Functions: Bacon, veggies, steak, fries, chicken, preheat, shake, keep warm
It can be difficult to know which air fryer brands to trust when shopping online, especially when faced with a range of manufacturers you've never heard of before. While COSORI may not be as recognizable as Ninja and Instant, it makes air fryers that are well worth consideration.
That's definitely what was gleaned from testing the COSORI Lite, which is an Amazon favourite. This small air fryer is unassuming in the way it looks, but let me assure you that it's one to watch when it comes to power. Boasting 1500 watts, this air fryer can easily keep up with the major players when it comes to the speed and evenness of cooking.
This model is designed to cater to up to four people, and you can pick it up in a range of colors to suit your kitchen worktop. It was tested extensively with a range of foods to see if it is truly as versatile as when it comes to meat and veggies, as it's the only way to test if COSORI really is a reliable brand to invest in.
The cleaning process and ease of storage of the COSORI Lite were also high on the agenda when it came to testing, as well as assessing if it packs enough in for its price tag. So, can it be safely said that the COSORI Lite is worthy of the title of one of the best air fryers? Keep reading to find out.
Molly Cleary is a freelance reviewer and was previously the Staff Writer at Top Ten Reviews. She now works as an Ecommerce Editor at the home interest site Ideal Home, where she reviews air fryers, vacuums and a huge range of other appliances every day.
Her writing has been featured in Live Science, My Imperfect Life, Livingetc and other titles. Molly tested this air fryer at Future's dedicated test facility alongside a host of other models.
COSORI Lite Air Fryer: First impressions
Minimal plastic is involved in unboxing the COSORI Lite, which is good for reducing waste. Once it's unboxed, the first impression you get is that it's fairly small. Though the basket has a capacity of 4 quarts, it would be ambitious to try and cook for over four people using this air fryer. So, the first thing to know is that if you're catering to a crowd on a daily basis, this won't have the space you need. It is, however, very small space friendly.
The overall design of this air fryer is very appealing. The muted gray color tested here would be a great fit for most kitchens, or you pick it up in white or green if that's a better fit.
Multiple pamphlets were included with the COSORI Lite in the box, one containing instructions and another with recipes. The latter is a great touch for anyone just getting started with air frying.
To get started, all you need to do is ensure all the packaging is removed from outside and inside the COSORI Lite and plug the unit in. Handy buttons run along the top of this air fryer's interface - these are your presets. You can use these to get predetermined temperatures and times for various foods, from veggies to chicken.
Inside the basket is a metal grill on which food sits once you're cooking. On first use, you might be alarmed by a plastic smell from the air fryer. Rest assured, this is usual when operating an air fryer for the first time.
If you're inclined, you can also set up the COSORI Lite on the accompanying COSORI app and remotely operate this air fryer using Wi-Fi, which is a huge plus for those who love to be smart-home connected.
COSORI Lite Air Fryer: Price & availability
The COSORI Lite has a list price of 111.98, but you can often find it for closer to $100, or even less, especially on Amazon during sales periods.
COSORI Lite Air Fryer: Design
The clean lines and minimalistic look of the COSORI Lite Air Fryer excellently accompany its small size. It has less occupying the front of its exterior than other models, which is perfect if you prefer a cleaner look in your kitchen or pantry.
It has only one basket, which is a hindrance if you want to cook two separate elements at the same time. The 4-quart capacity may also set some users back. The control panel that sits on the top of the machine is well-organized and easy to use, but some users may find the material used to be fingerprint-prone.
COSORI Lite Air Fryer: Performance
Testing how an air fryer can crisp up foods is essential when reviewing, as it's a great indicator of how it will perform with a range of foods like fries and cuts of meat. I air-fried three pieces of bacon for 5 minutes for the first test after using the fantastic pre-heat setting on the COSORI Lite.
The pre-heat setting is so good, in fact, that the bacon came out crispier than I would've liked, even though 5 minutes is a short amount of time for this test. This shows just how powerful the COSORI Lite is as it uses all 1500 watts available.
While I was disappointed that the bacon curled up in parts during testing, this can be remedied by flipping the rashers during cooking. Learning how to get to grips with just how powerful the COSORI Lite is can be a learning curve, but once you've worked it out, you'll save so much time on cooking.
Next, I moved on to fries, an air fryer staple. These thicker-cut fries take up a fair amount of space in the basket, and if you're cooking for four people, you might find that you can't pack as much in there as you'd like.
To give this air fryer a fair test, I left a good space between the fries and set them off to cook. As this was a longer run time than the bacon, I used the shake function during this test, which is excellent. The air fryer will beep to let you know it's time to grab the basket by the handle and move the contents around. This is great for getting that all-over cook. Often, cheaper models don't have a shake or preheat function, so it was great to discover both on offer with the COSORI Lite.
The result was fluffy but well-done fries cooked in a fraction of the time it would've taken in the oven. Though you may not be able to pack in all the fries you'd like, the COSORI Lite is mightily good at cooking them.
Another test I tried with the COSORI Lite was frozen chicken tenders, an easy snack. As with the fries, this air fryer proved the perfect appliance for the job, with the shake reminder halfway through to prevent burning. The tenders were cooked far before the time I had predicted, showing the power of this air fryer once again.
Finally, I tried out how the COSORI Lite faired with some vegetables, namely a whole bunch of broccoli. This was another test that added to the overall view I had, which is that this air fryer might look small, but it packs a whole lot of power.
In just a couple of minutes, the stalks were browning, which you'd usually want to avoid, which means that this is a great appliance to use to add greens to a meal quickly.
Though the air fryer is very powerful, I was shocked at how quiet it was to run, averaging around the 60-decibel mark. During some of the tests, like the fries, when I applied oil, there was a tendency for excess liquid to pool at the bottom of the tray. This is normal with all air fryers, but a more noticeable amount was gathered there than usual.
Cleaning the COSORI Lite is as straightforward as it can be. The basket and grill plate are dishwasher safe, though hand washing will also suffice. Keeping those fingerprint marks off the exterior might be a little tricky day to day, but a damp cloth always helps.
COSORI Lite: How Does it Compare?
The COSORI Lite is a fantastic air fryer, but it lacks some of the functionality of other models we've reviewed. Our top-rated air fryer, the NuWave Brio 37001 6-Quart Air Fryer, can grill, bake, dehydrate, roast, broil, and reheat, while this COSORI model's functions are limited to certain foods (i.e. veggies or meat).
You may want to look elsewhere if you're looking to pack in different modes for your money. Similarly, the Cuisinart Compact Air Fryer Toaster Oven is a more capable model if you'd prefer an air fryer/toaster oven combination.
It also features a keep-warm setting, which the COSORI Lite lacks. On the whole, however, if it's an affordable air fryer you need, then the COSORI is a reliable choice, even if it lacks some of those extra modes.
Should you buy the COSORI Lite Air Fryer?
|Price||Usually under $100, affordable||5|
|Design||Colour range is great, useful interface but fingerprint prone||4|
|Performance||Supremely powerful, will take some adjusting to||4|
Buy it if...
You need to save countertop space
This small air fryer is perfect if you're running out of space for appliances and if you're cooking for up to 4 people.
You want to save time on cooking meals
This air fryer is so powerful that you'll save lots of time when cooking, which is perfect for those with busy lives.
You're looking for an air fryer at an affordable price
If you've got around $100 to spend, you won't be disappointed with the COSORI Lite. You can also find it on sale for less.
Don’t Buy It if…
You’re cooking for more than 4 people regularly
Though this air fryer can stretch to cooking for a family, if you know you need a larger capacity, this 4-quart model won't cut it.
You hate fingerprint marks
This air fryer is a magnet for marks, so if you want to avoid cleaning the exterior regularly, avoid it.
You want to pack in the functions for your money
The COSORI Lite can only air fry, while other models on the market can have six or more functions (like reheat or bake). If you want to pack in functionality, then look elsewhere.
How we tested the COSORI Lite Air Fryer
The main testing criteria with this air fryer were how well it cooked a range of foods, its value for money, and its overall design.
I did several rounds of testing using different foods. I recorded how long each food type took and took photographs to document how cooked everything was.
Finally, I cleaned and stored the air fryer at our test facility to have a realistic depiction of day-to-day use.