Whip up speedy, cost-effective meals with our favourite air fryers (2023)

Ninja Foodi dual zone air fryer

  • Best: An air fryer
  • Capacity: 7.6l combined
  • Dimensions: 31.5cm x 38cm x 26.5cm
  • Digital display?: Yes
  • Wattage: 2400W
  • Cooking presets: Max crisp, roast, bake, reheat, dehydrate air fry
  • Self-stirring? : No
  • Dishwasher safe? : Dishwasher safe parts

This might not be the smallest machine we tested, but it was certainly one of the cleverest. The standout feature is simple, but a kitchen game changer: the air fryer comes with two independent cooking zones so you can cook two foods, two ways, at the same time. We found this invaluable for rustling up entire meals, including fried chicken and chips in one go, but also when catering for different tastes within one household – when one child fancies spicy sweet potato fries but the other will only eat plain bog-standard chips, for instance.

It’s super simple to use, too, with a digital control panel, countdown timer and variable temperature controls you can tweak to make every meal perfect. The auto-adjust fan automatically changes speed based on the cooking function selected, while the sync feature guarantees each drawer is ready to serve at the same time. It’s particularly good at cooking food such as chicken nuggets from frozen, reaching a temperature of 240C for meals in minutes.

Roast, bake, dehydrate and reheat settings mean it can replace your oven for cooking almost anything, including left-over pizza, vegetable crisps and roasted meat – we made deliciously moist salmon fillet and roast potatoes in ours. Having two smaller compartments instead of one large one means you won’t be able to cook bigger items such as a whole roast chicken though. But if you have the (considerable) space on your worktop, you’ll use this sturdy, good-looking machine over and over again.

Read our review of the Ninja air fryer

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Lakeland digital compact air fryer

  • Best: Small households
  • Capacity: 1.6l
  • Dimensions: 25cm x 18cm x 30cm
  • Digital display?: Yes
  • Wattage: 1200W
  • Cooking presets: Poultry, steak or meat, bakes, fresh fries and veg, frozen fries and veg, manual option
  • Self-stirring? : No
  • Dishwasher safe? : The drawer and tray are dishwasher safe

This is a fantastic little machine for anyone with a smaller kitchen or those cooking for just one or two people. It’s far smaller than any other air fryer we tried and one of the quietest to operate. Its dinky footprint means you’ll only need to pull it out of the cupboard when it’s needed and it will save you heating a whole oven for every meal.

It cooks around 450g of chips in one go with just a teaspoon of oil, although frozen chips need none at all. There’s no need to even look at the instruction book to get it working and pre-set functions include ones for poultry, fresh fries or veg, and frozen fries and veg. Frozen foods such as chicken nuggets and sausage rolls came out a treat and there’s a pause button to stop cooking so you can check progress or give food a shake.

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Tower xpress pro combo 200W 11 litre 10-in-1 digital air fryer oven with rotisserie

  • Best: A multi-function machine
  • Capacity: 11l
  • Dimensions: 38.2cm x 32.4cm x 33.9cm
  • Digital display?: Yes
  • Wattage: 2000W
  • Cooking presets : Manual air fryer, rotisserie oven, dehydrator, baking, roasting, re-heat, and grilling
  • Self-stirring? : No
  • Dishwasher safe?: Dishwasher safe accessories

You’ll get way more than a new way of cooking chips with this machine, which is more like a table-top oven than an air fryer. With a whopping 11 litre capacity, this chunky appliance actually has 10 cooking functions, including grill, roast, toast, bake, grill and dehydrate.

It’s big enough to hold three separate trays of food, so it’s a doddle to cook potatoes or vegetables at the same time as a piece of meat or fish. We also loved the large clear glass door, which made it easy to peek at everything while cooking to make sure it turned out perfectly. It’s even big enough to squeeze in a pizza, which came out particularly well, with a crispy base and golden cheese on top. In fact, we soon found we were automatically heading straight to this do-everything machine instead of turning on our oven, as it’s much quicker to heat up and cook.

We were especially impressed by the rotisserie function, which can be used to make juicy kebabs better than any takeaway or cook a small chicken in less than an hour. It’s perfect for rustling up a midweek roast that tastes like you spent hours slaving over a hot oven.

Read the full Tower air fryer review

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Russell Hobbs express air fry mini oven

  • Best: Large households
  • Capacity: 12.6l
  • Dimensions : 45.1cm x 35.8cm x 30.5cm
  • Digital display?: No
  • Wattage: 1500W
  • Cooking presets: Grill, bake, toast, keep warm
  • Self-stirring? : No
  • Dishwasher safe?: No

If you’re always cooking for a full house, go straight to this machine. It looks more like a microwave than an air fryer, so you’ll need plenty of free worktop space – we also would have liked a longer cable so we had more choice about where it could go. Once you are plugged in, there’s very little this clever appliance can’t do, including grill, bake, toast and keep warm.

It preheats in a matter of moments (a godsend on a rushed weeknight) and fits in six slices of toast or a 12in pizza, which was cooked to perfection. You can even bake a cake in it. There’s plenty of space for a whole chicken and we loved the huge glass door that made it easy to keep an eye on dishes inside. This was also one of the few air fryers we tested without a digital display, but we found the chunky dials very intuitive to operate, so you’ll be rustling up golden chips for the whole family in no time.

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Ninja foodi max health grill and air fryer AG551UK

  • Best: Oven replacement
  • Capacity: 3.8l
  • Dimensions: 27cm x 39cm x 41cm
  • Digital display: Yes
  • Wattage: 2,460W
  • Cooking presets: Air fry, bake, roast, reheat, dehydrate and grill
  • Self-stirring?: No
  • Dishwasher safe?: The removable grill plate, griddle and crisper basket can be put through the dishwasher

You might never turn your oven on again once you’ve found a spot for this mighty machine on your worktop. It goes one step further than the average air fryer and includes a grill to cook everything from salmon steaks to sausages. It’s especially good at turning out the perfect steak, thanks to a built-in probe that determines the right time to cook the meat, whether you want it rare or well done.

Though it looks more like a mini pizza oven, the air-fryer function is excellent too, particularly at cooking frozen food to perfection. There’s a progress bar to monitor pre-heating and clear on-screen instructions when cooking, though, as with most air fryers, we did need to give the food a quick shake while cooking, to get the best results.

There are six cooking functions in total, including roast and bake, and we found it surprisingly successful at cooking a roast chicken and even baking a tray of chocolate-chip cookies. We loved the fact we didn’t have to heat the entire oven to cook these, so could hopefully cut down on our energy bills long-term too. Just be aware this machine is heavy at just over 10kg and fairly large, so you’ll need to have quite a bit of free space on your worktop to keep it out on display and get the best from it.

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Innoteck 12l kitchen pro 6-in-1 air fryer oven with rotisserie and dehydrator

  • Best: Roasting chicken
  • Capacity: 12l
  • Dimensions : 31cm x 32cm x 39cm
  • Digital display?: Yes
  • Wattage: 1800W
  • Cooking presets : Fries, fish, shrimp, steak, chicken, bake, rotisserie, dehydrate
  • Self-stirring? : No
  • Dishwasher safe? : Dishwasher safe accessories

Another mighty multi-tasking machine that does almost everything but decide what you want for dinner, this Innoteck mini oven is a worktop whopper you won’t fail to be impressed by. The controls were among the easiest to operate thanks to easy picture guides for every pre-set, a clear display and one-button dial operation.

Inside, there’s also a fantastic rotating basket that automatically turns food during cooking to ensure it’s cooked evenly. This meant the freshly made chips from this air fryer were cooked in no time and among the best we tasted – perfectly crispy outside but gorgeously fluffy inside. Frozen sausage rolls and, surprisingly, parsnips were also both winners, but the stand-out dish from this machine was a whole roast chicken. Though it does have to be quite small to fit inside, we used the ingenious rotisserie setting for restaurant-quality chicken that was on the table in under an hour.

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Swan retro air fryer

  • Best: Cleaning
  • Capacity: 6l
  • Dimensions : 35cm x 40cm x 30cm
  • Digital display?: No
  • Wattage: 1800W
  • Cooking presets : One manual air fryer setting
  • Is it self-stirring? : No
  • Is it dishwasher safe? : Dishwasher safe components

Keep things simple with this cool, Fifties-inspired air fryer. There’s just one dial to add time and one sliding control to set the temperature, so there’s no need to figure out any pre-set programmes or consult an instruction book. However, that does mean it took us a little longer to work out exactly how long certain foods took to cook in this air fryer and our first few attempts weren’t always successful.

Yet once we learnt exactly where to set the controls to make the perfect chips, we had no complaints. Fried chicken tasted particularly delicious while chips were uniformly golden and cooked well all the way through – we also liked the retro audible alert to let us know when everything was ready. Best of all, it’s a cinch to keep sparkling as there’s just one easily cleaned basket, which pulls out completely. It can’t go in the dishwasher but washes in no time and there are no sneaky corners or ridges for grease to gather in. A major thumbs up from us.

Although it’s currently out of stock, you can leave your email to be notified when it next becomes available.

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Tefal actifry genius XL 2in1 health air fryer

  • Best: Variety
  • Capacity: 1.7kg
  • Dimensions : 47.6cm x 32.8cm x 26.3cm
  • Digital display?: Yes
  • Wattage: 1500W
  • Cooking presets : 9 auto programmes
  • Self-stirring? : Yes
  • Dishwasher safe?: The lid, pan, paddle, tray, and ActiFry spoon are dishwasher safe

This Tefal air fryer looks unlike every other appliance we tried but also operates differently. It has an integrated central paddle to do all the stirring automatically, while excess fat doesn’t drain away but collects at the bottom. We found this made for some of the best chips we cooked in all our tests and we’d buy this pricey model for those alone. You won’t be stuck eating just chips either (although we’d have no complaints about that). The appliance comes with a useful book of 20 recipes, plus access to an app with hundreds more dishes, which is really helpful for getting the most out of this air fryer.

Unlike others, it can make food with sauce as a slow cooker would, so casseroles, stews and curries are all an option. It’s easy to cook more than one type of food at once, too, as there are two levels and up to 54 pre-set combinations that will tell you when to add the second ingredient so it’s all ready at the same time. It is large out on the worktop and on the noisy side while cooking, but a great choice for anyone desperate for new mealtime inspiration who wants fantastic-tasting food every time with minimal effort.

A final point worth noting: Tefal measures capacity in grams rather than litres like the others, but claims this serves eight people, although we’d say six was more accurate.

Read the full Tefal actifry review

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