Canstar Blue’s latest air fryer review compares ALDI Ambiano, Kmart, Philips, Breville, Sunbeam, Kogan, Tefal and Bellini on cooking performance, functions and features, ease of use, ease of cleaning, design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Maintaining a healthy diet isn’t easy when you also enjoy foods like nuggets and fish and chips, which are generally high in saturated fats. For whatever reason, most of our favourite foods also happen to be bad for us, so wouldn’t it be great if there was a way of cooking our most-loved foods without having to worry about how unhealthy they are? Step forward, the humble air fryer. It’s not a miracle appliance that suddenly makes all those fatty foods good for you, but it will help you eat healthier versions of your favourite guilty pleasures – and you’ll know exactly what’s gone into them.
Our latest survey revealed that Australian consumers spend an average of $107 on air fryers, not exactly making it a ‘cheap as chips’ appliance. So, which brand is serving up something worth eating up? To find out, Canstar Blue asked nearly 900 Australians for their feedback on the air fryer(s) they’ve recently bought and used, with consumers rating brands on cooking performance, design, ease of use and cleaning, functions and features, value for money and overall satisfaction. Manufacturers that received the minimum sample size (30 responses) are compared in our report.
This year, ALDI’s Ambiano line fried the competition and rated best for overall satisfaction. It also scored full marks for most other categories!
Here are the best air fryers in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
ALDI’s Ambiano range proved to be the hot pick in our latest consumer review, being the only brand to receive five stars for overall satisfaction. It also got full marks for cooking performance, functions and features, design, and ease of cleaning.
Meanwhile, Kmart got the edge on value for money and ease of use, earning full marks, and achieved an additional five stars for cooking performance, alongside Philips.
ALDI has sold several types of air fryers and air fryer ovens in various Special Buys, offering budget-friendly alternatives starting from just under $40. For something cheap, its small 2.5L Digital Air Fryer comes with many of the same features you would expect from ALDI’s other models. Some include digital pre-set programs, adjustable temperature controls, overheat protection, a 60-minute timer, non-slip feet, a removable trivet tray and a 2.3L fry pan/basket.
Keep in mind that since air fryers are a Special Buys item, there’s no guarantee the same model(s) will always appear whenever air fryers pop up on sale. A one-year manufacturer’s guarantee applies.
A couple of products that have previously appeared in ALDI’s Special Buys include:
ALDI Ambiano was rated five stars for cooking performance, features, ease of cleaning, design and overall satisfaction. It got four stars for ease of use and value for money.
Budget-oriented retail chain Kmart offers a few air fryers to choose from, with prices starting from just $59. The Kmart 3.2L Air Fryer is one of the cheapest options you can get your hands on, providing seven pre-set functions, several adjustable temperatures up to 200°C, and 1300W of power to help you prepare delicious crispy fries for the whole family. Some other features include an overheat protection safety function and a 30-minute automatic shut-off function.
For households that need to cook a larger amount of food or multiple meals in a single batch, Kmart now offers the 9L Twin Air Fryer. This unit fits up to 4.5L in each compartment and comes with 11 pre-set functions, an oil drip tray and a 60-minute automatic shut-off function.
Some air fryers currently available from Kmart include:
Kmart scored five-star reviews for ease of use, value for money, and cooking performance. It got four stars for overall satisfaction and everywhere else.
When people think of air fryers, Philips is a popular brand that comes to mind. Its designs are said to be sleek and often feature easy-to-use settings. Philips air fryers can retail anywhere between the $230 and $600 mark.
Unlike most other brands, Philips measures capacity in kg, not litres. You can expect to fit anywhere between 0.8kg and 1.4kg. One standout feature in most models is the fat removal technology, which is said to separate and capture excess fat. The Philips Premium Airfryer XXL (HD9861/99) also contains smart tech which lets you save preferred cooking settings and offers a keep warm mode.
While Philips is readily available at most retailers, some products like the Philips Daily Collection Air Fryer (HD9216/91) are exclusively available from Big W.
Some air fryers from Philips include:
Philips was rated five stars for cooking performance and four stars in most of the remaining research categories, including overall satisfaction. The only exception was value for money, where it got three stars.
With a mission to create products that encourage consumers’ ability ‘to do things more impressively or easily than they’d thought in their own kitchen’, Breville is another well-known household name to dish up its own take on the versatile appliance that is the air fryer.
The brand’s range mostly includes air fryer ovens, each packing 10 smart functions (including air fry). The Air Fryer Chef is currently the only ‘regular’ air frying unit and fits up to 5L worth of food in a single batch. It also provides 11 pre-programmed settings, such as dehydrate, roast, frozen snacks, fresh chips, grill, bake, and vegetables.
A few Breville air fryers to choose from include:
Breville achieved a solid four stars across most research areas, such as cooking performance, ease of cleaning and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for value for money.
Sunbeam is one of the leading names when it comes to kitchen appliances and offers a fairly affordable line of mid-range air fryers that typically cost between $200 and $300. There are three models currently up for grabs, most of which boast a 5L capacity. The exception is the Multi-Function Oven & Air Fryer, which can cook up to 22L worth of food. This is said to be equivalent to a 12-inch pizza, a 2.8kg chicken, or a bag of fries. Other features you can find from Sunbeam include dehydrate, bake, grill, bake, and warm. Keep in mind these vary between models.
Sunbeam’s air fryer collection includes:
Sunbeam earned four stars for cooking performance, features, ease of use and design. It landed three stars for overall satisfaction and the remaining factors.
Known for its discounts and affordable spin-off products, it’s not surprising to see Kogan dish up air fryers. Kogan has one of the most versatile ranges on the market, with the retailer offering units that feature modes such as steaming, oven, rotisserie capabilities and self-stirring functionality. The capacities available are also fairly generous, between 4.2L and 23L.
While many air fryers are multifunctional, the Kogan 6.5L Self Stirring Digital Air Fryer and Kogan 12L Rotary Air Fryer break free the traditional air fryer design and give households a chance to use settings that aren’t commonly added to air fryers. It’s worth keeping in mind that the retailer often lists discounts on Kogan-branded products.
Several air fryers available from Kogan include:
Kogan scored a four-star review for ease of cleaning before scoring three stars for cooking performance, value for money, overall satisfaction, and all other categories.
One brand to serve up a range of air fryers is Tefal, a premium brand known for creating home appliances such as clothes irons. Its foray into kitchen appliances shows the same versatility as it does with its other products, with its air fryer line-up offering between 0.8L and 6.5L capacities to cater to everyone from single or two-person households to larger families.
If you’re looking for a unit that’s packed with features, the Tefal Easy Fry & Grill Deluxe (EY505D) provides eight pre-set programs including fish, meat, roasted chicken, fish, fries, vegetables and desserts. This two-in-one air fryer and grill can also dehydrate food and fit up to 4.2L. Tefal’s basic model, the Easy Fry Classic Air Fryer (EY2018) offers the same capacity but includes four pre-programmed settings, namely roast, grill, fry and bake.
Tefal has a few models to choose from, including:
Tefal earned four stars for cooking performance, design and ease of cleaning. It ended on three stars for overall satisfaction and everywhere else.
Target’s Bellini range offers several affordable air fryers, with both small models and larger family-friendly 11L units available to buy in-store or online. Bellini air fryers start from $79 and reach up to $169.
The Bellini Digital Air Fryer (BTAF19) is the cheapest air fryer in the range, offering an 800g capacity and 1500W worth of heating power. It comes with basic features like digital controls, adjustable temperature settings, pre-set menus and a blue LED display. The Bellini three-in-one 11L Air Fryer (BAF020) alternatively offers a considerably larger capacity, along with eight pre-programmed settings and a viewing window, among other functions.
Bellini products are exclusively available in Target stores. Some air fryers now available include:
Bellini rounded up the results on four stars for functions and features, plus three stars for cooking performance, value for money, overall satisfaction and the remaining research areas.
An air fryer is a benchtop kitchen appliance that cooks food by circulating hot air around it, much like an oven. It usually looks like a large rice cooker (or a mini oven, if it’s an air fryer oven) and contains a removable tray that can be filled with food and easily put back inside. Dual air fryers (otherwise called twin or double air fryers) are also available for households wanting the convenience of cooking two dishes at the same time, including at different temperatures. These typically come with 8L-9L capacities (including twin baskets), making them ideal for families and households who like to entertain.
Check out our twin air fryer reviews:
One of the main benefits of air fryers is that they’re claimed to use significantly less oil than other appliances, such as deep fryers (about 70%-80% less), resulting in healthier and (arguably) tastier meals. They are also very easy to use and should require little to no maintenance on your part, in addition to making the process of frying easier.
An air fryer oven is a small benchtop oven that works the same way as a regular air fryer, but offers more versatility in terms of cooking method options (similar to multi-cookers). These can usually function as an oven, rotisserie, and dehydrator in addition to air frying food. This is different to a standard full-size convection (or fan-forced) oven that offers multiple cooking modes, including air fry, but would otherwise be primarily used as a normal oven.
Air fryers essentially use rapid air technology (circulating hot air) to cook foods that would otherwise be dipped in oil, such as chips and chicken. With the help of an exhaust fan that sits above the cooking chamber, plus a perforated basket or cage, the appliance circulates hot air (up to 200°C) throughout the cavity and heats the dish from all angles. This helps provide enough airflow to ensure every part of the food receives the same temperature, allowing the dish to cook evenly and become nice and crispy.
Air fryers additionally come with an internal cooling system that keeps the inside of the machine clean. This cooling system includes a fan mounted on the motor axis that controls the internal temperature and makes sure that fresh air passes through the filters.
Read more: Air fryers vs ovens: What’s the difference?
Since air fryers have many of the same features and settings, cost and size will ultimately be your biggest considerations. In fact, our survey found that price swayed the majority of our respondents (39%), followed by capacity (20%) and ease of use (18%).
Here are some must-have features and attachments to look out for in an air fryer:
Air fryers can cost anywhere between $60 and $600, although you can find cheaper models for less – so, there’s something to suit most budgets. Cost was the top priority for one in three (39%) of shoppers we surveyed, and our latest survey results found many consumers stuck towards wallet-friendly models – with Aussies spending an average of $107 on a new air fryer. Keep in mind that air fryer ovens tend to be more expensive than basket air fryers because they usually have a much larger capacity.
How much food you can actually fit in an air fryer might be much less than what’s claimed by the manufacturer. And keep in mind that air fryers cannot be packed to the brim, otherwise they won’t cook food thoroughly and evenly. For example, a 3.8L model is probably only going to fit up to 700g of chips (not 3.8kg which is the equivalent of 3.8L).
Here’s a rough guide on capacity:
It’s worth noting that capacity suggestions typically refer to finger foods like shoestring fries and chicken tenders since these are small, lightweight, and don’t leave the same gaps that are often left by bulky and awkwardly-shaped items (i.e. frozen salmon). Plus, they can be piled on top of each other because they’re pliant and easier to cook through compared to thick chunks of steak.
But if you want to use an air fryer for a wide variety of foods, it’s a good idea to opt for at least a 4.2L model. Frying baskets are usually on the small side, so it’s a good idea to think about what you’re planning to use an air fryer for, as well as portion sizes.
Try to opt for a model that’s a little larger than what you think would be the perfect size for your household because the actual usable capacity can be smaller than what you might expect – especially when comparing it to the size of the appliance itself. It also helps prevent overfilling the basket(s), which won’t give you the golden crispy result you’re looking for.
Air fryers are worth purchasing if you’re looking for a simple way to cook small batches of food (preferably snacks and side dishes), fast. But they’re not an exact substitute for deep fryers since air fryers don’t work well with wet food. Unless pre-frozen, battered foods and marinades can easily slip off and cause the dish to slide around because it doesn’t set the same way in an air fryer as it does when placed in oil.
Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of buying an air fryer:
|Air fryer pros||Air fryer cons|
|Cook foods quickly and evenly||Can be loud|
|Require little or no oil||May require time to work out the best temperature and timer settings|
|Less messy and easier to clean than deep fryers||Requires regular intervention – flipping food, shaking the basket|
|Can also reheat, roast and bake foods||May need to cook in multiple batches|
|Easy to use and don’t splatter oil everywhere||Can take up a big amount of bench space|
One in three (34%) Aussies we surveyed said their air fryer was their favourite appliance in the kitchen, and a whopping 61% also found having an air fryer shortened their cooking time. Our latest survey also revealed most of our respondents bought an air fryer as a healthier alternative to traditional pan-frying (47%), as well as for convenience (26%). Others said they simply wanted to try something new (12%), make less mess while cooking (6%) or cook with something that feels safer to use (5%).
Pretty much any frozen food that you would put in an oven can be cooked in the hot air of an air fryer. The most common one is chips – this is what a lot of people basically assume they are made for – but you can also do snacks such as chicken nuggets, fish sticks and potato gems, all of which are staples of households in Australia, particularly if you’ve got children.
Cooking times vary depending on the food, but they tend to take around 10 minutes a lot of the time, and in some cases, can even be done in as little as six minutes with appropriate pre-heating! This is very impressive and much faster than what an oven would take.
Certain air fryers come with accessories such as a baking cage or grill pan that enable you to prepare meat in your air fryer. A whole roast chicken can be done in about 30 minutes, while roast pork and BBQ ribs can apparently be done in as little as 10 minutes. Other popular meats that can be cooked in an air fryer include burger patties, steaks and lamb chops.
You can also roast certain types of vegetables in an air fryer if they are the kind you would normally grill. Common meal veggies like capsicum and cauliflower can be grilled in the machine. Certain models come with a round ceramic bowl with a stirring paddle that allows you to fry green vegetables just like you would in a skillet. Other veggies you can cook in an air fryer include peppers, corn, zucchini, kale and asparagus.
You also have the option to cook non-stick baking dishes in your air fryer, which can be very useful for baking small items like cupcakes, bread, muffins and lasagnes. Essentially, you can cook anything in an air fryer that comes with a liquid or sauce, such as casseroles and curries. Muffins and cupcakes can be made in as little as 10 minutes. If you plan on doing baking with your air fryer, then be sure to get one that comes with a baking dish.
If you’re a nut kind of person, then you’ll be glad to know that roasting peanuts, almonds and any other type of nut can be done very easily with your air fryer. Peanuts and almonds can be done in 10 minutes, whereas walnuts will be ready to go in less than 8 minutes.
Despite their many uses, there are still a lot of foods and snacks that you shouldn’t put in an air fryer.
Batter-coated food is generally not suited for air frying, since the fast-moving air can push away the wet batter from the food and spray it all over the place. So, if you want to make battered fish or chicken, it is probably best to stick to the traditional methods of cooking. However, some have had success by frying the batter-coated pieces in a pan first and then frying them in the hot air fryer, but this will make the cooking process longer.
As mentioned before, vegetables that can be roasted or grilled can be cooked in an air fryer. However, you should avoid any kinds of vegetables that are usually steamed, such as carrots and beans.
Since their primary function is frying, it goes without saying that foods you generally boil – mainly pasta and rice – are not suitable for use in an air fryer. For these, the old-fashioned way of boiling water is still best. Alternatively, you can get a rice cooker.
You can cook the majority of common foods in an air fryer, in moderate quantities. Most air fryers come with a 3-5L capacity, but there are options out there with larger capacities. Air fryers open the door to innovation in cooking, and with a bit of experimentation, you can cook pretty much anything in less than half an hour.
Use toothpicks or cocktail sticks to secure lightweight foods, such as the top slice of a sandwich, otherwise the fan may blow it around.
There are a few attachments that can help you make the most of your air fryer. Here are just a few:
Yes – depending on who you ask. Brands like Ninja even recommend using aluminium foil and parchment paper as a liner when using certain models, although other manufacturers might warn against it since it could block airflow. Some prefer to use parchment paper to prevent food from sticking to the basket, especially since there are some claims that suggest regularly using aluminium foil can increase the amount of aluminium in your food (especially when cooking tomatoes, peppers and other acidic foods) – however, this is said to be a very small and non-harmful amount. Either way – check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you know what’s safe.
Our latest consumer survey shows ALDI’s Ambiano as the hottest pick, especially when it comes down to cooking performance, ease of clean, features and design (including capacity). Although Kmart proved to be the number one brand for ease of use and value for money, and even impressed shoppers just as well in terms of performance. Breville also seemed to satisfy consumers with how well its range of air fryers cooked foods evenly.
Making healthy, low-fat and tasty meals in a matter of minutes sounds like a dream, but try to do a little research before diving into the deep end with a new air fryer. Consider how often you’ll use it, and what you’ll actually use it for. The last thing you want to do is spend $200 on a new kitchen appliance that just ends up gathering dust.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
*Prices taken from respective retailers, correct as of January 2022.
Picture credits: Leungchopan/Shutterstock.com, Robyn Mackenzie/Shutterstock.com, Rtstudio/Shutterstock.com, Venus Angel/Shutterstock.com, Trong Nguyen/Shutterstock.com, Zu Kamilov/Shutterstock.com, surrender kr/Shutterstock.com, YozikKoshechkin/Shutterstock.com, MZZ001/Shutterstock.com.
Retailers including Kmart, ALDI and Kogan usually offer popular budget-friendly alternatives costing between $60 and $200. But as with other appliances, a cheaper price doesn’t always mean good bang for buck ─ even if air fryers share many of the same features. So, make sure to do your research by checking reviews online and comparing what’s out there.
When it comes to appliances, the idea you get what you pay for usually applies. If our research is anything to go by, many premium brands have been on par with cheaper manufacturers when it comes getting good bang for buck.
However, higher-end brands typically rate better than budget brands for cooking performance, features, ease of use and ease of cleaning.
So, it’s certainly worth investing in a pricier air fryer if you plan on using the appliance regularly. More expensive models also usually offer greater flexibility with additional features like a rotisserie function, plus larger capacities.
These are the top-rated air fryer brands in our latest consumer survey:
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a new air fryer in the last five years – in this case, 890 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Here are the previous winners of Canstar Blue’s air fryer ratings:
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