The Best Cheap Air Fryers of 2019

The air fryer is a relatively new invention that's similar to a convection oven. Basically, an air fryer uses rapidly circulating hot air (and a bit of oil) to cook food and make it crispy.

Do you need an air fryer? Probably not. An air fryer is a way to cook healthier versions of snack foods (e.g. french fries, chicken fingers, churros, donuts, empanadas, chicken wings, chips, etc.). Notice that I said "healthier," not healthy. On the plus side, air fryers are safer than dealing with a deep fryer (hot oil is really dangerous) and air fryers are usually easier to clean. 

An air fryer isn't a true replacement for a microwave or a multicooker (e.g. Instant Pot). Also, air fryers aren't good for making big batches of food. If you're buying an air fryer for a party, prepare to work like a short order cook. Air fryers are bigger than you’d think, so make sure you have the counter space to store it.

Here are the best-reviewed air fryers that have sold for less than $100 in the past 12 months:

Good Price: $95 | Great Deal: $45

This Secura air fryer has lots of rave reviews and photos of delicious looking food to back them up. A common criticism is that the analog timer knob feels chintzy. Some reviewers noticed a plastic smell while cooking, but not a plastic taste in the food (thankfully).

Good Price: $68 | Great Deal: $50

The 3.7 quart GoWISE air fryer is easy to use and to clean according to many reviewers. Some say that the included recipe book isn't very helpful and that the machine beeps loudly when you press its buttons.

Good Price: $65 | Great Deal: $36

This Dash air fryer mostly has glowing reviews, but some reviewers complained that the unit shut off while cooking (possibly from overheating). This machine is designed for single-servings or for two people, tops. It will not feed a family or groups.

Good Price: $71 | Great Deal: $46

The Avalon air fryer makes a point of declaring that it is made with BPA-free plastic, which is an important selling point for some people. This model is priced similarly to the GoWISE 3.7 quart model and has similar reviews.


John DeFeo