Whether online or in real life, you've surely come across air fryers by now. The small kitchen appliance makes all things baked, fried, and crispy without the grease—in fact, it achieves the same result. I've had my eye on one for ages: Everyone in my family has one and raves about it, most of my friends cook with nothing else, and my coworkers have even recommended theirs to you before. So when the opportunity to review one of Amazon's top-rated air fryers, the TaoTronics 6-quart air fryer, came up, I jumped on the chance.
I read through the reviews section on Amazon prior to getting my hands on the air fryer and noticed shoppers saying they've "been using it every day" and calling it "the next essential kitchen appliance." More than 1,900 shoppers have left a rating, giving the air fryer a close-to-perfect 4.9 stars. It's even one of Amazon's top 20 best-selling air fryers, so I should've known it would be a game changer from the get-go.
When it comes to choosing air fryers, most people look out for wattage, size, presets, noise, and how easy it is to clean—and the TaoTronics air fryer scores A's in pretty much all of these categories in my book. It's compact enough not to crowd the countertop of my small kitchen, the 1,750-wattage specs and deep 6-quart basket cook a whole chicken in less than half an hour, and the basket is even dishwasher-safe, so cleanup is a total breeze.
My first test meal took place under the perfect circumstances: I was exhausted, and the idea of whipping up a meal from scratch was out of the question. So I tossed in a piece of sous vide-cooked chicken breast with some pesto, a few cherry tomatoes, and broccoli with a drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil at 360 degrees for five minutes. The TaoTronics air fryer worked so quietly that I was able to talk to my family on the phone without earphones, and there was no odor at all. Before I knew it, my meal was done—and cooked to perfection.
My chicken came out crispy on the outside and tender in the middle, my broccoli was cooked through but not charred, and my tomatoes remained juicy. I was blown away by the results and eager to try again, so the next night, I threw in a piece of miso-glazed salmon with asparagus at 390 degrees for 10 minutes. It turned out just as good as if I had cooked it in a pan, which undoubtedly would've required much more oil, constant checking, and maybe even a splatter guard to prevent oil from getting everywhere.
Since acquiring the air fryer, I've cooked at least one meal a day with it, and I can't imagine making dinner without it from now on. I have yet to make fries and nuggets, but Amazon shoppers have reassured me in their reviews that they'll turn out deliciously. TaoTronics' air fryer comes with a book of 50 recipes, all of which I'm excited to get through. And even though I received the air fryer to review, I would happily buy it on my own.
Shop the game-changing air fryer below, on sale now with Amazon's $10 coupon.
To buy: $104.99 with coupon (was $114.99); amazon.com.
See what else I swear by.
This story originally appeared on Real Simple.