The best air fryers can whip up delicious foods that are healthier than deep-frying, yet maintain all the flavour you expect from conventional methods of cooking. More importantly, these kitchen appliances can be rather versatile too.
The air fryer is a revolutionary appliance – it's essentially a small oven that allows you to deep-fry with just a teaspoon of oil, and still produces crispy, delicious food. The best air fryers will also allow you to roast, grill, bake an dehydrate as well.
They're not just versatile, they're easy to use too and are great fun to cook with.
Do air fryers really fry? Not really, and air-fried food doesn’t usually taste the same as food cooked in a deep-fat fryer, despite some of the advertising claims. That’s because they aren’t fryers at all. The food, nonetheless, is delicious.
The reason is because air fryers are scaled-down versions of the fan ovens. However, one of the best air fryers listed here is still worth a purchase, especially if space is at a premium or you are not a confident cook. It's also worth taking a look at our guide to the best Instant Pots as some of them pull double duty as air fryers.
Once you’re onboard the air fryer express, we’ll tell you how to cook perfect air fryer chips, as well as how to cook perfect air fryer chicken and all the other best things to cook in an air fryer. For now though, on with the best air fryers of 2023!
The best air fryers to buy in Australia
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Instant Vortex is the air fryer spin-off of Instant Pot multi-use pressure cookers. The chunky lines of its flagship Air Fryer let you know that it means business, backed up by a very generous 5.7-litre capacity. The design is wonderfully simple and needs very little in the way of manual input, especially if you use the one-touch settings.
The 1700 watts of power means the appliance can take on chips with ease, but the size and adaptable heat settings makes the Instant Vortex Air Fryer great for other mealtime offerings too.
Indeed, choose from the likes of Air Fry, Roast, Bake and Reheat and you can cover most bases with this versatile gadget. If you spend some time familiarising yourself with the manual controls the Instant Vortex Air Fryer is actually very adept at baking.
There's not a lot it can't do to be honest, and everything it can do, it does incredibly well. You'll soon be spicing up dinner time, safe in the knowledge you'll be able to churn out great tasting, healthy food in no time at all.
- Read our Instant Vortex Air Fryer review
The Philips Airfryer XXL packs a lot into an admittedly sizeable package in order to accommodate anyone who needs to cook on a big scale, thanks to a wide basket that can handle anything up to the size of a whole chicken. There are a handful of preset modes allowing you to air fry, grill, roast, bake and dehydrate foodstuffs, as well as manual options to set heat anywhere between 40°C and 200°C.
A lack of accessories is a disappointment but the ability of the Philips Airfryer XXL to cook food quickly and efficiently cannot be faulted. Top marks also go to the digital display too, which works exquisitely and, thanks to simple-but-effective icons such as meat and fish, means it’s pretty hard to mess things up. Aside from the main electrical unit, the Philips Airfryer XXL is dishwasher-friendly too.
- Read our Philips Airfryer XXL review
The Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer is a neat variation on the theme because it comes with two cooking compartments, allowing you to essentially cook an entire meal in one go by taking care of veggies in one side and a juicy salmon fillet in the other.
You can mix and match the arrangement to suit your tastes and hunger pangs. There are presets if you want to take the easy route, or the machine can be manually configured to cook things exactly as you like them.
There's plenty of heat, more than enough power and the usual performance that we've come to expect from the Ninja brand. We should say it is quite bulky, but this is necessary to allow for the 7.6 litre capacity of the two compartments, so just make sure you have space on a surface if you want to leave it permanently connected.
According to Russell Hobbs, the 5.7L Brooklyn Digital Air Fryer can cook food up to 80% faster than its competitors, with little or no added oil. The 5.7L fryer comes with a digital touchscreen display and seven easy-to-use preset cooking functions, making it perfect for the family. With an RRP under AU$200, the Brooklyn Digital is a great mid-range air fryer for any use, and we also think it's rather handsome. It also comes with a 2-year manufacturer warranty.
So far, this is the only air fryer from personal blender pros Magic Bullet. And, like those blenders, this air fryer sticks to simplicity. It's certainly not the most feature-rich fryer on this list, but we do reckon it's one of the better-looking models. It has a simple temperature dial and kitchen timer that ticks down to a classic “ding!” when your food is ready, making the whole process of air frying your food a painless one.
You won’t find nice-to-have features like preheating, a “flip food” notification or built-in cooking presets on the Magic Bullet Air Fryer. But if you’re looking for a simple appliance that air fries well, this is a great budget-friendly option.
- Red our Magic Bullet Air Fryer review
The Breville the Combi Wave 3-in-1 is a beefy appliance but for good reason. Admittedly not 'just' an air fryer like other models on this list, this Breville machine can not only churn out delicious air fried food, but it can turn its hand to a raft of varied cooking tasks.
Said cooking options include Fast Combi, From Frozen, Air Fry, Oven and Microwave from the sizeable onboard settings menu, or you can elect to set up everything using manual control. What's more, you can pick additional settings such as Grill, Keep Warm, Melt Chocolate and Soften Butter.
Breville has done a fab job with the design, with a delicious stainless steel exterior with innards to match. It's cavernous too, with 25 litres of space to cook anything and everything you can think of. You'll need to find space to accommodate it, but the trade off is you get a multi-purpose device that cooks great air fried meals and can also tackle plenty of other options too.
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Air Fryer is a no-frills machine that, considering how cheap it is, delivers respectable performance via a practical and clean-looking design. More importantly, it comes finished in white, which in and itself is refreshing and makes a change from the usual black.
This Xiaomi food fryer has integrated smarts too, being fitted out with Wi-Fi connectivity and being accompanied by a supporting app. Adding value is the wear resistant and non-stick coating while those innards let you fry, dry, ferment, defrost and bake. You can even schedule the unit to start cooking at a specified time, plus there's Alexa support too. Aside from that, the machine is easy to use, has a small but practical 3.5 litre capacity and can fry between 40 and 200 degrees.
If you’re addicted to apps and love to operate anything and everything in your home using software and your phone, it makes perfect sense. However, we think given the fact that you’re invariably going to be standing right next to it in order to fill the compartment with chips or whatever, the manual control is usually the best way to kickstart cooking.
- Read our Xiaomi Mi Smart Air Fryer review
Best air fryer Australia: FAQ
Are air fryers healthy?
Comparing air frying to deep frying, it is clear that air frying is the much healthier option for cooking your food. Using no oil instead of litres of the stuff means you’re guaranteed to get a healthier outcome. So, if you’re a fan of deep frying your food, an air fryer is an easy way to keep the same flavour profile while saving money on oil as well as keeping yourself a little healthier.
How does an air fryer work?
An air fryer heats air in a small space to bring it up to cooking temperature and then blasts that air right at the food waiting to be cooked. If you’re thinking that this sounds a lot like a standard convection oven you’d be 100% correct.
Air fryers do not technically ‘fry’. What sets them apart as a tool is in the smaller space are more concentrated swirls and eddies of heated air found within. Combined with the use of a small basket instead of tray, this allows you to get a crispy crust on food you put in the basket — as well evenly heated insides — without the need to douse everything in oil.
What can you cook in an air fryer?
Anything that doesn’t need to be steamed! An air fryer will happily handle almost anything you throw at it. The main things you’ll want to avoid are foods that need to be steamed, and cheese. Beyond that, the world is your (fried) oyster. Foods that are perfect for your air fryer include: frozen foods, baked goods, raw meat, pastries, root vegetables (or anything you can roast), non-meat protein. Foods that are an air fryer no-no: Wet battered foods, fresh cheese, rice, pasta, fresh veggies (spinach, carrot etc), anything goopy!
How to choose the best air fryer for you
When selecting the best air fryer for you there are a few key factors to look out for. Ultimately you're trying to answer the question "what is an air fryer?"
Capacity should be high on your hit-list. The size of the machine you buy will make a huge difference to its utility, and your decision here will of course depend on the size of your household and the size of your kitchen. The last thing you want to do is end up with a behemoth appliance that’s far too big to use. For a single person, look around the three litre mark. For a couple, five litres or more will sort you out easily, and then for a four person family or more look for seven litres and beyond.
Of course, the bigger you go, the more options you get, with some allowing you to fry multiple food items at a time, or at different temperatures. You can even use larger devices as air fryers, steamers and grills according to their specifications.
One of the other major advantages of air fryers compared to deep fat fryers is that they are much less hassle to clean and maintain. Look out for models with dishwasher safe parts and intuitive controls.