THE GUARDIAN ” Air fryer and slipper sales surge as UK strives to reduce energy use”
ASDA ” Asda reported a 320% increase in the sale of air fryers.”
MIRROR “Sales of air fryers and slow cookers are rising as Brits look to save money on energy bills after prices went up on October 1″
ECHO “Air fryer sales up 3,000% as consumers seek to cut energy costs”
UTILITA “Research by Utilita found that air fryers run at an average cost of £55.71 a year, while an electric cooker runs at £335.57 a year.
Everywhere people are discussing air-fryers for example on TV today -LOOSE WOMEN (ITV). Here is a rundown on all the available air fryers and how to make a choice, AND don’t forget Halogen Ovens too, in some cases they make more sense than the limited space in most small air fryers.
Check out our Air Fryer Comparison Table Below
see a direct comparison between just about every Air Fryer available today
- Make & Model
- Temperature range
- Wattage consumption
- Size and Weight
- Is there an App?
- Our Review Rating
Click on any column header to re-order the table by that value
Click on the links to see the review on our sites
estimates: Where data is not yet available to check – I have estimated it from similar models – marked with “e”
Avail(able) Is this air fryer in stock? -when table was updated
|Russell Hobbs||26500 satisfry||yes||1800||1100||245x245x300||80-200||D|
|Chefman||Turbo RJ38 V3 DC35||yes||3500||1200||255x305x250||93-204||60||120.99||no||D|
|Llivekit||L 6 Litre||yes||6000||1800||405x305x368||80-200||60||118.99||no||D|
|Llivekit||XL 7 Litre||yes||7000||1800||430x389x381||80-200||60||157.99||no||D|
Electric & Gas Prices and Cooking
In light of massive price hikes in Gas and Electricity, many people are looking at ways to cut costs. Halogens and AirFryers are one great way to go. They need no pre-heating ( or very little) compared to a standard gas oven and cook a lot quicker.
It is estimated that on average cooking energy use represents 20% of the total household energy use. So cutting cooking bills down by using an Airfryer could easily save you 10% on your total energy bills, especially this winter.
Air Fryers have been around for at least 10 years, fundamentally they haven’t changed much, so which are the current best Air Fryers? Below are a few pointers to the best buys, some plus and minus points to watch out for, and use our big comparison table, above to help you choose.
Digital Philips Air Fryer
Rating 9/10 best features, accessories price and guarantee
Excellent Door Opening Design
Tower has been making good solid kitchen products for a long time, here is one that will last well
Digital Klarstein Air Fryer
Good Cooker, Brilliant Rotisserie
Slightly more difficult to load and unload
What’s Inside Your New Shiny black Airfryer?
What’s under that gleaming black exterior of the new range of Air fryers?
Air Fryers are tabletop cookers that safely fry and cook lots of different varieties of ingredients with only a minimum amount of oil.
Many have copied the Philips design from over 10 years ago, but I still rate the Philips as the best value, and they are available in 3 sizes.
They are quick, quicker than a drive to McDonalds, Fresh food cooked well and without that heavy fatty taste.
Economical too, and way cheaper to use than any gas or electric oven or grill.
- They don’t heat up the kitchen as an oven does
- They warm up almost instantly
- When it’s finished cooking it switches off – you can’t accidentally forget it
- It doesn’t warm the room after it’s finished cooking.
- Smart ones can be programmed straight from a recipe in an App
- If you’re cooking on a hob, you can waste energy by choosing the wrong size pan
Use it for all sorts of cooking, frying, baking, broiling
Philips Air Vortex Cooking
In the Philips models, the bottom of the pan is shaped to make the air rush into vortexes, cooking your food through, in a very quick time. Chips typically take only 10 to 20 minutes.
The pan can be cleaned in a dishwasher.
Note that not all air fryers have a full pan and a basket sitting in there… To me, the design depends on the hot air having full 360-degree access to the basket of food – or it’s not going to cook evenly.
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
The Fan is situated above the heating element and creates a downdraft of hot air around the pan. The raised star pattern swirls the air stream around and enables speedy cooking.
Food is cooked in the same way it is, in a conventional oven, from the outside in, unlike a microwave, so many cookery techniques work well in the air fryer.
The pan can be cleaned in a dishwasher.
No Frying Smell Lingering Around the House
When someone has been deep frying, in a big pan of oil, everyone knows it ! That heavy odour lingers sometimes for days, its like living next door to a chip shop ugh!
With an Air Fryer though it’s different, it is an enclosed cooking area, a pod containing the food.
If you have a cooker hood or other unit to vent cooking steam and odours out of the kitchen, you will know how much the filters clog up when frequently frying food, you’ll be pleased to see how much it improves when you start to use an Airfryer, which hardly lets any vapour escape at all, so really cuts down on cleaning around the kitchen.
The Philips range has an integrated filter, which vents the high pressures a little, when the fan is circulating the hot air around inside. So none of the oil laden air gets into the kitchen, less cleaning and long term less mess altogether.
How to Choose and Use an Air Fryer Efficiently
Don’t Overfill the Basket
Although many Ads and reviews show air fryers full to the brim with chips or with a full chicken on board, these are not good practices.
The air fryer cooks best when only filled to the “max” line indicator. And whole chickens need a BIG air fryer. That is not why air fryers gained their popularity. When you speak to Chefs or people with experience with air fryers, they always advise, PIECES of chicken, like drumsticks, wings, and other foods, like fish fingers, and nuggets …. cook far better, faster, and more evenly than larger items.
Choosing the Right Size Air Fryer
So, if you’re the sort of cook that regularly cooks a whole bird, make sure you’ve got a suitable-size air fryer, see our air fryer comparison table. Similarly, take into account the number of people you are feeding, if you only have a small air fryer, of 3 to 4 litres, you will be reloading it over and over! It may in fact be cheaper and produce just as good results in a Halogen oven, whose almost universal size is 10 litres, expandable to 17 litres.
Guide to Airfryer Size per portion or person
- One portion 3 to 4 litres capacity
- Two portions 4 to 5 litres capacity
- Three portions 5 to 6 litres capacity
- Four portions 6 to 7 litres capacity
Check the Air fryer comparison Table which shows sizes from 2 to 22 litres
Take the hype around air fryers with a pinch of salt. If it says it can cook a whole chicken or a meat roast it probably can with care. Yes, they are quick, probably quicker than Halogens, BUT the cooking area, the drawer at the bottom of the unit, is comparatively small. If you try anything big, like a joint of meat or whole chicken, the top will be burnt, while the rest isn’t cooked through. Turning frequently will help and you can of course reduce the heat and extend the time. With the Halogen Oven, using the extender ring will take the heat away from the top of the food, preventing burning
Even cooking chips is not quite as simple as the ads make it out to be, if it’s tightly packed, a quick shake is simply not going to give good results, those at the top need to be completely repositioned – at the bottom. If it’s overpacked, then even worse, it will just make an uneven mess, some overcooked some way under cooked.
So, be warned, those little air fryers are cheap to buy and run, but unless you are cooking for one person, it will need some extra attention, to get good results. So – the volume or Capacity is a very important decision.
The Oil Lie !
Having used an air fryer for a good while, it really gets my blood boiling, when some “expert” selling an airfryer, says oil less cooking or no oil required.
To have consistently good results, you DO have to use some oil. It’s the oil that makes the outside, crunchy. It tends to stop the food sticking to the pan. It distributes the heat better. It boils at a much higher temperature than water, so cooking is quicker. Cooking without oil, you’d have to restrict the temperature severely, and risk burning anything touching the pan surface.
You can still use other fats of course, but modern cooking oils have been refined to be lower in cholesterol and saturated fats. Be aware too that the browning on your chips/fries should not be too deep in colour, other chemicals are produced when browning occurs to excess, which can be carcinogenic. If choosing your oils in a supermarket, choose one with a high temperature ‘smoke-point’, the temperature at which it starts to burn. For this reason, cooking anything with butter ( very low melt point and burn temp ) is very difficult, unless the food can be cooked at a low temperature. Canola and Peanut oil are good general-purpose cooking oils.
Do not buy any oil in a spray can, ie. where a propellant is used to power the spray. Instead, buy a pump action bottle, and fill it with your own preferred brand of oil. There is evidence that propellant gases can be harmful.
Which Foods will NOT cook well in an Air Fryer?
Fresh wet batter, will just drip off and make a mess. To ‘fix’ wet batter, you need an oil bath. Airfryers were designed to cook with more modern methods and with mass market foods in mind.
Similarly, foods that need immersion in water, won’t cook in an air fryer. Rice for example needs a rice-cooker or a pan on the hob.
Anything that has high water content, or low-fat content, will become dehydrated. Vegetables if fresh, end up mushy and very unappetising, but if you have frozen vegetables, they will fare much better
As mentioned above, recipes calling for cooking in butter, at a high temperature, generally won’t work well.
Which is the Best – Air Fryer or Halogen Oven?
Having cooked with Halogens for a long time, I got mine in 2013 when they were the latest and most popular new kitchen gadget, appearing in all the TV shopping channels. I’d say SIZE is the biggest benefit of the Halogen oven. The almost standard 12 litre Halogen size is perfect for a family. By using the high and low rack, I can cook a whole chicken and vegetables at the same time.
If you’re stuck with a relatively tiny air fryer between 3 and 5 litre size, it’s going to be difficult to get everything in. If you have a family of three or four, it will obviously take a couple of cycles to make the meal.
The price, especially of the best air fryers, like the Philips, rockets up, when you go past the 5 litre size point.
Air fryers do very well for loners. Anyone who lives alone and is on a budget should seriously consider an air fryer, it can whip up a variety of meals at a very low energy cost in just a few minutes.
Don’t get hung up on using one technology!
Use the best method for each type of food, baked potatoes with tuna or salmon or a dozen different toppings make a quick and nutritious meal, but how to cook one?
- A gas oven will take over an hour
- A Halogen oven will take nearly an hour
- An air fryer will take nearly an hour
- A microwave will take 6 to 8 minutes! ** winner
This works for many similar foods to potatoes, dense and with high water content.
Safety and Cleaning
Halogen ovens, at least the economy models, tend to be very simple. Usually analog controls ( dials for Heat and Time). If you want consistent results, I would go for a digital controlled model. Clockwork timers in 2022 are ridiculous, you can’t even reset it if you accidentally set it for too long. Almost all air fryers are digitally controlled with LED displays and warning sounds, many have presets for common recipes and even cooking Apps for your mobile.
The cooking bowl is glass and very heavy, so you need to be confident you can handle it when washing it out. Also, the heater which is in the lid, needs to be lifted off and put down somewhere safe, while you take out the hot food. This is why I have always rated the hinged lid types very well – a much safer design.
Long term, there may be a question mark about the heating element, a halogen lamp. Some, like the Andrew James range, offer the lamps as spare parts at a reasonable price and they are easy to fit.
The resistive element type heater as found in almost all air fryers is more robust and rarely gives any trouble.
The body of the air fryer is usually plastic, therefore is insulating the heater from the outside, so intrinsically these are safer when children are around, it would be easy to burn your hand on a glass bowl but difficult on a plastic surface.
When it comes to cleaning the halogen oven wins easily. Most models have a self-clean cycle setting, which gets most of the grease off, and then the bowl can be scrubbed in the washing-up bowl or dishwasher. But there is hardly any air fryer that does not mention taking extra care not to scratch the non-stick cooking basket surface, indeed that is one of the most common complaints.
Peeling Non Stick Coatings
Just a note, it has been noticed that many of the airfryer pans – that’s the pan inside the drawer unit, have non-stick coatings and some of the cheaper variety have comments saying the coating peels off, unless you are very careful cleaning it. Here is a simple suggestion, there are silicone baskets available, I haven’t actually tried them, but its worth investigating as it saves your air fryer.
- For Round Baskets : take a look (Amazon US)
- For Square Baskets: here for square baskets (Amazon UK)
So, which is best Halogen or Air Fryer? It depends on the size of family, budget and what you like to cook.
Read More Air-Fryer Reviews on our website:
Philips HD 9252
The “Essentials” 9252 model serves 4 portions easily. Its the most popular model, clean, efficient, economical and fast. read more
Tefal EZ Fryer
The Tefal EZ fryer is well made, is selling very well, and has all the right specifications but… read more
The Tower model cooked well and is powerful but was disappointing mechanically… read more
A big oven for the bigger family. Fast, convenient cooking, with more extras than any other AirFryer read more
Cosori 5.5 litre
Cosori 5.5, a direct competitor to the Philips range, very nicely made and with a smart App … read more
Actifry Genius Plus
Tefals flagship fryer, very clever design and controls, complete with App