Air fryers have taken the world by storm over the last few years and it’s no wonder why! Air fryers simplify cooking using half the amount of time and oil to cook delicious recipes at home. With so many options these days, it’s hard to know which air fryer to choose. If you are someone who is trying to eat healthy and cook more at home, read on for our air fryer buying guide and our top recommendations for air fryers on the market today!
Eating healthy isn’t just about choosing the right ingredients, it’s also about how we prepare our food. Healthy lifestyle diets like Whole30, Keto, Paleo, and Low-Carb emphasize not just nutrient-dense, whole foods but also recommend cooking methods that preserve nutrient integrity and minimize unhealthy fats.
The air fryer has revolutionized making health recipes at home. Air fryer recipes have become a staple on our site like our Air Fryer Eggs post bringing in over a million readers this year, Air Fryer Tortilla Chips, Air Fryer Frozen Hashbrowns or Air Fryer Tilapia.
Whole30 and Paleo diets focus on whole, unprocessed foods, while Keto and Low-Carb diets emphasize high-fat, low-carb ingredients. The common thread among these diets is the need for cooking methods that enhance natural flavors without adding unnecessary fats or carbs.
Air Fryers and Healthy Diets
Air fryers have had increasing popularity in the last few years as people have shifted to cooking more from home. These handy appliances provide a way to enjoy the crispy texture and savory flavors of fried foods without traditional frying methods which can add unnecessary fats to dishes.
Because Whole30, Keto, Paleo and Low-Carb diets focus on whole foods, these appliances add so much value to those trying to eat healthy without making cooking overly complicated or expensive.
Low-Carb air frying helps food get crispy and flavorful with just a fraction of the oil, keeping meals aligned with dietary guidelines without compromising on taste or satisfaction.
The Technology Behind Air Fryers
The magic of the air fryer lies in its rapid air technology. Essentially, it’s a compact, powerful convection oven.
Air fryers circulate hot air at high speed around the food placed in the basket. This rapid circulation makes the food crisp, much like deep frying, but without the need for submerging the food in oil.
This technology not only reduces the fat content but also cooks food faster than traditional methods.
Health Benefits of Air Frying vs. Traditional Frying
Air frying offers significant health benefits compared to traditional frying. Here are a few:
- Less Oil: Traditional frying involves submerging food in oil, which increases the fat content. Air frying requires little to no oil, reducing the overall calorie and fat intake.
- Fewer Calories: With less oil absorption, air-fried foods are lower in calories, aiding in weight management and supporting health-conscious diets.
- Reduced Risk of Toxic Acrylamide Formation: Frying starchy foods at high temperatures can lead to the formation of acrylamide, a potential carcinogen. Air frying reduces this risk by using less oil and often cooking at lower temperatures.
- Safety: Deep frying at home can be dangerous, with risks of burns from splattering oil. Air fryers are enclosed and offer a safer alternative.
Versatility of Air Fryers for Various Diets
The versatility of air fryers makes them an excellent addition to any Whole30, Keto, Paleo, or Low-Carb kitchen. They’re not just for “frying” – you can roast vegetables, grill meats, and even bake. Whether you’re whipping up Keto-friendly chicken wings, Paleo sweet potato fries, or Whole30-approved fish fillets, the air fryer can handle it all, making it a versatile tool for anyone committed to these health-centric lifestyles.
Now that we have dug into why an air fryer is a key tool for eating healthy and simplifying your cooking, let’s dig into what you should consider when choosing the best air fryer for your family!
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Air Fryer
While most air fryers will have the same basic specifications, there are a few key things that you need to consider when choosing one.
Capacity: Understanding the air fryer’s capacity is hugely important. If you have a large family or like to cook batches of food, a larger size air fryer may be essentially. On other hand, a college student may be looking for something more compact and easier to clean.
Temperature range: Not all air fryers have the same abilities for temperature range which can impact what types of recipes you can create.
Programs and modes: Some models will only have basic functions like air fry whereas other models (like #1 we are going to share below) have many modes and features like roast, air fry or even dehydrate.
Ease of cleaning: Once you start using your air fryer, you may find yourself using it every single day, maybe even multiple times per day! Understanding how easy it is to clean your model will be key to your decision.
Price and quality: Like all things, there are more affordable air fryers as well as those that are higher priced. Understanding the balance between affordability and quality is needed to make your air fryer purchasing decision.
Top 3 Air Fryers for Eating Healthy and Cooking at Home
Best Large Capacity Air Fryer: Typhur Dome Air Fryer
Typhur sent us their newest air fryer to test out and I can honestly say it has increased our air fryer usage by 200%. We use it everyday, multiple times a day! With other air fryers, I would often choose to use another cooking method because the basket wasn’t big enough to cook everything at once.
We have used this to reheat pizza and other leftovers, make roasted brussel sprouts, air fry bacon and tortilla chips, just to name a few of the many ways we have used this!
Temperature Range: Adjustable temperature range of 105 to 450º Fahrenheit. Most only go to 400º and this extra boost allows for extra crispiness and using the roast settings like you would in an oven.
Functions: 5 methods (air fry, roast, broil, toast and dehydrate) with 5 programmed buttons for fries, wings, steak, bacon and frozen.
- Large capacity: The Typhur Dome Air Fryer is a large capacity unit with the tray holding 5.6 qt, so it is great for larger families (we are a family of 5). Because of the large basket, food can easily cook all in one layer which helps it to cook evenly. It can cook up to 32 wings at once, all cooked to crisp perfection!
- Quick cooking: Typhur claims to be 30% faster at cook speeds, but often we found that it was even faster than 30% over competitors.
- Versatility: With many different cooking modes it is extremely versatile – we experimented with almost all of them (except dehydrating). There is also an app integration with many recipes so you know exactly how to cook a variety of items.
- Quick cleaning: Not only is the tray liner dishwasher safe, but the Typhur Dome Air Fryer also has a self-cleaning mode 🤩
The Typhur Dome Air Fryer is a large unit, weighing 21 pounds. It takes up a big amount of counter space so it might disrupt your minimalist countertops. And being heavy, it is not ideal for taking in and out of a cabinet. But if you use your air fryer every day, it is worth the sacrifice.
This is one of the more expensive models of air fryers on the market, but if you cook a lot it is a worthy investment!
While this is a newer model out, the reviews have all come in with nothing but good things to say!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “I’ve only had the air fryer for lest than a week and it exceeds my expectations. It fits perfectly on my kitchen island. Cooked bacon the first time and it came out great. The self-cleaning feature really wowed me, though. Great product!!” -Dennis D.
Best Air Fryer for Crispy Veggies: Ninja AF161 Max XL Air Fryer
This is the tried and true air fryer used for most of the air fryer recipes on Cook at Home Mom. It is great for a versatile unit that has a large capacity. In testing, this produces the most consistent results regardless of the cooking temperature or method which is why it’s been used for so many of our favorites here!
Temperature Max: 450º
Functions: 7 (Max Crisp, Air Fry, Air Roast, Air Broil, Bake, Reheat & Dehydrate)
- Smaller budget, this air fryer is a moderately priced unit.
- Crispy veggies! With the max crisp setting this unit “fries” up veggies like frozen french fries or hash browns in a flash.
- Whole chicken: because of the deeper basket that is similar to a deep frier, large meat pieces like a whole chicken cook easily!
This is a tall unit (versus wide like the Typhur) so it is not ideal for lower countertop spaces.
It is one of the highest rated air fryer units on Amazon, with over 17k reviews!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “This air fryer gets daily use. It works wonderfully and is easy to clean. It is very quiet, and fits conveniently on our kitchen countertop. Food is ready quickly and it is so great to reheat items quickly without putting them in the microwave.” – Amazon Customer
Best Compact Air Fryer: COSORI Small Air Fryer Oven
This small but mighty air fryer is perfect for those needing to save counter space like college students or in apartments. It’s a great budget find if you are looking to test the waters with an air fryer to see how you enjoy it or if you are cooking for 1 or 2!
We have used the COSORI large capacity units for years and loved them and this mini version is a great fit if you are looking for a smaller unit.
Temperature Max: 450º
Functions: 4 (Air Fry, Roast, Bake, or Reheat)
- Smaller budget, this air fryer is a moderately priced unit.
- Smaller spaces
- Single serving sizes
Much smaller capacity unit, which means you are not able to cook as much in one go.
Less functions because it is a more simple unit.
It is one of the highest rated air fryer units on Amazon, with over 2k reviews!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “I hesitated buying an air fryer because I thought it would be just another kitchen appliance I wouldn’t use. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I use it almost every day. The perfect size for one person, quick, easy to use, clean up in a snap. I like this one particularly because the push light up buttons are easy to use and great quality.” – Elaine, Amazon Customer
Easy Air Fryer Recipes
Tips for Using an Air Fryer
Using an air fryer for cooking is a simple, healthy way to cook more recipes at home. But there are a few tips and tricks that will make your air frying experience above expections!
- Preheat your air fryer for at least 5 minutes before using to ensure that the basket is ready
- Do not overcrowd the basket. For many recipes, you’ll want items in a single layer (which is why we love the larger capacity fryers).
- Understand ideal cooking times and temperatures for different ingredients. Be sure to check out our Air Fryer Cook Times Chart!
- Go light on oil and let the air fryer do the heavy lifting of getting your veggies or meat crispy!
Best Air Fryer for Healthy Cooking
While there are MANY options for air fryers these days, our top two picks have to be the Typhur Dome Air Fryer and Ninja Air Fryer Max XL. The pro cons pretty evenly weigh each other out and we’d say if you have the budget, go for the Typhur Dome Air Fryer for a next level air frying experience.
Don’t forget to check out our top air fryer recipes:
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer French Toast
- How to Make Perfect Poached Eggs in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash
- Crispy Air Fryer Turkey Bacon in 10 Minutes!
👉 Get our free printable Air Fryer Cooking Cheat Sheet!