Best Air Fryers 2021: Instant Vortex, Ninja, Cosori and More Top Picks - Rolling Stone
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The Best Air Fryers for Making Tastier Versions of Your Favorite Foods

These countertop machines skip the extra oil to make delicious wings, veggies and more — and are just what your kitchen’s missing

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As far as kitchen products go, air fryers are some of the best countertop appliances you never knew you needed. A great air fryer can do more than just whip up a batch of fries without using a ton of oil. Our favorite models are more like little all-in-one kitchen appliances that can produce full meals in minutes with little effort. When you’re shopping for one, you want to look for something that’s large enough to feed your entire household, easy to use and, perhaps most importantly, easy to clean. Here’s everything you need to consider when buying a fryer, plus our favorites.

What Are the Best Air Fryers and Air Fryer Features?

Quart Size: Home air fryers can contain anywhere from 4 to 10 quarts. While smaller models are generally easier to store and maneuver, bigger fryers are more versatile. For example, a 4-quart fryer may not always be able to fit a whole chicken, which others can. Bigger fryers may also have room for multiple trays, so you can cook a main dish and a side at the same time.

Presets: The fryers on our list have a certain number of preprogrammed settings. Some have as many as 10 presets for specific dishes like chicken, shrimp, or fries, which means all you have to do is press a button to get the correct cook time and temperature.

Accessories: Accessories like rotisserie tools for perfectly brown rotisserie chicken, extra baskets and other tools can also improve the functionality of the appliance. We consider these nice to have, but not essential.

Ease of Use: In addition to features like automatic presets, elements like the display layout and user manual can make a fryer easier (or more difficult) to use. The ease-of-use category also includes maintenance requirements, including clean-up, as well as if parts of the gear are dishwasher-safe.

1. Cosori 5.8QT Electric Hot Oven Oilless Cooker

One of the best-designed air fryers you’ll find online, this Cosori fryer’s 5.8-quart square basket can fit a whole, 5- or 6-pound chicken. We also love that there are 11 presets for everything including steak, veggies, bread and even desserts. A convenient shake reminder gives you an alert when it’s time to shake the basket to move around the contents. Users say its basket is easy to clean in the dishwasher, as well as add or subtract time to the automatic settings when needed.

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2. Ninja Air Fryer

The Ninja air fryer doesn’t have an automatic button for any specific foods like our top pick, but it does have four different functions: air fry, roast, reheat and dehydrate. This means you can make fries, roast chicken and beef jerky all with the same machine, which still puts it at the top of the heap as far as versatility goes. Users like that it’s lightweight and easy to store, as well as the speed at which it preheats and cooks. It has a 4-quart capacity, and you can even load its basket and the rack in the dishwasher when you’re done frying.

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3. Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven 7 in 1 with Rotisserie

If you were to condense your entire kitchen into one device, you’d probably get something like the Instant air fryer — from the same brand that makes the Instant Pot. It has seven built-in smart programs, including baking, broiling and rotisserie, and it even comes with the rotisserie basket, spit and forks. It has a whopping 10-quart capacity, which allows you to cook on both trays at once, but does make it more cumbersome to store.

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4. GoWISE USA 1700-Watt 5.8-QT 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer

With an 8.5-quart capacity, this air fryer is definitely on the larger size, so it’s great for cooking larger items or large amounts of food. We like its eight cooking presets — fries, pork, chicken, steak, shrimp, cake, fish and pizza — as well as the start and stop button, which allows you to change time and temperature while it’s in use in case you made a mistake. Another user-friendly feature is the shake alarm, which reminds you to shake ingredients at five, 10 and 15 minutes.

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