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Healthy eating is all the rage these days. Turn on the TV, open a magazine or browse the internet and we are bombarded with advice on what is healthy, what is not, and why we need to cut down on this, that and the other. It is true that some foods are not good for us. Excess fat is a problem, and junk food is a big cause of this, but healthy eating need not mean not enjoying your food.
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|Name||Size in Litres|
|Duronic Air Fryer AF1||2.2L|
|Tower Airwave Low Fat Fryer||17L|
|Morphy Richards Health Fryer||3L|
|VonShef Air Fryer||2.5L|
|Power Air Fryer XL||3.2L|
You could turn to the many recipe books offering excellent ideas for very tasty, very healthy food. Or you could simply restrict your diet from those areas that are problematic and unhealthy. There are many people who can give you good advice on what to eat, and what not to eat.
However, what if the problem was not what you eat, but the way you cook what you eat? A few years ago, the preference was for those clever little grills that let the fat run away when you cook a steak or chops. These are very neat, very cheap and very effective. Or you may be cooking in different types of oil, or grilling rather than frying – always a sensible choice if you can.
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But what about frying without oil, or with very little? Is this possible? Indeed, it is, if you use one of the newest and fastest-growing kitchen appliances available today – the air fryer. Also known as a no-oil fryer or a mini-oven, these devices are rapidly finding favour in kitchens across the UK as an addition to cooking implements.
Before we go on to tell you about the top 10 best air fryers available today, let’s talk a little more about what they are, and how they work.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Air Fryers UK
- 1.1 1: Duronic Air Fryer AF1
- 1.2 2: Tower Airwave Low Fat Fryer
- 1.3 3: Morphy Richards 480001 Health Fryer
- 1.4 4: VonShef Air Fryer
- 1.5 5: Power Air Fryer XL
- 1.6 6: Daewoo 2-in-1 Deluxe
- 1.7 7: Philips HD9220/20
- 1.8 8: Koolle Low Fat Air Fryer
- 1.9 9: Breville VDF105 Halo Plus
- 1.10 10: Tefal FZ740840 Air Fryer
- 2 How It Works
- 3 Important Features to Look For
- 4 Let’s Sum It Up!
Best Air Fryers UK
1: Duronic Air Fryer AF1
Some of the brands that have jumped on the air fryer bandwagon are among the best-known brands in the kitchen appliance market, but Duronic may not be one you have heard of. Nevertheless, they offer a wide range of appliances, of which this neat and tidy air fryer is one. It is a 2.2litre model – you will see as we get into the reviews that the size can vary quite a lot – with 1500W power, which is about the norm for one of these.
Finished in black, it can cover temperatures from 80 to 200C, which is enough for cooking just about anything, and is a completely closed design for added safety and efficiency. It has an easy to use timer and is simple to set and use, and comes with the required mesh basket and bowl, both of which are dishwasher-safe. This model is suitably compact, measuring just 33x23x31cm, so will not take up too much space, and comes with a 2-year warranty.
2: Tower Airwave Low Fat Fryer
When writing this review, we discovered there is a crossover between what are actually two separate appliances that do essentially the same thing: the air fryer, and the halogen oven. This is actually one of the latter so really should not be in this review, but it gives an idea of what they are all about. Put simply, the air fryer uses conventional heating for the circulated hot air, the halogen oven – as in this one – uses a halogen heat bulb, which is a different concept. Nevertheless, the outcome is healthy cooking in both examples.
With this one you get a special extender ring that can give you up to 17litres capacity, it can roast and bake as well as fry, and it comes with a set of accessories. It is a considerably bigger device than a standard air fryer, however, so may not appeal to some.
3: Morphy Richards 480001 Health Fryer
Back to air fryers – or health fryer as this one is labelled – with this model from kitchen implement giants Morphy Richards. This one offers 3-litres capacity and is also a compact model – it measures 34x28x31cm – and uses ‘Rapid Air’ technology that promises a more even heat. It is finished in black or white, has easy to use heating and timer selection and can cook perfectly with just a spoonful of oil.
This one comes with no fewer that 8 pre-set timer programmes so you don’t need to mess around finding the right level for your meal, it has a defrost mode too, and it is neatly presented so will fit in any kitchen décor. You get the required frying basket with a detachable handle, and a full set of instructions.
4: VonShef Air Fryer
VonShef may not be a name that springs immediately to mind, but if you take a look you will see they have a great range of kitchen products, mostly of the more up-to-date appliances such as these, halogen ovens and other modern items. They also meet with regular customer approval in reviews. This air fryer is a neat design with everything you would want from one of these, and is somewhat more ‘styled’ than some others, with a matt black and stainless-steel finish that looks rather impressive.
It’s a 2.5-litre model, so not the largest here, is compact at just 31x27x34cm, and comes with easy to use controls on a digital touch panel. You can cook between 80-200C, it has the rapid air circulation facility, it comes with a clever slide-out design basket that is easy to use, and it has a cool-touch body for safety. All in all, it’s a neat model if the capacity is enough for you.
5: Power Air Fryer XL
This one is pretty much unbranded, so you can be certain it will appear under a different name, perhaps even in this review! It is, however, a stylish design; indeed, it is always pleasing to see designers put a little bit of effort into what could be a purely practical item. This one has an integrated pull-out tray like the one above, and is also finished in black and silver, so looks the part, although you can also have it in red for something a little different.
This one comes with 7 pre-set programmes and five separate cooking modes – fry, roast, grill, bake and sauté – and is very simple to use. It has 1500W power, offers 3.2litres capacity – not the biggest but more than some – and measures 39x34x34cm, so is also bigger than some.
6: Daewoo 2-in-1 Deluxe
As we said earlier there is some crossover between devices, and this model – from the massive multinational that is Daewoo – capitalises on that by offering a variety of cooking modes. It is styled like a halogen oven – the stand and glass bowl as the major elements – and indeed is a halogen oven in one form. However, it can also offer infra-red cooking and convection, so operates also as an air fryer too.
This one offers you greater capacity than the standard air fryer but is also bigger; it measures 36x36x24cm. It is easy to use – although it does have a lift-off lid which can be quite clumsy on these – and cooks very well in many modes. Temperature control is variable, timing is up to 60-minutes – so you may need to set it more than once.
7: Philips HD9220/20
Back to conventional air fryers with this one, and it comes from one of the biggest names of all in Philips, who are known throughout the world as one of the leading names in consumer electronics. However, this is a curious model, and we will come to that in a moment. It uses the Rapid Air technology that many of these air fryers use to get the best results, and it is a neatly designed model that will sit nicely in a modern kitchen, finished in black.
It is also easy to use, with a simple dial for selecting the temperature you want to heat to and the time you need to cook for, and it has a nicely integrated tray for ease of access to the cooked items. You get 1425W of power, which is perfectly adequate, and it comes with a guide to cooking perfect chips plus a recipe, which is all great, but here’s the first problem: it offers a capacity of only 800g, which is far less than any of these. As it is, then, this is nothing more than a healthy chip pan.
8: Koolle Low Fat Air Fryer
if you are someone who likes to buy brand names – and we don’t blame you as they do instil confidence – you may dismiss this model from Koolle for that reason. We have to say that would be a pity, as it really is worth looking at. It’s not as stylish as some, but it does come with the integrated pull-out tray. It has simple dial controls, which many prefer to a digital display, and it can cook up to 200C so will produce just about anything in healthy order with no fat.
It is compact, as it measures 34x29x31cm – not as small as some but still acceptable – and it offers 4-litres capacity, which is one of the biggest here. You also get a basket divider, a nice touch that means you can cook more than one item at once, and it is very simple to use. It has all the usual safety features that devices like these have, such as auto-shut off and non-slip feet, and does the job it is designed for. You do get only a 12-month warranty.
9: Breville VDF105 Halo Plus
This one stands out because it looks different, but it does do a decent job. In fact, it’s quite a funky design that would look great in a modern kitchen, and finished in white and green rather than the usual black – which may not be to everyone’s taste. It is deliberately tilted so that – the maker claims – it evens the food better, and it has a removable fully-washable tray for added convenience.
Breville is a well-known brand in cooking implements so we would expect decent specifications, but it is rather large at 40x31x32cm. It has an easy to use digital selection and display for cooking time and heating level, and comes with a roasting rack and spoon too. However, like the Philips above there is one major drawback: capacity is a mere 1.2kg, which leaves it well behind some of these.
10: Tefal FZ740840 Air Fryer
Our final choice comes from Tefal, a worldwide kitchen appliance brand with a great reputation, and while it is perfectly good, it suffers from the same problem of that above – namely it offers limited capacity at a high price in comparison to others. Where it does win is that it is cleverly designed to include a stirring paddle; most of these need the basket or tray to be shaken every now and again for even cooking. Is that enough to offset the price, which we will come to in a moment?
It measures 44x30x23cm, which is quite broad for one of these, and is all dishwasher safe where the removable parts are concerned. However, it only handles 1kg – that’s probably four portions of chips – and is clearly designed as a chip pan replacement.
That’s our selection of the top 10 best air fryers for you to look at, so which is for you? Before we go on to give you our verdict, let’s consider some of the important features to look for when buying the best air fryer.
How It Works
So, is it really true? Is this a device that can fry things without using oil, giving you healthy fired food? Well, it is, but that doesn’t mean you can suddenly switch your diet to chips! There are certain considerations to make with every diet, but there is no doubt these very clever devices can help.
How does it work? It’s actually very simple. The air fryer sometimes uses a very small amount of oil – this is dependent upon the manufacturers recommendations, so some really do fry without any fat necessary at all. In cases where a little fat is used, the results may be better.
The air fryer uses hot air rather than hot oil to fry. The items are placed in the fryer – you can do everything from chips to chicken, through steak, fish and much more and the machine then circulates hot air using a built-in fan. The result is beautifully cooked fried food that is crispy, delicious and practically fat-free.
The fan also regulates the temperature inside – aided by a hole in the lid that acts as an exhaust – and you will find your air fryer has a temperature control and timer so you can set it to cook your food in good time.
As they also cook quicker than a conventional oven, you stand to save energy and therefore cost, but the amount will vary as per the items you are cooking and the oven you are using.
There is no doubt that this is a healthier way of cooking – and a safer one – than the chip or frying pan, so let’s have a look at the top 10 best air fryers you can buy right now.
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Important Features to Look For
Our reviews should have given you a good idea of what air fryers are about, so before we sum up, here’s a quick look at the most important features:
Capacity – there is great variety in the capacity of these devices, as we have explained in each review. You need to consider how many people you typically cook for before you decide which one you are going to buy.
Power – you need a decent power level in order to be able to cook with an air fryer, and most of these are between 1300-1500W which is perfectly adequate.
Ease of Use – the controls tend to be either simple dials or a digital panel, either of which is easy to use. You might want to look for one with pre-programmed cooking settings.
Accessories – whether you get a tray and basket, just a tray, or a basket with a splitter, depends upon the model you choose. Check the manufacturer specifications for the details.
Price – we don’t usually include price in this section, but across the 10 we have included the cost range stretches from around £40 to in the region of £140, so it is certainly going to influence your choice. Look for the best value for money.
So, which one is for you? Let’s sum it up!
Let’s Sum It Up!
To begin with, we can dismiss the Tefal and Philips models on the grounds of limited capacity and high price, unless you are fixed on either brand and want a healthy chip pan replacement – either will do the job! The Breville is also a small capacity model at a high price, although it is a capable machine with some innovative touches.
For us the choice is between the VonShef, which offers decent if not amazing capacity, great looks and easy to use functions at a sensible price, and the Koolle model, which at 4-litres is easily the biggest and while not the most stylish, is also excellent value for money.
We hope we’ve helped you find a healthy way of frying food, so have a read again and make your choice to find the best air fryer.