Meet the next generation of air fryers - they're a gamechanger

Our editors are calling this the next big thing in kitchen appliances

Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer
(Image credit: Ninja)

In the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, homeowners across the country are doing everything in their power to cut their energy bills. 

And while you could spend an hour (and a whole lot of energy) cooking your chicken in the oven, why would you do that when you could cook the same chicken in an air fryer in less than half the time?

Yes, it’s no wonder the general public is on a mission to find the best air fryers on the market. Making meal times easier and bills cheaper, these countertop appliances can save you a whole load of time and energy in the kitchen, but there's been one persistent issue for years when it comes to deciding which air fryer to buy.

While the best dual-zone air fryers have consistently come out on top during our testing sessions, they mean that you lose the space needed to cook substantially bigger foods, like a leg of lamb, a large chicken, or a traybake.

That's where this new generation of air fryers comes in. These air fryers have the ability to be used as both a dual-zone and a single-zone air fryer whenever you like, thanks to removable dividers. And we've got a feeling they're going to be at the top of everyone's wishlist this Christmas.

What's special about this new generation of air fryers?

In the world of air fryers, there have historically been two different types: single-basket air fryers and dual-zone air fryers. 

The main difference? While a single-basket air fryer offers one space to cook everything at the same temperature, a dual-zone air fryer offers two baskets.

Then, it’s down to you whether you want to cook the food in these two drawers at the same time and at the same temperatures (a great option if you have meat eaters and veggies in the same household), or whether you want to cook two it at different temperatures for different lengths of time. 

That's great for hands-off cooking, meaning that you can return to both types of foods finished at the same time. 

New Ninja air fryer - the Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer Air Fryer 10.4L AF500UK

(Image credit: Ninja)

And while both types of air fryer are great, there are still occasions, if you have a small single air fryer or even a bigger dual zone air fryer, that you'll need to turn your oven on for. Think the turkey on Christmas day, or enough space for all of your roast potatoes.

That's where this new generation of flexible air fryer steps in to save the day (and your energy bills). Whenever you like, you can choose whether you want to use it as a single OR a dual-zone air fryer. True versatility!

Instant VersaZone Air Fryer

(Image credit: Future)

The Instant Vortex Plus VersaZone Air Fryer and the Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer Air Fryer are two of these particular type of air fryers, with our hard-to-please expert reviewer Helen McCue giving them both top marks at 5 stars out of 5.

Testing the Ninja FlexDrawer air fryer at home

(Image credit: Future/Helen McCue)

Other brands are catching on to this fresh wave of air fryers too. We recently also tried out the Russell Hobbs Satisfry Snappi Air Fryer, which also has a basket that can split into two. While it's a great budget option compared to the Ninja FlexDrawer, with an RRP of just £199.99, there are a few improvements that our reviewer thought could be made to the design. Either way, it shows that this, like this summer's garden air fryer release, is the latest air fryer trend that all of the major brands are jumping on.

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door. 

With contributions from