Air Fryer – Which One Do I Buy?

Air Fryers are a relatively new kitchen appliance. My trusted deep fat fryer sadly ‘died’ last month – I’ve had it for years – and now I want to purchase an air fryer to replace it. From what I’ve read they create the delicious flavour and texture of a deep fried meal but with approximately 75% less fat. A win win situation!! But which air fryer do I buy? I need one to suit the needs of my family and also my needs as a caterer.

Ninja Air Fryer

What Is An Air Fryer?

In simple terms, an air fryer is an appliance that deep fries without the oil.

Air fryers work by convection – they circulate hot air around the food. Instead of placing food in a deep pan of boiling fat to cook and crispen, an air fryer mimics the results of deep frying with just hot air and a tiny amount of oil. Furthermore, they cook the food a lot quicker than a fryer.

Air Fryers can do a lot more than replace a deep fat fryer – some can roast, grill, bake, reheat and even dehydrate.

Are Air Fryers Healthy?

It really depends upon what you use them to cook!!! Simply replacing all deep fried foods with air fried foods will not guarantee a healthy diet.

Undoubtedly switching from deep fried foods to air fried foods will reduce your intake of fat and calories. Manufacturers claim that air frying can reduce calorie intake by up to 80%.

An article in Medical News Today explains the benefits and risks of cooking with an air fryer.

Why Do I Want An Air Fryer?

As a family we do not eat many fried foods. However, there are times when I will cook chips and other foods that simply do not taste the same unless they are fried! Replacing my deep fat fryer with an air fryer seems a sensible thing to do.

As a caterer, there are only a few dishes that I use my deep fat fryer for. One popular item – Chicken Goujons – needs either a deep fat fryer or an air fryer to get the desired results.

Which Air Fryer Should I Buy?

There are so many air fryers for sale that it is very difficult to decide which one to buy. They range in price from £34 to £900, but I have only been looking at those between the £65 and £120 price range. Also, as I do love a bargain, I have been looking for ones that are on offer at a reduced price. I do not see the point of spending a lot of money on an item I have not used before and may not like.

Here are five air fryers, in no particular order, that I’ve narrowed my choice down to. Without testing each air fryer I’ve had to resort to analysing the reviews online.

Please bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliates and if you go through them to make a purchase I will make a commission.

1. Tefal ActiFry Plus Air Fryer 1.2 kg

Tefal Air Fryer

This is my review of the best selling Tefal ActiFry Original Plus GH840B40 Air Fryer – Grey / 5 Portions / 1.2kg. One thing that places it ahead of its competitors is the fact that it has a stirring paddle. This means that you do not have to manually shake the basket.

A Little About The Tefal Brand

Tefal is a French cookware and small appliance manufacturer owned by Groupe SEB. Its name is a portmanteau of the words TEFlon and ALuminium. The company is known for creating non-stick cookware and for air fryers. In fact it is the UK’s leading low-fat fryer brand.

Tefal Logo

Review

I always think it helps if you can see a video of the product. It gives you a better sense of what you are buying, particularly if you have not seen an air fryer used before. Below is a video that will take you through what the product looks like and what it can produce.

Key Features of the Tefal ActiFry Plus Air Fryer

  • Capacity: 1.2kg, 3.8L basket, serves up to 5 people
  • Automatic Stirring
  • Power: 1400 W
  • Dishwasher safe (except for base)
  • Ceramic removable pan
  • Colours: Grey
  • Size: 43x31x24 cm
  • Guarantee: 1 Year

This air fryer requires no preheating and can cook 1.2 kg of chips using only one spoonful of oil. Not only does it cook chips it can be used to cook curries, stir-fry’s, risottos, desserts and a lot more.

There is no need to shake or stir while cooking as it has a stirring paddle that does the job for you. What’s more, it is simple to use as it only has two buttons and beeps when the food is ready. It has a viewing window which means you can keep an eye on your food cooking without opening the drawer. It has a cool wall exterior meaning that it’s safe to touch if you have young children around. Some say its design is not modern whilst others like its funky design. There is also a free recipe book and an app to help you cook.

RRP: £229.00

Best Price: £119 from Amazon

Customer Reviews

On Amazon the air fryer has had 1026 reviews, averaging 4.6 out of 5 stars.

What Customers Liked

  • Easy to use
  • Flavour
  • Makes the best chips ever
  • Easy to clean

What Customers Disliked

  • Noisy
  • Some customers have complained that the lid doesn’t shut properly
  • Some customers have complained that the blade catches food under it
Tefal ActiFryer

My Summary

A lot of positive reviews with the added bonus of an automatic stirrer. As it only has two buttons to operate and is easy to clean, this makes the product attractive. It is competitively priced, packed with features and a versatile addition to any kitchen. I don’t think I’d pay the full price for it but the reduced price is certainly tempting.

2. VonShef 5L Air Fryer

VonShef Air Fryer

This is my review of the VonShef 5L Air Fryer. An attractive product with black and copper housing and the cheapest one I have reviewed. Like almost all VonShef products, it comes with a 2 year guarantee which gives you peace of mind when making a purchase.

A Little About The VonShef Brand

VonShef is a kitchen brand that is becoming very popular in the UK. From their Manchester head office they create a wide range of kitchen appliances that stand out with their stylish designs.

VonShef logo

Review

The VonShef 5 Litre Air Fryer is inexpensive and has a large five litre capacity. This product allows you to fry, roast, bake or grill.

Key Features of the VonShef 5L Air Fryer

  • Capacity: 5 L
  • Power: 1300 W
  • Dishwasher Safe: No
  • Colour: Black & Copper
  • Size: 35.5 x 35.5 x 38.5 cm
  • Guarantee: 2 Years

A stylish, energy saving kitchen appliance that boasts a 5 litre capacity with a cheap price tag. Unlike more expensive models, there are no pre-set functions or digital displays. Instead the air fryer has two dials – one for time and one for temperature. On top of the product there is a cooking guide and the accompanying instruction booklet provides guidance for commonly cooked items.

Some reviews state that food takes slightly longer to cook in this air fryer but that the cooked food tastes just as good. It has a cool touch handle and a 60 minute timer for precise cooking and overheat protection. It does not have an automatic stirrer so the basket has to be shaken to ensure even browning of foods. The large food basket offers plenty of space to cook for the whole family and is made from a non-stick mesh. It is easy to clean after use.

RRP: £64.99

Best Price: £64.99 VonShef

Customer Reviews

On Amazon the air fryer has had 227 reviews, averaging 4.4 out of 5 stars.

What Customers Liked

  • Easy to use
  • Versatility
  • Value for money
  • Easy to clean
  • Quiet

What Customers Disliked

  • Need to shake every 4 minutes otherwise food doesn’t cook evenly
  • No recipe book
VonShef 5Ltr Fryer

My Summary

This air fryer has a lot of good reviews and offers value for money. It has quite a large capacity which would suit families, and as a bonus it appears to be quieter than other models when cooking. The two year guarantee gives peace of mind.

3. Power Air Fryer XL

Power Air Fryer

This is my review of the Power Air Fryer XL 5.0 Litre. It offers an all-in-one alternative to five different cooking methods – air-fry, grill, bake, saute, roast and steam. Accessories include a baking tray and basket divider, which means that you can cook more than one item of food at the same time. A smaller model is available (3.2 Litres).

A Little About The High Street TV Brand

High Street TV is a multi-channel business operating in the UK and abroad. Their products can be bought via their shopping channels, their website, Amazon, eBay & at at most high street retailers and supermarkets.

High Street TV Logo

Review

This air fryer boast five different cooking functions making it a versatile kitchen appliance. Its large capacity makes it ideal for families or entertaining.

Key Feature of the Power Air Fryer XL

  • Capacity: 5 L
  • Power: 1700 W
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Colour: Black
  • 7 pre set functions
  • Timer with auto shut off
  • Size: 35.3 x 35.3 x 39.6 cm
  • Guarantee: 60 Days

This product is a sizeable kitchen appliance but it does more than just air frying. It is egg shaped but does look attractive. It comes with a large baking pan which you can use to roast, cook casseroles and bake cakes. There is also a pizza pan for making pies, tarts and pizza. tongs are included too for removing foods easily. It is apparently simple to use as it has seven pre-set functions, a quick touch digital LED control panel with adjustable time and temperature settings and auto shut off. The manufacturer claims that anything you put in the oven can go into the air fryer. A recipe book is provided too.

RRP: £129.99

Customer Reviews

On Amazon the air fryer has had 466 reviews, averaging 4.4 stars out of 5.

What Customers Liked

  • Flavour
  • Easy to Use
  • Easy to Clean
  • Versatility
  • Value for Money

What Customers Disliked

  • Short guarantee
  • Some customers say
  • that the non stick coating flakes

My Summary

It is certainly a versatile piece of equipment and has a large capacity, which would suit families. However, my main concern would be the short length of the guarantee. At the moment (June 2019) a further 5% discount is available from the store.

4. Ninja Air Fryer

Ninja Air Fryer

This is my review of the Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK. This product has four cooking functions – air fry, roast, reheat and dehydrate, and is a stylish appliance that will look good in any kitchen.

A Little About The Ninja Brand

Ninja is one of several homeware brands developed by Euro-Pro Operating LLC. The company is known for cleaning solutions and small household appliances. Euro-Pro also markets products under the Shark brand name.

Ninja Logo

Review

Here is a video of the Ninja Air Fryer. It shows what the product looks like, how to use it and what it can cook.

Key Features of the Ninja Air Fryer

  • Capacity: 3.8 L
  • Power: 15500 W
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Colour: Black
  • BPA Free
  • 4 Functions – Air Fry, Roast, Reheat & Dehydrate
  • Size: 34.5 x 27.9 x 33.8 cm
  • Guarantee: 1 Year

This is a stylish appliance with a 3.8 litre basket, which means you can air fry 900g of chips. It requires preheating for 3 minutes. Not only does this product air fry, it also roasts, reheats and dehydrates.

You can create delicious main and side dishes, and you can reheat to restore leftovers and get that fresh out of the oven texture. You can even gently dehydrate ingredients to enjoy homemade dried fruits, vegetable crisps, beef jerky and dog treats. The air fryer handle remains cool to touch but the body does get hot. Accessories include and air fryer crisper plate and a cook & crisp rack. It has easy controls and a digital display, and it is easy to customise programmes to suit whatever you are cooking.

RRP: £ 119.99

Best Price: £99 from Amazon

Customer Reviews

On Amazon the air fryer has had 16 reviews, averaging 4.1 stars out of 5.

What Customers Liked

  • Easy to Use
  • Easy to Clean
  • Flavour
  • Roasts, dehydrates & reheats

What Customers Disliked

  • Some customers say it gives off a burning rubber smell

My Summary

This air fryer is very attractive and lightweight, and has received quite a lot of positive reviews. A bonus is the reheating and dehydrating functions.

5. Habor 5.5L Air Fryer

Habor Air Fryer

This is my review of the Habor 5.5L Air Fryer. It is the largest air fryer I have reviewed which gives it a competitive advantage over other models for the larger family (or caterer).

A Little About The Habor Brand

Unfortunately I cannot find any information about this brand. There is a website called ihabor showing kitchen products they make, but there are no details on their ‘About Us’ page.

Habor Logo

Review

This short video shows how to use the air fryer and some of the food items it can cook – including a whole chicken.

Key Features of the Habor 5.5L Air Fryer

  • Capacity: 5.5 L (for 7 – 8 people)
  • Power: 1800W
    Dishwasher Safe: Yes
  • Colour: Black
  • BPA & PFOA free
  • 7 pre-set functions for cooking various foods
  • 4 Functions – Air Fry, Roast, Keep Warm & Resume
  • Auto Shutoff & overheat protection
  • Size: 42.15 x 34.3 x 38.07 cm
  • Guarantee: 2 Years & 45 days money back, & free life time technical support

This air fryer is the largest and most powerful one I have reviewed. It has a 10 second thermal dissipation for safe use, and a 120 minute heat preservation function if you don’t want to serve your fried foods immediately.

It is simple to use with its touch LED screen and push knob and can cook casseroles, curries, whole chickens and even desserts such as apple pies, cupcakes, cookies and cheesecakes. A recipe book is included. The manufacturer claims it can save you 75% in both time and electricity in the kitchen; it won’t heat up your kitchen; and also that it uses 85% less fat than a traditional deep fat fryer. It is also claimed that it will keep the integrity of your food and won’t break it up into a mush.

RRP: £ 84.99

Best Price:£85.99 from Amazon

Customer Reviews

On Amazon the air fryer has had 80 reviews, averaging 4.4 stars out of 5.

What Customers Liked

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Versatile
  • Flavour
  • Value for money

What Customers Disliked

  • Noisy (some complain that it’s noisy while others say it isn’t)

My Summary

A stylish and versatile kitchen appliance with a generous warranty , and one that seems large enough for a family and/or a caterer. My only hesitation with this air fryer is the lack of information about the manufacturer.

Which Air Fryer Do I Buy?

There is no doubt in my mind that I want to replace my deep fat fryer with an air fryer. What really appeals to me is that it is a much healthier way to cook and there are no frying smells. When I’ve had large amounts of frying to do I’m often banned from the kitchen and end up frying outside or in the garage! Saving electricity in the kitchen is also a bonus.

But which one do I buy? The only one I’d rule out at the moment is the Power Air Fryer XL because of its short warranty – 60 days is not long, and it makes me wonder whether the manufacturer lacks faith in the product. What do you think? It’s very difficult to make a decision without having used an air fryer. I’d love to hear from anyone that could recommend an air fryer.

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