I tested the Lakeland Digital Crisp air fryer and after a year it still rocks my potato-loving world

The Lakeland Digital Crisp is a small but mighty air fryer that makes my family meal times a doddle…

Lakeland Digital Crisp 3L Air Fryer
(Image credit: Future)
Reasons to buy
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    8 preset functions to choose from including functions to cook chips, fish, seafood, pizza, and more

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    Sleek, modern, curvaceous design

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    Easy-to-clean surface

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    Holds up to 500g of a variety of different foods

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    LED touchscreen display - easy to navigate

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    Easy to remove the basket with lock-in system for safety

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    Not too loud or too noisy

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    Good value for money

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    Still going strong after a year of vigorous usage

Reasons to avoid
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    The machine is large, despite only having a 3L basket, so will need significant surface space or storage space in the kitchen for it

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    No divider or extra accessories avaialble

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    No window to view and check cooking

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As Food Editor at GoodtoKnow, I have tried and tested my fair share of kitchen appliances over the years, and the Lakeland Digital Crisp air fryer has certainly caught me by surprise.

When we think of Lakeland, we think of the holy grail of all things cakes and baking but Lakeland has upped its game from pizza ovens, to steam cleaners, to coffee machines, to storage solutions, to air fryers, and more. And with the Lakeland name, comes a reasonably priced model that thus far has served me well over the year of owning it - and has certainly been worth its £49.99 price tag (at the time of writing).

Voted one of our best air fryers for families, the Lakeland Digital Crisp is a 3-litre model, with simple digital touchscreen controls, 8 presets, and a 3-year guarantee included for added peace of mind. If you're looking for an energy-efficient, healthier way to cook dinner then an air fryer could be the right choice for you. An air fryer is an excellent investment if you plan on using it every day or most days as an alternative to oven or microwave cooking. 

In a nutshell

The perfect air fryer for beginners, smaller families, or couples looking to jump on the air fryer bandwagon that is sweeping the UK by storm.  The Lakeland Digital Crisp 3L Air Fryer is an energy-efficient machine, that is quick to heat, thorough in cooking, and good value for money too. A curvaceous machine that would certainly sit comfortably in the corner of your kitchen.

And air fryers can do so much more than cook a splendid batch of ‘crisp on the outside, soft on the inside’ potato wedges (which the Lakeland Digital Crisp has down to a tee) - they can reheat leftovers, cook from frozen, toast bagels, even bake cupcakes. 

Having owned this model for coming up to a year now, it has been a nifty little number, to say the least. It’s been my go-to for side dishes, my cookie and cake-baking option for when I want something fast (Friday evening cravings and all that), and it has given me flexibility and efficiency when feeding the kids, particularly after a playdate that's overrun and they’re demanding food. Here’s everything you need to know about how the Lakeland Digital Crisp air fryer fared.

Reviewed by
Profile picture of Goodto.com Senior Content Editor Jessica Dady
Reviewed by
Jessica Dady

For this review, GoodtoKnow turned to our Food Editor to put this popular kitchen appliance to the test in a busy family household. The result? This air fryer certainly made cooking popular side dishes a little less stressful with impressive, edible results each time.

Price & availability

At the time of writing the Lakeland Digital Crisp air fryer is priced at £49.99 making it a budget-friendly option, particularly if you’re looking for a smaller air fryer. Other air fryers brands such as Daewoo, Salter, and Instant 3-litre models range in price between an average of £30-£45, making the Lakeland Digital Crisp air fryer a tad more expensive than the rest.

Good value for money? Well, in my eyes, yes. The design and look of the machine, despite being bigger than expected, ticked a lot of boxes for me visually. It was super simple to set up as soon as it was out of the box and was really easy to navigate, particularly down to the touchscreen digital display and pre-set functions which certainly helped me from the get-go. Plus everything I cooked - when following the cooking guide - came out wonderfully with not a burnt chip in sight. 

Lakeland Digital Crisp Air Fryer 3L

(Image credit: Lakeland)

Design & features

Capacity: 3L | Dimensions: 26 x 32 x 35cm H | Wattage: 1350W | Colour: Black | Functions: Air Fry | Style: Basket | Max temp: 200 degrees Celcius | Dishwasher safe parts: No

The Lakeland Digital Air Fryer is taller than it is wide so despite being big - like most air fryers are - it didn't take up as much counter space as I initially thought when I first removed it from the box.

The digital panel at the top of the machine is where all the preset functions can be found. It is easy to navigate using the on and off button as a dial switching between each position, you then click the button to select your chosen preset function or to set the air fryer timer and temperature manually. The machine beeps when plugged in, when choosing each mode, and beeps five times to say the time is up and food is cooked.

The LED touchscreen display at the top of the machine was brilliant. At first glance, I thought it was a window looking into the food being cooked at the bottom of the machine, but as soon as you plug the machine in, it beeps and the touchscreen display is illuminated ready to use. I thought it also gave the machine a modern, hi-tech look as well as making it super easy to navigate.

Once you're done cooking, the air fryer basket can be removed from the machine and washed easily. The base of the machine can be wiped using a damp cloth ready for the next use. The black, polished exterior and silver edges give this machine a high-quality look comparable to other sought-after air fryer brands. 

This 3-litre machine is ideal for smaller families or couples. 

Lakeland Digital Crisp Air Fryer 3L

(Image credit: Lakeland)

The Lakeland Digital Air Fryer features a range of different preset modes choosing from the following:

  • Fresh Fries – for cooking home-made chips, sweet potato fries, and vegetables.
  • Fish – for cooking fillets.
  • Seafood – for cooking prawns.
  • Frozen Fries – for cooking frozen foods, including vegetables.
  • Pizza
  • Baked Goods – for cooking sweet treats like cupcakes.
  • Chicken – for cooking drumsticks, chicken breasts, and other poultry.
  • Steak – for cooking meats like steak, pork chops, and burgers.
  • You can also overrun the preset function by using the main on and off dial which you can turn to navigate through setting both the time and the temperature of your choice. 

Whilst cooking, both the time and temperature flash at the top of the machine on a digital display panel, alternating between the two. The time counts down so you can keep a close eye on cooking - especially if you want to stop halfway through cooking to check on or shake the food.

I was apprehensive about opening the air fryer basket drawer mid-way through cooking and mid-way through the countdown as I thought I'd have to start the machine all over again. I gave my potato wedges a shake and slotted the draw back into the machine. It beeped and then was straight back into the cooking mode with the correct time remaining. A very handy feature that ensures consistency when cooking.

The Lakeland Digital Crisp 3L Air Fryer cools down quickly after use. The exterior of the machine in particular is quick to cool and doesn't get too hot during use either.

The exterior of the machine stayed warm to the touch during cooking - not scalding or concerning with children walking around the kitchen so that gave me peace of mind.

Like most kitchen appliances, this one comes with a very thorough guide explaining how to set up the machine, make the most out of it, use it safely, and cook food correctly and efficiently too. The manual not only includes valuable information on the air fryer, but it also includes a selection of recipes such as buffalo cauliflower and sriracha chicken wings - a great little bonus.

See below for a few examples of cooking times taken from the Lakeland Air Fryer Cooking Guide which comes with this machine:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Example Lakeland Digital Air Fryer Cooking Guide
Pork chops100-50010-25200
Sweet potato wedges300-50015-20200
Homemade chips300-50020-25200
Thin frozen chips300-50020200
Frozen chicken nuggets100-50010-15200
Chicken breast100-50015-20200

From potato wedges to chicken nuggets, from cupcakes to cookies, this machine has cooked quite a bit over the year and is still standing strong, looking as good as it did when I first got it (minus a few sticky fingerprints from the kids trying to ‘help out’) The 3-litre basket is much more spacious than you’d think fitting around 500g of chips in at one time - pretty handy when the kids have got friends over.

One of my favourite things about the Lakeland Digital Crisp air fryer was and still is the auto-off function, which means that as soon as the timer is up, the machine beeps several times and then switches itself off. Not only does it make this appliance even more energy efficient, but it also means your food won’t continue cooking or dry out whilst you're dealing with the usual family dinner juggles. A simple, yet effective function.

How we tested

  • Skin on potatoes, tossed in a tablespoon of oil, and cooked on the ‘Fresh Fries’ pre-set function. 
  • Cooked frozen chips, fish fingers, and mini pizzas using the air fryer guide book, which accompanies this machine
  • Homemade chicken goujons and breaded fish cooked using the manual function where you can set the temperature and cooking time yourself
  • A trio of cupcakes or chocolate chip cookies baked on the ‘Baked Goods’ pre-set function; great if you want to bake only a few cupcakes or cookies at a time, not so good for bulk baking
  • Roasting vegetables such as peppers, garlic, onion, carrot, broccoli and more
  • Reheating leftovers like nuggets, pizza, and bubble and squeak from roast dinner scraps - using the manual setting to adjust the temperature and time accordingly

Things you wouldn’t find on the box

The first thing I cooked in this air fryer was potato wedges. I felt like it was a simple test to see what this machine could do - be it cooking them to perfection or burning the life out of each individually sliced spud. I was pleasantly surprised, after a quick mid-shake of the basket, to find that the first time I made potato wedges in the Lakeland Digital Crisp air fryer they were spot on; light and fluffy on the inside, and crisp and golden on the outside. The kids approved, and so did the hubby (after being rather skeptical about swapping the oven for an air fryer- he doesn’t get the trend guys).

And because the machine has a timer, and a loud beep to let you know when it's done, as well as an auto-off function, there were no overcooked wedges, no burnt bits, and no sad faces at dinner time which was one for the books. The same for homemade chips, frozen chips, homemade nuggets, and frozen nuggets - crisp, golden, delicious. 

Alongside cooking a lot of side dishes for me over the year, this air fryer has been put through its paces when it comes to baking and I’ve experimented with baking cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and flapjacks in it too. Most were successful, however, it was more about getting the timings right than anything else. I found baking a cake took longer than I imagined and realised it was actually much easier to do it in the oven, the same for cupcakes. I don’t tend to bake just three or four cupcakes in one go, it's usually 12 so by the time I’d baked, put some more in, and cooked over and over again it was going on an hour or so instead of the speedy 15 minutes for a batch of 12 in the oven. I then realised that bigger bakes or bulk baking needs to be done in a large capacity air fryer, or with my trusty oven. That doesn’t mean to say that this model can’t bake, it can, but only a few things at a time - great for those evenings when you and the hubby fancy a couple of chocolate chip cookies each and you’ve got dough in the freezer ready to go.

Cleaning the basket, and cleaning out the bottom of the drawer is so easy and takes a matter of minutes. Fine, its not dishwasher compatible but something you’ve just got to roll up your sleeves and embrace a bit of washing up. I’ve used liners in this model various times, however for potato wedges and nuggets, for example, they go straight onto the basket, with no fuss. A bit of hot soapy water and a sponge and the basket is ready for round two, or three, or fifty. 

Who is it best for?

The range of pre-set functions on this model makes it a great choice for family cooking - particularly for smaller families, or those with younger kids who don’t eat someone out of the house and home. A family with teenagers however may struggle as the 3-litre capacity does limit you, as does the single basket. 

It’s been my go-to machine for cooking side dishes; whilst fajitas are sizzling in the pan on the hob, the potato wedges are cooking in the air fryer, whilst the veggies are being sliced and plated, the nuggets and chips are cooking in the air fryer, whilst the fish is cooking on the pan, the veggies are being cooked in the air fryer - catch my drift?

Whilst this machine is a more affordable option than some brands, it doesn’t look cheap and certainly earned its right on the kitchen counter.

Need an alternative?

Lakeland has a whole range of air fryer options these days - it's not just the Lakeland Digital Crisp ruling the roost. The Lakeland Dual Basket Air Fryer is the perfect jump-up for those wanting to invest in the air fryer lifestyle with a whopping 8 litres to play with. Or an even bigger choice for larger families with hungry teens is the Lakeland Adjustable Large Drawer Air Fryer 9-litres

Looking for more? Discover the best air fryer cookbooks as well as the best air fryer recipes.

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies