The Magic Bullet Air Fryer is one of the latest launches from Magic Bullet, with the budget-friendly and user-lead design that we have come to expect from the brand's blenders and food processor. This is not a brand that is known for cooking though, so I was curious to see how well it cooked alongside some of the leading air fryers on the market from Philips and Instant when I reviewed it in the Real Homes testing kitchen.
Coming in at $60/£70, there is no denying that this is one of the most affordable air fryers on the market. Unsurprisingly though, it does not have the most high-quality construction, and it also lacks some of the fancier features you will find in the best air fryers that cost over $150. Find out how it held up in our testing with my full Magic Bullet Air Fryer review.
Magic Bullet Air Fryer specs
- Weight: 7.9lbs
- Dimensions: 11.81 x 11.81 x 12.6 inches
- Temperature: 180°F to 400°F / 80°C to 200°C
- Capacity: 2.5 litres/2.6 quarts
- Cooking modes: Vegetables, fries, chicken wings, frozen chicken, fish, poultry
- RRP: $59.99 / £69.99
- Colour: White
- Cleaning: Dishwasher-safe drawer and basket, nonstick coating
Unboxing the Magic Bullet Air Fryer
My first impression was how lightweight this air fryer is. It's a good option for those who want to store a neat and compact fryer in the cupboard, and lift it onto the counter when they want to use it.
There are two dials that you can use to control the Magic Bullet Air Fryer. On the front is a timer, which goes up to 60 minutes, and on top of the fryer is a temperature dial which goes from 180°F to 400°F / 80°C to 200°C.
I have not used an air fryer with controls like this before, and if you are someone who prefers a more tactile dial or simple, oven-style controls, the Magic Bullet Air Fryer is a good choice for you. Most other air fryers have buttons that will allow you to toggle the temperature and timing, which is shown on a control panel.
The downside of not offering this is that you're never going to get an exact timing or temperature, and there is a bit more guesswork involved. If your food is ready before your timer is up, you'll have to force the timer to finish early which does feel like it could be damaging to the air fryer long-term.
Roasting vegetables in the Magic Bullet Air Fryer
Some air fryers such as the Instant Vortex Plus air fryer have modes to roast, bake, dehydrate and air fry, but with the Magic Bullet Air Fryer you can only air fry. There are some icons on top of the fryer that offer different temperature suggestions for different types of food, but ultimately it all depends on what you're cooking.
When I test air fryers I do a standardized test process to directly compare performance between models. This includes roasting a mix of vegetables to see how well an air fryer can cook foods with a higher moisture content, and achieve a crisp exterior that you'd expect from oven cooking.
The Magic Bullet Air Fryer did cook the vegetables quite well. They had a lot of flavor and crisped up nicely, but we did notice a little smoke coming out of the basket where other fryers didn't give off smoke. When pouring out the finished vegetables I also found that a few had stuck to the supposedly non-stick insert, which was not ideal.
When running my first test I also found that I had to push quiet hard to get the basket into place in the Magic Bullet Air Fryer, because it was quite stiff. This did loosen up over the testing day, but it made it tricky to check on the vegetables while cooking, and it didn't offer the same high-quality experience as other air fryers which easily click into place.
Cooking frozen food
Air fryers usually do an amazing job of cooking frozen food, so I cooked some frozen breaded chicken in all of the air fryers I tested.
Across the board, the air fryers reduced the required cooking time from around 25 minutes to between 12 and 18 minutes, and in the Magic Bullet Air Fryer I found that the finished chicken was cooked through and hadn't dried out after 18 minutes.
I will say that other air fryers cooked my chicken in a lot less time than this, and even after it was cooked through the chicken could have been more browned across the breaded coating.
Air fryers usually do a brilliant job of cooking bacon in less than 10 minutes, which can save a lot of stress and cleaning up splattered bacon fat from the stove.
The Magic Bullet Air Fryer did have quite a small basket for my bacon strips, so I had to fold them in order to fit them in.
I cooked the bacon at the highest temperature, which was 400°F/200°C. Some air fryers from Ninja go up to 250°C, and it was these air fryers in testing that cooked our bacon in the least time.
The bacon did shrink when cooking, but it remained misshapen from having to be folded to fit in the basket. One thing I noticed throughout testing is that this air fryer ticks while it cooks in the way that a cooking timer would tick. This is because of the timer on the front of the air fryer. Its noise level is quite low, but this ticking is a little annoying. On the plus side, when it is finished cooking it makes a shrill ringing noise (again, like a cooking timer) that's impossible to miss.
Cooking fries in the Magic Bullet Air Fryer
The fries I made in the Magic Bullet Air Fryer were the most disappointing of the air fryers we tested, but again, this air fryer was significantly the cheapest of the lineup. After 20 minutes of cooking they were very unevenly browned and the fries at the bottom of the basket were still uncooked.
After shaking up the basket and adding another 10 minutes to the cooking time, I was happy with how the finished fries looked. However, they still weren't fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside, and I was disappointed with the results for taste and texture.
Cleaning the Magic Bullet Air Fryer
The Magic Bullet Air Fryer is designed to be non-stick inside, and the removable insert is also coated in a non-stick layer. However, it can't be placed in the dishwasher which is a bit of a shame because many other options on the market can be placed on the top rack.
We did find that the Magic Bullet Air Fryer cleaned up easily by hand, but you need to wait for it to cool down before removing the insert to give it a good scrub.
Should you buy the Magic Bullet Air Fryer?
The Magic Bullet Air Fryer is very comparable to the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer, which is also small and affordable. However, if it were a choice between the Magic Bullet Air Fryer and the Vortex Mini I would recommend the Instant every time. It's the air fryer I use in my own small kitchen, and it comes in a fun range of colors.
However, this air fryer is still a good choice if you want a budget-friendly model with a small capacity that can be easily moved around the kitchen. Because of its unique dial control panel, it's not like many models on the market. If you like the sound of the kitchen timer dial you will enjoy this air fryer. However, if you have more to spend and you want a larger air fryer, I would recommend the Cosori Air Fryer.
About this review, and our reviewer
Millie Fender is an ecommerce editor at Real Homes, specializing in small appliances and all things cooking. She loves putting new products to the test, whether they're air fryers, blenders, or even pizza ovens, and her family and friends love eating the results.
Millie has a constant stream of new products waiting to be reviewed in her kitchen. It's a little snug, so if she thinks anything deserves to stay there, you know it's something special.
The Instant Vortex Mini was sent to Millie by Instant Brands, and she tested it for a prolonged period before writing this review. Millie uses her air fryer at least once a day, so it was very thoroughly put through its paces ahead of this review. Because Instant Brands kindly allowed her to keep it, she will keep this review updated as she continues to use it in her kitchen (that is, when she's not testing other air fryers!)
Find out more about how we review products at Real Homes.