Best Air Fryer: Nuwave vs Cosori vs Ninja

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Air fryers give you crispy, crunchy food like from a deep fryer, but they use significantly less oil than true deep fryers. If you’re thinking about your weight but don’t want to lose out on crispy food, then you need an air fryer. Plus, they’re so simple and versatile that everyone should have one. Today we’re comparing three of the top brands of air fryers. It’s NuWave vs Cosori vs Ninja air fryers. Which one is the best? Read on and see.

If you’re looking for an air fryer oven, we just compared the best brands for that. Check out our article on the Best Air Fryer Oven: PowerXL vs Instant Pot vs Emeril vs Ninja to see which is best.

NuWave Air Fryer Pros and Cons

NuWave Air Fryer Pros

NuWave is an innovative brand. They’re probably best known for the NuWave induction cooktop, but they make a range of air fryers that are ideal for crispy, crunchy food. NuWave is one of the most consistent air fryers on the market. Food will be evenly cooked and always crunchy. If you want an air fryer that’s like a deep fryer, then NuWave is your best bet. They also make a great air fryer oven, the NuWave Bravo XL.

It also has a great control panel. You’ll have no problem choosing the setting, adjusting the time and temp, and getting the results you want each and every time.

When it comes to NuWave vs Cosori, both deliver crispy results, but NuWave cooks a little more evenly. In terms of NuWave vs Ninja, the control panel for the NuWave air fryer is better.

NuWave Air Fryer Cons

NuWave is similar to a deep fryer in another way. Their models are somewhat harder to clean than other air fryers. This is especially true if you wash by hand since there is a fair amount of oil left behind, but you can throw the pieces in the dishwasher as well.

Another problem is that NuWave air fryers are loud. Late night munchies might be hard when the air fryer is this loud. However, while it is louder than the others, the exceptionally crispy results are worth it.

In terms of NuWave vs Ninja air fryers and NuWave vs Cosori air fryers, NuWave is harder to clean and louder. However, it still reigns supreme with crispy, even cooking.

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Affordable NuWave Air Fryer: NuWave Brio 3Qt Air Fryer

NuWave Brio 3Qt

Looking for an entry-level air fryer? The NuWave Brio 3Qt is good for one or two people and has a ton of features. You can select temperatures ranging from 100°F-400°F in 5°increments. The digital LED control panel looks great and is easy to use. There are also six presets for fries, nuggets, steak, and more. You can also switch the wattage for more or less power as needed.

Best Value NuWave Air Fryer: NuWave Brio 6Qt Air Fryer

NuWave Brio 6Qt Air Fryer

Whether you need to feed a small family or just love cooking lots of food, the NuWave Brio 6Qt model has you covered. With over 1800W of power, this air fryer can easily turn frozen foods crispy and delicious in minutes. It uses superheated air to reduce oil without skipping on crisp deliciousness. You can choose between 100°F-400°F in 5°increments and you choose between air frying, broiling, roasting, baking, reheating, and dehydrating. The large 6Qt frying basket cooks up to 1.5lbs of fries at once. Get it today.

Premium NuWave Air Fryer: NuWave Brio 14Qt Air Fryer

NuWave Brio 14Qt

Looking for tons of features and cooking space? The Brio 14Qt model is massive and has three stainless steel mesh racks for cooking lots of food. Fries, pizza, chicken nuggets, steak, this can do it all. Adjust the wattage between 900, 1500, or 1800W. Air frying not enough? You can sear, preheat, warm, rotisserie cook and more.

You can adjust between 100°F-400°F in 5°increments and the digital temp probe can check the internal temperature of any food in seconds. There are over 100 presets and you can create your own custom settings. All the racks, drip trays, and everything else is dishwasher safe.

Cosori Air Fryer Pros and Cons

Cosori Air Fryer Pros

Cosori air fryers are extremely popular because they create crispy, crunchy food. Not only that, but they have a square design for optimal use. While this design may not look great, it ensures you can easily slide the crisping basket in and out without hitting the fryer. These are useful air fryers that are great for dozens of recipes.

Cosori air fryers have exceptional control panels with lots of presets, more than any other brand. There are buttons for steak, chicken, bacon, bread, frozen food, vegetables, and so much more. If you want an air fryer that takes out the guesswork, then this is it.

Cosori vs Ninja air fryers comes down to the control panel. They both have similar cooking performance, but Cosori has lots of presets that Ninja doesn’t wave. The same goes for Cosori vs NuWave. NuWave tends to be a little crunchier, but Cosori makes it simple to cook any food you want.

Cosori Air Fryer Cons

The presets are great, but the manual options leave a lot to be desired. The time and temp button can be confusing and most users will hit the wrong button when they first get this unit. You’ll get used to it, but it takes longer than it should.

The timer can also be thrown off if you open the basket to shake the ingredients (which you’ll have to do with most recipes, it’s just how air fryers work). The timer will stop when you open the basket (good), but then it will add a minute when you close the basket (bad). This can throw off the timing a bit, so try to adjust accordingly.

We go back to the control panel. In terms of presets, Cosori was the decided winner. However, here we find that Ninja has much better manual controls and the timer doesn’t have problems when the basket is removed. The same goes for Cosori vs NuWave.

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Affordable Cosori Air Fryer: Cosori 3.7Qt Air Fryer

Cosori 3.7qt Air Fryer

Cosori’s entry-level model has a 3.7qt frying basket with an ergonomic handle and a slim design for countertops. You also get four skewers and a dual-layer rack for frying more food. This size is ideal for two or three people. The square basket gives you the most usable space. It’s nonstick, dishwasher safe, and gives you crispy and delicious food. There are 11 presets for fish, chicken, steak, veggies and more. It looks great and cooks even better.

Best Value Cosori Air Fryer: Cosori Stainless Steel 5.8Qt Air Fryer XL

Cosori 5.8Qt Air Fryer XL

This stainless steel air fryer is durable and strong with 9 presets for fries, frozen food, bacon, and more. The manual controls are just as easy. Made with Cosori’s versatile square design, this gives you a large 5.8qt frying basket with a small footprint. Eat healthier by using 85% less fat than a traditional deep fryer. Set the temperature between 170-400F. You get five skewers and a dual-layer rack. It’s large, easy to clean, and gives you crispy, delicious food every time.

Premium Cosori Air Fryer: Cosori Smart WiFi Air Fryer 5.8Qt

Cosori Smart WiFi

The Cosori Smart WiFi line can be completely controlled with your mobile device. Set the time and temp, choose a preset, and monitor cooking progress from your device. You can even control it with voice commands from Alexa. The app has over 100 recipes or you can choose your own settings with ease.

Aside from the WiFi controls, you’ll love the massive 5.8qt frying basket and the always wonderful Cosori control panel. It’s large enough to fit a 6lb chicken and uses 85% less fat than a deep fryer. It’s fast, delicious, has 11 presets, and you can control everything from your phone with this WiFi air fryer.

Ninja Air Fryers Pros and Cons

Ninja Air Fryer Pros

Ninja air fryers are powerful and can cook crispy food evenly and quickly. Not only will your food have that satisfying crunch, but everything will be finished fast. Whether you’re making chicken, steak, or vegetables with your air fryer, you can expect great results in record times.

The control panel is also quite simple. Simply adjust the time and temp and you’re ready to go. Read the cons section to see the problem with the control panel, but if you want simple controls, then the Ninja air fryer is the way to go.

Ninja is a top-tier contender for crispiest food. It’s basically neck and neck with Ninja vs NuWave air fryers. The control panel is more responsive than Ninja vs Cosori air fryers.

Ninja Air Fryer Cons

The control panel is very simple, so simple in fact that there are no presets. You can choose between other cooking methods (like roasting or dehydrating), but there’s no options for air frying chicken or anything else. You’ll have to rely on the recipe book for the right time and temp. That being said, the recipe book is comprehensive and this should be easy.

In terms of Ninja vs Cosori, this loses hard when it comes to presets. While Cosori struggles with manual controls (as we’ve discussed above), it’s king with presets. NuWave tends to have a few as well, so this is the same with Ninja vs NuWave.

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Affordable Ninja Air Fryer: Ninja 4Qt Air Fryer

Ninja 4Qt Air Fryer

Guilt-free fried food with 75% less fat than traditional frying? Sign us up! The Ninja 4Qt air fryer can be set between 100F-400F degrees and the large ceramic-coated nonstick basket coos up to 2lbs of fries. Air frying food is simple and you can also use this for dehydrating, roasting, and reheating.

Best Value Ninja Air Fryer: Ninja Foodi 5Qt Pressure Cooker

Ninja Foodi 5Qt Pressure Cooker

While this is more of a pressure cooker, it includes air frying and is highly versatile by replacing seven different appliances. You can pressure cook, steam, bake, slow cook, and of course air fry. The main 5qt nonstick pot can fit lots of food, and the 3qt crisp basket makes food even crispier. Ninja is innovative and the Foodi line definitely proves it. We covered Ninja pressure cookers more in detail in our article Best Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot vs Ninja vs Crock-Pot. We also covered the Ninja Foodi line in detail with our article Best Ninja Foodi Model for Your Kitchen.

Premium Ninja Air Fryer: Ninja Max XL 5.5Qt Air Fryer

Ninja Max XL 5.5Qt

Not only is this larger than the 4qt model, but it comes with more features. You can select between air fry, air roast, air broil, and much more. Our favorite mode is Max Crisp for the crispiest food ever. Cook food up to 450 degrees and 30% than other air fryers. Fit up to 3lbs of fries. You also get a broil rack for a deep crunch and blackened texture. Perfect if you want to cook lots of food or love your food extra crispy.

Final Thoughts

Who wins here? Each brand serves a different purpose. NuWave is best for crispiness, Cosori has the most presets for easy cooking, and Ninja has the best manual controls and nearly ties NuWave for crispiness.

All three are great, so which do you choose?

Air Fryer Buying Guide

  • Capacity: You want an air fryer that makes all the food you crave. Most come between 2-quart to 7-quart sizes. It’s best to get somewhat larger than you think you need just in case you need to cook for parties or events.
  • Presets and Buttons: presets are great because this makes it simple to cook the food. It adjusts the time and temp for perfect food. You’ll also want to make sure that the buttons are responsive and easy to use.
  • Additional Features: some air fryers only have a single cooking option (ie: air frying) while others can also roast, dehydrate, and rotisserie cook food. More options allow your air fryer to be more versatile, so try to get a model that can do more than simply air fry.
  • Budget: consider what you can spend and try to get an air fryer in that price range. There are many models here, so you should have no problem finding an entry-level or premium model depending on your budget.