Decoder analyzed more than 51,011 reviews to find which air fryers under $125 are loved by shoppers, and which ones standout based on the following important qualities:
- Ease of Use
- Ease of Cleaning
- Temperature Range
Read more about what factors to consider when shopping for air fryers in our buyer's guide.
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The Ultrean Air Fryer uses 360-degree rapid air frying technology to cook food with less or no oil, for healthier meals. It has a multifunctional design that can fry, roast, grill, and bake, and comes with a bonus recipe cookbook. With a capacity to cook for 6-8 people, it has 7 cooking presets and is easy to use.
Rank based on 3,115 reviews
The Ultrean air fryer uses advanced 360° Rapid Air Circulation Technology to cook food with up to 85% less fat. With 10 preset cooking modes and adjustable time and temperature settings, it is easy to use and clean. The contemporary design with a matte finish top and 5.8 quart capacity makes it a great addition to any kitchen.
Rank based on 2,684 reviews
This air fryer is perfect for those who want perfectly cooked food with great flavor. It is easy to use and clean, with a variety of functions. You can cook a wide variety of foods in it, and it heats up quickly. The noise level is generally acceptable.
Rank based on 431 reviews
Oct. 4, 20222 3:02 p.m. PT
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Discovering the Perfect Air Fryer
Air fryers can be overwhelming to shop for, with so many options available online. That's why we've spent hours analyzing consumer and expert opinions to determine the key factors that make a great air fryer stand out. This guide will help you make an informed decision and find the perfect air fryer for your needs.
CapacityOne of the first things to consider when shopping for an air fryer is the capacity. Air fryers come in a range of sizes, from small personal-sized models to larger ones that can feed a family. The size you choose will depend on a few factors, including the number of people in your household and how often you plan to use the air fryer.
Factors to consider
- Size of your household: If you live alone or with just one other person, a smaller air fryer with a capacity of 2-3 quarts may be sufficient. For households with 2-4 people, a medium-sized air fryer with a capacity of 4-5 quarts will likely be the best option. Larger households of 5 or more people may want to consider a large air fryer with a capacity of 6 quarts or more.
- Frequency of use: If you plan to use your air fryer often, a larger capacity may be beneficial. This will allow you to cook larger batches of food and save time by not having to cook in multiple batches. On the other hand, if you only plan to use your air fryer occasionally, a smaller capacity may be more practical.
Recommended sizes for different household sizes
- For 1 to 2 people, you'll want a capacity of 2-3 quarts: Ultrean 4.2 Quart Air Fryer
- For 2 to 4 people, you'll want a capacity of 4-5 quarts: Cosori Max XL
- For 5 or more people, you'll want at least 6 quarts: Ninja Foodi XL 2-Basket Air Fryer
Ease of cleaningAnother important factor to consider when shopping for an air fryer is ease of cleaning. Air fryers can be messy to clean, with hot oil and bits of food getting stuck in the basket and other parts of the appliance. To make cleaning easier, look for air fryers with features like dishwasher-safe parts and non-stick surfaces. Both easy to use and clean, the Cosori Max XL is our top pick.
Features to look for
- Dishwasher-safe parts: Many air fryers have baskets and other parts that are dishwasher-safe, making clean-up a breeze. This is especially useful for the parts that come into contact with food, as they can be difficult to clean by hand.
- Non-stick surfaces: Air fryers with non-stick surfaces are easier to clean, as food won't stick to the basket or other parts of the appliance. This can save time and effort when it comes to cleaning.
- Detachable parts: Some air fryers have detachable parts, like the basket and control panel, which can be easily removed for cleaning. This can make cleaning easier, as you can access all the nooks and crannies of the appliance.
Tips for maintaining cleanliness
- Clean your air fryer regularly: To keep your air fryer in good working condition, it's important to clean it regularly. This will prevent food from building up and will help your air fryer last longer.
- Use cooking spray: To prevent food from sticking to the basket and other parts of the air fryer, use cooking spray before cooking. This will help make clean-up easier and will improve the overall performance of the appliance.
- Use a soft brush to clean the basket: To clean the basket, use a soft brush or sponge to gently scrub away any food debris. Avoid using abrasive sponges or scouring pads, as these can damage the non-stick coating.
Ease of useIn addition to capacity and ease of cleaning, it's also important to consider the ease of use when shopping for an air fryer. Air fryers can vary in terms of controls, settings, and included accessories, so it's important to choose one that is easy to use and has the features you need.
Controls and settings
- Digital vs. manual: Air fryers can have either digital or manual controls. Digital controls are generally easier to use, as they allow you to set the temperature and cooking time with the press of a button. Manual controls can be more difficult to use, as you have to manually set the temperature and timer.
- Preset cooking programs: Some air fryers come with preset cooking programs, which allow you to cook common foods like chicken, fries, and fish without having to set the temperature and cooking time manually. This can make cooking easier, as you don't have to guess at the right settings.
Included accessories and cooking guides
- Included accessories: Many air fryers come with accessories, like a cooking rack, skewer set, or recipe book. These accessories can expand the capabilities of your air fryer and make cooking more fun and enjoyable. Look for air fryers that come with the accessories you need.
- Cooking guides: Some air fryers come with cooking guides that provide tips and recipes for using the appliance. This can be helpful for those who are new to air frying and want to learn more about the cooking techniques and methods.
FlavorOne of the benefits of using an air fryer is the flavor it produces. Air fryers can cook and crisp up foods in a way that is similar to traditional deep-frying, but with less oil and fat. To get the most flavor out of your air fryer, consider the cooking methods and techniques you use. The Ultrean 5.8 Quart Air Fryer is recommended for its consistent ability to air fry to perfection.
Cooking methods and techniques
- Preheat: To get the best results from your air fryer, it's important to preheat the appliance before cooking. This will ensure that the food cooks evenly and will help it achieve the desired crispness.
- Use oil: While air fryers use less oil than traditional deep-frying, they still require a small amount of oil to produce the best flavor. Use a light oil, like canola or vegetable oil, and spray it onto the food before cooking. This will help the food crisp up and will add flavor.
- Season well: To add flavor to your food, be sure to season it well before cooking. Use a mix of herbs, spices, and other seasonings to give your food a boost of flavor.
Tips for maintaining flavor
- Don't overcrowd the basket: To ensure that your food cooks evenly and achieves the desired crispness, don't overcrowd the basket. This will allow the hot air to circulate around the food and will prevent it from steaming instead of frying.
- Flip and shake the food: To ensure even cooking and to maintain flavor, flip and shake the food halfway through the cooking time. This will help the food cook evenly and will prevent it from burning or drying out.
- Experiment with different flavors: To keep things interesting, experiment with different flavors and seasonings. Try marinating your food in a flavorful sauce, or adding herbs and spices to the cooking oil. This will add depth and complexity to the flavor of your food.
Temperature rangeThe temperature range of an air fryer is another important factor to consider when shopping for one. Air fryers use hot air to cook and crisp up food, and the temperature range determines the types of foods that can be cooked. To get the most out of your air fryer, look for one with a wide temperature range that can accommodate a variety of foods.
Importance of temperature control
- Cooking different foods: Different foods require different cooking temperatures to achieve the desired results. A wide temperature range will allow you to cook a variety of foods in your air fryer.
- Cooking times: The temperature of the air fryer will also affect the cooking time. Higher temperatures will cook food faster, while lower temperatures may require longer cooking times. This is something to consider when planning your meals.