I’m going to be honest, I was a little skeptical about the hype when I first heard about air fryers and didn’t realize how EASY it was to make delicious meals with them.
As I incorporate air fryers more and more into my cooking arsenal, I came to realize how many DIFFERENT kinds of air fryers you could buy.
All shapes and sizes, with different functions, features, and cooking abilities. I wanted to find the one that fit the best for me in the kitchen, so I set out to test some of the most popular air fryers that are sold on Amazon.
To test out their features, I kept it simple and used one of my favorite foods to make in the air fryer… chicken wings! Or in this case, drumettes because my local grocery store didn’t have enough wings for me to test out.
Who doesn’t love some easy air fryer wings?
The most important factor when reviewing these air fryers was how effective they were at cooking the wings, in both taste and texture during the amount of time it takes.
I also looked at functions, ease of use, ease of cleaning, aesthetics (looks, sound, counter space real estate, capacity), and of course, price.
For this test, we used my EASY Orange Chicken Wings recipe.
To keep things fair, all batches had the same cooking time (20 minutes) and the same cooking temperature (400°F). I filled each air fryer to its capacity with wings so that each air fryer was cooking at full capacity.
I wanted to find the best overall Air Fryer for the best value, making sure that it had good versatility, ease of use, and produced the best tasting chicken wings!
This blog post is all about comparing the TOP FOUR BEST AIR FRYERS ON AMAZON
First up, one of the most popular kitchen appliance brands: Instant Pot!
They’ve expanded their pressure cooker lineup to include air fryer functionality, coming with both a detachable air fryer lid that has 5 dry cooking functions, along with their classic pressure cooker lid that offers 6 wet cooking functions.
Their 11-in-1 smart multi-use capabilities include pressure cook, slow cook, sauté, steaming, sous vide, warming, roasting, baking, broiling, air frying, and dehydrating.
Pricing for this unit at the time of this blog post is $199.99 USD, but I’ve seen it on sale for as low as $159.99 USD.
They also promise to have incorporated an innovative “instant crisp technology” that ensures tender juicy meals with a crisp, golden finish every time. This is exactly what we will be looking for in our testing so let’s see if Instant Pot lives up to their promises!
Accessories include a multi-level air fryer basket and a dehydrating and broiling tray designed to ensure optimal results time after time.
And lastly, when it comes to features, this air fryer has over 10 built-in safety features, which include Overheat protection, safety lock, and more. The pressure cooking lid has easy-seal technology that automatically sets to seal when it’s locked. Safety is super important so it’s great to see these features incorporated!
Now let’s see how this air fryer stood up after use!
In terms of usability, Instant Pot has it down pat. It’s easy to use, easy to clean and easy to store. The 8-quart capacity makes cooking family-size meals a breeze.
Because it’s both a pressure cooker and air fryer, it does take up quite a bit of counter space but it’s convenient to have a true all-in-one appliance, making it worth it in my opinion.
The Instant Pot had a deeper basket due to its structure and was able to fit 10 wings without stacking any on top of each other.
It’s worth noting that prior to cooking, the Instant Pot needed to preheat for 2-3 minutes before starting up. It was also relatively quiet during cooking. One great feature I noticed was that it beeps halfway through cooking with a reminder on the display to turn the food so that it doesn’t burn. Super helpful!
The wings were crispy, but definitely not the crispiest out of the air fryers tested. (7/10)
The main downside is the shape of the air fryer basket because of the structure of the pot. This makes it inconvenient as it’s deep but not wide, so you can’t put as many things inside to air fry.
However, the Instant Pot still gets the job done. It was actually the first air fryer I ever owned and I learned to make a lot of recipes from it. It’s also the one most of my friends and family still use as it’s so convenient.
- TONS of different functions – pressure cooker & air fryer all in one
- The most versatile appliance – can truly do it all
- Quiet while cooking
- Easy to use, easy to clean
- The deeper basket made it hard to cook more than 10 wings at once
- Large in size – will take up counter space
- Air fryer function doesn’t take advantage of the large size
- On the more expensive side of the spectrum
Next up, I wanted to try out an Oven Style Air Fryer!
This is definitely different from the other air fryers on the list but oven style air fryers have been gaining popularity over the last little while due to their ability to function as both an air fryer and a traditional oven… without having to use your actual oven.
This oven style air fryer from Kalorik claims that it can cook french fries up to 22% faster, steak up to 37% faster and chicken up to 27% faster, all while saving you 77% in energy over your traditional oven.
It includes 10 different features, as it has the functionality to be an air fryer, toaster, grill, oven, broiler, dehydrator, rotisserie, roaster, pizza oven and warmer.
In addition to this, it includes 21 smart presets to allow you to cook foolproof and delicious meals every time, no matter what you are making!
Pricing for this unit typically runs for $239.00 CAD, but I’ve seen it on sale for $199.99 CAD.
I won’t lie, the 26-quart machine is definitely extra large and takes up a ton of counter space.
However, this makes sense for those that need bigger portions and full meals for whole families.
Kalorik claims the machine can fit a 14-pound turkey, 12-inch pizza, or up to 9 slices of toast in its cavity, meaning it is the most versatile out of all the air fryers we are testing.
Let’s see how this machine held up with testing!
The Kalorik MAXX definitely felt more like an oven first and foremost over everything else. Even with its air fryer setting, it still operated like a true convection oven.
However, it was very quiet while cooking which was surprising considering how big and bulky it was. Its size definitely helped with its capacity, as I was easily able to fit 20 wings in to cook.
I noticed that while it was cooking, there were gaps in the front doors that allowed quite a bit of heat to escape. Despite this, the machine still ran EXTREMELY hot and I highly recommend using oven mitts to handle it after it runs a cook cycle!
The wings were definitely the least crispy out of all the air fryers we tested! (5.5/10)
Not to say they were bad by any means, but this machine really feels more like a replacement for your oven. It was also the most tedious to clean out of all the machines we tested today.
For kitchens without a functioning oven, this might be the appliance to consider due to its versatility and plenty of cook functions. But for the sake of air fryers, it didn’t really get the job done for me!
- Versatile with lots of functions and accessories
- Great for preparing food for families or larger groups
- Large glass doors allows you to monitor your food as it cooks so it doesn’t burn
- Very quiet while cooking
- HUGE – Takes up the most counter space
- Wings aren’t as crispy
- Gaps in the door that allows heat to escape
- Gets EXTREMELY hot
- Feels more like an oven than an air fryer
- Can be annoying to clean
The next air fryer I will be testing is the ever so popular Ninja Foodi Air Fryer with DualZone Technology!
This one is reasonably priced at $159.99 USD at the time of writing this blog post, and is the first air fryer with 2 independent baskets that lets you cook 2 foods, 2 ways, at the same time!
Having this DualZone technology is great as it allows you to cook 2 different foods using completely different methods, and it has a built in smart finish feature to allow you to finish cooking both at the same time.
It also allows you to copy settings across zones for full 8-quart (7.6L) capacity when needed using its “match cook” setting.
Each zone has its own cooking baskets, cyclonic fans and rapid heaters, and Ninja claims that you can fit up to 4 pounds of french fries or chicken wings in their machine.
The air fryer has 6 customizable programs, including air fry, air broil, roast, bake, reheat and dehydrate.
Now it’s time to put it to the test!
I found the Dual Zone baskets to be very convenient.
This is a great feature if you are making two different foods, or if you have any family members that have different dietary restrictions (e.g. able to make vegetarian food in one basket, meat in another).
I was able to fit 7 chicken wings in each basket, for a total of up to 14 wings per batch. The machine was moderate with noise when cooking and wasn’t really too hot to touch like the Kalorik was.
The wings came out great and were nice and crispy!
For me, this was a close second in terms of crispiness of the wings. (9/10)
They were almost perfect! It’s worth noting however that my husband thought these wings were the crispiest and his personal favorite air fryer after testing.
He said the dual zone functionality was perfect for someone like him and it would be easy to make two separate foods for a meal at the same time, such as chicken + fries.
So if you’re a bachelor living on your own, or you’re someone who values efficiency and not having to run two separate cook cycles for the same meal and risk having your food get cold, this air fryer is definitely for you!
- Easy to use and easy to clean
- Dual Zone baskets and technology makes it easy to make full meals in half the time
- Small ventilated space = extra crispy wings!
- Takes up lots of counter space for how little it actually cooks per batch
- If making food for larger groups or even for 2 people, the Dual Zone baskets become redundant because you will have to use both to make enough food anyway
And last but definitely not least, we have the COSORI Air Fryer, which is SUPER popular on Amazon. It comes in at an affordable price point of $119.99 USD, but I was able to purchase it on sale at $99.99 USD!
The COSORI air fryer uses a 360° hot air convection system, promising to make cooking faster with less oil.
Additionally, they also state that they use an original “Air Crisp Technology” that produces 85% less fat than traditional frying methods.
As with the Instant Pot air fryer, we will be paying close attention to how crispy and juicy the wings are!
This air fryer comes with 13 cooking functions, 11 of them being preset smart programs.
This means that it’s extremely easy to use as it only requires 1 easy tap to set the time and temperature to cook!
The capacity of this machine is large, at 5.8 quarts (5.5 liters), which COSORI states can fit a whole 5-pound chicken.
However, the countertop real estate it takes up isn’t too bad, making it a great option for those who want to cook easy meals for the whole family while also not having an appliance take up a large amount of counter space.
What I really like about this air fryer is that it comes with a cookbook that contains 100 original air fryer recipes curated by professional chefs. This cookbook includes ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, which is great for anyone looking to purchase their first air fryer!
And now let’s see how it does with testing!
Despite its small form factor, I was able to fit 14 wings into its basket, which matched the Ninja even though the COSORI air fryer was quite a bit smaller.
The appliance ran pretty loud while it was cooking, but it got the job done efficiently and was very easy to use.
The wings turned out AMAZING and this was my personal favorite as the wings were SUPER crispy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside!
I loved how easy it was to clean, the entire basket slides out and the inside pops out with the push of a button.
The basket is also dishwasher safe so I just rinsed and threw it in the dishwasher after use. This is super important to me because everyone knows I hate cleaning!
I think I have found my new favorite air fryer that I will be using in my kitchen from now on.
Not only is this the cheapest air fryer we tested, it also made the crispiest, juiciest wings! (10/10)
It took up the least amount of counter space and was super easy to clean. Having never heard of this brand prior to testing out these air fryers, the COSORI air fryer definitely held its own against some bigger name, more expensive brands!
- Great bang for your buck! Cheapest air fryer on the list
- Lots of easy to use features
- Small form factor – doesn’t take up a ton of counter space and easy to move around
- Easy to clean – basket pops out with the push of a button
- The CRISPIEST wings!
- Very loud while cooking
- Just an air fryer – no other functionality
- Not as aesthetically pleasing than the others
And there you have it! I tested 4 of the best air fryers on Amazon so you don’t have to.
There was one clear-cut winner for me, but each had ITS own areas where IT shined.
Which air fryer do you have at home and what do you love most about it?
Check out all my best air fryer recipes here:
- Air Fryer Salmon (15 Minutes ONLY!)
- The BEST Air Fryer Soy Sauce Chicken
- Creamy Air-Fried Mushrooms (10 Minutes!)
- Korean Spicy Garlic Bread (MUST TRY!!)
Some of the links are affiliated; however, these are products that I would recommend to all my family and friends regardless if I make a small cut of the commission at no cost to you as a consumer. Let me know if there are any other kitchen appliances you want me to try!