The best air fryers 2017 for healthier meals

Whether it’s fish and chips or crispy fried chicken; enjoy the best of both worlds with an air fryer that uses up to 80% less fat than standard deep fat fryers

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Air Fryers are a revolutionary gadget that literally allows us to have our cake and eat it too, without the added fat that comes with cooking in a standard fryer. The main concept of an air fryer is that it uses hot air combined with just a teaspoon of oil (as opposed to the gallons required in a standard deep fat fryer) in order to produce the delicious crispy coating we all know and love. 

For those of you who are skeptical; yes we know it doesn’t taste quite the same, but with a decent air fryer model, it’s not far off. Plus we think with the reduction of health risks, they’re a no-brainer to enjoy some of your favourite naughty treats without the added pinch of guilt to go with it. 

How to choose the best air fryer for you

When buying the right 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. 

Our pick of the best air fryers to buy today

1. Tower T14001 Low Fat Air Fryer

A multi-functional device for delicious healthy dishes

Specifications
Best for: All-rounder
Capacity: 1kg
Wattage: 1300w
Interface: Dial
Reasons to buy
+Multi-functional+Easy to clean
Reasons to avoid
-Tricky to master 

This majority of reviewers reckon this is a great gadget to have in your kitchen, and compacted into a height of 36.7cm and a width of 35cm, it shouldn't take up too much space. Giving you a whole host of cooking options including baking, roasting, grilling and steaming, knocking up whole meals or one element of your tea couldn't be easier - plus it cuts down on cooking time too. The only issue is you’ll have to have some patience when learning how to master it as the instructions are a little thin. However, the Tower T14001 makes our top spot for its affordable price, easy cleaning and multitude of cooking options. 

2. Tefal ActiFry Express

A quick and easy machine that takes the work out of cooking

Specifications
Best for: Convenience
Capacity: 1.7kg
Wattage: 1550w
Interface: Digital
Reasons to buy
+Automatic mixing+Cooks up to 30% faster
Reasons to avoid
-Very pricey 

Convenience comes at a price but judging by user feedback, the Tefal ActiFry Express is worth it if you have the cash to spend. Using only one spoonful of oil, Tefal claim that this air fryer can make classic fried treats in a fraction of the time other fryers can - even beating its 1kg counterpart by 30%. It doesn’t require preheating and the automatic stirring paddle means you literally just have to chuck it in and wait. Its extra-large bowl can, according to Tefal, cater for up to 6 people and it cooks at a higher temperature to get perfectly even results in no time at all. You can also download the ActiFry app for hundreds of delicious recipes to try at home. 

3. Duronic Air Fryer

A small air fryer that packs your food full of flavour

Specifications
Best for: Compact design
Capacity: 1.2kg
Wattage: 1500w
Interface: Dial
Reasons to buy
+Not too cumbersome+Closed-door cooking
Reasons to avoid
-Basket a little flimsy 
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The Duronic air fryer is small and compact but still roomy enough to make chips for 2, plus soups, chicken wings and even souffles. The closed-door fryer packs in flavour while keeping cooking as healthy as can be, and it doesn’t spit so it’s totally mess-free, too. Some users have noted that the handle of the basket is a little flimsy, so be sure not to toss your chips too vigorously to avoid any accidents. This air fryer has an adjustable temperature gauge so you can fry anywhere between 80 and 200C for the perfect even results every time. 

4. Andrew James Digital Air Fryer

A simple air fryer with pre-set functions for cooking absolutely anything

Specifications
Best for: Ease of use
Capacity: 1kg
Wattage: 1400w
Interface: Digital
Reasons to buy
+Simple to use+Sturdy handle
Reasons to avoid
-Difficult to clean 
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If you’re really not one for cooking, or appliances for that matter, then the Andrew James Digital Air Fryer will give you a helping hand. This is by far the simplest interface out of all the air fryers on the list and with navigable pre-set functions, there's no wonder reviewers consistently remark its ease of use. It does require some supervision though, and unlike the Tefal ActiFry Express, you will need to stir the food to ensure an even cook. The handle is very sturdy though and the machine itself is rather compact if space is lacking. 

5. Breville VDF105 Halo Health Fryer

A modern-looking multifunctional air fryer

Specifications
Best for: Freshness
Capacity: 1.2kg
Wattage: 1400w
Interface: Digital
Reasons to buy
+Unique tilt function+Always uses fresh oil
Reasons to avoid
-Cumbersome 
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This air fryer slightly resembles something from outer space and with its 1.2kg capacity, will take up a fair bit of room on your kitchen counter. But, if you’re all about fresh, nutritious food, then this device will be your new best cooking buddy. It’s large bowl features ceramic coating which means food never sticks and it’s super easy to clean. The automatic tilt function ensures food is continuously turned for even browning every time (however, larger items can go a bit rogue during transit, so try not to over fill the pot). Similar to some of the other air fryers, this one boasts multiple functions including baking, sautéing, roasting and grilling. If you’re going on a health kick but don’t know where to start then this comes with a cooking guide and range of recipes for you to try at home.