Need to know
- Our experts reviewed 21 air fryers and benchtop ovens from popular brands such as Philips, Kmart, Tefal and DeLonghi
- We tested cheaper models from about $50 up to premium air fryers costing almost $600
- We rate performance on key factors including how well they cook crumbed chicken, frozen chips, homemade fries and roast pork (among other foods), and how easy they are to use
It's the appliance everyone's talking about, with everyone from Oprah to hundreds of thousands of fans on social-media groups singing its praises.
Air fryers have gained popularity due to their reputation for being a convenient kitchen helper – great for small households, for cooking simple (or extravagant) dinners, and quick to heat up leftovers. Some fervent air-fryer fans even admit to owning two or three, and others claim they now no longer need to use their oven at all.
Some fervent air-fryer fans even admit to owning two or three, and others claim they now no longer need to use their oven at all
But with price tags ranging anywhere from $599 or more for a top-of-the-line Philips model to less than $60 for a Kmart version, it's worth considering how much you're prepared to pay to buy into the craze.
Our expert testers put 21 popular air fryers through their paces in our labs – and there are a few cheaper models costing less than $200 that get their tick of approval.
How we test air fryers
We conduct five cooking tests to assess each air fryer's performance. We give each model a score based on how well they cook frozen crumbed chicken and frozen chips. For those who want to use their fryer beyond frozen foods, we also score based on how well they cook roast pork, marinated chicken wings and freshly cut fries.
We also give each an "Ease of use' score, taking into account things such as how easy the controls are to use, how bulky the units are and how easy they are to clean.
How to pick the air fryer that's right for you
When buying an air fryer, CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair advises taking special note of the internal capacity and bulkiness of the model.
"Air fryers can't cook huge quantities of food at once, but they do come in different sizes, so choose a capacity that's right for your household," she says.
Air fryers can't cook huge quantities of food at once, but they do come in different sizes, so choose a capacity that's right for your householdFiona Mair, CHOICE kitchen expert
"And they do take up quite a lot of bench space. It would be more useful if you could keep it out permanently rather than storing it away in a cupboard, so before buying, ensure it's something that you're going to use regularly."
Do your research, whatever your budget
Our testing finds that models costing a few hundred dollars less than other brands still perform well. So even if you are spending at the lower end of the budget, it's worth taking a look at our air fryer reviews to find out the best and worst performers.
So, if the convenience of an air fryer appeals, but you don't want to part with a lot of cash, check out these three options that represent the best for the least. We've rounded up three air fryer models that our experts recommend, all costing under $200.
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Three recommended air fryers for less than $200
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