Cuisinart air fryers are some of the most popular on the market, and for good reason. They offer a wide variety of air fryer models to suit your home cooking needs. If you’re considering a Cuisinart air fryer but aren’t sure where to start, this article is for you!
In this piece, we talk about the general pros and cons of air fryers plus highlight 10 things to consider before finalizing your purchase. For more inspiration, be sure to check out our roundup of 25 amazing air fryer breakfasts and 6 air fryer chefs to follow.
Overview: What is the pros and cons of air fryer?
Air fryers continue to grow in popularity among home cooks, with many recipe blogs catering to these convenient appliances. Lauded for their ease of use, fast cooking times, and healthier meals, it’s no wonder they’re found in 40% of US households today.
Pros: Air fryers are convenient, heat up and cook faster than conventional ovens, and are incredibly versatile. These handy devices can be used to bake, cook, roast, grill, and broil an endless list of proteins, vegetables, rice, desserts, and baked goods. A big draw of air fryers is that they require less oil, so they splatter less and cut down on calories and fat. It’s worth noting that air fryers don’t actually fry food, which requires submerging food in hot oil. Air fryers use hot air circulation to mimic frying food. (For those who want deep-fried food, this can be a drawback.)
Cons: For many chefs, air fryers have some drawbacks. Most units are bulky, taking up a lot of counter space. They have limited cooking capacity, too. For food to crisp up in an air fryer, it has to be placed in a single layer with enough space for the air to circulate. This means you can’t actually fit that much food in the basket without it steaming. The inside components of many air fryers are coated in a non-stick coating, which is convenient but can be a health concern for some. There has also been some concern about the formation of acrylamide, a cancer-causing chemical, on some foods that have been cooked in an air fryer.
Overall, if you’re a home cook making meals for yourself or a small family and are interested in cooking healthier food, an air fryer is worth considering for its versatility, affordability, and convenience. Want to learn more? Check out the Cuisinart guide to air fryers for answers to all your basic questions about these small-but-mighty appliances.
10 Considerations About Cuisinart Air Fryers
Cuisinart is a home appliance company with a wide variety of quality products, from juicers, microwaves, and popcorn makers to can openers, hand mixers, and toasters. Here, we take a deep dive into their line of air fryers.
1. Cuisinart air fryers sell at a middle price point.
The price of the Cuisinart air fryer varies by model, but in general, they sell at a middle price point when compared to other brands. The most affordable Cuisinart air fryer is their compact air fryer toaster oven, which retails for $129. On the high end of the spectrum is their large air fryer toaster oven, which sells for $329.
2. Cuisinart air fryers have large cooking capacities.
Aside from just the price difference, selecting the right unit in terms of size and cooking capacity is critical when shopping for air fryers. As a general rule, you want about one-quart cooking capacity for every person you’ll be cooking for. If you’re a single eater or a couple, a small 2-quart unit should suffice. For a family of four, you’ll need a 4-quart unit.
Cuisinart air fryers have high cooking capacities compared to other models. The compact unit, for example, can cook 2.5 pounds of food at once. The large unit is big enough to cook up to 4lbs, toast 9 slices of bread, bake a 13" pizza, or fit a 9" x 13" baking pan.
3. Know what kind of cooking functions you need.
Cuisinart air fryers are multifunctional toaster ovens that offer a variety of features, allowing you to bake, broil, toast, air fry, and even grill. That being said, each unit is different in the features they offer.
At a minimum, the basket air fryer has 5 functions: Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Broil, and Keep Warm. The large air fryer toaster oven unit has 12 functions: Bake, Broil, Pizza, Roast, Dual Cooking, Reheat, Keep Warm, Toast, Bagel, Dehydrate, Low, and Slow Cook. The other units fall somewhere in between.
4. Choose between digital and analog controls.
Cuisinart offers models with digital controls as well as analog. The compact unit and the air fryer toaster oven with grill have analog display knobs, while the basket air fryer, digital air fryer toaster oven, and large air fryer have a digital interface.
So which is right for you? Digital air fryers are super easy to set and allow you to cook hands-off. Analog air fryers might only have a timer, a temperature knob, and a start/stop button. They offer superior temperature control but are less flashy and could be more time-consuming to set for some people.
5. Cuisinart air fryers reach high temperatures.
As a general rule, the higher the temperature, the crispier your food will get. Plus, you can use these models to grill, roast, and bake easily. Cuisinart air fryers can reach cooking temperatures of 250–450°F. This is the higher range for air fryers, making Cuisinart a good choice in this department. Beware, some users warn the Cuisinart units can heat up beyond 450°F, with one reviewer noting the exterior of the unit can get too hot to touch.
Generally speaking, you should lower the cooking temperature by 25–50°F when cooking in an air fryer compared to an oven. For example, if a recipe calls for 400°F in the oven, set the air fryer to 375°F at most.
6. Cuisinart air fryers have a non-stick coating called Lexon.
While the non-stick coating in air fryers makes for easier cleanup, some buyers may have health concerns when it comes to Lexon, which is another name for polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE is a type of plastic that is sprayed on some cookware to create a non-stick surface. This coating contains chemicals that may be harmful in ingested. Teflon is known as a “forever chemical,” meaning it never leaves the body. If this is a concern for you, you might consider another brand.
7. Cuisinart units are easy to clean. The accessories, less so.
A perk of the non-stick coating is that Cuisinart air fryers are easy to clean. The Lexon coating ensures food does not stick and burn onto cooking and other internal surfaces. You can easily clean a Cuisinart air fryer with a sponge, some warm water, dishwashing liquid, and vinegar (if there are any stubborn stains to remove). For more on cleaning, visit Kitchen Affinity for a step-by-step guide specific to Cuisinart air fryers. Beware, though, some users warn that accessories aren't coated with a nonstick finish, and Cuisinart doesn't recommend putting them in the dishwasher.
8. You have the option to buy extra parts and accessories.
From broiling pans and wire racks to air fryer baskets, crumb trays, and grill plates, Cuisinart sells additional parts and accessories for all of its air fryer units. This offers a great piece of mind if you’ve worn out a part or want to have backups on hand.
9. Cuisinart offers a 3-year warranty and a money-back guarantee.
Cuisinart offers a limited 3-year warranty on their air fryers. The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship under normal home use. As the Cuisinart products are meant for home cooks, the warranty is void if the appliance is used in professional settings.
In addition to this generous warranty, you can return any unused merchandise within 45 days of purchase for a full refund, no questions asked. Once the returned unit is received by the company, it takes about 10 business days to process the refund.
10. What are the cons of Cuisinart air fryers?
Cuisinart units do have some downsides when compared to other brands. Here are the most common complaints:
- The exterior can get too hot to touch, making it a potential safety concern and fire risk.
- The accessories, like the air fryer basket and trays, are not dishwasher safe. This makes the part difficult to clean.
- The machines can run too hot internally, too, and some say the temperature controls can be inaccurate.
- The Cuisinart units aren’t big enough to air fry large foods like bone-in chicken.
- The Lexon non-stick coating may be a health concern for some.
- Cooking with any air fryer can produce acrylamide, a cancer-causing chemical, in food.
Summary: Does Cuisinart make a good air fryer?
Cuisinart air fryers are multi-functional units with a good reputation. While they do have their downsides when it comes to temperature control, health concerns about the Lexon nonstick coating, and accessories that are not dishwasher safe, they do perform well and are built to last. Cuisinart air fryers have a large cooking capacity, reach high temperatures, and offer many cooking features. Cuisinart’s 3-year warranty and no-questions return policy give buyers added peace of mind.