Oil-Less Fryer Reviews: (2021) Oil Free Air Fryers

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I’ve evaluated the best oil-less fryers on the market. My top pick? I like the Ninja Air Fryer for its ease of use and its highly rated performance.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just want fried chicken and french fries. But I never want the unhealthy fats that come with deep-fried food. For that reason, I love oil-free air fryers.

Air frying is highly versatile and convenient. But the ability to make my favorite fried foods with little to no oil? That’s the icing on the cake.

Kiss that oil-guzzling deep fryer goodbye.

Bowl of Fries

I liked the Ninja Air Fryer’s consistency and its ability to evenly cook and crisp food. It gives a lot of value for its performance.

But you may want something specific, like an oil-free fryer that can work for 1-2 people. Or perhaps you want one that can handle large amounts of food or one that has several cooking functions. The options are almost limitless.

The question is, which oil-less air fryer is the best for you? Keep reading to find out.

Oil-Less Fryer: Product Reviews

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer: Best Overall

When it comes to air fryer reviews, this one gets glowing recommendations. The Ninja Air Fryer has a capacity of 4 quarts (3.8 liters), and it has 4 cooking functions: dehydrate, roast, air fry, and reheat.

The Ninja comes with a cooking plate, basket, and multi-layer rack. The plate and basket each have a ceramic non-stick coating and are safe for the dishwasher. This makes for fuss-free cleanup.

This oil-less air fryer can handle temperatures from 105°F to 400°F (40.5° to 204° C). It’s great for fried food like french fries, chicken tenders, and tater tots. It also performs well with roasting vegetables and cooking salmon filets.

Customers rave about how easy it is to use this Ninja air fryer. Cooking food is as simple as putting it in the basket, selecting the correct function, and you’re ready to start cooking.

A lot of reviewers loved how well this oil-less fryer performed, especially with fried food. And since this is an affordable option, you don’t have to break the bank to get great-tasting food without a deep fryer.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Dishwasher-safe accessories
  • Adjustable time and temperature settings

Cons

  • Fairly simple, not a lot of cooking functions

Instant Omni Plus 10-in-1 Air Fryer: Best Splurge

If you want a higher-end oil-less air fryer with great reviews, this Instant Omni Plus 10-in-1 fryer is a good pick for you. Its attractive stainless steel or black housing looks great in most kitchens.

From the makers of Instant Pot, the oil-free air fryer has a capacity of 19 quarts (18 liters).  That’s enough to handle an entire 12″ pizza, 6 slices of bread, or 8 chicken wings at a time. This is great for families of 4-6 people.

The 10-in-1 functions as an air fryer, toaster, roaster, convection oven, dehydrator, broiler, mini-oven, reheating oven, rotisserie, and warmer. It comes with several accessories, including an enamel baking tray, stainless steel oven rack, fryer basket, BBQ-style rotisserie spit and forks, and lift tool.

The Instant Omni can bake at temperatures up to 450°F (232° C). Be aware of how fast this fryer cooks. Many customers recommended shortening baking times by as much as 20%. I would monitor the food closely the first time, then note the cooking time for the next bake.

One thing to consider is how much space this unit requires. It’s slightly narrower and taller than a standard microwave, so you’ll need some room on your kitchen counter.

Furthermore, several reported the Instant Omni blowing out hot air, making the surrounding areas quite hot. Be sure you place this in a heat-resistant area.

One feature I liked on this model was the window markers that show you where the tray should go for certain foods. That helps you get the perfect finish.

It also has an audible beep to let you know when the unit is preheated and when the timer is done. Some users said the beep was annoying after a while, but you can turn off the sound.

As with many Instant products, the instruction manual is bare. There is also no recipe book included. However, there are loads of resources available on YouTube and the Instant website. Take a look at this video showing how to use the Instant Omni:

Pros

  • Large cooking capacity
  • Includes several accessories
  • 10 cooking functions
  • Performs great on a variety of foods
  • Adjustable time & temperature control

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Doesn’t include many instructions
  • Surrounding areas get hot
  • More expensive than other models

Big Boss Air Fryer, Super Sized: Best Large Capacity

The Big Boss lives up to its name, coming in at a whopping 16 quarts (15 liters). That’s enough to handle a whole chicken for 3-6 people. This air fryer cooks anywhere from 180-400° F (82-204°C).

I like the thought that went into the design of this Big Boss oil-less air fryer. The glass bowl and lid allow you to easily monitor food while air frying. The cooking basket and multi-level racks give you the option of cooking multiple food items simultaneously.

The extender ring is great for getting extra space for whole birds and other large food, and the tongs make lifting food easy. Also, the unit automatically shuts off when you raise the handle, which is a nice safety feature.

Plus? The Big Boss includes a recipe book with several recipes so you can start cooking quickly. And with adjustable time and temperature control, you can easily adjust how your food cooks.

One disadvantage of this air fryer is the halogen bulb. While most air fryers use a heating coil, the Big Boss uses a combination of convection heat, infrared heat, and a halogen bulb. This rapid air technology is excellent for getting food to cook properly.

There’s only one problem: halogen bulbs are notoriously sensitive to skin oils. Many customers had issues with their bulbs bursting, and others said their bulbs just stopped working. For this reason, I would get a warranty to cover any bulb replacement.

Also, since the heating element is attached to the lid, it can be scalding. When you need to lift the top, you can’t just set it down on the counter. One user recommended keeping the extender ring nearby so you can rest the lid on it while you remove food from the basket.

Another thing to consider is size: This Big Boss is quite large; so you will need some kitchen real estate for this oil-free fryer. Some people complained about the numbers wiping off, as well.

Still, this super-sized oil-less air fryer is very affordable and offers a lot of unique advantages. Just make sure you have plenty of space and be careful with the bulb.

Pros

  • Large cooking capacity
  • Range of attractive color options
  • Bowl and accessories are dishwasher-safe
  • Easy to monitor food

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Halogen bulb is delicate
  • Glass bowl is heavy

Elite Gourmet Personal Air Fryer: Best for Small Spaces

This Elite Gourmet Personal Air Fryer is a good buy for those who want a basic oil-less fryer for small-batch cooking. It comes in a 1.1-quart (1 liter) and 2.1-quart (1.98 liter) option.

The smaller 1.1 quart (1 liter) can fry food for one person or sides for 2 people. The larger, 2.1-quart (1.98 liter) can handle enough food for 2 people, making it great for couples.

This model has a temperature range of 176°-395°F (80°-202°C). It has a removable cooking basket with a non-stick coating. And with adjustable time and temperature dials, you have maximum control over the cooking process.

One of the main advantages of the Elite Gourmet is its efficiency. It only uses 1000 watts, as opposed to other models that use 1300-1800 watts. This means you can enjoy air-fried food without making your electric bill skyrocket.

The compact construction makes it great for tight spaces, like studio apartments and campers. If you like to keep out your kitchen appliances, you won’t need much room to do so.

Be aware that the Elite Gourmet does not come with a myriad of cooking options. The timer has an automatic shut-off after 30 minutes, so you won’t be able to dehydrate foods.  There is also no rotisserie option, either.

Also, several customers complained of the timer and temperature dial numbers wiping off after a few uses. I would use caution with rubbing or cleaning the exterior.

Pros

  • Attractive color options
  • PTFE-free fryer pan is dishwasher safe
  • Space saver
  • Energy-efficient, heats quickly
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Fewer cooking options
  • Numbers on dial wipe off easily

Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Mini Air Fryer Oven: Best for Small Servings

The Instant Vortex is a popular oil-less air fryer on the market. This mini version comes in at a cooking capacity of 2 quarts (1.9 liters), which makes it perfect for couples or college roommates.

This model functions as an air fryer, dehydrator, roaster, and reheater. The control panel features a touchscreen design, making it easy to use and operate. And the non-stick cooking plate is dishwasher-safe, too, so cleanup is a snap.

It has a temperature range of 120 to 400°F (49 to 205°C), making it great for sweet potato fries, chicken wings, and pizza bites.

This air fryer takes up a lot of counter space for its size, so make sure you have extra room.

Another thing? The Instant Vortex mini only has one basket. So simply dumping out food could also mean dumping out hot oil or grease. To prevent that, use tongs to remove food from the air fryer’s basket.

As with other Instant products, the recipes and instructions are bare. Use the Instant website and YouTube to find community recipes and suggested cooking times.

Pros

  • Has more functions for a mini fryer
  • Digital control panel
  • Non-stick cooking tray is dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space for its capacity
  • Lack of recipes, bare instructions

Instant Vortex Plus: Best Multi-function

If you want to replace several appliances with one affordable oil-free fryer, this Instant Vortex Plus is an excellent option for you.

With a 10-quart (9.4 liter) capacity, it can handle 10 chicken drumsticks, a 5-6 pound (2.26 kg) bird, or 2 pounds (.9 kg) of french fries. That’s easily enough to feed a family of 4-6.

It has 7 cooking functions, including: bake, roast, toast, air fry, broil, dehydrate, and rotisserie.

And unlike many air fryers, this one also has a rotisserie function. It comes with a host of accessories: 2 pans, drip tray, rotisserie forks, rotisserie basket, rotisserie lift, and spit.

The glass window allows you to monitor the cooking process, which is nice. And customers loved how easy this unit is to clean.

There were some reports of the door coming off easily. It’s supposed to come off for easy cleaning, but some users said the door came off if not lined up exactly right.

Furthermore, many people didn’t like that you have to swap the trays out during the cooking process. The trays don’t stay if pulled out halfway, so be sure to grab an oven mitt and hang on to them while turning food.

Pros

  • Large cooking capacity
  • Plenty of cooking options
  • Includes several accessories
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Reports of door coming off easily
  • Have to swap trays while cooking

Best Choice Products: Best Dehydrator & Rotisserie

Second only to the Instant Omni in terms of size, this Best Choice Products air fryer is great for those who want a fryer that can also rotisserie and dehydrate food.

Its 16.9-quart (16 liter) capacity means it can handle 2 cornish game hens, 10 kebabs, or several slices of toast.

Like many air fryers, this Best Choice can cook between 90-400° F (32-204°C). Unlike other air fryers, however, this one has a 24-hour dehydrator option plus a rotisserie option.

In fact, many users loved how well this fryer dehydrated fruits, veggies, and even meat for making jerky.

The Best Choice air fryer comes with a variety of accessories, including the following: wire racks, skewer rack, wire basket, rotating basket, handle, rotisserie forks, drip pan, oven mitts, and tongs.

The glass front means you can watch as your food turns. This model also includes several recipes for you to try out.

While this fryer is more expensive than others on the list, it’s comparable to other fryers of similar size and quality.

One suggestion from customers was to be sure and truss whole birds. Simply tie the legs together with twine before placing on the rotisserie forks. This will prevent the poultry from dragging along the bottom of the oven.

If you do have issues with drippings, simply line the bottom of the fryer with aluminum foil. That will also save you some time cleaning, which is always a win in my book.

One annoying feature some people mentioned was the door. It does not open all the way unless you scoot the unit close to the edge of the counter. The door handle gets in the way otherwise.

Also, some people complained of their rotisserie basket not fitting properly. Some said it was due to loose screws. One way to help prevent this is to avoid overfilling the rotisserie basket. Putting too much food in the basket will cause strain on the screws and make it more likely to come loose.

Pros

  • Large cooking capacity
  • Includes several accessories
  • Offers several cooking functions

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Door handle keeps door from opening fully
  • Some reports of loose-fitting basket screws

Buying Guide: What to Know Before You Ditch the Deep Fryer

Are oil-less fryers any good?

Oil-less fryers are a great alternative to deep fryers. By using little to no oil, oil-less air fryers make it easy to cook healthy meals. They also give you that crispy, golden finish.

An oil-free air fryer is perfect for cooking foods like chicken breasts, french fries, and frozen food. You can get the same taste as fried foods without the guilt.

What is an air fryer?

Offering a healthy alternative to deep-frying, air fryers use rapid air technology. Basically, they use moving heat to cook food. They work much like a convection oven, with a fan blowing super-hot air around the food.

Plus, an air fryer preheats and cooks food faster than a conventional oven, which is great for busy cooks.

What is the difference between an oil-less fryer and an air fryer?

They’re the same thing. Both air fryers and oil-less air fryers cook food with less oil than a traditional deep fryer. They give you the taste of deep-fried food without all the extra fat.

Are air fryers healthy?

Deep-fried foods are notoriously unhealthy due to the high levels of trans fats and calories. However, many people who enjoy fried food would balk at going cold turkey.

Enter the air fryer, which uses moving hot air to brown and crisp food. This lovely appliance gives you the same taste as deep-fried foods without all the nasty downsides of deep-frying.

The bottom line? Air fryers give you the option to cook healthier meals while still enjoying your favorite fried foods.

What size oil-less air fryer do I need?

To find the right size air fryer, you want to consider two things: how many people you cook for and what foods you’ll be cooking.

A general rule is 1-2 quarts (.9-1.89 liters) per person. So if you have a family of 5, you’ll want a 7-10 quart (6.62-9.4 liter) air fryer.

However, what food you’ll cook in your air fryer could influence things, too. Many air fryers can handle larger servings of one type of food. If you want to cook multiple foods simultaneously, you won’t be able to cook as much in each batch.

A prime example? French fries. You can estimate 1 pound per 4 people. Most air fryers can handle 2 pounds (or more) of fries, so you can quickly cook enough fries for 4-8 people. However, if you plan to cook pork chops with the fries, you may only be able to put in half of that amount.

Of course, space is always a consideration. Make sure you have the room to store the oil-less air fryer.  Check the product description for specific dimensions.

Should I cook without oil?

Cooking without oil is a great way to cut calories and possibly unhealthy fats. However, it’s not always necessary. Plus, a little oil can go a long way to improve the quality and taste of the final product.

Olive Oil being poured

Hydrogenated vegetable oils have a terrible reputation. If you want to avoid the health risks typically associated with vegetable oil, you can choose a healthy alternative. Extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil are good options. They are low in omega-6 fatty acids, and they’re rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

The benefit of an air fryer is that, even if you need oil for cooking, you only need a little. You’ll still save on fat and calories over deep frying.

Oil-Less Fryer Reviews: The Last Word

I like the Ninja Air Fryer for its performance and ease of use when it comes to oil-less air fryers. It has great reviews and provides the most bang for your buck.

If you are looking to splurge and have the space, however, the Instant Omni Plus has many features and can handle more food, while not sacrificing quality.