In addition to delivering crispy delights, your air fryer makes a pretty awesome countertop pizza oven. Whole-wheat pitas make a great fiber-forward crust, baking up nice and crisp. Opt for roma tomatoes; their smaller size makes them a good fit for these personal pizzas. Swap out toppings to customize your pizzas; since these cook in just 5 minutes, you can prep the next one while the first is baking.
I purchased Power Air Fryer Elite from the TV commercial. I thought you could cook foods by the selection, I was wrong. You have to set the machine up for every item, and it did not cook any faster than my built-in oven. Also, the meats that I cooked in it came out a little dry. I decided to dehydrate some fruit, and it took all day. I own a dehydrator, so I was not impressed.
Countertop oil-less fryers are gaining hype as a small appliance category, and many manufacturers now sell these products hoping to cash in on the air fry trend. Whether you should buy one depends on how much you enjoy fried potatoes and frozen snacks in all their varied forms. If the answer is a lot, then by all means choose a model that you can afford. Otherwise, consider relying on your trusty oven when the fried food craving strikes.
We talked to three chefs and fried turkeys on a propane burner and in an electric fryer to find the Bayou Classic Aluminum Stockpot paired with the Bayou Classic Single Burner patio stove is the best turkey fryer for most people. The aluminum stockpot heats oil more quickly than stainless steel options, which helps keep temperature steady after adding a turkey, and the patio stove is solidly built and more stable than the stands packaged in kits.
I ordered the elite model and the two round bonus pans, which came under a separate order. When I got the air fryer, I read the manual which states you CANNOT reheat liquids in it. I called the customer number and they said it is primarily an air fryer and not meant for microwaving. I argued that was deceptive advertising and if it could not replace my microwave, I wanted to send it back. They offered to reduce the price by $40 if I kept it, which I refused because it was not as advertised.
Unlike most models in this price category, it doesn’t have digital controls. While it’s not huge, it is taller than typical toaster ovens. It accommodates two pounds of fries, six slices of bread and according to Cuisinart, a four-pound chicken. If you love to toss everything in the dishwasher, be aware that all the parts need to cleaned by hand. But unless you already have a toaster oven that you love, the Cuisinart is a worth considering for its versatility.
We’re sad to say that after more than 35 hours researching and testing air fryers, we don’t recommend them for most people. The air fryers we tried didn’t cook food better than a regular convection oven or convection toaster oven. Though we were genuinely excited to test air fryers, we think they’re far too expensive for what they give you. However, if you’re determined to get an air fryer, the Philips HD9641/96 Airfryer was the best of the models we tested—but we still don’t recommend it.
“Love this thing! First off, the food tastes amazing! Second, it’s so easy to operate, even my hubby uses it (and he can’t boil water — sorry, Joe). Third, it cuts cooking time in half of baking time — and you don’t have to preheat! And last, it cleans up so easily! I never leave appliances out on my counter — except for this baby. Can’t imagine not having one for the rest of my life!”
First, we prepared a batch of frozen french fries and timed how long they took to cook. We evaluated each batch to see whether the fries turned evenly golden brown and crispy or whether any pieces ended up under- or overcooked. After our initial round of testing, we prepared hand-cut fries in the finalists. We also cooked pork chops in each of the fryers to test how well they browned raw meat. And we “air-fried” frozen breaded chicken tenders and fish sticks.