Best Air Fryer – Frying Without the Fat!
Air fryers are a novel way of deep frying that requires little or no oil, making them healthier alternatives to the traditional methods of frying. They operate by circulating hot air over the food to produce a frying action. These units are compact and easy to use, self-contained, and take away the messiness and danger of regular fryers. Gone are the days when you need to pour in oil and deal with hot splashes, or worse risk the danger of fire.
When you’re looking to make an air fryer purchase, there is a host of features to consider, and it’s important to balance these with the price of the product in order to make an informed buying decision. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the important features to consider and review a few air fryers available on the market in order to determine which one is the best air fryer.
When purchasing an air fryer there are several important features to look out for. Specifically:
- Auto shut-off ability
- Food capacity
- Dishwasher safe
- Price: Depending on the model selected, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to as much as $500. Lower-priced models will come at the expense of extra features.
Philips HD9641 Air Fryer
** #1 TOP PICK **
Philips is a recognized name brand that has been in the air fryer business for a while. Their latest entry, the HD9641, is a full-featured fryer perfect for singles, couples or those with small families.
Ease Of Use:
The Philips HD9641 features a single LCD display unit to control both the timer and temperature settings. It’s a fairly intuitive setup; simply adjust the temperature, plug in the amount of time and away you go. While it does lack temperature presets, the unit comes complete with a recipe guide to let you know which temperature to use for various frying jobs. This model comes complete with an auto shut-off feature, an important consideration in the interests of safety. Indeed, you’ll never have to monitor the product’s frying time, as it will automatically shut down once the timer reaches zero. The 1.8-pound interior capacity is fairly standard among commercial air fryers available on the market. While it won’t feed a large family without processing multiple batches, it’s enough to feed a couple or a small family with one go. And the addition of the double layer rack can greatly increase the yield, a feature most other fryers lack. The components of the fryer can be disassembled and are safe for dishwasher cleaning, a handy feature to be sure. The main unit can easily be washed out with soap and water.
– Rapid Air Technology for fast heating
– Double layer storage rack
– Variety of cooking methods
The Philips HD9641 features what it calls Rapid Air Technology designed to accelerate the unit’s heating time. It accomplishes this by way of its unique starfish-shaped bottom which purports to circulate air faster, more efficiently and evenly than competing models. Even air flow means even cooking, so you’ll never have to worry about a crisp exterior and underdone interior. The included rack allows you to place food on two levels, effectively doubling the capacity of the fryer. And it doesn’t just limit you to frying, either; with the HD9641 you can also grill, roast or bake foods all by using a teaspoon of oil.
The unit is squarely in the mid-range price sphere for air fryers.
All in all, the HD9641 is a good value air fryer that incorporates all the features you’d need. It’s well-made and sturdy, heats up quickly and evenly and is easy to operate and clean. It has a decent sized capacity suitable for most families and will automatically shut down when done. One noted drawback is the usefulness of the instruction booklet; it can be difficult to decipher and is physically unwieldy, but for most that would be a minor concern. Otherwise, as it handles not only frying but alternate cooking methods with ease, and would be a welcome addition to any kitchen.
– Easy to use and maintain
– Good food capacity
– Fast heating time
– Poorly-made instruction booklet
Multiple Cooking Methods: Yes
GoWISE USA electric Air Fryer
GoWISE’s electric air fryer is a budget model that offers a surprising amount of features for the price. It’s ideal for small- to medium-sized families and comes in a unit sized smaller than most competing models.
Ease Of Use:
The user interface of the GoWise features an LCD panel. While the temperature presets are welcome, there’s a bit of a learning curve on how to operate it properly. Additionally, some have complained that the food basket has to be inserted at a specific angle, making the operation that much more complicated. This product features both auto shut-off and standby modes. It’ll switch to standby mode once the timer reaches zero, then will automatically shut off after a preset amount of time. At 3.7 qt, the GoWise has enough internal food storage capacity to feed a medium-sized family. While not as much as the Kalorik, it’s still an admirable amount of capacity. This unit’s components are rated as being dishwasher safe, and the main fryer can be easily washed out with soap and water.
– 8 temperature presets
One striking feature of the GoWise is that it offers eight temperature presets, a handy feature that allows you to cook your favorite foods at the touch of a button. It’s surprising how many competing models lack this ability, even those costing much more.
The GoWise sells at the very bottom of the price scale for electric air fryers.
While this is a budget-level electric air fryer, it works remarkably well considering the price. Still, it lacks the heating ability and even cooking temperament of the Phillips. It does give the option of multiple cooking styles, and the user interface could use some work, so ease of operation is not the greatest. Overall, though, for those looking for an air fryer without the bells and whistles, you could definitely do worse.
– Temperature presets
– Decent sized capacity
– Low price
– Lack of airflow variance
– Ease of use is an issue
Multiple Cooking Methods: Yes
Kalorik convection Air Fryer
While not as well known a name brand as Philips, the Kalorik Convection Air Fryer is a decent, budget-friendly unit, although it lacks some features. It will appeal to those with large families and those for whom price is a consideration.
Ease Of Use:
The Kalorik features an analog interface, sporting two dials – one for timing, the other for temperature settings. Some may argue that this makes the operation of the unit easier, but for most people dials are no match for LCD displays and buttons. At the end of the day, it boils down to personal preference. Once the timer is depleted, the unit will automatically shut down, an important safety consideration on any air frying unit. The components in the Kalorik are dishwasher safe, and the main unit can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Some budget-level fryers require hand washing of all the parts, so this is a welcome feature given the price.
– Huge 4.2-quart capacity
– No oil needed
– Reaches 400F temperature
One strong feature of the Kalorik Convection Air Fryer is its gigantic food capacity – 4.2 quarts, allowing you to be able to feed a large family in a single batch. It holds french fries with ease, whole potatoes, and other larger items that comparable fryers can’t match. The company advertises the fact that no oil is needed during the frying process, although some have claimed this to be a bit of a misnomer as some foods will still need to be coated in oil in order to cook properly. The large temperature range, up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, is also definitely a plus, allowing you to properly cook more of your favorite foods.
This product is very budget-friendly. It should be noted, however, that that price definitely comes at the expense of features.
For the most part, the Kalorik Convection Air Fryer is a decent product designed to deliver basic air frying needs. While it does offer a variety of cooking methods, it lacks the even and fast cooking airflow offered by the Philips, and some have complained that cooking time is longer than advertised. As well, some have claimed that the unit has the propensity to stop working about 10 months into its lifespan, raising the question of durability. Finally, the spartan user interface may be a turnoff for some, but others may find it appealing.
– Large capacity
– Low cost
– Longer cooking times
– Spartan user interface
– Questions surrounding durability
Multiple Cooking Methods: Yes
While the GoWise is a budget-friendly model that does a decent job, the verdict goes in favor of the Philips HD9641. The inclusion of Rapid Air Technology means that it will not only heat up faster but will cook your food more evenly and more efficiently, leading to faster cooking times. One of the problems with budget models is they tend to take longer to cook, and the results can be less than stellar. This isn’t an issue with the Philips, making it worth the while to spend the extra money in order to enjoy the ultimate air frying experience.