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Best air fryer 2022: Top choices for healthier frying

Healthier, crispy fried food the easy way with our round-up of the best air fryers

The simple truth is that, unhealthy as it is, deep-fat frying food makes it taste so good. If you want the same kind of taste but using between 70% and 80% less oil, you need one of our best air fryers.

Rather than submerging food in hot oil, you first of all coat the food in oil, and then the air fryer circulates hot air (typically at around 200C). The result is that you get that crispy finish to your food, but it’s a healthier process, and you don’t have a vat of hot oil to clean up afterwards.

We’ve reviewed stacks of air fryers to bring you the best ones for any use and home. We’ve listed the top ones below in the handy list, but you can read further on to get more information on each review, and you can click through to the full review for even more information.

We evaluate air fryers based on how easy they are to use, particularly how simple the controls make it to select the right option. We also evaluate performance cooking a range of food, including chips, frozen hash browns, meat and more. Where a fryer has special features, such as agrill or temperature probe, we test these aspects individually, too.

Black Friday Exclusives

With Black Friday coming up, Ninja has two exclusive air fryer models. We’ve not listed them on this page, as they’re limited editions, only available until stocks run out. However, we have reviewed both models and recommend both. First, up is the Ninja Foodi MAX Health Grill & Air Fryer AG551UKDBCP, an air fryer and grill all-in-one, which has the added advantage of a temperature probe. This model gives you an apron and set of skewers extra, and comes in a Black Friday-only copper finish.

Next is the versatile Ninja Foodi MAX 14-in-1 SmartLid Multi-Cooker 7.5L OL650UKDBCP, which is based on the model down from the OL750UK we’ve reviewed here. The main difference is that this model doesn’t have a temperature sensor, but it can still air fry, steam, bake, roast, pressure cook and more. This exclusive model comes in copper, and ships with a silicone sling and apron as extras.

Best air fryers at a glance

How We Test

Learn more about how we test air fryers

We use standard tests with air fryers, so that we can compare performance between different models. We always test by cooking home-made chips, sausages and frozen convenience food, such as fish fingers. Depending on the model, we’ll also test additional features including reheating pizza and drying out herbs.

Ninja Foodi Dual Zone 7.6L Air Fryer

The best overall air fryer
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Pros

  • Two separate drawers
  • Clever timing options
  • Large capacity
  • Excellent cooking programmes

Cons

  • Can’t fit in very large ingredients

Air fryers are brilliant but one of the biggest issues with them is that you can usually only cook at one temperature or setting at a time. Not so with the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone 7.6L Air Fryer, which brings you two individually controlled cooking zones, with their own pull out drawer.

You can cook individually, use the same setting on both drawers or, cleverly, use different settings on each drawer but have them synchronise to finish at the same time. There are options to air fry, max crisp (a 240C turbo setting), roast, reheat, dehydrate or bake.

Performance is excellent across the board, delivering crispy chips, succulent burgers and perfectly cooked corn. The only minor complaint is that while capacity is large, each drawer is the same size as a regular air fryer, so you can’t fit in larger ingredients, such as a whole chicken. This is a beast of an air fryer, but if you want the ultimate flexibility, it’s the best.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Ninja Foodi Dual Zone 7.6L Air Fryer review

Ninja Foodi MAX Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK

The best large air fryer
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Pros

  • Plenty of cooking room
  • Cooks beautifully
  • Clever use of dual controls

Cons

  • Huge

Ninja’s dual-zone air fryer was a triumph, and the company is back with the Ninja Foodi MAX Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK, a larger version. Each of the two drawers can take up to 4.75-litres of food (enough for a chicken, according to Ninja) – that’s also a similar capacity to some of the smaller air fryers available.

As with the previous model, you can use just a single drawer, or use each drawer independently, synchronised (individual settings, but the air fryer will get both of your selected programmes to end at the same time or matched with the same settings.

That’s hugely flexible, and we found that this air fryer made short work of all dinners, letting us cook two different parts of the dinner to finish at the same time, or just increase the total capacity for one part. Testing, we found that chips came out perfectly, and frozen food was dealt with brilliantly.

It’s quite a beast, but if you use an air fryer all of the time, cook large portions (or for lots of people) and want quality results each time, then there’s nothing better than this model.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Ninja Foodi MAX Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK review

Proscenic T22

The best budget air fryer for families
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Pros

  • Looks neat and stylish
  • Smart features including voice control
  • Good cooking

Cons

  • 205℃ max temperature
  • Slightly clunky food tray

As with the other Proscenic products that we’ve reviewed, the Proscenic T22 is a smart product. It can connect to your Wi-Fi giving you control via the app or even Alexa. The app gives remote control, plus a load of recipes: you still have to do the prep and cooking, but you get step-by-step instructions and the air fryer will be set to the correct settings.

For starters, this can be useful, but once we were used to the air fryer, we found it easier to skip the app and use the controls on the front.

We have to say that the manual controls are a little confusing with lots of buttons for dedicated cooking modes, such as seafood, chips, fish and meat. A simpler layout would help, although once you’re used to the T22, it’s often easier to set a temperature and time manually.

Persevere and this air fryer can deliver some quality results: crispy chips and nicely browned sausages, not to mention faster cooking times and better results for frozen essentials. With a single 5-litre drawer, there’s a good amount of space for cooking for families, too.

Reviewer: Simon Handby

Full review: Proscenic T21

Sage the Smart Oven Air Fry

The best oven and air fryer
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Pros

  • Air fries, bakes and grills quickly
  • 10 preset functions
  • 22-litre capacity

Cons

  • Hard to clean by hand
  • Larger footprint than an air fryer
  • Pricey

Most air fryers tend to look a lot like deep fat fryers, but the Sage the Smart Oven Air Fry looks a lot like a microwave oven. This design lets you spread out food, so that it’s evenly cooked, rather than having to shake food as you do in an air fryer.

The oven can also employ its Element iQ tech to direct power where it’s needed to eliminate cold spots in food. In practice, it worked perfectly, leaving us with evenly cooked home chips that had a crispy outside and fluffy inside.

And, the size the oven means that you can use it for larger items, including chicken legs or even an entire pizza. Just be careful with the preset options, as we found that our pizza began to burn after 15 minutes, although the programme was set for 20 minutes.

With a higher-than-average temperature option of 230C, rather than the usual 200C, the Sage the Smart Oven Air Fry can cook food faster than many other air fryers, although it does take a bit longer to heat up.

Comparatively expensive, this model won’t be for everyone, but its unique design lends itself to foods that other air fryers can’t even think about.

Reviewer: Rachel Ogden

Full review: Sage the Smart Oven Air Fryer review

Tower T17076 10-in-1 Digital Air Fryer

The best air fryer for grilling
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Pros

  • Excellent selection of accessories
  • Easy to operate
  • Automatic programmes

Cons

  • Some accessories are fiddly
  • Maximum temperature 200ºC
  • Takes up space/storage issues

The Tower T17076 Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Digital Air Fryer can tackle an impressive range of cooking tasks, assisted by plenty of accessories. These enable the appliance to work as a grill, griddle, toaster or mini-rotisserie. It’s straightforward to operate, has an impressive 11-litre capacity and features a selection of automatic programmes for grilling, roasting and baking, as well as a function for dehydrating fruit.

The rotisserie oven-style window sets the Tower T17076 10-in-1 apart from other air fryers. Being able to view food while it’s cooking is a boon, even if you’re not grilling a whole chicken. Accessories include three air-flow racks (which allow you to cook food on three levels at the same time), a rotisserie fork with handle, 10 skewers with rotating wheels, a wire rack, a reversible grill plate (functions as a hotplate and a griddle), two heat-proof silicone mitts and a drip tray.

Performance was on the whole good: chips were nicely browned and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. We also had great success cooking slightly oiled corn on the cob using the grill plate on top of the wire rack. To try out the rotisserie function, we put halloumi, courgette and pepper pieces onto the skewers fitted into the rotating wheels. The griddle also produced excellent results, making the Tower T17076 10-in-1 a fine all-rounder.

Reviewer: Helen Harjak

Full review: Tower T17076 10-in-1 Digital Air Fryer review

Ninja Foodi MAX OL750UK

The best multi-coioker
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Pros

  • Very flexible
  • Steam cooking adds extra depth
  • Probe helps automate cooking

Cons

  • Bulky

Everything from an air fryer to a slower cooker and pressure cooker, the Ninja Foodi Max OL750UK is an all-round brilliant multi-cooker. Thanks to its clever design, there’s no need to change lids for different modes, while the temperature probe adds a new level of precision cooking.

This sizeable cooker can air fry, grill, pressure cook, steam and more. Results across the board are fantastic, but you’ll need to ask yourself whether you realistically need this much cooking space and number of functions before you buy it.

Each mode offers different cooking options and is exceptionally easy to use via the simple controls. A temperature probe is included; stick this into your food and choose from the preset options (chicken, pork, lamb and beef, plus, where appropriate, target levels from rare to well done), and the OL750UK will automatically stop when your food is perfectly cooked. This helps take the guesswork out of cooking and got us perfectly-cooked steak.

Cooking for 20 minutes at 200ºC, with 125ml of water in the bowl, chips were evenly cooked and had a nice crispy texture to the outside, while the inside remained soft and moist. Quite possibly, this is the best that we’ve seen any air fryer perform. Frozen hash browns and grilling rump steak were also cooked to perfection. Pressure cooking works well, too, reducing the amount of time it takes to cook a lot of food.

The Ninja OL750UK is a bit of a monster, taking up a lot of space. However, it isn’t wasted space since this is a jack-of-all-trades multi-cooker.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Ninja Foodi Max OL750UK

Salter Aerogrill

The best budget air fryer and grill
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Pros

  • Air fryer and grill with large six-litre capacity
  • Good cooking performance with high maximum temperature
  • Surprisingly low power use

Cons

  • Temperature probe a bit confusing
  • Cooking can be a little uneven

Combining and air fryer and grill in one appliance makes a lot of sense: it doubles up of the number of uses and, for the grill in particular, keeps smoke and smells inside the appliance. Mostly, products like this are very expensive, but the Salter Aerogrill is cheaper than a lot of air-fryer only cookers.

Inside, there’s space for a 6-litre air fry basket, which is enough space to cook for large families. For grilling, there’s a grill plate that drops into place, which is big enough to take large skewers of food, plus whole steaks and portions of fish.

Salter provides default programmes for common foods, such as chicken and meat, which set the Aerogrill to the correct temperature; you just have to select the cooking time. Alternatively, there are two options: you can set the Aerogrill manually, or you can use the provided temperature probe to shut the device down automatically when your food is at the right temperature.

General air fryer foods (chips, hash browns, burgers and the like) were cooked exceptionally well, although we did have to add a bit of cooking time beyond the recommend to some food types. Using the grill, we found that its heat was slightly uneven, but moving food around manually when turning it was enough to overcome this problem.

More expensive air fryers can cook faster and more evenly, but for the price, the Salter Aerogrill is hard to beat, adding versatility with its grill.

Reviewer: Simon Handby

Full Review: Salter Aerogrill

FAQs

How important are temperature settings?

Most air fryers work at a standard temperature of 200C, which is required to crisp the outside of your food. If you find air fryers with higher temperature settings, they can cook food faster, which can be handy when dealing with frozen foods.

Can an air fryer do everything a deep fat fryer can do?

Not quite. While you’ll get similar results for most food, air fryers aren’t very good when it comes to wet batters, such as for fish and chips. Here, you’ll find that the batter drips off and you won’t get even results.

Most air fryers require you to remove the food and regularly shake it, too, in order to evenly coat food in oil. Some models have clever features and layouts to reduce this, but it’s something to be aware of.

What accessories do I need?

Accessories vary by device. Some air fryers have optional basket separators, which let you cook different foods at the same time. Grill pans can help you cook other types of food. Some models even have muffin or cake trays, although you’ll probably find it easier to just use a regular oven.

Is size important?

Make sure that you buy an air fryer large enough for your needs. If you’ve got a large family, then you’ll want a model that can cook enough chips for you all.

Most budget models suffer from small baskets that are good for one or two people, so you may need to up your budget to get a larger model. A larger basket also upgrades what you can cook, with some models even managing an entire chicken.

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