Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Anyone who loves fries but feels guilty about all the unhealthy fat should consider buying a hot air fryer. The appliance can be operated without any fat at all. However, despite the few extra calories, you should consider adding a small amount of vegetable oil to get the best possible taste. But not only fries can be prepared in a hot air fryer, all kinds of dishes become delicious in it.

In our hot air fryer test 2021 we have taken a closer look at the healthy frying alternative and have compiled the most important information for you. Before you decide on a particular model, read our guide carefully to make sure you find the right model for you.




Summary

  • Hot air fryers are a healthy alternative to a deep fryer. The way they work can be compared to an oven.
  • Important criteria to choose a good hot air fryer are size, performance, functions, handling and most importantly quality. It should also be remembered that cleaning should be as easy as possible.
  • In addition to the "normal" hot air fryer, there are also some with a stirring function and with dual heat. All have their own advantages and disadvantages.

The Best Hot Air Fryer: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for hot air fryers

To find the right hot air fryer for you, there are various criteria that you should consider.

The criteria you can use to compare hot air fryers include:

These are the criteria you should pay special attention to when buying a good hot air fryer. You can find out what is important in the individual criteria in the following paragraphs.

Size

When comparing hot air fryers, size is an important criterion. They come in a wide variety of sizes and formats. It always depends on whether you need it for yourself, for you and your partner or for the whole family.

When buying, you should always keep in mind for whom you are buying this appliance.

For small families or couples, an appliance with a capacity of 1.5 to 2 litres should be perfectly adequate. For large families, the larger models up to 9 litres are the right choice.

You should also consider the dimensions of the appliance in order to integrate it well into your kitchen. Do not underestimate the size of the appliance. Make sure you know in advance where you want to place the hot air fryer and measure the space if necessary.

Power

The power plays an important role in finding the right deep fryer. The power is always given in watts and varies between the different models. The more power, the faster your appliance will reach the desired temperature. In addition, the number of watts has something to do with the maximum temperature that can be reached.

However, the power is also related to the power consumption. This means that the more power, the higher the power consumption.

So you should find a balance between enough power and not too much. As an average value for a good air fryer, you can calculate with 1400 - 1600 watts. Depending on the size, you may need a little more or less.

Functions and handling

The biggest differences between the various models are in the functions. Some allow you to adjust the temperature continuously, while others have preset temperatures. Often there are already different programmes, so you don't have to worry about the temperature setting.

Hot air fryers also differ in the timer setting. Some can be set to a maximum of 30 minutes, while others can be set to 60 minutes. You have to decide individually which functions you need or not.

In any case, you should also pay attention to the handling. The device should be easy to operate and the assembly and start-up should be uncomplicated.

Quality and safety

Good workmanship and high quality are also a must when deciding on a hot air fryer. It is important to ensure that the frying basket has a non-stick coating and that the appliance is well insulated.

Certificates and test seals confirm the safety of appliances.

Different manufacturers also offer different safety measures. For example, there are models with a function that lets you pull out the frying basket only when it is ready and no more hot steam can escape.

In addition, many models are equipped with overheating protection. These safety features are not compulsory but certainly useful.

Cleaning

Cleaning is also an important criterion that you should pay attention to. You should be able to easily take the appliance apart and put it back together again. This makes cleaning much easier.

Models in which the individual parts are dishwasher-safe are also extremely practical. All you have to do is put everything in the dishwasher and put it back together again when it has been washed. This keeps the effort very low and you don't have any extra work.

Decision: What types of hot air fryers are there and which is the right one for me?

Although most hot air fryers have the same functions, they differ in some respects in their designs and their additives. Basically, these types can be distinguished:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Hot air fryer with stirring function Takes over stirring, even result More expensive, higher power consumption
Hot air fryer with dual heat Higher temperature can be reached, two different temperatures can be set simultaneously More expensive, higher power consumption

As all variants have different advantages and disadvantages, we have summarised them in the following paragraphs. In this way, we want to make the decision easier for you and hope that you will find the right model that meets your requirements.

Heißluftfritteuse mit Rührfunktion

Hot air fryer with stirring function

Hot air fryers with stirring function have, as the name suggests, a stirring arm. This is located inside and stirs regularly in the frying basket. The advantage of this is that it relieves you of the manual stirring.

Advantages
  • Have a stirring arm
  • Stirring is taken away
  • Even results are guaranteed
Disadvantages
  • Stirring arm takes up a lot of space
  • More expensive
  • Higher power consumption

The results are more even with a stirring arm without your intervention. This function can be very advantageous for chips or vegetables, but it is not useful for foods such as steak. In addition, the stirring arm takes up a lot of space in the frying basket.

The function also has a negative effect on the price, because hot-air fryers with a stirring function are usually more expensive than those without. Often the power consumption is also higher and therefore also causes more costs.

Heißluftfritteuse mit Zweifach-Hitze

Hot air fryer with dual heat

Unlike conventional hot air fryers, this one has a second heat source on the top of the appliance. This means that heat comes from below and above. This has several advantages but also disadvantages.

Advantages
  • Has two heat sources
  • Higher overall temperature can be achieved
  • Two different temperatures at the same time
Disadvantages
  • More expensive
  • Higher power consumption
  • In most cases, second heat source is not needed

One advantage is that two different temperatures can be set simultaneously. The frying basket is divided and you can, for example, prepare meat and vegetables at the same time. In addition, the second heat source ensures that a higher temperature can be reached in the appliance.

The disadvantage is the correspondingly higher price and the higher power consumption. For normal consumers, the question is whether the second heat source is really necessary or whether only passionate users will enjoy it.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about hot air fryers answered in detail

Before you buy your own hot air fryer, you probably have a few models to choose from and a few questions. To make it easier for you to decide, we have selected and answered the most frequently asked questions.

Who is a hot air fryer suitable for?

A hot air fryer is a healthier alternative to a normal deep fryer. Although much less fat is used, the dishes are still crispy. For all those who pay attention to a healthy diet and their health, this is definitely a great purchase.

In addition, a hot air fryer can be seen as a mini oven. In addition to french fries, pizza, bread and meat dishes can also be prepared very easily.

Heißluftfritteuse-1

In a hot air fryer, fries become just as crispy as in a deep fryer and at the same time less oil is needed. Crispy and healthy.
(Image source: Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis / Unsplash)

Whether you live alone or have a large family doesn't matter, as deep fryers come in all sizes. The handling is uncomplicated and the results delicious and fast. A hot air fryer is ideal for anyone who not only likes crispy chips, but also wants to prepare pizza or even vegetables easily.

How does a hot air fryer work?

The hot air fryer works more like an oven than a deep fryer. More precisely, it works like a convection oven. The temperature in the appliance heats up and so the surface temperature of the food in the cooking chamber is also increased. This is also the reason why French fries, for example, take much longer to cook than in a deep fryer.

The difference to an oven is that the humidity is higher. As the liquid in the food evaporates, it collects and slows down the formation of a crust. In a hot air fryer, a fan is built in, which mixes dry air with moist air. This is how the delicious crust is formed.

How much does a hot air fryer cost?

The price of a hot air fryer can vary greatly from model to model. Factors on which the price depends are manufacturer, equipment and performance. The size of the model also makes a difference. To give you an idea of how much you will be spending:

Type price
Minimum price for a good model from 50€
Average value 100 - 150€
High-end devices up to 500€

As you can see in this table, you can get a solid air fryer for little money. However, you should always pay attention to quality and functionality. You are on the safe side with products that are in the middle of the range.

What are the alternatives to a hot air fryer?

An alternative to a hot air fryer is the oven with convection function. As has often been the case, the mode of operation is similar, but sometimes produces different results. In the oven, the food is not as crispy as in the hot air fryer, but it is better for large portions.

Heißluftfritteuse-2

As an alternative to a hot air fryer, French fries or similar can also be made in a deep fryer.
(Image source: Wine Dharma / Unsplash)

Another alternative is the deep fryer. However, this is not very similar to a hot air fryer. As mentioned earlier, the oven is more similar. For French fry lovers who aren't afraid of the calories and the smell, the fat fryer can be a good alternative.

What foods can be prepared in a hot air fryer?

The name hot air fryer is actually misleading, because frying actually means preparing something in hot fat. However, this does not happen with such a device, but the food is cooked. You can think of it as a small oven.

In a hot air fryer, you can not only prepare chips, but also meat, vegetables and sometimes even desserts.

In order to be able to make all these dishes to your complete satisfaction, you should make sure that your appliance has different temperature settings. Vegetables need a different temperature than meat or risotto. With a hot air fryer, there are no limits to your creativity.

Here is a little inspiration for your next lunch with a hot air fryer:

How do I clean a hot air fryer?

Since a hot air fryer works with little or no grease, cleaning is easy. All parts that have been in contact with food should be washed with a soft cloth and mild detergent. Most hot air fryers can be easily disassembled and reassembled.

To make it as easy as possible, we have a few tips for you:

  • 1.Tip: It is important to make sure that the interior is cleaned with materials that do not cause scratches. Otherwise the non-stick coating could be scratched.
  • 2.Tip: Regular cleaning increases the life of the appliance. Since cleaning only takes a few minutes, it is not too much trouble.
  • 3.Tip: Always remove any detergent residue completely, otherwise it could change the taste the next time you deep-fry.
  • 4.Tip: Always wait until all parts have cooled down before cleaning! There is a great risk of burns here.

What fat / oil should I use for a hot air fryer?

Hot air fryers can be used completely without oil, but for a better taste a few splashes of fat are usually recommended. If you are not sure which oil you can and cannot use, we have done some research for you.

Vegetable oils are particularly suitable, as are sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and coconut oil.

You don't need to buy a frying fat, the one you have at home is usually enough.

You should not use margarine, butter or olive oil. These fats are not heat-resistant enough. You should also not use animal fats, as they are not neutral in taste. They also cause unpleasant odours, which you will want to avoid.

Image source: Gentry/ 123rf.com

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