Cooker, £149.99, Ninja Kitchen

Size 43 x 36 x 32cm (H x W x D)

Capacity 6L Power: 1,460W

Key features

  • Air fry, pressure cook, slow cook, steam, roast, sauté and grill
  • TenderCrisp technology gives your food delicious crispiness
  • Can cook a whole chicken from frozen
  • Keep-warm setting
  • Recipe book included

The low-down

For a one-pot wonder, look no further than the 7-in-1 MultiCooker from Ninja Kitchen. As well as deliciously crispy and flavoursome air frying, it pressure cooks, slow cooks, steams, roasts, sautés and grills – letting you whip up just about any meal you fancy (it even produces delicious baked treats).

In a hurry? The pressure cook function lets you cook meals up to 70 per cent faster than traditional slow cooking, simmering and braising (according to Ninja Kitchen).

If you’re not quite ready to serve up though, the keep-warm setting will keep your food toasty for up to 12 hours. Ninja Kitchen also says this model uses 75 per cent less fat for cooking chips compared to conventional deep-frying.

Top tip

Some air fryers require shaking halfway through for a totally even cook. If that sounds like something you might forget, you may want to opt for a higher-end model that doesn’t require this step or choose an air fryer that has shake reminders.

ProBreeze Air Fryer with Digital Display

ProBreeze Air Fryer with Digital Display
ProBreeze Air Fryer with Digital Display, £69.99, Amazon

Size 33.2 x 34.3 x 29.3cm (H x W x D)

Capacity 4.2L

Power 1,400W

Key features

  • Air fry, slow cook, grill, roast, sauté and bake
  • Seven pre-set cooking modes
  • Detachable non-stick frying basket

The low-down

The ProBreeze air fryer is a fab, fuss-free machine that uses ‘cyclone technology’ to circulate hot air around a removable, non-stick basket. It won’t fit a whole roast chicken or large joint, but can easily handle chicken wings, fish fillets and plenty of chips. It’s ideal if you’re after something a bit smaller for one or two people.

Deliciously flavoursome chips, chicken, fish, lamb chops, steak and more, take less than half an hour and testing by ProBreeze found it uses up to 80 per cent less fat than a traditional fat fryer. There are seven handy pre-set cooking modes to save you the effort of working out timings and the large LED display is easy to read and navigate.

You can manually change the temperature and timings too, if you prefer. This model also has over-heat protection and auto-off sensors for peace of mind, plus the removable non-stick tray is dishwasher safe.

Cosori Pro LE 4.7 Litre Air Fryer

Cosori Pro LE 4.7 Litre Air Fryer
Cosori Pro LE 4.7 Litre Air Fryer, £99.99, Amazon

Size 30.3 x 27.5 x 27.2cm (H x W x D)

Capacity 4.7L

Power 1,500W

Key features

  • Air fry, slow cook, grill, roast, sauté and bake
  • Smart, minimal design
  • Keep-warm setting
  • Shake and turn setting lets you know when to turn food for even cooking
  • Recipe book included

The low-down

The Cosori Pro LE 4.7 Litre air fryer is another basket-style model, but has a slightly larger capacity than the ProBreeze air fryer. It can cater for up to four people and its sleek design is great for style-savvy cooks, as well as being handy for smaller countertops.

Seven pre-set cooking functions makes each cooking session foolproof and a handy keep-warm function ensures meals stay toasty for up to half an hour. You can also control the temperature and timings manually, if you prefer.

Cosori says this air fryer uses 85 per cent less fat than a traditional fat fryer and it cooks fast too – it’s said to be capable of cooking a roast chicken in under an hour. The temperature can reach 230°C, which is great for super crispy finishes. The non-stick removable drawer can be easily washed by hand or popped in the dishwasher. Overall, this is a great all-rounder for smaller households.

Tefal ActiFry Genius Air Fryer

Tefal ActiFry Genius
Tefal ActiFry Genius, £220, Currys

Size 23.8 x 30.3 x 43.3cm (H x W x D)

Capacity 1.2kg

Power 1,500W

Key features

  • Nine pre-set cooking functions
  • Auto-stirring paddle so no shaking required
  • Viewing window

The low-down

If you want a family-size air fryer, the Tefal ActiFry is a great contender. It serves six moderately-sized portions, or four large portions, and an ingenious auto-stirring paddle means you don’t have to worry about turning your food to make sure it cooks evenly – great for busy households.

Nine pre-set functions let you cook breaded snacks, meats, pastries, desserts and even world foods such as egg-fried rice and tagines (as well as classics like chips and roasts), all with preprogrammed timings and temperatures. All you have to do is add your ingredients (there are manual settings if you prefer to take full control, though).

A handy viewing window lets you keep an eye on your food and the removable cooking bowl can either be washed by hand or put through a dishwasher. Little to no oil is required but it’s worth noting that there is no drip tray, so fattier foods such as bacon or chicken wings won’t be drained as efficiently as some other more health-conscious models. This doesn’t compromise on taste, though, and despite being one of the priciest models we reviewed, it’s well worth it for the size and functionality.

Instant Brands Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer

Instant Brands Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer
Instant Brands Vortex 4-in-1 Air Fryer, £99.99, Amazon

Size ‎31.4 x 37.9 x 32.6 cm (H x W x D)

Capacity 5.7L

Power 1,300W

Key features

  • Air fry, bake, roast and reheat
  • Fun colourful design
  • Space-saving
  • Shake and turn reminder lets you know when to turn food for even cooking

The low-down

Cooking for one or two and want to make a style statement while you’re at it? Then this delightful model from Instant Brands is the air fryer for you.

The Vortex uses ‘EvenCrisp technology’, which aims to create the same results as deep-frying with almost no need for oil – 95 per cent less, according to the manufacturer’s claims. There are three cooking modes, as well as the air fry setting, that let you roast, bake and reheat leftovers.

A useful shake and turn setting ensures your food gets cooked evenly and the drawer has a removable tray, which means you can give a crispy finish to saucy foods, such as pasta, as well as chips and pizza. The removable drawer and tray can be hand-washed or popped in a dishwasher.

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Authors

Katie is a Staff Writer for HomeStyle magazine and YourHomeStyle.uk. She previously worked on Gardens Illustrated magazine and has written for various other lifestyle magazines and brands. She particularly enjoys writing about indie and sustainable homeware brands, interior styles through the ages, houseplants and decor hacks for small spaces. She is also responsible for HomeStyle's buyer's guides, so you'll often find her testing out the latest homeware gadgets and kitchen appliances.

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