Don’t you love fried chicken or crispy French fries as side options for your favorite meal of the night? The crispy fried appetizers and after-meal snacks satiate your cravings. However, the harms of excessive fat and caloric diet leave many people away from snacking. While research studies link oily fried foods with various health problems, there is still a way you can enjoy your favorite fried snacks in your home. Air fryers are a perfect solution to begin a new snacking journey and enjoying the pleasure of fried food.
What’s more interesting is that these air fryers can cook with very little or no oil at all. Still, they provide the same taste, flavor, and crispiness by air-frying your favorite recipes.
Best Air Fryers under $100
Air fryers are usually egg-shaped (oval) or square in appearance. Despite being the size of a coffee maker, they can cook small to medium and large portions of food most of the time. You can fry potatoes, zucchini slices, nuggets, chicken, and many other food items.
All you have to do is place your air fryer on the countertop or anywhere where you can plug it into a power supply. Apply a light coat of oil and toss the food items inside the bowl or basket (whichever the air fryer features). With a temperature range of nearly 400 Fahrenheit maximum, air fryers are similar to convection ovens.
They contain a fan that pushes hot air out, which circulates in and around the food until it is ready for you to eat. You can enjoy the same crispiness, chewiness, and taste without deep frying your favorite food. Below is our top pick of the 5 best air fryers from some of the most popular brands and manufacturers that cost less than $100.
Ultrean Air Fryer, 4.2 Quart (4 Liter)
Ultrean Air Fryer of 4.2 Quart is a great way to remove all the fat, oil, and grease from your favorite food. You can enjoy more food by using less oil with this latest Ultrean air fryer model. It’s more like a multifunctional cooker that saves your money and time simultaneously.
Besides frying, you can grill, bake, and even roast food inside this amazing air fryer. With the rapid air system technology, this electric air fryer oven cooks your food evenly. Here are the specifications for this budget air fryer:
The capacity of this popular air fryer is approximately 4 liters, which means that you can easily cook your favorite snacks for a family of 4 at once.
Despite the programmable ability and high capacity, Ultrean Air Fryer can function on a power supply of 1500W easily. Bear in mind that it is necessary to provide a consistent power supply to protect the product from damage.
It contains a timer that runs on an auto-switch-off program. You can cook your food for over 30 minutes between temperature ranges of 180-400 Fahrenheit.
While many air fryers are heavy and take up considerable space on countertops, this one is a bit different. It measures 13.21 length by 11.26 width by 12.42 height (inches), taking up a compact space in your kitchen.
Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Basket Air Fryer 6 Quart
Do you wish to have your favorite snack for lunch ready just by pressing a single touch button? Well, with Instant Vortex 6 Quart, it is possible. It carries touch controls that are extremely simple to read and use. It has by far one of the healthiest and delicious tastes that any air fryer has to offer.
You can air fry, bake, roast, and reheat your food without any hassle or mess. Additionally, it is a great space-saver with its 4-in-1 smart programs. So, bye-bye kitchen clutter because this appliance has got it all. In fact, you don’t even have to preheat this air fryer (or just a slight) before air frying your food. Here are the specifications for this budget air fryer:
The amazing 6 Quart capacity/volume of the Instant Vortex Air Fryer equals nearly a 4-pound bag of crispy chicken and a 2-pound bag of healthy fries.
Regardless of the functions that it offers, it can run on a power supply of 120V with a wattage of 1700.
As one of the top and most popular air fryers, Instant Vortex 4-in-1 6 Quart can cook on a range from 120-400 Fahrenheit.
Being 12 pounds in product net weight, Instant Vortex 6 Quart has a solid dimension of 14.92 by 12.36 by 12.83 inches. Hence, it is easily adjustable near a kitchen countertop corner.
NuWAVE BRIO 3-Quart Digital Air Fryer
The NuWAVE BRIO Air Fryer uses a unique super-heat air-flow design to cook delicious and crispy fried foods. Without any need for oil and fatty calories, you can enjoy a similar taste as deep-fried food healthily. It has six pre-programmed cooking functions that are highly convenient for a beginner cook.
The cooking chamber of the 3-Quart Air Fryer features a unique heat flow design that cooks food evenly. Along with a meshed basket, the nets and holes in the stainless steel chamber ensure that hot air circulates your crispy fries, potatoes, and chickens evenly.
From steaks, chicken breasts, and frozen fries to chicken nuggets, you can cook a variety of your favorite food appetizers and snacks.
NuWAVE BRIO air fryer has a 2.8-liter capacity meaning that you can cook a meal for a medium-size family conveniently.
It requires a consistent power supply and wattage of at least 1300 watts to function without any delays or malfunction risk.
BRIO Air fryer has a highly adjustable temperature range of 100-400 Fahrenheit that you can customize in the variants of 5 degrees. Using a digital timer on the front screen of this air fryer, you can easily cook your meal for the required amount of time.
You can place this relatively compact air fryer on your kitchen countertop or next to frequently used appliances. The air fryer has dimensions of 9 by 9 by 12.5 inches, to be exact.
Ninja AF101 4 Quart Air Fryer
Do you wish to fry deep-cute French fries and chicken? Try the Ninja AF101 4-Quart Air Fryer today. As the brand claims, it has nearly 75% less fat in terms of air heating and frying than traditional deep oil frying.
This product has a cord length of 2.6 feet, so you can easily adjust a usable position for it on your kitchen countertop. Like convection ovens, the heating system takes away the excess moisture from your food gently and ensures a crispy taste.
You should try preheating the air fryer for at least 3 minutes before putting in your favorite fried foods for best results.
You can fit a 2-pound bag of French fries in the ceramic-coated basket that is completely non-stick. The capacity to hold 3.75 liters makes it an ideal kitchen appliance for a family of four.
To run this air fryer for best results, it needs 1500 watts under a reliable power supply.
You can customize the temperature between 105 and 400 Fahrenheit. The extensive temperature range proves ideal when you want to deep fry your food in different variations.
The 4-Quart air fryer covers a tabletop or countertop space of 8.5 by 12.1 by 11 inches.
GoWISE 3.7 Quart USA Air Fryer
GoWISE 3.7 Quart USA Air Fryer also features the latest rapid air technology that is highly suitable for cooking the same deep-fried snacks without excess oil and fat. Despite that, the air circulation of this air fryer is relatively unique.
In addition, it provides a total of 8 different cooking presents, enabling you to cook a variety of your favorite food items in an instant. These include fish, steak, shrimp, fries, chicken, and more. Therefore, you can have your minimal or no-oil food with a single button touch in a few minutes.
Want to know more about the GoWISE 3.7 Quart Air Fryer? Well, it has a detachable basket along with a cool-to-touch handgrip. That makes it one of the main reasons for its popularity as an ideal air fryer for many.
The capacity/volume of this air fryer is 3.5 liters. So, you can cook a sizeable portion of fries, chicken, and many other cooking presets for yourself and your family.
The optimal wattage and power supply requirements to run this popular air fryer product is 1400 watts.
It has a set timer from 1 to 30 minutes with an adjustable temperature range control between 400 and 170 Fahrenheit.
Taking up a space of 12 by 8 by 8 inches, GoWISE 3.7 Quart USA Air Fryer is perfect for any household looking to switch to fat and oil-free fried foods.
The Buying Guide – Choosing the Perfect Air Fryer for You
Though we have compiled a list of the best air fryers, it may overwhelm you to see the range of choices available on Amazon. So, here are the factors you should consider before selecting an air fryer.
Take a look at the space the air fryer will take on your kitchen countertop before making the final selection. If you do not intend to buy an air fryer for frequent daily use, you may be cluttering your countertop with the appliance.
Smart Controls (Temperature, Timer, Modes)
Smart controls are a plus when it comes to using an air fryer. With remote functions using mobile phones, tablets, and other devices, you can easily preheat your air fryer before you actually get up to prepare the food for frying.
Smart controls also refer to smart features which are likely to keep you up-to-date with every step of the cooking/frying process.
Safety features are a must to counter any fire hazards. Does your air fryer consist of an auto switch-off program? Does it warn you upon over-heating? Apart from that, having a cool-to-touch handle or grips will be a highly convenient option for your daily use.
Cleaning/ Safe Dishwasher Parts
It might be cumbersome to wash every component and accessory with hand. Therefore, ensuring that your air fryer supports a “dishwasher safe” feature, you can easily leave the complex components for your dishwasher to handle.
Look at the reviews of some of the best air fryers to know how popular and successful the product is. You can check the reviews and remarks of the users of the air fryers above.
Can You Open Your Air Fryer When it’s Cooking?
Yes, you can easily check the ingredients of your food while your air fryer is running. In fact, some of the above air fryers offer you this feature.
Can You Cook Raw Meat in Your Air Fryer?
You can cook raw chicken, pork, burgers, steaks, patties, and much more using an air fryer. However, depending on the cuts, rarity, and style of the meat, it may take up to 30 minutes.
Is There Anything That You Shouldn’t Cook in Your Air Fryer?
Avoid putting in cheese, fresh green vegetables, battered foods (wet), or whole roasts. Apart from not cooking evenly, these can be a bit of trouble with your air fryer.
Do You Need to Preheat Before Using Your Air Fryers?
Although some air fryers may offer no-preheat features, it is best to preheat for at least 3-5 minutes before putting your food in for a delicious fry.
So, are you looking to lose weight but find it difficult to let your favorite snacks go? No problem! With the five best air fryers above, you can cook your favorite lunchtime, dinnertime, and even between-meals snacks.
Use a simple coat of oil to add texture, firmness, and deliciousness to your food before you put it into your air fryer. Still, it is no excuse to utilize the appliance for an excessive intake of fried foods. Remember, your health comes first, and with the air fryers’ list above, you can make sure that you try your favorite food from time to time with less fat and calories.
About the Author
Lori Bogedin is a health and wellness writer and editor of TwigsCafe.com. She is in the restaurant business since 1999. In 2016 she was named one of the "Top Women in Business" by Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal.