We all love fried food, but nobody enjoys the excess fat. An air fryer is a type of convection oven that fits on your countertop and produces crispy fried food without adding oil. Circulating hot air blows throughout the cooking chamber to heat your ingredients evenly on all sides.
In addition to frying food, you can prepare a variety of other meals without having to turn on your oven. You can still cook your favorite dishes on a hot summer day without breaking a sweat. Most air fryers have dishwasher safe parts, which takes the hassle out of cleaning up.
With an abundance of air fryers to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? Before you buy, it’s essential to understand the differences. We’ve assembled a list of our favorite air fryers under $100 to meet the needs of nearly every home chef.
The 7 Best Air Fryers under $100
|Image||Product Name||Features||Check Price|
|Ninja Air Fryer||Check Price|
|GoWISE USA 1700-Watt 5.8-QT||Check Price|
|GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart||Check Price|
|Secura 4 Liter, 4.2 Qt||Check Price|
|Secura 1500W Large Capacity 3.2-Liter||Check Price|
|BELLA 14538||Check Price|
1. Ninja Air Fryer
The 1550W programmable air fryer from SharkNinja has a 4-quart capacity and ceramic-coated nonstick basket. Four different functions allow you to fry, roast, reheat, and dehydrate food at a temperature range between 105 and 400°F.
The Ninja Air Fryer has a simple control panel. You can choose between the four pre-programmed options, or set the temperature and cooking time yourself. You can fit about two pounds of fries into the basket, but you’ll have to wait three minutes for the air fryer to preheat. The basket and accessories are all dishwasher safe, which makes cleanup easy.
- This air fryer is the most versatile of all the models. With heating capabilities as low as 105°F, you can even dehydrate your favorite snacks.
- The one-touch control panel has an exceptionally intuitive design.
- Meals come out consistently crispy.
- Finish your cooking before your guests arrive. This air fryer is relatively loud.
- There’s no light to indicate when it’s heating up.
The Ninja Air Fryer is ideal if you’re looking for an air fryer that can also act as your primary oven. The spacious basket is perfect for small families and couples. We recommend using silicone baking pans, tongs, and utensils with this oven.
The compact Purify 2-Quart Air Fryer from BLACK+DECKER has a dual-convection fan and 1200W of power. You can cook up to one pound of food between 175 to 400°F. Set the timer up to 60 minutes, and the air fryer will automatically shut off when cooking is complete.
This machine is very intuitive to operate. You’ll find two knobs on the front of the air fryer. The first one is a timer that allows you to set the cooking time. The second knob is a variable heat control.
Above the temperature gauge, you’ll see the indicator lights that tell you when the air fryer is on, off, and preheated. A nonstick pan, basket, and separator are all dishwasher safe. We recommend getting a pair of plastic-tipped tongs to rotate your ingredients.
- The cool-touch handle helps prevent burns.
- An included basket separator makes it easy for you to fry different foods at the same time.
- The indicator light will tell you when the device is preheated.
- You’re limited to the 2-Quart capacity, which is approximately the size of two baked potatoes.
This air fryer is ideal for cooking single servings. If you want to prepare meals for more than one person, we recommend a looking for a larger device.
3. GoWISE USA 1700-Watt 5.8-QT
The 1700W 5.8-Quart Air Fryer from GoWISE USA has a temperature range from 180 to 400°F, which you can adjust in 10-degree increments. You can set the timer up to 30 minutes, and a built-in alarm can remind you to toss your contents mid-cycle. This air fryer comes in black, white, purple, and red.
This air fryer has a sleek design, but there are a lot of buttons on the digital control panel. There are eight built-in presets that include settings for chicken, fries, pizza, steak, fish, pork, shrimp, and cake. You can also choose the temperature and time manually. A recipe book with 50 dish ideas is included to help you get started. Set the alarm for a reminder to check your food every 5, 10, or 15 minutes. When you’re finished, you can toss the nonstick PFOA-free pan in the dishwasher.
- The recipe book provides fresh new ideas.
- The basket has a button guard to prevent it from detaching accidentally.
- There are a lot of buttons, and the controls are more complicated than most other air fryers.
This 5.8-quart air fryer has the largest capacity of all the machines on our list. The large fryer can cook enough to feed a family of four. If you’re often busy and distracted while trying to cook, you’ll find the reminder alarm a handy feature to have.
4. GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart
The GoWISE USA 1400W, 3.7-Quart Air Fryer is a compact device with eight different cooking presets and a temperature range from 176 to 392°F. This smaller model has nearly all the features of the 5.8-Quart air fryer. The only exception is that it lacks an alarm that tells you to flip your food. Some of the safety functions include automatic shutoff, overheat protection, and standby mode.
You can select a cooking mode using the digital display to fry, bake, roast, and grill any food of your choice. The handle stays cool, so you don’t risk getting burned. After you remove the basket, or the timer goes off, the machine automatically turns itself off. Since the bucket is detachable, it’s easy to pour the contents out onto your plate. The removable parts are all safe for the dishwasher.
- A display with presets shows you how to cook a variety of different foods.
- This air fryer has the most safety features.
- Fifty recipes are included.
- The timer is limited to 30 minutes. However, most dishes won’t take this long.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, the machine will beep five times. This setting can’t be changed.
We recommend this model if you’re looking for an air fryer with self-explanatory settings that can comfortably feed two hungry people. Simple pictorial instructions help you achieve the desired cooking result.
5. Secura 4 Liter, 4.2 Qt.
You can set Secura’s 1500W 4-Quart Air Fryer to between 180 and 390°F. The device comes with a pan, nonstick frying basket, toaster rack, and skewers. The cooking time can be set up to 60 minutes and will automatically turn off when it’s finished.
The controls are straightforward to use. One knob at the bottom controls the temperature. You can set the time using the top knob. Two lights above indicate when the machine is on and when it’s preheated. There are no presets, but pictures next to the dials suggest cooking times and temperatures for different meals.
You can clean the basket, trays, and rack in the dishwasher.
- The accessories make the air fryer more versatile.
- A long, 3-foot 8-inch cord can reach most of your outlets.
- Most air fryers have a one-year warranty, but this one comes with a 2-year warranty.
- The temperature control isn’t the most accurate.
- This model doesn’t get as hot as other air fryers.
This air fryer can produce enough food to serve two to four people. We recommend this device if you plan to toast and BBQ a lot of meals.
6. Secura 1500W Large Capacity 3.2-Liter
The 1500W 3.4-Quart Air Fryer from Secura is a compact device that comes with a nonstick basket, pan, skewers, and BBQ rack. You can set the temperature from 180 to 400°F. A 60-minute timer will automatically shut the machine down when your food is finished.
This smaller air fryer has similar controls to the larger edition. A knob at the bottom allows you to adjust the temperature, while a knob at the top will enable you to set the time. You can find pictorial suggestions for cooking settings along the top of the device. The power light is located at the top left, and you’ll find the preheat light at the top right. Similarly, it comes with versatile accessories that are dishwasher safe.
- Despite being more compact than the 4.2-quart model, this air fryer reaches a higher maximum temperature of 400°F.
- This model has a 2-year warranty.
- You need to rotate the contents regularly to help them cook evenly.
This air fryer is ideal for a household with one to two people. You’ll find the settings and dials exceptionally intuitive and simple to understand. The included rack comes in handy for grilling and toasting.
7. BELLA 14538 2.6 Quart Air Convection Fryer
The 1500W, 2.6-Quart Air Fryer from BELLA has a temperature range from 175 to 400°F. This air fryer is the second smallest on our list, but it can accommodate over two pounds of food. You can program the timer for up to 60 minutes, and the device has a built-in overheating protection system.
The controls are almost self-explanatory. Two clearly-marked knobs allow you to adjust the temperature and time. At the top, you’ll see two lights that indicate the power and heat are turned on. There are no presets and no markings on the outside of the air fryer. The design is as sleek as it can get. The baking tray can go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
- A drip pan at the base collects excess fats and oils.
- This appliance is one of the most affordable air fryers on our list.
- The bottom can get hot. Ensure that all flammable objects are cleared from the countertop where you’re using the device.
If you’re looking for a sturdy air fryer that won’t break your budget, the BELLA Convection Fryer is the most economical choice.
What Should I Look for in an Air Fryer?
There are many factors to consider before you buy an air fryer. Although they all have similar functions, each model has slightly different features. Follow the tips in our buyer’s guide to ensure you make the most informed purchase.
Each air fryer has a different temperature range and heating functions. You can set some air fryers to a temperature as low as 105°F to make dehydrated fruit, jerky, and other snacks. Other machines start at 180°F and are best if you only plan to fry, bake, and roast.
Most air fryers reach a maximum temperature of 400°F, which is hot enough to fry almost anything. However, some devices only reach 390°F. If you want to ensure that your oil is sizzling hot, we recommend a machine with a higher heat setting.
Some temperature controls allow you to adjust the heat in increments of 1°F, but others adjust in 10°F increments. If you need to set an exact temperature, choose an air fryer with a more precise gauge. Because these fryers cook faster than regular deep fryers and ovens, it can be challenging to estimate the cooking time. Some devices come with presets, while others only have manual temperature controls.
Air fryers range in size from small 2-quart baskets to large 5.8-quart family containers. If you’re only cooking for yourself, one of the smaller models should be sufficient to meet your needs. However, if you plan to prepare for guests or have a hungry family to feed, we recommend an air fryer with a larger basket.
Large air fryers can be practical in one-person households if you desire enough space to prepare an entire meal. Some models come with separation accessories to keep flavors from intermingling during the cooking process.
Another factor to consider is space. Air fryers save significantly more space than traditional deep-fryers and ovens. Depending on the size of your countertop, you’ll want a machine that fits comfortably into your kitchen area. Some devices produce heat near the exhaust vent or base. Remember to leave sufficient room around your air fryer to avoid melting and burns.
The control panels on air fryers vary immensely from extremely simple to highly complex. Your choice depends on how much you wish to customize the cooking settings. Some machines feature sleek designs with two simple lights and two simple knobs, like the BLACK+DECKER Purify 2-Quart Air Fryer. Others have a digital display with multiple buttons that give you complete control over the cooking process. We’re talking about the GoWISE USA 5.8-Quart Air Fryer.
You’ll also find everything in between. The Secura 4.2-quart and 3.4-quart Air Fryers have two simple knobs with timing and cooking suggestions printed near the top. The Ninja Air Fryer has a programmable base that lets you save your favorite cooking settings.
Which One Should I Choose?
So how do you find an air fryer that’s right for you? Ask yourself the following questions before you choose. How big should it be? What do you plan to cook with it? How much food do you want to fry? What temperature range do you need? There are plenty of machines that have all of these features. The challenging part is finding an air fryer that has all the functions you’re looking for in one appliance.
If you’re looking for a versatile appliance that can handle decent portions, we recommend the Ninja Air Fryer. The GoWISE USA Air Fryers offer the most options for customization and programming. GoWISE also makes air fryers with the highest capacity. BLACK+DECKER wins the award for smallest and most comfortable to operate. For a mid-sized air fryer that combines customization and simplification, we suggest one of the Secura Air Fryers.