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When you’re living in a small space like an apartment, or have started to hoard new cooking supplies after a year of quarantine, your kitchen countertop space is prime real estate. You’ll want to get gadgets that are compact, but can pull double duty, and 2-in-1 air fryer toaster ovens are some of the best countertop appliances around.
So why get a model that can do both? Toaster ovens circulate hot air and actually cook your favorite foods faster than a regular oven. But the best air fryers can get a better crisp on batches of french fries and chicken wings without relying on oil. They may even have faster cook-times than toaster ovens, due to the size of their internal fans.
The best air fryer toaster ovens, though, are the dream team—all-in-one kitchen appliances that can produce full meals (think: a whole roast chicken), fast. When you’re surveying your options, you’ll want a model that has versatile cooking/frying settings, can clean easily, and most important, can make meals large enough to feed everyone.
Here’s everything you need to consider when buying an air fryer toast oven, including some of our top picks.
What Are the Best Air Fryer Toaster Ovens?
Size: When you’re thinking strategically about countertop space, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of oven sizes. Bigger air fryer toaster ovens can fit a whole chicken, and it’s worth the lack of space if you’re essentially using it as a second oven. But smaller models are easier to store, and are sufficient for toasting and small-batch air frying.
Controls: Some of the fryer ovens on our list have mechanical dials, like an old-school toaster oven. Most now come with digital controls too, including presets for specific dishes like chicken or fish, and unique air frying settings. Bottom line, if you want more control when it comes to temperature and timing, go for digital.
Accessories: While extra add-ons like rotisserie tools for roasting chicken, tongs and smaller spatulas are great, you’re looking for functionality over form here. Make sure your fryer oven has the essentials: a baking pan, a rack, and an air frying basket or rack.
Ease of Use: For an appliance that’s so versatile, you’ll want to know you’re getting the most out of it. All the automatic presets may be great, but you don’t want to the instructional manual or settings to be so complicated you won’t want to cook anything. Clean-up is also important too, so your removable baskets and racks should be dishwasher-safe.
1. Cuisinart TOA-65
Cuisinart’s TOA-65 is the multi-use kitchen tool you never knew you needed, and just an all-around great convection toaster oven and air fryer.
You can use it to make anything from perfectly-fried wings, to roasted veggies, and the results stay remarkably consistent no matter what you’re cooking up. Set the time, temperature, and function with the dials, the oven is programmed with over 10 settings, including 5 air-frying presets.
The oven is large enough to toast a whole frozen pizza, and the 1800-watt fan delivers very even heating throughout. Its air fryer basket can hold up to 3 lbs. of fries, enough for an entire tailgating party. There’s also a unique range of low temperatures, so you can essentially turn it into a slow-cooker too, great for braising meats like brisket.
One of the TOA-65’s best features is the basket that’s above the broiling pan, which prevents grease from dripping and makes cleanup easy. Based on sheer multi-functionality alone, Cuisinart’s TOA-65 deserves a spot in your kitchen.
2. Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven with Rotisserie
From the makers of the Instant Pot, this oven really is the best of both worlds, condensing all the greatest parts of their air fryers into a stellar convection oven.
With seven built-in smart programs, you can make multiple meals at once with the baking, broiling and rotisserie settings. It has a whopping 10-quart capacity, which allows you to cook on both trays at once, but might not be great if counter space is a concern.
But that’s a small price to pay for cook time: with little to no preheating necessary, Instant Pot boasts you can whip up dinner in half the time of a conventional oven. It even comes with a pretty nifty rotating rotisserie basket that you can use to “tumble-fry” or roast meat 360 degrees.
The brightly-lit touchscreen is sleek and modern, offering 14 simple touch controls. The Instant Vortex also includes Overheat Protection, which reduces the risk of you burning the dinner you just worked so hard (but not so hard) to make. The Instant Vortex Plus proves that anything your average air fryer can do, this oven can do better.
3. Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven
The Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven is a meal-making machine in a compact package, taking up nearly half the space in your kitchen compared to other models (when folded up for storage).
Speaking of other models: because of its flat surface area, the Foodi Digital Oven claims to have a 45% larger usable cooking space vs. Cuisinart’s TOA-65 pan. You can fit up to nine slices of toast, or a full-sized pizza, and its larger capacity work great for family meals like sheet pan dinners you would normally cook in an oven.
Though it does need to preheat, it’s a super fast 60 seconds, and you can air fry, roast, bake, dehydrate and more in as little as 20 minutes. In terms of ease-of-use, this oven has clean-up in mind. It features a removable crumb tray, and an easily accessible back panel for deep cleaning.
If you’re looking for storage without sacrificing precious cooking space, look no further than the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven.
From Rolling Stone US