Air fryers like the Bella 14538 Electric Hot Air Fryer are popular for their “crispifying” abilities, health-promoting cooking methods and easy, countertop convenience. The Bella Air Fryer has a common aesthetic: the black, rounded unit with a pull-out drawer basket.
Most importantly, it's cheap for an air fryer. But the question is: Is the Bella air fryer good?
You're about to see.
Table of Contents
What Interesting About The Bella Air Fryer?
This is a convection oven, as described by Bella. That’s nothing to worry about as the difference between an air fryer and a convection oven isn’t too drastic. All you need to know is that the Bella Air Fryer does produce the results you’d want from an air fryer... whether or not it’s technically a convection oven model.
The Bella Air Fryer has a simple design with two control dials and a round basket. The round basket is significant because - as experienced cooks note - this gives less flat cooking surface regardless of the total capacity. Anything that has to be laid flat on a thin layer (like bacon or pork chops) requires surface area, and the Bella is one of the smaller models in this regard.
It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of other popular models, but for some this is preferable. There’s something pleasantly straight-forward about an appliance that doesn’t give you too many options. In fact, an air fryer has one job: cook food to a high standard without the need for lots of oil. And Bella seems to do the trick.
What do Customers Say?
The overwhelming majority of reviews for the Bella Air Fryer are positive, which is odd for an air fryer at this price point. The negative reviews didn’t surprise me as they were consistent with complaints connected to various air fryer models. Let’s check it out...
Overall, the 4 and 5-star review sections are full of generally gleeful comments regarding “tasty food”, “healthy” options and a lot of “we love it!”. These are the more specific comments to get an idea of the Bella Air Fryer experience:
Crispy without the oil: so many happy customers have been thrilled at how crispy, tender and tasty their food is, but without all the oil. Most people add a spritz of olive oil and find they get a true “fried” result. Reviewers have noted how pleased they are to know that they’re eating in a more healthy manner with this machine.
Great value: many happy reviewers have commented that they’re thrilled with how affordable this machine was to purchase, and that the quality hasn’t disappointed them. Some have noted that the reason they chose this particular model was the low price point.
Easy to use and clean: the simple steps and easy-to-clean design has been a common comment among happy reviewers. There’s really no option but to find this easy to use as there’s only two dials to control. Of course, if you’re unlucky to experience the notorious “loose basket” you won’t find it so easy...but the happy reviewers have had a smooth run. The basket is dishwasher safe so the clean-up has been reported as breezy.
Won’t stay shut: a very annoying issue many unhappy reviewers have noted is that the basket won’t lock into the unit. They find that after a few cooking sessions the basket won’t shut which in turn stops the unit from turning on. Users have found that the basket dislodges halfway through the cooking process, meaning they have to jiggle it back into place to continue the job.
Quits working: yes, this old story. So many air fryers have a good chunk of negative comments describing an appliance that simply stops working after a month or so. The Bella is no different. Customers have found that the unit simply won’t turn on after a while.
Emits a plastic smell: a controversial complaint. Some people have found that the unit emits a chemical, plastic-like smell that won’t go away. Others, (happier customers) are adamant that the smell does go away after the first use. Either way, some customers have found that their particular units have a permanent unpleasant smell.
What are the Technical Specifications?
|Power (watts):||1500 watts|
|Cooking capacity:||5.3qt basket. Fits up to 2.2 pounds of food|
|Timer (yes/no):||yes, up to 60 minutes|
|Temperature control (yes/no):||yes, a minimum of 175 degrees Fahrenheit and a maximum of 400 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Special features||It’s a super simple construction with only two control dials and a couple of lights. Here are the key features:|
Manual timer dial: you can set the timer from 1 to 60 minutes (increments of 1 minute)
Manual temperature dial: you can set the temperature from 175 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It is set out in increments of 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Power light: this light will illuminate red once the timer is set. It will not turn on if the basket isn’t locked into the drawer and the drawer into the cavity properly (hence the frustration for the people whose baskets don’t lock into place properly).
Heat light: this light will illuminate blue when the temperature is set and the unit is heating up. It will turn off once the unit reaches the temperature you specified.
Fryer basket drawer: this is what the air fryer basket sits inside. The fryer basket must be locked into the fryer basket drawer in order for the cooking process to begin.
Cool-touch handle: the frying basket drawer has a handle designed to be cool-to-touch for safe basket removal.
Basket release button and lock: the basket has a clear lock that slides back to reveal the release button. The release button allows you to separate the basket from the basket drawer.
Dimensions & Weight
|Size:||10.35 x 13.03 x 12.28 inches|
How do You Use it?
It’s a simple machine to use once you get the hang of the baskets and the dials (which doesn’t take long).
When you first take it out of the box:
- Remove the plastic wrappings and stickers
- Release the basket from the basket drawer
- Give the basket and basket drawer a gentle wash to remove any dust
Other customers have recommended that it’s helpful to run the air fryer without any food inside before your first use. They have found that this removes any plastic or chemical smell.
To cook your food:
- Slide the basket lock to find the basket release button and press it, now you’ll have the separate basket and basket drawer
- Place your food into the basket (but don’t overfill the basket)
- Click the basket back into the basket drawer so it’s in the locked position
- Secure the baskets into the unit
- Choose your time using the timer dial (up to 60 minutes)
- The blue “heat” light and the red “power” light will come on once you set the timer
- Choose your temperature using the temperature dial up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Once the blue heat light turns off, the cooking time will begin
How Do You Clean it?
Yes, it’s really easy to clean. Here’s a quick how-to to give an idea of the cleaning process:
- Unplug the unit and let it cool down
- Hand-wash the basket and basket drawer with a soft cloth and hot, soapy water
- OR pop the basket and basket drawer into the dishwasher
- Give the unit itself a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth
- That’s it
Just note that the fryer basket does have non-stick coating so be careful not to use harsh cleaning brushes.
How Does It Compare to Other Models?
These are really similar air fryers from two different brands. They’re both black, squat, rounded, and have a drawer-style fry basket.
The Crux Air Fryer and the Bella Air Fryer have these similarities:
- Capacity (both have a 2.5 liter basket)
- Construction: both have a basket and drawer with a handle
- Wattage: both have 1500 watts
- Temperature: both offer up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Timer: both offer up to 60 minutes
- Both are of a similar price point depending on where you’re purchasing.
The key difference is that the Crux model has a digital display screen whereas the Bella has two manual dials.
The Nuwave Brio is a very different machine to the Bella Air Fryer. These are the key differences:
- The Nuwave has a digital display screen as opposed to manual dials
- The Nuwave has lots of functions including preheat, reheat, and six preset functions including fries, nuggets, and fish
- The Nuwave has a choice of three wattages, 500, 1500, and 1800 watts
- The Nuwave is generally a more complex machine as opposed to the simple, manual Bella
- The Nuwave price is higher.
The main similarities are the appearance and construction. They’re both black with a pull-out, drawer-style basket.
Two very similar models. The Farberware is really well received and has great reviews so it's worth adding to your list of considerations for your air fryer purchase (though it has been criticized for a peeling basket too, so bear that in mind).
The Bella and the Farberware are similar models in these ways:
- They both have a drawer-style, pull-out basket design
- They’re similar in aesthetic (black and rounded)
- They both have two manual dials, (a timer and a temperature dial)
- They both have a maximum temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- They have a similar capacity, around 2lbs
The differences are:
- The Farberware timer has a maximum of 30 minutes while the Bella has a maximum of 60 minutes
- The Farberware varies in price but is generally a little higher than the Bella.
The Bella Air Fryer and the Philips Avance XL Air Fryer do look quite similar. They are black, rounded, and have a pull-out, drawer-style basket. However, the Philips is glossier. Philips air fryers are really popular and very well-liked among consumers.
The key differences are:
- Phillips has a 2.65 pound capacity which is slightly larger than the Bella’s 2.2 pound capacity
- The Phillips has a digital display as opposed to the humble manual dials on the Bella model
- The price is extremely different... the Phillips is much more expensive (a high-end model), whereas the Bella is close to the cheapest.
- The Philips has a maximum temperature of 390 degrees Fahrenheit (only 10 degrees less than the Bella) but it has the ability to become hot almost instantly, with no pre-heating required.
- The Philips comes with a recipe book and an app
They are similar in the sense that they both have a maximum timer of 60 minutes and they both have dishwasher-safe baskets.
The Cooks Essentials 3.4-quart Air Fryer and the Bella Air Fryer are both drawer-style air fryers with pull-out baskets. However there are some key differences:
- The Cooks Essentials comes in bright colors while the Bella is black
- The Cooks Essential has a digital screen with control buttons as opposed to manual dials
- The Cooks Essential has seven preset buttons such as fish, fries and a “quick 5” button for adding 5 minutes to the cook time easily
- The Cooks Essential comes with accessories such as a cake pan and pizza pan (the Bella has no such accessories)
- The Cook Essentials has a maximum of 30 minutes as opposed to the Bella’s 60 minutes
The similarities are:
- They both have a wattage of 1500
- They both have a maximum temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- They have a similar price range.
Bella Air Fryer vs Chefman RJ38
The Bella and the Chefman are similar models in many ways such as:
- They’re both similar in aesthetic with a black, rounded construction
- They both have a drawer-style, pull-out basket design
- They both have two manual control dials and no other special features or buttons
- They both have a dishwasher-safe basket
However, there are some minor differences which are:
- The Chefman has a larger capacity, 3.5 liters as opposed to the Bella’s 2.5 liters
- The Chefman has a 30-minute maximum timer whereas the Bella has 60 minutes
- The Chefman has a maximum temperature of 390 degrees Fahrenheit as opposed to the Bella’s 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Where can I Find a Replacement Basket?
The best thing to do is to contact the manufacturers if you have an issue with your basket and need a replacement. There are no replacement baskets available online as of now.
Are there other replacement parts or accessories? Where do I buy them?
As of now, no retailers stock replacement parts for the Bella Air Fryer.
What’s the warranty?
Limited two-year warranty.
Does it come with a recipe book or cookbook?
No, but there are a few recipes in the manual.
Verdict: Is This Air Fryer For You?
If you need an affordable air fryer then this could be ideal. As long as you are cooking for a maximum of two people (otherwise you’re looking at multiple batches) this is a good choice. If you like your appliances with simple manual controls and dishwasher safe parts then consider the Bella Air Fryer.
Do be aware of the risks involved such as a peeling basket, odd smell and potentially a "dud" which stops working. I say this because others have experienced such issues so they do need to be kept in mind. If you want the best of the best you'll need to spend a little more money, but as far as affordability goes, the Bella is great.