Best Air Fryer Under $100 – Reviews for 2019
Who doesn’t love the taste of good fried food? Unfortunately, deep-fried foods are not the healthiest. In recent years, though, air fryers have become an alternative way to fry food in a more healthy way. Even if you are on a budget, there’s still a way to fry food at home in an oil less deep fryer. In this post, we share our tips on how to find the best air fryer under $100. This includes everything you need to know about purchasing and air fryer and how to use it.
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER.
What Is An Air Fryer?
Air fryers are changing the way people cook at home. When I first learned about air fryers I thought why would someone make the investment just to cook french fries at home? What’s wrong with just baking them? But, an air fryer does way more than that.
At its most basic, an air fryer uses hot air to circulate and cook the food. This results in food that is tender and moist on the inside, still crunchy on the outside, all with little or no oil. It’s a small countertop appliance, often not much bigger than a rice cooker or a coffee maker. Although called an air fryer, it doesn’t fry your food the same way as a deep fryer would. Instead, it prepares crispy “fried” foods but in a no oil fryer.
I will admit that food that is air fried doesn’t taste exactly the same as if it were deep fried in quality oil. It is, however, a happy medium between eating tasty food and eating more healthy. All while reducing cooking times. And that makes it a good investment.See The Best Air Fryers On Amazon
Top Air Fryer Recommendations Under $100
We recommend purchasing your air fryer on Amazon. I like using Amazon for home appliance purchase for a variety of reasons. First, they have an amazing selection of quality affordable air fryers. Second, we try to recommend products that are part of Amazon Prime, which provides purchasers with free and often super-fast delivery. (Get 30 days of Prime free here.)
If you are short on time, take a look at the chart below. Although I include full reviews below, our overall conclusions are in the table. I’ve organized our recommendations by air fryer size, from smaller to larger. Also pay attention to the air fryer ratings. There’s more to purchasing an air fryer online than price. It’s a good idea to look for the perfect match between price and features in order to find a good value.
How Does An Air Fryer Work?
An air fryer works more like a convection oven, in that it circulates hot air around the food, like a fan. The hot air circulates through the fryer by a mechanical fan. The hot air cooks the food from all sides, which cooks it more evenly and creates a crisp texture that is similar to fried food. Temperatures range from 175 degrees to 400 degrees celsius, which is pretty darn hot.
There are many benefits of using an oiless fryer. One is that because it works like a convection oven, many of the best air fryers can be used to bake, grill, and roast foods too. There are also health benefits from cooking this way.
There are a few things to note about cooking in an air fryer. First, it’s not entirely oil-less, which I will explain. Second, if you bread your meat, be sure to press the breadcrumbs into the meat. Otherwise the air might just blow them off! This just gives you a little more insight into how an air fryer works – with hot air!
Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer
When we first moved to Spain after five years relatively on the road, we wanted to stock our kitchen with everything we needed to cook well at home. For years, Eric wanted a deep fryer. His aunt in Ireland had one and he loved the taste of the fries that came out of it. He wanted to cook chicken wings and Spanish croquetas and more. So, I bought him one just like in the photo above.
Cooking With A Deep Fryer
A deep fryer works by placing a good amount of vegetable oil or canola oil into a deep pan within the deep fryer. The food we prepared tasted pretty good, even if I knew all of that oil wasn’t good for us. Every time I watched how much oil went into even a small deep fryer, I questioned why were were doing it.
For me, the biggest problem was the clean up. No matter how careful we were, oil splattered all over. We had all that oil left in the deep fryer. It sat on our kitchen counter, greasy, and always an eye sore. We couldn’t store it in a cabinet because we were afraid of all the oil inside. When we emptied the oil to change it out, we always had a big mess. After a few months the deep fryer found its way into the box, under the bed, and eventually found its way to the curb.
A good air fryer eliminates a lot of these problems. Using little or no oil means a lot less mess. That means the air fryer stays cleaner. It can be left on the counter or stored underneath without feeling like you are leaving a big greasy mess behind. This, to me, is one of the biggest benefits of switching from a deep fryer to an air fryer.
Are Air Fryers Healthy?
One of the most often asked questions we get is “are air fryers healthy”? Here’s the thing. They are healthier than deep frying mostly because you don’t need to use oil to cook the food. That alone helps to reduce caloric intake. Food cooked in an air fryer also doesn’t sit in the stomach after eating it the same way that traditionally deep fried food does. We’ve all been in that situation after a plate of fried chicken and fries, liking our fingers, and saying to ourselves “I shouldn’t have done that.”
That said, the health benefits of any food you cook in there are based on the natural ingredients used. If you bake a chocolate cake in an air fryer (which you can do) it doesn’t somehow become healthy just because it was cooked in an air fryer. If you use a ton of salt, that’s not going to help either. It’s healthier, but maybe not always healthy.
Air Fryer Cooking Pro Tip
How can I use my air fryer more efficiently? One way to improve the flavor of air fried foods without losing the health benefits is to use an oil spritzer to coat the food before cooking. This will add a little bit of flavor and a little bit more crunch to the foods. For added flavor and crunch, repeat this process half way through the cooking process.
What Is The Best “Cheap” Air Fryer?
A lot of home cooks wonder “are air fryers expensive?” They can be, but they don’t have to be. Air fryers can range in price from $50 to $250 or more. It depends on the brand, the size, and the features. Although it is not necessary to buy the most expensive air fryers on the market in order to purchase a quality machine, I also wouldn’t recommend the cheapest model either.
Any kitchen appliance is an investment. We’ve learned over time that buying the smallest or the cheapest often leads to a bad experience or a broken machine that just gets replaced quickly anyway. It’s better to look for the best “value” air fryer, one that fits within your budget, but has all the features you are looking for, and is made by a quality brand. So, don’t think cheap. Instead think affordable and value. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of the best affordable air fryers, all under $100.See More Amazon Air Fryer Reviews
Are Air Fryers Good To Buy – Even Under $100
Why would someone purchase an air fryer for their kitchen? There are a few reasons. First, there is a level of convenience from cooking this way. They almost work like a slow cooker, with minimal intervention. You can, sort of, set it and forget it. Most air fryers have an auto-turn off function and a timer to help with this sort of cooking. This makes it more convenient than cooking on a stovetop. When compared to deep-frying foods, cooking with an air fryer is cleaner and safer. There is less risk of a hot oil splash, which can cause a kitchen fire. And, all of these benefits can be found even with air fryers that cost under $100.
How To Find The Best Price Air Fryer
Some of the best deals on air fryers come from ones that are less than three quarts. They usually cost around $50 or less. They are best for singles, couples, or making small snacks, rather than full meals. The larger machines in this price range tend to be of lower quality with fewer features.
Many of the more expensive air fryers are larger. That can have a capacity of six quarts or more and are sometimes designated as “XL” air fryers. They are made for large families and often will have a lot more features. Although it is possible to find some just under the $100 mark, many of them are more expensive.
The sweet spot in the middle might be the best air fryer for the money. They range between $50 and $100. They normally have a capacity between four and six quarts, although some may be slightly larger. They are ideal for couples who want to cook more than a snack, for small families, or four people who entertain.
Air Fryer Size Pro Tip
When it comes to air fryer capacity and sizes, some brands use liters and some use quarts. Some use both. One liter is a little more than one quart. For example, you might see an air fryer say it is 5 Liters or 5. 3 Quarts. We use both sizes interchangeably based on the measurements used by the manufacturer. The table above includes measurements in quarts.
Which Air Fryer Is Best For You
There are some key considerations to think about when choosing the best air fryer on the market for less than $100. This includes some of the features and specs you will see in each appliance as well as your personal situation.
Air Fryer Capacity And Size
There are a variety of air fryer sizes. Which one is right for you will depend on the size of our household and to some extent the amount of space in your kitchen. Capacity refers to the amount of space available inside for cooking. Some air fryers are labeled in liters and others in quarts.
Small air fryers can be one to three liters, medium ones about three to five liters, and large and XL models are normally six liters and up. Some of them are large enough to cook more than one type of food at a time. This is possible because the air fryer pan has a wall in the middle to separate the food items.
Air fryers are relatively compact, countertop appliances. Some people will keep it on the kitchen counter all the time, which will encourage you to use it more. Some people will keep it in a cabinet. Either way, be sure to measure the amount of space you have available before purchasing.
Maintenance And Cleaning
Always look at how easy it is to clean the appliance. We learned this the hard way with our old-school deep fryer. Look for a basket that easily removes and has non-stick coating. This will make it easier to clean. Also look for streamlined buttons to make it easy to wipe down the entire unit when needed.
Programming And Settings
Many air fryers will have pre-set programming depending on the type of food cooked. Look for ones that have programming but also allow you to adjust the temperature and settings based on your recipes.
Air fryer temperatures can range from 175 to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Some do go lower, which is often because they can be used to dehydrate foods. Some will go higher as well. When choosing an air fryer, consider choosing one with a wide temperature range. This means you have more flexibility in the foods you can make.
Wattage And Power
Most air fryers use between 800 and 1,700 watts. More expensive models can be more powerful, but most under $100 will fall within this range. The higher the wattage the more powerful the fryer will be. The fryer will heat up quicker and be able to regulate the temperature better.
Air Fryer Cooking Pro Tip
In order to cut down on the cooking time, bring foods to room temperature before cooking. It will take less time for the air fryer to heat up, which reduces the cooking time. Or, look for an air fryer with a preheat setting.
The Best Air Fryers Under $100
Here are our top eight air fryers under $100. They range in price from around $60 to just under $100. The prices are within this range at time of publishing. Sometimes brands will increase their price, so apologies if a price increases. Included in each air fryer review is information about its features, capacity, and warranty. To find the current price, just click on the red button under the image.
Compact Air Fryers Under $100 – Less Than Six Quarts
Starting with the smallest air fryers on our list, these are the ones that come in at less than five quarts. Any fryer between 3.7 quarts and five quarts is best for singles, couples, and small families. They feed between two and four people. For more people, you would need to batch cook.
The Two Liter Black And Decker Mini Air Fryer is the perfect starter air fryer for apartments, dorms, and other small spaces. To get an idea of air fryer capacity, this machine can fry two potatoes worth of fries or up to eight chicken wings. It’s also pretty straight forward with manual controls. The nonstick cooking basket also has a basket separator meaning you can cook more than one thing at a time.
The Black & Decker Purifry Mini Air Fryer includes manual controls with a timer up to 60 minutes and a temperature range from 175 to 400 degrees. There is an indicator light that shows when the air fryer is powered on. It turns off when the preheat temperature is reached. It’s pretty straight forward, but is necessary to use the instruction manual to figure out temps until you get used to it.
This is a great starter fryer, but if you plan to cook for more people or if you entertain, I would recommend one that is a little larger.
The COSORI 3.7 Quart Electric Air Fryer has a unique feature where the display is angled up to avoid having to bend down to see it. It’s ergonomic. It’s features don’t end there.
It offers a dishwasher safe square basket rather than a round one. This makes it easy to clean and offers a little more space for food. They also sell replacement baskets separately, which is a great alternative to lengthen the life of the air fryer. The digital touch screen includes 11 presets, including bread and desserts. There is an automatic shut off to prevent overcooking. The COSORI has 1500 watts of power making it pretty powerful at both this size and price. There is a shake reminder, keep warm function, and it only takes less than five minutes to preheat.
It also comes with a two year warranty. The COSORI comes in black, red, and white.
The GoWISE 3.7-Quart Digital Air Fryer can fry, bake, roast, and grill all in one feature.
This red air fryer includes eight presets for fries, meats, fish, and cake. There is a digital LCD screen to control the temperature, cook time up tp 30 minutes, and setting. The temperature ranges from 180 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with 1400 watts of power. There is a timer that will beep when the food is ready. There is a detachable air fryer pan and basket to make cleaning easy. The pan is also non-stick.
One of the best digital air fryer options under $100, particularly with all of the features in a small air fryer. And, it comes in black, purple, white, and red meaning it can match a variety of kitchen decor. It also comes with a recipe book.
The Secura 4 Liter Hot Air Fryer a good value at this price. At four liters (4.2 quarts) it can cook food for around four people. It uses a combination of circulated hot air and a top grill.
The Secura includes analog controls. There is a 60-minute timer and an auto-shutoff when the food is complete. The temperature ranges from 180 to 390 degrees using 1500 watts of power. Although there aren’t pre-set programs, the face of the air fryer includes temperature suggestions for various food items.
The Secura 4 Liter comes with a recipe book, toaster rack, and skewers, making it unique at this price point. There is a two year limited warranty. One step up from this is the Secura 5 Liter Electric Hot Air Fryer, which is often offered for a special price under $100. The four liter comes in black, but the five liter comes in a variety of colors.
The GoWISE 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer takes things up a notch from the smaller GoWISE air fryer. It only comes in black and white but has a few more features to offer more precise cooking methods while still pricing in at less than $100. It allows you to dry, bake, grill, and roast with eight pre-sets.
The temperature range is the same, from 180 to 400 degrees, but comes in at 1700 watts meaning it is more powerful. Whereas the more compact air fryer has a 30 minute cooking timer, this one allows for 10 minute increments up to 30 minutes. This offers more precise cooking. There is also a start and stop button to allow you to adjust during the cooking process.
This air fryer even has a built-in alarm to remind you to adjust or shake the basket for more even cooking. The detachable frying basket includes a cool touch handle and a button guard to make sure you don’t detach it accidentally.
Air Fryers Under $100 – Six Quarts And Over
When looking at an air fryer comparison, it is a little more of a challenge to find larger capacity air fryers for less than $100. Once they get over six quarts, size increases along with price. In order to find the best price on an air fryer this size, we looked for reputable brands, with a larger size, that still offered a good amount of features.
The Dash 6 Quart Deluxe Dry Air Fryer is as fun as it is functional. I included the aqua color because it is so unique and a little retro. It also comes in black, white, and red. This is one of the best air fryer deals and is one of the top rated air fryers on Amazon.
The Dash is a six quart capacity meaning it has plenty of space to cook for a family of four to six. It can even roast a chicken inside. There are manual rather than digital controls but there is an auto-off function to prevent overcooking. The temperature knob is on the top and the timer on the front. The temperature ranges from 175 to 400 degrees and it is 1700 watts making it pretty powerful.
The basket is dishwasher safe and has a cool touch handle. The entire air fryer includes cool touch housing making it so much safer than a deep fryer. Dash also has a mini air fryer option that is 1.2 liter capacity.
The OMORC 6 Quart Hot Air Fryer is another option on the larger size, but more traditional than the Dash. It can feed between two and eight people and even cooks a full six pound chicken in the square basket.
The removable fry basket is non-stick and dishwasher safe. The hot air fryer includes seven presets in a combination of manual and digital controls. You can adjust the temperature between 180 to 400 degrees with the knob rather than consistently pressing buttons. The knob also helps to adjust during cooking, even with messy fingers. Kind of thoughtful!
The OMORC comes with a two year warranty and lifetime support. It comes with a recipe book that includes options for 10-minute rapid air fryer cooking.
The Chefman 6.5 Liter Digital Air Fryer Oven is one of the better value air fryer brands, with most of their offerings coming in below $100. This 6.5 Liter family sized air fryer is no different.
The Chefman has a temperature range between 175 and 400 degrees on the digital temperature control. There is a 60 minute timer. The air fryer turns off automatically when the timer ends so there is no concern about over cooking. The air fryer is 1700 watts making it pretty powerful.
The basket is made of non-stick material and is dishwasher safe. It’s made of a unique flat basket design making it space saving. This means it can cook a good amount of food without increasing the footprint of the machine on the kitchen counter.
They do recommend cleaning the rest of the air fryer with soft sponges and non-abrasive cloths – a good tip for all of these appliances. The Chefman is backed by a one-year warranty.