A good oil-less fryer is something everyone seems to be on the lookout for nowadays. There are many features, capacities, shapes, and technologies to choose from. The confusion is real, especially when everyone has a different air fryer they swear by.
Ultimately, what you need is what will decide the option that suits you. We are here to help you with everything you need to know the best oil-less fryer.
Our Favorite Picks:
The 7 Best Oil-Less Fryers in 2020
1. GoWISE USA 5.8-Quarts 8-in-1 Air Fryer – Best Overall
At a capacity of 5.8 quarts, this bad boy is large and in charge. It can feed a family of four or more. Think of the possibilities.
It is 1700 watts. So, not only is it large but also powerful. This power helps it cook fries and veggies in less than ten minutes.
The process of cleaning it is such a breeze, thanks to its nonstick FDA-certified and PFOA free pan and basket. Some people say that they are nonstick,, and this is true! Sadly, they are not dishwasher-safe, but you can easily hand-wash them that it doesn’t matter.
This affordable fryer comes with a wide temperature ranging from 180 to 400°F with increments in 10, which means fast and efficient cooking, with more versatility than any other fryer at its price point.
The 30-minute timer is accompanied by an impressive feature, which is the alarm function that reminds you to shake your food in 5, 10, and 15-minute increments.
Also, GoWISE USA has 8 versatile presets to save you time and work, as well as a Start/Stop button, which allows you to adjust temperature and time mid-cycle. For your safety, this fryer has a cool-touch handle.
At its price point, the numerous and versatile features it has on its own have earned GoWise USA XL Air Fryer the number one place on our list.
2. Philips Digital Turbostar Airfryer – Best for Small Kitchens
Philips Digital Turbostar Airfryer features the very best Unique TurboStar Technology that provides you with healthier cooking and frying.
It has a capacity of 2.75 quarts, which allows you to cook 1.8 pounds a batch. This makes it perfect for a family of two to three people. Unlike the other models, this one in particular is greater than its fellow fryers with the same capacity because it occupies 20% less counter space.
It is 1425 watts, which means that it is powerful enough to cook fast, considering the fact that it needs no preheating.
The impressive design helps it cook 50% more evenly than other fryers to the point that you won’t need to shake or flip the food. Moreover, the quality of the food coming out of this Turbostar makes it all worth it.
Cleaning it up is a piece of cake thanks to its EasyClick handle, QuickClean basket, and nonstick dishwasher-safe parts. However, hand washing is preferred to preserve the coating.
One of its best features, yet a possible downside to some, is the QuickControl dial. The temperature only increments 25°F at a time, which can be frustrating if the temperature needed for the recipe you have in mind isn’t there.
What is weird is that the impressive 200-recipe cookbook that comes with the fryer has recipes with temperatures that are not included in the dial.
The four presets for frozen fries, meat, fish, and drumsticks plus the Keep Warm function prove that the fryer will definitely save you time and guesswork.
High-quality food in an appliance that takes up very little space is a dream. This is a high-end product. Its temperature issue is pretty manageable; just set the temperature to the closest one to your recipes.
3. Ninja Foodi the Multicooker – Best Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer Combo
This fryer prides itself on its capacity of 6.5 quarts, which is exactly what a family of five needs. You can finally say goodbye to numerous batches for cooking one meal thanks to its large capacity.
Its 1400 watts enable it to handle the multiple functions the multi-cooker has.
The reason why Ninja Foodi FD401 is very easy to clean is that it has PTFE/PFOA-free, ceramic-coated, and nonstick crisp basket and pot, which are dishwasher-safe as well.
However, the heaviness of the appliance, along with the fact that the air fryer lid is hinged, not removable, can make the cleanup a tad harder.
It has a whopping temperature range that goes up to 410°F. Since it is a multi-cooker that can pressure cook, slow cook, sauté, steam, and air fry, it needs an impressive temperature range to make that happen. The impressive hour-long timer is here for the same reason.
One of the most unique features it offers is the TenderCrisp technology, where you can start the cooking process juicing up the food with pressure cooking, then finish with crisping it. Do you hate having to thaw out food? This baby will defrost food and cook it for you.
Sadly, this giant baby is not budget-friendly. However, if you can afford it and have space for a genuinely good all-in-one kitchen appliance, this is it.
4. Ninja Air Fryer – Best Lightweight with Large Capacity
You can cater to families from three to five people with the 4-quarts Ninja Air Fryer. It can cook two pounds of fries a batch. You got hungry just thinking of it? So did we.
The Ninja air fryer establishes itself as an energy-efficient fryer with its power of 1550 watts. In addition, it has a remarkable temperature range that goes up to 400°F. These features ensure fast cooking.
The cleanup couldn’t be easier, even if it tried. Its basket, pan, crisper plate, and rack are dishwasher-safe. However, we always recommend hand washing for all coated parts to preserve them.
The basket is ceramic-coated, just like its Ninja Foodi counterpart. Ceramic makes a durable coating, as it can withstand the highest temperatures. It is also safer than other coatings such as Teflon.
The Ninja fryer’s best feature is that it comes with 4 cooking modes: air fry, roast, reheat, and dehydrate, so its functions establish it as a highly versatile yet small kitchen appliance. Furthermore, its one-touch control panel simplifies the whole process.
Not many brands or models know how to balance fryers having small dimensions yet large capacities. It’s a notable feature that you won’t find everywhere.
Keep in mind that the fryer not having an automatic pause means you will have to pause it manually every time you shake the food. Also, be careful not to touch the body while it’s cooking.
5. Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven – Best for Families
At an interior capacity of 0.6 cu. feet, this combo appliance isn’t here to mess around. It can air fry up to 3 pounds of fries, toast up to 6 slices of bread, and bake a 4-pound chicken or a 12-inch pizza.
The 1800-watt monster has a temperature range from 80 to 450°F; the versatility that is offered by this range is insane. Moreover, it comes with four dials to choose function, time, temperature, and toast doneness.
Due to its nonstick material, Cuisinart Air fryers Toaster Oven is very easy to clean, but only by hand washing.
Our baby impresses with presets for frying wings, fries, chicken nuggets, snacks, and veggies. The lower temperatures also allow you to proof dough, slow cook, braise, and dehydrate food.
However, many have complained that although the material of the unit itself is sturdy, the dials break easily.
This appliance is perfect for large families that need something with large capacity and high versatility. However, you may have to get your own timer and work around the inaccuracy of the temperature.
6. Big Boss Oil-less Fryer – Best Value
Unlike the majority of oil-less fryers, this one follows the bowl-and-a halogen-bulb design.
Its 16-quart capacity is its best quality. How many oil-less fryers can say they have enough room to cook a whole turkey? It even comes with two trays, so you can cook more than one thing at once!
It is 1300 watts, using less energy than an actual oven. Yet, it has three heat sources: halogen, convection, and infrared heat.
Big Boss Oil-less Fryer is relatively easy to clean, and the lid can only be wiped down since it has the bulb.
The fryer has two dials for time and temperature; however, their writing may fade away with time, so try to mark it in some way.
Our Big Boss comes with many accessories such as extender Ring, oil sprayer bottle, and tongs. It also doubles down as a dehydrator.
This fryer is perfect for a large family that needs to eat healthily and not spend too much. Make sure you have the space for it, though.
7. DASH Compact Electric Air Fryer – Best Color Options
Its small capacity of 2 quarts makes it a wise option for singles and couples. A family of more people can benefit from it in snacks or desserts. Its small size, along with its color options, makes it look more aesthetically pleasing than other air fryers.
Its 1200 watts are all a small air fryer really needs, and its impressive temperature range reaches 400°F, which confirms that it is energy-efficient.
Cleanup is really easy since it is a small appliance with a dishwasher-safe basket and drawer.
This adorable baby comes with 5 presets for poultry, steak, baked goods, fresh fries, and frozen fries.
The safety features that it has include a cool-touch handle and housing, with the addition of the automatic shutoff.
If you don’t need a large fryer and you also want something that looks nice on the countertop on a budget, this is perfect.
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Most frequent questions and answers
An oil-free fryer is a countertop kitchen appliance that imitates frying but uses hot air circulation instead of hot oil to cook the food. Yet, the outcome is food that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
You can easily say that an air fryer is a more efficient convection oven, as it does the same job faster and more evenly.
Oil-free fryers or air fryers mainly follow the convection method, which is heat transfer by the work of an external force such as the fan on top, in the case of oil-free fryers. This fan blows the hot air in all directions around the perforated frying basket for even and fast cooking.
This hot air circulation is trapped in a relatively small and confined area, leading to temperature rising very fast. This high temperature crunches the outside and preserves the moistness of the inside of food.
How to Pick an Oil-Less Fryer?
How many people will this fryer feed? How much food would you like to cook at once? A greaseless fryer’s capacity is the number one deciding factor in whether you should get it or not.
If it is for cooking meals for one person only or for cooking snacks, a 2-quart air fryer should be sufficient. Families of two or more people will benefit from the most popular choices, which range from 3 to 5 quarts. Anything larger than that can handle meals such as a whole chicken.
You can find fryers at the capacity of 16 quarts, which will greatly benefit large families or parties.
Dimensions and Counterspace
As much as a bigger fryer sounds better, it all depends on how much space you have for it in the kitchen. Don’t forget to consider where you’ll store it when it’s not in use, or will you leave it out because you’ll use it often?
Also, keep in mind that an oil-free fryer needs at least five inches of free space all around it.
All oil-less fryers have temperature ranges somewhere between 100 and 400°F. But how does it affect your experience?
The bigger the temperature range a fryer has, the more versatile your cooking experience will be. You will be able to cook more recipes at a shorter time, the closer your fryer can get to 400°F.
More modern models have a bigger range. They also have temperature adjusters, and cooking presets to ensure time efficiency and accuracy.
Air fryers usually lie somewhere between 1200 to 2000 watts. Their wattage is very closely tied to their temperature range.
Low-wattage fryers tend to have a small temperature range, which means they will take a longer time cooking. Cook the same things in a high-wattage fryer, and they will finish in very little time. Powerful air fryers simply save you time and energy.
Ease of Cleanup
If you have a dishwasher, chances are you’re for a model with dishwasher-safe parts. Many people prefer to wash their fryers by hand; if you do, make sure you get a fryer that is easy to disassemble with removable parts.
Whatever you choose, make sure you clean the air fryer after every use. Yes, the grease-less nature of air fryers fools you into thinking they don’t need much cleanup. They don’t. Yet, like every other kitchen appliance, you should clean it after every use for your own health.
Types of Oil-Free Fryers
This is the most recognized design on the oil-free frying market, which means that everyone knows how to use and store them. They are also very simple to clean. The only downside is that you are limited by the capacity of the basket itself since they are relatively small.
The fryer following this design has a drawer to be pulled out. Inside lies the pan with the basket inside. You put the food in the basket, and the pan catches the excess grease dripping from the food.
This is a lesser-known design that uses a halogen bulb as a heating element, with other heating elements and fans. The lid has the bulb, fans, and control panel built into it. Food is placed in the bowl, and the lid is closed for cooking.
One of its best qualities is that you can see the food inside without having to open it.
This fryer is large, which is a feature that is down to you to decide whether it is good or bad. Do you want to feed a large family? Do you want something big enough to cook your turkey on Thanksgiving? This is it.
Moreover, cleaning and storing it isn’t easy, and its parts get very hot while cooking, so you might risk burning yourself if you’re not careful with touching it.
Oil-Free Fryer Benefits
Healthier Than Deep Frying
We all love deep-fried food, even people that deny it. Yes, the golden brown color, the crunchy texture, and delicious taste are irresistible but deep-fried food has many health risks.
Submerging food in oil forms tons of calories, saturated fats, and trans fats. Constant consumption of deep-fried food means a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
This horrifying reality led to the invention of fryers that consume 75 to 80% less oil than the average deep fryer. Some people use them with no oil at all, and they work just fine, which means reducing the health risks of deep frying to almost non-existing.
The above knowledge is great news for anyone who’s watching their weight or health but still wants food that doesn’t taste like tofu.
Skipping the Mess
The greasiness of the typical deep fryer leaves a mess to the extent that you groan at the thought of cleaning up. Since there is little to no oil in these new healthy fryers, there is very little to clean up.
Also, these fryers have a lid, preventing any spills on the counters that you might have to clean up later.
In addition, most air fryer parts are removable, nonstick, and dishwasher-safe. So, even if there is something to clean, it is not as tragic as cleaning a traditional fryer.
The fact that you don’t have to worry about what to do with used oil alone is a selling point.
Speed that Puts the Flash to Shame
Thanks to the method of hot air circulation in a closed space, these fryers reach high temperatures in a very short time, cooking the food much faster than other appliances.
Most meals can be finished in 10 to 20 minutes. If you want to minimize the time you have to spend in the kitchen, get an oil-less fryer.
They Can Do Everything, Huh?
You thought oil-free fryers could only imitate frying? Wrong! You can find models, with the help of their accessories, that bake, grill, reheat, roast, dehydrate, and stir fry. The versatility of air fryers or combos that include them keeps growing each day to maximize their functions.
Imagine the possibilities and the recipes that you can make if you have one appliance that can give you fried chicken nuggets, molten lava cake, chips, pizza, and breakfast pockets.
Final Tips for Using Your Fryer
Never Stack or Overcrowd
Since oil-less frying depends on hot air circulation, the food needs space to “breathe.”
For even cooking with no soggy food, air fry your food in small batches; don’t be too greedy and stack your food in layers either. Keep the actual capacity of the fryer in mind and invest in a rack or food separator if your fryer doesn’t already come with one.
Skip the Liquid Batter
Nothing will save the batter once the fan starts blowing the hot air around, it will fly everywhere, sink through the basket, and make a mess.
Some people made it work by frying the battered food in a frying pan first, then finishing the frying in the air fryer, which could be too much work for many, though. The point of air fryers is getting the job done fast, right?
Instead, stick to dry breading. First, dredge your food in seasoned flour. Second, dredge the flour-coated food in eggs. Finally, dredge it in bread crumbs.
Shake or Flip for Best Results in Basket Fryers
Don’t start the fryer and forget it until it finishes. If the food being evenly-crisped is a priority for you-duh!- you need to remove the basket and give it a shake or flip the food to get consistent results.
Smaller items like chicken nuggets, french fries, tater tots, and chicken wings after a few shakes will taste so good you’ll forget about deep-fried food. Large food pieces will not go to waste after a few individual flips, either.
Ever Needed to Vent?
Imagine that in order for an oil-less fryer to work, it needs “personal space”. I mean, it makes sense since there is so much heat inside, right?
Any small kitchen appliance needs proper ventilation to operate correctly and safely. A decent amount of personal space would be five inches of space from all sides. The counter you place it on needs to be heat-resistant, of course.
Prevent the Smoking
If you ever see white smoke coming out of the fryer, don’t panic because this means that there is too much grease collected inside. This typically happens when greasy food like chicken thighs, burgers, or meatballs are being cooked.
Its prevention is pretty easy. Just put a little water ( a tablespoon or two) in the fryer drawer. Another method would be to place a slice of bread at the bottom of the fryer.
There are many options to choose from, so here is a final rundown.
Our top pick is GoWISE USA XL, thanks to its high-end features at an affordable price.
Fans of small fryers will love the Philips Digital Turbostar Airfryer and DASH Compact Electric Air Fryer. For your large capacity needs, check out the Big Boss Oil-less Fryer and Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven.
Thanks to all of them, we can eat “fried” food and stay healthy.