It took me a long time to understand what the point of an air fryer really was. Couldn't I just bake something and get the same consistency?
My opinions took a total 180 when several years ago my mom made some delicious, homemade crispy fries. I was shocked when she told me she made them in her air fryer. Without a single drop of oil, they felt crispy and indulgent, unlike anything I have been able to achieve in an oven.
Since then, I've put nearly every solid food imaginable in the air fryer. My favorite way to use it is by throwing a handful of marinated veggies in it before stir-frying them and simmering them in a sauce. The vegetables stay crispy and continue to taste fresh for days after.
I'll use my parent's air fryer whenever I'm home visiting them (which has been a lot recently), but I look forward to sending them several links to some of the air fryers I've been eyeing to add to my own kitchen in the hopes of 2021 being the year I eat crispy, homemade french fries every single day.
Through my research, I found the best of the best for every situation. Whether you're a meat lover, enjoy a good indoor barbecue, or even want to bake desserts and dry fruit, these are the best air fryers out there, for every budget:
The compact size of this one makes it perfect for anyone like me with a tiny kitchen or who doesn't plan on cooking for a large number of people in it.
The best part is that according to the hundreds of five-star reviews, the small size doesn't cut short on how quickly and effectively it works.
One Target reviewer says it's "easy to operate with just a turn of the dial to adjust temperature and set time. Cleaning is a breeze! I love that you can air fry raw frozen chicken wings in under half an hour!"
Instant Pot 10 Quart Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven if you want to fry a full rotisserie chicken without risking second-degree oil burns.
For the person who wants to air fry a full rotisserie chicken, this one's for you. This is ideal for someone making larger quantities of food — according to the hundreds of five-star reviews, it's a meat lover's dream.
PowerXL Air Fryer Pro 6 Quart for the person who likes putting several sides together to make a meal.
For the tech-loving healthy chef, this is perfect. The many one-touch options make it easy to click on the chicken, fish, or even dessert or skewers logo without having to toy with any temperature or time settings on your own.
The different layers in this make it perfect if you want to air fry your meat, veggies, and even dessert (if fried Oreos are your thing) at the same time.
Ninja Foodi 9-in1 Pressure Cooker And Air Fryer for the person who KNOWS they can have it all.
If you're one of the many home chefs who have been considering upgrading the way you cook from home, this Ninja Foodi 9-in1 is ideal. If you want to make crispy vegetables and protein just as much as you love making stews, curries, and pasta, this one is perfect.
In this, you can bake, broil, fry, roast, and more. Plus, the dishwasher-safe parts make for easy clean-up unlike a lot of other air fryers that can get sticky and require heavy amounts of scrubbing with steel wool.
If you're getting this as a gift for your friend who loves throwing dinner parties, get the bigger 8-quart size — it's perfect if you're making larger amounts of food.
With thousands of five-star Amazon reviews, this one works great and is available in five fun colors: blue, red, white, green, and black. The small size is ideal for anyone cooking one or two portions of food, and the auto turn-off feature is ideal if you're just as forgetful as I am.
Amazon's favorite air fryer is a massive hit with anyone who hates cooking. With over 17,000 five-star reviews, this one is super easy to use.
The 11 presets ranging from standard vegetables and meat to even bread and desserts — it's a no-brainer for the person who calls cooking a total drag.
Most air fryers involve putting your food in, and blindly waiting till the timer dings. That's usually fine for me, but if you're perhaps too curious or impatient to see what's happening inside while you're cooking, the light and window on this is perfect.
Its extra functions mean you can make a rotisserie chicken in it, put some shelves in to cook three different things at once, or just make 10 quarts' worth of french fries.
If you plan on baking desserts and pizzas or making dried fruit, the long flat surface on this is perfect in its shape as a more traditional oven. The LED screen and many options on this one make it great for more seasoned chefs.
If your specific goal is just to air fry, this probably isn't for you. It's great if you want to crisp more unique items.
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