AIR fryers can truly revolutionise your kitchen – and liven up your meal plans.
These nifty gadgets are small enough to sit on your kitchen counter but they are capable of turning out the crispiest of fried chicken and chips.
Even better, they can do this in a fraction of the time it takes in the oven and without using nearly as much oil as deep fat fryers, which could mean healthier and faster dinners.
The food goes in a tray or basket, ideally in a single layer, and then the machine gets to work.
A heating element provides the heat needed while a fan distributes this around the food, helping it to cook quickly and evenly.
Between the heat and the drying effect of the fan, the food will become crispy like it’s been fried – even though you’ve only used a tiny bit of oil in the cooking process.
Which is the best air fryer in UK?
Air fryers have been around for a decade now which means there are many more options to choose from to suit your kitchen and budget.
We’ve reviewed a few Ninja Foodi air fryers and have been impressed with the results, although any of the air fryers below would be a good option.
We’ve rounded up the best air fryers based on reviews and expert opinions below.
1. We’ve tested: Ninja Air Fryer Max
- Ninja Air Fryer Max, £129 at Amazon – buy here
We gave the Ninja Air Fryer Max a go, and found it made cooking chips a breeze.
It’s simple to set up and to use, and required minimal input from us to create perfect, crispy fries.
While this model is towards the upper end of the price range for air fryers, it boasts more features and functions than some cheaper models.
Plus it also functions as a dehydrator if you wanted to make dried food snacks or jerky.
As an added bonus, its parts are dishwasher-safe to cut down on your cleaning.
Read our full Ninja Air Fryer Max review here.
2. We tested: Ninja Foodi mini multi-cooker
- Ninja Foodi mini multi-cooker, for £149 from Ninja Foodi – buy here
Ninja’s Foodi mini multi-cooker is a 6-in-1 machine that can pressure cook, air fry, slow cook, steam, sear, sauté, bake and roast.
The mini version is the smallest of the Ninja range, with capacity to cook 4.7l of food.
But if you have space in your kitchen, the max version, which has a 7.5l capacity, can do even more. As well as the previous six, it can also grill, dehydrate food and even make yoghurt.
We found the mini easy to use and loved that it saved time and space in our small flat – as well as making deliciously crunchy roast potatoes too.
Read our full review of the Ninja Foodi Mini Multicooker here.
3. Best high tech air fryer: Tefals ActiFry Genius XL AH960840
- Tefal ActiFry Genius XL AH960840, for £199.99 from Very – buy here
Kitchenware-giant Tefal are probably the best-known makers of air fryers – and for good reason.
This model has a stirring paddle and Dual Motion technology, which basically means it circulates hot air around the bowl, while continuously stirring the food.
It has nine automatic cooking programmes and two ‘1-meal-in-1-go’ settings so you can cook all your ingredients at once.
A super-handy addition is Tefal’s free MyActiFry App, with over 300 recipe suggestions – 150 of which have been created specifically for this Genius model.
4. Best easy-to-use air fryer: Power 3.2-litre Air Fryer XL
- Power Air Fryer XL, for £64.99 from Currys – buy here
Not too big and not too small, this is a pretty good gateway air fryer – and at under £100, it’s a great price.
It has seven programmes for super-easy cooking, or you can manually adjust the timer and temperature settings on the digital controls.
There’s also an automatic shut-off feature to prevent overcooking or burning; as well as non-stk, dishwasher-safe parts and a recipe booklet.
5. Best looking air fryer: Morphy Richards Health Fryer 3L
- Morphy Richards Health Fryer, for £119.99 from Amazon – buy here
We think this is one of the best-looking air fryers out there, so if easy-on-the-eye gadgets for your kitchen best are your thing, this one’s for you.
It has a 3-litre capacity, eight programmes and a digital touch-screen display, but you have to do your own stirring with this one.
However, it does have the benefit of being nice and compact – ideal if you have limited worktop or cupboard space.
6. Best large air fryer: Daewoo 12l rotisserie air fryer oven
- Daewoo rotisserie air fryer oven, for £99.99 from Amazon – buy here
For the ultimate air fryer, look no further than this rotisserie model from Daewoo – it will allow you to cook a perfect rotisserie chicken inside.
And thanks to its special attachments and rotating function, there’s no need to need to toss chips to get them evenly crispy on all sides.
With enough room to cook a meal for a family, it’s a great alternative to a conventional oven at under £100.
7. Best small air fryer: Lakeland digital compact air fryer
- Lakeland digital compact air fryer, for £64.99 from Lakeland – buy here
For small kitchens, try this one from Lakeland. It measures just 25cm at its widest point but still has enough room to cook for two.
There are five pre-set functions – poultry, steak or meat, bakes, fresh fries and veg, frozen fries and veg – to get you started but you can also go manual.
Oh, and it’s been certified by Quiet Mark, which means it won’t make any annoying noises.
8. Best expensive air fryer: Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 Air Fryer
- Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1, for £199 from Amazon – buy here
Imagine being able to cook the entire meal at the same time in one appliance.
Cut those calories with little or no oil by searing succulent steaks, chicken or kebabs in the tray while cooking roast potatoes, fried rice or vegetable couscous in the bowl in one pop.
Or you can cook two different recipes or remove the tray for one-pot wonders like stews.
There are nine automatic cooking programs and over 300 recipes on the free My ACTi Fry app.
Planning on hosting a large dinner party? This 1.7kg capacity health fryer cooks 30 per cent faster and can even feed up to eight people in a hurry.
9. Best budget air fryer: Tower T17023 compact air fryer
- Tower T17023 compact air fryer, for £49.99 from Argos – buy here
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option with rave reviews, look no further than this one from Tower.
Its compact design is great for small kitchens, but it still has enough room to cook cracking chips for two.
The added bonus is that it has a removable cooking tray, which makes loading and unloading food – as well as washing up – so much easier.
What can you cook in an air fryer?
Because air fryers work more like an oven, the types of food that would work best are the ones that you would typically cook in an oven.
Things like chips and onion rings would be perfect for an air fryer, for example, but you can also cook burgers and fillets of fish.
You can also use it to make desserts and snacks, like doughnuts and cookies.
There are lots of recipe books you can turn to but it can be just as fun to experiment.
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