Air fryers are gaining on popularity as more and more people start to realize that they could be eating tasty fries every day without all the calories and fats that usually come along with them! We are also included in this group and that is why we went on the quest to find the best air fryer on the market. Our search brought us to three air fryers in particular: the Philips Digital Air Fryer, the T-fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker and the GoWISE USA Electric Air Fryer. All of them operate with the same cooking concept of hot air and a spoonful of oil being distributed at high speed within the unit, which cooks food evenly and efficiently. Therefore, air fryers are able to fry, bake or grill all kinds of food with less of the hassle and calories of switching on the oven or the deep fryer. Keep reading below for more details on these three air fryers and why we think they are the best.
Fist Pick: Philips HD9230/26 Digital Air Fryer with Rapid Air Technology
Our top choice for the best air fryer is the Philips HD9230/26 Digital Air Fryer with Rapid Air Technology. This air fryer provides the best combination of price, quality, design and durability.
While it is the priciest air fryer on our list, it is far from the priciest if we look at the market for air fryers in general. Firstly, in terms of design, few units can beat this Philips Digital Air Fryer. The design is sleek, modern and quite compact.
It has a cylindrical shape that has its widest point in the middle. The shell is made of high quality, shiny black plastic.
On its front side, it has a sleek digital touch screen interface, which is black as well, while the numbers and symbols are either orange or white. Below the touch screen interface is a chrome-colored handle, which is used for opening the air fryer. The dimensions of this unit are 15.4 x 15.4 x 14.9 inches.
Here are some of the other noteworthy features of this Philips Digital Air Fryer. You can use the touch screen interface to adjust the temperature up to 390 degrees and to set a timer for up to 60 minutes. The timer gives out a ‘ready’ signal and automatically shuts off the unit at the same time, which is always very convenient. Speaking of convenience, there are two more features that make this air fryer really easy to use. Firstly, almost all of the interior parts are dishwasher safe, so the maintenance is fairly easy. The nonstick coated drawer which holds the food as it is being cooked is removable from the air fryer and dishwasher safe too!
Secondly, the Philips Digital Air Fryer comes with a double rack, which pretty much doubles the cooking surface. This adds to convenience as you can cook twice as much in one cooking cycle compared to same sized or bigger units which do not have double rack. Given the compact size of this air fryer, the double rack is a welcomed addition – it allows you to optimize on counter space and cooking capacity.
Of course, what we like most about the Philips Digital Air Fryer is the taste and texture of anything we have tried to fry, grill and bake so far! The claims that it can make delicious fries with only a tablespoon of oil are completely true! And, for avid fans of fries like us, this is truly good news. Finally, there seems to be a healthy way to prepare this delicious snack/side dish Oh, who are we kidding – crunchy, delicious fries do make up most of our diets at this point! This healthy way involves Philips’ Rapid Air Technology, which circulates hot air within the unit with high precision and speed in order to cook food to perfection.
This cooking concept allows you to use a single unit for frying, grilling and baking, which is pretty amazing if you ask us. And yes, this feature should go for all air fryers in general, but the reason we are bringing it up here with relation to the Philips Digital Air Fryer is that with this product, the feature does work as intended. If this is not your first air fryer, you might already know that this does not go for all the air fryers out there.
Last but not least, one of the things that make this the best air fryer for us is that this unit minimizes the smell associated with frying food. This is to be expected, since it is not really frying food and the cooking concept is completely different. However, even compared to other air fryers we have tried, this one is definitely the most odorless. And that is certainly an advantage, especially if you have to share a kitchen with your significant other or some roommates.
For all of you who have been struggling between making your favorite fried food and avoiding another snide comment from your roommate, this is the product you have been looking for!
Second Pick: T-fal FZ7002 ActiFry Low-Fat Healthy Dishwasher Safe Multi-Cooker
Our choice for the second best air fryer on the market is the T-fal FZ7002 ActiFry Low-Fat Healthy Dishwasher Safe Multi-Cooker.
It is both less expensive and less aesthetically pleasing, but it does the function of oil-less air frying exceptionally well.
Regarding the design, this air fryer has the standard puck-shaped design common since the earliest models of air fryers. It has a semi-transparent smoky black lid on the top part of its matte black shell.
The handle for opening it is matte black as well, while some of the control buttons are green while others are black. The dimensions of this air fryer are 19.1 x 11.8 x 15.6 inches, which means that overall the space requirement for both units is the same, even though their shapes are different.
In terms of convenience, it is similar to our top choice. The main interior parts involved in the cooking process are removable and dishwasher safe. This includes a ceramic coated nonstick pan, a stirring paddle as well as the lid. The main difference with the Philips Digital Air Fryer is that this T-fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker does not have a double rack tray which would increase the cooking surface but it does have a stirring paddle which is intended to ensure that all pieces of food are equally covered in the little amount of oil required in the cooking process as well as that they are all cooked evenly.
Regarding the lack of a double rack tray, it is not such a big disadvantage compared to the other air fryer because this one can actually fit in a lot of food – up to 2.2 pounds, which should be enough for four servings. In addition, since there is a stirring paddle in play, it is not necessary that all food pieces are assembled in a single layer on the cooking service. Some extra pieces can be added in a second layer, which will then be redistributed by the stirring paddle.
But what about the flavor and texture effects of the T-fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker? Well, after much deliberation, we came to the conclusion that it makes a great cooker. The result can be usually described as ‘as if baked, but crunchier’. Thus, in our opinion, this air fryer does not give an effect that would completely replicate that of a deep fryer. That said, it is very easy to use, to clean and it cooks food relatively quickly – certainly quicker than the standard oven.
Even though the fries are not as crunchy as they would be from a deep fryer, they are also much less fatty – up to 70% less so. In our minds, this is a reasonable trade off. The fries that come out of the T-fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker are still tasty, crunchy and evenly cooked. They are not as crunchy as fast food fries, but they are still pretty darn great!
Good Cheaper Alternative: GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer with Digital Programmable Cooking Settings 3.2 Quart
The final product we want to include in this review is a budget-friendly alternative of the best air fryer – the GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer with Digital Programmable Cooking Settings 3.2 Quart.
In terms of design, it would be safe to say that this air fryer has the shape of the Philips Digital Air Fryer and the exterior design of the T-fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker, minus the transparent lid. Thus, it is not as sleek as the shiny black Philips Digital Air Fryer but it does look more modern than the T-fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker.
Still, the question of which one looks best will still be a matter of taste to a large degree, as well as of how it fits with the rest of your kitchen.
Here are the noteworthy features of the GoWISE USA Electric Air Fryer. As the name it implies, it is programmable, unlike the T-fal ActiFry Multi-Cooker. It comes with 8 modes already programmed in the settings, which are: preheat, fries, chicken, fish, shrimp, steak, meat and cake. It also has a cooking timer, which can be set for up to 30 minutes. That is not long enough for all types of foods, but it is for most – a testament to how much quicker air fryers are compared to standard ovens.
The temperature control on the GoWISE USA Electric Air Fryer is between 176-392 degrees, which means that it can go as high as the Philips Digital Air Fryer, but it cannot go below 176 degrees as that one can. Like both other air fryers, this one is also easy to maintain because the pan and food basket are both removable and dishwasher safe. However, the pan is not nonstick as with the other two models, so this might make it more difficult to the clean up. It does not have a stirring paddle. It also does not include a double rack tray, which implies a significantly lower cooking capacity compared to the Philips Digital Air Fryer.
All in all, the GoWISE USA Electric Air Fryer is a great budget-friendly air fryer, if you find it on discount, which should not be difficult. Even when it is not on discount, it is still about a third cheaper than the Philips Digital Air Fryer – but it does have all of its design characteristics. Thus, this will be the best air fryer for you if you are looking for a modern and affordable model.
With that we conclude our best air fryer reviews and wish you a lot of crunchy, oil-less fries in the near future!