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Extra-Large Air Fryers

Published January 2019
More on the Best Air Fryers
You can read our full review of standard-sized air fryers with detailed brand comparisons here.

Looking for air fryer recipes? Check out our cookbook Air Fryer Perfection.

How we tested

In our original testing, we found that most air fryers were best suited to those who frequently cook for two. However, we recently learned that the manufacturers of our two highest-rated air fryers also make larger-capacity models for those who cook for a crowd. We tried the Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XL and the GoWISE USA 8-in-1 XL 5.8QT Air Fryer, using them to cook frozen French fries and to prepare four recipes from our cookbook, Air Fryer Perfection: crispy French fries, chipotle chile–glazed salmon, chicken Parmesan, and prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin.

While these two larger air fryers certainly took up more counter space, their usable cooking spaces weren’t much larger than those of their smaller siblings. The basket of the Philips XL air fryer measured about 8 inches wide—only about 1 inch larger than the basket of our winning regular-size Philips air fryer—and the GoWISE XL’s cooking basket was only about ½ inch wider than its smaller counterpart. Both XL baskets were a bit deeper than those of the regular-size models, but the extra headroom wasn’t all that useful since food cooks best in an air fryer when it’s in a single layer. There wasn’t enough room to cook double batches of our recipes for salmon, chicken, and pork, and when we tried making two bags of frozen French fries, they turned out inedible, with the fries toward the center being flabby and raw—even though we frequently tossed them throughout cooking.

We also found some usability issues with the Philips XL. It has a different interface than the smaller Philips—instead of a dial-operated menu like our winner, the XL had buttons that were tough to press, and the temperature could be adjusted only in 30-degree increments, meaning we often couldn’t dial in the exact temperature a recipe called for.

Ultimately, we don’t recommend the extra-large versions of our top-rated air fryers. Instead, stick with the traditional-size air fryers and cook in batches if you need to make more than a few portions.


Methodology

We tested the extra-large size versions of our winning and best buy air fryers. We used each to prepare frozen French fries and four recipes from four recipes from our cookbook, Air Fryer Perfection: crispy French fries, chipotle chile–glazed salmon, chicken Parmesan, and prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin. Testers also measured each air fryer’s height and footprint and evaluated how easy and safe it was to load with food, to set time and temperature, to remove food, and to clean. Products are listed in order of preference.

COOKING: Products were awarded full stars for food that, with tweaks to time and temperature, ultimately emerged crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with no off-flavors.

CAPACITY: We compared the usable capacity of the cooking baskets and awarded top points to products that could fit enough food to feed four people.

EASE OF USE: We evaluated how easy it was to load food into each air fryer, set the time and temperature, and remove food. We awarded top scores to products with intuitive digital displays.

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The Results

Winner
Recommended

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little.

$248.64*
Recommended

Schmidt Brothers Downtown Block

This roomy block completely sheathed our entire winning knife set using just one of its two sides—and quite securely, thanks to long, medium-strength magnet bars. Heavy, with a grippy base, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard made this model extra-safe but also made it a little trickier to insert knives and to clean; the wood block itself showed some minor cosmetic scratching during use.

$141.90*

Schmidt Brothers Midtown Block

This smaller version of the Downtown Block secured all our knives nicely, though the blade of the slicing knife stuck out a bit. With a base lined with grippy material, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard afforded extra protection against contact with blades but made it a little harder to insert knives and to clean; the wood itself got a little scratched during use.

$67.99*
Recommended with Reservations

Swissmar Bamboo Magnetic Knife Block

This small, scratch-resistant model had a stable, rubber-lined base and could hold all our knives, though the blade of the 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a bit. But inch-long gaps between its small magnets made coverage uneven and forced us to find the magnetic hot spots in order to secure the knives. Its acrylic guard made it safer to use but harder to insert knives and to clean.

$49.93*
Not Recommended

Messermeister Walnut Magnet Block

This handsome block was done in by its shape—a tippy, top-heavy quarter-circle that wasn’t tall or broad enough to keep the blades of three knives from poking out. It lacked a nonslip base, and its extra-strong magnets made it unnerving to attach or remove our heavy cleaver. Finally, it got a bit scratched after extensive use.

$129.95*

Epicurean Standing Knife Rack 12"

This magnetic block sheathed all our knives completely, though with a bit of crowding. But it was hard to insert each knife without hitting the block’s decorative slats on way down, and because the block was light and narrow, it wobbled when bumped. Worse, we couldn’t take it apart, so splatters that hit the interior were there to stay. Additionally, the outside stained easily, and when we wiped it down, the unit smelled like wet dog.

$99.95*

Kapoosh Rondelle Knife Block

This model stabilized knives with a mass of stiff, spaghetti-like bristles that shed and nicked easily after extensive use, covering our knives with plastic debris. While all our knives fit securely, several of the blades stuck out, making this unit feel less safe overall. Finally, though the bristles could be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher, their nooks and crannies made this block hard to wash by hand.

$24.99*

Kuhn Rikon Vision Knife Block, Clear

This plastic block required us to aim each knife into the folds of an accordion-pleated insert that was removable for easy cleaning but got nicked easily with repeated use. Because we could only insert the knives vertically, longer knife blades stuck out; a cleaver was too wide to fit. The lightest model in our lineup, this block was dangerously top-heavy when loaded with knives.

$35.88*