Should You Get an Air Fryer or an Air-Fryer Toaster Oven?

They’re both wildly popular. Does it matter which one you get?

Published May 11, 2023.

Air fryers are one of the most popular home appliances on the market today. In addition to air-fryinga style of cooking that gets food crisp and well-browned on the outsidemost can also roast, bake, and sometimes even broil. 

They’re efficient, easy to clean, and fun to use, and the best ones even cut down on your cooking time, so you can get dinner on the table faster than ever.

There are two main kinds of air fryers: pod-shaped air fryers and air-fryer toaster ovens, which combine the functions of both air fryers and toaster ovens.

Which kind should you get? 

Ultimately, the choice depends on your needs, space constraints, and budget. 

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Why You Should Get an Air Fryer

Air fryers are great for smaller spaces; they’re comparatively compact and inexpensive. Because they’re smaller, they accommodate less food than air-fryer toaster ovens but also take less time to heat—most don’t even require preheating. And they’re typically easy to clean, with smaller drawers that often have nonstick coatings. 

If you’re not sure about whether air frying is for you, these smaller, less expensive models are also a great way to dip a toe into the water.

Our favorite air fryer is the Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart Air Fryer, and our Best Buy is the GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart 7-in-1 Air Fryer.

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Why You Should Get an Air-Fryer Toaster Oven

Air-fryer toaster ovens have a much larger footprint, so they are best for home cooks with plenty of counter space. Most cost considerably more than the average air fryer too.

They can be a bit trickier to clean—the metal baskets you use for air frying collect grease and batter more readily than the air fryers’ nonstick drawers—and most perform best when preheated. 

But air-fryer toaster ovens can hold more food than most air fryers—up to twice as much. They can also perform more functionsbroiling and toasting in addition to air frying, baking, and roastingarguably giving you greater bang for your buck. 

Our favorite air-fryer toaster oven is the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro.

Watch Hannah Crowley and Lisa McManus break down the differences between air fryers and air-fryer toaster ovens on this episode of Gear Heads.

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