Everybody loves fried food! It tastes great, but is a huge hassle to make at home (not to mention the health implications). Working with large quantities oil at home can be a huge pain, and the cleanup isn’t fun either.
Air fryers are somewhat new on the cooking scene, but they’ve already seen a huge spike in popularity. They use convection heat instead of oil to achieve the same crispy, tasty result as traditional deep frying but at a fraction of the calories, hassle, and mess. Also, air fried foods can have up to 85% less fat than their deep fried counterparts!
If you're ready to get some delicious air fried food at home but aren’t sure where to start, we’ll be going over our top 10 air fryers of 2020 to help you make a decision! Before jumping in, there are a few ways that air fryers differ that can impact how well they would fit into your lifestyle.
There are quite a few different sizes of air fryers, both in the amount of food that they can hold and the amount of space that they take up. Some are mini countertop models that hold just a few quarts of food and store away easily in any kitchen, whereas others can cook massive quantities of delicious food but won’t fit inside of just any cabinet. It’s important to consider how many people you'll be cooking for regularly as well as how much storage space you have available before purchasing your new air fryer.
A lot of appliances on the market nowadays don’t limit their functionality to just one thing. They can air fry, but also dehydrate, bake, broil, grill, and so much more. If you're investing money into an air fryer, consider what else you would like it to do. Chances are you'll be able to find something that meets all of your needs for a pretty affordable price!
Without further ado, let’s get into why these ten appliances are out top air fryers of 2020.
Top 10 Best Air Fryers 2020
Pros: Four in one, dishwasher safe parts, programmable
Cons: small basket size
Ninja is a super popular kitchen appliance brand that first rose in fame with its high-powered blenders. They now make all sorts of different appliances and tools, one of them being the Ninja Air Fryer. This is a fantastic, compact option that holds up to 4 quarts at a time.
With a temperature range between 105 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, this air fryer can give you crispy food as well as healthy dehydrated food. It can also roast and reheat food, making it truly a 4-in-1 gadget.
Multifunction appliances are great for those short on space in the kitchen. No one has the room (or budget) to purchase all sorts of separate devices that can only do one thing, so why not go for something that can do more? With a super quick preheat time of just 3 minutes, you can get cooking right away. All of the removable parts are dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze.
Pros: comes with tons of accessories, named Best Air Fryer by Business Insider, LED touch screen, comes with recipe book, basket is dishwasher safe
Cons: Up to 5 minute preheat time
If you're someone who is just starting out and getting the hang of cooking, you may not have all the fancy tools, pots, and pans that someone with more experience might. In this case, it makes sense to buy sets that come with everything you need to get up and running fast.
The Yedi Total Package Air Fryer XL truly is the total package. It comes with a ton of stuff that will allow you to make everything from chicken tenders to a birthday cake straight away! It’s easy to see why this bundle was rated as the Best Air Fryer by Business Insider. The 5.8 quart basket is plenty of size for most people. It can be divided into two compartments so you can cook your main dish and sides simultaneously, saving a ton of time and cleanup.
This bundle comes with a basket divider, parchment paper for steaming, a cake pan, pizza pan, multi-purpose rack, skewers, a cupcake pan, and even a heat-resistant rubber mat. These, paired with the included recipe book, will have you up and running in no time. Everything is coated in non-stick so you won’t be stuck scrubbing off stubborn food residue, and the basket can be popped in the dishwasher when you're done with it.
Pros: 7-in-1 tool, rotisserie function, reputable brand, large capacity
Cons: large footprint
If you’re looking for a versatile kitchen appliance that combines a multitude of functions onto one, check out the Instant Vortex Plus 10 Quart 7-in-1 Air Fryer. Unlike a lot of competing options, it has a unique rotisserie function. This allows you to enjoy roasted veggies and meats that will be cooked to perfection by the rotating convection heat.
You may be familiar with the Instant brand, as they are the manufacturers of the InstantPot, a recent phenomenon in home cooking. While the InstantPot is mainly a pressure cooker, the Instant Vortex can do so much more! Its touchscreen display can be programmed to fit your needs and also comes with pre-programed popular cooking settings. The one-touch controls take the hassle out of meal preparation so you can “set it and forget it”.
10 quarts is plenty of cooking capacity for even large families, especially since you can fit two trays inside simultaneously. Cooking entrees and sides together is no issue for this powerful machine, and you can get started cooking as soon as you want due to the very quick preheat time.
If you often find yourself stuck with no recipe ideas, the Instant app has you covered. You can get easy access to over 1000 recipes at the touch of a button on your mobile phone.
Pros: Large capacity, non-stick coating, quick cook times, powerful appliance
Cons: single basket system, no touch screen controls
If you often find yourself cooking for a crowd, you understand how frustrating it can be to be limited by the size of your appliances or cooking tools. When a large capacity, powerful air fryer is what you need, check out Paula Deen’s 9.5 quart Family-Sized Air Fryer. While the basket size itself isn’t the largest on our list, what makes this air fryer stand out is how its power allows you to evenly and quickly cook a large amount of food.
Advertised as cooking for 5-10 people, this air fryer utilizes 1700 watts of air circulation power to rapidly push convection heat throughout the frying basket. The result is evenly cooked food every time, even when the basket is full to the brim.
When cleanup time rolls around, don’t worry! They use FDA-compliant ceramic non-stick coating to eliminate the hassle of scrubbing off tough oil residue or burnt food. Simply wipe clean with a towel or pop the parts in the dishwasher for an easy fix.
I like that this air fryer is available in several attractive color options such as a sleek black, a snappy red, and a classic gray to fit any kitchen. You’ll even get sent home with over 50 of Paula Deen’s famous recipes to get you started!
Pros: small footprint, very powerful, LED touchscreen, easy to clean
Cons: small basket size, pricey
Simply put, not everyone has the kitchen space available to dedicate an entire section to an appliance with a large footprint. Many air fryers do take up a lot of space, which is part of what deters people from purchasing one for themselves.
If you find yourself in this predicament, consider trying a smaller air fryer. They typically have the same functionality as larger ones, just with smaller basket sizes. A great short-on-space solution is the COSORI Air Fryer Max XL. In spite of its intimidating name, this petite air fryer only has a footprint of around one square foot. It can still fit an entire chicken, though!
This air fryer looks very modern and sleek. Its touchscreen control panel displays intuitive icon buttons instead of words or descriptions, but you can still adjust the temperature manually via the LED screen if desired. It also comes with over 100 original and delicious recipes to try, as well as frequently updated social media tutorials. You can cook almost everything that you normally would in a convection oven but will get quicker and more evenly crispy results.
6. GoWISE USA GW44801 Deluxe 12.7-Quarts 15-in-1 Electric Air Fryer Oven w/Rotisserie and Dehydrator
Pros: rotisserie feature, dehydrates food, very stylish, large capacity, tons of accessories
Cons: medium footprint, heavy
The style of the GoWISE USA Deluxe 12.7 Quart 15-in-1 Electric Air Fryer is very reminiscent of a miniature oven. In fact, it essentially is a small oven! This powerful appliance can fit up to 3 racks of food at once in its 12.7 quart body, so feeding a crowd will not be a problem. It is one of the largest air fryers on the market, and it certainly shows. As such, it is not very compact and may seem obtrusive in some smaller kitchens. It is also pretty heavy, weighing in at around 23 pounds.
The GoWISE air fryer comes with absolutely everything that you could ever need to get started… and then some. On top of three racks, you'll get a rotisserie tong, rotisserie rod, drip pan, skewer, rotisserie cage, steak cage, mesh basket, and mesh trays. You'll be more than able to roast, skewer, or dehydrate your favorite foods in no time flat.
The control panel is designed to be both easy to read and easy to use. Its 15 presets take the guesswork out of cooking and leave you free to deal with other things while it intelligently prepares your next meal. The interior is entirely stainless steel and can be removed for easy cleanup.
Pros: very powerful, potential complete oven replacement, professional look and feel, very large capacity
Cons: large, expensive, might be more heavy duty than most people need
For a professional-grade kitchen appliance, check out the Breville Convection and Air Fryer Smart Oven. It could function as a complete oven replacement if necessary, which is ideal for those with limited space or under-equipped kitchens. It is definitely an investment that would be appreciated by any serious home chef.
Like some smaller air fryers, this unit is a convection oven. However, it is much more powerful due to its large size and heat circulating fans. It is a mini kitchen workhorse than can also dehydrate, bake, roast, and broil food. In fact, it can even accommodate a 13” pizza, 12 cup muffin tray, or an entire turkey!
Again, this is a pretty heavy duty machine that might be slightly overkill for amateur home chefs or those simply looking for an air fryer. However, those passionate about home cuisine will love its restaurant-grade look, precise controls, and sturdiness.
Pros: large capacity, infrared capability, interesting design
Cons: relatively low wattage
For fans of cutting edge technology and those who like unique pieces in their homes, the Nutrichef Air Fryer is the ideal choice. Its extremely unique design will definitely make it a conversation piece. A tabletop appliance like most of our other options, it has a stainless steel cooking chamber with an infrared light that sits on top to uniformly heat and cook your food.
Although it is described as an air fryer, it can also make, roast, broil, steam, grill, and even barbecue any of your favorite meals. Its rapid air circulation means your food will be evenly cooked from all sides simultaneously, and since it uses convection heating it requires little to no oil added!
Easy to use rotary knobs control the temperature settings and it also comes equipped with a safety auto-shutoff feature. You won't even need to defrost frozen meat to cook it, making it a great choice for those with busy schedules. It comes with food racks, a cooking tray, and tongs to help you retrieve your hot, tasty food. I especially like that the glass cover is see-through so you can check on your food without letting heat escape.
Pros: 5-in-1, can do a lot more than many air fryers, very compact footprint, portable, easy cleanup, high temperature range, smart probe option, high capacity, power of an outdoor grill
Perhaps the ultimate multifunctional air fryer, the Ninja Foodi is technically marketed as an indoor grill. However, it can do a whole lot more than just grill. This unit can grill, air fry, bake, roast, and even dehydrate! It takes the place of 5 kitchen appliances in one.
I almost didn’t believe that this powerful machine only has a footprint of 10” by 10”, which is impressive considering how much it can do for you. For this reason, it is the most ideal option for those working with small kitchen spaces. As a bonus, if you live somewhere that doesn’t allow or have a space for outdoor grilling, you can enjoy freshly grilled food in the comfort of your own home with ease. Due to its compact size, it has excellent portability and makes a great tailgating or camping companion.
Equipped with the full BTU power of a standard outdoor grill, the Foodi can take an entirely frozen meal and turn it into a grilled masterpiece cooked to perfection in under 30 minutes! This is pretty amazing, and even beats out many pressure cookers in terms of speed and versatility.
Moving on to the air frying capabilities, the Ninja Foodi can reach temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit to help you achieve perfectly crisp and well-cooked food every time. Its 4 quart basket isn’t the largest on our list, but is certainly enough to feed most families.
The appliance does come with a lot of interchangeable parts and pieces that you'll need depending on which function you're using. Most of them can go straight into the dishwasher after use to save you a ton of cleanup time.
Pros: budget-friendly, smallest footprint, bake and roast functionality, safety features, dishwasher safe basket
Cons: small basket size, limited functionality compared to some models
If you're in need of an economical option, the Ultrean Air Fryer is the one for you. One of the least costly models on our list today, this small but might machine still packs quite the punch. Its basket size is 4.2 quarts, which may seem small but still allows you to cook for 3-5 people easily. I adore the color selection, especially since it includes the very trendy and timeless mint green. They’ve incorporated a thoughtful scratch-free coating on the outside to keep your air fryer looking brand new even after years of use.
Another great option for space-saving, this unit has a pretty small footprint of just over one square foot. Weighing in at only 10 pounds, it can be picked up and stowed away easily when not in use. The dishwasher safe frying basket can be cleaned up in no time.
A common concern with frying of any kind, including air frying, is safety. Although we aren’t dealing with the large quantities of oil that we would be with traditional deep frying, air frying does come with its risks. This is why I appreciate that the Ultrean Air Fryer comes equipped with a built in safety timer than can be set for up to thirty minutes. You won't have to worry about forgetting and burning your food (or your countertop!).
It has a very minimalistic design, and the screen is an LCD display instead of an LED touch screen. Some people have varying preferences on the matter, and prefer to touch physical buttons instead of a fussy screen when dealing with messy hands in the kitchen.
So, which air fryer comes out on top?
Ultimately, the winner is the Ninja Foodi 5-in-1. In spite of being marketed as an indoor grill, this handy appliance can really do it all. You can air fry things for crispy, healthy snacks and meals. You can also roast and bake meats and veggies with ease and very little preheat time.
Dehydrating your favorite fruits and vegetables has never been easier! Last but not least, the ability to safely grill indoors is an invaluable feature. You can get those signature grill lines without having to wait forever for a full sized grill to heat up, and your food will be cooked to perfection with the help of its precise temperature controls.
It may seem like a pricey investment to make, but when you consider that you're eliminating the need to buy and store five appliances and getting them all for the price of one, it’s really a no-brainer.
We hope that this article has demystified the world of air fryers and other multitasking appliances. No matter what your needs are, be confident that there is an option out there for you.
Remember that not all air fryers can handle the same amount of food, and some are specially designed to make large batches whereas others can only do a few quarts at most. As a rule of thumb, the larger the basket of the fryer, the more space the appliance takes up. This is an important consideration for people with limited kitchen space.
Also, not all air fryers are created equally. Some only air fry, but others can perform a slew of other cooking tasks and are essentially 5 or more appliances in one! These often come at a slightly higher price point, but are well worth it for the value.