We all love an air fryer, right? They have become one of the fastest growing cooking technologies with many households in the US and UK joining in on the low-fat frying fun.

Currys alone (in the UK) reported a 133% increase in air fryer sales earlier this year as we all look for faster and healthier ways to cook and cook our favorite foods. But what if you haven't jumped on the air frying bandwagon yet?

As I recently joined TechRadar's team to monitor the contents of our appliances, I can shamefully say that I don't own an air fryer. In fact; I haven't even tried one, and I have serious FOMO (fear of missing out) after reading some of our best fryers.

As with everything, when it comes to choosing the best air fryer, it can be hard to know where to start. This appliance isn't for everyone, so regardless of the hype, in order to find an air fryer for your home, there are a few things you'll want to consider first, some of which may surprise you more than others.

Then, once you've decided an air fryer is right for you, there are also a few criteria to consider to narrow down your search before you find "the one," and this guide is here to help you navigate. factors to consider before making the leap to healthier frying. From price to function, we've got you covered.

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The best air fryer deals

Don't worry; We have what you need. This is where you can buy an air fryer right now if you want, or if you prefer to buy later, that's fair enough too.

6 things to consider when choosing an air fryer

Some of these may seem like obvious factors to consider when choosing an air fryer, but there's a method to the madness, especially when you combine these key considerations. So if you work your way through this relatively no-nonsense approach, you'll have a deep fryer in your life in no time.

It goes without saying that this is where you should start your search, so make sure you set a budget and (try to) stick to it. Prices start at around €122/€100, and you could spend upwards of a few hundred for a higher-end option. There are usually great deals, but if you're looking forward to a sale event like Amazon Prime Day, then you better be quick because fryers don't last long, even if they've only been marked up a bit. .

This is something to think about as it will determine how much you can cook and what you can cook. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim for a 3-quart/5-liter (minimum) air fryer if you're cooking for a family of two, and a 5-quart/4,73-liter (minimum) air fryer if we're a family of four. Some air fryers only have one large drawer, and others have multiple levels built in; when I shop online, I find that the product images are enough to judge. Specs and descriptions are also good giveaways, so reading through them would prevent disappointment.

(Image credit: future)

The larger the capacity, generally the larger the size, and air fryers are not the smallest or lightest countertop appliances. Imagine sitting on your counter, imagine using it to feed the kids, and most importantly, imagine moving it if you're running out of counter space. If it's not in the way and will be within easy reach at dinner time, you're getting closer and closer to your fryer.

Special features
There are design features like viewing windows and pre-programmed settings that will catch your eye as your research grows, and these can really make a difference in your fryer experience. A viewing window is helpful for checking cooking progress, saving you from having to open the fryer and let the heat out as well. Preprogrammed settings are helpful for even cooking, and some models have alerts to let you know when it's time to shake the pan or when the fryer's time is up (handy!).

removable inserts
All air fryers will fry and cook frozen foods, but if you also want to bake, roast, dehydrate, and slow cook (yes, you can in a deep fryer), look for removable inserts. A rotisserie is a perfect example for cooking a chicken or other cut of meat. Since the inserts are removable, you can chop and change what you cook in the air fryer daily, adding versatility to your kitchen setup.

Omni Pro 14-in-1 Instant Air Fryer, Rotisserie and Convection Oven

(Image credit: Instant Pot Store)

How it looks on my kitchen counter is a key criterion for me, as it tends to reveal how easy it is to use (the fewer keys, the easier), but also whether it complements the microwave and toaster. There are some with retro flair like the Swan Retro 6L Manual Air Fryer (Opens in a new tab) and others with one touch buttons and a sleek design like the Tower Digital Air Fryer Oven Xpress Pro Combo 2000W 11 Liter 10 in 1 with Grill (opens in a new tab).

Choosing an air fryer doesn't have to be a daunting task, it should be exciting. I'm definitely looking forward to trying out some recipes on my own, and while it probably won't replace our stovetop anytime soon, the air fryer will be a great tech to have next to it.

Are air fryers worth it?

If you want to improve your eating habits, an air fryer can help you do just that. Cooks foods quickly and with less oil, or none at all, simply by circulating hot air around the food and drying moisture at the surface level to form a crisp, flavorful texture. For couples, it's perfect, but families who need to cook more food can go hungry if they want to rely solely on an air fryer to organize meal times.

By circulating this hot air around the food, you can prepare foods that you would have previously fried, such as French fries, in a healthier way. Plus, you can even grill a piece of meat or even bake a cake in a deep fryer. There aren't many things you can't cook. We discovered that you can grill cheese in a deep fryer, for example. Yes.

Of course, there are considerations like the thickness of the bread and the type of cheese, but the trick is to pin down the method and the fryer settings – we found a way anyway. There are plenty of other great tips and tricks the TechRadar team has learned since we started working with air fryers.

Other recipes you could try include cooking ice cream and perfecting the crispy skin by cooking pork belly every time.

In addition to cooking various snacks and meals, an air fryer can also save up to 50% on your energy bill compared to a conventional oven. It can do this because it simply uses less energy than an oven and can cook food faster.

What can't be cooked in an air fryer?

I've researched this and the key lesson that jumps out about not leaving the fryer and trying to cook is anything with wet batter. It'll just create a bit of a mess, since the dough won't get a chance to cook before it slides off whatever it's covering, which makes sense I guess.

At first glance, this is all a bit of trial and error: So far, the TechRadar team has learned some valuable lessons in our time with fryers. As you have read, we tried (successfully) to cook ice cream. Others on the Internet report that they fry eggs, cook meats, bake cakes and bread…the list goes on.

(*6*)Is there a reason not to buy an air fryer?

They can cook food at high speed, which is great, but it could cost you your food and burn it if you don't watch it or if the timer isn't set correctly. Most of our own home tests have not experienced this, although I have read and heard that it can happen, so it is something to consider.

The units themselves can also be bulky, and obviously the larger the fryer you choose, the more space they will take up.

Some air fryers have multiple layers and components that may not be dishwasher safe, so keeping them clean can be a bit of a hassle, but no more difficult than wiping down and cleaning your microwave, if you have one.

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