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In this guide
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.
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.
The best air fryer for most
Choose this if
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.
What we love
No mucking around with digital displays or confusing instructions.
Easy to clean
Dishwasher-safe non-stick pan makes cleaning a breeze.
It's not so big it'll take over your benchtop, but it's not too small for couples or young families.
Louder than other air fryers to let you know when dinner's ready.
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.
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.
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.
No recipe book, and very basic instructions, but Philips do have a 'NurtiU' app with heaps of recipes.
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.
The best value air fryer
Choose this if
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.
What we love
Easy to use
Cooking guidelines on the front of the machine with two simple dials for temperature and timer.
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.
One to tell you it's on, another to tell you when it's reached temperature.
The not so good bits
No guarantee of precision.
Some Aussies complain it doesn't cook as evenly as other air fryers, and you have to shake the basket a few times as you cook.
The machine may outlast the basket's non-stick coating, and reviewers say it smells for the first few uses.
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 are over the moon about how much easier it is to use compared to their ovens, saying it saves time and power. They don't like the dials so much, but both of Kmart's smaller options have LED displays if it's a deal-breaker.
A few say it's not the best air fryer for chips, as it can dry them out a little, but most rave about its crispy skin chicken and pork crackle. Others are 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.
The best for families
Choose this if
Not only does the DeLonghi IdealFry Digital have a large capacity bowl that can feed up to 8 people, it’s crammed with tech for easy use. This includes a digital display, labelled buttons, preset programmes and a removable transparent lid. If you need to feed the fam, we reckon this is the way to go.
What we love
You can cook food for up to 8 people and it can handle up to 1.5kg of fresh potatoes.
Preset cooking programmes
Make it easy to get dinner right by using the preset cooking programmes.
If you’re after more control, you’ve got 4 different power levels.
Its in-built timer has a ‘ready!’ signal so you know when dinner’s done.
Digital control panel
It’s easy to use thanks to the digital control panel and labelled buttons.
When you need to shake and mix your food, the lightweight bowl makes it easy.
See what’s happening inside.
The lid’s also removable to make cleaning a breeze.
2 heating elements
Including your choice of using the upper only.
Free recipe app
Get access to over 200 recipes for meal-time inspo.
The not so good bits
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.
It only comes with a recipe app - not even a hardcopy recipe book.
Channelling IKEA, the instructions have diagrams only, no text. Honestly, they’re a bit tricky to figure out.
Limited Aussie consumer reviews
It’s not on ProductReview.com.au yet so we’re not sure how it goes in Aussie kitchens. It has some Amazon reviews and has been put through its paces by CHOICE too.
If you’re airfrying for a crowd, you’ll love the DeLonghi IdealFry Digital Hot Air Fryer. You can fry for up to 8 people, making it ideal for feeding the whole fam. It can hold up to 1.5kg of fresh potatoes or 1.25 of frozen.
As well as being generously sized, it’s crammed with features for easy use. These include 5 preset cooking programmes (fries, cake, snack, meat and manual). For more control, you’ve got an adjustable thermostat with 4 different power levels and a 90-minute timer which lets you know when it’s done. They’re both operated by an easy to see and use digital control panel. Plus, the non-stick bowl is lightweight and easily removable, for simple shaking and mixing of your food.
Thanks to its transparent lid, you can always see what’s going on inside. It’s packing ‘Rapid SHS Double Technology’. Which means it has 2 heating elements: an upper 1400W and a lower 300W. You can switch the bottom heating element off and only use the upper heating element.
Finally, you can download a free recipe app with over 200 recipes for meal inspo. You can expect to pick one up for under 3 hundy.
The best luxury air fryer
Choose this if
You want a space-age air fryer that boasts smarts, size and good looks.
What we love
The not so good bits
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. What sets this air fryer apart is its smart sensor, which takes the guesswork out of cooking. It also keeps your meal at the perfect temperature after it's done.
It comes with a recipe book, and its mesh insert is dishwasher-safe. Philips also reckons 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.
The 7.3L capacity basket is one of the biggest we've seen, and reviewers on ProductReview.com.au say it cooks evenly without drying out. Some are annoyed it doesn’t come with all the accessories, especially since it's over $500. But with nearly 5 stars from over 60 reviews and an award winner 2020 and 2021 on ProductReview.com.au, the Philips Smart Digital XXL lives up to the hype.
Others worth considering
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 is reviewed by CHOICE, and Aussies on ProductReview.com.au give 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 say it makes great bacon, although some find the manual timer frustrating. Other Aussies are annoyed by how long spare parts take to arrive, but all in all, it's a quality air fryer for its size.
Proving that air fryers can be affordable, the Sunbeam Copper Infused DuraCeramic Air Fryer has a RRP around $160. Because it’s infused with copper, Sunbeam reckons it’s durable and conducts heat well, with no flaking or peeling.
Compact, its 3L capacity will handle a 600g bag of shoestring fries, which will be plenty for a few people. Easy to use, it’s got dials to set the temperature and the time and a light to show when it’s in use. And that’s it - no fancy preset programmes here. It also doesn’t have a transparent lid so you can’t peek inside.
But it gets almost 4 stars from a handful of reviews on ProductReview.com.au and we reckon for the price, it’s hard to go wrong.
The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer looks more like a microwave than an air fryer. It also boasts more functionality than an air fryer. Which means it’s a good option if you’re looking to replace multiple kitchen appliances with just 1. It’s got 10 cooking functions. As well as air fry, it can toast 6 slices or crumpets, grill, bake, roast, warm, pizza, reheat or slow cook. It’s got a huge 22L capacity, which can handle a whole chicken, 30cm pizza or a 9-cup muffin tray.
Its LCD display lets you know what setting it’s on and when it'll be ready, thanks to the automatic countdown timer. An inside light lets you see inside.
We like that it comes with everything you need, including an air fry basket, enamel roasting pan, 30cm non-stick pizza pan, wire rack and grilling rack. It also has a 2-year replacement warranty, because like your regular oven, it’s got replaceable parts.
It gets good reviews on ProductReview.com.au and almost 4 stars. Breville is also Canstar Blue’s 2nd most popular air fryer brand. These independent insights give you some confidence in the price tag: a steep RRP of around $550.
The bottom line
Air fryers might seem like a new-fangled gadget, but reviewers rave about them across the board. They're more efficient than conventional ovens, and many Aussies say 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 DeLonghi IdealFry Digital. With its generous bowl, you can feed up to 8 people, making it our pick for families. It’s got plenty to impress, including an adjustable thermostat and timer, digital display and 5 preset programmes.
How do air fryers 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 we looked for
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.
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.
Basic models usually come with easy-to-use dials, while digital models tend to offer pre-programmed settings and greater precision. Whatever model you go for, easy to understand controls will help you get to grips with your new appliance quicker.
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.
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.
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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