Best air fryers 2022: cook with all the flavor and way less fat

The best air fryers mean that suddenly, chicken wings and fries are good for you

Iris Air Fryer
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(Image credit: Lizzy Briskin)

Within our guide to the best air fryers of 2022, you'll find a list carefully curated with the top air fryers that'll help you do one thing: obtain that golden, deep-fried flavor and crunch without having to deal with vats of hot oil or the extra grease. A countertop air fryer might just be able to get you there. These compact appliances use hot convection air and just a few drops of oil to crisp up everything from battered chicken wings to muffins. 

While there’s certainly a time and place for the extra decadence of a deep fryer, air fryers are a healthier and easier way to achieve similar crispy results. Plus, due to their small size, air fryers reach high temperatures much faster than wall ovens and are more straightforward to use.

Families, new or nervous cooks, and anyone who wants to make their favorite foods a little healthier will love the convenience and versatility of an air fryer. I’ve tested the best air fryers on the market in 2022 to help you find the perfect appliance for your kitchen. 

The best air fryers to buy, in order

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Instant Vortex Plus with ClearCook air fryerT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Instant Brands)
Best air fryer for most people

Specifications

Capacity: 6 quarts
Dimensions: 14.9 x 11.8 x 13 inches
Interface: Dial and touchscreen
Cooking functions: 6 (air fry, roast, broil, bake, reheat, dehydrate)

Reasons to buy

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Clearcook window to monitor your food
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OdorErase filter to prevent food smells
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Six built-in cooking functions

Reasons to avoid

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Not WiFi compatible
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The basket is not dishwasher safe

Instant's 2022 crop of air fryers now comes with ClearCook, a glass window in the frying basket that allows you to watch your food cook. This addition to the Instant Vortex Plus takes this popular air fryer up another level and makes it the best option on the market for most users. 

The 6-quart capacity makes it large enough to cook a full meal for up to six people while remaining small enough not to completely take over your kitchen. There's not an exhaustive list of functions here but each of the six presets it does have are customizable, allowing you to quickly access your regular choices. 

The one downside of the ClearCook glass windows is that the basket is no longer recommended for dishwasher use. However, it's a small price to pay for being able to check the state of your dish without losing a load of heat.  

Cosori VeSync Pro Smart Air FryerT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Cosori)
Bluetooth controlled air frying

Specifications

Capacity: 5.8 quarts
Dimensions: 10.7 x 10.8 x 11.9 inches
Interface: Touchscreen
Cooking functions: 2 (Air fry, keep warm)

Reasons to buy

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11 built-in presets for common recipes
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Controlled via Bluetooth with a smartphone app

Reasons to avoid

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Smaller temperature range than other air fryers
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Fewer cooking functions

This air fryer from Cosori is the best for the home cook who likes things as straightforward as possible. The machine has two main cooking functions: air frying and keeping food warm. But it also comes with 11 built-in presets for things like vegetables, chicken wings, fish, and toast. 

Users can customize each preset with their preferred time and temperature, or trust Cosori to do its thing. That means all you have to do is place your food inside, hit one button, and walk away. That is until you need to shake the basket or flip your food. The 5.8-quart size is also spacious enough to feed up to five people and can fit a whole five-pound chicken. 

Ninja Foodie 2 XLT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Ninja)
Perfect for larger family meals

Specifications

Capacity: 10 quarts
Dimensions: 17.1 x 13.9 x 12.8 inches
Interface: Dial & touchscreen
Cooking functions: 6 (Air fry, air broil, roast, bake, reheat and dehydrate)

Reasons to buy

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Cook two different meal components at once
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Smart Finish ensures both baskets are ready at the same time

Reasons to avoid

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Large size can be difficult to store
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More expensive than other options

This super-sized air fryer is perfect for large families. Two separate air frying baskets allow you to prepare a complete meal without firing up the oven or stove. While the ample size may present a storage problem for smaller kitchens, busy households will love the convenience of two cooking zones.

In addition to air frying, the Ninja Foodie XL can easily become your go-to for reheating leftovers, baking sweet treats, and even making melty grilled cheese sandwiches. This is truly a do-it-all machine that’s surprisingly easy to use once you get a hang of the Smart Finish technology, which ensures that both baskets finish cooking at the same time. 

Instant Vortex Mini 2-quart air fryerT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Instant)
A colorful mini fryer

Specifications

Capacity: 2 quarts
Dimensions: 13.1 x 12.9 x 10.9 inches
Interface: Dial & touchscreen
Cooking functions: 4 (Air fry, roast, broil and reheat)

Reasons to buy

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Four color options: aqua, black, red, and white
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Compact for easy storage

Reasons to avoid

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Fewer cooking functions than other options

This miniature model from Instant Brands also has the power and crisping ability of its larger siblings without the footprint. The 2-quart Instant Vortex Mini is a good option for small households that care about quality. 

You can fit up to five chicken wings in the basket, which makes this a good size for one- to two-person households. The interface is simple and minimalist, so there’s no major learning curve to get this air fryer up and running. It’s also small and light enough to travel with, which makes it a good option for RV trips or travel. 

Instant Vortex Air FryerT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Instant Pot)
A simple air fryer for big families

Specifications

Capacity: 6 quarts
Dimensions: 14.92 x 12.36 x 12.83 inches
Interface: Dial & touchscreen
Cooking functions: 4 (Air fry, roast, bake, and reheat)

Reasons to buy

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Minimalist design is easy to use
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Dishwasher safe basket and tray

Reasons to avoid

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Fewer cooking functions than the Vortex Plus

This earlier rendition of the Vortex air fryer from Instant Brands is a slightly more pared-down option. It has a larger cooking capacity, which is a benefit to bigger households, but only four cooking functions. 

That being said, the Instant Vortex 6-quart has the same reliably great performance as the newer Vortex Plus. Food comes out hot, crispy, and delicious every time. The clear digital touchscreen also lets you know exactly how much time is left on your recipe, when the machine is preheating, and when it’s time to flip or shake things up. This is a great air fryer for large households that don’t need all the bells and whistles of more expensive appliances. 

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

(Image credit: Philips)
A solid and sizable cooker

Specifications

Capacity: 4 quarts
Dimensions: 17.32 x 13.38 x 16 inches
Interface: Dial & buttons
Cooking functions: 7 (Air fry, bake, grill, roast, reheat, dehydrate, and toast)

Reasons to buy

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Great capacity
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Precise controls
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Can cook entire chicken

Reasons to avoid

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A bit bulky

Philips Airfryer XXL packs a lot into an admittedly sizable 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 100°F and 400°F. 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.

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

(Image credit: Tefal)
Best air fryer that lets you cook lots of other meals too

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

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Quite a sizeable thing, clearly
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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, the Tefal Actifry Genius XL 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?

Instant Vortex Plus 4-quart Air FryerT3 Best Buy Award badge

(Image credit: Instant)
Best air fryer

Specifications

Capacity: 4 quarts
Dimensions: 13.03 x 10.2 x 11.02 inches
Interface: Dial & touchscreen
Cooking functions: 6 (Air fry, roast, broil, reheat, bake, and dehydrate)

Reasons to buy

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6 practical cooking functions
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A good size for up to 4 people
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Sleek stainless steel design

Reasons to avoid

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Fewer customizable programs

This is the leading air fryer model from the makers of the cult-favorite Instant Pot multicookers. And it’s no surprise that they’ve also nailed this multi-use appliance. The Instant Vortex 4-quart air fryer is a good size for most households and doesn't monopolize too much counter space or storage room. The dishwasher-safe basket can fit enough chicken, fries, or salmon to feed four to six people. And it performs the job like a champ. 

The oven preheats in under five minutes and produces beautifully crispy results on all sides. While the six-in-one appliance doesn’t boast the same range of cooking features as some other air fryers, the core features it does offer are the most practical. Not to mention the stainless steel appliance actually looks good in your kitchen. 

Iris Air FryerT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Iris)
Best oven-style fryer

Specifications

Capacity: 19 quarts
Dimensions: 16.14 x 16.89 x 13.54 inches
Interface: Dials
Cooking functions: 7 (Air fry, grill, bake, convection bake, broil, convection broil, and defrost)

Reasons to buy

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See-through oven door
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Large capacity

Reasons to avoid

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Big and bulky

Unlike the usual basket-style air fryers, the Iris is an oven-style fryer. It’s shaped like a miniature convection oven and has the features of an advanced wall oven. Two sets of heating coils above and below the food mean that this countertop oven can grill and broil in addition to standard convection and baking. 

While the Iris air fryer will certainly take up some space on the counter, it’s a great alternative to turning on your built-in oven. It preheats quickly and maintains its temperature better than most full-size ovens. Plus, a clear glass window on the front lets you keep an eye on your food as it cooks. 

Dreo Air FryerT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Dreo)
A great compact cooker

Specifications

Capacity: 4 quarts
Dimensions: 11.6 x 9.4 x 9.4 inches
Interface: Touchscreen
Cooking functions: 5 (Air fry, defrost, bake, dehydrate, and reheat)

Reasons to buy

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Small for its cooking capacity
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High maximum temperature of 450°F

Reasons to avoid

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All-plastic construction

Dreo may not be the first brand name that comes to mind when you think of countertop appliances. But it’s doing something right with this air fryer. The appliance is smaller than most 4-quart models but can feed up to four people, which makes it an efficient option for homes with limited storage space. 

The Dreo air fryer has a sleek digital touchscreen control panel that makes it easy to select your cooking function and dial in a specific time and temperature. The wide temperature range also opens up new cooking options, including making yogurt and even getting a beautiful sear on steak. The air fryer comes with a 50-recipe cookbook with beautiful pictures so you won’t run out of culinary inspiration. 

Magic Bullet Air FryerT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Magic Bullet)
A simple air fryer

Specifications

Capacity: 2.5 quarts
Dimensions: 9 x 8.5 x10.75 inches
Interface: Dial
Cooking functions: 1 (Air fry)

Reasons to buy

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Easy-to-use interface
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Compact design for storage

Reasons to avoid

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Limited cooking capacity
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No touchscreen or buttons

So far, this is the only air fryer from personal blender pros Magic Bullet. While not the most feature-rich, this might be the best-looking air fryer on the list. It has a simple temperature dial and kitchen timer that ticks down to a classic “ding!” when your food is ready. 

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. 

Dash Compact Air FryerT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Amazon)
An affordable no-frills fryer

Specifications

Capacity: 2 quarts
Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.1 x 11.4 inches
Interface: Dial
Cooking functions: 1 (air fry)

Reasons to buy

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Budget-friendly
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5 color options

Reasons to avoid

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Small cooking capacity
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No additional cooking functions

This air fryer from Dash is a great affordable option for small households. The 2-quart basket is a good size for one to two people. It can hold 6 wings comfortably. This air fryer doesn’t have any flashy features like a digital touch screen, flip reminder, or multiple cooking functions. 

And though it doesn’t have the sturdiest-feeling build, the Dash air fryer did crisp up the food in our test well, as long as the basket wasn’t over-filled. This felt like the smallest amount of cooking space we tested, so if you’re planning to entertain, you may want to opt for something a little more spacious.  

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. 

Before adding a new appliance to your cart, you’ll want to consider a few important features. First of all: size. From jumbo two-basket fryers to compact 2-quart models, air fryers vary widely in size. If you’re shopping for a small kitchen or an apartment low on storage space, you’ll probably want to look for a two to four-quart air fryer. On the other hand, if you need to feed a large household, a two-basket air fryer like the 10-quart model from Ninja Foodi, is a spacious option that lets you cook a complete meal in one appliance. 

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.

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.

With contributions from