Which is the best cheap air fryer? In this comparative review, we will consider best-rated air fryers up to $100.
The air fryer technology allows you to enjoy your favorite fried snacks and food without the added calories. These machines cook to perfection a variety of menu items, from meat and seafood to vegetables and desserts with up to 70-75% less fat, and in 30 minutes or less. This is a reliable and healthy alternative to deep frying.
What to consider before buying:
1. Capacity. Most fryers have a volume of 3.7 quarts (3.5L or 12 cups) and this is quite enough for 2 or even 3 people. The 2-liter Black+Decker will satisfy all the needs of one person, and for a large family, the 5.8-Quart GoWISE USA is the best.
2. Controls. Of course, the cheaper the model, the fewer functions it has. The most minimal option: timer and temperature adjustment – both are installed manually and imply that you master some cooking skills. More advanced (and more expensive) option – preset cooking modes, usually come with a digital display.
3. Safety. It includes protection from overheating, automatic shutdown after cooking, sound signals, automatic standby mode.
TOP 8 Reliable Cheap Air Fryers
|GoWISE USA 8-in-1|
|digital display with 8 pre-sets,|
the cheapest digital air fryer
read review »
|perfect for single portion,|
read review »
|compact size, slim body,|
30-minute timer and 400°F,
LED power/ready lights
|GoWISE USA 8 Presets|
|digital display with 8 pre-sets,|
quality, but still inexpensive
read review »
|cheerful red color,|
bonus baking set
read review »
|completely dishwasher safe|
2 exclusive cookbooks
read review »
|extra large 4-liter capacity,|
read review »
|GoWISE USA 7-in-1|
|the latest model,|
So, what is the best air fryer?
Below we review 6 best inexpensive air fryers that are of sufficient quality to recommend them for purchase.
1. GoWise USA 3.7-Quart Programmable 8 in 1: Best Cheap Air Fryer with the Most Features
- 3.7-quart capacity;
- 30-minute timer;
- Temperature range of 170°F – 400°F;
- Digital display with 8 pre-sets;
- Automatic shutdown when the basket is removed or timer is done;
- Removable dishwasher-safe pan with a cool-to-touch handgrip.
This fryer has the most popular capacity – 3.7 quart – which is perfect for a snack or a full meal for a family of 2-3 people. The main feature is an array of programmable settings (warm-up, fries/chips, chicken, shrimp, pork, steak, cake, and fish) to allow you to get the best results when cooking all of your favorite foods.
In addition to the eight pre-programmed settings, this air fryer allows you to set the time and temperature to your exact needs with a range of up to 30 minutes and temperatures of 180-400 degrees. As a bonus, you also get a recipe book featuring fifty recipes for every meal from breakfast to dinner and dessert. Once you master these, you will be able to start creating your own recipes and improving on family favorites. Most recipes will use 1 tablespoon or less of your favorite cooking oil.
2. Black+Decker Purify: The Smallest Budget Air Fryer
- 2-liter (about 8-cup) capacity;
- Adjustable temperature control from 0 to 400°F;
- 60-minute timer;
- Powerful dual fan convection system;
- Cool-touch handle;
- Non-stick pan, basket, and separator;
- Automatically shuts off once cooking is complete.
A great feature of any cheap air fryer is the ability to set a timer and then walk away while your food is cooking. Most feature a 30-minute timer in addition to any other settings they have but the Black+Decker Purify has a 60-minute timer with automatic shut off. The nonstick surfaces and high-speed convection fans allow you to cook with as little as a tablespoon of your favorite oil. As a bonus, this air fryer is available in either black or white whichever will fit best with your existing kitchen decor.
This air fryer is the smallest among the most inexpensive. What can you cook in it at a time: 2 potatoes, or 6-8 chicken wings, or 4 small chicken thighs, or 2 small burgers, or 2 chicken breasts.
The manufacturer is especially proud of non-stick coating, that is stable, inert and non-toxic. According to customer’s reviews, it is surprisingly durable and won’t peel off after a few months of use. But be absolutely sure, that 2-liter capacity will be enough for you, before buying this air fryer. Also be ready that it is a bit noisy.
3. GoWISE USA with 8 Cook Presets: High Quality Digital Air Fryer
- 8 presets featuring: warm, fries/chips, chicken, steak, shrimp, pork, cake, and fish;
- The digital screen allows you to set temperature from 170F to 400F and cook from 1-30 minutes;
- Has a dishwasher safe removable pan with a cool-to-touch handgrip and detachable basket;
- Indicator lets you know when cooking time has been reached. The timer will beep 5 times to let you know when your food is ready;
- Safety features: overheat protection, automatic switch off, automatic standby mode;
- Includes recipe book with 50 recipes specifically made for GoWISE USA Air Fryers.
An advanced version of 8-in-1 Programmable Air Fryer, this model is a little more expensive, but it wins in quality, that is confirmed by higher ratings. Without a doubt, it’s worth its money – especially since it is one of the few (in its price range) equipped with a digital screen. Cooking presets is another reason to choose this air fryer – you do not have to dig into the recipes and worry that you have incorrectly set the temperature and cooking time. Of course, you can also cook your own recipes.
It’s dishwasher safe – the basket and the basket holder are the only parts that need to be washed after use. The basket is made of iron with non-stick coating. To prolong the life of the basket, the manufacturer recommends do not use a non-stick cooking spray but pour a little oil and spread with a paper towel.
4. Avalon Bay: The Most Stylish Red Air Fryer with Accessories
- 3.7 Quart capacity;
- 30-minute timer;
- Temperatures ranging from from 180 to 400°F;
- Baking set: non-stick baking dish and multi-use rack;
- Non-slip feet;
- Detachable basket for easy food transfer;
- 52-page cookbook.
The Avalon Bay has a perfect size for a small family or for the quick snacks of a larger brood. Featuring a 30-minute mechanical timer and temperature range of 180-400 degrees, this is an easy to use air fryer for anyone. The detachable basket makes it easy to remove your food and also helps with the cleanup. There is a minimum necessary safety feature: automatical turning off with an audible alarm when the timer finishes.
More than just a good air fryer, the Avalon Bay model is super stylish in a bright, glossy red making it a perfect addition to your kitchen counter. It also comes with a free baking set plus a 52-page recipe booklet so you are ready to cook everything from breakfast to dessert as soon as it arrives. Once you master these basic recipes you will be able to go on to more complex recipes as well as recreating some of your family’s favorite in a more healthful fashion.
The good news is that Avalon Bay provides a full 3-month warranty. If this fryer does not satisfy you, you can return it without any unnecessary questions within a period of 90 days from the moment of receipt.
5. Air Fryer by Cozyna: A Completely Dishwasher Safe Air Fryer
- 30-minute timer;
- Adjustable temperature up to 392 degrees;
- Ultra sonic power (1500 Watt);
- Cool to touch easy grip handle;
- All parts are dishwasher-safe for a quick and easy clean up;
- Comes with 1 cookbook and additional e-book with more than 50 recipes included;
- Option to purchase additional accessories.
This model is of really high quality, so it is not surprising that it has such high ratings. In addition, this air fryer is available in the digital version (touchscreen display) and in XL size (5.8 qt). And that’s not all the good news. How often did you regret that you do not have enough accessories to make special meals? In this case, you have the opportunity to additionally purchase a set of 6 units: mini cake silicone pan, cake barrel, pizza pan, metal holder, multi-purpose rack with skewers and silicone mat.
One of the best parts of this air fryer is the ability to take it all apart and put everything in the dishwasher. No more washing by hand or dealing with grimy exteriors because you can only wipe them down. As an added bonus, this air fryer comes with a cook book plus a bonus eBook so that you have a wide range of recipes to choose from. These recipes will let you cook everything for all three main meals, snacks and desserts all with less oil than regular cooking so that all of your favorite foods are lighter and healthier.
6. Secura 4-Liter XL Air Fryer: Largest Cheap Air Fryer
- 4-liter extra large basket
- 60-minute timer;
- Temperature control from 180° to 390°F;
- Auto-shutoff once cooking is complete;
- Durable non-stick coating;
- Accessories included: toaster rack & 4 skewers;
- 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Secura air fryer is one of the largest on the market with a 4 liter (4.2 quarts) capacity. In addition to being able to cook more food, it has a longer timer setting (60 minutes) with an automatic shut off that prevents your food from being overcooked and keeps the air fryer from overheating. Adjustable temperature controls also allow you to choose a range from 180-390 degrees. The fryer basket is removable and can be washed in the dishwasher. The exterior is wipe clean.
Bonus gifts with the Secura air fryer include a recipe booklet, a toaster rack and four metal skewers. In addition to the larger capacity, this air fryer has a longer electric cord giving you the ability to move it from place to place with greater ease. You should use caution with this cord so that it does not dangle over a counter and present a tripping hazard. It should also be secured if there are young children or pets in the house as they can pull the cord and burn themselves. It has a standard, two-year warranty with optional extra protection coverage available.
How does an air fryer work?
One of the newest kitchen appliances to hit the market, air fryers are all the rage in “healthy cooking” right now. But a name like “air fryer” begs the question: How does it work? To put it very simply, the appliance functions to circulate hot air around the food to, in a sense, fry it. The real explanation, though, gets a little more complicated.
Traditional methods of frying cook food by submerging it into hot oil. The temperature of the oil induces a chemical reaction between amino acids and the reduction of sugars that produces the distinctive flavor of browned foods, and produces the characteristic fried food most people have come to love. Alternatively, however, the air fryer coats the food in a very thin layer of oil. As it does so, it also circulates hot air at a temperature of up to 400°F (200°C) to exchange the necessary energy to initiate the same chemical reaction.
In so doing, the air fryer is also able to produce fried foods, including potato chips, chicken tenders, French fries, and even pastries. The big difference, though, is that the air fryer uses nearly 70 to 80 percent less oil than a traditional deep fryer.
Even a cheap air fryer typically comes with an adjustable temperature and timer knob to accommodate different techniques and produce more precise cooking. And in most models, the food sits in a cooking basket above a drip tray as it cooks. Much like with traditional frying, the food must be shaken periodically to ensure even coverage with oil, but some models are designed to naturally perform this task with a continuous agitator.
How healthy is an air fryer?
Air fryers are generally touted as a healthy (or at least healthier) way to prepare decadent foods like French fries, empanadas, and even some pastries. But just how healthy is an air fryer? Well, using a tablespoon of oil versus cups of the stuff to prepare food definitely has a pay off in terms of reduced fat and calories. And the taste and texture of the food are still relatively similar to that of traditionally fried foods, but consider these factors before going out and buying your first fryer.
According to research, some air fryer models may reduce the fat content in fried foods by up to 75 percent. This is because the air fryer may use as little as 1 tablespoon of oil while a traditional fryer may need 3 cups or more for the same recipe.
Likewise, some studies have suggested that swapping deep-fried foods for air-fried foods may actually support weight loss. Air frying reduces the amount of fat in foods, which also reduces calories – an important factor in weight loss.
Not only are deep-fried foods high in fat and calories, but they also may contain potentially dangerous compounds, such as acrylamide, that are produced in the frying process. Luckily, air-frying actually lowers the acrylamide content in the food by as much as 90 percent. So, when it comes down to it, air-fried food is likely much healthier than deep-fried food.
How to clean an air fryer?
Compared to deep frying, air frying is relatively clean. The cooking basket is encased in the appliance, which eliminates the splatter of fat, grease, and oil that is typical with deep frying methods. Likewise, the oil from the food cooking actually drips into a drip pan below the cooking basket to reduce mess. Nevertheless, regular cleaning and maintenance is important to maintain the proper function of your air fryer. You should clean your air fryer each time you use it using the following method.
- Unplug the air fryer and allow it to cool completely.
- Gently wipe the outside of the fryer with a damp cotton cloth.
- Rinse the pan, tray, and basket with hot water and dish soap. (Most air fryers have dishwasher safe removable components, so you can opt for this method.)
- Clean the inside of the air fryer by gently wiping it with hot water and a clean cloth.
- Remove any food that has gotten stuck to the heating element with a small brush.
- Allow all of the components of the fryer to dry completely before putting the fryer back together.
To avoid damaging your air fryer, do not use utensils or sharp objects to remove food that is stuck-on. All of the components of the air fryer are lined with a non-stick coating that may become scratched if you use utensils or tools other than a brush, cloth, or sponge.
If food has gotten stuck to the pan or basket, allow them to soak in hot, soapy water. Softening the food in this type of soak will make it easier to remove.
You do not need to clean the air fryer entirely between consecutive batches of food. Rather, wait until you have finished the final batch of food, and then clean the air fryer.
Why buy an air fryer?
It’s no secret that air fryers have recently taken the cooking world by storm, but many people are still left wondering if they’re all their cracked up to be. If that’s you, here are a few reasons you might want to be the next person in line to purchase your cheap air fryer.
Air fryers deliver pretty notable benefits when compared to deep frying. They use roughly 70 to 80 percent less oil, which reduces calories and fat content. So if you are someone who loves fried food but wants to eat a bit healthier, this is a great alternative.
These appliances are also relatively user-friendly. Most models have only a few parts and feature relatively self-explanatory controls to regulate time and temperature. Not only that, but you’ll also not need the huge container of oil you would if you were going for the traditional frying method.
An air fryer is also versatile. In fact, it has a wider array of functions than even the typical deep fryer. You can use it to reheat leftovers, cook frozen foods, roast meats, make healthier versions of your deep-fried favorites, and even make new variations of your favorite baked goods. Keep in mind, though, some foods are best made using their traditional cooking technique, so you’ll just want to try your hand at a few things until you get the hang of it.