Best Air Fryers for 2022, and What to Avoid
Air Fryers have been picking up steam in recent years due to their health benefits and ability to cook up crispy dishes in less time. After COVID-19, air fryers became the new go-to kitchen appliance when waistbands stretched beyond what the pant designer intended and fried food delivery was typically delivered late and cold. We've reviewed the top Air Fryers for 2022 for different categories, the worst Air Fryers in 2022 to avoid, and some helpful tips on cooking with your new air fryer.
Thanks to their small size and purpose driven tech, Air Fryers are extreme version of a convection oven that utilizes circulating air rather than submerged oil. As you can imagine, clean-up is quick and easy compared to frying and the safety benefits tilt in the favor of air fryers as scolding hot oil in the kitchen can lead to catastrophe. While the traditional application of an Air Fryer is to create healthier french fries, chicken, and tater tots the more advanced air fryer models in 2022 are able to cook sweet dishes such as molten lava cakes, cinnamon sugar donuts, brownies, cinnamon rolls and savory dishes including air fried roasted vegetables, chicken wings, egg rolls, corn on the cob, chicken taquitos, pizza, salmon, crispy potatoes, mozzarella sticks and more. Consider your own use case and health goals as we take a look at the best air fryers for 2022.
- 6 customizable programs: Air Fry, Air Broil, Roast, Bake, Reheat, and Dehydrate
- 2 Baskets with DualZone Technology
- 105°F - 450°F Temperature Range
- Dishwasher-Safe non-stick baskets and crisper plates
- Dimensions 15.63 L x 13.86 W x 12.4" H
- 1-Year Limited Warranty
- Dual Zones with 2 4-Quart Baskets
- Can also broil, bake, roast, and dehydrate
- Smart Finish can stagger start times so both baskets will finish at the same time
- Each basket can be set with a different cooking function
- Matte grey finish looks sleek and smart in a sea of scratched stainless models
- Baskets are square and narrow making it difficult to use the full 4-quart capacity with some foods, but can fit ~ 3-4 medium potatoes per basket.
- Ninja's website and manual often overstate cooking times
- Requires more countertop real estate than some models
The Ninja Foodi is a very popular line of air fryers but the Foodi 6-in-1 (DZ201) is the only model that has dual zones allowing you to cook 2 different foods in the same machine using 2 different cooking methods. The sleek Matte Gray finish looks great compared to other models which are generally plastic or stainless steel. With the Foodi 6-in-1 DualZone, you'll have 6 cooking functions in your quiver: Air Fry, Air Broil, Roast, Bake, Reheat, and Dehydrate. This should cover quite a few recipes you may already be cooking in your oven with the benefit of decreased cook time, decreased dishes, and decreased fat & oil.
In addition to DualZones, arguably this Foodi's party trick is the Smart Finish feature. Smart Finish allows you cook 2 different foods on 2 different cook settings and have them complete at the same time. This is ideal for dishes that may have a component that takes significantly longer to cook than the other. For example, you might air fry Italian Chicken Legs for 50 minutes in one basket and Pesto Potatoes for 25 minutes
in the other basket but the potatoes will hold until the chicken legs are 25 minutes in. You can also change the cook setting for something like Chicken Fajitas with Spicy Potatoes
where the chicken is roasted and the potatoes are air fried.
The DualZone has the drawback of being larger and heavier than most air fryers, but if you have the space the convenience and practicality of knowing everything will be hot and ready once it's time to plate it up. You may need a few iterations with the Foodi 6-in-1 DualZone Air Fryer to get a handle on cooking times, when to pause and shake the baskets, and which foods work best on which setting. Some have reported that Ninja's cooking times are a bit overstated so rounding down might be the way to achieve your desired taste and texture. You can find the Air Fry Cooking Chart here
The Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 DualZone comes with a Quickstart Guide
that includes 15 recipes so you can hit the ground running. The recipes are fairly basic but cover some common and popular dishes:
- Air Fryer Donuts
- Jerk Rubbed Pork Loin with Carrots & Sage
- Chicken Fried Pork w/ Sweet Potato Fries
- Chili Cheese Dog Flatbreads w/ French Fries
- Chicken Tenders & Curly Fries
- Sweet Potato Sausage Hash
- Garlic Shrimp & Blistered Rosemary Tomatoes
- Maple Glazed Turkey Breasts & Green Bean Casserole
- Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms & Vegetable Medley
- Buffalo Tofu w/ Cheesy Ranch Broccoli
- Coconut-Lime Cod w/ Green Pepper Cauliflower Rice
- Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops w/ Quinoa
- Roasted Salmon & Parmesan Asparagus
- Tortellini Alfredo Bake & Roasted Garlic Broccoli
- Spicy Italian Sausage, Bell Pepper & Onion Subs
Overall, the Foodi 6-in-1 Air Fryer with DualZone Technology is a great air fryer for families and short order cooks. Not only does the Air Fryer work incredibly well, but the ability to have everything ready at the exact time will make even beginner cooks look like a pro.
While you can certainly pick up the Foodi 6-in-1 Air Fryer at Macy's for $223.99
, and Best Buy at $179.99
, but the real deal is direct from Ninja at $159.99
. Currently they have a $20 off coupon code: enter SAVE20
- 5.5 Quart Capacity
- Functions include: Max Crisp, Air Fry, Air Roast, Air Broil, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate
- Nonstick and dishwasher safe Basket
- Temperature Range: 105 - 450°F
- Includes broil rack
- Max Crisp Technology cooks 30% faster than older Ninja models
- 6 different cook modes (similar to the Foodi)
- 5.5-qt single basket can fit larger items than the dual basket Foodi. Ninja claims a 3lb. chicken is about the capacity of the MAX XL
- Very easy to clean
- Included cookbook only includes 20 recipes, more advanced cooks will need to look to the internet
- Large families and entertainers might desire a larger capacity
- Some reports of plastic smell on the first few uses
The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL
holds several similarities to it's larger DualZone counterpart with a wide range of cook modes and excellent performance both with traditional chicken and potato recipes to more varied recipes involving vegetables, cakes, and dehydrated fruit and jerky. The Max XL is an upgrade to Ninja's original 4-qt air fryer and the extra volume boosts the usability in this latest iteration. Like many multifunction air fryers with high temperature capability like the Air Fryer Max XL, you may need to run it through several dummy batches to purge the machine of plastic residue and oder. Once seasoned, the Air Fryer Max XL is a great offering from Ninja and the highest single-basket performer in the test. Amazon currently has price of $139.99
on the Air Fryer Max XL as well as buying direct from Ninja for $139.99
with coupon code SAVE20
The space-saving Dash Compact AirFryer comes in black (shown here), aqua, white, gray, and red.
- 2-Quart Capacity
- Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.1 x 11.4"
- A single persons dream
- Small footprint makes it ideal for apartments, small kitchens, dorm rooms, campers and RVs.
- Good performance for its size
- Great option for single servings (or 2 people on portion control)
- Dishwasher-safe non-stick basket and parts
- Timer with automatic shut-off
- Single serve meals without the tip
- 2 Quart size may be limiting for some
- Struggles with more complex recipes involving vegetables or cheese that may take several iterations to perfect
- Not big enough for 2 people unless this limitation helps with a couple who desire diet & portion control
- Can only Air Fry. No other cooking functions.
"For those achieving great things but currently have space limitations, the Dash Compact is your ticket that states in bold letters, ADMIT ONE"
Size is paramount. What use is a giant 7 seater SUV if your parking garage has a 6' max height limit? What use is long and elegant Maxi dress when you are 5'1"? What use is an 6-burner oven when you can touch both walls of your kitchen at once? 7-Quart KitchenAid mixers look great on Instagram, but does it fit under your cabinets? For those achieving great things but currently have space limitations, the Dash Compact is your ticket that states in bold letters, ADMIT ONE
. Out of all the compact air fryers, or compact cookery for that matter, this will be a good show. [Dim lights]Performance:
Dash has 2 versions of the 2-Quart capacity model, analog and digital. The digital will cost more but the analog keeps right up with its tech savvy sibling in terms of performance. It's also a great deal with prices on PriceX typically ranging from $45-59. The Dash Compact Air Fryer, despite it's size, does reasonably well with traditional fried items with less dishes & cleanup and more importantly, a lower caloric count. Potatoes, chicken, fish, shrimp, turkey is where it shines. The Dash Compact can struggle with "fried" cheeses (think havarti or mozzarella sticks) and vegetables but only the most discerning pallets will complain. On the Go:
The Dash Compact Air Fryer can also be used in RV's and Boats depending on your hookups and voltages. The smaller size takes less power to run and cleanup requires much less water than a traditional oven.Take Away:
You might be looking at your take-out bill thinking it's a required COVID cost, but if you are like me, delivery service is slow and prices are expensive. What if you could make your own, using better ingredients custom suited for your needs, and served up fresh and hot with little cleanup? Just grab the Dash Compact
in any of the 5 colors and pocket the tip for yourself.
Cusinart TOA-60 Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- Excellent kitchen brand
- Good customer service
- Beats most in the Toaster/Oven/Broiler department.
- Poor timer
- Temperature control is not as accurate as other models
- Manual states temperatures that are too high
- Plastic knobs can fail
Cuisinart is a behemoth in small kitchen appliances. If you had one, it's likely you still have one. They do their homework, run it through multiple iterations of real life testers and unsurprisingly, come out with a great product. An air fryer isn't exactly 'traditional' but Cuisinart is noticing the demand for air fryers is substantial and they need a hat in the ring. The Cuisinart TOB, a countertop Toaster Oven Broiler has been a kitchen staple for years. Rather than reinvent a new product, the engineers at Cuisinart decided to add the air frying feature to their most popular product. It's an interesting move from the iconic brand that is now owned by ConAir. Yup, your hair dryer and food processor have the same DNA, who knew?
In contrast to other machines in this review, the
Cuisinart presents a tried and true Toaster/Oven/Broiler with a bonus feature being the air fryer. One of our favorite video reviews is here: https://www.pricex.io/p/cuisinart-toa-60-air-fryer-toaster-oven-silver
, as PriceX has an algorithm to support the most informed videos for any product but Cuisinart does a great job on how to use this device effectively.
Cosori isn't a name you likely have in your kitchen quiver nor a staple brand that your mother also used. In fact, we had never heard of Cosori before it came time to review the their Max XL. On paper, it's a 5.8 quart air fryer, costs around $119. It looks similar to it's Chinese based older sister, Ninja but at the time of writing, only appears in US Big Box stores and eBay.
Instant Vortex Plus 10 Quart Air Fryer
- 9 built-in smart programs: roast, toast, broil, bake, reheat, air fry, dehydrate, proof dough, and rotisserie.
- 7 Smart Programs
- 10-quart capacity
- 10 Quart capacity
- Attractive brushed stainless steel exterior
- Can also roast, toast, broil, bake, reheat, dehydrate, proof dough, and rotisserie
- Requires ample counterspace
- Doesn't broil well
- Rotisserie and baking functions can create a toxic plastic smell above 325°F, especially when new
When the makers of the Instapot decided to throw their hat in the Air Fryer ring, you knew something special would be the result. Their top of the line release is the Vortex Plus, a 10 quart offering with one of the largest capacities in the test, outdone by only machines targeted for commercial use. The Vortex Plus is extremely capable for large families or parties, it's worth noting that its size is also reflected on the countertop. Make sure you have plenty of real-estate for Instant's mothership. The outside dimensions of the Vortex Plus is
13.2x13.2x14.4" and if you want to stow the Vortex Plus, it's worth noting that it's a 19lb lift which is a shade under a 5-Quart KitchenAid Artisan if you are familiar with that effort.
The major concern with this model is the plastic smell which generally subsides 20 minutes after your initial use, but the toxic small can return or linger due to overheating when using the bake or rotisserie functions at temperatures above 325°F. If your primary use is for the air fryer function for family and gatherings, you will likely love the Instant Vortex Plus and its 10 quart capacity. But for stating what it can do and failure to deliver on the bake and rotisserie functions, we're giving the Instapot family and the Instant Vortex Plus a slap on the wrist.