The air fryer hasn’t seen any signs of popularity stagnation in the past few years. In fact, as we saw at IHHS this year, manufacturers are going all in on the device. More and more models and combos are hitting store shelves, which means it’s easier than ever to find one (or several) in your budget.
One popular air fryer that’s both large and affordable comes from one of our favorite brands, Cosori. We took the 5.8-quart air fryer for a spin and (air)fried up some tasty treats. Read on for our full review!
Design & Interface
The first thing you should know about a 5.8-quart air fryer is that it is a BEAST. (The product listing says that it’s 11.8 x 12.6 x 11.7″, which is about what I get when I measure.) This is great for the interior basket, which is about 9 x 9″, but the fryer takes up a lot of room on the countertop.
Cosori’s air fryer has 11 presets as well as a preheat button. It also allows you to manually air fry (between 170-400°F and 1–60 minutes). While using presets, the fryer reminds you to “shake” (or flip the food) at the halfway mark.
I found the interface is very simple to use. The buttons are responsive and there aren’t a whole lot of steps involved in getting your food going.
My only issue with the overall design is the size, but that’s not something that can be helped. It’s simply a large device and the size is necessary for its functionality. The Cosori’s large basket size is a huge selling point for those in need of a spacious interior — it’s one of the largest options on the market.
Keep in mind, though, that in addition to the overall large size, it also needs space while in use. The back of the fryer blows out hot air that can damage cabinets or other items. So, you’ll want to ensure you have plenty of room for it while it’s in use.
The basket slides in and out pretty easily, and I had no issues separating the inner from the outer basket.
Here’s a quick look at the features of the Cosori air fryer. Some of the notable ones include:
- 5.8-quart basket
- Nonstick basket (dishwasher safe)
- Digital interface with 11 presets
- Preheating function
- 120V and 1700W
- Shake reminder
- Auto shutoff + Keep Warm function
- Included recipe book with 100 recipes
- 2-year warranty
Both the preheat function and the shake reminder are fairly unique to air fryers. They’re not absolutely necessary for use, but they are nice additions.
I didn’t have high expectations for the recipe book but it’s actually really great. While there are a ton of recipes I won’t ever use, there are enough that I will (or have already!) that I’d say it’s a valuable addition. There are countless air fryer recipes available online, but it’s nice to have so many options that are specifically designed for the Cosori.
Before I get into the details of my cooking adventures with the Cosori, I’ll tell you that I am blown away by how great this is. You can make so many things! It’s fast! Everything turns out delicious!
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s talk about how it cooks.
I started out with run of the mill frozen stuff — fries, tots, etc. While the finished product is obviously not the same as deep fried, it’s still much better than oven baked. I still haven’t used any oil for these things, but supposedly you can achieve crispier results with a bit of oil. I’ll probably get an oil mister to use with it. Fries consistently turn out fab, but the tots weren’t quite crispy enough for the tot-lovers in my house, so that’s definitely one food I’ll use some oil with.
Note: I have misplaced my camera’s memory card so I didn’t get any product or food shots during this initial test period! I’ll update this article with my own photos at a later date.
One of my favorite things I’ve done so far is reheat pizza. My family eats a lot of pizza and we constantly have leftovers. I read to heat the pizza for 5 minutes at 320 degrees, and WOW. I will NEVER microwave leftover pizza again.
The included recipe book — and legions of recipes online — has so many options for full meals and even desserts. This isn’t just for side dishes or appetizers. I haven’t tried things like steaks or the like, but I can see how most foods would turn out great. I mean, essentially this is a small convection oven, so there’s no reason that you couldn’t cook pretty much anything.
For anything with a wet batter or marinade, I do recommend letting the food sit uncovered in the fridge before putting it into the air fryer. That way it dries up a bit and doesn’t drip all over the basket.
A few other cooking-related notes:
Air fryers use a fan to circulate hot air, and that air comes out of the back (as I mentioned above). This means that there is some noise when using it.
It isn’t terribly loud. To me, it seemed to be about the same noise level as the oven overhead fan on low.
It would be wrong to say this is oil-free cooking, as some things need it for best results. However, I’ve had good luck with many foods without oil, so oil-free is possible a good portion of the time.
Most experienced air fryer users recommend using an oil mister, though you definitely can use regular cooking spray.
You can do plenty without additional tools, but you might be interested in making some recipes that require racks or pans. Cosori makes an accessory set with 6 pieces that fit in the 5.8-quart fryer.
Do note that some reviewers find the pieces to be a little small for the 5.8, as it is designed for 5.3-quarts and higher.
Simply put: This is a breeze to clean. The baskets are nonstick and everything has washed up without soaking or scrubbing.
The baskets are dishwasher safe, but I’ve been hand washing after each use to avoid any potential damage. And because it’s so easy. I ran the inner basket through the dishwasher once just to see how it held up. No problems to report. No reviewers have noted any issues with cleaning, either.
Pros & Cons of the Cosori Air Fryer
It’s probably clear by now that I’ve had a great experience with my Cosori air fryer. There are still benefits and drawbacks to go over, though, so let’s chat about those now.
Cooks fantastically: I’ve had nothing but success air frying with the Cosori so far. Everything has been tasty and it has been simple to figure out the best times for things that are not in the recipe book.
Easy cleanup: No muss, no fuss. No soaking, no sticking.
Fast: Preheats quickly and cooks much faster than the oven.
Reasons you might buy this:
- Price. It is regularly on sale for under $100
- Convenience. Super simple to use and great for times you don’t want to use the oven
- Brand. We’ve been really happy with Cosori’s customer service in the past
- Warranty. Included 2-year warranty on this air fryer
Size. Yeah, it’s huge. Where am I going to store this? I have no idea. I don’t have the counter space or a cupboard large enough, so right now it’s parked awkwardly on the counter.
So far that’s the only negative factor for me, but it is a big one (no pun intended). Here are some possible reasons you might not want to buy this.
- Price. Though less expensive than a lot of fryers, it’s still fairly spendy
- Ability. Both Wired and Wirecutter say the air fryer is unnecessary and that the same results can come from an oven, countertop convection oven, or toaster oven. Air fryer devotees disagree, but it’s worth considering
Negative reviews mention a few different potential issues (we’ll discuss those below) but most seem to be single unit issues rather than overall dissatisfaction with the functionality or design.
What Other Customers Are Saying
Of course, this review only covers one person’s experience, so we’ve done some research on other reviews to summarize here as well. We read through Amazon reviews as well as hands-on reviews and videos posted elsewhere.
Reviews are overwhelmingly positive across the board. Cosori’s air fryer hasn’t been out a long time (a little over 6 months or so), so it’s difficult to say how this will stand up over time for users.
Negative reviews cite issues either right out of the box or after one or two uses, but (unfortunately) there are always lemons, and it sounds like those customers received bad fryers.
A few other negative or neutral reviews mention problems with the baskets — pulling them out of the fryer or separating them — or with a plastic smell that won’t go away. In either of those cases I would assume Cosori would replace the air fryer within the warranty period.
Though I’m new to air frying, I’m definitely enjoying it with the Cosori. I highly recommend this product if it’s within your budget and you have room for it!