- Ninja AF161 Max XL is the best overall air fryer according to Reddit users, with a 5.5 quart basket and seven one-touch settings.
- Instant Vortex Plus is the best for easy use, with six settings and a touch screen for easy access.
- COSORI Pro II is the best for luxury, with 12 customizable functions and a 5.8 quart mesh basket.
- Dash Air Crisp Compact is the best space saver, with a sleek design and simple temperature and time dials.
- Ninja AF080 Mini Air Fryer is the best 2QT option, perfect for individuals or couples with its compact size and basic features.
Air fryers are not just a fad; they are an entirely revolutionary way to cook. In many cases, an air fryer acts like a mini-oven, and is able to cook full meals for a family of four. Most are easy to clean and take up minimal space on the countertop. Which is the best? We looked at Reddit’s 5 best air fryers and broke down their pros and cons to help you decide which will work for you.
Best Overall: Ninja AF161 Max XL
Ninja is by far the favorite brand among Reddit’s air fryer users. Some like the all-in-one pressure cooker and air fryer, but if you are just looking to air fry, the Ninja AF161 Max XL is a better bet.
The Ninja Max XL has a 5.5 quart basket, which allows you to cook a family-sized meal. It has seven one-touch settings: Air Fry, Air Roast, Air Broil, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate, and Max Crisp. The various settings allow you to cook a variety of dishes, as well as adjust the crisp level of the frying. It also has time and temperature controls with easy up and down buttons.
Its Max Crisp technology also allows you to cook food up to 30 percent faster than a conventional oven. This setting also allows for crispier food without adding oil.
The Ninja Max XL’s sleek design makes it easier to fit on your countertop than other air fryers around this size, although the basket is slightly smaller than the 6 quart that many competitors offer. The basket is easy to clean with a non-stick coating and is dishwasher safe.
Best for Easy Use: Instant Vortex Plus
Another popular air fryer among Reddit users, and my own personal air fryer, is the Instant Vortex Plus, with its easy-to-use touch screen and streamlined options.
With six settings, it has less than other air fryers but combines many functions into those six options: air fry, roast, broil, bake, reheat, and dehydrate. The Instant Vortex Plus has a touch screen that allows for easy setting access, and a dial to adjust temperature and time. Press the dial to wake up the touch screen, and then you can pick your settings.
The Instant Vortex Plus’ 6 quart basket is a bit larger than other fryers at this size, so you can fit more in. The one downside is that the removable mesh tray at the bottom of the basket is hard to reach and hot when the food is done, so you need tongs or a spoon to get your food out.
With the largest dimensions on the list, the Instant Vortex Plus is bulkier than other competitors, leaving you with less counter space. It is, however, less expensive than many comparable air fryers on the list.
Best for Luxury: COSORI Pro II
To get the most out of air frying, you could try the COSORI Pro II, which has a lot of features to expand your frying options, making it popular among Reddit users.
The Cosori Pro II has 12 customizable functions, the most of any air fryer in this size. Five of those functions specify the protein you want to cook: steak, chicken, seafood, shrimp, and bacon. It also has frozen food, french fries, and vegetable settings. The last four settings are for the type of cooking: toast, bake, preheat, and keep warm. The Cosori lacks a dehydrate function, one of its cons. It also allows you to save your favorite function combos with 10 presets for one-touch cooking. The setting buttons on the front only have pictures instead of words, which can make it harder to understand at first what the setting does, but once you know, it’s an easy system.
It has a 5.8 quart mesh basket that detaches from the cooking basket, leaving behind all the fat and grease, and allowing you to plate food quickly and easily. The COSORI Pro II’s design is a little bulkier and heavier than other fryers at this size, but it is still smaller than a microwave, so it doesn’t take up too much counter space.
Best Space Saver: Dash Air Crisp Compact
- Ideal for a small kitchen
- Comes with auto shut-off feature
- Compact and lightweight
- Very versatile
Have a small kitchen and don’t have room for a big air fryer? The Dash Air Crisp Compact is a good option for you, and a favorite on Reddit. Its sleek design leaves you plenty of counter space.
The Dash Air Crisp Compact doesn’t have a lot of features. In fact, it doesn’t have options like keeping warm or dehydrating. It simply has two dials; one for temperature and one for time. This keeps things simple, but can also make the right time and temperature to cook certain foods a guessing game.
It does offer an auto shut-off feature that keeps you from burning your food, which is a nice plus. The Dash also has a cool touch handle that makes it safe to use. It comes in a variety of colors (red, black, and aqua), unlike most air fryers.
With the smallest dimensions on the list, and one of the lightest air fryers available, the Dash Air Crisp Compact is perfect for singles and couples with smaller kitchens.
Best 2QT option: Ninja AF080 Mini Air Fryer
If you don’t need to feed a family of four, getting a smaller air fryer can help you save some money and counter space. The Ninja AF080 Mini Air Fryer is one of the favorites on the market for the smaller 2 quart size.
If you are just looking to air fry without complicated options, the Ninja AF080 Mini Air Fryer is a good choice. It only cooks at one temperature (400 degrees) and just has a dial-in front that lets you set the cooking time. It doesn’t offer other features like dehydrating or keeping warm, so if you are looking for bells and whistles, this is not the air fryer for you.
The Ninja AF080 Mini Air Fryer has a nonstick cooking basket that is easy to clean and dishwasher safe. There is a crisper plate at the bottom of the basket to drain off excess fat, oil, and grease, but it requires you to remove your food with tongs or a spoon when you are done, otherwise, the excess fat will spill out when you turn the basket to plate your food.
What to Look For in an Air Fryer?
Picking the right air fryer can be a task. Keep in mind a few of these criteria when searching for the one for you.
Air fryers range from around 2 quarts to 6 quarts, giving you a range of options when it comes to size. If you are single or a couple, the 2 quart size should be big enough for you to cook dinner. If you are a family of 4+, the 6 quart option would be a better fit. As an example, a 2 quart fryer would not be able to fry an entire chicken, but a 6 quart fryer would. The 2 quart versions are much smaller, so they are ideal for a tiny kitchen.
Ease of use
Most air fryers are designed with the user in mind, with simple buttons to help you operate. Still, some manufacturers trying to offer the most options end up complicating the cooking process. Look for air fryers that have basic functions like air frying, reheating, and keeping warm.
Make sure the buttons, or touch screen, are clearly labeled and easy to understand; some only use pictures instead of words, which can be confusing. From start to preheating, it should only take you a few seconds to get your air fryer prepped.
When looking for an air fryer, pay special attention to the features it offers. Some air fryers do not offer a dehydration option. Some don’t include a “keep warm” function. Others allow you to adjust the crispiness level of your food. Look at the features and make sure that the air fryer you choose has the features you want.
Benefits of an Air Fryer
With its conventionalized heat and small cooking space, an air fryer can cook things faster than a traditional oven. Some air fryers heat up to 450 degrees, essentially broiling your food and cooking it faster. Air fryers are also great at reheating food quickly. Unlike microwaves, it will leave reheated pizza or fries crispy, instead of soggy.
With an air fryer, you can make crispy food without the use of oil or other fats. Most have mesh baskets that allow fat, oil, and grease to pass through while cooking, so your food isn’t being cooked in a layer of fat. It also makes cooking things like meat and veggies easy and gives them a crisp, full flavor that can encourage you to eat your vegetables.
Even the largest fryer is smaller than your oven. And in many cases, it can replace other appliances like microwaves and toaster ovens, leaving you more counter space. Most large air fryers are half the size of a microwave and have more functions and options available.
Closing Thoughts on Reddit’s 5 Best Air Fryers
Many people have discovered the pluses of owning an air fryer, and the devices become more advanced as demand increases. Being able to cook an entire meal in an appliance that sits on your countertop is not only convenient but saves you space. If you are looking for the right air fryer for you, keep in mind to look at the features, size, and ease of use before buying.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Adisorn Kongprasert/Shutterstock.com.