The Best 6 Air Fryers Reviewed The Best 6 Air Fryers Reviewed
10(Last Updated On: March 7, 2018)10 The Best 6 Air Fryers Reviewed
(Last Updated On: March 7, 2018)

Air fryers are one of a number of high-tech cooking appliances, like popcorn and soup makers, which have become kitchen favourites in recent years. These trendy gadgets provide an easy way we can all eat healthier, and they couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Because, as a nation, we’re becoming much more aware of the health implications of a poor diet. As a result we’re more closely scrutinizing what ingredients go into our meals.

The problem is we all enjoy the odd treat. But how can we have these treats whilst sill being relatively healthy? This is the bridge the air fryer fills. They help make naughty treats much better for us by vastly reducing the amount of oil we use to cook.

What is an air fryer?

Air frying: deep fried style, without the grease!

Air fryers provide a way to get the deep fried food experience, without the deep frying. They use a clever heating system and a tablespoon of oil to emulate the effect frying has on food. The end result is crispy food without a vast amount of excess oil.

Whilst every air fryer cooks the food in a very similar way, the amount of different appliances available is staggering. You can buy cheap and small units right up to large appliances which can feed the biggest families.

Not only that but air fryers can feature both digital or analogue controls. There are also those which automatically agitate the ingredients and those which need the food to be manually shaken to ensure even cooking.

In this guide we’ll help demystify the process of buying an air fryer by showing you how they work, reviewing the best appliances available today and by showing you why they are better than deep frying.

This guide at a glance:

For ease this guide is broken down into easy to read chunks. You can read everything in order or skip to certain sections if there is anything in particular you’d like to know first. It covers everything we think you need to know before you buy. Here’s the contents at a glance:

Air Fryer Comparison Table

  • Cooks Professional Digital Rotisserie

  • Our Rating

  • Capacity:
    10 litres
  • Feeds Up To:
    6-8 people
  • Watts:
    1300 watts
  • Controls:
  • ££

  • Philips HD9240

  • Our Rating

  • Capacity:
    1.2 Kg
  • Feeds Up To:
    5 people
  • Watts:
    2100 watts
  • Controls:
  • ££££

  • Delonghi Multifry Extra FH1394

  • Our Rating

  • Capacity:
    1.7 Kg
  • Feeds Up To:
    6-8 people
  • Watts:
    1400 watts
  • Controls:
  • ££££

  • Tefal Actifry AL806240

  • Our Rating

  • Capacity:
    1 Kg
  • Feeds Up To:
    4-5 people
  • Watts:
    1400 watts
  • Controls:
  • £££

  • Russell Hobbs 20810

  • Our Rating

  • Capacity:
    2 litres
  • Feeds Up To:
    2-3 people
  • Watts:
    1230 watts
  • Controls:
  • ££

  • Breville VDF105 Halo Plus

  • Our Rating

  • Capacity:
    1.2 Kg
  • Feeds Up To:
    5 people
  • Watts:
    1400 watts
  • Controls:
  • ££

Air Fryer Reviews: Your Guide to The Best 6 in The UK

Cooks Professional Digital Rotisserie

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Extra features, gizmo’s and gadgets really float our boat. So, if we said that the idea of an incorporated rotisserie for spit roasting in the Cooks Professional air fryer didn’t excite us just a little, we’d be lying.

In addition to the ability to spit roast succulent meats it also features a very impressive looking digital display panel complete with a glowing LED display. This panel allows you access all kinds of different cooking features.

But, its not features which make any appliance great, its how useful it is. So, lets lift the lid on the Cooks Professional Rotisserie air fryer (Rotisserie) and find out exactly what it can do.

How does it work?

The obvious place to start is with the Rotisserie’s top-mounted control panel which impressed us so much. It gives a subtle hint at just how versatile this appliance is.

The removable rotisserie basket is an impressive addition which ensures crisp, even cooking

After pressing the power button you can choose from 6 different cooking modes. As you select each mode different (or all) parts of the inner cooking surfaces will heat up allowing you to roast, fry, bake, stir-fry, grill and even BBQ your ingredients, that’s quite a selection!

Although you might be inclined to think that, with all these cooking modes, you could forget which one you have selected. This is not the case with the Rotisserie. A handy red LED illuminates adjacent to your current selection.

Moving on to the middle of the control panel you’ll notice a central LED display. This toggles between the temperature and cooking time remaining. Setting either of these is also very easy. Start by pressing the button labeled ‘TEMP/TIME’ and using the plus and minus buttons to set the duration for both the temperature and time respectively.

Once you’ve done this you can press the ‘start’ button to begin cooking.

There is however, one final thing, we have not spoken about and that is the rotisserie function. This can be started and stopped by pressing the rotisserie button located on the left hand side of the panel.

But how can you spit roast say, a chicken, or get crispy roast potatoes or chips using this function?

To answer this we need to provide you with two replies:

The first is that the Rotisserie is suppled with a central rotating skewer which connects to either side of the cooking pan. To this skewer you can attach spit roast forks for gripping chicken and small joints of meat. As the skewer rotates so does your meat.

Secondly, in lieu of a rotating paddle found in most other air fryers, the Rotisserie comes with a cylindrical cage in which you place your potatoes or other ingredients. This cage is slid over the skewer and placed in the appliance. Yes, as you’ve guessed, this then rotates for a truly unique way of cooking your chips!

Is there anything else I need to know?

This air-fryer arrives with an impressive complement of accessories

Accessories add a real sense of ‘value’ to any appliance you buy. They increase its usefulness by giving you everything you need from the initial purchase.

With this in mind you might be pleased to know that the Rotisserie comes with a grill rack, for multilevel cooking or to allow fats to drain from your food, and a pair of tongs to prevent burnt fingers.

How easy is it to clean?

It would be disappointing to get this far down our review list and come across an air fryer which was difficult to clean. Therefore we’re happy to say that the cooking bowl is non-stick and can be removed for easy cleaning or popped in to the dishwasher.

What we think:

For a sub £100 appliance the Cooks Professional Rotisserie really surprised us – in a good way! Its a really neat, versatile little gadget that makes cooking all kinds of things really simple and easy.

It has some features which we’ve only really come across on units costing over £100 and arrives with some useful accessories to boost its already versatile cooking capacity even more. If you’re looking for an air fryer which represents the ultimate ‘bang for your buck’, then look no further.

Philips HD9240

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Philips manufacture some of the best selling air fryers available today. For the last few years their flagship fryer the HD9220 has topped the sale charts and the newer HD9240 builds on this success by addressing some of the niggles customers found in earlier models.

The first improvement is the capacity. The HD9240 features a roomy 1.2Kg cooking capacity making it large enough to feed up to five people. In fact, it is 50% larger than the HD9220, which some people found was not large enough to cook for the whole family in one batch.

The extra room eliminates this problem entirely.

Secondly is the introduction of a touch screen control panel. Whilst this might seem a bit like a marketing gimmick it serves two important purposes: the first is that it gives you precise control over the cooking temperature and times, so you can get your food cooking precisely to your liking. The second is that occasionally the HD9220’s analogue timer could stick causing food to burn. The digital timer in the HD9240 has no such fault.

How does it work?

Part of the reason air fryers are so popular is because they are very easy to use. The HD9240 does not break from this tradition and can be configured quickly using the touch screen control panel (everything seems to have a touch screen panel these days!).

The HD9240 touch controls make using this air fryer simple & fast

To begin with you’ll need to preheat the unit for 3 minutes. You can skip this step if you want to start frying straight away, all you need to do is add an extra 3 minutes to the timer.

Setting the temperature is easy and can be done using the up and down arrows located on the left hand side of the touch screen. The temperature ranges from 80 to 200 degrees.

Next remove the drawer from the bottom of the unit. Inside you’ll see the food basket (which can also be removed) and a max-fill indicator marked inside. Place your food in the tray and slide the drawer back into the machine. To help make sure your food cooks to a crisp finish try not to cram too much food in. The hot air needs to circulate around all of the food to emulate the effect of deep frying.

Lastly you’ll need to set the cooking time. Just the like setting the temperature a set of up and down arrows allow you to set the time in 1 minute increments from 1 minute to 1 hour.

To help take the guess work out of using your airfryer Philips have included a useful cooking guide. It will give you the temperature and cooking times of common meals and whether or not you need to shake up the ingredients mid cooking.

Not only that but when you’ve found your perfect cooking time and temperature for your favourite ingredients you can use the preset button to memorize this information. The only downside we found was that this appliance can only store one preset temperature and cooking time, which was a little disappointing.

Once you’ve finished cooking the cord can be retracted into the machine for safe and easy storage.

How easy is it to clean?

Like all good kitchen appliances this one is very easy to clean.

The entire bottom drawer and the inner basket are all dishwasher safe. This came as a surprise because we expected the basket to be dishwasher safe but NOT the outer drawer too. This is a huge time saver and makes cleaning a breeze.

What we think:

It’s always good to see brands who respond to the needs of their customers and Philips have certainly done this will the HD9240.

The extra cooking capacity and easy to use control panel are sure to make it a hit in any household who wants to enjoy family favourite meals such as fries and hamburgers whilst cutting down on calories.

The downside? It does cost more than previous models. If you’re happy with the smaller cooking capacity we recommend the earlier HD9220. But, if you want one of the best air fryers available today the HD9240 is sure to please.

Delonghi Multifry Extra FH1394

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The Multifry FH1394 is an incredibly versatile device. It features an impressive range of settings and functions, which will not only allow you to cook your favourite foods in a more healthy way, but will also allow you to cook almost anything you would in your oven, hob or microwave.

Not only that but its features an a very roomy 1.7kg cooking capacity and allows you to cook for up to 8 people at once!

How does it work?

Despite its wide range of functionality using the Multifry is very easy.

In fact there are preset configurations you can access which will allow you to cook common meals with little more than the twist of a dial.

To begin with the machine needs to be turned on using the on/off switch located on left, rear hand side of the machine. Once done the machine will beep.

On the front, left hand side of the machine is a twist dial with 7 preset functions (as mentioned above) turning the dial will access each function and you will notice the timer and temperature level display change according to what is selected.

Here’s a quick overview of each function:

  • Casserole
  • Cake – this function can be used for general baking too.
  • Pizza – this can be used to cook fresh or frozen pizza.
  • Chips/Fries – despite the fries icon this can be used to cook most potato ingredients such as roast potatoes or jacket potatoes.
  • Oven – emulates the action of your oven and can be used to cook anything from meats and vegetables to chicken nuggets and fish fingers!
  • Grill/Top oven – only heats from the top and can be used for browning food or most items you would cook under a grill.
  • Pan – heats the bottom of the pan only and can be used to cook most things you can cook on your hob.

Once you’ve selected one of the preset cooking modes you can adjust the time and temperature using the right hand control panel.

The LCD display at the top of the panel shows the time. This can be adjusted in 1 minute increments. Beneath this is a series of 4 arrow shaped LEDs which comprise the temperature gauge, or ‘thermostat dial’ as Delonghi refers to it.

Whilst this is not as precise as setting an exact temperature it does have the advantage of being fast and simple to use. Plus the viewing window on top of the device allows you to see your food cooking and you can remove it at anytime, so there’s no need to worry about it burning.

Lastly you need to place your food in the bowl. There’s handy fill line marked on the inside to prevent overfilling and there’s also a detachable paddle which agitates/stirs the food while it is cooking. This ensures your food is crisp all over.

A single press of the power button (located in the center of the cooking modes dial) causes it to glow and the machine whirs to life and begins cooking your food. At the end of the cycle the machine automatically switches off and beeps to let you know it has finished.

Is there anything else I need to know?

To help prevent confusion whilst you’re learning to use the Multifry, Delonghi have included a very comprehensive manual. It’s a handy resource you can use to find out the cooking times and temperature settings for a LOT of different foods. Not only that but it will also tell you how much oil to include and whether to use the paddle or not.

Speaking of oil, Delonghi have included a small jug so you can easily measure your oil before adding it to the machine. Because you need so little oil the jug fill lines range from just 1 to 5 ounces – much healthier than deep frying!

Plus the device has an app for android and apple devices which you can download and this will provide you with over 250 recipes to try.

How easy is it to clean?

Cleaning the Multifry is easy. The cooking bowl can be removed and cleaned easily with a quick wipe thanks to its non-stick interior. It doesn’t appear to have any problems being used in the dishwasher either. However, we couldn’t find out if Delonghi specified if this was safe or not.

The viewing window can also be detached from the machine for fast and simple cleaning. Pressing two buttons located in the top of the lid will release the window.

What we think:

Not only is the Delonghi Multifry FH1394 impressive to look at it is also provides an impressive range of functionality making it incredibly versatile. When you couple that with the comprehensive manual, free app and easy clean features its is by far the best air fryer we’ve seen and is our best buy.

Tefal Actifry AL806240

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One of the first air fryers we remember seeing advertised was for the Tefal Actifry range. Since that time a whole host of different manufacturers have released their own models. But, the Actifry range has grown (now encompassing around 6 models) and continues to be a best seller.

One reasons we believe their popularity has endured is because Tefal offers a full spectrum of functionality, from simple-to-use right through to bells-and-whistles models. Which means there is something for everyone. The AL806240 definitely falls into the former range. It offers minimal controls which you’ll either love or hate, depending on if you tech-adverse or a tech-fan.

But, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. To begin with lets take an overview of how you setup the Actifry and begin using it.

How does it work?

The Actifry typifies the ‘traditional’ air fryer design. A hinged lid sits over a cooking pan in which you place your ingredients. To access the pan simultaneously press the two buttons located on the front of device.

The actifry’s paddle automatically agitates the food for even cooking

Now the lid is open you can remove the oil measuring spoon and place in your food, making sure you distribute it evenly. After this, use the supplied measuring spoon to drizzle oil over the food as evenly as possible.

Next close the lid and set the timer using (the timer is the right hand side button on the lid). Pressing the timer button will increment the countdown timer in 1 minute intervals. We noticed there was not button to decrement the timer should you make a mistake. Although you can press and hold the timer button for 2 seconds to reset it to 0.

The last step is to press the on/off button to begin cooking.

As the device cooks a removable paddle will automatically agitate the food to make sure it cooks evenly and its crispy all over. The lazy person in me really likes this feature!

When the timer elapses the device will beep.

However unlike some devices the AL806240 will NOT switch off the fryer. This means you’ll need to keep an eye on your food to make sure you do not let it burn once the timer reaches 0.

Is there anything else I need to know?

The image associated with airfryers are that they are a much healthier way to cook chips. Whilst this is true they are also quite versatile. This means you can cook more than just chips in the Actifry!

Included with the device is a handy booklet which gives you cooking times and the oil amounts required for a variety of different ingredients. You can cook anything from courgettes and mushrooms to lamb chops and chilli con carne.

The only items you can’t cook in the AL806240 are meals with high a liquid content. So, sauces and soups are no-go meals here.

How easy is it to clean?

The Actifry excels when is comes to cleaning.

The paddle, cooking pan and detachable portion of the lid are all diswasher safe. And, if like me, you have to wash up the old fashioned way in the sink, you’ll be pleased to know that the pan is non-stick.

What we think:

The AL806240 is one of the cheapest air fryers available today. As a result it would be unfair to compare its shortcomings to fully-featured higher priced models. If you want a device which does switch itself off and is a bit more versatile you should look at the higher priced Actifry models or the Multifry (above).

However, if you want to save a bit of money and get an airfryer which still does the job well this might be the device for you.

Russell Hobbs Purifry 20810

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In our previous review we mentioned that the Actifry was the personification of a ‘standard’ airfryer design. If this is the case then the Purifry by Russell Hobbs is certainly the antithesis of this.

In fact, it looks more like a traditional deep fat fryer (Russell Hobbs makes a few of these too). The inner cooking basket lends to this appearance, and has a miasma of deep frying about it.

That said, it is most definitely, an air fryer! It is one of the more simple models available and features two simple analogue controls, with no LCD panel or buttons in sight.

Let’s kick off by looking at how this appliance works and what you can cook in it.

How does it work?

Like most air fryers you do need to preheat the Purifry for about 3-5 minutes before use. To do this set the temperature and timer, using the bottom and top dials respectively.

Once this is done the device will spring into action and sound like an extractor fan whirring up. You’ll also notice the thermostat and power lights illuminate to let you know the Purifry is working.

The purifry’s cooking basket can cook enough food for up to 3 people at once

After the preheat time has elapsed you can start cooking.

Start by removing the bowl using the handle on front of the device. This should just slide out. Place your food into basket, as always being careful not to overfill it, and place this back in the machine.

Following this, set the timer and leave it to work.

You might be wondering if it really is that simple. Well, not quite. There is one caveat; about half way through the cooking you need to remove the cooking bowl and shake up or turn over the food.

This means you can’t leave it cook completely unattended. You can however leave it to finish cooking unattended, after you have shaken up your food. It will automatically switch off once the timer has elapsed. This feature is especially useful for people like myself who, on occasion, have left food a little too long and it has browned (IE burnt) a bit too much!

Finally you can cook more than one type of food at the same time thanks to the supplied partition which divides the basket neatly in two.

Is there anything else I need to know?

There certainly is. Just like its more expensive counterparts the Purifry can cook a fairly wide range of items which you might normally fry or cook in the oven. Using it you can cook the obvious foods such as chips and jacket potatoes. But, you can also cook the less obvious foods such as stir fries, tortillas and even a Victoria sponge!

Because theres no automated stirring paddle and it uses a very hole-ridden basket to cook we’d recommend you keep clear of meals which usually require a pan to cook such as soups and sauces! (Although some air fryers such as Multifry can cook these kinds of foods).

Lastly for an appliance which can heat up to 200 degrees it is very cool when it is in use. In fact you can handle the outside without burning yourself. This is in contrast to the hinged-lid style air fryers which can often get very hot.

How easy is it to clean?

Luckily the Purifry is very easy to clean. The major components which come in to contact with food are all dishwasher safe. This includes the partition, bowl and basket.

The surfaces of the appliance can also be cleaned quickly using a damp cloth. Although these shouldn’t get dirty too often. Especially since the greasy vapours usually associated with frying won’t be made using an air fryer.

What we think:

Yes, the Purifry is simple. Yes, it does have a bit of a contrived name (PuriFRY). But, for a sub £100 appliance its a pretty solid entry by Russell Hobbs. The reasonably small cooking capacity may disappoint larger families but for most people, who want to start cooking more healthily, it should be more than adequate.

Breville VDF105 Halo Plus

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When we first saw the Breville Halo Plus (Halo) in action we couldn’t help but be reminded of a cement mixer. Now, don’t be put of by this rather crude comparison it is, in fact, a very neat appliance.

But why a cement mixer? The reason for this is because, in a unique move, Breville have made two changes to how the Halo cooks it food when compared to most other air fryers.

The first is that the entire bowl rotates to agitate the food. This is in place of the removable paddle most other appliances use for ‘stirring’.

The second is that the whole appliance can be titled at roughly a 45 degree angle to further increase the movement of the food. The end result is, well, cement mixer-esque as you watch the ingredients tumble around inside.

But, this is not some rusting behemoth, which would look at home on any building site. No, it is a stylish and trending looking appliance which simply has a unique way of working. Let’s take a look at this in more detail.

How does it work?

Like most air fryers the Halo has its control panel located on top of the appliance. A central LED display is surrounded by 4 buttons and gives an indication of how simple the Halo is to use.

To begin with you’ll need to use the two buttons located to left of the LED display. These increment and decrement the timer in minutes, and you can choose from as little a 1 minute up to 75 minutes.

You choose whether to ‘tumble’ the food allowing you to cook even delicate food like fish in the Halo Plus

Next you’ll need to choose your cooking mode. The Halo plus will allow you to choose between two modes: grill and dual cooking. Dual cooking activates both the grill and heats the bottom of the pan.

The last step is to choose if you tilt the machine or not.

Tilting the machine is what causes the ingredients to tumble around inside. But, there are occasions when this wouldn’t be suitable. After all, tumbling cake mixture or delicate fish would probably ruin your meal!

But, tumbling chips with sausages or roast potatoes to get a crisp result with slightly crumbly edges would be heaven.

The point is that you can CHOOSE whether to tumble or not. This ensures the Halo Plus is on par with functionality when compared to its competitors and does not limit it to foods which can withstand being tumbled around.

In fact you you can cook an array of foods ranging from desserts to nachos or roasted Mediterranean vegetables to Thai green curry.

When the Halo Plus has finished cooking it will not only beep but will automatically switch itself off. Preventing it from burning food and making sure you don’t need to watch over it while it works.

Is there anything else I need to know?

When it comes to included accessories the Halo Plus gets our thumbs up.

Inside the box you’ll find a recipe book containing lots of different sweet and savoury dishes for you to try in your air fryer. It also arrives with a handy grill rack to allow fats and oils to drain out of any foods you grill.

Lastly it comes with a measuring spoon (which holds around 15ml of oil), a removable handle for the cooking bowl (to prevent burnt fingers) and a drip tray to catch condensation.

How easy is it to clean?

When it comes to any kitchen appliance easy cleaning is a must. We’ve all had those proverbial wonder-appliances that we never really use because they’re a pain to clean.

Well in the world of air fryers cleaning is not a problem. The Halo Plus follows this trend and the non-stick bowl, removable plastic lid, spoon and grill rack can all be removed and popped in the dishwasher. Cleaning doesn’t get much simpler than that.

What we think:

The Halo Plus is certainly very unique. Its approach to cooking ensures the food is adequately coated with the small amount of oil used and the hot air is evenly distributed. The end result is well-cooked, crispy food which is about as close to deep drying as you can get.

Not only that but, at the time of this review, it is heavily discounted. In fact you can grab it for around 50% off here. Making it excellent value for money.

How Air Fryers Work

How do air fryers work? Read on to find out

Air fryers appear to turn most foods deep fried and golden brown as if by magic. The truth is slightly more mundane and powered by distinctly non Harry-Potterish technology.

Here’s the cooking process broken down into steps:

Step 1:

Circulating hot air is part of the secret to how air fryers work

A heating element in the appliance quickly heats the air anywhere from a few degrees up to around 200 degrees. At the same time a fan circulates this hot air to ensure even cooking and a nicely browned outer.

It does this by taking advantage of a chemical reaction called the Maillard effect.

This happens on all foods where the browned outside provides a distinctive flavour. Such as with breads, seared steaks and, of course, chips.

Step 2:

Removable stirring arms ensure even air flow and oil coverage

Inside many air fryers a stirring paddle will agitate the food to ensure any added oil and the air moves around the food evenly and you get an even crisp (the paddle can be removed for delicate foods).

Those which don’t feature a handy stirring arm need to be stopped half way through the cooking cycle and the food is manually shaken.

Step 3:

This final step is not so much part of the cooking process but what happens after the cooking. In many cases a timer will count down to zero, beep and then automatically switch off the appliance. Ensuring your food does not get burnt.

Air Frying vs Deep Frying

Without a doubt air frying your food is going to be better (IE healthier) for you when compared to deep frying.

But what other advantages are there when compared to deep frying? In this next section we’ll find out as we take a look at each in turn:

  • Health benefits.

OK, I know we’ve already mentioned the health benefits.

But what does this mean?

‘Less fat’ is a phrase which often banded around when people talk of air frying. But how much fat is ‘less fat’? Well, using the common standard of cooking chips ‘less fat’ means around 90% less fat when compared to deep frying.

But it doesn’t stop at chips. ANY food which is usually surrounded by fatty oil when deep frying is covered in just thin layer of oil when air frying. Vastly reducing the amount of fat added to your food.

  • Far less odour.

Boiling oil produces a lot of odour. Even with an extractor fan running the smell can still spread around the home. This ‘greasy’ smell is virtually gone when using an air fryer and you can only smell the food itself cooking, not the oil.

  • Less dangerous!

Having gallons or scalding hot oil around is never a good idea. Especially if you have children or very clumsy people (like I am) in your home. Air fryers are simply much safer to use.

  • Much faster.

Because you don’t need to heat a massive pan of oil you can get cooking in seconds with an airfryer. This makes them much more economical too!

  • Versatility.

If you’ve read our reviews above you’ll already have an idea of how versatile air fryers are. They aren’t just limited to chips and most can cook vegetables, curries, fish, cakes and different kinds of desserts too!

  • Cooking oils degrade.

After only several deep frying session cooking oils begin to break down and vegetable oils separate into water and fat. This means you need to replace this oil often and disposal can become time-consuming and tricky.

Closing Thoughts

In an age when we realise how important being healthy is air fryers have come to the rescue.

They allow us to enjoy our favourite sinful foods without the tons of extra fat deep frying would add. Not only that but their versatility ensures that can be used daily for cooking more than just chips.

Lastly, thank you for reading this far! By now you should be fully educated on air fryers, what they do, how they do it and what we think are the best appliances available right now. But, if you’re still a bit unsure we recommend: