Best Basket Air Fryers
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Best Basket Air Fryers

If you’re looking for the best basket air fryers, we’ve gotcha covered. These are currently the best basket air fryers on the market, confirmed by consumer reports. They cook evenly, brown and crisp nicely, aren’t overly noisy and clean up easily. We’ll go over each one and talk about why they are so good, show you a few accessories that fit each one and then cover some basic information on choosing a good air fryer.

Best Basket Air Fryers
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What Is A Basket Air Fryer?

First released in 2010, a basket style air fryer is a countertop appliance, typically shaped roughly like an egg with a flat top, depending on the model you get. They have a pullout drawer at the front with a large handle that usually has a removable insert/basket. At the front or top is either a digital touch pad or a manual knob, depending on what model you purchase.

How to Pick An Air Fryer

How Does An Air Fryer Work?

Contrary to the name, they do not actually fry anything. In fact, these are much closer to a convection oven than any type of fryer on the market. The difference between a convection oven and air fryer however, is that an air fryer forcefully blows hot air around your food and has a fan in it to accomplish this. The hot air is circulated so forcefully that it effect, gives a similar texture to finished food as a fryer would. Just without all the excess fat.

AVOID – While most of these machines have a normal eating element, some of these air fryers have halogen bulbs instead. We typically suggest you avoid these because many manufacturers install these bulbs permanently. This means when it burns out, the entire unit is useless because the bulb can’t be replaced. So if you are considering one of these types of basket type air fryers, be sure check if the bulb is replaceable or not, and make sure you know where to get the replacement.

Best Basket Air Fryers

The following air fryers are the best basket air fryers currently on the market.

GoWise USA Digital Air Fryer

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STATS

  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 12.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Quarts: 5.8
  • Weight: 17 lb.
  • Brand: GoWISE USA
  • Reviews: Averages 4.5 stars out of 5 across multiple sites
  • Temperature Range: 180 F. – 400 F.
  • Wattage: 1700 W
  • Warranty: 1 year manufacturers warranty

ACCESSORIES THAT FIT THIS AIR FRYER
(sold separately):

PROS

  • Modern look
  • Digital touch screen
  • Multiple settings
  • Built in reminder alarm for shaking or flipping food
  • One of the quieter air fryers

CONS

  • Some of the smaller area of this air fryer can be tough to clean
  • The bottom of this air fryer becomes very hot. It’s best to set a heat-safe barrier between this air fryer and your counter.
  • As with most air fryers, the non-stick surfaces can chip.

Ninja Air Fryer

  • Dimensions: 13.6 x 11 x 13.3 inches
  • Quarts: 4
  • Weight: 14.9 pounds
  • Brand: SharkNinja
  • Reviews: Averages 4.5 stars out of 5 across multiple sites
  • Temperature Range: 105 F. – 400 F.
  • Wattage: 1550 W
  • Warranty: 1 year manufacturers warranty

ACCESSORIES THAT FIT THIS AIR FRYER
(sold separately):

PROS

  • Can be used to dehydrate
  • Dishwasher safe parts
  • Digital touch screen
  • Multiple settings

CONS

  • Needs to pre-heat
  • As with many air fryers, there are complaints of it off-gassing in the first few uses. Some people say it helps to remove the rubber feet off the crisper tray. But it’s best to contact the manufacturer if you experience this.

NuWave Brio Digital Air Fryer

STATS

  • Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 12.5 inches
  • Quarts: 3
  • Weight: 14.6 pounds
  • Brand: NUWAVE, LLC
  • Reviews: Averages 4.5 stars out of 5 across multiple sites
  • Temperature Range: 100 F. – 400 F.
  • Wattage: 1300 W
  • Warranty: Contact manufacturer for most recent warranty information

ACCESSORIES THAT FIT THIS AIR FRYER
(sold separately):

NUWAVE 3 Quart Brio Air Fryer Gourmet Accessory Kit

PROS

  • Can be used to air fry, broil, roast, grill, bake, reheat and dehydrate
  • Dishwasher safe parts
  • Digital touch screen
  • Multiple settings
  • Reheat function

CONS

  • This is a smaller air fryer (good for RV’s or dorm rooms)
  • Some of the advertised parts don’t actually come with this air fryer
  • The buttons beep at the same volume as the alarm when it’s done cooking

What To Look For In The Best Basket Air Fryers

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the amount of counter space you have in your kitchen.

Our best advice is to purchase the biggest air fryer you have room for, so measuring your available space is critical because air fryers can vary in size considerably.

While smaller air fryers have their place in some kitchens, buying the biggest you have room for will always give you more usability. The bigger, the better with air fryers. Not in quality, but in how much food you can make at one time. The smallest air fryers are great for RVing or dorm rooms. Situations where space is critical. But with the smallest air fryers, you’ll also be making smaller batches of food. So if you have more than yourself to cook for, you’ll be making many batches of food with a small air fryer.

Simply put, the larger the air fryer, the fewer batches of food to have to make for a single meal.

What Are The Different Types Of Air Fryers?

If you aren’t sure about buying a basket air fryer, here’s the best way to decide, as well as some information on the other types of air fryers.

Basket air fryers are great for JUST air frying. If you know that air frying is the ONLY function you’ll want from your air fryer, then a basket air fryer is a good choice. Look for one with the biggest basket you can find because this will give you more food space. These are most often measured in quarts, but can also be measured in liters or pounds. Simply put, the measurement (quarts / liters / pounds) is the amount of food the food basket can hold. However, this will vary by the food you cook. Cooking a pound of onion rings will be different than cooking a pound of chicken breasts. But as a general rule of thumb, these measurements will give you a rough estimate of how much food you can cook in one batch.

Other types of air fryers are paddle air fryers and toaster-oven-style air fryers.

Paddle air fryers give you the option to walk away until your food is done cooking. They have a paddle that rotates your food for you so you don’t have to “shake the basket” or flip your food during cooking as you do with basket or toaster oven air fryers.

That being said, paddle air fryers can sometimes squish your food under the paddle instead of pushing it around the fryer bowl, and toaster-oven-style air fryers offer far more options than simply air frying. So you’ll really want to consider what you want your air fryer to do before making your final purchase.

How Much Does An Air Fryer Cost?

Air fryers vary in cost considerably. You can get an air fryer anywhere from $45 all the way up to $400. And while the old saying, “you get what you pay for” is true with air fryers, you can’t really apply that here because the price also varies by the size you purchase. A large, $45 air fryer would not be a great purchase, but if it’s one of the smallest air fryers, it’ll probably be just fine at that price.

One thing to keep in mind with air fryers is that, because they are still a relatively new product on the market, the lifespan of an air fryer is not huge. This is not an appliance that you will have for the next 20 years. Air fryers are well known for breaking down at the shorter end of a lifespan. While we can’t really give you a specific lifespan number, the average seems to be about 2-5 years. So keep that in mind when deciding how much you want to spend. This is an unfortunate side of air fryers as it not only forces you to replace your air fryer more frequently, but also fills up our landfills unnecessarily. It is our hope that as air fryers become more mainstream in home kitchens everywhere and manufacturers refine their products, that the lifespan of these appliances will be extended by default. Time will tell.

Air Fryer Warranties

Should you get a warranty on your air fryer? Many air fryers come with a standard 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. But do you need more than that? We say, yes! If you have the option to get an extended warranty on your air fryer, we highly recommend it. Due to the short lifespan, an extended warranty can sometimes replace your entire air fryer if it breaks before the extended warranty is up. We’ve all had the experience of buying something that lasts just 2-3 days longer than the manufacturer’s warranty. It’s frustrating to say the least. Don’t let that be the case with your air fryer. Because yes, it happens to some air fryers. An extended warranty gives you some protection in that situation. That being said, make sure you understand exactly what your extended warranty does. Some extended warranties are useless. So read it and understand it before you buy it.

How To Do Research On Your Air Fryer

If you want to get the best air fryer you can for your money, nothing replaces doing your own research. We can recommend a lot of great air fryers here, but unless you get the right one for you, none of our best recommendations will work for you. So how do you do that research?

First of all, we highly recommend that even on Amazon, you look for purchasing your air fryer from the actual manufacturer. Look at who the seller is on amazon. Every product on amazon tells you who is selling it.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of cheap knockoffs on the market. So purchasing from the actual seller, either on amazon, or from the company website is a good way to ensure you are getting a better quality product. Even if you pay a few extra dollar, you’ll have the peace of mind that you are getting the real deal.

Second, read reviews! If every single review is complaining about a particular air fryer breaking down after a few days or weeks, then there is a good chance that that particular air fryer is either a manufacturer’s lemon, or that it’s a cheap knockoff not sold by the manufacture at all.

And a note on reviews – Learning how to read reviews can also be a challenge. But it’s not impossible. There is a lot of competition out there and often, companies will purposely post negative reviews to try and take down the competition. Sometimes, these fake reviews are obvious, and sometimes they are not. It’s fine to look at 1 star reviews, particularly if there are a lot of them saying the same thing. But we have found that often, the honest lower-star reviews are found in the 3 star section on amazon. So just be aware of that when reading amazon reviews. They are helpful, but sometimes a bit skewed.

Air Fryer Features

What features should you look for on an air fryer? Here are some things to consider.

  • Are you okay with shaking or turning/flipping your food during cooking? If not, you may want a paddle air fryer
  • Are you okay with your air fryer ONLY air frying or do you need other function to replace other appliances in your kitchen? If you you don’t mind having only an air fryer, then a basket or paddle air fryer (some brands) may be a good choice. But if you need it to do more (bake, roast, rotisserie, dehydrate), then a countertop convection oven air fryer will be your best choice.
  • Do you mind having a bright light shining any time you use your air fryer? If a bright light will bother you, then avoid a paddle air fryer. Some of them could light up a stadium.
  • Do you have counter space or do you need to conserve space? This will determine the size of air fryer more than the type, but it’s an important consideration.
A light bulb with active current running through it.
Photo credit: Skitterphoto

Halogen Bulbs

If you run across an air fryer (any type) that has halogen bulbs, you’ll need to check and see if the bulb is replaceable or not. There is nothing wrong with halogen bulb air fryers other than, if they bulb is permanently attached to the air fryer, you’ll have to throw out the entire air fryer when the bulb goes out instead of just replacing the bulb. And if you find one where the bulb does come out for replacing, we highly recommend you make sure that you know where to get a replacement. They are not always easy to find.

Air Fryer Wattage

As with pricing, there is a large range of wattage when it comes to air fryers. And sometime, the wattage can determine what the highest temperature is that your air fryer can cook at. We could say that the higher the wattage on an air fryer is, the better. But the truth is, it will all depend on what your kitchen and home electrical wiring can handle. If you live in an hold home with old wiring, you may not be able to purchase a high wattage air fryer. So keep this in mind when doing your research.

Air fryer wattage seems to range from about 1100 W to 2100 W, with the majority falling more in the middle of that range. If your kitchen can handle it, 1700 W is a great place to start. But as with air fryer size (the bigger the better), wattage will be the same way. The more wattage an air fryer uses, the better it will cook. That’s not to say that a smaller air fryer won’t get the job done, but if you’re looking for efficiency, higher wattage is the way to go if your home wiring can accommodate it.

What Size Air Fryer Should You Get?

Here’s a quick rundown on the sizes. You can read more about air fryer sizes here.

3 to 5 quart air fryer for 2-3 people.

• 5 to 6 quart air fryer for 3-5 people.

• 7 to 16 quart air fryers for families or bulk cooking

What Brand Air Fryer Is The Best?

Honestly, the best way to go when it comes to brands is to stick with the more mainstream brands the people know and trust. These usually have better customer service too, should anything go wrong. We love:

  • Instant brand
  • GoWise brand
  • Ninja brand
  • ActiFry brand
  • Philips

But that doesn’t mean that these brands are the only ones that produce good air fryers. These are just the brands we know, love and recognize. Again, do your research on brands. Not all brands are created equal, and even the best brands can produce a lemon from time to time. But the above four brands seem to consistently produce bette quality air fryers. So at the very least, this list is a place to start.

Conclusion On The Best Basket Air Fryers

  1. Basket air fryers are the original air fryer. A good, quality, basket air fryer will get the job done every single time. In general, the bigger your basket air fryer is, the better off you’ll be because it will give you the opportunity to cook a larger variety of food, as well as a larger quantity in one batch.
  2. Basket air fryers do require that you shake the food you put in the drawer (or turn it, such as with a whole chicken), and some have a few minutes of warmup time at the beginning. We have never seen the warmup time be an issue for most people. In fact, some people learn to adjust cooking times to incorporate the warmup time into the total cooking time. So that’s not a huge consideration, but it is worth mentioning.
  3. Some basket air fryers will be easier to clean than others. Look for the removable parts to be dishwasher safe and easy to take apart and put back together. Keep an eye on the non-stick surface and make sure you only use silicon appliances inside the basket as metal can scratch the non-stick coating.
  4. Look at the cooking programs on your air fryer. The more the better. It’s just so easy to push the “bacon button” when you are cooking bacon rather than setting the time and temperature every single time you make bacon. Those settings make things quick and easy and most have their very own buttons on the control panel.
  5. Whether you get digital controls or analog controls is totally a personal choice. One is not better than the other, other than the digital touch screens having the cooking program buttons mentions above. The analog knobs will not have this, of course. So it really comes down to whether or not you want to turn a knob or push a button. The choice is yours. We tend to like the digital touch screens simply because it makes easier. There is less figuring out the time and temperature for what you are cooking. But again, this is such a minor thing, it really isn’t that big of a deal and either one will cook for you quite well.
  6. Check this out if you need a chart of air fryer cooking times.
  7. In general, choose your air fryer size carefully to the specifications of your available size in your kitchen. Always allow at least 5 inches “breathing room” around your air fryer. They do smoke a little during cooking, so you’ll need some air around it to mitigate the steam as well as dispersing any heat that comes from it.
  8. Speaking of heat, some air fryers will get hot on the outside and some will not. We have read about one person who’s countertop cracked from the heat of the air fryer. So make sure you have something to place between your counter and your air fryer. We use a large tile set on a folded towel with one of our air fryers. Some air fryers, such as the convection oven type air fryers are naturally raised with legs. But if yours sits directly on the countertop, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  9. And lastly, get an air fryer that compliments your kitchen and other appliances! If you get a good air fryer that you love, it’s always nice to have one that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye as well. Air fryers come in so many colors these days, that it’s not too difficult to get one that compliments your kitchen. After all, if you’ll be using it every day like we do, you’ll want it to be nice to look at.

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