Makers of home air fryers promise a lot. The biggest claim is that they create the delicious deep-fried taste you crave, but with almost no oil. Some companies say their air fryers can roast whole chickens complete with perfectly crisp skin. That's why we decided to see for ourselves just what these countertop cookers can do.
We put eight different air fryers to the test, including units from, , , , and . We cooked everything, from french fries to frozen snacks to chicken wings to burgers. Can they compete with a deep fryer? Is it time to throw out your oil? Here's what we found.
Black and Decker Purifry
The $100is a solid air fryer choice. It's affordable and performs well, but its small food capacity is no crowd pleaser.Available at Amazon
DeLonghi Multifry 1363
Thesuccessfully conjures some of that deep fried flavor and crunch in the food it makes. It also comes with a motorized mixing paddle. Just don't try to use it to make risotto, which it claims it can do.Available at Amazon
Krups Fry Delight
Thisis reasonably priced and makes decent fries. It's hard to clean its metal mesh basket though, and its shape and size make it bulkier than most people will want for a countertop appliance.
Philips Airfryer XXL
Here's an air fryer that's simply massive. Thecooks up the biggest batches of all the fryers we've looked at so far, but it's also expensive and has confusing controls.Available at Amazon
Philips Avance Collection Airfryer
Thisis one appliance you'll want to skip. The Avance cooked fresh food no better than a conventional oven despite its steep price.Available at Amazon
Philips Viva Collection Airfryer HD9621
Theis compact, cooks frozen snacks quickly, and is a snap to clean. Its low-powered heating system though couldn't make food with deep-fried flavor and texture. It's also more expensive than it should be.Available at Amazon
Simple Chef HF-898 Air Fryer
The most affordable air fryer we've tested so far, theis also the easiest to keep clean. We weren't entirely blown away by its cooking performance, but overall this one is a solid choice. Available at Amazon
T-Fal Actifry FZ7002
If you crave truly outstanding fries at home, theis the air fryer to buy. Most shoppers though shouldn't spend this much on an appliance that can't do much else.Available at Amazon
To air fry or not
Countertop oil-less fryers are gaining hype as a small appliance category, and many manufacturers now sell these products hoping to cash in on the air fry trend. Whether you should buy one depends on how much you enjoy fried potatoes and frozen snacks in all their varied forms. If the answer is a lot, then by all means choose a model that you can afford. Otherwise, consider relying on your trusty oven when the fried food craving strikes.
Smart home compatibility tool: Find out what smart home platforms work with your existing kit and vice versa.
CNET Smart Home: We transformed a real house into a test lab for the hottest category in tech.