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Did someone order chicken and chips?
Fuelling (and refuelling) well is key when it comes to hitting your PBs. In fact, you might say that owning the right cooking gear to whip up that perfect post-run meal is just as important as buying the right running shoes.
Enter air fryers, the trending appliance you never knew you needed, but you do.
To find the best air fryers, the Runner’s World Lab put some leading models to the test. Here they are at a glance:
That’s a big fat yes from us. The best air fryers help you prepare tasty meals quickly and healthily – they use little to no oil to cook, putting the likes of chicken and chips firmly back on the menu.
Much like an oven, they circulate hot air to cook your food thoroughly. But because they are smaller, they get the job done faster.
Though called fryers, because they cook with hot air they actually do a lot more than ‘fry’ – you can roast potatoes and bake fairy cakes in these bad boys.
They vary a lot in both size and price, but there’s an air fryer for every household and kitchen on our list, starting at £59.99 for a mini machine that caters for up to two people.
Because they heat a smaller space and cook quickly, air fryers will use less energy than a traditional oven to prepare the same dish. This means you can enjoy delicious homemade fare without adding much to your electricity bill – that gym membership costs enough, right?
The Runner’s World Lab’s home experts ate well when looking for the best air fryer. For each machine they cooked chips, chicken (either chicken kievs or a whole bird, according to the capacity) and fairy cakes.
Understandably, our testers must try each dish to make sure everything is cooked just so. They look for perfectly cooked results every time – think crispy and fluffy chips, golden chicken skin with moist meat and evenly risen cakes that brown well.
Finally, every air fryer is judged on its performance, design, ease of use and instructions.
Verdict: This top scorer smashed it on test, reliably serving up delicious dinners in no time. Maybe you could squeeze in a 5K while your food is cooking, but you’d have to be quick…
Verdict: There’s little this versatile machine doesn’t do. So if your kitchen’s on the bijou side or you simply want as many culinary options as possible for your buck, it’s a real winner.
Verdict: Mini but mighty, this air fryer is ideal for smaller groups. It costs a lot less than many of our other top scorers, so your wallet will thank you too.
Verdict: The cheapest air fryer on our list, this looks good and cooks better. It’s best for savoury staples, so if you think you’ll use your fryer to bake regularly, try a different one.
Verdict: Post-run Sunday lunches have never been so easy! This is an investment, but it brings a lot to the kitchen – a good compromise if you like the sound of the winning Ninja but fancy a few extra functionalities.
Verdict: This nifty buy can pretty much prepare your whole dinner. It’ll feed a crowd too, just make sure you’ve got the room for it.
Verdict: If the thought of packing in your protein with rotisserie chicken makes your stomach grumble, this machine is your perfect match. You can enjoy that and more on a regular basis with this machine.
Verdict: Similar in style to our top-rated Ninja, this will bring flexibility and convenience to your kitchen. It also costs £80 less, making it a more affordable buy that’s ideal if you regularly host after group runs!
Verdict: If you’ve got the counter space, this is a great oven to turn to for day-to-day dinners, saving your main oven (that’ll likely cost more to run) for special occasions and bigger meals.