Methodology for reviewing air fryers

You’ll find expert star ratings on our air fryer comparisons and reviews. Here’s how we came up with them.

Air fryers aren’t cheap. To help you choose the right one for your household, we rated air fryers based on their features, size, weight and a consensus of user reviews.

So what goes into the Finder score?

We rate air fryers using a system of 1 to 5 stars:

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

We round ratings to the nearest half star.

For each air fryer, we evaluate a range of metrics to determine the star ratings. These are weighted from most important to least important, based upon what factors are essential to know before buying an air fryer as well as bonus features.

  • User reviews. This is based on hundreds of reviews on Amazon, which cover performance and individual pros and cons (20% of the overall score).
  • The stated capacity. It’s important to know how much food you can fit into the compartment(s) at one time. The larger the better, and it’s a bonus if it fits a whole chicken (15% of the overall score).
  • The stated functions. Some air fryers just fry, while others can steam, grill, dehydrate and more. The more functions, the better (15% of the overall score).
  • Depth (cm). The most essential dimension to an air fryer is depth. The average UK counter width is 65cm. If the air fryer’s depth is too much, it won’t fit on your tabletop. A 15cm gap from the back of the air fryer to the wall will ventilate heat from the back of the appliance. 15cm from the edge of your counter to the front of the air fryer means it’s less likely to topple over. An air fryer depth of 35cm is ideal (10% of the overall score).
  • Is it dishwasher safe? The easier an air fryer is to wash up, the better, and this is measured in the form of dishwasher-safe parts (10% of the overall score).
  • Guarantee period. The longer the manufacturer covers the air fryer for any faults, the better (10% of the overall score).
  • Power cord length. It has to be long enough to extend to a socket, but it cannot be too long as it will be harder to tuck away. The ideal length is 75-100cm (5% of the overall score).
  • Food presets. These are cooking settings for commonly used foods like chips and chicken. Presets are good for convenience but too many presets can be an overload of buttons (5% of the overall score).
  • Weight. The lighter the air fryer, the easier it will be to store and carry to the kitchen. One below 8kg wouldn’t cause trouble (5% of the overall score).
  • Transparency. See-through windows are convenient for checking on food without removing the basket or lifting the lid (3% of the overall score).
  • Rotating element. This is a bonus feature if you don’t want to shake your food halfway through cooking (2% of the overall score).

What goes into our category ratings?

We determine whether an air fryer excels in several categories: convenience, capacity and functions. Convenience means how much time and effort you’re saving while using the air fryer. If it’s dishwasher safe, has a few presets and rotates your food for you as it cooks, that’s a big win; too many buttons, a lack of transparency and scrubbing a greasy grill brings it down a notch.

Capacity is the overall stated size of the air fryer. The bigger the better, plus if a whole chicken fits inside, that’s a plus. However, a big capacity with huge dimensions isn’t great as it’ll be harder to fit in the kitchen, so it’s a fine balance.

The more functions the better on an air fryer if you’re an adventurous chef; however, too many functions may make things complicated.

Different air fryers suit different people (and kitchens). Some are great for a large family, others are great for a small kitchen, for example. We’ve picked the best for different types of use and given each a “Finder Recommended” badge.

We came up with the best air fryer for:

Convenience. This is based on not having to turn your food while it cooks, being able to see your food cook clearly, cooking a lot of food at the same time including a whole chicken, having quick-to-click presets, and being dishwasher-safe.

Foodies. This is based on unique functions the air fryer has, having at least a 6-litre capacity (for big pieces of meat), the ability to handle liquid dishes like stews and curries, and whether grains and pulses can be cooked from scratch.

Family of 4. We based this on clear and visible functions, having a large capacity, multiple presets, separate levels, and a dedicated recipe book for families of 4 or more.

Complete meals. This is based on having a capacity of at least 7 litres, multi-tier cooking of raw grains/pulses, vegetables and protein, and having different functions for each step of the cooking. We also considered whether the machine can take a whole chicken.

Small kitchens. We based this on height, width, depth and weight, plus whether the machines also has a decent capacity.

Those on a budget. Models had to be all-rounders that cost under £100, with good capacity.

What our ratings don’t cover

Because the same air fryer can be sold by 20 different retailers at 20 different prices (or even second-hand), we don’t factor the price into our ratings (although we did consider it for our recommended model for those on a budget). However, we regularly scour prices and highlight good deals from specific retailers where you can pick up a highly rated air fryer below a specific price point.

The ratings are currently based on air fryer specifications and owners’ feedback, but we will update our scores once we’ve conducted performance and taste tests for every model.

The bottom line

Our ratings are here to provide you with a quick assessment of air fryers. It’s key to read individual reviews of fryers, including reviews from owners, before making a choice.

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