These air fryers deliver crispy food with none of the oil

Frying without the fat.

bowl of fries
Healthier, crispy bites.Joyce Panda via Unsplash

The magical promise of an air fryer is crispy and delicious food without vats of oil. How’s it pull off this culinary miracle? Air fryers don’t actually fry food. They’re small, counter-top convection-style ovens with fans that circulate hot air to cook food from the outside in. You could do the same in a standard convection oven, but thanks to their small size and strong heating elements, air fryers deliver more power for faster, more even cooking. Air fryers are great appliances for French fries, chicken fingers, tater tots, crispy veggies, perfect tofu, and more. Many of them can also broil, bake, and toast, too.

Ninja Air Fryer
Holds two pounds. Amazon

The Ninja Max delivers 400 degrees of superheated air, while the 4-quart basket and crisper fit approximately two pounds of fries or chicken wings. The ceramic basket is also non-stick, which makes for faster clean up, and the tray fits snugly into the basket so it won’t fall out when serving the food. Cook settings include max crisp and air broil, as well as dehydrate. You can program maximum and minimum temperatures to achieve different cooking results. A convenient timer helps you keep track of the food prep.

Dash Compact Electric Air Fryer
Small footprint and bright colors.Amazon

While the Dash has only a two-quart capacity, it only takes up about eight inches of counter space, making it one of the smaller air fryers on the market. Five pre-set functions help cook poultry, steak, baked goods, fresh-cut fries, and frozen fries, and a digital display accesses time and custom temperature settings. The non-stick basket can accommodate approximately a dozen chicken wings or a pound of fries, and is dishwasher safe. The appliance is available in black, white, grey, red, and aqua, and it comes with a handy cooking guide that includes more than 15 recipes.

Instant Vortex Plus
For the biggest batches.Amazon

More than just an air fryer, the multi-function Vortex Plus also roasts, bakes, dehydrates, broils, and reheats with six built-in smart programs. Digital controls provide quick and easy access to cooking functions including temperature and time. The large, six-quart basket is square, which creates more useable cooking space than round models—you can cook up two pounds of fries or an entire, four-pound chicken. The stainless-steel accents makes the Vortex Plus a classy addition to any stylish kitchen.

Cuisinart TOA-60
Stainless-steel finish.Amazon

If the aesthetics of a standard air fryer don’t thrill you, consider the more traditional looking Cuisinart toaster-oven air fryer. But this appliance delivers function as well as form. The 1800-watt unit features seven functions, including air fry, convection bake, convection broil, bake, broil, warm, and toast. It can air fry three pounds of chicken wings, bake a 12-inch pizza, or roast a four-pound chicken. Because it combines a toaster oven with an air fryer, you’ll also be able to clear up some counter-top space.