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If you love making fries at home, then you need to try the Ultima Cosa 5L air fryer. This double basket air fryer will finish your fries in a jiffy—and it’ll leave them tasting deep fried, not air fried. Read on to find out what makes this air fryer, which can also be used to make so much more, a cut above the rest.

What’s in the box of the Ultima Cosa 5L air fryer?

In the box of this air fryer, you’ll… Well, you’ll just find this air fryer: No other accessories. It comes with an instruction manual, quick start guide, and recipe book, but unlike most air fryers, there are no extra pans or parts.

That’s because the Ultima Cosa 5L Air Fryer doesn’t need a crisping tray. Instead, it comes with a built-in, full-on crisping basket inside of its frying basket. Both the interior and exterior baskets are removable and dishwasher-safe and have a non-stick finish.

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What are the features of the Ultima Cosa 5L air fryer? 

This 5L air fryer features a touchscreen display with eight preset cooking programs, each of which can be tweaked for temperature and time. It beeps when its cooking timer ends, and has a suggested cook time guide on the top of the appliance.

The preset functions included with this air fryer are: warm, fries, steak, chicken, fish, vegetables, bacon, shrimp, and rack of lamb. It displays in Fahrenheit and uses the same set of buttons to control temperature and time (touch the temperature/time symbols to toggle function). Unlike other air fryers, this one doesn’t have a “shake/turn” timer partway through cooking—likely because you don’t need it with the lifted basket.

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Which Ultima Cosa 5L air fryer is this?

There are a lot of Ultima Cosa air fryers, so make sure you get the right one when you’re shopping! This one is the Digital Air Fryer 5L/5.3QT in Black Stainless Steel, which is kind of like their basic/original model.

The brand also makes a very similar 5L Presto Luxe Plus air fryer with the same size and double-basket feature. It comes in an all-black or all-red finish and features a slightly taller but narrower screen, and the name and finish help to distinguish which air fryer is which. However, there’s also the Ultima Cosa Airfryer 5L, which is easy to confuse with the one in this review.

How the Airfryer and Digital Air Fryer differ

Both the “Airfryer 5L” and the “Digital Air Fryer 5L” are black with a stainless steel front. Both feature a double-basket design with a handle, use 1700 Watts of power, and have a digital display. Their capacities are identical, and most of their preset programmes are, too.

However, these two air fryers are slightly different. The Digital Air Fryer featured in this review has a more squared-off front top and a different touchscreen display, while the other “Airfryer” model has a rounded front, a taller digital display, and more stainless steel coverage on the front. Both models are great, but they have slightly different digital displays that might help you choose which one is better for you. This one, the Digital Air Fryer, has an additional preset for a rack of lamb and a pre-heat function. The other, the Airfryer 5L, has one less preset (no lamb setting) and has separate temperature and time controls instead of a shared function.

My advice? Once you know which air fryer is which, just go with whichever you like the display of better or whichever Best Buy currently has the best price on. Sales aren’t always identical on each product, but both should perform very well!

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Why you need the Ultima Cosa double-basket feature

The Ultima Cosa double-basket feature is nothing short of amazing. It’s innovative and thorough, and so much more effective than the crisping trays you see in most air fryers.

Like its solid outer basket, the inner crisping basket in this air fryer is non-stick and, as mentioned, dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up. It stays in the outer basket very securely. You can shake and toss your basket contents easily without worrying about it moving around, and it lifts out easily by pushing the clear button protector forward, then pressing gently on the handle button. The basket lifts out with the handle intact. (In other words, this air fryer’s handle is attached to its inner crisping basket, not its outer solid basket.)

Most air fryers accrue damage to their non-stick finish when their crisping tray is being placed or removed, due to the sharp edges of the tray itself. With no tray, I expect that the finish of this air fryer will last longer than others and wear better over time.

The bottom of this basket contains regular, small holes, while the sides are made up of angled slats for ideal airflow and food containment. Even the layout and shapes of these holes and slats performs better than those in a standard crisping tray; when testing this air fryer, I made fries for the very first time without losing even a single one. I don’t know how they manage to make it through the gaps on a regular crisping tray, but somehow, they always do. And I’m glad to say it, because my fries were so incredible in this air fryer that even the loss of just one would have been heartbreaking!

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Why is a full crisping basket so important?

Unlike a crisping tray, this basket lifts food right off the bottom and edges of the air fryer, and it lifts them with more separation than a simple tray.

We know that air fryers work as well as they do because of air flow. They blow hot air around your food much more effectively than an oven or convection oven, so you can create juicier, crispier dishes in less time. A crisping basket like this one further emphasizes that effect, creating a full air tunnel surrounding all sides of your food to ensure that each and every nook and cranny gets equal attention.

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The difference that this crisping basket made is out of this world. I’m used to all air fryers performing about the same: Tasty fries take about 20 minutes, with a toss in the middle to get everything done evenly. I always use the same Cavendish FlavourCrisp fries to test air fryers for consistency. They usually come out pretty well, but they’re always harder than deep fried fries.

But this Ultima Cosa 5L Air Fryer? This air fryer makes the crispiest, lightest-tasting, most delicious fries I’ve ever made in an air fryer, and it does so in barely over 10 minutes. The elevated crisping basket gets my fries evenly golden-brown without a halfway toss and finishes them in almost half the time other air fryers take. Each fry was crunchy and light, with a finish that wasn’t as hard as the one produced by most air fryers. My fries tasted more like deep fried fries than air fried fries, and the ones that got tossed in oil beforehand tasted exactly like deep fried fries.

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My experience with this 5L air fryer

If you love making at-home air fried foods that taste like they’ve been deep fried, I cannot recommend this air fryer enough. It’s awesome for basics like fries, but performs just as well for dishes like vegetables, chicken wings, spring rolls, and nachos. I, in particular, get a little antsy about cooking veggies—they just always take so much longer than I budget the time for—but this air fryer did a great job of them. My results were crisp and juicy, taking a lot less time than my oven would and producing veggies that were bright, bold, and green.

That’s something I really notice a difference in when I use an air fryer: my vegetables come out looking so much more vibrant, shiny, and green than when I use the oven. The asparagus and broccolini that I made in this air fryer looked so beautiful when they came out, and plated much more nicely than if they had been cooked in the oven or a pan. There were no brown patches or darkened edges, just beautiful, glossy green finishes that plated beautifully. (Perfect for dinner parties and date nights!)

Why choose the Ultima Cosa 5L digital air fryer?

This air fryer is a breeze to use compared to similar models. Not only does it heat up food quickly (like, occasionally shockingly quickly), but it does so evenly. Its non-stick, dishwasher-safe finish makes it easy to use, and its button-based handle situation means that you’re never accidentally leaving a basket behind anywhere.

I love that this air fryer, like other Ultima Cosa models, is easy to lift and move. Its small silhouette has a faux stainless steel and brushed black metallic finish that looks great on any countertop, and the brand-suggested frying times shown on the top of the air fryer are really handy. As I mentioned in my Ultima Cosa Dual Digital Air Fryer 8L review, I don’t know why other brands don’t do this. It’s so easy to add on to your small appliance and saves the user so much time in the kitchen.

If you’re on the market for a new 5L air fryer, definitely check this one out. Shop the Ultima Cosa 5L digital air fryer online today at Best Buy.

Rae Chen
Rae Chen covers everything from handbags to speakers here on the Best Buy Plug-in Blog. They can also be found at thenotice.net, where they've been writing about beauty & wellness since 2007.