What Air Fryer Should You Buy?
Please note that I am currently working on this page. To give a quick answer, I think the Philips Airfryer XXL is currently the best air fryer you can buy.
What is the best air fryer for you to buy? In my opinion the best one is the Philips Airfryer Avance XXL. Read more to learn more.
I have tested multiple air fryers since 2015 and the Philips Airfryer is a really good air fryer. But there are several other great air fryers that might suit your needs better. On this page I will share my experience with air fryers and I’ll explain what to look for when researching and buying a hot air fryer.
“I have tested several air fryers since 2015 and the Philips Airfryer is a really good air fryer.”
Air Fryer Guide
What do you need to look out for when you want to buy an air fryer? Whether it is your first air fryer or maybe your second one, it is important to keep a few key features in mind. I will discuss these features with you briefly on this page, so you know exactly what is important.
10 Important air fryer features:
- Capacity and number of users
- Size and weight
- Cable length
- Frying basket
- Cleaning and maintenance
1. Capacity and number of users
The capacity of an air fryer is specified in the maximum weight you can air fry at once. The Philips Airfryer XXL has a maximum load capacity of 3lb. This means that you can cook a maximum load of 3lb of fries, chicken or vegetables. But I always recommend to stay under the recommended capacity to ensure the best air frying results.
- Small air fryer – 1.5lb (for 1-2 persons)
- Large air fryer – 2.5lb (for 2-4 persons)
- Extra large air fryer – 3lb (for 3-5 persons)
Most people choose an air fryer depending on the size of their house hold. So when you are single, you buy a small air fryer. When you are with three people, you buy a XL air fryer. And larger families can get the XXL air fryer with the largest capacity.
But this isn’t really the way to go, I think. Here is why.
I use my air fryers for two persons and the one I use most of the time is a XXL air fryer. Why is that? Well, an extra large air fryer comes with a spacious frying basket where your ingredients have space enough so the hot air can hit it from all the sides. This is very important to get the best air frying results. Besides, large air fryers mostly come with higher powered motors, so this means the air fryer is able to stay on its set temperature much better and this also contributes to the best baking results.
Especially Philips Airfryers come with high powered motors (2,000+ watt) , that is because the Philips Airfryer is the only air fryer that can handle this. The Philips Airfryer uses their rapid air technology, that basically means the bottom of the pan contains a starfish shape. This shape ensures that the hot air circulates in the most effective way inside the air fryer. And this means that your dish gets air fried from top and bottom. Air fryers from other brands only air fry the top of your dish, something to keep in mind.
The only two reasons, I think, to choose for a smaller sized air fryer is for space saving purposes and when you have a smaller budget. But are small air fryer really that bad? No, they are not bad. But a larger XXL air fryer provides you with a much better, more convenient and enjoyable experience. Although, small sized air fryers can be convenient for a camper or RV because they take up less space. But for home use, I usually recommend anyone to opt for the largest air fryer possible.
This is one of the main reasons I really like the Philips Airfryer XXL, because of its spacious frying basket in combination with a high powered motor. This is very important to keep in mind that a large sized air fryer really needs high power, otherwise it can’t hold high temperatures. This ends up in much longer baking times and lesser results. So lets dive a little bit more into the power of an air fryer.
You might think that it is better to choose for a ‘low energy’ air fryer because it saves on electricity. But I think it is better to opt for an air fryer with high power, rather than a low powered one. The main advantages are that an air fryer with more power is pre-heated more quickly, it helps the air fryer to stay on its set temperature, baking times are shorter and results are better. Low powered air fryers will take longer to pre-heat, it takes longer to air fry your dish and baking results can be a bit disappointing.
I recommend to get an air fryer with 2,000 watts or more. Especially when you want to get an extra large air fryer. These high powered motors ensures that you dish gets air fried properly.
3. Size and weight
Some air fryers are small and compact while others are pretty big and take up quite some space in your kitchen. Keep that in mind before you buy a large airfryer. Because do you have enough room on your kitchen counter to place the air fryer? And where do you want to store the air fryer when the machine is not in use?
I store my air fryers in a cabinet under my staircase. Because I test air fryers I always have two or more air fryers near the kitchen for me to test and review. From my experience I can tell you that air fryers with large capacities can be quite bulky. These machines will not fit in most kitchen cupboards, so you really need to store it in a large one. But some people like the idea of permanently placing the air fryer on the kitchen counter, since it can be used all day long.
What I find important is that it is easy to grasp the air fryer from the kitchen counter.
Besides the size of the air fryer, weight is also something to look out for. An Philips Airfryer XXL weighs over 17 pounds, which is pretty hefty. For smaller kids or older people this may be too heavy to carry around all the time.
4. Cable length
I can tell you this. Most air fryer do have very short power cables. And this is very annoying. Especially when you want to place an air fryer on a spot with no nearby wall outlet. I like to place my air fryer near the furnace so I can use my extractor hood to extract any steam. And my wall outlet is just a few inches too far away to place the air fryer on the spot I really want to place it.
The average length of the power cable is around 32 inches (which is short).
When I am air frying home-made french fries or cauliflower, I grab an extension cord because I know this will generate a lot of steam. So I definitely want to point the exhaust of the air fryer towards my extractor hood.
Yes, every air fryer has an exhaust. And this exhaust blows out warm or hot steam and sometimes even smoke. Air fryers work with hot air and all the excess air and moisture is blown outside the air fryer through the exhaust. This exhaust can be found at the rear of any air fryer.
Okay, but why is this important you might think? Well, the thing is that some air fryers blow the air out straight to the back. While others blow the air diagonally in an upward direction. And other air fryers blow the air out straight up. The exhaust grill plays an important role in the way the air is blown out of the air fryer.
I really prefer air fryers that blow out the air straight up because I don’t want the humid hot air gets blown against my wall all the time during air frying. Since my wall is painted, this can damage the paint after a while. So I always make sure the exhaust isn’t pointing against a wall in my kitchen, when I use an air fryer that has an exhaust that does this that is.
Let’s take a look inside the air fryer. Because this is where all the air frying magic happens. Inside the air fryer you can find a pan. And most air fryers contain a separate frying basket that sits in the pan. Yes, most of them, because a few air fryers combine the frying basket and the pan into one part. More about this later.
Pull-out type air fryers
First, there are two types of air fryers. There are pull-out type air fryers where you open the pan sort of like a drawer. So this means the pan with the frying basket gets supported by a rail underneath the pan. Philips uses this mechanism for instance for their Airfryers. I think this is a very sturdy and solid way to open and close the pan. The advantage here is that you don’t have to be afraid that the pan slips out of your hand and falls on the floor, because this part is always supported thanks to the rail it slides on. Another pro is that it makes it easier to open and close the air fryer with just one hand which is is very convenient while cooking – because you always come hands short.
A disadvantage is that the pan remains on the rail at any time. So when you grab out the frying basket out of the pan, the chance is that crumbs or liquids can fall out of the frying basket because the bottom is perforated.
You can take out the frying basket out of the pan by just grabbing the handle and lift it upwards. It isn’t locked in to place, it just slides out.
Fully removable pan air fryers
This problem doesn’t occur with the second type of air fryer. That is an air fryer where you can take out the pan and frying basket in one piece. There is no sliding mechanism and no rail. The advantage is that you can take out the pan, when your dish is done air frying, and place it anywhere without making a mess. It also helps with serving the dish on a plate, all the crumbs, oils and other liquids stay inside the pan. The con is that it makes one-handed operation a bit less easy. These type of air fryers close up very firmly. This means you need to pull relatively hard in order to disconnect the pan from the air fryer. So, two hands are needed most of the time. And this is a bit inconvenient when you want to shake up your french fries with one hand, while stirring a pan with sauce with the other.
You can take out the frying basket by pushing a button in the handle. This button disconnects the locking mechanism that secures the frying basket to the pan. This button is often secured for accidental pressing with your thumb.
It may sound like a minor thing, but my experience is that a sliding mechanism works better for one-handed operation. It just works more conveniently while you are cooking. Although I do like the fact with the fully removable pan that it prevents spilling crumbs and liquids on the kitchen counter or even on the floor.
7. Frying basket
There are also two types of frying baskets. And this is very important for the ease of cleaning.
One type is a frying basket with a separate mesh bottom with non-stick coating. This mesh pattern is very fine and narrow, so fats and food residues can accumulate quite easily. Cleaning this type of frying basket can be quite a dawnfull task, especially when food scraps are a bit burned and really are attached to the mesh. This can happen when you are making crispy fried chicken, or when you are using a lot of cheese. This is very hard to clean.
These mesh type frying baskets are often used in air fryer with a slide-out mechanism, like Philips Airfryers.
Especially when we compare it to the other type of frying basket that doesn’t contain this fine mesh pattern at the bottom. This frying pan is made of one piece of metal with non-stick coating and the bottom part is perforated with holes. Because there is a bit more space between the holes and the metal, it makes it far more easy to clean.
These perforated type frying baskets are often used in air fryers with a fully removable pan.
There are two types of controls for an air fryer available. These are air fryers with analog controls to set the timer en temperature with rotating or clickable buttons. And there are digital air fryers with a display where you can adjust settings with tap buttons, clickable buttons or rotating buttons.
Analog air fryer features
- Budget-friendly air fryers.
- Easy to control because you only have two buttons.
- Less prone for defects.
- When the timer is done you will hear a * ping* sound.
- Con: Less precise for setting the timer and temperature.
- Con: No digital sound indicators for telling you when the air fryer is pre-heated.
Digital air fryer features
- Usually more settings to choose from. Such as pre programmed settings and indicators when the set temperature is reached.
- Precisely control the temperature and timer.
- A digital display looks more modern and stylish.
- Con: Most air fryers can only show either the time or the temperature. You can’t see them both. More expensive air fryers do display both temperature and timer, such as the Philips Airfryer XXL.
- Con: Higher chance of defects or errors.
9. Airfryer accessories
When you only want to air fry chicken or french fries, there is no need to invest in air fryer accessories. But when you want to extend the features of your air fryer, I really suggest to buy some accessoires. These special tools makes it possible to make more diverse dishes.
There are a lot of Philips Airfryer accessories available
Especially Philips offers an extended range of high quality airfryer accessoires. Such as grill plates, grill racks, pizza plates, reusable cupcake cups, baking pans and much more. With these accessories you can for instance grill a steak, steam fish with vegetables, make fresh home-made pizzas or create multiple layers in your air fryer so you can air fry more than one dish at the same time.
There is also an air fryer accessory to use as a cover to put over the frying basket. This prevents light ingredients fro getting blown out of the basket, for instance when you make your own potato chips. But it also protects some dishes from the top, such as when you make bread and you don’t want the crust to get too brown.
Not all manufacturers offer accessories
Sadly, not all brands sell air fryer accessories. I recommend to investigate, when you want to make use of extra air fryer tools, whether you can buy these accessories for your new air fryer you want to go for. You can, of course, also opt for universal air fryer accessories that are sold all over the internet. But I find most of these accessories are poor quality and some don’t even fit the frying basket of your air fryer. The best is to get official accessories that are tailor made to fit your air fryer, this offers the best results.
10. Cleaning and maintenance
Last but not least, the cleaning of the air fryer. I always tell my audience, whether it is on AirfryDaily or my Dutch site, that the ease of cleaning is very important. I really think that you are going to use your air fryer more often when the cleaning process is super easy and requires almost non of your time. That is how I see it. I have used and reviewed air fryers that are no fun to clean at all, because the pan and frying basket where so difficult to clean. How is that? Well, some air fryer parts have all kinds of small notches, corners, grooves and holes from screws where fats, oils and food waste can accumulate over time. The cleaning is annoying so you end up cleaning it not enough so your air fryer gets dirty which will end in a smelly air fryer with bad cooking results that are bad for your health.
So, what to look for?
I really like air fryers that have a separate frying basket which is made out of one metal part. These frying baskets are very easy to clean. Also the pan needs to be made of a smooth piece of metal, without any grooves or difficult corners.
Clean by hand or with dishwasher?
When you want to keep your air fryer in the best condition possible, I strongly recommend to wash and clean your air fryer parts by hand after every use. So, don’t store your dirty air fryer away like you did with your old deep fryer. No, see your air fryer as any other pan in your kitchen – you clean it after use. Of course, you clean the parts in your dish washer but over time this will have a negative effect on the non-stick coating. Besides, I find most of the parts quite big to put into my dish washer, it requires too much space which I rather use for other dirty dishes.
Clean your air fryer parts by hand after every use, this is how you keep your air fryer in mint condition.
How easy is it to clean a Philips Airfryer?
This is one of my biggest gripes I have with Philips Airfryers, the cleaning process can be a bit difficult. That is because of the frying basket, here you have this bottom part with the mesh pattern. Because the diamand shaped pattern is so small, it is pretty hard to clean it thoroughly. What I recommend is when you have served out the dish that came out of the air fryer is to put ome warm water with dish soap into the pan with the frying basket. Leave it soaking while you enjoy your meal and when it is time to clean up the kitchen you can clean the frying basket more easily.