THE best air fryers will completely change the way you cook.
These must-have gadgets will air fry, grill and bake with the process taking a fraction of the time compared to a conventional oven – so you're saving time as well as money.
And because it uses hot air to cook your food, you don't have to use as much oil, meaning the results are healthier too. Here's what you need to know.
What is an air fryer?
"An air fryer is similar to a mini oven that can take on almost anything you’d put in a conventional oven or deep-fat fryer," says Lara Brittain, kitchen and appliances expert at Currys.
They basically have a fan over a heating element that quickly circulates hot air around the cooking chamber.
Because it's such a small space, it heats up quicker than a conventional oven and stays warmer for longer so you don't use as much energy.
Meanwhile, your food is held in an air fryer basket, which has vents to allow this hot air to pass through and cook your food evenly.
Air fryers are best for things you want crisp up, and while you can't use them for batter, there are plenty of other uses.
Lara explained: "Air fryers have come a long way over the years and they’re not just for chips: you can bake, roast and even dehydrate ingredients too, depending on the model."
We tested some of the best air fryers on the market. Read on for our verdict.
Best family-sized air fryer: Philips XL Connected air fryer
- Philips XL Connected air fryer, £161 from Amazon – buy here
Pros: Alexa compatible, has recipes to choose from, large capacity, keep warm function, great design
Cons: not a lot
“Alexa, make me some chips” may sound like the stuff of dreams but with this smart Philips air fryer, the laziest couch potato can start cooking remotely.
Simply download the app, set the fry time and temperature, and let the XL Connected do the work.
We liked scrolling through recipes on our phone and prepping ingredients, then letting the machine get on with it, alerting us when dinner was ready.
This is a quiet air fryer, too, with intuitive controls and a mesh-style basket that is unusual in that it’s held in position when you pull it out to check on food. That’s really handy when it comes to serving up or turning things.
Nachos, fried chicken, fairy cakes, roast potatoes for Sunday lunch… we tried them all with great results.
The WiFi capabilities may seem like a bit of a gimmick, but in a busy household with a million things going on, the fryer's "turn" and "finish" alerts and keep warm function are the business.
It looks great too, and is going to be one that’s staying on our kitchen worktop until Alexa tells us it’s time to go on a diet.
Dimensions: 39.7 x 39.2 x 36.9cm, Capacity: 6.2L, Servings: 5, Function: air fry, bake, grill, roast, reheat, Power: 2000W
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