What is a Glass Air Fryer? Which is Best?

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Here at Air Fryer Bro, I like to give the lowdown on anything air fryer related. You may have been browsing for your latest air fryer only to find these products called ‘glass air fryers’ and wondered whether they are a good alternative. What exactly is a glass air fryer? And which one is best if I do decide to buy one? These are all things we will talk about today. Grab a coffee and read on 🙂

Before we start, any products recommended in this article are from Amazon. Simply click the product image to view it for yourself over there.

What is a Glass Air Fryer?

A glass air fryer is something created by a marketing team looking to get the most out of their products. I owned a ‘glass air fryer’ many moons ago when they were called halogen ovens. They use a halogen based heating element, this is why this ‘glass air fryer’ will light up your food as it cooks. Other than the heating element, they do use a similar system to an air fryer, using a fan to push the hot air from the halogen heating element around the cooking compartment. Typically, these ovens use a big glass bowl with the heating element and other electronics in the base.

When the air fryer became popular, these halogen ovens suddenly started getting listed as ‘glass air fryers’ to get a piece of the action (in my humble opinion anyway!).

What is the Difference between a Glass Air Fryer and a Regular Air Fryer?

In a nutshell, although a glass air fryer looks similar to a regular air fryer, they have a less intense cooking style than a regular air fryer. I would relate it more to a fan assisted oven rather than the deep fryers that a regular air fryer is trying to mimic.

They are still a good, more compact and portable alternative to a regular oven, but be aware that this is not the same as a full-blown air fryer (even though their makers want you to think so). And I am speaking from experience, I have owned both!

Glass air fryers are much simpler than air fryers. No fancy digital displays or preset cook times. They almost always just have rotary knobs for the time and temperature on the lid that holds the halogen lamp and fan.

Glass air fryers are cheaper than a regular air fryer in general, and the glass bowl base makes them incredibly easy to clean. You can also get a much larger cooking area for a lower price than a regular air fryer.

I do have a full and detailed article talking about the whole halogen oven vs air fryer debate. Read that if you want all the details.

Is a Glass Air Fryer Safe?

Like the regular air fryer, the glass air fryer has had some people accusing it of producing cancer causing carcinogens in the food it cooks. It comes down to this. The glass air fryer uses a dry and high heat method of cooking (rather than a water/liquid or steam based method), which has the potential to create acrylamide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are known carcinogens. However, this is no different from when you cook food on a barbeque or high heat grill. In fact, a glass air fryer is much better than this. If you want to limit your exposure to such carcinogens, simply make sure not to over brown or char the food you cook in the glass air fryer. If you want to be really safe, go for lower heats for a longer time as well.

What is the Best Glass Air Fryer?

If you have decided to buy a glass air fryer, here are my tips for buying a good one. Most of these glass airfryers are made by small and unknown brands. Almost all glass air fryers are exactly the same and you won’t find much in terms of unique features. So it becomes all about the quality when buying one.

The quality can be variable to say the least, so I would recommend only buying a glass air fryer that has a lot of positive user reviews. By reading a lot of genuine user reviews, you can see if there are any quality issues before you lay down your hard earned cash!

These are my picks for best glass air fryers…..

NutriChef PKAIRFR48.5 Air Fryer

This is a classic example of a glass air fryer. It has a metal extension ring to help cook larger items, such as larger size chickens in your glass air fryer.

More importantly, Nutrichef has done a good job at making a quality kitchen appliance here, as in my research, I struggled to find many negative reviews. I was also happy to see that quality issues don’t seem to be a major issue with this Nutrichef glass air fryer, which is a major plus.

Nothing more to say, it does what it says on the tin 🙂 A quality glass air fryer. In terms of accessories, this appliance comes with the basics. A food rack, a cooking tray and tongs to lift these items in and out of the glass air fryer.

KLARSTEIN VitAir Turbo Hot Air Fryer

At first glance, you may think that this unit is a regular air fryer, as it doesn’t go for the typical big glass bowl approach that most glass air fryers do. It has a pretty good design aesthetic for a glass air fryer too! However, when you read the details of the description you find out it is ‘Using the halogen infrared heating element’ so it 100% is a glass air fryer or halogen oven in old school language 🙂

You know how I said above that all glass air fryers are the same. Well this is the one of the few glass air fryers to really push the boat out and try something new, which is good to see. Firstly, it comes with a digital display with some cooking presets, which is rare in the world of glass air fryers. I just wish they had thought about the ergonomics a bit more, as they have crammed way too many presets on their small panel 🙂

This Klarstein glass air fryer also comes with rotisserie and a rotisserie cage, which is another first amongst these types of cooking appliances. So you really have a fully versatile glass air fryer here.

Last but not least, the quality of this unit is excellent, with very few quality complaints from the hundreds of reviews I have seen online. And the pricing is competitive when you factor in the extra features this Klarstein unit has over the glass air fryer competition!

Sanhoya Convection Oven/ Glass Air Fryer

This Sanhoya glass air fryer is a bit of a mixture between the first two glass air fryers recommend above. It has the typical glass bowl form factor you might expect in a glass air fryer, but still manages to throw a simple digital display into the mix. And although it looks like its a digital display from the early 2000s, at least they have gone for something simple and less cluttered than the Klarstein above.

The downside for me is that they have an ugly design. They have this massive plastic arm that is used to raise and lower the lid of the appliance, but to me, it makes the whole thing a bit of an eyesore! And they have a water reservoir feature that will spray water on your food to make it ‘fresh and juicy’, which seems more of a gimmick to me.

Other than this, Sanhoya has made a high quality and well-regarded glass air fryer. Although it should be noted that the price of this unit is slightly higher than the other two recommended above. If that water spraying ‘steaming’ feature sounds good to you, this could be the glass air fryer to go for!

That’s about all the glass air fryers I can recommend, so if you are looking for the ‘best glass air fryer’ hopefully you found one that you like. There isn’t a massive choice out there for glass air fryers and unfortunately there are a lot of bad quality ones on the market. They certainly don’t have the big brands churning out quality glass air fryers like regular air fryers do {here’s looking at you Ninja and Philips!). It’s doubly important you do your research before buying any glass air fryer.

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