The Dualit Air Fryer is a great all-rounder: mid-sized, with a 5.5-litre capacity that’s ideal for couples or small families, and enough programmes to be useful, but not so many that you’re overwhelmed by choice. However, its best feature is inside: a square cooking basket that provides more flat space than similarly-sized models, allowing greater flexibility over what and how you cook. Other than a couple of small design niggles, it’s a pretty perfect version of what an air fryer should be – convenient, versatile and quick to deliver delicious healthier food.
- Seven preset programmes
- Good-sized cooking area
- Dishwasher safe
- Not suitable for large households
- Substantial worktop footprint
- CapacityThis single-drawer air fryer has a 5.5 litre capacity, making it ideal for smaller families.
There are many established manufacturers of air fryers, which have been making them for years. Yet while Dualit is better known for its kettles, toasters and coffee, its first air fryer (and possibly its only one) is something of a triumph.
The Dualit Air Fryer combines all that’s great about air frying, such as fast forced heat (referred to in this model as ‘VortecS technology’, like Dualit’s blender), while eliminating most of what can be their flaws, such as poor-quality parts, confusing settings and presets you’ll probably never use.
It’s just the job for making low-fat homemade chips, perfectly cooked meat, veggies and fish, as well as crisping up food straight from the freezer.
Design and features
- Wide shape
- Touchscreen controls
- Sleek design
While many mid-sized air fryers have gone for a tall silhouette over a wide one, the squat shape of Dualit’s Air Fryer goes in its favour. Its footprint is almost a square (W37.9 x D32.6cm), creating a larger area of flat grilling space that’s suited to cooking for four at a time or even roasting a small whole chicken. Plus, it’s fairly short (H31.4cm), allowing it to tuck below kitchen wall units.
On the outside, it has a textured black finish – keeping it fingerprint-free – and a touchscreen, which, when off, is either buttonless (when off at the plug), or features a small red button to wake it up.
Its controls are beautifully simple. There are seven programmes for French Fries, Vegetables, Meat on-the-Bone, Frozen Food, Meat, Bakery and Fish, which are scrolled through using the P button, plus a manual mode that allows you to set a time and temperature between 50˚C to 200˚C, so you can reheat and dehydrate, for example.
Frustratingly, the maximum run time is 60 minutes (and you’ll need 4/5 runs of 60 minutes to dehydrate most fruit).
When you’re done cooking, the non-stick-coated drawer and crisper plate can be popped in the dishwasher, though it’s equally easy to clean by hand.
- Preheat required
- Good at cooking chips from scratch
- Consistently crispy results
Given that the advice is to always preheat an air fryer for three minutes before adding food and selecting a programme, one feature that seems to be missing here is the ability to select one button or setting to preheat it easily. I would also like a reheat programme as I use that frequently on my own air fryer, but the manual mode on this one can be set to do so.
Another small niggle is that the crisper plate has a specific way round that it needs to be inserted, complete with arrows, otherwise it’s prone to getting stuck. This is something that I imagine could delay dinner when you’re in a rush. Although I did like that the crisper plate has a ring to help lift it out for cleaning. My other main takeaway throughout testing is that the drawer didn’t always come out easily, or go back in as one action all the way after taking it out to shake or remove food. I often had to give it a little extra push so that it clicked into place.
That said, the rest of testing went smoothly, the Air Fryer’s 1700W power handling each task without leaving food anything less than cooked or crispy. I started by making a batch of chips from scratch using its French Fries programme (20 minutes at 200°C, plus a three-minute preheat). As the chipped potato I was cooking was a little chunkier than French Fries, I added a couple of minutes to the programme, which was as simple as increasing the cooking time after selecting the preset. After rinsing, drying and tossing them in a small amount of oil, I spread them across the surface of the crisper plate, its large area meaning that hot air would be able to reach the individual pieces more easily.
The results were as hoped: golden brown chips, crispy at either end, slightly softer in the middle, but not soggy. More importantly, they were consistent in colour, with no pale pieces having escaped being cooked, which can be an issue in air fryers with small drawers.
Next, I used the Meat Fillet programme to cook a steak. This has a preset of 15 minutes at 200°C, but I felt that might be too long to achieve the level of doneness I was aiming for, medium rare. I reduced this to nine minutes plus the preheat.
After the time had elapsed, the steak was well cooked on the outside, while inside, the level of doneness was closer to medium, but still with a good hint of pink, plus a tender, juicy texture. The full cooking time would easily deliver a well-done steak.
Finally, I cooked four hash browns from frozen. The spacious crisper plate could have easily accommodated more, or some other frozen treats alongside them.
Even better, there’s a Frozen Food programme – something that tends to be missing from some air fryer programme selections – which provided a cooking time of 20 minutes at 180°C. This felt like a longer time than usual, coupled with a lower temperature, but it worked well.
The golden hash browns were crispy on the outside, not burnt, yet still soft in the centre, and not dry. I used the same programme to cook chicken nuggets and other small items, which also came out perfectly.
Should you buy it?
You want better results
The Dualit Air Fryer is more of an investment than budget buys, but worth the money for its excellent performance.
You need to cook larger portions
While there’s a sizable area inside, it won’t be enough if you’re cooking for a crowd. Check out our Best Air Fryer list for more options.
Dualit might be a bit late to the air fryer party, but this sleek model was worth waiting for. Its excellent cooking abilities and ease of use are sure to win many fans, especially those who already love the brand for its good-quality, robust small appliances.
And while there’s no recipe book in the box, there are pages of guidance for cooking different foods so you can get the most from it (plus there are recipes on Dualit’s site). A couple of design tweaks is really all that it needs to reach air fryer perfection. However, if its capacity is limiting, turn your attention to a larger air fryer, such as Ninja’s Foodi Dual Zone 7.6L Air Fryer or if you can’t justify the price, a slightly smaller but cheaper model, such as the Karaca Air Cook.
How we test
We test every air fryer we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main air fryer for the review period
We cook real food in each air fryer, making chips, frying sausages and cooking frozen hash browns. This lets us compare quality between each air fryer that we test.
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It has a single 5.5-litre drawer, which is enough for a couple of people.
Yes, the drawer and crisper plate can both go in the dishwasher.