Dash has a wide range of easy-to-use kitchen products and the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer is a great example of what the brand has to offer. I own an older model of the Dash Digital Air Fryer and was excited to see how this newer model measured up and improved upon it.
I tested this appliance using different recipes to gain a more complete understanding of the product's strengths and shortcomings, and to see if it deserves a spot in our guide to the best air fryers.
Just like the rest of the brand’s offerings, the air fryer comes in a variety of colors and is designed to facilitate cooking at home. The air fryer’s 2.6qt capacity is well suited for individuals or two people looking for easy reheating and cooking smaller meals from frozen. When it comes to air frying items such as potatoes, bacon and chicken, a lot of trial and error is required. The recipes included in the instruction manual as well as the suggested temperature and time chart fall short.
This model has three preset options that are customizable depending on what you like to cook the most often. The Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer is also very easy to clean. The non-stick coating on the inside of the Crisper Drawer prevents pieces of food and grease from sticking to it. The Crisper Drawer itself, as well as the Crisper Tray, are dishwasher safe.
Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer specs
- Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.7 x 10.7
- Weight: 7.2 lbs
- Temperature: 200˚F – 400˚F
- Cooking modes: One, but there are 3 saved preset buttons
- Power: 1000 Watts
- Size: 2.6 qt
- Color(s): Aqua, Black, Cool Grey, Red and White
The Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer comes in a Dash branded cardboard box that displays the chosen color on the outside. The contents of the box were not heavy so overall it was easy to carry at a little over 7.2 lbs. The design of the box is consistent with the Dash brand, whimsical and colorful.
Opening the box I saw that, to keep the air fryer in place, Dash had utilized the very unsustainable styrofoam material for their inserts. The Crisper Drawer itself was also wrapped in plastic as well as the cord and plug.
Cooking onion rings
The Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer was very easy to use and the digital display is straightforward. When you plug in the air fryer, the digital display lights up and you can press the START/STOP button to begin. On the left side of the digital display is the temperature setter, ranging from 200˚F to 400˚F. You can set the temperature with the up and down buttons. The same can be said for setting the time on the right side. The time ranges from 0 to 60 minutes on the Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer. There are three preset buttons that you can customize based on the temperatures/times you use the most.
For the first use, I decided to delve into the recipe section of the instruction manual and try my hand at the onion rings. Onion rings are a classic deep fried appetizer and I was curious to see if this air fryer would be able to replicate this rich and crispy dish.
Overall, not the best experience. The recipe calls for you to coat the panko breadcrumbs with grapeseed or vegetable oil but I found that this prevented the mixture from sticking to the onion rings, even after dredging them in flour and egg. I started over without the oil and the panko breadcrumbs stuck to the onion rings a little better. I proceeded to air fry the onion rings for 10 minutes at 290˚F. While the onion rings came out cooked throughout, they were a poor substitution for the classic deep fried onion rings.
Making French fries
When you think of air fryer recipes, the idea of healthier French fries comes to mind. Like onion rings, French fries are notorious for their crispy texture but also for the copious amounts of oil needed to fry them. Ever since air fryers exploded in popularity, French fries remain the favorite recipe to try out. For my first attempt at air frying potato wedges to make fries, I followed the recipe provided in the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer instruction manual: 15 minutes at 320˚F.
After 15 minutes, and shaking the Crisper Drawer at minute seven for an even fry, the fries came out fully cooked but not crispy enough. The fries felt and tasted like I had baked them in the oven instead of frying them. The longer fries drooped over when held up for further inspection. For my second attempt I air fried another batch for 17 minutes at 390˚F. I was hoping this time I would get the crispness that everyone loves in fries. This batch came out fully cooked and crispy but I could tell some of the smaller wedges were a little burnt.
The third and final attempt at making fries in the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer was the most successful. I air fried the wedges for 16 minutes at 360˚F and they came out perfect: crispy, fully cooked and held their shape. The tip I followed to get the best use out of the air fryer was to not overcrowd the Crisper Drawer since doing so will prevent an even cook. For French fries specifically, make sure the potatoes are dry before frying and, if you want to add a small amount of oil, do so right before air frying.
I tested the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer’s capacity to air fry smaller servings of meat by making bacon. I placed three strips of bacon on the Crisper Tray, folding them like in the picture below so that they would fit inside the Crisper Drawer.
I air fried the bacon for 10 minutes at the maximum heat of 400˚F and it did not turn out as I hoped. The bacon strips looked shriveled up and were so crunchy that they bordered on burnt. These slices could be chopped up and put in a salad, but on their own, the flavor was lost. One of the issues with frying bacon in an air fryer is that there’s not enough surface area in the Crisper Drawer for the bacon slices to lay flat and cook evenly.
After many tries, and many slices of bacon, I found that a maximum temperature of 350˚F, and seven minutes for softer bacon and nine minutes for crispy bacon, led to the best outcome more consistently. Turning the bacon midway through and cutting the bacon slices in half so as to not fold them on the Crisper Tray, yielded even better results. The fat gathers at the bottom of the Crisper Drawer for easy cleaning.
Cooking from frozen
In my opinion, the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer’s most useful application is cooking something frozen. Buying frozen food or freezing items is the best way to store your food. But when time comes to cook those frozen items, waiting for them to defrost is enough to deter you from preparing them. We’ve all been there. But the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer is here to help. Over the weeks that I tested this product, my favorite meal to prepare was salmon, air fried from frozen.
I found a recipe online that directed me to preheat the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer for three minutes at 390˚F and then to place the frozen salmon filet, skin down, inside the Crisper Drawer and to air fry for seven minutes. After those seven minutes go by, that’s when you can add salt, pepper and any condiments or marinades to the salmon for extra flavor. Then all you have to do is air fry the filet for another seven minutes at 390˚F and you are good to go.
The salmon that comes out of the air fryer is cooked to perfection. I bake salmon all the time in the oven and I have to say the air fryer is by far my favorite way to prepare this fish. When you take it out of the Crisper Drawer, immediately you can see how crispy the outside is. The salmon flakes easily and moisture is retained. Usually when I bake salmon in the oven, my main concern is drying out the filet. But air frying the salmon from frozen prevented this from happening every single time. If I were to rate the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer based solely on air frying frozen food, I would award it a five out of five.
How to clean the Dash Tasti-Crisp air fryer
The non-stick coating inside the Crisper Drawer is easy to clean. Just remove the Crisper Tray from the air fryer and fill the Drawer with hot water and soap. Then put the Crisper Tray in the Drawer and let it soak for around 10 minutes. Rinse and wipe off any excess grease and food. For safety, make sure the Air Fryer has completely cooled and is unplugged before cleaning. The outside of the appliance can be wiped with a moist, soft cloth. The Crisper Drawer and Crisper Tray is dishwasher safe.
For more tips, check out how to clean an air fryer.
How does it compare to other air fryers?
As I stated earlier, I have owned an older model of a Dash Air Fryer for years before reviewing the current Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer. The DASH Compact Electric Air Fryer (opens in new tab), which is no longer available, has a capacity of up to two quarts. This model is also digital, with presets depending on what you want to cook, such, poultry, meat, bake, French fries and frozen fries. Even though the older model had a smaller air frying capacity, the amount of space it took up on the counter compared to the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer was very similar. The older DASH Compact Electric Air Fryer (opens in new tab) also does not have a handle like the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer, which has led to a few injuries while attempting to open the Crisper Drawer. Overall I prefer the newer model.
Another similar model by Dash is the Tasti-Crisp™ Air Fryer 2.6Qt which is identical to the reviewed Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer in every way except that it requires adjusting dials as opposed to using a digital screen. There are no preset options but it retails at $59.99, a lower price compared to this model.
The closest competitor for the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp 2.6qt Air Fryer I could find is the Instant Pot Vortex 4-in-1, 2-quart Mini Air Fryer. This product air fries, broils, roasts, and reheats with a range of 120 to 400°F. It also comes in a variety of similar colors to the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer. It has a smaller capacity than the reviewed Dash model and retails at $49.99.
Should you buy the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer?
If you are looking for an easy-to-use air fryer to reheat and air fry smaller batches of food, then the Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer 2.6qt is for you. I found that the best use of the air fryer was to cook from frozen a variety of meals such as party foods, salmon (and other fish filets) and chicken. It cut down the defrosting time of meats, poultry and fish significantly. In one sitting, you could have a meal prepared without wasting any time. When you cook from frozen, one of the issues you may face is the moisture preventing the food from getting crispy. The Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer solves that problem.
For people who want an air fryer to feed a family of three or more, I recommend sizing up and choosing an Air Fryer with a higher capacity. Dash has air fryers with six quart capacity especially made to feed families. The smaller size is also perfect for those with smaller kitchens or not enough storage. The Dash Digital Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer comes in a wide variety of colors to suit people with different color schemes in their kitchens.
About this review, and the reviewer
Alexandra is a contributor to Real Homes and Homes & Gardens, where she reviews household products to make your life easier at home, whether it’s cooking, cleaning or sleeping. She was sent this product to review at home to test out its air frying performance via constant use and with different types of recipes. This product was tested over the course of one month.
We are not given any compensation for our reviews, but we may be gifted the product meaning that we can test it over a greater length of time, and update our reviews if required. We also receive affiliate commission for some products brought through our site.