The Best Cheap Air Fryers of 2019

The air fryer is a new appliance that's based on an old one: the convection oven. 

An air fryer uses rapidly circulating hot air (and a bit of oil) to crisp food while cooking it. Many people use air fryers to make snack foods that are typically fried. For example, french fries, chicken fingers, churros, donuts, empanadas, chicken wings, chips, etc. 

Just because these foods are prepared with less oil doesn't make them healthy, however. 

If you're buying an air fryer for a party, prepare to work like a short order cook. Air fryers aren't good for making big batches of food, despite their large footprint. (Make sure you have the counter space for one.)

An air fryer is safer, easier-to-clean and potentially healthier than a deep fryer, but it isn't a microwave replacement or an Instant Pot alternative. If you don't expect too much, you might not be let down.

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

Good Price: $63 | Great Deal: $40

Rosewill's 3.2L air fryer works well and cleans up easily in the dishwasher, according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers wish this unit came with a cookbook; others were disappointed that Rosewill does not sell aftermarket accessories.

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; it will not feed a family.

Good Price: $71 | Great Deal: $46

Avalon makes a point to declare that its air fryer is made with BPA-free plastic (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