Air Fryer Cook


In my quest to find the best air fryer for my kitchen, I have reviewed and tested different types of air fryers. Since there are so many models and types available, it was overwhelming at first, but it soon became a fetish of mine to discover what the air fryer actually has to offer. 

Believe it or not, there are different types of air fryers. The ones that I will be showcasing in this article are the basket air fryers, the oven air fryers, and the paddle air fryers. These are the most common types of air fryers.

My summary will give you a good idea of what each type of air fryer is, the pros and cons of each type of air fryer, and my recommendations for each category.


There are many different types of air fryers and the three main ones that will be discussed in this article are:

  1. Basket Air Fryer
  2. Oven Air Fryer
  3. Paddle Air Fryer
type of air fryer

Type of Air Fryer #1: Basket Air Fryers

The first and most common type of air fryer is the basket air fryer. It consists of a basket that slides into a tall cylindrical chamber. The heating elements and powerful fans that surround the basket circulate hot air and crisp food.


  • Small footprint – perfect for cramped countertops
  • Cooks food quickly thanks to lots of direct heat
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Removable basket for shaking food


  • Limited capacity
  • Food needs occasional shaking for even cooking
  • Some models have annoying basket release buttons

Best Basket Air Fryer:

This air fryer blew me away with its performance, versatility and thoughtful design. It truly lived up to the hype.

Key Features
  • 6 built-in smart programs for air frying, roasting, broiling, baking, reheating and dehydrating
  • Spacious 6-quart (5.7-liter) basket
  • Easy touch digital controls
  • Glass window to see the food cooking

Though it is more expensive than the previous model Instant Vortex, the added functionality is worth the upgrade. The roast, bake, reheat, and dehydrate settings performed impressively, and I loved being able to cook a wide variety of foods.

Most importantly, it air-fried beautifully. French fries came out perfectly crisp on the outside while remaining fluffy inside. Frozen foods like chicken nuggets and fried shrimp cooked up evenly with amazingly crunchy breading.

I did find that cooking times vary a bit, especially when working with frozen items. It takes some experimentation to dial in optimal times. But once you get the hang of it, this machine delivers batch after batch of mouth-watering air-fried meals.

The other air fryer models that are worth considering are:

Type of Air Fryer #2: Oven Air Fryers

Oven air fryers take a different approach, more comparable to a traditional full-size oven. Food cooks on trays inside a square chamber with heating elements on top and bottom while the fan blows the air to circulate the food.


  • Large capacity for cooking full meals
  • Multifunctional abilities that combine different cooking methods with air frying
  • Trays provide more even heat distribution


  • Bulky footprint
  • Higher price tags
  • It may require preheating as the cooking space is larger than its basket air fryer counterpart

Best Oven Air Fryer:

I was thoroughly impressed by this high-powered convection oven. It rivaled all the premium full-size ovens I’ve owned over the years.

Key Features
  • 13-in-1 functionality including air fry, roast, broil, bake, rotisserie
  • Rotisserie for juicy meats
  • Massive 32-quart (30 liters) air fryer capacity
  • Multi-tiered cooking racks and accessories

Right away, I was drawn to the stylish stainless-steel casing with easy-to-use dials and a digital display. All cooking modes yielded incredible results. This machine can truly do it all – from air frying french fries to baking towering layer cakes. My favorite was roasting a whole chicken on the rotisserie spit. It turned out super juicy and evenly browned.

Though it does take 7-10 to preheat, there are multi-level tiers that enable more food to be cooked in one go. This does work well for reheating food. The food goes straight out of the fridge into the Consori and starts heating up while preheating. Then, when the set temperature is reached, it is done.

It is louder than the basket air fryer due to the intense fans circulating all that hot air. But for me, this wasn’t a dealbreaker, given how beautifully it cooks. I highly recommend this oven air fryer combo!

The other air fryer toaster oven I would look at is the Ninja Foodi Flip Air Fry oven, which is a great alternative for those with limited countertop space. Its unique ability to be flipped upright and stored saves you counter space. This is a fantastic choice for those who do not need to cook big, chunky meat on the bone.

Type of Air Fryer #3: Paddle Air Fryers

The third type of air fryer generally comes with a cooking basket and a large paddle in the middle to stir food slowly as hot air cooks it. The paddle’s rotation prevents the need to manually shake or flip the food.


  • Built-in paddle ensures even cooking
  • Large capacities in some models
  • Dishwasher safe parts


  • Big footprint
  • Paddle can knock off delicate breading
  • Higher price tag

Though paddle air fryers sound good in theory, I wasn’t thrilled with them in practice, based on my experience.

The Tefal Actifry was the original paddle-style air fryer, which started the trend. Though it was revolutionary when it first debuted, newer models have surpassed it.

Key Features
  • Automatic paddle mixing
  • Countdown digital display

To my disappointment, the paddle rotation was quite loud and distracting. The constant movement also battered food, damaging delicate exteriors of items like fish fillets or soft veggies, like pumpkin.

Don’t get me wrong – after some trial and error, it did churn out some decent crisp french fries and homemade chips. But for the lofty price tag, I expected better performance.

Considering the main benefit of the paddle air fryer is even cooking, you’re likely better off with a basket model as you get even cooking and better (if not the same) crisp. But, if your regular meals include stir-fries or sauteed food, it’s worth considering as it will make your cooking hands-off. The paddle will do all the stirring for you! In that case, I would recommend looking at the Tefal Actifry Genius + Air fryer.

This paddle air fryer is an upgrade to the Tefal Actifry Original with 9 pre-set menus and a 1.2 kg capacity. It can make up to 6 servings of food; however, it cannot fit a whole chicken into the basket for cooking as the paddle is positioned in the middle.

Key Considerations When Buying an Air Fryer

Beyond just the design type, here are some key factors I considered when evaluating which air fryer would be the best choice for my kitchen:

Capacity – Make sure to choose an appliance sized appropriately for your household needs. If you plan to cook full family meals, invest in a larger model with more internal space. If you live alone and plan to air fry smaller batches, a compact model should meet your needs.

Settings & Modes – Consider how you want to be able to use your air fryer. If you’ll solely air fry foods, a unit with temperature and time presets should suffice. But if you want more functionality like roasting, baking, reheating etc, select a multifunctional model.

Accessories – Many air fryers now come with bonus accessories like cooking trays, pans, skewers and more that enhance what you can make. prioritize units that offer useful extras.

Price – Air fryers vary tremendously in terms of pricing. Consider how frequently you plan to use the device and whether splurging for premium features is worth it or if a budget unit makes more sense.

Reviews – Carefully read through user reviews on sites to learn pros and cons from real customer testing. This can reveal potential red flags for certain models.

Final Verdict

compact air fryer

The many types of air fryers can make your head spin when you first look at buying an air fryer. But knowing what type of air fryer will suit you boils down to capacity and functionality. Therefore, first start with defining the air fryer capacity and what functions you need from the air fryer. Then look at the air fryer design as a secondary consideration.

Basket air fryers are best for smaller families or singles who want to whip up a simple meal regularly. Here, the Instant Vortex Plus is a great option with 6 preset menus and 6-quart (5.7 liters) capacity. This one even comes with a glass window to monitor the food cooking.

The oven air fryer is ideal for the bigger families who want all the bells and whistles. This type of air fryer allows for multilevel racks for more cooking in one session and comes with many more cooking options like the toaster oven function and even a rotisserie. The Consori Air Fryer Toaster Oven is a perfect option for this type of air fryer. It’s got 13 preset menus, including a rotisserie function, and has a capacity of 32 quarts (30 lieters).

As for the Paddle Air Fryer, this type of air fryer is my least favorite. The idea of the paddle is to achieve even cooking by stirring the food, which both the basket air fryer and oven air fryer do perfectly. So, if you are after an air fryer to make crispy food, you are better off with the basket or oven air fryer. However, if you like to make stir-fries or sauteed food, the paddle air fryer is your answer to automatic cooking. There will be no stirring or watching over the pan needed as the paddle air fryer will do all of that for you. The Tefal Actifry Genius + Air fryer comes first in mind for this type of air fryer.

With the different types of air fryers in mind, why not head over to our air fryer catalog to see some of our selected recommendations?

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