The Best Air Fryer for the Fastest French Fries at HomeThe Best Air Fryer for the Fastest French Fries at Home

The Best Air Fryer

Or the quickest route between a perfectly-cooked potato and your face.
Elese Dowden
Words by 
Elese Dowden
Updated 
Jul 20, 2020
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At a glance

Homemade popcorn used to be something you had to burn your way through several saucepans to perfect. But then the microwave came along, and changed everything. In the era of Netflix and chill, air fryers are the new microwaves. Sure - you could stand over a pot of boiling oil, watching a thermometer while you cook your fries. Or you could just get an airfryer.

Air fryers are benchtop mini-ovens that rapidly circulate hot air around your food for speedy, crispy cooking. Basically, they're the opposite of a slow-cooker. The best air fryer is easy to use, with simple settings, and enough space to fit your favourite foods - whether that means crispy-skinned salmon and lemon-roasted asparagus, or a jumbo serving of spicy chicken wings. We've spent hours combing through reviews and independent testing results to find the top air fryers in Australia, and here's what we found.

Best for most

Philips Daily Collection Airfryer

The Philips Daily Collection Airfryer is the original air fryer, and everything you need for quick fish and chips, spring rolls, or samosas at home. It even has a non-stick basket for easy cleaning. Just set the temperature and the timer, pop in your fave snack, and off you go.

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Philips Daily Collection Airfryer
Top
Pick
Best for budget

Kmart Anko Air Fryer

At under $100, the Kmart Anko 5.3L Air Fryer is an absolute steal. It's big enough for succulent roast chicken, and makes a big batch of homemade sweet potato fries in a jiffy. At 1800 watts, this is a grunty little machine that'll earn its keep on any kitchen benchtop.

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Kmart Anko Air Fryer
Best for luxury

Philips Airfryer XXL Smart Digital

The Philips Smart Digital Airfryer XXL is the cleverest of the bunch. With powerful heating technology, it's faster than other air fryers with a 'save your favourite' function and good looks to boot. The secret of this air fryer is in its smart sensor - it cleverly adjusts for temperature and time based on what you've put in the fryer.

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Philips Airfryer XXL Smart Digital

How we picked

Air fryers are one of the most up-to-the-minute kitchen appliances out there. Philips was the first to sell them in 2010. After a little window-shopping, we found it's still the biggest air fryer brand 10 years later. To be sure they didn't dominate the list, we began by checking CHOICE, Australia's biggest consumer advocacy group. They've done independent testing on a range of air fryers, so we took note of their picks before jumping over to ProductReview.com.au to see what real Aussies reckoned.

We quickly learned that Aussies really love air fryers. All of our picks scored over 4.3 stars from 5, but that's not to say that there aren't duds out there. We chose the top air fryers with double-digit reviews, and checked them against our CHOICE picks. Some models were very similar to others, and not all were readily available, so we lopped a few off the list. That's how we ended up with our selection of Australia's best air fryers.

Best for most -> Philips Daily Collection Airfryer HD9218/51

Philips Daily Collection Airfryer

The Philips Daily Collection Airfryer is the original air fryer, and everything you need for quick fish and chips, spring rolls, or samosas at home. It even has a non-stick basket for easy cleaning. Just set the temperature and the timer, pop in your fave snack, and off you go.

Check price

You've heard the saying, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it,' right? When the original is as good as this Philips Daily Collection Airfryer, you can see why it's still the gold standard of air fryers. It's the perfect size for small families, and has a simple temperature dial and an integrated timer which you can set up to 30 minutes. Once the time's up, it'll let you know your meal is evenly cooked to crispy perfection.

Like most air fryers, you'll have to give your food a bit of a shake every now and then, but the pan slides back smoothly, and the non-stick basket makes for easy cleaning. You can pop it on the top shelf of the dishwasher, but handwashing is the best way to keep non-stick in tip-top shape. It also has a 2-year warranty, but one reviewer on ProductReview.com.au said theirs lasted 8 years.

Other reviewers on ProductReview.com.au love the Philips Daily Collection Airfryer for perfect roast veg, and are stoked about being able to cook with less oil. They weren't such a fan of how basic the instructions were, or how there's no temperature indicator light. Overall, though, it's a speedy little machine that'll put dinner on the table faster than preheating your oven.

Why buy the Philips Daily Collection Airfryer 

Simple controls

No mucking around with digital displays or confusing instructions.

Easy to clean

Dishwasher-safe non-stick pan makes cleaning a breeze.

Perfect size

It's not so big it'll take over your benchtop, but it's not too small for couples or young families.

Audible timer

Louder than other air fryers to let you know when dinner's ready.

Quick

Rapidly-cycling hot air puts samosas and fish fingers on your plate faster.

Fair dinkum price

At around $200, we reckon it's a quality product that reflects value for money.

Quality

This is one of the original air fryers, and reviews show they last years.

The not-so-good bits

Not a fan of knobs

The dial-style controls make for less precision.

No stirrer

You'll have to shake the basket once or twice, but few models are self-stirring.

No indicator light

There's nothing to tell you when the machine is at a certain temperature.

Limited instructions

No recipe book, and very basic instructions, but Philips do have a 'NurtiU' app with heaps of recipes.

In summary

The Philips Daily Collection Airfryer is a nifty little machine that helps you cut down on both UberEats and your oil intake. It has simple settings, and enough space for a small family or flat. If you've never owned an air fryer, this is the perfect place to start.

Best for budget -> Kmart Anko 5.3L Air Fryer

Kmart Anko Air Fryer

At under $100, the Kmart Anko 5.3L Air Fryer is an absolute steal. It's big enough for succulent roast chicken, and makes a big batch of homemade sweet potato fries in a jiffy. At 1800 watts, this is a grunty little machine that'll earn its keep on any kitchen benchtop.

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The Kmart Anko 5.3L Air Fryer is our pick for Australia's best-priced air fryer because it balances size and performance with affordability. Its features are similar to the Philips Original Airfryer, although it also boasts an indicator light with room to boot. You can fit a whole roast chook in this bad boy, and reviews show it wins the air fryer vs oven face-off hands down.

At $89, this 5.3L Anko air fryer is Kmart's largest model. It's one of the highest-rated air fryers we found under $100, although it's not reviewed by CHOICE. Aussies on ProductReview.com.au were over the moon about how much easier it is to use compared to their ovens, saying it saves time and power. They didn't like the dials so much, but both of Kmart's smaller options have LED-displays if it's a deal-breaker.

A few said it's not the best air fryer for chips, as it can dry them out a little, but most raved about its crispy skin chicken and pork crackle. Others were skeptical of the non-stick quality, with some mentioning a smell that went away after a couple of uses. It's also less beautiful than some of the pricier models, but we reckon it's a fair trade-off at this price.

Why buy the Kmart Anko 5.3L Air Fryer

Easy to use

Cooking guidelines on the front of the machine with two simple dials for temperature and timer.

Huge

Ideal for growing families or big flats of hungry students.

Value for money

At under $100, it's one of the cheapest air fryers for its size.

Indicator lights

One to tell you it's on, another to tell you when it's reached temperature.

The not-so-good bits

Basic settings

No guarantee of precision.

Uneven cooking

Some complained it didn't cook as evenly as other air fryers, and you have to shake the basket a few times as you cook.

Cheaply-made

The machine may outlast the basket's non-stick coating, and reviewers say it smells for the first few uses.

In summary

The Kmart Anko 5.3L Air Fryer is one of the fastest ways to turn a hungry crowd into a happy one. It'll fit a large cut of meat, or a deluxe batch of sweet potato fries, and its controls are so simple that even the most hopeless of cooks are in safe hands. Sure, it's not the very best air fryer on the market, but at this price, it packs a punch worth paying for.

Best for luxury -> Philips Airfryer XXL Smart Digital HD9861/99

Philips Airfryer XXL Smart Digital

The Philips Smart Digital Airfryer XXL is the cleverest of the bunch. With powerful heating technology, it's faster than other air fryers with a 'save your favourite' function and good looks to boot. The secret of this air fryer is in its smart sensor - it cleverly adjusts for temperature and time based on what you've put in the fryer.

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The Philips Smart Digital Airfryer XXL is a first class flight in air fryer luxury. Unlike your significant other, it remembers exactly how you like your potatoes, with a 'save your favourite' function for dinner in a snap. What sets this air fryer apart from the rest is its smart sensor, which takes the guesswork out of cooking. It also keeps your meal at the perfect temperature after it's done.

The Smart Digital Airfryer XXL is at the top of our wishlist because it cooks much faster than a convection oven, and doesn't require preheating. It comes with a recipe book, and its mesh insert is dishwasher-safe. Philips also reckon it has 'Fat Removal technology that separates and captures excess fat,' but it's not clear how it works or whether this is different from other air fryers.

This air fryer is for you if your current air fryer isn't cutting the mustard, or if you want to upgrade to the latest gadget. The 7.3L capacity basket is one of the biggest we've seen, too, and reviewers on ProductReview.com.au say it cooks evenly without drying out like the oven. Some were annoyed it didn't come with all the accessories, especially since it's over $500. But with nearly 5 stars from over 50 reviews, the Philips Smart Digital XXL truly lives up to the hype.

Why buy the Philips Airfryer XXL Smart Digital 

Very clever

The Hermione Granger of air fryers, this one remembers your fave settings, and has Smart Sensing technology to adjust time and temperature as it cooks.

Keeps your food warm

If some household members have long commutes or longer showers, dinner won't dry out or overcook.

Speedy

It's one of the most powerful air fryers on the market, so there's no need to preheat.

Enormous

7.3L capacity basket fits up to 1.4kg of fries.

Even cooking

Reviewers marveled at how consistently this air fryer produced perfectly-cooked food.

Pre-programmed settings

SmartChef settings to cook drumsticks or even a whole fish without guesswork.

Quality

One of the best air fryers on the market.

Stylish

Also one of the best-looking air fryers, with sleek copper detailing.

The not-so-good bits

Big

It'll take up its fair share of bench space.

No stirrer

None of the other air fryers we reviewed had a stirrer, but all the same, you'll have to shake the basket a few times.

Expensive

Unless you're Bill Gates, a $599 air fryer is not something you buy on a whim.

No accessories 

Basically just comes with a recipe book, which frustrated reviewers who note many of these recipes require accessories.

In summary

The Philips Airfryer XXL Smart Digital is a space-age machine at a price some might call astronomical. But it does so much more than a conventional oven, which saves time and hassle, and it does it in style. If you're already convinced that air fryers are the way of the future, you'll love this deluxe model for its smarts, size, and good looks.

The competition

While we reckon we've made some versatile picks, there's a chance one of these air fryers might suit your household better.

Kogan 6.2L Digital Low Fat 1800W Air Fryer

The Kogan 6.2L Digital Low Fat 1800W Air Fryer is one of the best-priced air fryers out there. It rivals the Kmart fryer, boasting a little more space and a digital interface at the same wattage. So why didn't it make the cut? This Kogan air fryer wasn't reviewed by CHOICE, or by consumers on ProductReview.com.au. It scored over 4 stars from Kogan reviewers, but we couldn't find independent research to back this up. 

We were also a little skeptical about the quality. Most Kogan reviewers were pleased with their purchase, but many said they felt the lower price was reflected in the overall product standard. Its 6.2L capacity is hefty enough for a family of four, and for less than $100, you can program it digitally with 7 preset cooking functions. Its basket is dishwasher safe, too. If you want a big air fryer on a budget, this could be for you.

Choose this if…

You want the biggest air fryer at the lowest price.

Target Adela 2L Quick Snack

The Target Adela 2L Quick Snack is the perfect size for small batches on the go. Reviewers on  ProductReview.com.au say it'll fit a pie and chips or a couple of chicken kievs, so it's a great option for one to two people. We like that it saves you heating up the oven for small portions, and the digital settings are intuitive enough that even the hangriest of teenagers can navigate.

The aptly-named Quick Snack is also an excellent price. At around $60, it has a digital screen, and quick preset buttons to make your life easier. With 1400W of power, it doesn't compromise on grunt, either. You'll struggle to cater to a gaggle of hungry footy-watchers with this one, but it's a well-priced entry-level option with solid controls.

Choose this if…

You want to try a smaller model before committing to a serious air fryer.

Tefal Fry Delight

We think the Tefal Fry Delight is a higher-quality option for small capacity air fryers. Tefal is a French company, known for uniting teflon and aluminium to create non-stick cookware. Naturally, it offers a non-stick basket, which is easy to clean. The Tefal Fry Delight makes French fries for 2 in 15 minutes, and has an adjustable timer which you can set up to 30 minutes.

The Tefal Fry Delight was reviewed by CHOICE, and Aussies on ProductReview.com.au gave it nearly 4.5 stars. It performs better than other smaller air fryers across our research, and has a retractable cord for easy storage. Reviewers said it makes great bacon, although some found the manual timer frustrating. Other Aussies were annoyed by how long spare parts took to arrive, but all in all, it's a quality air fryer for its size.

Choose this if…

You want a small air fryer with top notch performance.

Philips Airfryer Premium XXL Digital 

The Philips Airfryer Premium XXL Digital is very similar to the XXL Smart Digital. They're the same size, and both have LED displays. But there are two major differences between the two: price and luxury. The Premium XXL Digital retails at just under $450, while the XXL Smart Digital will set you back around $600. That's quite a jump. We think the Premium XXL Digital is a great option for families who don't want to spend the biggest of bucks for all the fancy features.

The Premium XXL Digital may not have smart sensing technology or copper details like its lavish cousin, but it's a high-quality fryer with a huge capacity. It comes with a 2-year warranty, and reviewers on ProductReview.com.au gave it nearly 5 stars. They loved how well it performed, too. One person also noted it didn't heat up the whole kitchen during Queensland summers. You can't say that about your oven.

Choose this if…

You want a hefty, high-quality air fryer that'll feed a crowd.

How we picked

Air fryers are one of the most up-to-the-minute kitchen appliances out there. Philips was the first to sell them in 2010. After a little window-shopping, we found it's still the biggest air fryer brand 10 years later. To be sure they didn't dominate the list, we began by checking CHOICE, Australia's biggest consumer advocacy group. They've done independent testing on a range of air fryers, so we took note of their picks before jumping over to ProductReview.com.au to see what real Aussies reckoned.

We quickly learned that Aussies really love air fryers. All of our picks scored over 4.3 stars from 5, but that's not to say that there aren't duds out there. We chose the top air fryers with double-digit reviews, and checked them against our CHOICE picks. Some models were very similar to others, and not all were readily available, so we lopped a few off the list. That's how we ended up with our selection of Australia's best air fryers.

Important features to consider

Air fryers are fairly new to the market, so there's not much info out there on what makes a good air fryer. Here are some important features we think will help you decide.

Stirrer

Self-stirring air fryers exist, but they tend to be very large, and our research showed stirrers don't tend to work that well. Smaller bits can get stuck under the paddle, and sometimes paddles mangle your food. Stirrers also make it difficult to bake a cake or roast a chicken in your air fryer. All of our picks have pull-out drawers instead, which require shaking every so often, but usually offer greater versatility at a lower price.

Size

Air fryers take up a lot of bench or storage space. They work best when they have a little clearance room for ventilation, too, so XXL models may not be the best idea in tiny kitchens.

Cleaning

Most air fryers have non-stick baskets that are dishwasher safe. They'll last longer if you wash them by hand, but we know that's not everyone's cup of tea. Because heating elements tend to be in the bottom of dishwashers, the top drawer is best for things that need a gentler wash.

Controls

Basic models usually come with easy-to-use dials, while digital models tend to offer pre-programmed settings and greater precision.

Related: The Best Pressure Cooker for Faster Meals

What you get if you spend more

You can get away with spending less than $100 on an air fryer, but if you're willing to splash a little more cash, here's what you can look forward to.

Quality

Across our research, there were two kinds of air fryer: pricier, high-quality air fryers, and lower-quality, cheap air fryers. If you spend more, you're likely to end up with a fryer that'll go the distance.

Technology

As a general rule, the pricier the air fryer, the 'smarter' it's likely to be. The smartest air fryer we picked is so sensitive it adjusts time and temperature based on what you put in it. Almost all of the more expensive air fryers have digital settings. Most also boasted more effective heating technology.

Performance

Reviews showed that pricier air fryers tended to produce more succulent, crispy-skinned meats, and evenly-cooked veges.

The bottom line

Air fryers might seem like a new-fangled gadget, but reviewers raved about them across the board. They're more efficient than conventional ovens, and many Aussies said they use theirs daily. If dinner always seems to be late to the table in your household, an air fryer might be just the ticket to save you time, stress, and money.

The Philips Daily Collection Airfryer is our 'best for most' pick. It's a mid-range size at a reasonable price, with simple dials, and an audible timer which sounds when your food is ready. This machine also represents quality, with one reviewer saying theirs had lasted 8 years. 

For bigger families on a tighter budget, the Kmart Anko 5.3L Air Fryer is a great little time-saver. At just under $100, you can fit a roast chicken inside, or feed a small netball team when the after-school munchies kick in. It may not be the fanciest air fryer, but it's excellent value for money.

We also fell in love with the Philips Smart Digital Airfryer XXL. With powerful heating technology and a smart sensor, it'll remember exactly how you like your roast veg, bacon, or salmon. It's also enormous, with one of the biggest capacities of all the air fryers.

Frequently asked questions

What is an air fryer?

An air fryer is a mini convection oven that sits on the benchtop. A convection or fan-forced oven uses a fan to move air around, which makes for consistent heat. The fans and elements inside an air fryer don't have to move heat around a large space, so they usually cook faster and use less power than conventional ovens.

How does an air fryer work?

Rather than frying food in boiling oil, air fryers cook by rapidly-circulating hot air around your food. This means you don't always have to add oil. Most air fryers rely on a heating element above a basket you put food in, which sits inside a small chamber. The food is closer to the heat source than in a convection oven, and increased airflow ensures crispiness. 

What can be cooked in an air fryer?

You might think you can only cook deep-fried food in an air fryer, but air fryers will cook almost anything you'd put in the oven. Generally speaking, stick to foods you'd usually fry, bake or grill, like cakes, whole fish, bacon, and starchy vegetables. Air fryers are ideal for meat-eaters, as they produce succulent cuts of meat with crispy skin. But vegetarians won't miss out, as they make killer samosas, vege wontons, and roasted brussel sprouts.

While pre-frozen chicken nuggets, crumbed fish, and chiko rolls will do well in an air fryer, they're not ideal for cooking food you've battered yourself. The rapid airflow means anything with a loose coating is a no-no, as it'll make a mess of all your hard work. Anything that needs to be boiled or steamed is not likely to work in an air fryer. This mainly includes rice and pasta. It goes without saying that potato chips and French fries are ideal for air fryer cooking. You can also experiment with kale, sweet potato, or banana chips.

Is cooking with an air fryer healthy?

Yes and no. If you love deep-frying food at home, you can rest assured that air-fried foods are lower in fat, as they won't absorb as much oil. You can also add less oil when cooking foods you'd usually fry or roast. This helps cut back on calories if you're roasting a whole chicken, frying potatoes, or cooking bacon. At the same time, if you're cooking foods that have already been deep fried and flash-frozen, like fish fingers, there may not be a big difference between oven-roasting and air-frying.

Are air fryers safe?

Most air fryers have non-stick pans, which may be off-putting for some. When heated over 350 degrees celsius, non-stick cookware can release fumes. But few people cook over 300 degrees celsius, especially in non-stick cookware. Air fryers have an upper temperature setting of around 200 degrees celsius. Whenever using non-stick, try not to preheat pans for too long, ventilate your kitchen, and avoid damaging cookware with metal utensils. 

If the surface of your pan starts to bubble or flake, replace it. Cooking sprays are also a bad idea for non-stick pans, as they can cause build-up over time. Gentle hand-washing is best for maintaining non-stick, but if you hate scrubbing, the top shelf of the dishwasher is better than the bottom shelf. This is because dishwashers usually heat from the bottom, so the top shelf provides a more gentle washing option.

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