If you’re looking for the best air fryer, things can quickly get overwhelming. From size to functionality to design, there are a lot of choices to make. The Cosori Smart Air Fryer is a higher-end option that offers more cooking space and some useful additional features you won’t find with cheaper models.
I wanted to put this countertop air fryer to the test to see how it lived up to expectations in the areas of design, functionality and performance. Here’s how my tests went.
Cosori VeSync Pro Smart Air Fryer review: price and availability
The Cosori Smart Air Fryer XL was released in 2018 and is also known as the CS-158AF. It retails for $129 in the US though can now be found discounted in many places. It is also available in the UK for around £120 and in Australia for AU$175.
Cosori VeSync Pro Smart Air Fryer review: design
This air fryer isn’t the sleekest, nor is it the boxiest-looking model we’ve reviewed. Due to the ample amount of cooking space (5.8 quarts), the Cosori VeSync Pro will take up more space on your kitchen counter than smaller and more compact models like the Instant Vortex Mini.
It also has a slightly different design than most. The basket is a two-part device. An inner perforated basket rests inside larger housing. This inner basket provides 360-degree airflow around food to maximize crispiness. This design is meant to mimic a basket-style deep fryer without requiring gallons of hot oil.
Both basket pieces are coated with a nonstick layer that makes them very easy to clean. They’re also dishwasher safe.
The appliance is controlled by a digital touch screen full of cute (if not always self-explanatory) icons. The 11 presets are indicated by clip art renditions of a fish, steak, broccoli, carrot, and others. If any, such as the snowflake (which indicates defrost) aren’t immediately recognizable, you can consult the user manual for a quick decode.
You can also control this Cosori smart air fryer by connecting the appliance to your phone via Bluetooth and the VeSync app. The app will also sync with Alexa or your Google Assistant if you’d rather use voice commands. The VeSync app has all of the same functionality as the touchscreen, including the preset icons and time and temperature adjustments. It also has recipe inspiration that you won’t find in the 100-page recipe booklet included with the air fryer.
Cosori VeSync Pro Smart Air Fryer review: functionality
Even with the touchscreen’s learning curve, once you know what each button represents, the many presets do come in handy. Instead of having to consult a reference guide for every recipe, you can simply select the icon for toast, shrimp, chicken or bacon, and let Cosori do the work.
Aside from presets, the Cosori VeSync Pro Smart Air Fryer has several other handy functions. The Keep Warm button is useful for holding pre-cooked food at temperature until you’re ready to serve. You can also choose to select the Shake button if you want to be reminded to flip or rearrange your food in the basket halfway through cooking.
It’s also nice that when you do want to flip your food, you don’t have to press any buttons. Simply pull out the drawer, give it a shake, close it back up and continue cooking where you left off.
This air fryer has a solid temperature range of 170°F to 400°F. It’s not the widest range of appliances we’ve tested, but these temperatures accommodate most air frying recipes.
Cosori VeSync Pro Smart Air Fryer review: performance
To put the Cosori VeSync Pro to the test, I attempted a few basic air frying recipes. In particular, I wanted to see how the 11 preset settings performed their job. I decided on french fries, so I sliced up a couple of Yukon golds.
Cosori recommends preheating the air fryer before selecting a preset. There is a separate preheat button, which somewhat defeats the purpose of the preset. It would be a smoother experience to have preheating built into the preset. With the current design, you have to select a preset to see the correct temperature, then cancel that and select preheat to dial in the temperature. Fortunately, preheating is quick. It took the air fryer about three minutes to display “ready”.
Cosori recommends adding half to one tablespoon of oil to fries for the best results, so I tossed the potato slices in a thin coating of oil and added some salt and pepper for good measure. I loaded up the basket, being careful not to overfill it, and selected the icon of fast-food fries. The air fryer showed the programmed time and temperature, which is 380°C for 28 minutes, with the shake reminder. I pressed start.
The air fryer is not too noisy, though you can hear the fan blowing as the fries are cooking. It also doesn’t get overly hot on the outside.
When it came time to shake after 18 minutes, the machine beeped five times. I removed the basket and gave the pile of fries a good shaking. They were still looking relatively undercooked, with a bit of browning on the edges. I returned the basket to the fryer to finish the job.
After 28 minutes, the machine let out three beeps. I opened the drawer and found beautifully golden and crisp fries. Some of the smaller pieces had a bit of extra charring on the ends but overall the fries were well cooked and crispy. However, since I wasn’t quite ready to eat yet, I selected Keep Warm for a few minutes. This smart feature uses dry, hot air to hold things at temperature and without losing precious crispiness. By the time I sat down, I still had very crunchy fries to enjoy.
Cosori VeSync Pro Smart Air Fryer review: verdict
Overall, I was impressed by the Cosori VeSync Pro’s combination of useful features and quality performance. The 11 built-in presets help take a lot of the guesswork out of air frying. And the Keep Warm feature is especially useful if you’re managing multiple components of a meal and want everything to be hot and ready at the same time. While the smartphone app is a nice add-on, it doesn’t expand the air fryer’s feature very much.
Cosori VeSync Pro Smart Air Fryer review: also consider
If the Cosori 5.8-quart air fryer is a bit bigger than what you’re looking for, the Dreo Air Fryer also has a nice selection of 8 presets with one-touch icons for streamlined air frying. It’s a smaller 4-quart model that may work better in some kitchens.
The newer Cosori VeSync Pro II Smart Fryer adds a 12th cooking mode and customization to the presets. Otherwise, the specifications are near identical. Being able to adjust the presets is a handy feature though and it seems to retail at similar prices to the Pro I.