I love the ease and convenience of an air fryer, not to mention the health benefits and energy savings. With their massive rise in popularity, especially during a cost-of-living crisis, there are so many options to choose from that it can be hard to know where to start looking.
If you’re looking to invest in one, we’ve tested the best air fryers for families and give you our honest feedback to help you choose the right one for your home. It’s also worth checking what you can’t cook in an air fryer (Opens in a new tab) In addition to the cost of operating an air fryer (Opens in a new tab) to get the most out of it.
Here’s how the COSORI Lite smart air fryer was shown in the testing process.
- Available exclusively from Amazon (Opens in a new tab)
Capacity: 3.8 liters | Dimensions: H32.5, W27.5, D37.6cm | Wattage: 1500 Watts | Color: Truffle Gray (also available in White Peach)
The air fryer is sleek and compact, and it fits well on my countertop without taking up much space. I found it surprisingly lightweight, so it will be easy to move around if you don’t want to leave it on display.
Unlike other air fryers I’ve used, this one has a digital display on top of the unit. This meant I needed to be close to the air fryer to see how much time was left when cooking (which I didn’t mind). But this design feature is likely intentional due to the air fryer’s WIFI connectivity, which means you can monitor cooking from your smartphone (more on that later). The control panel is easy to read and easy to use and I found the buttons really responsive.
I tested the Truffle Gray color for this air fryer, which I felt was a really refreshing change to black. The main body is a matte gray, which I found didn’t show fingerprints at all, the control panel is dark blue (which also manages to keep the push-smudged fingerprints at bay) and there are pops of deep red on the knob and around the control pad. It is an elegant addition to any kitchen.
For those who want something completely different, it’s also available in white with peach accents.
It has a decent 3.8-liter capacity for cooking about three portions, so it’s ideal for couples and smaller families, but those with larger families will likely need something a little larger and maybe even a double-drawer model instead.
Convenience and features
This air fryer is really easy to use, but it also comes with a really easy to understand instruction manual. Setup is simple, and the instructions talk you through a test run to help you get a handle on using the control panel, which I thought was a really nice touch.
There is an easy heat setting that heats up to 205°C for four minutes. If it gets too hot, you can lower the temperature manually using the arrows on the control panel and the time will adjust accordingly. The first time I used the air fryer, I used the standard preheat feature and noticed some smell, but by the time I was ready to cook, the smell was gone.
Once the time is up, the air fryer beeps loud enough that you can hear it in another room.
There are five other preset cooking options for chicken, fries, bacon, steak, and veggies, though I would say be careful with the preset functions—I’ve been burned before (pardon the pun) as the time feels like a bit too long, so check Always part of the cooking process halfway through and use your judgment. There’s also a shake feature that will beep and pause the cooking time so you can shake the contents (this works well for things like french fries or chicken nuggets) before replacing the basket and allowing cooking to resume.
You can also get the cooking time and temperature manually, which is what I did when cooking some chicken. They came out perfect—crunchy on the outside and hot in the middle, after just 18 minutes (they would have taken 25 minutes in a conventional oven).
The handle of the basket is comfortable to use, and the basket is easy to remove and put back in place. You also get a crispy dish that can be easily screwed into the basket before cooking.
I really liked that both the basket and the tray can be cleaned in the dishwasher, though it’s always a good idea to wait for any oil or fat that might collect on the bottom to cool and then scoop it out with some kitchen roll to get rid of it.
This air fryer can also be connected to WiFi so you can monitor or control it via an app (although for safety reasons, you can control all air fryer functions via the app, aside from when the cooking process starts). Some people might like this feature, as well as the in-app recipes and voice control functionality (via Google Assistant), but for me, it felt a bit superfluous.
With a recommended retail price of £99.99, I think this air fryer is great value for money. It’s easy to use, cooks well, and has a wide variety of cooking functions for the price. I know I wouldn’t use the app control, but I still feel this air fryer is worth the money even without it.
It looks good, is light enough to move around easily, and the main plus point for me was that the basket and vegetable tray were dishwasher friendly. It was the perfect size when I was cooking for two, and I would say you could cook enough for three, but for large families, as much as I enjoyed this air fryer, unfortunately, I think it would be a bit too small.
For anyone worried about using an air fryer for the first time, the instruction manual and quick start guide that came with this air fryer was really easy to understand, so it’s perfect for first time air fryers. The Quick Start Guide also shares a super easy hack for adapting oven recipes to something more air fryer friendly. It says to lower the temperature by 10 degrees Celsius and/or reduce the cooking time by 20%. I found this really useful, though I still use my own judgment when something is cooked and check the food while it’s cooking.
If you have more questions about using an air fryer, you may also be interested in some of our other articles explaining Can You Put Foil in an Air Fryer (Opens in a new tab) How to clean an air fryer (Opens in a new tab). You may also like Best Air Fryer Cookbooks (Opens in a new tab) For mealtime inspiration.