My feed

Our writers test and research products independently. When you buy through a link on our site we may earn a commission but this never affects our product choices.

Best air fryers for tasty, low-cost cooking

Healthier, cheaper and quicker than oven cooking, the air fryer is becoming a must-have cooking appliance for many families. Here are the best air fryers currently available in the UK.

By Natasha Gregson | Last updated Aug 30, 2023

Selection of the best air fryers

We updated this guide on 30th August to ensure everything was in stock, up to date, and still the very best of the best.

If you love quick and easy dinners (and, let’s face it, who doesn’t?), but hate the fat content and calories involved in frying food, an air fryer could be what's missing from your kitchen. Air fryers work by using a minimal amount of oil combined with incredibly hot air, circulated evenly around the interior of the fryer to cook food quickly without compromising on taste. From chicken wings to potato wedges, the best air fryer will ensure your dish of choice emerges with a fried 'finish' to it minus the extra fat content.

Not only are the best air fryers healthier than traditional cooking options, they also use significantly less electricity, according to energy experts at Uswitch; so while some of the higher end products on our list might set you back a few hundred pounds, in the long-term you could save money on energy bills. Much like the best slow cooker, an air fryer can also make life easier in the kitchen and cut down on food preparation time. Many also feature dishwasher-safe baskets for easy cleaning.

To help you find the best air fryer for your household, we've rounded up the top 11 based on countless customer reviews and expert guidance, as well as recommendations tried and tested by real Mumsnet users. Their trusted reviews and feedback based on several years of using air fryers of all shapes and sizes has helped us create this list of the top air fryers currently available, so you can rest assured knowing you have independent, impartial recommendations to hand from the biggest online network of parents in the UK.

Best air fryer 2023 at a glance

  • Best overall: Tefal ActiFry Genius XL 2-in-1 YV970840, £149

  • Best budget: Salter 4.5 Litre Digital Air Fryer EK4221, £50

  • Best Wi-Fi-enabled: COSORI 5.5L Smart Air Fryer Oven, £96

  • Best dual-draw: Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK, £199

  • Best affordable dual-draw: Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket, £134

1. Overall best air fryer: Tefal ActiFry Genius XL 2-in-1 YV970840

Price on writing: £149 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 5/5

Key specs

Style: Basket | Capacity: 1.7kg |  Size: H26.3 x W32.8 x D47.6 cm | Cooking modes: Chips, rolls, wok, breaded or battered snacks, chicken, desserts, meat and veg balls | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes | Wattage: 1500W

What we like

  • Two-in-one technology

  • Genius smart settings

  • Automatic stirring and keep warm mode

  • Perfect for families

What we don't like

  • Expensive

  • Not the easiest machine to use initially

  • Quite bulky

What Mumsnet users say

"I love my ActiFry - cook pretty much everything in it! The best is chicken (take the paddle out) or squash - cut up with salt, pepper and a bit of oil." (Vetted by Mumsnet user CCSS15)

We’re on our third Tefal ActiFry. Wouldn't be without it. New one is much quicker than previous models. We always get the biggest capacity so it’s much more useful when family are round. There’s no smell.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user rosie1959)

Tefal air fryer here. Chipped Maris potatoes and a teaspoon of coconut oil makes lovely, soft-in-the-middle but crispy-on-the-outside chips.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user TeensArghhhh)

Our verdict

Tefal is a brand highly recommended by Mumsnet users for their reliable and quality products. The ActiFry Genius XL 2-in-1 is no exception. It is ideal for families with its six-portion capacity to cook a whole meal simultaneously using its two compartments and two-in-one technology. You can cook so much in this top-rated air fryer, including favourites from your best cookbooks, from meats to fish to curries.

The ActiFry makes cooking stress-free using its smart settings to adjust the temperature and cooking time and even stir your food for you, a feature busy parents will love. There's an automatic warm mode too, so if you get distracted, your food won't go cold or burn in the mean time.

Our biggest gripe is that it's not the most user-friendly device initially; we'd recommend you take some time to read the instructions and get to grips with the different settings before the first use. Once you get the hang of it, however, you'll soon be impressed with the delicious results - the chips in particular are second to none.

It's one of the pricier models out there, but many reviewers rate the ActiFry Genius XL 2-in-1 as a great investment, especially if you have a larger then average family. Just be aware that it does have a large footprint, so you'll need sufficient counter or cupboard space to house it.

2. Best WiFi-enabled air fryer: COSORI 5.5L Smart Air Fryer Oven

Price on writing: £96 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 5/5

Key specs

Style: Basket | Capacity: 5.5L |  Size: 30D x 32W x 30H centimetres | Cooking modes: Chips, bread, cake, fish, chicken, bacon, vegetables | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes | Wattage: 1700W

What we like

  • High number of cooking programs

  • Can be controlled through an app

  • App includes recipes you can save and revisit

  • Easy to use

What we don't like

  • Some reviewers found the non-stick coating wore off over time

  • Some may find the smart features gimmicky

What Mumsnet users say

"COSORI, it's awesome. I never use my oven now." (Brand recommended by Mumsnet user QuebecBagnet)

"We have the COSORI 5.5L. It's great, easy to use, easy to clean, takes up very little space. We've had it three months or so and I'm very happy with it." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user TheBitterBoy)

"It really is fab. Compact yet can get loads in (amazing for roasting chicken!) and dead easy to work and clean." (Reviewed by Mumsnet user Lanique)

Our verdict

Claiming to save up to 55% on energy bills versus other cooking methods, the COSORI Air Fryer is another example of why the air fryer is rapidly becoming the appliance of choice when it comes to cooking family meals on a budget.

That aside, the real standout feature here is the smart connectivity; download the compatible VeSync app and your cooking will be revolutionised. From controlling the air fryer remotely, to receiving handy notifications when your food is ready, to being able to save and customise your own recipes, it certainly makes cooking that little bit easier, although some may find it's a little gimmicky and not entirely necessary.

Offering 13 preset cooking functions and a digital one-touch LED control screen if you don't want to use the app, this air fryer is simple to get to grips with – perfect if you’re a newbie to the world of air fryers. The removable basket is dishwasher-safe too, which is always a winner when it comes to cleaning up after family meals. Other useful settings include preheating and keeping warm options in case you can’t sit down to eat as soon as the food is ready.

Big enough to cater for a small family, the manufacturers claim that the square basket design offers more usable space for food than air fryers with round baskets, although some did find the non-stick coating wore off after frequent use. All in all though, we think this is a great value buy - whether you choose to use the app or not.

Read next: Speed up food prep time with our pick of the best food processor, as recommended by Mumsnet users

3. Best budget air fryer: Salter 4.5 Litre Digital Air Fryer EK4221

Price on writing: £60 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 4.5/5

Key specs

Style: Basket | Capacity: 4.5L |  Size: 10.8D x 12.9W x 12.6H centimetres | Cooking modes: Chips, pork, seafood, bake, chicken, steak, fish | Dishwasher-safe parts: No | Wattage: 1300W

What we like

  • Easy to use and clean

  • Great value

  • Very efficient compared to using an oven

  • Small footprint

What we don't like

  • Reviewers report there's no instructions included

  • May not be suitable for big families

  • Not dishwasher safe

What Mumsnet users say

"I've got a mini air fryer - a Salter. I use it a lot, especially for jacket potatoes. Not worth putting the oven on for one." (Brand vetted by Mumsnet user ilovesooty)

Our verdict

If you're wanting a budget-friendly air fryer and are prepared to sacrifice on capacity, the Salter Digital Air Fryer may be just what you're after. Retailing at under £60, it's a little more basic and has a smaller footprint than some models. However, this could be a plus if kitchen counter space is at a premium.

Many people are keen to find more energy efficient ways to cook, from using a pressure cooker to save time on the hob, to batch cooking and dishing up leftovers in the best Tupperware. While this air fryer is a little too on the small side for any bulk cooking needs, it does excel at being efficient - Salter claims it can cut down energy use by 67% when cooking chicken compared to a 1.8kW electric oven.

The digital display is clear and easy to use - there's even a handy key of cooking times and temperatures for popular dishes. Reviewers did note that it came without instructions though, so you may need to read up online which button is for which function, but on the whole those who tested the air fryer found it was simple to use and operate.

Overall, this is a great affordable pick and one of the best air fryers for smaller families. It's efficient, lightweight, and still provides great results after a little trial and error initially. And, while we were disappointed to learn it didn't have dishwasher-safe parts, it is fairly easy to clean, so this shouldn't be too much of an issue.

4. Best overall dual-draw air fryer: Ninja Foodi Max Dual Zone Air Fryer AF400UK

Price on writing: £199 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 5/5

Key specs

Style: Basket | Capacity: 9.5L |  Size: H32.5, W41.5, D27cm | Cooking modes: Max crisp, air fry, roast, bake, reheat, dehydrate | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes | Wattage: 2470W

What we like

  • Two independent cooking zones so you can cook using different programmes simultaneously

  • Capacity big enough for eight people

  • Reduces cooking time

  • High quality

What we don't like

  • Pricey

  • Substantial size

  • High wattage so will be more expensive to run than smaller air fryers

What Mumsnet users say

"It's amazing. You can roast veggies in it to put in soups, it cooks, bakes, reheats, has max crisp (frozen stuff cooked to perfection in 10 mins). It also has a dehydrate function. My husband isn't veggie and one of the drawers is his but we can cook his meal and any of my sides to finish cooking at the same time. It doesn't heat the kitchen up so it uses less energy. I love mine." (Endorsed by Mumsnet user HuffleWoof)

"Can also recommend Ninja AF400 dual. Had it over a year and no issues, gets used about three times a week too." (Recommended by Mumsnet user heidihigh)

Our verdict

Though it comes with a significant price tag, you'd be hard pressed to find a Mumsnet air fryer thread which doesn't mention the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer. The best air fryer for versatility on our list, it makes cooking for a range of dietary requirements a doddle with its two separate cooking zones. These can be used simultaneously on different modes to help prepare your family’s meals of choice.

It has six impressive cooking modes and is large enough to cater for up to eight people, so you can either dish up a family-sized feast to be devoured immediately or make dinner with enough left for your lunch box the next day.

Claiming to cook up to 75% faster than using a normal frying pan, the Ninja allows you to spend less time cooking and more time enjoying your meal, not to mention the significant savings made on energy costs. It's a little on the bulky size, but that's to be expected given the capacity and dual-drawer feature, and reviewers agree you can't go wrong with this exceptional air fryer. Be warned though - Ninja air fryers are selling incredibly fast at the moment!

Read next: Upgrade your breakfast fayre with our guide to the best bread maker, as rated by real Mumsnet users

5. Best affordable dual-draw air fryer: Instant Vortex Plus Dual Basket with ClearCook

Price on writing: £134 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 5/5

Key specs

Style: Basket | Capacity: 7.6L |  Size: 38.4D x 31.7W x 40.3H centimetres | Cooking modes: Air fry, roast, grill, bake, reheat and dehydrate | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes | Wattage: 1700W

What we like

  • Cooks up to eight portions

  • SyncFinish mode allows both sets of food to be ready at the same time

  • Viewing window to check on food

What we don't like

  • Limited instructions

  • Takes up a lot of space

What Mumsnet users say

"I’ve got an Instant Pot Vortex, I love it. I originally bought a cheap Tefal one from Amazon to try and found I was using it more than I expected to. One of the reasons I like the Vortex is because it has a large capacity. I use it more than I use the main oven." (Vetted by Mumsnet user MadisonAvenue)

Our verdict

If you like the look of the Ninja, but your budget doesn't quite stretch that far, the Instant Vortex is an option that comes in £70 cheaper than the Ninja's RRP. It has a slightly smaller capacity, but can cook up to eight portions, so it's still a good choice for large families. The results it provides are fantastic - reviewers loved how it worked its magic on chicken, salmon, chips, jacket potatoes and pizza.

The beauty of a dual-draw air fryer is the ability to cook two different things at once and this device excels at that; it even has a SyncFinish mode so you can ensure both sets of food are ready at the same time, even if they have a different cooking time.

We also love the design. It's sleek and modern with a digital display, and you can see your food through the viewing window to ensure it doesn't overcook. The instructions are fairly limited however, so it may take some time getting used to it and a bit of trial and error if you're an air frying novice.

Plus, for more Instant Pot gadgets loved by Mumsnet users, don't miss our guide to the best multi-cooker.

6. Best family-sized air fryer: Philips Premium XXL Airfryer

Price on writing: £243 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 4.5/5

Key specs

Style: Basket | Capacity: 7.3L |  Size: 39.5D x 39.5W x 39.8H centimetres | Cooking modes: Fry, bake, grill and roast | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes | Wattage: 2225W

What we like

  • Features fat removal technology

  • Substantial capacity

  • Philips app has over 300 recipes

What we don't like

  • Pricey

  • Accessories come at an extra cost

  • Takes up a lot of room

What Mumsnet users say

"I have a Philips one. I love it and use it most days. My rule is, if you put it in your normal oven then you can put it in there (although size can be an issue). I do pies, chips, baked pots, crumble and loads more in it. It's quicker and more efficient. If you use your oven a lot then I can't think of a reason not to get one. (Vetted by Mumsnet user Thereshegoesagain)

"The best thing about the air fryer is that it is low energy, high heat and no oil. We use it for BBQ skewered anything, homemade oat biscuits, pitta bread from scratch, pizzas from scratch, tear and share bread from scratch, dough balls from scratch, panko breaded anything, chips (and cheese) sausages, goujons, burgers, quesadillas (flat bread cooks up well) etc." (Recommended by Mumsnet user BobbyGentry)

Our verdict

Philips developed the very first air fryer using their revolutionary Rapid Air Technology back in 2010, and have gone on to produce some of the world’s bestselling air fryers. It’s fair to say that their products get a lot of love on our forums.

This particular model – the Philips Premium Collection XXL AirFryer – is one of the most expensive air fryers on our list. But it’s roomy enough to cook a whole chicken or 1.4kg of fries, enough for a family of four or five.

Air frying is already much healthier than using a deep fat fryer, but this smart device goes one step further and actually uses fat removal technology while it cooks. Clever, huh? You can also download the Philips NutriU app for hundreds of air fryer tips and recipes too. One drawback is that you don’t get any accessories such as skewers or a grill pan included so you’d have to buy those separately, something to factor into the cost.

7. Best air fryer for small households: Lakeland Digital Compact Air Fryer

Price on writing: £65 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 4/5

Key specs

Style: Basket | Capacity: 1.6L (up to 450g chips) |  Size: ‎25 x 18 x 30cm | Cooking modes: Poultry, steak or meat, bakes, fresh fries and veg, frozen fries and veg | Dishwasher-safe parts: No | Wattage: 1200W

What we like

  • Ideal if you're cooking for one or two

  • Slim design

  • Budget-friendly price

What we don't like

  • Not suitable for big families

  • Quite basic

  • Instructions aren't great

Our verdict

If you're mainly cooking for just two people (or one with the aim of having enough for lunch in your bento box the next day) and want something slim and compact to neatly fit into your kitchen, the Lakeland Air Fryer is a good choice. Admittedly, it's a fairly basic model, but this is reflected in the price - you can pick it up for under £100 and still get change back.

The results are great - think crispy chips, chicken, hash browns, and jacket potatoes - but some users were a little disappointed with the instructions, finding them inadequate and lacking recipe inspiration. Those that persevered were more than happy with the food it cooked, however.

A few users did find it too small, but we think the beauty of this machine is its compactness - it's ideal for small households who don't want a bulky gadget taking over their kitchen.

8. Best multi-tasking air fryer: Ninja Foodi MAX Health Grill and Air Fryer

Price on writing: £219 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 4.5/5

Key specs

Style: Health grill with air fryer | Capacity: 3.8L |  Size: 270 x 390 x 410 mm (H x W x D) | Cooking modes: Air fry, bake, roast, reheat, dehydrate and grill | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes | Wattage: 2460W

What we like

  • Multi-use functionality

  • Smart Cook System lets you know when food is cooked to your specification

  • Up to 75% less fat than traditional cooking

What we don't like

  • Expensive

  • Some reviews say grill plate is fiddly to clean

What Mumsnet users say

"I had stayed faithful to the large Philips for years, but I loved the look of the Ninja Duo and just about bought it… until a week ago I got the Ninja Foodi Grill and Air Fryer AG551UK. It is RIDICULOUSLY easy to clean and I’d never look back at a drawer air fryer again. No way. It’s quite big, but I can certainly fit more food in it, and the temperature gauge thing is really clever!" (Recommended by Mumsnet user Sims400)

"The Ninja Foodi is worth every penny and will save you money cooking. For example, my gas fan oven will take 20 minutes to cook after warming up, my Ninja does it in nine minutes." (Vetted by Mumsnet user OldTinHat)

Our verdict

Slightly different in looks to the other types of air fryer on the list, the Foodi MAX Health Grill and Air Fryer is an impressive gadget that offers users the ability to roast, bake, reheat, grill and dehydrate as well as air fry in one neat package.

Although, like the Ninja Foodi MAX Dual Zone Air Fryer, the AG551 comes with a significant price tag, it uses up to 75% less fat than traditional cooking methods and, according to reviewers, is far quicker and cheaper than oven use in the long run. The Smart Cook System also boasts a leave-in digital cooking probe which lets you choose how well done you'd like your fish or steak, and will alert you when it's cooked.

While it's fairly large and will take up quite a bit of space on your countertops, it feels robust and good quality. It also comes with 3.8L cooking pot, crisper basket and a grill plate as well as its own cleaning brush. Several parts are dishwasher-safe too.

Read next: For more healthy grill options, don't miss our guide to the best George Foreman grill for families

9. Best large capacity air fryer for affordability: Gourmia 6487 Digital Air Fryer

Price on writing: £66 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 4.5/5

Key specs

Style: Basket | Capacity: 6.6L |  Size: ‎35.56 x 27.94 x 38.35 cm | Cooking modes: Air fry, bake, dehydrate, plus more | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes | Wattage: 1500W

What we like

  • Preheat and turn food reminders

  • 10 pre-set cooking modes

  • Excellent value

  • Large capacity for the price

What we don't like

  • Some reviewers reported issues with the non-stick surface

  • A few had customer service issues

What Mumsnet users say

"The standout best I've ever had is the Gourmia air fryer... It produces amazing results every time. Fab for roasting veg as side dish or for soups etc." (Recommended by Mumsnet user Elasmotherium)

"Another one who's just bought the Gourmia air fryer... We've had it a week and cooked gratin potatoes, hash browns, bacon, pizza, spare ribs, spring rolls... All turned out well, but realised that things take about a third less time in the air fryer than in the oven. And it heats to cooking temperature really quickly." (Brand tried and tested by Mumsnet user Crowdfundingforcake)

Our verdict

Another firm favourite brand on the Mumsnet boards, Gourmia is recommended time and time again for its reliable results teamed with a more affordable price tag than the likes of Ninja and Philips.

With 10 pre-set functions, the Gourmia features optional pre-heat and turn food reminders, as well as coming with accessories including a food rack and crisper tray.  A dishwasher-safe basket also scores the Gourmia highly for practicality, making it "super easy to clean".

The downside? It's fairly big and bulky, which is to be expected for the capacity, and while most users loved the air fryer and the food it cooked, a small number did have issues with customer service and the warranty in the UK.

10. Best rotisserie air fryer: Breville Halo Rotisserie Air Fryer

Price on writing: £105 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 4.5/5

Key specs

Style: Air fryer oven | Capacity: 10L |  Size: ‎‎32.5D x 35W x 36.3H | Cooking modes: Air fry, bake, rotisserie and dehydrate | Dishwasher-safe parts: Yes | Wattage: 2000W

What we like

  • Large capacity

  • Includes a rotating chip basket and three air flow racks

  • Good design with a viewing window and internal light

  • Easy to clean

What we don't like

  • Chip basket difficult to open when hot

  • Takes up a lot of space

What Mumsnet users say

"We have the Breville Halo Rotisserie, which doesn't have drawers, but has shelves like a normal oven, which can be replaced with the rotating basket for chips or the rotisserie setup for a whole chicken (and you can roast spuds in the drip tray under the chicken if you get your set up right). We feed four out of it easily, and the rotisserie-chicken-in-an-hour thing was brilliant in the summer." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername)

Our verdict

Slightly different to the models featured in our list so far, the Breville Halo may look closer in design to a mini version of your oven than the basket-style air fryers. Granted, you'll need space to house it, but with an impressive 10L capacity, this really is a fantastic option if you're feeding a larger family - you can even have a go at rotisserie chicken!

If air fryers are synonymous with any one food, it's chips. Luckily, the Breville comes equipped with a handy rotating chip basket and preset so you can rustle up some perfectly crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside chips every time. Some users did find it difficult to open the basket when hot though, so that's something to be aware of.

Those that have tried and tested this air fryer have also praised how easy it is to clean thanks to the dishwasher-safe parts and removable drip tray - a feature that will delight busy parents. We also like the internal light, it's a nice touch so you can check on how your food is doing easily. At 2000W, however, it will cost more to run than some smaller options, but we still think this is a good energy efficient choice due to the speedy cooking times.

Read next: The best recipe boxes for families, whatever your dietary requirements

11. Best air fryer for chicken: Tower Xpress Pro T17076 Air Fryer

Price on writing: £100 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 4.5/5

Key specs

Style: Air fryer oven | Capacity: 11L |  Size: ‎‎28 x 35 x 32 cm | Cooking modes: Air fry, bake, rotisserie, grill, dehydrate, plus more | Dishwasher-safe parts: Not specified | Wattage: 2000W

What we like

  • Large cooking capacity

  • Rotisserie mode for chicken

  • Easy to clean and use

  • Good value

What we don't like

  • Substantial size

What Mumsnet users say

"I couldn’t afford [a Ninja] so have a Tower one and it’s been brilliant. My oven broke for the third time and no way was I paying for another repair so the air fryer has completely replaced my oven!" (Brand recommended by Mumsnet user ThatsRoughBuddy)

Our verdict

The Tower T17076 11L Xpress Pro Air Fryer provides a massive 11 litres of cooking space – so rotisserie quality chicken is no problem. It cooks it 30 per cent faster than a conventional oven and is capable of cooking a 1kg chicken in 40 minutes. It also claims to save the user up to 50 per cent on energy bills. You get lots of extras with this air fryer too, including an oil-drip tray, rotisserie fork and handle, and three mesh air-flow racks.

The ten functions provided include air fryer, rotisserie, dehydrator, baking and roasting. It features Vortex Frying Technology, which means you only need a tiny amount of oil because the hot air circulates evenly around the cooker. There’s an easy-to-use touch-screen digital control and eight auto-cook programmes so you can also prepare steak, fish and dried fruit.

An upgrade to Tower's former T17039 model, the T17076 comes with an additional reversible grill plate as well as kebab wheel, pizza and steak plate and multi-function rack. There’s even a viewing window so you can watch your chicken roasting to perfection. The main downside, however, is the size - you will need sufficient space in your kitchen to store and use it.

How do air fryers work?

An air fryer cooks food by heating air up to around 200°C and circulating it around the inside of the appliance. It works a little like a fan oven in this respect and can be used to cook a range of foods, including some frozen foods.

Some air fryers allow you to rotisserie-cook entire chickens and also produce dried fruit and homemade yoghurt. The possibilities are endless.

Are air fryers energy efficient?

One of the benefits of using an air fryer is that they are typically more energy efficient than traditional cooking methods like using an oven. Jenny Tschiesche, a nutrition expert and author of the Air-Fryer Cookbook, attributes their recent surge in popularity to the cost of living crisis: "An air fryer can cook pretty much everything an oven can, albeit in a smaller capacity, but use far less energy."

Depending on the model and size of air fryer, they tend to have a lower wattage than ovens, and the speedier cooking times also help to cut energy use. To find out roughly how much your air fryer will cost to use, you can use the Sust-it energy calculator - you just need to input the wattage of the machine and the time you'll be using the air fryer for, though bear in mind that this is only an estimation and can vary on several factors.

Is air frying healthy?

Air fryers are a great alternative to deep fat fryers and pan frying, using substantially less oil and, as such, producing food that is far lower in fat than those cooked via traditional methods. Air frying is often quicker too, which can help preserve nutrients within the food.

Air frying means the food contains less trans fats, which are the type of fats linked with many serious health issues, including cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that food fried in an air fryer is still classed as fried food and that official advice from the NHS is to eat a healthy balanced diet, including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables, plenty of water and reduced amounts of sugar, fat and salt.

Are air fryers worth it?

Air fryers are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to conventional ovens, partially because with rising energy prices, the cost of running one can be a lot less.

Once considered mostly in terms of getting the best flavour out of 'beige' food, air fryers have exploded in popularity over the last few years as energy costs have risen, and are now viewed by countless households as the better alternative (in terms of cost as well as health) to conventional cooking methods.

"Air fryers are a very worthwhile investment. They are, in my mind, a necessary appliance if you're looking to save money," Jenny says.

What type of air fryers are there?

There are a number of different types of air fryers on the market, which tend to vary in terms of capacity, number of programmes and method of cooking.

  • Basket style: The traditional style air fryers come with a basket-style tray for cooking, ideal for cooking chips or quick and easy dinners. Some come with an auto paddle for turning, whereas others need to be manually turned to ensure an even, crisp coating.

  • Rotisserie style:  The ideal solution for a perfectly browned rotisserie chicken, these have a rotating feature to ensure an even finish.

  • Mini oven style: Tending to be slightly larger in size, this style of air fryer uses convection-style heating to cook food on flatter trays rather than deep baskets.

How much oil do I need to use in my air fryer?

The amount of oil you use in your air fryer may vary depending on the brand and what you are cooking, but as a general rule - surprisingly little! A few sprays or up to one tablespoon of oil should be sufficient for most dishes.

What can you cook in an air fryer?

Air fryers are a great tool for cooking a wide range of foods quickly and with little to no oil. They use hot air to crisp up foods, giving them a crispy texture similar to that of deep-frying, but without the added oil and fat. You can toss vegetables in a little bit of olive oil and seasoning - broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and courgette work particularly well in an air fryer.

For the more carnivorous amongst you, air fryers are also ideal for cooking meat. You can cook chicken wings, drumsticks, and even a whole chicken if your fryer is large enough (the Tower Xpress Pro T17076 Air Fryer is great for this). You can also cook beef, pork, and fish in an air fryer, making it a versatile tool for all your protein needs.

We asked Air-Fryer Cookbook author Jenny what are the best things families can cook in an air fryer: "Definitely starchy vegetables like potatoes. You can do any kind of fries, so at this point in time with all the food shortages we have going on, with any root vegetable that you can get your hands on, you can chop it up into fry shapes, stick it in water to wash off the excess starch, dry those off, pop them in some olive oil and salt, and stick them in the air fryer. Those sorts of things are great.

"Eggs are fantastic. Really simple - if you want to do soft boiled eggs, six minutes, 180°C, or hard boiled eggs, ten mins, 180°C. Let them sit for a minute, take the top off, or peel in the case of the latter. Also pretty much anything that you're going to cook in the oven, for example roasting a tray of vegetables, burgers, chicken kievs."

However, you shouldn't use air fryers for sauce-based dishes or popcorn.

How to convert recipes for an air fryer

As a general rule, you should reduce the cooking time by 20% and decrease the temperature by 25-30ºC. However, you will need to adjust the time and temperature based on the specific recipe and the size of your air fryer.

How to choose the best air fryer

There are a number of features to consider when you’re choosing an air fryer:

  • Pull-out tray – Some air fryers have a pull-out tray for slotting in food and these don’t generally allow you to check on your food during the cooking process, unless you actually pull out the tray.

  • Viewing window – Other air fryers have a wider bowl with a viewing window to allow you to check your food without disrupting the cooking process.

  • Stirring paddle – Some air fryers have a stirring paddle so that you don’t have to shake or stir your food during the cooking process to ensure an even fry, although the jury’s out on whether stirring paddles improve the finish or not. You can sometimes remove the stirring paddle if you’d rather not use it.

  • Rotating basket – This can be set to tilt for an even cook.

  • Digital control panel and timer – Most air fryers have these digital elements to make it easy to see how much time is left. Some have manual dials which can be slightly trickier to read.

  • Auto shut-off – This means that the air fryer will turn off when the food is ready. Some air fryers don’t have this function, so you need to listen to the timer beep to know when to turn it off.

  • Temperature controls – Some air fryers have this function while others don’t. It’s worth noting that temperature control doesn’t necessarily lead to better-tasting food. You may find that it’s enough to rely on the relevant ‘function’ buttons on your air fryer.

  • Smart controls – It’s an uncommon feature, but some air fryers have smart controls that can be controlled by your phone or tablet.

  • Grill function – Some air fryers have a grill function while others have a second cooking compartment so that you can cook your main (hello chicken wings!) and side dishes at the same time.

  • Size and capacity – Think about both of these things when choosing an air fryer. More compact models are ideal for couples or for making snacks such as plates of chips. Larger models can be capable of cooking entire meals for six people.

  • Budget – Price-wise, air fryers and multi cookers start from around £40 and can cost upwards of £300, depending on the size and spec you choose.

What is the best air fryer?

After careful consideration, our pick for the top spot is the Tefal ActiFry Genius XL 2-in-1 YV970840. With its large capacity, two-in-one technology, and automatic stirring, it produces consistently delicious results. It's also the best air fryer for chips too, in our opinion, which is no mean feat.

Where to find air fryers in stock and on sale

If you're looking for the best deals on air fryers, you're in luck as there's lots of great models on offer at the moment (including the popular Ninja Foodi Max Health Grill, which is currently down from £270 to £219). Here are the best places to shop for air fryers currently:

How we chose the best air fryer

We’ve thoroughly researched the best air fryers you can buy this year including tried-and-tested experiences from a wide range of reliable, trusted sources. Here are the features we focused on to carefully curate our shortlist.


A big selling point for most air fryer enthusiasts is their money-saving capabilities, but there's no point in making the initial investment on a machine that ends up gathering dust in the cupboard. We scrutinised the cost of each of our chosen air fryers to make sure they represented good value for money in the long run.

Food quality

We vetted trusted views from the Mumsnet community, getting feedback on the best air fryers they have personally used, reviewed and rated, focusing on how they found the quality of the results, especially when it came to popular air-fried favourites like chips, chicken and vegetables. We also made sure our recommendations were products that were tested and well received within the industry, by chefs and food experts.

Ease of use

When it comes to home and kitchen products, you want options that really do make your life easier. We scrutinised authentic consumer reviews to see how simple each model is to use, noting how clear the display is and how easy it is to operate. We also notes how easy each model was to clean.

About the author

Natasha Gregson is an Affiliate Content Editor at Mumsnet, overseeing lifestyle and home articles with a focus on product round-ups and reviews. With several years of editorial experience under her belt, she has written on many topics, including everything from beauty to parenting, fashion to health, but her true expertise is seeking out the best lifestyle advice and products to make life that little bit easier.

An avid foodie, she loves nothing more than trying new culinary creations in the kitchen, which often includes testing out and researching the latest time-saving gadgets for Mumsnet. She has also had work published in The i Paper, Stylist Magazine, Gransnet and Exposed Magazine.

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve investigated, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.

Read next: Best sandwich toasters to upgrade your work from home lunches