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Best Air Fryers of 2021

Expert Picks for the Best Air Fryers of the Year

Once considered a specialist small kitchen appliance that only niche users would need, the air fryer is now in over 40% of homes in the U.S. So, what is it, and what has made this device so popular? It isn’t actually a fryer at all. It’s a high-powered convection oven designed to sit on your countertop. Using heat and a little oil, this machine achieves similar results to deep frying with a significant decrease in oil, fat, and calories. That way, you can put that extra pound of butter back on the shelf, all while creating crispy meals that are both filling and tasty.
This device isn’t just for foods you’d typically think of “frying", either. You can crisp up wings and potato wedges, roast veggies, bake cookies, or even create donut holes. This multifunctional device makes any meal easier to cook and can help promote a healthy lifestyle. You might find yourself using your microwave and range less after you pick up one of these.
Below, our experts have pulled some of their favorite picks for the best air fryers of 2021. Pick out one of these low-cal cookers to make meal cooking hassle-free and easy on the diet, whether you’re a vegan chef, a wing-lover, or a passionate baker.

Best Multicooker Air Fryers

Ninja Foodi 8-Qt. 9-In-1 Deluxe Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer - FD401

Ninja Foodi 8-Qt. 9-In-1 Deluxe Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer - FD401
When you first lay eyes on the Ninja, you might mistake it for a pressure cooker. Or a steamer. Or even a slow cooker. That’s because it does all this, along with five other cooking functions like sauteing and dehydrating food. You can even make yogurt in this machine. But what’s best about the Ninja isn’t how many things it can do, but how quickly and easily it can do them. Frozen proteins don’t need to wait to be defrosted; pressure cook to quickly defrost and cook each filet at once. Once everything is cooked, get crispy with help from the frying function for a meal in under 30 minutes.
While going from frozen to food in 30 minutes is an impressive feat, the way that the Ninja works, food isn’t just cooked—it’s crisped. Pressure cooking first helps to lock in moisture and juices all while cooking at high pressurized temperatures. Finishing off with the “frying" function makes every bite delicious. Pair with roasted veggies and rice for a meal finished in one pot. And with a full 5-quart basket, you’ve got room to make enough for the whole family.
Also features: 9 Functions, 5-quart basket, 5 temperature settings, included recipe book. Height: 14.3" Length: 16.1" Width: 14.6"

Easiest Controls on an Air Fryer

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Compact AirFryer - AFR-25

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Compact AirFryer - AFR-25
With some modern appliances, it can be a chore to decode what exactly is on your display. When did microwaves get so complicated? I mean, aren’t there supposed to be numbers on here somewhere? This Cuisinart makes cooking easy with just two knobs: one for temperature, and another for time. All you have to do is prep the food (up to 2.5 pounds of it), fill the basket, and turn the dials.
The convenience of controls does not mean this machine is “simple". A shining stainless steel exterior and handle blend well with nearly any kitchen’s design, meaning you can leave it out on the countertop for display. The nonstick interior and steel finish are easy to clean, and can be wiped clear for a spotless look. Every element is designed for ease of use, stylish design, and optimal cooking.
Also features: Included AirFry basket and baking pan, nonstick interior, easy to clean. Height: 11.5" Width: 11.75" Length: 12"

Best Air Fryers for Bakers and Pizza Lovers

Delonghi Livenza Stainless Steel Air Fryer Convection Oven Oven - EO141164M

Delonghi Livenza Stainless Steel Air Fryer Convection Oven Oven - EO141164M
These devices aren’t just for, well, frying. They use convection fans to cycle high heat around your favorite foods to cook them more evenly and efficiently than a standard oven. That’s why bakers and pizza makers will fall in love with this Delonghi Livenza. Users can mix their bakes and toss their doughs into pans before sliding them into the oven, then watch through the lit window to keep an eye on how their cakes, doughs, and bread are rising.
This model comes with more than just a fryer basket. Included along with the easy-to-use oven are a baking pan, pizza pan, wire rack, crumb tray, and frying basket. The collection of correctly-sized pans means you’ll never have to spend the afternoon searching through your own cookware for the right gear. And with a machine that heats up to 60% faster than a traditional oven, you may find yourself using this Delonghi Livenza more often than your traditional oven.
Also features: Toaster oven functionality, 9 preset settings, baking function, pizza pan, baking pan, frying basket, baking rack. Height: 15.5" Width: 9.6" Length: 17.9"

Best Microwave Air-Fryer Combo

Breville The Combi Wave 3-In-1 Microwave, Oven & Air Fryer - BMO870BSS1BUC1

Breville The Combi Wave 3-In-1 Microwave, Oven & Air Fryer - BMO870BSS1BUC1
While this low-cal frying technology combines well with convection and pressure cooking abilities, you might notice that some of these appliances look like microwaves. This Breville model combines the practical usability of microwave technology with convection frying in one appliance. Zap your favorite soups and leftovers, crisp up proteins, and cook raw vegetables up in time for dinner using all of the different functions on this machine.
This 3-in-1 device doesn’t just put off heat; it’s built with smart technology to ensure every meal is cooked thoroughly and correctly. Breville’s ElementiQ system channels power to cooler spots and away from areas that are already heated. Meanwhile, the Power Smoothing Inverter adjusts energy automatically, boosting and lowering power levels as needed. No dry edges, no overheated foods, no over-warmed “defrosted” meats. And with a shining silver silhouette, you’ll want to keep this machine right on your countertop.
Also features: 1.1 cubic feet capacity, child lock, Element iQ System, Power Smoothing Inverter. Height: 12.5" Width: 20.4" Depth: 20.2"

Best Air Fryer Indoor Grill Combo:

Ninja Foodi 5-In-1 Indoor Grill With 4-Quart Air Fryer - AG302E

Ninja Foodi 5-In-1 Indoor Grill With 4-Quart Air Fryer - AG302E
No one likes grilling when it’s raining, snowing, or too hot outside. Escape inclement weather and grill indoors with help from the Ninja Foodi grill and air fryer combo. With a maximum temperature of 500 degrees, this countertop grill can compete with outdoor models. Make juicy burgers, grilled chicken, veggie kabobs, and all your other favorite grillable foods. Surround Searing technology helps to keep your food at an even temperature on all sides as it cooks. That way, each bite will taste just as good as the next (and you’ll have enviable sear marks across all your meals).
When you’re longing for crispy bites instead of char-grilled foods, insert the 4-quart air fry basket and start cooking up your favorites. Cyclonic technology cooks wings, potato wedges, veggies, and other foods from all sides for even heat without burning. In addition to air frying and grilling, the 5-in-1 device can bake, roast, and dehydrate foods. In a pinch, this device can replace your oven, grill, and air fryer. When you’re done, cooking, toss the griddle in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
Also features 5 cooking programs, 4-quart crisper basket, 6-quart cooking pot, 10" x 10" grill grate, BPA-free, recipe book, 5 kebab skewers. Height: 11" Width: 17" Depth: 14"

Best Air Fryer / Toaster Oven Combo

Cuisinart Digital Air Fryer Toaster Oven in Stainless Steel - TOA65

Cuisinart Digital Air Fryer Toaster Oven in Stainless Steel - TOA65
With the capacity to hold .6 lbs of soon-to-be fried food, this Cuisinart makes the most of a minuscule footprint. And with the ability to crisp veggies, meats, and potatoes quickly and efficiently, weekday dinner time for families becomes a breeze. But the function that users make the most of is actually the toaster oven. Whether you’re crisping bagels (up to six slices) or browning toast, the Cuisinart makes everyday breakfast easy.
Toaster oven customization and highly-adjustable temperatures make this oven even more functional. Users can broil, bake, make pizzas, and dehydrate. Baking enthusiasts can even proof doughs for precise breads. No more waiting around for imprecise room-temperature proofs. Instead, this toaster oven goes as low as 80°F and can boost up to 450°F when you’re using the low-cal fryer function for convection cooking.
Also features: 1800-watt motor, 9 oven functions, large display, toaster oven functionality. Height: 14" Width: 15.5" Depth: 16"

Before You Pick:

Before you select the air fryer you think is best for your meal-prep needs, make sure you consider some of the numbers and physical features of the best air fryers of your dreams. Think about things like:
  • Size: Will your new device be living on your countertop, and if so, will it fit? Make sure you measure your space carefully, comparing it to your ideal device. It’s a good idea to measure a couple of times, and leave a bit of space between your device and the wall/cabinetry.
  • Storage: If you’re not going to keep your device on the countertop, make sure you’ve got a space to store it when not in use. Take the same measurement ideas into account when it comes to storage space, and make sure you keep your device in a clean, dry place.
  • Capacity: Check to ensure that your device can handle as much food as you need. Couples making a meal for the evening can get away with a 2-quart capacity basket, but large families and meal preppers may want a basket closer to 6-quarts and above.
  • Recipes Differ: This is true for all of the devices above, but the same piece of chicken you cooked in an oven will heat up much faster in one of these convection cookers. Check out some of our recipes for low-cal frying from our blog.

Support, Ready When You Need It

If you’re interested in learning more about what makes these machines different from a deep fryer and its close relative, the convection oven, check out our guide: Air Fryer vs. Convection Oven: What's the Difference? There, our experts break down these new technologies, their primary cooking technologies, and how they can make your next bite of food so much crispier. If you’re still not sure that the best air fryers of 2021 are for your home, give us a call at 800-860-3577. Our specialists will give you personalized help, and discuss the best devices for your lifestyle. Each of our appliances comes with a manufacturer’s warranty that lasts at least one year, and our professionals will service local appliances throughout their lifespan.

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