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6 best air fryers for chips, veggies and more: Black Friday savings on our favourite fryers

best air fryer
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Cut fat from your favourite dishes, not flavour – here's our pick of the best air fryers

The best air fryers are ideal for cooking everything from chicken nuggets and chips to vegetables and even stir-fries. That's because air fryers are an efficient way to satisfy your craving for "fried" foods with a much lower fat content – so you can nibble on your favourite comfort foods with less oil.

They work by convection, meaning they circulate hot air around your food, ensuring every bit of surface area is exposed to the oil and heat. You simply need to spray or pour a little oil onto whatever you’re cooking before switching on the appliance. A clever chemical process called the Maillard reaction creates a crispy result with far less fat – up to 99% in some cases.

Air fryers generally operate between 150 and 200˚C, although different models will vary. Because so little oil is used, an air fryer won't recreate exactly the same results as your favourite chippy, though most of our picks below do come close. So if you're ready to make your favourite foods that little bit healthier, read our buying guide and bite-sized reviews to find the best air fryer for your needs and budget.

£20 off the Tower 5-in-1 with rotisserie

Want to make excellent rotisserie chicken at home in your air fryer? Then you NEED to bag this deal on the Tower T17039. It's a great budget air fryer with a unique function that allows you to cook whole chickens, kebabs and more with its rotisserie spit. This deal won't be around for long though, so grab it while you can.
Amazon
Was £94
Now £74

HUGE £81 off the Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1

Our favourite premium air fryer is now an incredible £151 for Black Friday. With two cooking compartments, bundles of presets for simple one-touch meals and a self-stirring paddle, this really is the best air fryer you can buy if money is no object. It's just £2 off its lowest-ever price too, so grab a bargain while you can.
Amazon
Was £232
Now £151

Get the Tefal Genius+ for just £99 this Black Friday

When our all-time favourite air fryer went to a new low of £129, we didn't think it could get any lower. Now it has fallen again to just £99 for Black Friday. Not only does it come with loads of preset functions for cooking popular dishes, it also has a self-stirring wand for hands-free cooking. This is an excellent premium air fryer well worth your money, so get it for less now.
Amazon
Was £149
Now £99

Best air fryer: At a glance


How to choose the best air fryer for you

How much should I spend?

Air fryers aren't the cheapest appliances, but you can get a decent air fryer for a starting price of around £80. This should do the basic job of frying food with a minimum of fat, but cooking times might be slow compared to pricier models and you may not always achieve perfection.

Style is also a factor, as is a machine’s capabilities. Some air fryers have quick cook functions and stirring paddles, which do all the hard work for you, while others can also grill or bake. You should also consider the capacity of the air fryer – some are big enough to cater for a family meal, while others are smaller and can fit into dinky kitchens. For a large, fast air fryer you should expect to pay somewhere in the region of £150-£250.

What are the standard functions?

The best air fryers will have a number of basics you should look out for. These include weight and temperature settings, so you can adjust the heat and cook time to suit your ingredients.

Good models will come with dishwasher-safe removable parts and a pull-out loading tray that slots into the machine. For easy cooking from the get-go, look out for models with preset functions for popular dishes too. These work out the timings and temperatures for you.

Most also come with a recipe booklet for culinary inspiration, which is ideal if you're new to air frying.

Do they come with accessories?

While most air fryers don’t come with anything beyond the standard basket, there’s a range of accessories that can turn your fryer into more of a mini oven. For example, certain Philips and air fryers have compatible grill pans, while others, like Tower, have roasting trays meaning you can bake in them too.

READ NEXT: The best chopping boards for every occasion

What else should I look out for?

Air fryer technology is improving all the time. Older models might take a while to get going, and can require more oil than newer designs. Cheaper models may also require you to parboil chips, which might not be ideal if you're looking for fast cooking times.

You should also look for additional functions if you plan on using your fryer for more than chips and nuggets – some air fryers can cook curries, stews, risottos and more.

READ NEXT: Save time on meal prep with the best food processors

The best air fryers to buy in 2021

1. Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK: The best mid-range air fryer

Price: £100 | Buy now from Argos

Promising healthy chip frying with up to 75% less fat (than deep-fried hand-cut French fries), this Ninja air fryer is arguably so much more. As well as whipping up to 900g of fries, its removable crisper plate and two fan speeds turn it into a far more versatile machine. You can not only roast and fry food, but dehydrate it to produce beef jerky, chewy apple rings, banana chips, veggie crisps and other healthy snacks.

One of its other great functions is a reheat setting, which is perfect for bringing leftovers back to life without having to turn on the oven, and for crisping up single slices of pizza. It goes without saying that the Ninja is brilliant for frozen food but, thanks to easy controls and a digital display, it's also simple to customise programs to suit whatever you're cooking. If the 3.8l model isn't quite big enough for the whole family, there's also a 5.2l MAX version for £150.

Read our full Ninja Air Fryer review for more details

Key specs – Power: 1,550W; Capacity: 3.8l; Display: Digital, Accessories: Removable crisper plate

Buy now from Argos


2. Tower T17005: The best budget air fryer

Price: £58 | Buy now from Amazon

This low-cost air fryer is unassuming but sturdy and easy to use. It also produces great quality fried foods: it’s equipped to crisp up everything from chicken goujons to chips (which are made even better by parboiling first).

Price isn’t the Tower’s only attraction: it’s a solid contender for family use, as it has a large capacity, and is on the healthier side of the spectrum, reportedly cutting down on fat by 80%. Its parts are dishwasher-safe, which is great for speedy cleaning up after cooking, and there’s a range of accessories available, from a baking pan to a divider for making two foods at once.

Plus, while the Tower might still rely on a manual 30-minute timer with an auto switch-off, what gives it an extra edge is that it can also be used in conjunction with the Tower Recipe Alexa skill – so you won’t be limited to making tasty crunchy chips.

Key specs – Power: 1,350W; Capacity: 3.2l; Display: Manual timer; Accessories: Several available, sold separately

3. Tefal Actifry Genius+: The best air fryer overall

Price: £221 | Buy now from Argos

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-range air fryer that offers a decent alternative to deep frying with minimal fuss, the Tefal Genius+ is the one to try. With a 1.2kg capacity, this air fryer will cook up to six portions of food with little effort. You can opt for larger models in the Genius range, but these are rather large and we think this model is the ideal size.

The 360-degree stirring paddle is incredibly handy and ensures food is evenly and consistently cooked without the need for shaking your food mid-cooking cycle. Nine automatic cooking functions take most of the guesswork out of air frying but there’s still an option to manually set the time and temperature if need be. What's more, if you’re using these presets, the Genius+ (and every other Genius model in the range) automatically adjusts the temperature and stirring paddle during cooking so your food isn’t overcooked.

There’s no doubt that Tefal’s Genius range is expensive, but you really won’t find a line of air fryers that do the job better.

Read our full Tefal Genius+ review for more details

Key specs – Power: 1,500W; Capacity: 1.2kg; Display: Digital touchscreen; Accessories: Measuring spoon

4. Tower T17039 5-in-1: The best air fryer for cooking chicken

Price: £100 | Buy now from Argos

If you want an air fryer that does a bit more than the basic chips and chicken nuggets, but can’t quite stretch to a premium model like the Tefal Genius XL, this is a well-priced compromise. It doesn’t feel too huge on the countertop compared to other brands but has plenty of space inside. You can bake, roast, air fry and dehydrate with this fryer and, unlike other models that have basket-style drawers, the T17039 has individual crisping trays, making it more like a mini tabletop oven

The real shining star though is the air fryer’s automatic rotisserie function, which allows you to cook a whole small 1kg chicken in just 45 minutes. Results are fantastic, producing a chicken with crispy skin and a juicy, perfectly cooked interior with little effort. There is one downside, though. As it’s a cheaper model, you do have to parboil potatoes to get the best results with homemade chips. However, it's not a huge price to pay considering the price and unusual rotisserie addition.

Read our full Tower T17039 air fryer review for more details

Key specsPower: 2,000W; Capacity: 11-litres; Display: Digital touchscreen; Accessories: Rotisserie spit, 3 crisping trays, 1 classic baking tray

5. Ninja Foodi Dual Zone: The best air fryer for cooking two things at once

Price: £200 | Buy now from Argos

Air fryers are great for low-fat dinners, but only being able to cook one part of your meal at a time isn’t exactly ideal. That’s why Ninja’s Foodi Dual Zone fryer – with its two separate cooking baskets – is so unbeatable. With the fryer’s sync function, both baskets can be set to different times and temperatures but will finish at the same time. So you can cook your chicken and chips simultaneously, without the worry that one will be done before the other.

The Dual Zone’s Max Crisp function is also worth shouting about, as it cooks thinner frozen foods such as chips, onions rings and nuggets in a fraction of the time it would take a standard convection oven. During testing, one portion of frozen potato lattices came out perfectly crisp and golden in just six minutes, compared to the recommended 15-minute oven cooking time stated on the bag. This air fryer can also bake, roast, dehydrate and reheat, making it a versatile tabletop multi cooker.

Read our full Ninja Foodi Dual Zone review for more details

Key specs – Power: 2,400W; Capacity: 7.6l; Display: Digital, Accessories: None

Buy now from Argos


6. Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1: The best high-end air fryer

Price: £285 | Buy now from Argos

A whopping 1.7kg capacity makes the Genius 2in1 one of the biggest on our list. Like the other appliances in Tefal’s Genius range, there are plenty of preset options for cooking classic meals like chicken and chips, stir-fries and more. With these automatic presents, there’s no need to adjust the time and temperature yourself, though you can cook manually if you prefer.

All that space isn’t just there so you can bulk fry chips, though. The extra-large capacity houses Tefal’s 2in1 function, which enables you to cook two different elements of your meal in one place. With a rotating stirring paddle on the bottom and a static upper tray on top, you can cook a curry and air fry samosas in the same machine, saving on time and washing up.

In testing, chicken and homemade chips came out beautifully crisp with one tablespoon of oil and were ready in just 25-30 minutes. What’s more, the stirring paddle meant we didn’t even need to flip or check on them. This may be a bigger investment than some of the other air fryers on this list, but there’s nothing else quite like it.

Read our full Tefal Genius XL 2in1 review for more details

Key specs – Power: 1,500W; Capacity: 1.7kg; Display: Digital; Accessories: Measuring spoon, removable 2-in-1 tray