It's a Kmart appliance that has a cult following and a bargain price to match, with one Facebook group devoted to the gadget boasting more than 320,000 members.

But Australia consumer body Choice have given the Anko AU $69 ($79) air fryer from Kmart the thumbs down, saying it is "large and heavy" as well as "not very easy to use".

Choice this week reviewed a range of Kmart's most popular items including its pie maker, coffee machine and heater.

While some Anko items got glowing reviews their air fryer didn't live up to the hype.

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Choice said that while Kmart's version was much cheaper than others on the market and provided a healthier alternative to deep frying, it was not user-friendly.

Despite its popularity Kmart's $79 air fryer achieved the lowest score when compared to other air fryers. Photo / Supplied
Despite its popularity Kmart's $79 air fryer achieved the lowest score when compared to other air fryers. Photo / Supplied

The consumer body gave the Anko air fryer a score of just 64 per cent, the lowest compared to other air fryers it tested.

"Not only did it receive a low score in our testing, but the Kmart Anko air fryer is also fairly large and heavy, and not very easy to use," Choice kitchen expert Fiona Mair said.

But in good news for two other Kmart cult items - the department store's $99 coffee machine and $29 pie maker did get Choice's tick of approval.

According to Choice, the Anko coffee machine outperformed a $949 machine, made consistently hot coffees and looked nice.

The Anko pie maker was praised for being good value for money, easy to use and delivering on making delicious pies.

Not only nice to look at, Kmart's coffee machine outperformed more expensive versions. Photo / Supplied
Not only nice to look at, Kmart's coffee machine outperformed more expensive versions. Photo / Supplied

"This is a fun little appliance," Mair said. "It's easy to use and gives good results, cooking four pies fairly evenly to lightly golden in eight minutes. It takes five minutes to preheat, which is quicker than an oven, and, once the pies are cooked, you can simply pop them out with a spatula."

Other Kmart items including its $79 food processor, $59 digital blender, $65 fleecy electric blanket, $49 carry-on suitcase and $149 play pen all got a thumbs up for performing as well as more expensive brands and being great value for money.

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However, not passing Choice's tests with flying colours were Kmart's range of vacuum cleaners.

Choice said Kmart's range of vacuum cleaners didn't perform well. Photo / Supplied
Choice said Kmart's range of vacuum cleaners didn't perform well. Photo / Supplied

The consumer body said its Anko range of stick, upright, bagged and bagless models did not perform well when compared to other brands.

Also not passing Choice's tests was Kmart's Anko bassinet, which they rated just 44 per cent for a lack of continuous breathable zones around the edge, a potential suffocation risk.

What is an air fryer?

Air fryers cook meals by circulating hot air around food, creating a crispy outside similar to deep-fried food.

They're popular for cooking some foods faster than a conventional oven as well as not heating up an entire room – a must when cooking during summer.

According to Healthline, you can use just one teaspoon of oil to make fries in an air fryer that taste almost identical to the much less healthy deep-fried version.

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Because of this the cooking gadget has been labelled as a sneaky way to lose weight – however, one dietitian has warned that it won't magically make unhealthy foods suddenly better.

"But if you're using your air fryer to whip up treats all day long, I've got some bad news. You see, a brownie is still a brownie, regardless of how it's cooked," Melissa Meier wrote for Body and Soul.

"My suggestion is to simply exercise a little common sense with your air fryer if good health is on your radar – veg, wholegrains and lean proteins are good for you every day foods that can form the basis of a healthy meal, while chocolate, pastry and butter are not."