What to consider when buying an air fryer
So you’ve decided to jump on the air fryer wagon – congratulations! We’re sure you’re gonna enjoy the crispy, delicious ride. But wait, which air fryer to buy? There are toaster oven designs, combo systems, basket setups – which is best? First things first lets go over the points you should consider when buying an air fryer. From there, we have a recommended air fryer that should work well for most people.
How much should I spend on an air fryer?
How much you can afford will dictate the models you end up looking at. There are fryers for every budget out there, even ones under $50. We find that once you hit the $80-$120 mark you start seeing the very best air frying models. The most expensive units tend to have massively increased capacity or offer combination features.
How many people will you be feeding?
If you’re just cooking for yourself, machines under 4 qt should be more than fine. Our household is two and we use a 5.8qt unit; that’s big enough to cook a couple big portions of fries without overcrowding. If you’re looking to cook for a family of four all at once, you might want to look even bigger, or just consider cooking in batches.
How much counter space do you have?
Air fryers can run the gamut from small to massive pieces of kitchen kit. They’ll more than likely live on your kitchen counter, so take a glance around your kitchen. Where do you think the fryer will live? Do you have space?
Our current recommended fryer
Our current recommended air fryer is the COSORI Air Fryer (5.8QT model). If you click that link and purchase from Amazon we get a small (very small!) referral fee.
So why do we recommend that particular fryer?
First of all, it’s the air fryer we have most experience and most satisfactory results with. Most of the recipes you will see on this site were cooked in the COSORI. Here a few highlights of the COSORI:
- Spacious interior. The 5.8QT internal cooking space is plenty for our particular household. It’s typically enough to cook up enough food for two big servings. Though you could probably push that a little more.
- 400F top temp. When we’re looking to achieve as crispy as finish as possible, the higher the temperature the better. We find 400F degrees works really well to crisp popular items like fries and onion rings.
- Preheating mode. You can read more on preheating here, long story short, things cook much better and quicker when the unit is at a good temperature.
- Safety features. I won’t lie, when I first researched air fryers I was a little leery of a counter top oven generating high heat blown around by fans. Of course, everyones mileage will vary, but I feel particularly safe with the various features of the COSORI – once I read the manual and understand the various features and quirks. Always take the time to read the manual carefully!
Speaking of safety
First of all, I can’t underscore enough how much to read the manual back to front – and then again – before using the COSORI. Safety first guys. Understand how the tool you’re about to use works.
Here’s a few additional things I’ve learned from hands on use with this unit:
- Look at the pictures below. In the second picture showing the basket cavity, inside the unit above the hole is heating element and fan. Anything in the cooking basket that’s extremely light, runs the risk of blowing up into the heating system. I’d imagine that’s a fire risk there, so be ultra careful if you use extremely light weight items. I thought about air frying poppadoms but decided against it as some online blogs suggested the light lentil crackers could waft up under a draft. Nope, not risking it.
- Go ahead and play with the double basket locking system over and over before you start using the COSORI. It’s easy to get the hang of, and quite safe in my own experience. BUT! In testing I accidentally released the baskets in error, managing to catch them mid flight. If I’d have done that while the baskets where hot, injuries would more than likely have happened. Once I built up some muscle memory of how the whole things work (just a few minutes) all was well.
- Don’t overly oil your food – for the most part you just don’t need to, and that’s not the point. The hot circulating air is what’s going to add crisp for you. If you overly utilize oil, you risk at a smoky mess at best.
- If you must use an oil, I like to use a fat free spray or a high smoke point oil like canola.
Most of these tips are true of many air fryers, like any tool they’re safe if used correctly and their basic functions understood.
Buying the COSORI air fryer on Amazon
We probably don’t need to tell anyone about the benefits of buying on Amazon. Low prices, fast shipping and a fantastic return policy if you run into troubles.
Check out and buy the unit here: COSORI Air Fryer (5.8QT model).