Air fried foods come out juicy and tender on the inside and crispy and golden on the exterior, and this is all achieved with much less oil compared to a standard deep fryer. Not to mention your cook times get chopped in half, too. From french fries and chicken nuggets to mozzarella sticks and crab rangoon, the possibilities are endless. The only drawback for some is that air fryers can often be one of the more expensive compact kitchen gadgets. We’ve already chosen our top picks for 2020’s best air fryers, but we thought we’d choose options for those who are on a budget, and find the best models for under $100.
Gowise 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer
The Gowise Electric Air Fryer was on our list of top all-around air fryers and was the only one that came in at under $100. It does a great job at air frying your favorite foods, without a big price tag. Plus, it has an easy-to-use touchscreen that is flat, so it wipes clean easily. If you’re forgetful, the built-in alarm reminds you to shake the basket so that all of your food gets evenly crispy. The Gowise holds a maximum of 3.7 quarts, which is on the larger end for our budget-friendly picks.
Black and Decker Purify Air Fryer
Make way for this awesome 2-liter fryer from Black and Decker. The Purify comes with a basket separator that allows you to cook two different kinds of food without mixing flavors. If you’ve ever had a fish fillet that tastes kind of like yesterday’s Bagel Bites, you’ll understand how great this little addition is. The 2-liter basket is big enough to serve up to four servings of your favorite foods at once, and the temperature control can be adjusted from 175 to 400 degrees, letting you zero in on the right crisp for all your dearest recipes. If you’ve got a batch of fries that demand intermittent basket shaking, the Purify has a 60-minute cook timer for just this type of precision cooking. To top things off, the fryer basket is also non-stick, making clean up a breeze.
Elite Platinum EAF-1506D
It looks like the Death Star from Star Wars, but the Elite Platinum EAF-1506D is friend, not foe. It can cook up a batch of crispy fries in no time in its 3.5-quart basket and has six different menu functions. The best part is the touchscreen. It is completely flat so any spills can be easily wiped clean. Plus, it’s one of the easiest fryers to cook with. Yes, the Death Star may incinerate entire planets with its laser, but the Elite Platinum EAF-1506D can air fry your food with enough crisp.
Dash Deluxe Electric Air Fryer
Right off the bat, we’re in love with the fact that the Dash Deluxe uses dedicated air-crisping to cook your vittles, so no oil required with this bad boy. Say hello to healthier eating. The 6-quart basket is one of the biggest on our list, meaning you can rely on your Dash for any large impromptu gathering. Cook massive portions of your favorite fryer treats, from french fries and chicken tenders to baked goods and many kinds of desserts. The Dash also features a 30-minute shut-off timer and adjustable temperature controls that you can mess with mid-cook if you feel the need. Bored or inexperienced? The Dash comes with a killer recipe book for those more experimental foodie nights, or if you need a helping hand for that batch of fries.
Faberware 3.2 Quart Multi-Function Air Fryer
The Farberware 3.2 Quart Oil-Less Multi-Functional Fryer has one of the smallest baskets at only 3.2-quart capacity, but it does its job well. The only drawback is that it has knobs instead of a touchscreen, which can make clean-up a little more difficult. That being said, the dials do make this air fryer the easiest to use right out of the box.
NuWave Brio Digital Air Fryer
The NuWave Brio Digital Air Fryer has the smallest capacity since it only holds 3 quarts, but has more features than many of the air fryers we’ve listed. In addition to air frying, it can preheat and reheat foods, for example. The basket is also pretty special. It has a patented design that lets more air flow through the food as it cooks.
Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid
This is actually an air fryer attachment for existing pressure cookers, but for the price and features, it felt wrong to leave it out. Basically, this just fits over the top of compatible Instant Pot cookers and adds air frying capabilities to the machine. Whip up all your fryer fan-favorites (try saying that 10 times) with Instant Pot’s bevy of auto-sensing presets and expect perfection with the lid’s EvenCrisp technology. Crispy outsides, juicy insides, otherwise known as heaven on a plate.
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