air fryer

Ready to join the air fryer frenzy? Read this guide before you buy!

Published 6th October 2022
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'Air fryers’ are the words on everyone’s lips right now. If you’ve got one, you’re telling people how great they are; if you haven’t, you’re talking about getting around to it - and seeing as you're here, we're guessing you're finally ready to get your hands on your own!

But before you do, keep reading! We've packed this guide with everything you could ever need to know about air fryers, to help you find the best one for you. 

Chicken legs in an air fryer.

What is an air fryer?

Air fryers are a sort of a tabletop fan oven... but better! You get the speed, flavour and textures of a deep fat fryer, minus the oil. They work by circulating hot air around the food, cooking it quickly without compromising the good stuff!

There are four main types to choose from:

  1. Basket Air Fryers

    Super easy to use, these air fryers have baskets to cook in and small holes to heat your food from all angles. Frozen or fresh, meat or veggie, they're ideal for all your favourite mid-week meals and weekend treats.
  2. Rotisserie Air Fryers

    Calling all carnivores, 'meat' your new best friend! Great for loads of different dishes - from Sunday roasts to fakeaways - most come with racks and skewers included for perfectly crispy skin and juicy, flavoursome meat.
  3. Paddle Air Fryers

    Perfect for busy families, these air fryers come with a paddle that stirs your food as it cooks. No need for shaking or turning over either, just put your feet up and let it do the work for you!
  4. Air Fryer Mini Ovens

    These combine all the best parts of an oven and air fryer together, all in one compact appliance. They’re quicker and more energy-efficient than an oven, and tend to have more cooking space than other air fryers too!

What size air fryer do I need?

Air Fryer Sizes Guide

Small air fryers (2-4.5L) are great for 2-3 servings, medium models (4.5-10L) are perfect for family-sized meals of 4-6 servings, and anything larger than that (10L+) can easily whip up more than 6 servings at once.

Features we love

  1. Dishwasher-safe Parts

    For fuss-free cleaning, look for air fryers with removable, dishwasher-safe parts. Once you've cooked up a storm, just pop the components in the dishwasher, wipe the inside and relax - it's that easy!
  2. Cooking Presets

    Want perfect meals at the touch of a button? You'll love an air fryer with multiple cooking modes! Fry, bake, roast, grill, slow cook and more - the choice is yours.
  3. Food Timer

    With a food timer, burned dinners are a thing of the past! Simply pop in the cooking time or select a preset, and your air fryer will let you know when it's done.
  4. Dual Cooking Zones

    Cook your mains and sides all at the same time in an air fryer with dual cooking zones. Mix 'n' match cooking presets, times and temperatures so everything's all ready to serve exactly when you need it!
chips cooked in an air fryer

What can I cook in an air fryer?

From frozen treats to healthy, homemade meals, if you can cook it in a deep fat fryer or oven, you can cook it in an air fryer!

Here are some of our tried and tested favourites:

  • Perfectly crispy chips, chicken nuggets, fish fingers and pizza 
  • Fresh veggies with all the goodness locked in
  • Juicy steak, done however you like it!
  • Bread, pastries, cake and desserts
  • Full English breakfasts 
  • A whole chicken (yes, a WHOLE chicken!) with all the trimmings

The list goes on and on!

Does brand matter?

When it comes to shopping for an air fryer, the secret is in the model, not the make! Most air fryers share similar designs; it's the features that make them special!

But who offers the best features? To help you out, here are some brands we think you'll love and why:

  • Ninja air fryers
    Award-winning brand with something for every home and budget. Look for Ninja Foodi Dual Zone fryers that come with two independent zones for cooking at different times and temperatures. Use the SYNC function, and they’ll all be ready at the same time!

  • Tower air fryers
    With ‘the most extensive range of air fryers in the UK’, Tower has something for everyone! Only Tower air fryers come with Vortx Technology, which cooks 30% faster than most others and creates virtually fat-free meals.

  • Tefal air fryers
    Their flagship ActiFry model was dubbed the ‘UK’s no.1 air fryer’, with Genius technology that features a stirring motion, giving you perfectly even cooking at the touch of a button. Want more from your fryer? Check out Tefal's range of 2-in-1 models that pair up as a fryer and grill.

  • Phillips air fryers
    Industry-leading brand with a wide range of XL and XXL air fryers, perfect for larger families. Look for Phillips models with NutriU app compatibility, which lets you control your food from the comfort of your sofa - simply choose a recipe and send it to your air fryer!

  • COSORI air fryers
    Premium appliances at affordable prices! COSORI air fryers are packed with the latest and greatest tech, like 360 ThermoIQ cooking that automatically adjusts the heat to keep the temperature even, and even smart fryers that connect to your smartphone for easy control, anywhere!


  • How do you use an air fryer?
    Air fryers work a little differently from model to model, but most are as easy as putting the food in, adding a little oil (if needed), selecting the right time, temperature and/or cooking mode, and letting it do the rest!
  • Are air fryers worth it?
    If you want quick, easy and healthier meals, an air fryer is absolutely worth it. They’re cheap to run too, costing around 14p a day to use compared to 87p for electric ovens!
  • How do I clean an air fryer?
    Depending on the air fryer, you can either pop the trays/shelves/skewers in the dishwasher, or clean them with warm, soapy water. You can find out everything you need to know about cleaning yours in the instructions included.
  • What size air fryer do I need for a family of four?
    Medium-sized air fryers with a capacity of 4.5-10L are great for families of four, but if you're looking for something big enough for second helpings or leftovers, we recommend larger models of 10L+. 
  • Do you put oil in an air fryer?
    Some air fryers will need a very small amount of oil for certain foods, while others won't need any. Most models come with handy cooking guides for best results. 
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