Hop over to Amazon and do ""=""> There's about a million of the things -- all of them similar in design, all of them promising to crisp up your favorite fried snacks with little-to-no oil, and all of them hoping to be the next Instant Pot-style kitchen gadget breakout.
Well, these air fryers aren't the Instant Pot. They're really just countertop convection ovens that blow hot air across your food, which means there's nothing you can make in them that you can't make in your oven, too. And, after spending a week testing several of them out (and taste-testing more fries and chicken wings than I care to admit), I've become convinced that none of them will yield results that come anywhere close to deep-fried, gluttonous goodness. There's a reason you don't see the pros on Top Chef cooking with these things.
Understanding all of that, the Krups Fry Delight, available on Amazon and at a variety of retail outlets for a little under $100, isn't a bad appliance. It's relatively easy to use, it produces relatively well-cooked food, and, while it isn't the cheapest air fryer we found, it's relatively inexpensive. I do wish it weren't quite so bulky, and while it never outright failed at cooking anything, it never knocked my socks off, either. Still, if you're just looking for an oven-like device for a dorm room, or maybe something for a game room that's capable of cranking out passable appetizers at your next Super Bowl party, it's perfectly capable and worth the cash.
The Fry Delight is a big, blocky appliance, weighing in at a little less than 20 pounds and measuring in at 13.5 inches wide, 18 inches tall and 14.5 inches deep. You'll want several inches of clearance in front of it to take the drawer in and out, too. Personally, I prefer kitchen unitaskers that take up a little less counterspace, like the Simple Chef HF-898.
As far as aesthetics are concerned, Krups went with an uninspired, plasticky exterior that sits in the ugly, confused middle-ground between modern and vintage. As a result, I have a hard time envisioning a kitchen where the Fry Delight would blend in.
Things are a little better on the inside. The basket that holds whatever you're cooking boasts a nonstick matte surface around the sides and a metal grate on the bottom that lets grease drip down and away from your food. When it's time to clean, the basket comes out of the drawer at the push of a button, and both the basket and the drawer itself are dishwasher safe.
That said, the metal grate was a little tricky to clean since it tends to trap food particles (and tends to grate sponges, too). Cleanup wasn't much more of a pain than when you've cooked something in your oven, but it certainly wasn't any easier, either.
As for using the Fry Delight, it's simple enough -- just move the temperature slider to the desired temperature, then turn the timer knob to the desired cooktime. The orange light will come on to indicate that the heating element is doing its thing -- once the drawer is at temperature, the light will turn off, then cycle on and off throughout the cook as the heating element cycles on and off to maintain the target temperature.
Just two small complaints with that. First: The temperature slider won't go lower than 300 degrees Fahrenheit or higher than 390 degrees F, and it's arranged in awkward, uneven intervals, making it tough to feel like you're ever dialing into a precise setting. Second: The timer knob juts out and blocks your view of commonly used cook times like 20 minutes, which forces you to stoop down as you dial in.
Good lord, we cooked a lot of French fries in these things. Homemade, frozen, shoestring, crinkle-cut, you name it. I even made chips for good measure using both purple potatoes and classic Idaho spuds.
None of the fryers blew us away at any turn, but the Krups cooker at least managed to keep up, never spitting out anything undercooked. The Fry Delight also produced the best-tasting store-brand frozen crinkle-cut fries -- though, in fairness, they were only incrementally better than what you'd get out of the oven. Still, my taste-testers wolfed them down in record time. "I'd be so fat if I had this thing," one of them proclaimed in between bites.
My homemade fries weren't quite as popular. My first batch didn't crisp up at all, so I made a second batch, cutting them as thin as possible and making sure to take extra efforts to wick away excess moisture before the cook. They came out noticeably crispier, but only because they cooked significantly faster (translation: I overcooked them). To make matters worse, the 2.5-liter basket didn't seem big enough to cook the whole batch evenly, even with me giving them a good shake about halfway through. Despite my best efforts, the same went for my Idaho potato chips and my purple potato chips. If there was a homemade, air-fried potato sweet spot, I wasn't a good enough cook to hit it.
That's really the story of this fryer -- it does a bang-up job with frozen, pre-made snacks, but it struggles to make anything special out of homemade recipes. Fresh barbecue chicken wings air-fried for 20 minutes were fine, but not nearly as good or as crispy as if I'd fried, grilled or even baked them. Frozen mozzarella sticks, meanwhile, came out nearly identical to an oven-made batch, and they cooked in about half the time.
Other tests included air-fried burgers and an air-fried whole chicken that only just barely fit into the basket. Both hit their target, food-safe temperatures, but neither were very good. The burgers came out weirdly bloated and devoid of the kind of char that you get with a grill or a broiler. As for the roast chicken, the skin came out flabbier than I'd expected, and the drumsticks were all but incinerated by the time the breasts were finally cooked to temp. I'll stick with my oven, thanks.
Air fryers promise to lighten up your diet by ditching the extra oil, but after a week spent taste-testing air-fried foods, I certainly didn't feel any lighter. At best, they seem like a halfhearted attempt to make you feel slightly less guilty about the tater tots you're scarfing as a midnight snack.
And hey, there's nothing wrong with that -- nor is there anything wrong with spending less than $100 for something that can act as a second oven (or even a primary oven for something like a home bar or a dorm room). But if you're expecting "I-can't-believe-it's-not-fried!" results from the Krups Fry Delight (or from any air fryer, frankly), I think you're in for some disappointment. As for me, I think I'd be content to spend less on a trusty toaster oven.
Are you curious about all the other air fryers we tested out? Check out our air fryer roundup here.