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An air fryer is essentially an energy-efficient, fast-cooking convection oven that fits on your counter. They’re relatively affordable and convenient to use, making them especially helpful in apartments and small spaces. They use heated air to produce the Maillard reaction that gives deep-fried food its distinct browned exterior while keeping the insides moist. Air fryers do this with a fraction of the oil, making them a healthier alternative to the deep fryer.
Though air fryers have been on the market for a decade, they still require you to manually set the cook time. I tested the Cosori Smart WiFi Air Fryer, which has Wi-Fi connectivity for a more convenient way to cook.
The Cosori Smart WiFi Air Fryer is Alexa- and Wi-Fi-enabled through the VeSync app available from Google Play and the App Store. This gives you remote control of the appliance, intelligent monitoring, delayed start, and access to more than 100 recipes.
Though it has a relatively large footprint – 13 inches high by 11 inches deep by 11 inches wide with a drawer handle that juts out two inches — the Cosori WiFi-enabled air fryer has a spacious 5.8-quart interior that can fit up to 6 pounds of food. Plus, the unit fits easily under most cupboards.
The air fryer has a temperature range of 170 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and features 11 presets for cooking seafood, desserts, bacon, frozen foods, and more. The timer runs for up to 60 minutes, which should be more than enough for most uses. About halfway through cooking, a light pops on to remind you to shake the food in the basket for even cooking. Or, you can choose to receive a notification on your phone.
Within 10 minutes of opening the box, I was making tater tots using my phone. The set-up process is painless and intuitive. You just remove the packaging, wash the drawer and basket, plug the unit in, download the VeSync app, and connect to the air fryer. The whole process was seamless, and I didn’t hit any hitches, which is impressive since smart devices occasionally have trouble connecting or require lengthy firmware updates.
What makes the air fryer stand out
As you’ve gathered by now, the Cosori Smart WiFi Air Fryer is unique in that it’s supported by the VeSync app that connects to the appliance over Wi-Fi. The app has dozens of recipes for breakfast foods, appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts. Once you select a recipe, the app gives you step by step instructions for making the meal, including controlling the air fryer when appropriate.
Within the app, you can access the history of recipes you’ve made and save your favorites. When your meal is done cooking, the VeSync app sends your smart device notifications to let you know.
Another smart feature is the ability to plan your meal up to four hours in advance. So, provided the ingredients remain safe at room temperature, you can load your creation into the basket and set the air fryer to cook at a later time.
There are a few recipes I use to test how well an air fryer works. First, the toast test tells me how evenly and quickly the air fryer cooks. I simply place a slice of bread in the air fryer and check on it every minute. In this test, the bread was evenly toasted and ready to eat after four minutes, which is very good.
Next, I made two pounds of French fries from scratch using Yukon gold potatoes. After 30 minutes of cooking, the fries were crispy and golden. My kindergartener couldn’t get enough of them.
The third recipe is blackened chicken. I rub Cajun seasoning on two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and air fry them. I keep wireless probe thermometers in the breasts so I immediately know when they’re done. After 25 minutes, the internal temperature was safe. And, the chicken was moist and juicy.
Another sign that an air fryer works efficiently is that the exterior stays cool to the touch while cooking. This was certainly the case with the Cosori air fryer. The only spot that felt hot was by the vent in the back. Other than that, the appliance appeared to be using all of the heat it produced to cook my meal.
Though I generally handwash kitchen items to increase their lifespan, I just don’t have the time and energy sometimes. I like that I can pop the basket and drawer of the Cosori Smart WiFi Air Fryer into the dishwasher. And, when I’m inspired, washing these components by hand is also a breeze.
Cons to consider
Call me a Luddite, but I found the voice control to be overkill. It’s kind of fun to command my smart thermostat to tell my air fryer to start/stop cooking, but in my time testing the Cosori unit, I never felt the need to control it vocally.
While the app had useful recipes and the remote functions worked as advertised, I didn’t find the remote cooking features all that useful. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have these features at your disposal for those rare circumstances when they might help, especially considering the virtually identical “non-smart” Cosori Air Fryer costs just as much. If you happen to see that that non-smart version is less expensive, I’d recommend that one instead.
Manually setting the time and temperature on the Cosori could be a pain. I don’t like that there’s a button for toggling between time and temperature. This was done so that the same plus and minus buttons could be used to adjust both settings, but I found it to be an inconvenience.
The bottom line
Despite these negatives, we think the Cosori Smart WiFi Air Fryer is an excellent appliance for fast, efficient cooking of healthy meals. The middle-of-the-pack price tag is more than worth it for the capacity and high-end features.
Should you buy it?
Unless you are a major techie and need to have the latest smart home gadgets, I wouldn’t recommend buying this exclusively for the Wi-Fi connectivity. I see limited use-cases for smart features. However, this is still an outstanding air fryer at a reasonable price and I would recommend it to anyone interested in trying a healthier alternative to deep-frying.
What are your alternatives?
I’ve tested more than a dozen air fryers over the years and the Cosori air fryer is one of my favorites. Here are a few others I highly recommend:
- Philips Twin TurboStar XXL Airfryer ($379.95): This is one of the most expensive air fryers you will find, but it is the best. From the makers of the first air fryer, the Twin TurboStar XXL has a large capacity basket but still cooks food quickly thanks to its starfish-shaped pan that allows for maximum airflow. It’s dishwasher safe and comes with a full-color recipe book. The biggest negative is accessories aren’t included.
- Secura 4.2-Qt Air Fryer ($78.43): If you’re new to air frying and just want a basic, affordable unit, the Secura Air Fryer is an excellent solution. It runs quietly, has a 4.2-quart basket, and does a spectacular job of toasting bread. This model also makes juicy chicken breasts in a hurry. The main negatives are that the exterior of the unit can get pretty hot and the pan releases from the basket easily, which could lead to severe burns.
- Ninja Foodi Deluxe XL Cooker & Air Fryer ($219.99): Can’t decide whether you want an air fryer or an electric pressure cooker? Why not get both in one appliance? The Ninja Foodi holds up to five quarts of food for air frying, comes with several useful accessories, and has many of the same functions you find in the wildly popular Instant Pot. However, it does have a learning curve and takes up a fair amount of counter space.
Pros: Wi-Fi-connected, Alexa-enabled, dishwasher-safe, large capacity, many safety features, cooks quickly
Cons: Manual operation is sometimes a pain
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