An air fryer is a great kitchen appliance to have. Small and compact enough to be squeezed in just about anywhere, and highly efficient, theses gadgets will help you produce your most delicious dishes!
If you’re a fan of fast food, then you definitely need an air fryer in your life – they can cook food the same way as deep frying does, but they use a minimal amount of oil and as such are considerably healthier. An air fryer cooks using convection cooking along with a tiny bit of oil, and this combination contributes to a well cooked inside and a crisp outside – just like your favourite fast food restaurant, but at a fraction of the cost (and the calories!)
Like everything, air fryers come in all shapes and sizes. Most are small enough to fit on a counter top, but the inner capacity varies. Generally, between 3 and 5 litres is the norm; obviously the larger sizes are more suited to bigger meals for more people. You can also find super efficient air fryers, that use more wattage and therefore cook things faster – though you may have to watch these more so that nothing gets burned.
B. Ease of use
Air fryers are more convenient than turning on the oven, and there is no faffing about with different trays and shelves – and it actually uses less energy than an oven too. Most air fryers are very simple and have easy to read controls so that you can perfect your air frying easily. Air frying is a quick, simple and convenient way to cook your favourite food. You can even buy specialist air fryer recipe books!
Air fryers are not just limited to cooking chicken wings and fast food style food. You can use most of them to cook any number of dishes; all the way from fish and chips, to classic roasts. Many will also offer the capability to cook cakes too, meaning that your sweet course is sorted!
Best Air Fryer: Reviews
We have had a good search around the internet, and narrowed down the best air fryer products on the UK market, so you don’t have to look too hard to find the one that suits you.
1. Philips HD9220/20 Air Fryer
This air fryer is made by a trusted, well known company, which means that you can be pretty sure it will be a good quality product. It makes perfectly cooked, crispy food which is tender inside and cooked all through. It uses very little oil to work its magic, meaning that it is a healthy option for cooking your favourite meals.
What we like about it:
- This unit allows you to fry, grill, roast and even bake your favourite foods, depending on how you want to cook it and which settings you choose.
- Easy to clean. A consideration with any cooking appliance is how long it takes to get it clean after you’ve used it – this one is dishwasher safe, so you can easily clean it once you’ve finished using it.
- Creates meals with 90% less fat than other methods of cooking. This little gadget will create your favourite dishes, using considerably less oil than some other cooking methods.
- Comes with a 2 year warranty. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong with your air fryer, you can easily get it fixed or repaired, with no extra money spent on your part.
- Comes with a free recipe app. If you’re not sure what or how you can cook in your new air cooker, this one is the one for you – it comes with over 200 dishes that you can learn to cook and fall in love with.
2. Salter EK2818 Healthy Cooking Air Fryer 1300W, Black, 3.2L
This space age looking air fryer will create some delicious food for you, using very little oil so it is healthier, whilst still managing to lock in the flavour. It is very easy to use, with a simple interface that can help you enjoy your favourite dishes, with less than half the fat of the shop bought alternatives.
What we like about it:
- A large capacity of 3.2 litres. This means that you can make dishes for the whole family, quickly and easily and with minimal fuss.
- Cooks food incredibly quickly. Most of the things you make in this cooker will be ready in 30 minutes or less, because it heats up to 200 degrees C in a short space of time, and it uses a heat circulating method that makes it a great option for when you want to knock up something on a work night where time is of the essence.
- Easy to use. You can’t really go wrong with this cooker; it is so simple to use that you can’t really mess anything up.
- Non stick cooking basket. This means that you can very quickly and easily remove the food from your air fryer when you’ve finished using it, adding to its convenience.
- This is a very versatile air fryer, that can cook a huge variety of dishes – from meat to chips, home made wedges, meat, spring rolls, and even vegetables and fruit.
3. Philips HD9721/11 Premium Fryer
A very clever air fryer that can make tasty, healthy meals with less fat than many other types of cooking, this one is a must for your kitchen. You can fry, grill and even bake in this cooker, which makes it a very versatile option for all your nibbling needs.
What we like about it:
- Has a capacity to feed up to three people in a single sitting. You can cater for more than just one person with this fryer, which is ideal for knocking up some quick meals for friends and family.
- It has pre set cooking times, and an auto off function so that you can go away and leave it, without having to worry that it is burning your food.
- Saves a lot of time and effort. You can quickly and easily cook your favourite dishes with minimal fuss and hassle, and you will find that it greatly reduces your time spent slaving over a hot cooker!
- Innovative fat removal system which makes your food even healthier. This technology extracts even more fat from your food, and will allow you to eat delicious dishes with an even healthier spin.
- Comes with a 2 year warranty and an app that brings you new recipes to try. Freebies with a fryer like this are not necessary, but they do help! A warranty is great for peace of mind, while a bit of inspiration for new recipes is a very useful thing.
4. Duronic Air Fryer AF1/B Black 1500W 4.5L
This small, compact air fryer is great for those who live in smaller spaces. It will fit easily on your counter top, and will produce a surprising amount of food for its size. It has a simple design, which it counters with its efficiency and modern technology in order to create delicious dishes.
What we like about it:
- Drains the fat away, making it a healthier way of cooking than traditional frying methods. This means it’s great for your diet as well as your pocket!
- Five different cooking styles – you can choose from frying, roasting, steaming, air frying, and reheating. This last one is not a common feature of air fryers, so this one has an added dimension.
- Comes with a generous cooking tray and cooking basket. Some fryers ask you to buy these bits separately, so having them included is a big plus. Also, these are big enough to cook meals for the whole family.
- It contains mess very well. You won’t have to spend hours cleaning this device after you have finished using it, partly because of the non stick coating and partly because the design contains any splashes.
- Easy to use, with clear dials. Some air fryers’ dials can be hard to see, and hard to use properly – this one has large dials so it is very easy to get every dish perfect.
5. Power Air Fryer XL 3.2L 1500W Black
This is an air fryer suitable for the whole family. It can feed a family of four comfortably, meaning that you can use it for daily meals for everyone, at the same time as not sacrificing family time.
What we like about it:
- Adjustable time and temperature settings. You can use the pre set functions of this air fryer, or you can make your own timings using the quick touch digital settings.
- It’s a healthy way of cooking. Firstly you use a lot less oil than other types of cooking, plus there’s a drip tray that will catch the excess oil to remove even more of the unwanted fat.
- This fryer is very fast. It will heat up your food quickly; up to 70% faster than conventional methods, meaning that you can spend less time cooking and more time socialising.
- It’s a safe way of cooking. This fryer will automatically shut itself down when the outer cooking basket is removed, meaning there is no danger of overheating or damage to the unit or your electrics.
- A great addition to your kitchen. This model is sleek, and comes in a sophisticated black and silver colour, meaning that whatever your kitchen decor it will fit in and look great.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can you cook in an air fryer?
Anything that you can bake or deep fry, you can also cook in an air fryer. This includes meats like chicken and lamb chops, vegetables, fries and even pastries.
An air fryer will grill, roast, steam, fry and bake any food, making it just as versatile as a convection oven.
Once you learn how to set the right temperature and time, you can also use an air fryer to reheat and thaw food if you don’t have a microwave oven.
2. How can I make potato wedges and fries come out crisp using an air fryer?
There are several recipes you can use to get crispy potato wedges or fries. The most popular one is to parboil the fries or wedges first until they are almost cooked. Let them cool and then spray them with cooking oil before popping them inside an air fryer.
It also helps to keep the amount of potatoes in the fryer basket reasonable. Piling on too many fries in the basket or pan will result in a less crispy taste.
3. Air fryer vs. oven: which is better?
The biggest advantage of an air fryer over a conventional oven is how fast it heats up, which saves energy and gets your food ready in less time.
Because of how heat is distributed, many people find that an air fryer gives foods a better deep-fried look and taste compared to an oven.
Where an oven wins is size. Try fitting a whole turkey in a 3-5 litre air fryer. You either have to get a super sized 10+ litre air fryer or use your oven. And even if you have a big air fryer, it likely still won’t beat an oven on capacity.
We recommend having both: an air fryer for quick and crispy recipes, and an oven for when you are preparing a feast.