Air fryers you should avoid

In the realm of modern cooking appliances, the air fryer has taken the culinary world by storm. This versatile kitchen gadget has quickly become a staple for health-conscious home cooks and busy families alike. 

The magic behind the air fryer lies in its powerful fan and heating element combination. The unit circulates superheated air around the food, creating a crispy exterior and a tender interior. This process, known as convection cooking, enables you to achieve that beloved crunch without submerging your ingredients in a pool of oil. It’s perfect for cooking or reheating a wide variety of foods, from frozen fries and chicken nuggets to fresh vegetables and even desserts.

What to check before you buy

With so many options available, selecting the right air fryer for your kitchen can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some key factors to consider:


Air fryers come in various sizes and there has been an increase in the basket capacity of many models in the last couple of years. The larger-capacity baskets can accommodate something as big as a two-kilo meat joint or a kilo of chips.

Smaller units are perfect for individuals or couples, while larger ones are ideal for families. Think about your cooking needs before deciding on capacity. And look for a larger capacity drawer if you want your fryer to cook cakes and biscuits.

“Keep in mind that some of these appliances are very tall and bulky, and would be tricky to fit in the cupboard, so you need to ensure you have space on your kitchen bench,” says CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair. “The extra-large models are also very awkward and tricky to clean in a standard kitchen sink.”

Temperature range

A wide temperature range allows for greater versatility in cooking. Look for models that can reach at least 200°C to cover a variety of recipes.

Preset functions

Some air fryers come with preset cooking functions for specific dishes such as fries, chicken or fish. These can be helpful for beginners. Make sure the control panel is intuitive and easy to navigate. Digital displays and touchscreen controls are often user-friendly.

“Digital controls give better accuracy, and pre-programmed settings take the guesswork out of choosing a temperature and cooking time, and may also give you a reminder to shake the food to ensure even cooking,” says Ms Mair. 

Comprehensive instructions

“When buying an air fryer, it’s important that you choose one with comprehensive instructions including cooking guidelines and recipes, particularly if you’ve never used an air fryer before,” says Ms Mair.

“Otherwise it can be very difficult to figure out how to use them properly.”

Worst performing air fryers

Kitchen Couture 3.4L air fryer

  • CHOICE expert rating: 66 per cent
  • Performance score: 65 per cent
  • Price: $149

CHOICE says: it might have the looks, but the Kitchen Couture’s strengths lie in its form rather than its function. It received the lowest score of all the air fryers tested. And it’s not cheap. When it was trialled, it was very good at cooking thick-cut frozen chips but failed to impress in the other cooking tests.

The Kitchen Couture was also found to be difficult to use and the CHOICE experts had a long list of complaints about its various idiosyncrasies.

It’s also quite old, which may explain the relatively low price tag, but while this may seem like a great opportunity to grab a bargain, the testing shows that there are better buys at the budget end of the scale. 

Kmart Anko 9L Twin Air Fryer AFD2906

  • CHOICE expert rating: 67 per cent
  • Performance score: 65 per cent
  • Price: $125

CHOICE says: while many Kmart appliances deliver great bang for your buck, this isn’t one of them. It disappointed on tests such as cooking frozen thick-cut chips and crumbed chicken, and was rated as only okay overall.

However, it does have some redeeming qualities. According to CHOICE experts, it is very good at cooking roast pork and marinated chicken wings. Additionally, it offers a generous selection of 11 pre-set functions from baking and defrosting to preparing steaks, pizza, bacon and drumsticks. The two separate cooking baskets allow you to cook two types of food simultaneously, even if they require different temperature settings.

It was one of the cheapest air fryers in the CHOICE test but it was also found to be one of the worst performing.

Sunbeam 22L Multi function Oven + Air Fryer BT7200

  • CHOICE expert rating: 69 per cent
  • Performance score: 74 per cent
  • Price: $299

The CHOICE experts found this air fryer’s performance poor in a few areas. They were disappointed in its ability to cook an air fryer staple: chicken nuggets. The testing notes stated that the nuggets came out unevenly cooked, pale in places with some soft crumb and a mostly moist centre.

The air fryer oven also underwhelmed in the tests for cooking frozen chips, pork belly and marinated chicken wings.

“This air fryer provides no prompt to turn or shake the food during cooking, so you will need a timer to remind you to do this. You may need to turn the food a couple of times during cooking to get a better result,” says Ms Mair.

For more tips on buying an air fryer, go to CHOICE.

Are you a fan of air fryers? Which model do you have? What are the pros and cons? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: How to embrace technology in your kitchen for an easier life

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.


  1. I have to disagree with the comments about the KMart twin drawer airfryer. I purchased one recently and couldn’t be happier with it. I’m sure there are better ones, but for what I need and for the price, I find it excellent.

- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -