Best air fryer 2022 for great flavour faster, with less fat

The best air fryers mean that suddenly, chips and fried chicken are good for you

 Best air fryer
blank
(Image credit: Tower)

The best air fryer, sometimes also known as a health fryer, although that seems a little pretentious to us, is a revolutionary bit of cooking tech. It's a (very) small oven that allows you to cook great meals quickly, and create crispy, delicious results without the need for lots of fat. They are very easy to use, very versatile, and great fun to cook with. 

Do air fryers really fry? Not really, and do 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. They’re scaled down versions of the fan ovens you'll find in our guide to the best 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 top 10. 

The best air fryers we've tested to date

Tower 10-in-1 Air Fryer Xpress Pro Combo on a pink backgroundT3 Awards 2022 Winner's Badge

(Image credit: Tower)
Best air fryer

Specifications

Best for: Rotisserie and air frying
Capacity: 11 litres
Wattage: 2000w
Interface: Touch interface

Reasons to buy

+
Clever Vortx cooking technology
+
Three-tier cooking system
+
Touch controls are great
+
Rotisserie function

Reasons to avoid

-
Great chips take practice
-
Reasonably bulky
-
No app support
-
More to clean

Granted, the Tower 10-in-1 Air Fryer Xpress Pro Combo might not be the absolute cheapest of the cheap. But, this great value appliance is brilliant because it can do so many other things, hence the 10-in-1 status. So, it'll air fry your chips well enough - though we found this took practice to get just right, but the Tower of power does all sorts and offers 11 litres of cooking space into the bargain.

Naturally, the unit has to potential to cook food more healthily, up to 99% less fat in fact. However, the varied cooking options make it a standout, including the ability to rotisserie meat including a whole chicken if you need to. Kebabs, chargrilling and even lighter heat baking can be dine onside this touch-enabled appliance.

The Tower 10-in-1 Air Fryer Xpress Pro Combo comes with 7 cooking accessories, including a rotisserie rack, rotating kebab skewers and a multi-function wire rack. There's a 3-tier cooking system too, which effectively allows you to cook three different meals all at the same time. You also enjoy the benefit of some dishwasher safe parts that mean less time scrubbing up afterwards.

Ninja Foodi SmartLid Multi-Cooker on pink backgroundT3 Approved badge


(Image credit: Ninja)
Best premium air fryer that's also a full-on multi-cooker

Specifications

Best for: Added functionality
Capacity: 6 litres
Wattage: 1460w
Interface: Buttons

Reasons to buy

+
A brilliant all-rounder
+
It air fries and steam fries
+
A doddle to use
+
Great looker

Reasons to avoid

-
Not especially cheap
-
Larger than most air fryers

Although it shares a very similar skill set as the Instant Pot Duo Crisp & Air Fryer above, the 11-in-1 Ninja Foodi goes a step further by being able to air fry without needing a change of lids. It's also got a steam fry function, which is inarguably the very best way to cook a small 2kg chicken or up to five drumsticks to succulent perfection and with the crispiest skin you’ve ever tasted. Simply pour 125ml of water into the main pot, fill the crisper basket with chicken, select Steam Air Fry and retreat for 25 minutes. Job done.

The Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 has a 6-litre capacity (6.34 quartz in American measures), which is an ideal size for soloists, couples and one-child families. Its three main cooking modes – pressure cooking, combo-steam and air fry – are selected by moving the ‘SmartLid Slider’ from left to right, and each main mode is subdivided into various cooking methods like steam air fry, standard air fry, steam bake, grill, sear, steam, slow cook and standard pressure cooking.

The Ninja Foodi 11-in-1 SmartLid is not only one of the best looking multicookers on the market, it’s also one of the most multi-talented models you can buy, period. Highly recommended.

3. Instant Vortex Air Fryer

Best cheap air fryer – comes from the Instant Pot guys

Specifications

Best for: Faff-free fries and more
Capacity: 5.7 litre
Wattage: 1700w
Interface: Buttons & LCD

Reasons to buy

+
Super easy to use
+
One-touch settings
+
Large capacity
+
Quick to clean

Reasons to avoid

-
Large footprint
-
Miserly cable length

Instant Vortex is the air fryer spin-off of Instant Pot. 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're going for the one-touch settings. The 1700 watts of power means the appliance can take on fries 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. So then, this is a brilliant machine that can not only turn out the main course but it'll tackle dessert too. A quick and easy to clean design adds extra appeal.

The Philips Airfryer XXL is the best air fryerT3 Awards 2021 winner badges

(Image credit: Philips)

4. Philips Airfryer XXL

Best 'pure' air fryer for bigger budgets

Specifications

Best for: Large families/hungry people
Capacity: 1.4kg
Wattage: 2225w
Interface: Dial & buttons

Reasons to buy

+
Great capacity
+
Precise controls
+
Can cook entire chicken

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit bulky

While there are certainly air fryers that do more, and more affordable ones, if you have the money this is still the best 'air fryer that only air fries' you can buy. Given that it does essentially the same thing as Tower's air fryers but costs 4-5 times as much, you need to feel assured you're getting your money's worth this upmarket Philips model. Well, thanks to its excellent build quality, good looks, fast and even cooking and deliciously crisp results, we'd say you can feel thoroughly reassured on that score.

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, for example, a whole chicken. There are a handful of preset modes so you can air fry, grill, roast, bake and dehydrate foodstuffs or take the manual route and choose from heat settings 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. We loved this so much, we gave it a T3 Award two years running.

Please note: in the UK, this is technically called model HD9650/99. The version in the USA seems to be slightly different and is called HD9630/96 Airfryer XXL as far as we can tell.  

Tower T17021 Family Size Air Fryer on pink backgroundT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Tower)

5. Tower T17021 Family Size Air Fryer

A great cheap air fryer from a trusted UK brand

Specifications

Best for: Anything on the fried front
Capacity: 4.3 litres
Wattage: 1500w
Interface: Dial

Reasons to buy

+
Quick and simple to use
+
Excellent capacity
+
Dial controls
+
Price

Reasons to avoid

-
Not dishwasher-friendly

First up, it's great to know the Tower T17021 Family Size Air Fryer comes with a brilliant pedigree. Tower sells the most air fryers in the UK and the brand has been around for a long time, so this appliance is off to a solid start. However, it's the value for money delivered by this air fryer that really sets it apart.

For very little outlay you get an air fryer that is wonderfully easy to use, thanks to a simple dial-based interface but one that can cook food brilliantly. The 1500 watts of power gets the heat right up to 200 degrees if needed, while the circulation inside the food container seems perfect for producing mega crispy fries. In fact, you can chuck just about anything in it to air fry, using manual intervention if you like to tweak as you go.

Being a family-friendly machine means 4.3 litres of cooking container to fill, which is more than enough for most. Granted, it's not dishwasher-friendly but the design is actually a doddle to clean. Add it all together and you've got a surprise hit, for a bargain price. What more does anyone want from a basic air fryer?

Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Tefal)

6. Tefal YV970840 Actifry Genius XL 2in1

Best larger air fryer can do more than just air frying

Specifications

Best for: Replacing all your other ovens
Capacity: 1200g
Wattage: 1700w
Interface: Touch panel (and there's an app)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent air fryer
+
Useful stew cooker too
+
Built in stirring paddle
+
Handy recipe app

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite a sizeable thing, clearly
-
Noisy too

As well as turning out your classic air-fried staples – ie: chips, chicken and salmon – this actually doubles as a slightly Instant Pot-like cooker for 'wet' meals such as curries, stews and casseroles. It may look a little complicated at first glance but it's actually very intuitive. 

With a glass dome so you can see what's cookin' and a handy little spatula/paddle thing that turns around inside to stir food, so you don't have to, it's something of a joy to use. If your kitchen is cramped you might struggle to find storage space for this hefty beast but when something is this useful and effective, why store it away anyhow?

Black Wilko 4L Air Fryer on a white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Wilko)

7. Wilko 4L Air Fryer

A basic air fryer but a top performer for the price

Specifications

Best for: Cheap and cheerful air frying
Capacity: 4 litres
Wattage: 1400w
Interface: Twin dials

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap
+
Generous capacity
+
Simple to use
+
Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit noisy
-
Limited settings

If you're looking for the best cheap model then, for us, the Wilko 4L Air Fryer is currently pick of the crop. It might have an entry-level price tag but this appliance can air fry a treat. There's a generous 4 litre capacity, which is ideal for family meals if we're talking fries and a brilliant no-nonsense design. A pair of simple dials allow you to set heat and time settings, a power light and a blue indicator to show optimum operating heat and that's it.

The Wilko 4L Air Fryer packs in 1400 watts of power, so it's more than capable of cooking up chips, chicken wings and spring rolls like any other rival. And, because it's got that sizeable capacity you can probably squeeze a few other things in there too. As befits the best air fryer design, there's a grill in the bottom of the pan that you site food on top of. Oil and grease then drips into the pan for disposal. It's wonderfully simply and brilliant for the money.

Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air FryerT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Ninja)

8. Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300UK

Best air fryer for dual cooking convenience

Specifications

Best for: Cooking two things at the same time
Capacity: 7.6 litres combined
Wattage: 2400w
Interface: LCD & buttons

Reasons to buy

+
Programmable options
+
Plenty of capacity
+
Cook two things at once
+
One touch meals

Reasons to avoid

-
Large footprint
-
Short power cable
-
Double the cleaning

The Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer is a neat variation on the theme because it comes with twin cooking compartments. This allows you to an entire meal in one go by taking care of, say, fries 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 just 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. The appliance is quite bulky to allow for the 7.6 litre capacity of the two compartments. However, the way that you can bung everything into the one appliance more than makes up for that, especially if you're always pushed for time in the kitchen. As usual with Ninja, the finish of the Foodi Dual Zone is very plush, and this air fryer is heavily promoted on Food TV channels with 'proper' chefs using it to make great meals. However, the fact you can cook twice the normal amount of fries is probably an equally big selling point for many.

Sage the Combi Wave 3 in 1T3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sage)

9. Sage the Combi Wave 3 in 1

Best air fryer oven – or 'toaster oven' if you're American

Specifications

Best for: Multi-task cooking
Capacity: 25 litres
Wattage: 1000w
Interface: Digital & Dials

Reasons to buy

+
Very versatile
+
Great interface
+
Looks a treat
+
Capacity

Reasons to avoid

-
Big and bulky
-
Quite expensive

The Sage the Combi Wave 3 in 1 is a beefy appliance but for good reason. Alongside its solid credentials for producing air fried food this model can turn its hand to a raft of varied cooking tasks. Choose from mealtime cooking options that include Fast Combi, From Frozen, Air Fry, Oven and Microwave from the sizeable onboard settings menu. Or set up everything using manual control. What's more, you can pick additional settings such as Grill, Keep Warm, Melt Chocolate and Soften Butter.

Sage has done a fab job with the design, with a delicious stainless steel exterior along with innards to match. It's cavernous too, with 25 litres of space to cook anything and everything in. 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.

Ninja AF100UK Air FryerT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Ninja)

10. Ninja AF100UK Air Fryer

Best cheap Ninja air fryer

Specifications

Best for: Limited space
Capacity: 3.8 litres
Wattage: 1550w
Interface: Buttons

Reasons to buy

+
Durable cook pan
+
Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid

-
Controls less intuitive than Philips
-
Cannot cook entire chicken

Ninja’s AF100UK Air Fryer immediately impresses as you take it out of the box due to its more compact size and lighter weight. It’s not the smallest air fryer on the market, but if you’re stuck for space this model is perfect. Better still, the container you cook your food in is nicely made, with an extremely durable ceramic-coated crisper plate insert that you rest food on for more consistent results. Apart from the main unit, everything is dishwasher-friendly. 

Results-wise, the Ninja AF100UK Air Fryer is capable on all fronts, so it naturally does perfect air fry chips but can roast, reheat and dehydrate too. You can cook using presets or manually across the whole heat spectrum, as well as benefitting from two fan speeds when needed.

Russell Hobbs Express Air Fry Mini OvenT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Russell Hobbs )

11. Russell Hobbs Express Air Fry Mini Oven

Excellent and affordable mini oven and air fryer

Specifications

Best for: Air frying and oven baking
Capacity: 12.6 litres
Wattage: 1500w
Interface: Dials

Reasons to buy

+
Multi-functional
+
Easy to clean
+
Simple controls
+
Capacity

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite bulky
-
More to clean
-
Short cable

While the Russell Hobbs Express Air Fry Mini Oven is more than capable of serving up a solid portion of fries, this is also a multi-function device that lets you cook in several different ways. That means air frying, grilling, baking and toasting can be carried out. Meanwhile it's also nifty for warming food and keep it that way using the convection heat. The appliance is particularly adept at cooking pizza, so for anyone who lives by a diet of pizza and chips then the appeal is obvious. The grill trays allow you to easily dispense with oil though, making things that little bit more healthy.

Granted, the look and operation are a little bit old school in feel, but the upside is the Russell Hobbs Express Air Fry Mini Oven is a doddle to use and you know exactly where you are with it. Even down to the satisfying 'ting' when your food is done. That window on the front and drop down door offers the benefit of being able to carry out quick visual checks on progress, plus you can give things a prod too. Watch those fingers though.

Morphy Richards Health FryerT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Morphy Richards)

12. Morphy Richards Health Fryer

Perfect if you love a familiar brand and fries with everything

Specifications

Best for: Cheap chip fans
Capacity: 3.0kg
Wattage: 1400w
Interface: Dial and buttons

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Awesome chips

Reasons to avoid

-
Not dishwasher-friendly

Morphy Richards Health Fryer (model 480003) is proof positive that you don’t need to spend a fortune in order to enjoy high-end, primo chips. There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about this air fryer, but it is very good at what it does, which includes providing us with yet more chicken wings. 

We love the simple to use manual controls so you can fine-tune cook times. As per most air fryers it’ll fry, obviously, as well as roast and grill to great effect. We’ve found its baking prowess pretty good too with pizza dough and the odd muffin or two coming out tops. 

Available temperatures range between 80°C and 200°C while the air fryer uses rapid air technology to ensure consistent results. Other positives include a timer, up to 30 minutes, plus automatic switch off. There’s a removable basket, although a downside with this machine is its lack of dishwater-friendly parts. No matter, it’s reasonably easy to clean and that square design means it’ll slot away in a cupboard when you’re done scoffing those fab fries.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Air FryerT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

13. Xiaomi Mi Smart Air Fryer

Best smart air fryer – and just for once, in a colour other than black or silver

Specifications

Best for: Cheap and cheerful fries
Capacity: 3.5 litres
Wattage: 1500
Interface: OLED screen and app

Reasons to buy

+
Deluxe white finish
+
Affordable
+
Wi-Fi connectivity
+
App support

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited capacity
-
Perfect crisping needs practice

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 is refreshing and makes a change from the usual black.

This is a smart machine too, so there's Wi-Fi connectivity and 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 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.

How to choose the best air fryer for you

What is an air fryer?  Well, it is essentially a very small fan oven. When seeking out the best air fryer for you, you’re going to be looking for the same things you look for in any kitchen appliance. First off: capacity. The size of the machine you buy will depend on the size of your family and the size of your kitchen, and the last thing you want to do is end up with a huge appliance that’s cumbersome and far too big to use for just you and your partner. 

Of course, the bigger you go, the more options you get, with some allowing you to fry multiple food items at a time, or even doubling up as other appliances such as steamers and grills. One of the other major advantages of air fryers compared to deep fat fryers is that they are much less hassle to clean and low maintenance in general. Look out for models with dishwasher safe parts and intuitive controls which allow you to vary the temperature for cooking to perfection. Take a look at our invaluable advice on cleaning your air fryer too.

3 toppings you really need to try on your French fries

If you've ever been to a Dutch snack bar, you'll know that they know how to top off a portion of fries to turn them into little cartons of joy. Here are three Nederlandse snackbar toppings you must try on chips made in your air fryer. Eet smakelijk!

1. Patatje flip: fries with satay sauce and mayonnaise on top.

2. Patat speciaal: fries with ketchup and mayonnaise and a sprinkling of finely chopped raw onions on top. 

3. Patatje oorlog: Oorlog translates as 'war' and that's basically what happens here as your fries are drenched in satay sauce, mayonnaise and topped off with chopped raw onion. Some regions add curry sauce, too. A decadent delight.

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.