Best Air Fryer iMore 2019

Low-fat fryers are wonderful tools for making chips, crisps, fried chicken, and just about anything else you can imagine. My favourite air fryer is the Tefal Actifry Original Plus. With enough space to prepare food for a couple and intuitive controls, this is the air fryer that's tops in my book. Confused about which air fryer is right for you? Take a look at these models.

Best Overall: Tefal Actifry Original Plus

The Tefal Actifry Original Plus can prepare all your best-loved dishes, and do so in a healthier way. Whether you're air frying chips, cooking up prawns, or making a full chicken, the Actifry uses 99 per cent less oil than traditional frying.

This model is 1.2kg in size, and it can cook a meal or starters for up to two people. Available in white, grey, or black, the Actifry is great for chips, casseroles, curries, stir fry, and even dessert. This is a well-rounded kitchen appliance that replaces your cooker, slow cooker, and even your stovetop.

A free My ActiFry app is downloadable and gives you access to hundreds of recipes so that you can turn your old oily standby meals into healthier dishes. An internal rotating arm moves food around during the cooking process, so you don't have to open the lid until meals have finished. One complaint with this: the rotating paddle will remove the coating from breaded foods, so it's best to cook from scratch and avoided prepackaged breaded foods with this model. If that doesn't bother you, you'll love the Tefal Actifry Original Plus!

Pros:

  • Makes food for two
  • Great for crisps, meals, and desserts
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Paddle stirs foods for you
  • Uses 99 per cent less oil

Cons:

  • Not great with breaded foods

Best Overall

Tefal Actifry Original Plus

Great for crisps and meals

This model from Tefal can cook two portions, and it does a nice job with crisps, meats, and even desserts.

Best Value: Tower Air Fryer

The budget air fryer from Tower lacks a display window and push-button controls but makes up for it in price, speed, and quality. The Tower is 4.3L, large enough to cook for three, and it heats up quickly so you can get dinner on the table faster than ever.

A control knob above the handle gives you a choice to set the temperature between 80-200 degrees. The wide range of temperatures offered makes it a breeze to cook a variety of vegetables, chips, poultry, and desserts. A timer dial at the top of this model is also manual by design. You tell it how long to cook, and the Tower will count down the minutes until your meal is fully ready.

Foods come out of the drawer crispy, even when used with just a bit of cooking spray, and texture and taste is spot on. For roasting, frying, and basic baking, this no-frills fryer is healthy for your body and your budget.

Pros:

  • Foods come out crispy
  • Simple to operate
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Manual control knobs

Best Value

Tower Air Fryer

A capable budget fryer

It lacks digital controls but is every bit as capable as other models of frying up crisps, poultry, and cooking veggies.

Best for Couples: Philips Twin Turbostar

You can fry, grill, and roast with the Philips Air Fryer. Built-in Rapid Air Technology circulates hot air to make foods that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Almost no oil is needed and prepared foods come out ready to eat and contain 80 per cent less fat than a traditional deep fat fryer.

There's no digital display on this model, nor are there push-button controls. Two separate knobs control timing and temperature. They're simple to use and well placed.

This model from Philips comes with a recipe book to get you up and running. This versatile air fryer cooks everything from chips to prepackaged coated foods to desserts exceptionally well. And cleanup is no trouble as everything can be popped in the dishwasher. For couples, this is a win-win.

Pros:

  • Foods are crispy
  • Meals have 80 per cent less fat
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Fast

Cons:

  • Lacks digital display

Best for Couples

Philips Twin Turbostar

Dinner for two

Crisps, fish fingers, and chips come out crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Perfect for couples!

Best for Families: Tefal Actifry Genius XL

Cooking for a large family is hard work! The Tefal Actifry Genius XL is designed for those who have many to feed and need to do it quickly. With enough space to prepare eight portions of food at once, you can get dinner on the table in a hurry.

The internals of this air fryer help you to cook smarter and faster. Whether you're preparing nuggets, crisps, or desserts, nine pre-programmed buttons give you a perfect temperature and a timer to get it done. Hot air circulates inside this model while an automatic stirring paddle keeps foods moving to prevent uneven cooking and burning.

This Tefal comes with a free app with hundreds of recipes to get you off on the right foot. My only complaint is with the internal plastic paddle that turns foods for you. It's beneficial but is challenging to clean. The plastic material tends to collect bits of food that need to be scraped off manually. If you don't mind the cleanup, it's hard to beat this air fryer for large meals and big families.

Pros:

  • Cooks up to eight portions
  • Foods have 99 per cent less fat
  • Free app with hundreds of recipes
  • Foods cook evenly

Cons:

  • Paddle is difficult to clean

Best for Families

Tefal Actifry Genius XL

A big fryer for big families

Make eight portions at once with the capable Tefal Actifry Genius XL. It cooks brilliantly and quickly, and food tastes good.

Best Space Saving: Pro Breeze 4.2L Air Fryer

Every bit of countertop space is valuable, especially when your flat is small. The Pro Breeze Air Fryer has an upright design that allows it to tuck nicely in cupboards or a corner of the kitchen when not in use.

The Pro Breeze has 4.3L of cooking space, making it large enough to cook for one or the entire family. Seven presets and a digital display with a touch interface make it so easy to get dinner on the table when you're in a rush or can't be bothered with spending the evening in the kitchen.

This model is dishwasher safe. It also features auto-off safety sensors and overheating protection. My one complaint is that the handle gets warm to the touch. Using a tea towel to protect your fingers is recommended. If you're looking for a high tech air fryer that makes delicious and healthy food but doesn't hog space, this is the model for you.

Pros:

  • Digital display
  • Preset temps
  • Big enough for the family
  • Delicious crispy foods
  • Safety features built-in

Cons:

  • Handle gets warm

Best Space Saving

Pro Breeze 4.2L Air Fryer

A tech lover's dream air fryer

A digital display, presets, and a touchscreen make this unit one of our favourites.

Best Basket: Bagotte Air Fryer

The large-capacity air fryer from Bagotte is a beautiful upright model with a bevelled external design. The top of this model has a large touchscreen and six presets. Temperature settings range from 80-200, making it ideal for a wide variety of foods.

The best feature of this model is its square basket. Unlike other models that come with a rounded basket, the shape on the Bagotte gives you more room to play with. You can cook chips for the entire family or a whole chicken for guests. It's brilliant in design!

As wonderful as the basket is, I must warn you that it's tricky to clean. You'll need to do so under the tap and using a bit of elbow grease. Aside from that, this is a delightful air fryer that can handle anything you throw its way.

Pros:

  • Touchscreen
  • Digital display
  • Foods contain 85 per cent less oil
  • Six presets
  • Square basket holds lots of food

Cons:

  • Basket is difficult to clean

Best Basket

Bagotte Air Fryer

Great design and lots of room

The big square cooking basket fits an entire chicken or chips for a party. A control pad and presets make this a dream to use.

Bottom line

I love my air fryer, and I cannot imagine returning to cooking with hot oil on the stovetop on in a deep fryer. The air fryer that's best for my needs and the one I think is tops this year is the Tefal Actifry Original Plus This is an update from a previous model, and the newer version incorporates some subtle changes.

The all-new paddle inside this Tefal model is larger. It stirs the food for you during the cooking process so that you don't have to pop the lid and do it yourself. It works well on everything but coated processed foods. In those instances, the paddle tends to brush the coating off the food.

The 1.2kg Tefal is large enough to make food for up to two people but small enough not to hold too much counter space. The push-button temperature settings are easy to use, and the small window on the display panel shows you how much time is left before your meal is ready. This Tefal model is fantastic for crisps, and also does an excellent job with meats, curries, and desserts. You'll eat better and healthier with this air fryer, and won't even know there's oil missing from your food.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Jodi Owan is a freelance tech writer who loves to try new products. Find her on Instagram and her website.

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