Are there any buzzwords hotter in the food world today than "air fry?" The Cosori CP358-AF Pro Air Fryer promises to make fries that taste just as good as deep-fried while boasting the ability to reduce your food's oil content up to 85%.
Admittedly, I was skeptical. Could the Cosori CP358-AF Pro Air Fryer really do much better than my trusty convection oven? Let's just say I was pleasantly surprised.
- Take a look at the best air fryers for more options
First Impressions/Unboxing the Cosori CP358-AF Pro Air Fryer
Unboxing the Cosori Air Fryer, my first impression was its light weight. Forget lugging a heavy toaster oven — this air fryer clocks in around 10 lbs.
It wears a sleek black finish, and there's a digital screen with 11 presets: Steak, Poultry, Seafood, Shrimp, Bacon, Frozen Foods, French Fries, Vegetables, Root Vegetables, Bread, and Desserts. A small handle features a slider button to quickly detach the non-stick basket.
I tried out the 5.8-qt model, so the basket is large enough to cook a meal for five, or to fit an entire rotisserie chicken. Aside from the air fryer, the box includes a 100-recipe cookbook for meals, sides, and even dessert.
What is the difference between the Cosori Pro and the Cosori CP158-AF?
We reviewed the Cosori CP158-AF in our Cosori air fryer review, but the Cosori CP358-AF Pro is the newest release from the company. What is the difference between the Cosori Pro and the original Cosori? The capacity is the same 5.8 liters, and there are all the same presets on both models.
The Cosori Pro has an ergonomic design thanks to the display, which angles upwards and towards you as you control the air fryer. It's got a slightly bulkier exterior because of this. Less attractive? Maybe, but also smarter.
The Cosori Pro has customizable presets and a toast setting. One other key difference is that the Cosori Pro has a customizable shake reminder. One of the critiques we had in our initial Cosori review was that the shake reminder is a little annoying, so the ability to customize is a welcome change.
What's it like to use the Cosori CP358-AF Pro Air Fryer?
One of the biggest complaints I hear about air fryers is that the baskets are small, so to cook something like potato chips takes a lifetime doing only a few at a time. The Cosori boasts a roomy square-shaped basket, so there's plenty of space to cook a whole meal, or if you're like me, a lot of French fries.
Using the Cosori air fryer is incredibly easy. Simply select the preset that best matches what you're cooking (like chicken, vegetable, or root vegetable) and start! The air fryer will stop periodically and remind you to shake the basket, so everything cooks evenly. You can also press the digital arrows to increase or decrease the time or temperature. There is literally no learning curve to using the Cosori Air Fryer.
When you're done cooking, let the basket cool while you enjoy your meal. (If you aren't ready to eat just yet, there's a keep warm function as well.) Once it's cool enough to touch, you can wipe both basket layers with a damp cloth to clean, or even throw them in the dishwasher.
Is the Cosori CP358-AF Pro Air Fryer worth the money?
The larger 5.8-qt model that I tested is $120, and I would say it is definitely worth the money. (The smaller one is $100.) It's especially worth it if you compare the price to an expensive grill or fancy convection oven.
You could get a deep fryer for cheaper than the Cosori CP358-AF Pro Air Fryer, but then you'd miss out on the health benefits (like these fries, which I made with only a tiny bit of oil). The price is comparable to other air fryers on the market as well.
There are cheaper options that have a small basket and analog timer. For the extra money, the convenience of Cosori's many presets and shake reminder function is more than worth it.
The Cosori Air Fryer versus the Convection Oven or Grill
I held out on joining the air fryer bandwagon for a while because I have a convection oven. When I was looking into purchasing one earlier this year, some light Google searching revealed that air fryers are technically small convection ovens, meaning that they circulate the air while baking.
That said, I am so glad I had the opportunity to test out the Cosori Pro, because it is much more efficient than my convection oven. It heats up in less than half the time (about five minutes, compared to 10–15 minutes for my convection oven), and bakes faster. It also makes things like fries and wings much crispier without burning them — a risk of using the convection oven.
Clean-up is a breeze as well. The Cosori air fryer basket is dishwasher friendly, but I haven't needed to bother, as the non-stick surface easily wipes clean with a little soap and water.
Should you buy the Cosori CP358-AF Pro Air Fryer?
I still prefer to use my convection oven when making a large sheet-pan recipe, but for making a quick protein or side, nothing beats the air fryer.
I also found that, on rainy days, the Cosori air fryer is a natural stand in for my gas grill. We made hot dogs, grilled chicken, and ribs in the air fryer. They had the same crispy char offered by the grill, no standing in the rain or cold required.
About this review - and our reviewer
Ann Loynd Burton and her husband love to experiment in the kitchen, but since the birth of their daughter, they prefer quick, easy and healthy meals. They tested the Cosori Pro for three weeks to make hot dogs, fries, grilled chicken and steak. They even made grilled peaches for a quick and healthy dessert.
They have a single-family home with a generous kitchen, but ended up storing the Cosori Pro in their upper cabinetry to spare the counter space.