The best deep fryers and air fryers 2018

From traditional basket fryers for pitch perfect chips to healthy oil-less air fryers for diet-conscious chefs, we’ve rounded up the best home fryers to whip up takeaway favourites and everyday dishes

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Whatever your takeaway of choice, whether it be a fish supper with perfectly fried chips, a Chinese accompanied by expertly crisped spring rolls, or an curry with a side of beautifully thin, flaky samosas, we all like to indulge in a little naughty fried food every now and then.  

But increasingly, with the rise of experimental at-home cooks, a world wide web bursting with enticing recipes, and a desire to know exactly what goes into our dinner, food prep is being brought back into the home, and that includes our takeout favourites. The best way to get that unmistakable finish in your own kitchen? With a top-rated home fryer, of course.

Safer and more efficient than pan frying (not to mention easier to clean after dinner), a fryer is a great investment for a family who’s passionate about potatoes or fanatical about fried chicken. We’ve rounded up our pick of the best for your consideration, with a whole host of features that make them ideally suited to different tasks.

Traditional deep fat fryers are perfect for a treat, using tried-and-tested chip shop techniques to get the perfect crispy coating on your favourite foods, but might not be desirable for those trying to watch their waistlines or be a bit kinder to their arteries. So, if it is a healthier fryer you are after, the perfect solution is an air fryer, which cooks with a tablespoon of oil or under to yield the same beautiful results, but with less fat. However, the latter can be much more expensive, so it’s a case of deciding between investing in long-term use, or spending a little less for the occasional indulgence. 

1. Tefal ActiFry Express XL AH950840

Makes the best chips, and a surprising range of other things, with less oil than ever

Specifications
Best for: Large capacity air fryer
Power: 1550W
Food capacity: 1.7kg
Baskets: N/A
Reasons to buy
+ Healthier option + Dishwasher-safe removable pan 
Reasons to avoid
- Hugely expensive 

An impressively spacious and easy-to-clean offering, this Tefal ActiFry air fryer is a heart-healthy alternative to traditional deep fat fryers for families who are watching their fat intake. It needs just a single tablespoon of oil to make authentically crispy chips with only 3% fat, and cooks 30% faster than the original models, making curries, casseroles and all manner of other treats in no time at all. Plus, the pan is removable and dishwasher safe, so no slaving over suds after a delicious chip tea.

2. Cookworks Twin Professional Fryer

Double the baskets mean you can whip up a family feast in half the time

Specifications
Best for: Feeding the whole family
Power: 1800W
Food capacity: 1.8kg
Baskets: 2
Reasons to buy
+ Twin baskets+ Individual temperature dials 
Reasons to avoid
- Bulky 

The dual baskets of this fryer not only mean that you can double up the capacity to make more food for larger audiences, they also let you cook two different kinds of food at once, saving on time and washing up. Both frying wells have individual variable temperature dials, so you can have fish on the go in one, and fries in the other. It also offers advice for times and temperatures on the front to eliminate guesswork. For conveniently cooking whole meals in one go, this is a great buy and the best fryer for large families on our list.

3. Quest Stainless Steel Deep Fat Fryer 3 Litre

A neat little budget fryer that cooks well, cleans well, and tucks away nicely

Specifications
Best for: Basic all-rounder
Power: 2000W
Food capacity: 1kg
Baskets: 1
Reasons to buy
+ Great value fryer + Removable oil container for easy cleaning 
Reasons to avoid
- Not the strongest construction 

This compact deep fat fryer is just the thing for frying smaller portions of fish, nuggets, or anything else you can think of. Its long safety handle keeps fingers well out of the way of hot metal and oil, and the removable oil container and non-stick pan make it very easy to clean. Because of its small stature, bigger households might want to consider the Cookworks Twin Professional Fryer instead, but on the upside, this means that the Quest Fryer tucks away nicely into the cupboard. A great fryer for couples and ideal for anyone on a budget.

4. Breville Easy Clean Deep Fryer - White

Easy to clean, easy to use — a perfect first-time fryer

Specifications
Best for: Easy to use
Power: 1800W
Food capacity: 1kg
Baskets: 1
Reasons to buy
+ Simple and safe to use + Very easy to clean and keep odour-free 
Reasons to avoid
- Takes a little while to cook 

This Breville fryer might be Easy Clean, but it’s also so much more than that. Sure, the removable enamel bowl and stainless steel trim might be easy to keep looking sparkling, and the removable lid with its permanent filter might work wonders to reduce smells, but the cooking part is also pretty marvellous. With a digital timer and large viewing window to keep an eye on your grub while keeping it away from curious hands, variable temperature dials and indicators, and an easy-drain rise and fall food basket, it’s a piece of cake to use. 

5. Tower T14001

This multi-talented machine cooks all manner of things, and healthily, too

Specifications
Best for: Versatile air fryer
Power: 1300W
Capacity: 1kg
Baskets: N/A
Reasons to buy
+ Incredibly versatile + Watch food as it cooks 
Reasons to avoid
- Possibly overkill if you just want a fryer 

The Tower T14001 isn’t just an air fryer — it bakes, grills, roasts, and even steams, too. If you’re a first-time fryer who’s after the simplest machine, go for the Breville Easy Clean, but for versatility, this multi-use cooker and fryer offers many more cooking choices. Whatever you’re making, you can do it with either little or no oil for healthier meals, and keep an eye on it through the glass shell. Many users report that it can be a little tricky to master, but once you do, you’ll never need to use another appliance to cook food.

6. Russell Hobbs Compact Deep Fryer 18238 0.9 L

This compact fryer makes just the right amount for one — go on, treat yourself

Specifications
Best for: One person
Power: 900W
Food capacity: 350g
Baskets: 1
Reasons to buy
+ Cooks single portions without wasting energy + Great value 
Reasons to avoid
- Not easy to clean 

This Russell Hobbs fryer is just the right size for single servings of chips, onion rings, and even doughnuts, making it an ideal buy for one-person households. Its 80-190 degree adjustable thermostat makes it customisable enough for a range of foods, and saves on the wasted energy of heating up the whole oven for a single portion. Understandably, it’s not the highest powered, but it’s ample for small amounts. If you are looking for a simple fryer for a smaller household, this is ideal.