Ease of use. If you are a tech minded millennial, you will most likely be looking at air fryers with a digital touch screen interface. Personally, that’s always my choice, as I’m always afraid to break the control knob. On the other hand, for those of us more traditionally inclined in our gadget choices, there are air fryers with an analog interface.
Those dials are on there for a reason, so pay attention to them. “Take the time (about 3 minutes) to set the air fryer to the proper temperature before you get cooking,” says Dana Angelo White MS, RD, ATC author of the Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook, “Preheating the air fryer is best for optimum cooking, the temperature and air flow will be at right levels and food can cook to crispy air fried perfection,” she explains.
CR’s take: With a 5.8-quart capacity, the high-performing NuWave 6-Quart 37001 air fryer is the largest we tested. So, depending on how many folks you’re feeding, this one will require fewer batches. Plus, our experts find its electronic controls with preprogrammed settings to be among the easiest to see and use, earning this model a rating of Excellent in this test. The inside and outside of the appliance are both a cinch to clean, but cleaning food out of the holes in the basket takes a little extra effort. This air fryer is on the noisy side—according to our measurements, the fan is as loud as a countertop microwave, so you'll hear it running. The warranty is good for one year.
We tested chips – the staple food of the air fryer. The recipe book that comes with the unit recommended a temperature setting of 450 °F and a timer of 20 minutes. At the end of the time (including flipping the chips over midway) we found the chips on the edge of the mesh basket to be cooked more than the ones in the center. We had to cook the chips for 5 minutes longer to get all of them to a good level of crispiness. It’s not a huge deal, but other air fryers like the Phillips XL and Black and Decker obviously have a better way of circulating the hot air more evenly. Luckily there is a 60 minute timer which we feel is needed since food is probably going to take longer then you expect with this unit.
These certainly looked like they'd be crunchy, but a single bite gave way to a pretty boring, chewy, and flavorless taste. My hypothesis is that since frozen vegetables are slightly more processed and designed to be cooked straight out of the bag, they're more likely to taste delicious after one Airfryer session. But fresh produce proved too raw — and resistant — to the heating powers of the Airfryer.
What is it that makes air fryers unique? The answer might be, "Nothing, really." Air fryers are convection ovens in a bucket, meaning that like a regular oven, they have a heating element and like a slightly fancier oven with a convection feature, they have a fan that circulates the hot air, keeping the temperature consistent throughout the cooking area. Thanks to faster-than-a-normal-oven heat transfer capabilities from that rapidly circulating air, convection ovens can shorten the cooking time of some foods, potentially giving them a crispier exterior that brand-conscious marketeers seem to consider to be similar to fried food.
The Big Boss 16Qt. 1300 watt high speed The Big Boss 16Qt. 1300 watt high speed low energy oil-less fryer is traditional cooking reinvented. This energy efficient tabletop cooker combines halogen heat convection and infrared technology leaving food moist on the inside and browned and crispy on the outside without the use of added fats or oils. Three ... More + Product Details Close
From there, I tried another recipe in the Philips recipe booklet: shrimp on lemongrass skewers with sweet potato fries. The idea is that you're supposed to cook it all in batches, a detail that subtly pops up on the very last line of the recipe. My estimate is that you'd have to do the fries in (at least) two batches, followed by the shrimp in two, turning it into 60 minutes of cooking time. Compare that to cooking the fries in the oven (there wasn't much difference in taste in the fries between the three methods), then blasting the shrimp under the broiler. Don't get me wrong, the results of all three methods for the shrimp were excellent, but the oven and broiler gave me more options and slightly superior results, and, thanks to the relatively luxurious amount of space in my oven, I could cook much more food in about half the time.
CR’s take: The As Seen on TV Power AirFryer XL has a 5.3-quart capacity—one of the largest in our ratings—and is easiest to clean, in part because of the basket’s nonstick coating; it rates Excellent in our cleaning tests. The digital controls and preprogrammed settings are a snap to read and use. This model is on the noisy side, about as loud as a typical countertop microwave. That’s not a big drawback if you’re cooking something that takes just a few minutes. But the sound might prove annoying for longer tasks. The Power XL’s warranty is the shortest of the bunch—just 60 days.
I bought my Power Air Fryer Oven the end of September. I didn't use it right away, but when I finally did, it worked fair. I figured I needed to get used to using it. Yesterday I decided to dehydrate some fruit. I put it in the oven, pushed the dehydrate setting - 8 hours later you couldn't even tell it had been in the dehydrate. I removed the fruit and decided to make some fries. I shut off the machine and turned it back on using the french fry setting. No blower, turned it off and unplugged it for a few minutes. I tried again and again, no blower. I would guess I haven't even used it ten times.
Great way to cook for two. We have an in-wall, modern, full-sized convection oven but this air fryer turned out to be a faster and cheaper method of cooking a lot of things. Before getting this we were a little skeptical of whether an air fryer might turn out to be just another gadget that wouldn’t get much use, but so far not a problem. It was well-packed, easy to set up and the documentation was great – much better than a lot of consumer products. The instruction manual has very clear concise and illustrated instructions on setup and use. And it comes with a menu book that includes recipes with great color photos of how each should turn out. So far we have tried the “Cheesy Breakfast Egg Toast”, “Sweet Potato Fries” and “Lemon Mahi Mahi”. All turned out great, although perhaps not quite as good as the photos in the book (how do they get such appetizing photos?) Note that the oven doesn’t come with a deep solid basket shown on the Home Depot product listing photo. It comes with 2 teflon-coated shallow wire baskets. These are actually more usable, since they can both be positioned in tracks in the oven so that their contents can be shallower and get more hot air around them. That helped with the sweet potato fries (hint: if you want them crispy, use the 2 x 10 min at 390 deg rather than 2 x 12 min at 350 deg.) Attached photos show the fries cooking on the 2 wire baskets and the final result. It comes with a rotisserie (for chickens, etc.) and a rotating mesh drum 8” x 4.5” diameter. The drum appears well thought out, as it has a lip inside it to toss contents around as it turns, so it works well for popcorn. We haven’t tried the rotisserie yet. The manual says it is good for chickens up to 3lb. But as you can see in my photo, the max size chicken length that would fit on the rotisserie is about 6in – so pretty small. The menu book has a recipe for whole Cornish Hen, which seems more realistic size-wise. Make sure you use the included rotisserie removal fork, as everything will be very hot. We use the fryer on a countertop near cabinets. The instructions emphasize leaving at least 10” of free space on the back and sides. We were a little concerned because our cabinets are about 6” above the unit. But it turned out that the unit actually puts out fairly little heat. You can hold your hand a few inches from the heat vent that is at the rear. So not a problem – at least in our location. The interior does get very hot though, so just be careful in handling trays etc. Overall this turned out to be a great product. No negatives that we have encountered. ...Read More Read Less
7-in-1 MULTI-COOKING CONVENIENCE: The Power Air Fryer Oven Elite is a state-of-the art electric air fryer & multi cooker that replaces a toaster and convection oven, deep fryer, rotisserie oven, dehydrator oven, pizza grill & microwave. You get maximum versatility to make many of your favorite recipes. It does all of the thinking for you and shuts off automatically to prevent overcooking. You don’t have to be a professional chef to make air fried French fries or chicken wings,authentic rotisseri