Nowadays, there are easier ways to make food; these require spending less time in the kitchen and render cooking more enjoyable. If you are looking for healthier ways to fry potatoes, or to cook fish, chicken, vegetables, muffins and other pastries, an air fryer is the answer. Reading an Air fryer review will definitely help you make the right choice, since the options are virtually endless: there are air fryer models better suited for singles, and other for large families, one has a lot of features, but is expensive, while another with fewer settings is the best air fryer for the money.
- 1 What an air fryer is and how it works
- 2 Air fryers are made up of the following components:
- 3 There are multiple benefits when using an air fryer, namely:
- 4 Reviews for Top 5 Best Air Fryer Available In The Market
- 5 Things To Consider Before Buying An Air Fryer
What an air fryer is and how it works
An air fryer is a useful kitchen appliance for making food. It works by circulating hot air around the food, cooking it to perfection. The appliance can not only fry, but also grill, roast, and bake.
Air fryers are made up of the following components:
- A cooking chamber or basket where you place your food
- A heater element directly above the chamber that cooks the food underneath
- A fan above the heater creates a vertical air flow that then surrounds the cooking chamber at high speed; the chamber and the food inside are thus immersed in hot air
- Some also have a double wall around the cooking chamber
- An air guide at the bottom ensures heat is not lost, but evenly distributed, so that all food items are equally cooked, even when you pile them up
- A food agitator is present on some models; its role is to shake the food continuously to ensure even cooking of the food
- An exhaust system to keep down the internal pressure caused by the heat build-up (up to 200 degrees Celsius); the steam and smoke are restricted to the exhaust, filtered and then released out.
There are multiple benefits when using an air fryer, namely:
- All models are healthier than other fryers since they require less oil (up to 80% less) during the cooking process; with some units, you don’t need any oil or grease at all to cook
- Low-fat meals can significantly decrease the risk of obesity and other serious diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular problems
- You no longer need to turn the food during cooking; with some models you may need to shake the cooking chamber from time to time, though
- Since heat circulates both from above and from below at the same time, the food is better heated than in a convector oven; in this sense, it is more similar to a deep fryer
- The appliance cooks French fries and other foods really crisp, though they may not look as good as those made in a deep fryer
- You won’t get that pesky fried food smell in your home
- Last but not least, it is easy to clean up, which saves you even more time in the kitchen.
Reviews for Top 5 Best Air Fryer Available In The Market
|Philips Digital Airfryer HD9230/26-The Original Airfryer||$$$$||Best air fryer in the world.|
|Philips HD9220/26 Airfryer||$$$||Alternative for the first one with cheaper price.|
|T-fal FZ7002 ActiFry Low-Fat Healthy AirFryer Dishwasher Safe Multi-Cooker||$$$||Suitable for the large family.|
|Avalon Bay AirFryer with Rapid Air Circulation Technology||$$||Cheap product with good quality.|
|BIG BOSS 1300-Watt Oil-Less Fryer||$||Super Cheap product with decent quality.|
Philips HD9230/26 Digital Airfryer – The Best Air Fryer
Philips HD9230/26 Digital AirFryer with Rapid Air Technology may just be the best product in the world, given its features and price.
Important Features and Specifications
- Made of all black plastic, this model has a basket capacity of 1.8 lb.
- It uses less power than an electric oven, and about 70% less oil than a regular fryer; it only requires a tablespoon or less of oil.
- The kitchen appliance provides digital control of time and temperature – it has a digital touch screen that you can press in order to adjust the temperature (up to 390 degrees), plus a timer that can be set up to 60 minutes and that signals when your food is ready. The timer also has an auto shut-off feature that kicks in when the timer reaches zero – this way you can be sure you won’t overcook your meals.
- One of its unique features is the double-layer rack that was designed exclusively for this brand. Due to the rack, you can now use your air fryer to cook more food at once; for example, when you want to fry chicken, you can place 2 legs and a thigh on the bottom rack, and the same amount on the top rack.
- According to most reviewers, these will be crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and all of this in just 30 minutes.
- You can also bake potatoes in 20 minutes,
- And have your pre-packaged French fries ready in just about 8 minutes.
- One reviewer has found that Philips Airfryer cooks quicker than the directions on pre-packaged foods; see her review here:
Safety and storage
- non-slip feet
- handgrips that don’t get heated during use and that are safe to touch
- when not in use, you can store the cord conveniently underneath the appliance
The appliance has removable parts (the food basket, the double-layer rack, and the nonstick coated drawer) that are dishwasher-safe and that can thus be cleaned easily and quickly.
The Philips Airfryer includes a booklet with 25+ recipes to inspire you; these were created exclusively for the brand by experienced chefs.
The appliance comes with an app that can be downloaded from Android and Apple app stores, and can be used on your smartphone or tablet. The app provides support with the Philips Airfryer, as well as tips for cooking at home.
Philips HD9220/26 – The Affordable Air Fryer
Philips HD9220/26 AirFryer with Rapid Air Technology is yet another good choice. It is small and comes in black or white. It is a more affordable alternative to the first air fryer. I recommend it for cooking frozen foods and reheating leftovers.
Technology and health
The Rapid Air technology heats the food from all directions as it circulates air around the fryer. The bottom starfish design distributes evenly the air that can be heated up to 390 degrees; this not only ensures that food is cooked throughout but also keeps the use of oil to a minimum.
If you need to cook for health, this versatile appliance lets you fry, grill, bake, or roast your food, all without using more than a tablespoon of oil. This also means that the Philips AirFryer is not exactly suitable for cooking bacon and other fat-laden foods because the fryer is designed to eliminate excess fat; see this review:
- cool-to-the-touch handgrips
- no more oil-spatter burns due to the small amount of oil used
Features and Specifications
- Just like its digital version, the Philips AirFryer has a basket capacity of 1.8 lb, and an audio signal to let you know when food is ready.
- While it is not digital like its more expensive counterpart, it has two integrated dials to help you set the cooking time and temperature. Thus, the timer can be adjusted up to 30 minutes, and the temperature control up to 390 degrees.
- The fryer shuts off automatically so that there’s no risk of burning your food.
- Moreover, the Philips AirFryer filters the steam and smoke before releasing them into the room, so that your home will not smell of fried oil as happens with regular fryers.
- Browse recipes on your tablet or smartphone with the Philips AirFryer app.
- You also get more than 25 recipes to find inspiration in the accompanying cookbook.
- Removable parts are dishwasher It may be somewhat difficult to clean manually rather than in the dishwasher, as grease tends to get stuck in the holes of the wire basket.
All in all, most people think they can use an air fryer for French fries only, but you can make a wealth of dishes in it, from muffins and doughnuts to grilled vegetables and fish.
T-Fal FZ7002 Actifry – An Air Fryer For The Whole Family
When you need to cook for the a large family, T-fal FZ7002 ActiFry Low-Fat Healthy Dishwasher Safe Multi-Cooker is your best bet. It is more of an electric multi-cooker that enables you to whip up low-fat meals relatively fast.
- ActiFry has a capacity of 2.2 pounds, suitable for a large family.
- Like the previous two air fryers, ActiFry is great for heating and/ or cooking pre-made foods, which makes it a real time-saver for busy people who don’t have the time to cook a complete meal from scratch for a large family.
- It makes primarily French fries, but also meats, seafood, risotto, chili, vegetables, desserts.
- It uses only a little oil; for example, one tablespoon is enough for 2 pounds of fresh French fries that will feed a family of four. Regardless of the type of food, you want to make, you won’t have to add more than 2 tablespoons of oil for four servings.
- Some users feel the food taste and texture aren’t exactly those achieved with regular frying, but this is a matter of personal preference.
- ActiFry features a digital countdown timer that buzzes when food is done, plus an on/off switch that is easy to operate.
- Unlike the Philips brand, with this unit, you will get burnt food if you miss the alarm.
- The ceramic pan is non-stick, PTFE and PFOA free, and removable.
- This way, the pan, alongside the lid, paddle and filter are easy to clean, even in the dishwasher.
- What ActiFry has that other brands don’t is the unique stirring paddle that automatically moves the food around. The paddle and the pulse heat system ensure what little oil you use is distributed evenly on the food.
- The lid is automatic and only requires the push of a button to open. Moreover, it has a transparent viewing window and stays steam free throughout the cooking process; this enables you to see through the lid and check that everything is cooking smoothly.
- The temperature is always set to constant and the appliance requires no preheating.
- The appliance includes a measuring spoon that must be used for measuring oil properly; you can see this and each part properly explained here:
- You will also get 38 recipes in a color recipe book.
Avalon Bay AB – A Cheap Air Fryer With A Good Quality
When you are looking for a cheap, yet decent quality air fryer for home, consider the Avalon Bay AB-Airfryer100B.It comes in more color options than the other models, namely in black, red, and white. Obviously, it will not have all the features of the first three units; for instance, it has no cookbook.
Like the previous models, the Avalon Bay Air Fryer is a mini convection oven, but more convenient to use and more affordable.
How it works
It uses a fan to eliminate all the fat and oil from the food; these will drip through the drip basket. Then, the Rapid Air Circulation Technology circulates hot air at high speeds and in all directions within the air fryer so that all ingredients are heated evenly.
- The Avalon Bay also comes with a 30-minute timer; this not only enables you to set the time according to each dish, but it also acts as a safety element that will turn off the air fryer automatically once your food is done.
- This feature is very useful, since it allows you to go about your business knowing your food won’t get burnt even if you are not around, and this is the main thing that sets it apart from a deep fryer. Moreover, the timer lets you know that it is time to take the food out by sounding an alarm.
- You can also set the temperature based on the ingredients used with the adjustable temperature control located above the timer; check the right temperature setting on the Settings page inside the instruction booklet delivered with the unit.
- For example, you will need 10 – 15 minutes at 356 degrees F for mozzarella bites; see more here:
Oil use and cleaning
There’s no need to add oil with raw chicken and precooked foods. However, for some foods, you might be able to add a tablespoon of oil if you wish, even though this kitchen appliance is meant to cook healthy, with no oil. It is also not suitable for vegetables and other foods breaded in flour or corn meal.
Even though you shouldn’t use oil while cooking in the air fryer, the ingredients used may still be fairly greasy, and will drip in the bottom of the pan. Nonetheless, cleaning is very easy, in the dishwasher.
Big Boss 1300-Watt Oil-Less Fryer – A Super Cheap Air Fryer
The Big Boss 1300-Watt Oil-Less Fryer costs under $100 and, out of all five models, it comes in the widest array of colors: gray, black, white, purple, blue and red. Unlike the others, it is mostly made of glass, not plastic.
The Big Boss is great for chips, poultry, meat, breaded onion rings and other vegetables, as well as for desserts. You can even cook frozen foods, and do so quite quickly as the appliance requires no thawing time.
- The Big Boss has a 16-quart capacity and features 2 trays so that you can cook more at the same time (note that food will stick to the trays and racks). Nonetheless, it is not suitable if you need to cook for the family, but it can handle well dishes for a maximum of 2 people at once.
- Despite being a countertop appliance, it may not be compact enough for a small kitchen.
- Although it includes an oil sprayer, it is a much healthier alternative to deep frying, as it uses little or no oil.
- This kitchen appliance has a triple cooking power, more specifically with halogen, convection, and infrared heat. This means that your meals are ready up to 3 times faster, and you will use less energy during cooking, even though large foods will still need quite a lot of electricity.
- It emits the frying smell you would expect from a deep fryer, as well as some heat, even though not nearly as much as the heat a steamer lets out.
- The fryer also glows very brightly.
- To make French fries, you can cut 1-1/2 potatoes into quarter-inch strips and place them in a single layer on the rack and mesh tray. Set the time to 12-20 minutes, see video:
- For fish, set the temp to 400 degrees and the timer for 18 minutes.
- For chicken, you can cook about 10 large chicken breasts in 20 minutes. Simply put them in, and set the timer. According to most reviewers, the chicken should be a crispy brown on the outside, and moist on the inside.
- You can also cook a whole turkey of 15 lb. in 3-1/2 hours at 350 degrees
Before cleaning, place the unit, glass bowl and lid in particular, over an oven mitt and allow it to cool completely. Never place it on a cold surface while it is still hot from use. Hand-wash or dish-wash the glass bowl and the cooking racks. Never immerse the unit in water.
Things To Consider Before Buying An Air Fryer
- Philips is a reputable electronics company, founded in 1891 in the Netherlands. The company started out producing light bulbs, but it branched out to other products as well. Its air fryers are available in more than 100 countries, making Philips the world low-fat fryer brand leader. Both air fryers are made in Thailand.
- T-Fal, or Tefal, traces its origins back to 1956 in France. The manufacturer is owned by Groupe SEB and specializes in cookware and small appliance products. After 10 years of research, T-Fal has developed ActiFry, their innovative kitchen appliance.
- While the first two are well-established brands and have a track record of quality products, the last two brands may be lesser known, but their products are more affordable.
- Avalon Bay is a family owned manufacturer of small home appliance products while Big Boss is a brand that focuses on kitchen electrics. It is part of E. Mishan & Sons or Emson, also, a business that has run in the family for over 70 years. Emson imports and distributes a wide array of products, including those that are advertised on TV (since the early 1980’s), including the Big Boss range.
Size and Capacity
- The Philips AirFryer (both versions) has a basket capacity of 1.8 lb. or 2.2 l. The digital version weighs 18.6 pounds while the other air fryer 16.5 pounds. Both units measure 15.3 x 15.3 x 14.9 inches while the basket is 7 x7 x 3 inches. This shows that the basket is large enough to hold ingredients for 1, 2, maybe 3 people. For instance, it can easily cook fries for 2, as long as each person eats the equivalent of one medium fast food order only. However, if you need to feed more than 3 people, then you would need to cook in batches.
- T-fal feeds a family. The dimensions of the T-Fal ActiFry are 16.7 x 13.6 x 9.4 inches, and it weighs 8.9 pounds. It has a 2.2-pound capacity, which makes it perfect for a large family.
- With a 3.2 l. basket, the Avalon Airfryer 100B has the great cooking capacity and is large enough to cook for the family, and it cooks easily for 2. The unit is 14 inches high, and 11 1/2 inches wide side to side. It is also lighter, at only 11 pounds.
- Big Boss has a 16-quart capacity and can cook for 2 people at one time. To make the most of its capacity, the unit has 2 trays where you can place different ingredients at the same time. This feature enables it to also handle larger ingredients, such as a whole turkey; just set the unit to 350 degrees and 3-1/2 hours. Even though it is able to cook large food items pretty well, as expected, though, the appliance is not as powerful as the more expensive ones, so food may be undercooked sometimes.
So, to sum up:
- Philips – for 1 or 2 people;
- T-fal – for the whole family;
- Avalon – cooks easily for 2, though it is large enough to cook for the family;
- Big Boss – for maximum 2 people.
All units presented here can fry, but also bake, roast and grill. All ingredients are cooked evenly, and the air fryers can also be used to heat frozen pre-made food, or reheat leftover food. While all models are convection ovens, the Big Boss may be a little too large to fit comfortably on a countertop, though.
The first 4 models use forced convection as a means of heat transfer; that is, they use a fan and an electric coil with infrared heat above the food basket. The hot air moves rapidly from all sides and cooks the food evenly.
- However, Philips air fryers feature a unique design in the shape of a starfish with four curved ridges at the bottom of the pan. Moreover, the T-fal ActiFry has a unique stirring paddle that ensures even cooking of the ingredients, plus an even distribution of oil, so that you won’t need to use more than a tablespoon.
- The Big Boss unit is different, in that it uses the triple cooking power of halogen, convection, and infrared heat in order to cook up to 3 times faster.
Significant differences can be seen in the design and functionality of the timers. The timer on the Philips models has a maximum setting of 60 minutes while that on the Avalon Bay a maximum of 30 minutes. T-fal ActiFry’s timer can be set to up to 99 minutes.
- T-fal ActiFry and the first Philips air fryer presented are digital, which means you can adjust the time and temperature with utmost precision. All you have to do is turn the Philips unit on by pressing the power button on the bottom right, and then press the button on the left side of the control panel and shift between time and temperature. You can start and pause the cooking process by pressing the start button in the middle of the panel.
- The temperature on the T-fal ActiFry is always constant, so it needs no adjusting and no preheating.
- On the other hand, the Avalon Bay and the Big Boss models use a dual dial system, where you set the temperature on the top dial, and the time on the bottom dial. These are positioned in the order in which you need to turn them: temperature first, time second.
- Note that when you turn the bottom dial on the Avalon Bay air fryer, it will turn on automatically and start to cook.
- Avalon Bay requires preheating, but this can be done without any food inside the air fryer. Simply turn the timer knob to 3 or more minutes. To reheat food, first set the temperature to 302 degrees F, and the timer to no more than 10 minutes.
Philips, T-fal, and Avalon Bay come with non-stick pads and baskets, and cool-to-the-touch handles. All air fryers shut off automatically when the timer reaches zero, and the units have dishwasher safe parts.
- Take special care with the Big Boss, though. Hand-wash the glass bowl, or put it in the dishwasher alongside the cooking racks.
- The plastic fryer rack is not dishwasher safe. Cleaning is not all that easy, given that you cannot immerse the unit in water (certainly not the infrared heating element, the convection fan, and the halogen light on the glass lid).
- Note that the plug on the Big Boss is not grounded, so you should not plug the fryer into the same outlet with other major appliances.
With Philips and T-fal you will get no smelly, messy cooking, whereas the Big Boss is not that good at keeping the frying smell away. Philips air fryers and the T-Fal ActiFry have rather noisy fans while Avalon Bay and the Big Boss are quieter. The Big Boss is made of glass while the other units are mostly plastic. You can oversee the cooking process with T-Fal ActiFry and the Big Boss models, with no need to press pause like with the Philips unit. That’s because these models have see-through tops; T-Fal ActiFry features an automatic lid that is 100% transparent and stays steam-free.
These units also come with accessories:
- Philips air fryers include a baking tin and a 1 m long cord, Avalon Bay comes with a dual rack (included in the price) while the ceramic coated non-stick ActiFry pan is free of PTFE and PFOA. The T-Fal air fryer also comes with a measuring spoon and the Big Boss with an oil sprayer.
- The Philips air fryers include a 25+ recipe book with meal suggestions created exclusively for them. You can also go to the Android and Apple app stores and download on your smartphone or tablet the Philips app that has even more home cooking tips.
- The T-Fal air fryer is accompanied by a color 38-recipe book, and it also has a dedicated website where you can discover more recipes online.
- Avalon Bay has no cookbook proper, but a guide with cooking times and tips instead.
- The Big Boss comes with a recipe book and instruction manual.
There are significant price differences between these air fryers, and these can be seen in the design and settings of each. Thus, the most expensive model has a lot of features, while the cheapest unit is less high tech, but gets the job done.