I’ve made a mistake. A mistake I intend to rectify in this Cosori Air Fryer 5 QT review.
My mistake is focusing all my attention on high-end Ninja Multi-Cooker and Instant Pot appliances that are not always accessible and within everyone’s budget. The reality is that there are many other air fryers on the market that offer lots of value to the user for much lower price points.
So I’ve been and bought a couple of more affordable compact air fryers that will appeal to people looking for an appliance that doesn’t cost a small fortune and leaves some kitchen space for the cat.
This sleek-looking Cosori Pro Air Fryer will be the focus of my first foray into the world of affordable appliances to help people who want to complement or replace their conventional oven.
I’m excited to see what this air fryer can literally bring to the table in terms of performance, capacity, accessories, cleaning, value for money, and the foods it can cook.
Let’s get started.
- What’s in the Box
- The Cosori Air Fryer 5 QT: A Closer Look
- What I Liked
- What I Didn’t Like
- Cosori Pro Air Fryer Features and Functions
- How Easy is This Cosori Air Fryer to Use?
- What Can I Cook in the Cosori Pro?
- How Easy Is It To Clean This Cosori Air Fryer?
- Do I Have Any Other Affordable Air Fryers to Choose From?
- So, Is It Possible To Own a Quality Air Fryer on a Budget?
|Dimensions||38.4 x 27.4 x 30.7 cm|
|Display||Digital Tempered Glass|
What’s in the Box
- Cosori Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Basket
- Air Fryer Crisper Plate
- Recipe Book Featuring 30 Easy Meals
- User Manual
The Cosori Air Fryer 5 QT: A Closer Look
As an eco-friendly household, we're always looking for products that help with sustainability, and what struck me right out of the box was, well, the box.
My new Cosori air fryer came in a beautifully designed kraft cardboard box, and this type of cardboard is stronger, sustainably sourced, and fully recyclable, which is a massive win in my house.
First Impressions & Design Aesthetics
As I took the air fryer out of the box, I could already tell it had a sturdy structure and a quality feel. I was immediately impressed with the sleek exterior, which betrayed its affordable price point and made it look like an expensive high-end appliance.
So far, so good.
If you've ever bought a brand new mobile phone, you'll know how satisfying it is to peel the protective layer off the screen, and when you buy this Cosori air fryer, you get to experience that on a massive scale as you unleash the full beauty of the angled tempered glass touchscreen digital display.
I'm feelin' it now!
It wasn't until I was setting the air fryer up to take a few photos and start testing out my new toy that I noticed the first problem.
Fingerprints. Fingerprints everywhere.
I hadn't manhandled the unit; I'd barely touched it, but most police officers would have a much easier job if every crime scene had this many fingerprints to investigate.
It's not the end of the world to have cleanable marks on your small kitchen appliances, but if you're like me and love your kitchen to look like it came straight from the pages of "Shiny Kitchen Magazine", then the ease of which this Cosori air fryer picks up fingerprints will be frustrating, to say the least.
The obvious flaws of this air fryer started coming thick and fast as I set it up to test it for the first time. All minor issues, but I was worried about how quickly these tiny irritations were piling up.
Power outlets are few and far between in my house, and because the power cord on the air fryer is so short, I had to do a little rejigging of my kitchen to find it a home, another minor annoyance.
I tried to remove the cooking basket for its housing to check out the inside. I almost pulled the whole thing off the counter because the drawer was so stiff, and yes, I remembered to press the safety release button!
Powering On & User Experience
It wasn't the best start, but hope was rekindled when I fired this bad boy up for the first time.
Despite the number of fingerprints my Cosori air fryer had already picked up, the air fryer's aesthetics improved infinitely when the crisp, clean, easy-to-read touchscreen control panel whirred into life.
My mood improved significantly as the responsive control panel beeped and booped its way into my heart. I don't think I've ever cooked with an air fryer so easy and satisfying to use (more on that later).
This Cosori air fryer continued to impress me by almost silently cooking my food evenly and to perfection (after a bit of a learning curve), and it found a place in my heart when it was time to clean up.
After a rocky start, the Cosori Air Fryer and I became firm friends, and I'll explain how in the rest of the article.
What I Liked
- Angle touch screen display that is satisfying to use
- Quick, even, guilt-free air frying
- Extremely easy to use
- Super easy to clean
- Looks beautiful
- Very affordable
- Decent airflow for the price
- Dishwasher safe parts
- Runs super quietly
What I Didn’t Like
- Food settings are not perfect if you like your food a certain way
- Fingerprint magnet
- Stiff release button
- Short power cord
Cosori Pro Air Fryer Features and Functions
Many air fryers I’ve used base their cooking functions on the cooking style a particular food requires. However, the Cosori Pro Air Fryer instead uses functions based on the foods themselves.
- French Fries
- Frozen Food
The Cosori Pro Air Fryer also comes equipped with a shake reminder, preheat, and keep warm functions.
One of the benefits of cooking an air fryer is that it’s usually a more speedy process as you don’t need to preheat before cooking, so including the preheat function was a surprise, but I’ll get to that shortly.
How Easy is This Cosori Air Fryer to Use?
I've never encountered an appliance as user-friendly as this Cosori air fryer. One reason might be that most of my other kitchen air fryers are premium multi-cookers.
They are 2-basket air fryers with their own nuances and complex interfaces. These features make them somewhat harder to use compared to a standard fryer. But, above all, it's clear Cosori excelled in designing the control system for the Cosori Pro.
The angled digital touchscreen, which makes it easy to read while cooking, is one of my favorite things about this air fryer.
Not only are the controls responsive, intuitively laid out, vibrant, and easy to read, but it's also incredibly beautiful and looks like something I only ever dreamed I'd see when watching Star Trek as a kid.
When using the features and functions, you tap the food type you'd like to cook, which will immediately set the time and temperature. If you're happy with what you see, press start. It's that easy.
If you like your food cooked differently, you can easily add or subtract extra time or increase or decrease the internal temperature by pressing the appropriate symbols.
For extra functionality, you'll find keep warm (self-explanatory), preheat, and shake buttons at the bottom of the panel.
While I'll cover this more extensively in the next section, I feel the inclusion of a preheat button is not only unnecessary. It's also a confusion that could have been avoided if the designers had just remained faithful to the air frying philosophy.
Finally, the Cosori 5-quart air fryer strikes a balance between my other two air fryers, which have an auto-shake reminder and no shake reminder, respectively, by having an optional shake button that you can press at any point during the cooking process and it'll sound the alarm halfway through the cooking time.
You'll get three audible beeps as a reminder, and the text "Shake" will remain on the screen until you remove the basket.
What Can I Cook in the Cosori Pro?
All things considered, it doesn't matter about the aesthetics of your air fryer. It doesn't matter what features and functions it has. All that matters is what you can cook with your appliance and how well it cooks them.
At the time of writing, I still had yet to use all the features and functions, but here I'll cover what you can do with this air fryer and, where applicable, how well they performed for me.
The very first feature to catch my eye, and the first one I used, was the 'Bacon' cooking function because, well, I'm a bacon addict and eat it four or five times per week. Unhealthy, I know, but it means I've made enough bacon in my time to know exactly how I like it.
When you set the Bacon feature, you'll get a 200°C temperature setting for 8 minutes. For me, that setting is nowhere near enough to get my bacon to the perfect doneness.
It took two more attempts (10 minutes and 12 minutes) to get anywhere close to being cooked, and I could still have gone for another minute or two.
But not everyone likes crispy bacon, and you can't undo burnt food, so it's better to keep it low and work up from there.
Only two foods come close to my love of bacon—pizza and steak. While this steak function may be helpful for people wanting to cook healthier steak, I'm a bit of a purist and have zero interest in cooking steak in an air fryer.
Air fryers became incredibly popular thanks to their time-saving efficiency, so their ability to cook food from frozen is one of the most important things about these small kitchen appliances.
So when my youngest asked for a fish finger sandwich while I was testing the Cosori 5-quart air fryer, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to sample one of the essential features of this cooker.
Much like the bacon setting, I needed to take a couple of cracks of the whip to get the fish sticks to the right crispiness. With the timings perfected, I'd made the perfect fish finger sandwich my overly fussy child wolfed down with a two thumbs up in under 10 minutes.
The chicken setting on this air fryer is fit for all kinds of chicken dishes, but I went with Southern fried chicken wings because more chicken wings are cooked in air fryers than anything else. Probably.
I found this setting to be the most proficient of everything I tried. The wings came out perfectly cooked the first time, which is always good when cooking chicken.
I have to be honest. I don't really like seafood, I don't know how to cook seafood, and I'll probably never use this feature.
But if you're into fish, squid, or prawns, be sure to get in touch and let me know how it works!
Vegetables are one of the only food groups that take more time to cook in a Cosori air fryer than in conventional cooking appliances.
However, it's worth the wait if you like crunchy garlic and salted broccoli, honey-roasted carrots, or baked herby parsnips.
Home-Cooked Chips or French Fries
One of my favorite things I cooked in the Cosori air fryer was chunky homemade chips, more commonly known as french fries to my American readers.
Big fat chips are a staple in my house, and this air fryer easily whipped up vast batches of perfectly cooked, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside chips. The golden exterior was some of the best I've ever seen in my time cooking with air fryers.
How Easy Is It To Clean This Cosori Air Fryer?
Some people find washing up cathartic; I do not. I hate it with a fiery passion, so being easy to clean is high on the list of things I look for when buying an air fryer.
So, to put the Cosori Pro properly through its paces, when I tested the 'Bacon' cooking setting, I didn't keep increasing the cooking time until I had my preferred cookedness.
Oh no, I cooked three rounds of bacon without washing the basket. That thing was caked in bacon grease.
Attacking this fatty, baked-on mess with my usual arsenal of cleaning tools—hot water, ethical dish washing liquid, dish brush, and dishcloth—I was happy to see, but not overly surprised, the usually stubborn stains easily fall away when washing up.
I removed the crisper plate from the air fryer basket and gave them a very brief soak. I removed the chunks of bacon fat with my dish brush before going to town on them both with the dishcloth.
It was effortless. However, this air fryer is brand new, and the non-stick coating was at the top of its game. The real test of how easy it is to clean will come in a few months when the coating loses some of its freshness. I'll be sure to let you know!
Both the basket and the crisper plate are dishwasher-safe, so if you're lucky enough to have one, the clean-up process will be even more straightforward.
Do I Have Any Other Affordable Air Fryers to Choose From?
Whether you're not a fan of how easily this Cosori air fryer picks up fingerprints, how you'll need to tinker with the cooking times to achieve your preferred cookedness, or the cooking capacity isn't big enough for you, I've got you covered.
Here are some great alternatives to the Cosori 5-quart air fryer:
Ninja AF100UK Air Fryer
Though the Cosori 5-quart air fryer is exceptional quality for a low-to-mid-priced air fryer, you might still be looking for something with a little more quality.
It might not surprise you to know—if you've read any of my other air fryer reviews—that Ninja represents the highest quality in air frying technology. Even though the Ninja AF100UK has a relatively high price point for a 4-quart air fryer, you can count on it to deliver perfectly cooked food every time.
This Ninja air fryer doesn't have all the bells and whistles of other premium appliances, but it sticks to the basics and performs them to perfection, better than most other products in this size and price range.
Gourmia 7-Quart Air Fryer
If the v meets your budget but is not quite big enough to meet your family's cooking needs, the Gourmia 7-Quart Air Fryer could be precisely what you're looking for.
You can easily cook significant meal components like whole chicken, a delicious bacon joint, or a whole mess of fries in its mid-sized basket.
The quality of the unit isn't quite as good as the Cosori air fryer, and the control panel is light years behind its rival, but it's decent for a large air fryer and does an excellent job of cooking crispy, evenly cooked food.
So, Is It Possible To Own a Quality Air Fryer on a Budget?
While this Cosori air fryer does not meet my and my family’s needs because of its small-ish 4.7-liter cooking capacity, I recommend it to someone looking for a small air fryer or a cooker to complement other devices.
You'll have fun using this air fryer, and once you get your head around using a preheat button and/or adding extra time to your cooking times, if you prefer your food a little more well done, you'll find the price point extremely reasonable.
Yes, there are more affordable air fryers on the market—way more affordable in some cases. Still, none of them, or at least none I've used, provide the premium feeling and quality the Cosori 5 QT air fryer does if you can make peace with the minor drawbacks.
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