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Cosori Smart CS158-AF Review

Isn't the absolute best in any aspect, but certainly won't disappoint either
Cosori Smart CS158-AF
Credit: Cosori
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Price:   $120 List | $119.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Great cooking performance, relatively easy to use and clean
Cons:  Poor temperature accuracy
Manufacturer:   Cosori
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Feb 7, 2020
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Cooking Performance - 35% 8
  • User Friendliness - 25% 7
  • Ease of Cleaning - 20% 8
  • Temperature Accuracy - 20% 5

Our Verdict

The Cosori CP158-AF is an adept cooker that's easy to use and clean, with its only weak point being a propensity to run a bit hotter than the set temperature. We don't think anyone who purchases the CP158-AF will be disappointed by its crispy food offerings and relatively streamlined user experience. However, we've found other air fryers in the same price range that are a bit easier to use and clean, and that offer better temperature accuracy. While the CP158-AF doesn't lag too far behind the top competition in these regards, it still wouldn't be our top recommendation to anyone unless it were on sale.

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Cosori Smart CS158-AF
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $120 List
$119.99 at Amazon
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Pros Great cooking performance, relatively easy to use and cleanFantastic cooking performance, easy to clean, easy to use, great temperature accuracy, multiple cooking functionsGreat cooking performance, user friendly, excellent temperature accuracyInexpensive, easy to clean, good cooking performanceGood cooking performance, inexpensive
Cons Poor temperature accuracyOn the expensive sideNot the easiest to cleanFry basket can stick, medicore temperature accuracyVery small capacity
Bottom Line Isn't the absolute best in any aspect, but certainly won't disappoint eitherExceptional frying performance and an easy to clean design make this one of the best options on the marketThis high performing, four quart model offers the most consistent quality of the bunchAn effective and inexpensive model that offers decent cooking performance and good temperature accuracyA fairly good appliance that is held back by a relatively small capacity
Rating Categories Cosori Smart CS158-AF Instant Vortex Plus Ninja 1550 Watt Ultrean 4.2qt Dash Compact
Cooking Performance (35%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
User Friendliness (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Ease Of Cleaning (20%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Temperature Accuracy (20%)
5.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
5.0
Specs Cosori Smart CS158-AF Instant Vortex Plus Ninja 1550 Watt Ultrean 4.2qt Dash Compact
Outside Dimensions 11.8" x 12.6" x 11.7" 11.5" x 13.25" x 12.75" 13.6" x 11" x 13.3" 13.2" x 11.3" x 12.4" 10.2" x 8.1" x 11.4"
Capacity 5.8 qt 6 qt 4 qt 4.2 qt 2 qt
Accessories None None Multi-layer rack for dehydrating None None
Power Consumption 1700W 1700W 1550W 1500W 1000W

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Smart CS158-AF was at or near the front of the pack in all of...
The Smart CS158-AF was at or near the front of the pack in all of our tests except for temperature accuracy, making it a viable option for all but those that want to tinker with temperature-sensitive recipes.
Credit: Ian Pearman

Cooking Performance


The Smart CS158-AF was one of the standouts in our cooking tests, producing some of the best sweet potato fries, onion rings, and doughnuts that we sampled. Our favorite food that the CP158-AF whipped up in our testing was its onion rings. Achieving near perfection with crispy, evenly golden outsides and tender insides, these rings made us feel like we were at a greasy spoon diner, sans the grease.

Sweet potato fries proved to be a challenge for most machines, but...
Sweet potato fries proved to be a challenge for most machines, but this machine got them crispier than most.
Credit: Ian Pearman

Closely following the quality of the onion rings, the CS158-AF's doughnuts came out with crispy outsides and fluffy, fully-cooked insides, offering a worthy alternative to store-bought fare.

The CP158-AF excelled at frying round things in our testing...
The CP158-AF excelled at frying round things in our testing, producing near-perfect onion rings and doughnuts (pictured here).
Credit: Ian Pearman

The CS158-AF also proved proficient in cooking meat in our testing, producing a nice juicy chicken breast that was tender enough to be easily cut with the side of a fork. Like all of the air fryers we tested, it failed to get the outside anywhere near the crispiness of traditional fried chicken, but the skin did have a bit of a crunch to it.

The CP158-AF's chicken came out very tender and juicy.
The CP158-AF's chicken came out very tender and juicy.
Credit: Ian Pearman

User Friendliness


The CS158-AF is easier to use than many of the other models we tested but does present some eccentricities that lead to a little bit of a learning curve. For the most part, the clear LCD screen and plus/minus buttons for time and temperature make it relatively easy to select the settings you want. There are also individual buttons for each of the machine's 11 presets as well as the preheat function. While these dedicated buttons do make selecting those presets quite easy, some of our testers found the sheer number of buttons to be a bit confusing at first glance.

The CP158-AF's control panel is easy to use once you get the hang of...
The CP158-AF's control panel is easy to use once you get the hang of it, but the multitude of buttons can be a bit confusing on the first go around.
Credit: Ian Pearman

Speaking of the preheat function, the CS158-AF takes a different approach to preheating than most of the machines that we've tested. The majority of machines on the market have you select your desired cooking settings (manual temperature and time or a preset) and press start. The machine then goes into preheating mode and lets you know when it's up to temperature. The CS158-AF requires that you select the preheat function and a temperature, then wait for it to finish preheating before you enter any other settings. This eccentricity isn't necessarily a bad thing, but we found it to be slightly less intuitive.

The fry basket of the CS158-AF has a nice handle and slides in and out quite smoothly, making it easy to shake your food mid cooking (a common requirement for many air frying recipes). The square shape also feels like a much more efficient use of space than the circular baskets used by some other models. Once the food is done, however, we found it to be a bit difficult to remove the inner frying basket from the outer basket.

The fry basket is large and relatively easy to clean, but it can be...
The fry basket is large and relatively easy to clean, but it can be difficult to remove the inner basket from the outer one.
Credit: Ian Pearman

Ease of Cleaning


The CS158-AF offers a relatively pain-free cleaning experience with only a couple of minor annoyances. The fry basket tends to easily shed grease and grime and generally doesn't require too much scrubbing to get clean. The texture of the basket is a bit rough, however, so the few times we did get a stubborn grease spot the sponge tended to get a bit shredded while scrubbing with some extra elbow grease.

Temperature Accuracy


The CS158-AF almost always ran hotter than its set temperature according to our multiple calibrated testing thermometers. On average, it stayed about 17˚ above the set temperature. This discrepancy likely isn't big enough to ruin a recipe, but the lack of temperature consistency might be a little annoying if you're one that likes to experiment and tinker with recipes.

Value


The CS158-AF offers good overall performance at an average price. However, we have found some machines that cost the same or slightly less and perform slightly better. Though this machine isn't the best value on the market, it is still a fairly good value overall.

Credit: Ian Pearman

Conclusion


The Cosori Smart CS158-AF is a good, well-designed air fryer that will serve any kitchen well. If you're looking for something with precise temperature accuracy so you can fine-tune your recipes or something with the most streamlined user interface possible, there are other models that perform slightly better in those avenues. But, for most kitchens, the CP158-AF provides all you need from one of these super convection devices.

Max Mutter and Michelle Powell