How to choose the best air fryer?
There are plenty of air fryers on the market today you can find them at big box retailers such as Walmart, target, Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond or online at amazon, wayfair, overstock and many others. When it comes to choosing an air fryer to buy you want the best air fryer that will work for your lifestyle and family. Air Fryers come in different capacities, shapes, sizes, some have digital displays some come with traditional mechanical knobs, some have more features than others, different price points and there are so many choices, so how do you choose the best air fryer? We decided to help you tackle this challenge today, we put together a comprehensive guide showing the best features of a variety of models, the different pros and cons for each as well as some feedback from real people who purchased air fryers showcasing what they love, hate and what they wish they had known before taking the plunge of buying an air fryer.
1 – When Choosing the Best Air Fryer size is important
Air fryers come in all different capacities from as little as 1.5 quart size up to 10 quarts that can cook a whole turkey and every size in between. We recommend you take some time thinking about the average meals you have cooked over the last couple of weeks and how many people you are preparing meals for that’s probably the best gauge to help you determine the perfect capacity air fryer that will fit your lifestyle and keep your family happily fed with delicious air fried meals. If you are only cooking for yourself a 1.5 to 2.5 quart size air fryer should be plenty. If you are cooking meals for 2 people a 3.5 to 4 quart size air fryer should be sufficient. 4 people or more then 5 quart to 6 quart will do the trick. If you want to cook meals for a large family with 6 plus people, then an 8 to 10 quart air fryer might be what you are looking for.
What Size Air Fryer Do I Need?
2 Quart or 3 Quart
- One or two people for a quick meal with no left overs
- Small apartment or college dorm room where space is tight
- Portability for taking on trips in an RV, Camper or for an on the road trucker
- as a second air fryer to cook side dishes while main dishes are being cooked in the larger air fryer
- Takes up less kitchen counter space
Not so great because:
- will not be sufficient for cooking meals for 3 or more people, not family friendly
- Not much cheaper than a larger size air fryer, not as good of a value
- Families of 4 or 5 or for smaller families that want left overs for later - this is a popular size for most air fryer users
- Large enough to cook for a family without taking too much counter top space
- High wattage and strong heating element for the size
- Versitile and meets most peoples needs
Not so great because:
- Not as travel friendly as a 2 or 3 quart due to its larger size but still capable of use in a larger RV or camper
- Will not fit a whole turkey
- Large families of 6+
- Large capacity can fit a lot of food at once, some are capable of cooking a whole turkey
- Some have a rotisserie function
Not so great because:
- Very large and takes up a lot of counter top space
- Does not have a basket, only comes in drawer format
- Uses a lot of electricity and generates a lot of excess heat (not great in the summer)
- Takes longer to reach operating temperature
2- Shape of your air fryer
There are a few styles of air fryers out there, some are egg shaped, some are square, others look like an oven with a swing door and you place food directly on to shelves. The egg and square shaped air fryers are the most popular due to their light weight, large capacity and easy to clean removable basket. The small foot print of the egg and square shaped air fryers make them ideal for use in apartments, homes, or even in an RV due to their light weight and portability.
The removable basket makes things easier when it comes to cleaning, wipe down the basket with a damp soapy microfiber towel and toss the basket in your dishwasher for quick and easy cleaning.
Larger sized oven style air fryers (10 Quart+) with the swing doors have a much much larger capacity so you can cook bigger meals for bigger families but the size makes it much harder to move, the oven style air fryers are much heavier so they are definitely not portable. The size makes it a challenge to use in apartments or RV’s but they will work fine in large home with larger sized kitchen’s as counter space usually is not an issue. The oven style air fryers, while they have some draw backs, also have advantages as you can fit multiple dishes in it with their double rack design.
3- Ease of cleaning
As noted above the most popular air fryers are the egg shaped or square shaped ones for a variety of reasons, one main one being the ease of cleaning. Most of the egg shaped and square shaped air fryers have a removable basket that can be rinsed in a sink with dish washing soap and wiped down with a damp microfiber towel. Some of the removable baskets are also dishwasher safe making cleaning a breeze, just place the basket and crisper tray in the dishwasher, set it and forget it.
Larger oven style air fryers are not as easy to clean as you have to clean the inside of the oven manually. This is tedious and time consuming because air fryers cannot be cleaned with oven cleaner spray as it will damage the non stick coating inside. You would have to take the heating racks out and clean individually then using soap and a damp microfiber towel wipe down the interior surfaces while keeping water and soap away from the heating element and fan, not fun. That’s definitely something to keep in mind when choosing an air fryer.
4- The best air fryers are easy to use
When choosing the best air fryer ease of use is a big deciding factor for many people. No one wants to buy an air fryer that requires a lot of tinkering and learning to understand how to use it. The best air fryers are intuitive to the user and easy to use with a few touches of a button.
Mechanical Air Fryers
Air fryers generally come with two types of controls, mechanical knobs and capacitive lcd displays. The Air Fryers with mechanical knobs have two knobs, one for time and one for temperature similar to a conventional toaster oven. The mechanical controls air fryers are usually cheaper due to the manufacturers eliminating the need for an LCD display and a touch micro controller, while you can realize the savings up front the cost of inconvenience is priceless.
The mechanical knobs are usually not very accurate and some times hard to precisely set, you thought you had it set for 18 minutes but accidentally twisted the knob to 25, there goes your perfectly cooked burgers and now you are eating shoe soles, yuck no one wants that.
Digital Air Fryers
Digital touch displays air fryers are the way to go in our opinion, they are truly a sound investment as they do cost a bit more than mechanical air fryers. Digital touch display air fryers makes it easier to precisely set cooking times and temperatures with clear display of how much time is left till you get to taste your delicious creations. Also with most digital touch display’s there is a variety of pre-sets that are optimized to cook steaks, fries, bacon and much more to the perfect temperature and crispiness, you won’t get that with the cheaper mechanical air fryers.
5- Price points
With all the different capacities, sizes, shapes, types of control comes a variety of prices of course. Price of an air fryer is highly dependent on all of these variables. Smaller mechanical knob air fryers in the 1.5 to 2 Quart size can be had for as low as $59.99, while the larger oven type 10 Quart air fryer ovens can cost as much as $200 - $300. The average air fryer, an egg shape or square shape air fryer between 4 to 6 quart capacity with the removable air fryer basket are between $80 to $150 depending on brand and features.
BONUS – Other Features
There are a few less well known features that most brands don’t talk about, but we took feedback from several air fryer users that gave us features they love and hate as well as things they would have considered if they had to purchase another air fryer in the future. One major dissatisfier that many air fryer owners complain about is the strong plastic smell and taste during the first couple of uses of a new air fryer. Many cheaper brands have this issue, and this issue is due to the manufacturer not taking special care to vent any toxic plastic fumes during the manufacturing process. Higher quality brands took note of this and worked with their factories to ensure that the plastics are properly heat cycled to release all the toxic fumes prior to packing the air fryer and selling it to consumers. When it comes to quality of build and warranty that is where strong research pays off. Read plenty of reviews on the air fryer you plan on buying to see what other customers are saying, get a good idea of the build quality before you buy, you don’t want to end up with a lemon of an air fryer from a un-reputable company that will not honor returns or exchanges if you have problems. We also recommend investing in an extended warranty, the price of the warranty compared to peace of mind is worth it.
Where can I find the best air fryer?
Uber Appliance offers one of the best air fryers on the market today, our Uber Air Fryer XL is perfect for any family with its roomy 5 quart basket you can air fry a whole chicken. The dishwasher safe basket and grease separator with non stick coating make cleaning a breeze just wipe it down with a damp soapy microfiber towel and toss it in the dish washer.
The Uber Air Fryer XL features an easy to use touch display for temperature and time setting with temperatures ranging from 150F to 400F, the digital display also has several pre-set cooking temperature and time to perfectly cook chicken, steak, fries, wings and so much more with a single press of a button. Every Uber Air Fryer XL Comes with a free recipe book so that you can explore tasty meals as soon as you get it with plenty more recipe’s on our site.
The Uber Air Fryer XL’s plastic is pre-vented from the factory which eliminates any plastic smell or taste in your foods from the first use. This is one of the biggest complaint from air fryer users and at Uber Appliance we listen to our customer’s feedback and strive to provide the best experience from the first use!
Last but not least buy from Uber Appliance with confidence, we guarantee the quality of our air fryers with our “love it or leave it” 30 day free returns and free exchanges warranty. Our Uber Air Fryer comes standard with a 1 year warranty against any manufacturers defects and we offer extended warranties for up to 2 years. We have been in business for the last 5 years and we have a reputation to protect which is why we place our customers first, our friendly Customer Service Rep Jennifer is available via email 24/7 to answer any questions you might have!