Iris Air Fryer review: functional air frying

The Iris Air Fryer is a highly functional and spacious countertop air fryer for toasting, broiling and more

Iris Air Fryer review
(Image credit: Lizzy Briskin)
T3 Verdict

In many ways the Iris Air Fryer is more of a mini convection oven than simply an air fryer, and while it won’t win any awards for style, it’s a great little fryer.

Reasons to buy
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Reasons to avoid
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    Large and boxy

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    Manual dials

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The Iris Air Fryer is a large and multi-functional countertop appliance that can handle a wide range of culinary tasks, from baking homemade pizza to air-frying a crispy-skinned whole chicken without a vat of hot oil.

If you’re on the hunt for the best air-fryer with enough space to feed a household of four or more, the Iris air fryer-toaster oven combo is a great option. At $180, this is a reasonably priced and well-made machine that can all but replace a built-in oven in many kitchens.

Iris Air Fryer review: Design

Iris Air Fryer review

(Image credit: Lizzy Briskin)

In terms of aesthetics, the Iris may leave something to be desired. It’s not the most polished or sleekest of appliances, and it can feel a bit boxy if you don’t have a snug corner to tuck it into.

Really, the machine looks like a miniaturized range oven without the range. A glass window lets you keep an eye on the action inside, as an interior light stays on during baking.

All of your functions, times and temperatures are adjustable with manual knobs on the front of the oven. There’s no digital clock. Instead, you set a cooking time with a wind-up timer that ticks down and dings like a retro egg timer when it hits zero.

What it lacks in flashiness, however, this little appliance makes up for in functionality. 

Iris Air Fryer review: Functionality

If you’re not familiar with the brand name Iris, you may be overlooking some great products. Iris makes household goods including storage solutions, apartment furniture, and small kitchen appliances like this oven.  

Its air fryer has more internal space than most air fryers – 18 liters or 19 quarts, which is more than enough for a full chicken, a dozen wings or a 12-inch pizza. And with 1500 watts of power, it heats up much faster than a conventional full-size oven, so there’s no time wasted waiting for the oven to preheat.

The appliance has heating elements on the top and bottom as well as a convection fan. In addition to air-frying, the oven performs six other handy functions:

-       Grilling, with heat from below

-       Baking, with heat from above and below

-       Convection baking, which is baking with the convection fan blowing

-       Broiling, with heat only from above

-       Convection broiling, adding the convection fan to broiling

-       Defrosting, which is just the fan without any heat to slowly defrost items

This wide range of functions means that you can make everything from tender and flaky grilled salmon to fresh and gooey chocolate chip cookies in this one appliance. It also comes with a range of accessories, including a baking pan, drip tray and of course an air frying basket and handle.

Iris Air Fryer review: Performance

Iris Air Fryer

(Image credit: Lizzy Briskin)

When any appliance promises the experience of fried food without the oil, the main goal is to achieve a crispy, golden product that’s tasty enough that you don’t miss real frying.

I tested the Iris with Buffalo wings. I air-fried seasoned chicken wings at 425°F for 20 minutes, flipping the wings halfway through. The wings came out impressively crispy and certainly cooked all the way through. Other smaller air fryers have a tendency to under- or over-cook items, but this machine is more reliable and performs more like a regular wall oven.

After tossing the wings in a thorough coating of hot sauce, they were pretty indistinguishable from what you’d order at a bar, so no complaints there.

The best part was that, unlike with smaller air fryers, I could fry up a full pound of wings in one batch. My family could all sit down and enjoy the wings hot out of the oven and the cook didn’t have to stay in the kitchen to tend to the next batch.

Iris Air Fryer review: Verdict

Ultimately, this air fryer performs very well, mimicking the crispness of deep-frying, and has plenty of space to feed a crowd. Of course, all of that internal space means you’ll need to sacrifice some counter space to accommodate the oven, which measures 16.14 x 16.89 x 13.54 inches.

If you have the room in your kitchen and a hankering for deep-fried foods without an actual deep fryer, the Iris may be just what you’re looking for. It’s not noisy, even with the convection fan blowing, and can even replace other appliances, including your toaster, grill pan, and microwave for defrosting.

Iris Air Fryer review: Also consider

The Iris Air Fryer is well priced, especially when you consider all of the functions it can perform in your kitchen. However, if you’re looking for a smaller or more portable machine that works as an air fryer and nothing else, check out the Ninja AF101, which retails around $100 and looks more like a traditional fryer. If you want something that looks stylish and delivers the results, the Philips Airfryer XXL is still our top pick and costs just $50 more than the Iris.

Lizzy Briskin

Lizzy Briskin is a food and health writer and editor, chef, runner, recipe developer, and photographer. She regularly contributes to Runner’s World, Popular Mechanics, Insider, and the Chicago Tribune, among other outlets. A Boston native, she now lives in New York, where she can be found exploring, tasting and enjoying all that the city has to offer, that is when she’s not chasing the sun in Los Angeles.