For many, the excess fat of particular foods can make them off-putting, although fried food can be tasty it can leave you feeling groggy afterward. An air fryer is a countertop convection oven that provides a healthy alternative for enjoying fried food.
Rather than using oil, an air fryer uses hot air by circulating and distributing it through the cooking chamber. Air fryers aren't solely limited to frying food and can be used for cooking other foods such as meats, vegetables, and even desserts.
An air fryer can be a costly expense and for those with limited budgets, a quick browse of the market can often be disappointing. However, not to worry as we have reviewed our top five picks of the best air fryers all of which retail under $100.
Want to enjoy delicious fried foods without breaking the bank? Well, now you can. We have also included a buyer's guide where we have identified our top tips for selecting the best appliance for your cooking needs.
Are you in a hurry? We have pinpointed our top pick for you below.
OUR TOP PICK
With an excellent star rating and raving reviews, the Ninja air fryer uses 75% less fat than traditional methods. For this reason, you can be sure that this appliance is going to cook your foods to a healthy standard.
Providing a fast and effective way of rustling up some healthy foods, the fryer retails at an affordable price making it a must-have appliance.
As for the temperature range, this fryer can be heated from 105 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit providing versatility in the foods that you can cook. For moisture free, crispy foods you can opt for the higher heat setting.
As for cleaning, the baskets inside the fryer possess non-stick qualities that make it easier to get rid of any leftover food.
The basket, crisper plate, and multi-layer rack are also dishwasher safe should you find this an easier solution to cleaning after cooking.
Boasting a generous cooking capacity, this fryer measures 4 quarts which are likely to be sufficient in catering to the cooking demands of a family.
You are also provided with a multi-rack layer that allows for thorough dehydration of your foods.
- When you purchase this fryer you will receive a 20 recipe book for cooking inspiration.
- It features a clear display that allows for an easy user experience.
- As well as frying this appliance can be used for air roasting, reheating and dehydrating.
- It is easy to clean after use.
- It is consistent in regards to the crispiness and taste of the food.
- The fryer is quite loud and makes a beeping sound that some may find off-putting.
Another strong contender is the GoWISE USA Digital Air Fryer. With 1700 watts of power it is going to reach higher temperatures within a minimal amount of time.
It also boasts a generous 5.8-quart capacity that is sufficient in allowing you to cook a decent amount of food at once if cooking for a family.
Impressively, this air fryer is equipped with a temperature range starting at 180 degrees Fahrenheit reaching 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The temperature increases in 10-degree increments and you can also set a timer with a maximum of 30 minutes. This fryer is also equipped with an alarm that will inform you when your food needs to be shaken.
As for ease of use, this fryer is designed with a digital display and touchscreen menu that allows for easy navigation between the settings.
8 cooking preset timers allow you to select the necessary option depending on the food that you are cooking.
The non-stick pans mean that cleaning needn't be a chore. The food is going to refrain from sticking to the surface and tearing.
The basket is also detachable which allows for easier access so that you can clean it thoroughly ready for the next use.
- This air fryer comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee and a 1 year warranty so there is help available should you require it.
- It comes with a recipe book that includes 50 different recipes for plenty of inspiration.
- The alarm alerts you as to when your food needs to be shaken for the best cooking results.
- It is easy to clean after use.
- It works with speed so you don't have to wait for a long time for your food to cook.
- The quality of this air fryer could be improved for longevity.
Compactly designed with a 3.7 quart cooking capacity, this air fryer is an ideal choice for accommodating the cooking requirements of individuals and is a worthy option for dorms, RVs, and apartments.
Courtesy of its smaller size, it can also be conveniently transported in between locations should you require its use elsewhere.
Boasting a digital display this fryer is easy to use and allows the user to navigate through each of the settings using the touch screen. It also comes with 11 preset cooking programs to cater to different foods.
We particularly like how this fryer displays the temperature along with the cooking status so you remain fully informed throughout the process.
This fryer allows you to cook without worrying about a build-up of mess as you do so.
You aren't going to be confronted with grease splatters or oil smoke and the baskets have been made using non-stick materials and they can also be removed for easy cleaning.
Additionally, they are also suitable for dishwashing which eliminates the chore of cleaning.
Available in an assortment of colors including black, burgundy, red, and white, you can select the color that you feel is going to complement the interior of your kitchen.
It is also going to be a sleek addition to your kitchen countertop as it consumes a minimal amount of room.
- You are provided with 100 meal recipes for inspiration as to what meals you can cook.
- This air fryer uses 85% less oil than traditional cooking methods so you can enjoy healthy food.
- The digital LED touch screen makes it easy to use and identify the different settings.
- It is an ideal size for catering to the cooking needs of individuals.
- The assortment of colors allows you to select your preferred option.
- Unfortunately, some customers have reported that the quality could be improved for enhanced durability.
Retailing at a very affordable price, the Dash Tasti Crisp Electric Air Fryer is an ideal choice for those on a budget.
Utilizing 1000 watts of power, it boasts a 2.6 quart cooking capacity that is likely to be sufficient in accommodating the cooking needs of 2-4 people at once.
Weighing only 7.24 pounds this is a compact and lightweight fryer that is going to consume a minimal amount of space in your kitchen.
If you are likely to be cooking in different locations, this is an ideal choice as it is going to be easy to transport.
Safety has been accounted for courtesy of the automatic shut off feature that helps to prevent overcooking by turning the machine off once it has exceeded a certain temperature.
It has also been designed with cool-touch housing that makes it safe to handle after use without a risk of accidents.
Utilizing Air Crisp Technology, this air fryer circulates the air fast and effectively to ensure that it is evenly distributed and your food is cooked thoroughly.
You will also be alerted as to when your food needs to be shaken via a 30 minute timer. This air fryer is available in six color options that allow you to select the option that is going to compliment your kitchen decor.
- The components are dishwasher safe which allows for easy cleaning after use.
- As a compact fryer, it is going to be a sleek addition to your kitchen consuming a minimal amount of space.
- It retails at a very affordable price which is ideal for those who are on a budget.
- The automatic shut off function helps to ensure that your food isn't overcooked.
- It is available in a variety of colors so that you can select your preferred option.
- Some customers have suggested that the non-stick properties aren't very effective as the food is prone to sticking.
With a 6-quart cooking capacity, the NUWAVE BRIO digital air fryer provides a viable option for families.
The generous cooking capacity can cook a decent amount of food at once so everyone can enjoy some tasty and healthy meals.
It also comes with a removable divider that allows you to cook larger foods with ease too.
The top of this air fryer features a convenient digital display that sets out each of the functions for easy navigation between each.
It also comes with multiple preset cooking programs to cater to the cooking specifications of different foods.
Boasting many additional features, this fryer is likely to be a favorable option amongst many.
Not only does it have an impressive 100 degree Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range that can be altered in increments of 5 degrees, but it also has reheat and preheat functions should you require them.
Similar to our previous pick, this fryer has an automatic shut-off function that turns off the fryer as soon as the basket is removed and it will only continue to cook when the basket has resumed a secure position.
- The removable baskets are easy to clean after use.
- As the air fryer monitors the temperature every 120 seconds you can enjoy thoroughly cooked foods.
- It has an impressive temperature range that accommodates different foods.
- The digital user-friendly display allows for easy use of the fryer and identification of the settings.
- The automatic shut off function ensures that you can enjoy using the fryer safely.
- Some customers suggested that the non-stick surfaces aren't particularly effective and cleaning can become a chore.
Best Air Fryer Under $100 Buying Guide
There are many factors to consider before investing in an air fryer as you want to ensure that it is suitable for your cooking needs.
Below we have identified some criteria that we would advise you to consider before investing in your air fryer.
Of course, they need to retail under $100 but they should still boast the essential features.
Air fryers can vary in size, on the whole, they are considered to be compact appliances, however, some are slightly larger than others. Some have smaller cooking baskets while others have more generously sized baskets. The size of the basket is measured in quartz.
The size of the air fryer that you choose is going to depend on the number of people that you are going to be cooking for. If you are cooking for yourself or another individual a smaller air fryer is likely to suffice.
If you are cooking for multiple individuals and larger groups, you are likely to benefit from investing in an air fryer with a larger cooking capacity. Also, consider the space that you have available on your cooking surface.
While they are deemed to be a space-saving option, if you are particularly limited on available space, you may wish to invest in a smaller option so that it doesn't restrict the room that you have available.
Air fryers tend to incorporate different heat functions and temperature capabilities. The maximum temperature can differ between the brand and some may be higher than others.
Your air fryer is likely to boast settings that allow you to change the temperature to suit the food that you are cooking.
Those that have a higher temperature range are likely to cook your foods faster. Some will also come with preset modes that you can choose from depending on the food you are cooking. Others will come with manual controls that allow you to input the desired temperature that you require.
Ease of Use
Many air fryers are designed with digital control panels that display each of the functions and buttons that are needed to navigate your way through the settings.
Some will display the temperature and cooking status too. This allows you to prepare your time ready for when the food is cooked.
Some people may require their fryer in different locations and for this reason, it should be designed with portability in mind.
Of course, those that are compact and lightweight are going to be preferable as they are going to be easier to transport.
After enjoying some tasty food that has been cooked inside your air fryer you don't then want to find yourself faced with the chore of cleaning up an overly messy fryer afterward. The baskets inside the air fryer are usually removable which allows for easier access for thorough cleaning.
The materials should be non-stick as this is going to prevent the food from sticking and tearing which is going to make it more difficult to clean.
Some air fryers are suitable for dishwashing although it is worth checking the specifications of the product beforehand to ensure that this is the case.
The Oil Consumption
Air fryers are commonly sought after because they use significantly less oil than other methods.
The amount of oil consumed throughout the process of cooking can vary depending on the fryer, although the majority tend to consume a minimal amount so you can be sure that your food is going to be cooked to a healthy standard.
The majority of air fryers typically use around 1400 to 1700 watts of power.
A fryer with a higher wattage is going to generate more heat than those with a lower wattage. The wattage determines how much electricity is used during the cooking process and it is important to consider this when assessing your cooking needs.
If you are cooking for an individual, an air fryer with high wattage is likely to consume a significant amount of electricity when one with lower wattage will suffice your needs.
You may find that particular brands are more dominant in this niche than others. Many have gained reputations amongst customers for being trustworthy brands because of the high-quality appliances that they produce.
While it is necessary to expect well-known brands to produce high-quality products, many less known brands produce air fryers that are viable options too.
Some brands offer a warranty with their products and this ensures that you are covered should you experience any issues or you are dissatisfied with the quality of the product that you receive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an air fryer worth it?
Air fryers are a versatile addition to the kitchen and for this reason, many may feel that they are a worthy investment.
Not only can they be used to cook meats and vegetables, but they are also used for mock deep frying and can even be used for baking.
The worthiness of this purchase is likely to depend on the types of food that you cook.
Are air fryers better than ovens?
Air fryers aren't necessarily better than ovens as it is likely to depend upon personal cooking preferences.
Air fryers heat up quickly and tend to distribute the heat more effectively.
They are also smaller and so they can cook a lot of foods without consuming lots of room.