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(Pocket-lint) - Air fryers offer an alternative and healthy way to crisp up your food without the need for half a bottle of oil. They are basically small ovens that use powerful - and normally pretty noisy - fans, along with a concentrated heat source to deliver a fried finish to your food, whether that be chips, chicken, wings or even veg. 

Requiring very little oil, or none at all, and a touch of a couple of buttons to deliver crispy chips, crunchy onion bhajis or anything else you might otherwise fry, air fryers are essentially a guilt-free way to eat chips. There are several options around, all with various features, and while Tefal and Ninja appear multiple times on our best air fryers list, there are others to consider too.

Here's our pick of the best air fryers to buy today 

NinjaBest air fryers 2021: Guilt-free crispy chips photo 1

Ninja Foodi Max

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The Ninja Foodi isn't the cheapest on our list, but it's not just an air fryer. This smart-looking device has six cooking functions: air fry, bake, roast, reheat, dehydrate and grill.

There's a 5.7-litre cooking pot, 3.8-litre crisper basket for delicious chips and wings, a grill plate for cooking chicken or steak, a cleaning brush and you get a recipe guide. There's also a leave in digital probe to make sure your food is perfectly cooked.

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Tefal FZ773840 Actifry Genius+ Air Fryer

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This is higher up this list than the 2-in-1 option below, mainly for price. Like the more expensive option though, this air fryer has automatic programs to take care of temperature, cooking and stirring time, making cooking a breeze.

This model only has a single zone, but the 1.2kg removable bowl is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, can handle between 5 and 6 portions and you can download the free app for hundreds of specific ActiFry recipes.

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Tefal ActiFry Genius XL 2in1 YV970840

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The  ActiFry Genius XL 2in1  is one pricey bit of kit. In fact, it's more expensive than most full-blown ovens, but it does pretty much everything for you by adjusting the temperature, time and stirring.

There are 54 smart program combinations taking advantage of the two cooking zones to cook all parts of your meal and have them ready at the same time, as well as nine smart auto programs and a built-in timer. The 1.7kg capacity can handle up to eight portions and there's a dedicated free app with over 300 recipes too. Striving for the perfect dinner party host? This will be your best friend.

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Ninja Air Fryer Max

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The Ninja Max comes in three capacities so you can choose the best one for your home, depending on the number of people and your available cupboard space. We've picked the middle option for our list. 

It offers six cooking functions: Max Crisp, Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Reheat and Dehydrate. There's a 5.2-liter non-stick basket that is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and the controls are nice and intuitive, making this one easy to use. It's not bad looking either.

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Philips Air Fryer

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The Philips Air Fryer 4-in-1 is probably one of the best looking air fryers on our list. Like others, it has an accompanying app that offers hundreds of recipes and tips to make the most use of your air fryer.

You can grill, roast, fry and bake using this model and it offers adjustable time and temperature control. It also has easy cleaning and dishwasher safe parts. 

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Instant Pot Vortex 6 (4-in-1)

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The Instant Pot Vortex offers four programs in one with Air Fry, Bake, Reheat and Roast functions. There's a 5.7-liter capacity that fits up to 1.8kg of chicken or 1kg of chips and there's the option to cook from fresh or frozen.

The smart dial control offers temperature adjustment up to 205-degrees and cooking time up to an hour, and it looks pretty good too so if you don't have the cupboard space, you might not mind it on display. It's also one of the cheapest on this list.

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Tefal ActiFry Genuis XL AH960840

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The Tefal ActiFry Genius XL AH960840 has nine automatic programs including '1-meal-1-go', where you add all the ingredients at once and let the Genius XL do all the work for you.

It offers a 1.7kg capacity, has an automatic stirring paddle and the automatic programs adjust the temperature and stir, without you having to lift a finger. This model will also turn itself off, keep food warm and it has dishwasher safe parts for easy cleaning.

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Cosori Air Fryer

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The Cosori Air Fryer has a built-in digital one touch screen that offers 11 preset cooking functions, including steak, poultry, seafood, shrimp, bacon, frozen foods, french fries, vegetables, root vegetables, bread, desserts and preheat.

It's a little bigger than some on this list, and not as streamlined in design, but its square basket has a 3.5-liter capacity and it's removable, as well as dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

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Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Dual Zone

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The Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Dual Zone has two independant cooking zones, perhaps unsurprisingly based on its name. These zones allow you to cook different foods using different programs that will be ready at the same time.

Like other Ninja Air Fryers, this model has six cooking functions: Air Fry, Max Crisp, Roast, Bake, Reheat & Dehydrate. It comes with two 3.8-litre cooking drawers, two crisper plates and a recipe guide.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 20 January 2021.