Hands on: Pick the Best Air Fryer Under $100 in 2019
Want to get your hands on a great air fryer without spending a fortune?
Then you’re in the right place.
After cooking with many different air fryers over the years, I’m here to help you find the best air fryer under $100.
In a hurry? Here’s a quick overview of my top picks. The full reviews are below!
COSORI 3.7qt Air Fryer
COSORI 3.7qt Air Fryer
- 3.7 quart basket
- LED touch screen
- 1500w of power
- Beautiful LED touch screen for simple operation.
- 1500w of frying power with 11 pre-set cooking settings.
- 2 year warranty included as standard, for your peace of mind.
Ninja Air Fryer
Ninja Air Fryer
- Multi layer cooking
- Huge temperature range
- 1550w of power
- Multi layer basket for cooking 2 different types of food at the same time.
- 1550w of power for even faster frying.
- Wide temperature range to follow any recipes you find.
GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart Air Fryer
GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart Air Fryer
- Wide temperature range
- 8 cooking presets
- Electronic timer
- Wide temperature range of 70°F - 400°F for versatile cooking.
- 8 cooking presets for perfect cooking of fries, chicken, steak, shrimp, pork, cake, and fish.
- Electronic timer up to 30 minutes for increased accuracy.
I remember being a little lost at the beginning.
There were so many different options to pick from and lots of features I didn’t know if I needed!
Fast forward 6 years... and it's a very different story.
My aim is to be your “air fryer guide“ that I wish I had at the start.
I will explain the details in a simple way, remove the fluff, and ensure you pick the right digital air fryer for your needs.
How did this 'air frying' thing start?
Believe it or not, the concept of the air fryer was first dreamt up as a way to help large hotels to cook hundreds of meals a day.
The technology was still very much in its infancy, not yet ready to make its way into our homes.
A crafty inventor improved upon the technology in 2007. Unfortunately (for him and us) he didn’t have enough money to bring the air fryer to market.
This wonderful technology was being kept in the dark.
That was until Phillips licenced the technology and turned it into the air fryer I know and love today.
What to look for when picking an Air Fryer
Before we dive into my best budget air fryer suggestions, let's take a moment to note the features you should be on the look out for.
The Air Fryer brand
With an emerging technology like air frying there are a lot of copycats.
Sure, some of them might be ok, but why take the risk with some knockoff brand?
They often look very flashy and seem to have a bargain price, but saving a few dollars now may bite you down the line. You may be hit with reliability issues or unpredictable cooking times.
I’d generally try to stick with the brands which have a good track record, including Phillips, Cosri, Gowise and Black and Decker.
Air Fryer Size
How many people are you planning to cook for?
If you are cooking for 2, a small digital air fryer will likely be perfect and save you some kitchen work surface space. Something in the region of 2 quarts.
A family of 4 should aim for a medium to large air fryer, in the range of 3 - 4 quarts.
This will allow for 4 portions to be cooked at once, saving running 2 rounds to cooking and some energy at the same time.
A larger (or very hungry) family should look for an XL air fryer. These things are so big as they come!
They will take up more space on your counter but provide you with ample frying basket space for those extra potions.
The screen and timer
There are 2 options here, either manual or electronic.
The manual timer will often come with budget models, which don’t provide the accuracy of an electronic timer.
With an airfryer cooking food so quickly, 30 seconds of extra time could be enough to make or break a meal.
Can I get a good air fryer for under $100?
Definitely! The first air fryer I purchased was exactly $99.
It did a great job back then, and with the evolution of air fryer technology in the last few years, you can have even more features and reliability for your money.
Yet there are a couple of sacrifices you might have to make to keep under the $100 budget.
Drawbacks of an inexpensive air fryer
The air fryer will likely be a medium or smaller size.
The larger digital air fryers are usually more expensive. There is only 1 extra large (XL) air fryer for under $100 that I would recommend which is on the list below.
There will be less accessories included.
The pricer models are more likely to include fancy extras, like recipes books, second baskets, dividers, and trays.
These accessories are certainly not essential and can always be purchased separately if you decide you need them.
Will a digital air fryer be a good fit for me?
Experienced chefs and kitchen purists will probably turn their nose up at my air fryer..
...and that’s ok!
I just want to cook fresh food for my family with minimal fuss, using less oil, and as fast as possible.
Are you wanting to cook more food from first principles?
Would you prefer to use less oil when frying?
Are you looking to save time cooking?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, a hot air fryer would likely be a good fit for you and your family.
What is the best air fryer under 100?
I’ve researched for the best options for this mid range budget to make sure you pick the right air fryer for you.
Let’s dive in!
COSORI 3.7qt Air Fryer#1 Our #1 Rated
The Cosori is my top pick for an air fryer under $100. So versatile yet so simple to use.
Cosori have done a fantastic job with this air fryer.
They have combined all the key features of a great air fryer into an attractive design... and somehow hit our price point!
The touch screen on the Cosori is super simple to use.
It’s slightly tilted upwards towards you so I don’t need to stoop down when starting my cook or adjusting settings.
I find this really useful when I'm mid dinner rush and trying to do 3 things at once!
There are 11 frying presets which allow for "one touch" cooking for many common foods like steak, chicken and fries.
As you become more experienced with your air fryer you won't need these built in settings so often, but at the beginning they are really useful.
Let's talk about looks for just a moment.. it really is a beautiful machine. Probably my favourite looking airfyer.
It’s just gorgeous!
The matte black with clean lines and metallic trim really stand out amongst the rest.
If black is a bit dull for you kitchen and your tastes, it also comes in a vibrant red.
The Cosori has a square basket which beats the conventional circular shape as it provides more cooking space. This will come in useful when you’re trying to squeeze in that extra portion.
There is a ‘Shake reminder’ feature which I wish other manufacturers would consider.
When set, the Cosori will gently remind you to shake the basket half way through the cook to resettle to help prevent any sticking to the bottom of sides of the basket. Pretty neat!
The frying basket has non-stick coating, which I always recommend. This is combined with being dishwasher safe which means nobody is arguing over who’s doing the dishes.
The Cosri comes with a book of 100 original recipes to help you get started however additional accessories have to be purchased separately.
A 2 year warrenty is included, which is almost unheard of at this price range. In the unlikely event that you hit a problem in month 23, you're still covered!
It’s rare to find such a versatile and well rounded product at this price point. That is why the Cosori is my #1 recommended Air fryer for under 100 dollars.
Ninja Air Fryer#2 Our #2 Rated
The Ninja is a close second place, with its magnitude of features for the price range.
Ninja have made quite a name for themselves in the world of kitchen appliances.
From cheap air fryers to blenders, they offer some of the most impressive yet affordable products on the market.
Ninja have really listened to their customers when designing this air fryer.
They’ve ticked all essential requirements, added some extra features, kept it easy to use, and finished off with an attractive design.
It really is quite a feat!
The Ninja falls into the medium-large category. The nonstick and dishwasher friendly basket is perfect for a family of 4.
With the included multi layer rack accessory, it has the capacity to cook 2 different foods at once. Perfect for any fussy eaters in your family.. I know I have one!
The electronic screen and settings are one of the most intuitive I’ve used. Setting the temperature, timing and mode can be one with one button press each. This is something Ninja are calling “one touch”.
The temperature range is one of the largest I’ve seen for the price range.
It is so frustrating to find a recipe just to realise your air fryer does not have the right temperature setting. With the Ninja you won’t run into this problem.
The ninja packs some bonus features too, dehydration and reheat. Such features are usually reserved for much more expensive models
The dehydration mode slowly removes water from the food. This is perfect for making homemade snacks from raw ingredients, such as dried fruit, jerky and chips. This is not something i’d use everyday, but a great option to have.
On the other hand, the reheat function I do almost use everyday. It’s perfect for warming up yesterday's leftovers and retaining the crispness that you sometimes lose in the microwave.
GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart Air Fryer#3 Our #3 Rated
The GoWISE is my really is a good all rounder at an attractive price point. A great ratio of value and features.
GoWISE has been in the air fryer game for a long time. Based in Phoenix, AZ they make some great value air fryers.
The GoWISE 3.7 quart offers a wide spectrum of cooking temperatures. From 170F all the way up to 400F.
This will help you cook a wide variety of foods following a variety of recipes requiring very specific cooking temperatures.
It offers an electronic timer which is always my preference. This means you can cook with minute accuracy, compared to the standard manual timer which is less precise.
The electronic display is easy to read and gives you big buttons for easy operation.
There are 8 built in modes for commonly cooked foods such as chicken, steak and fish. This will take some of the hassle away of searching for the recipe each time. Just hit the button and you’re good to go.
WIth 3.7 quart of space it falls into the medium size category. This is perfect for a family however if you are cooking for 4 - 6 people, or are regularly cooking large portions, an extra large (xl) airfryer is probably a better fit for you.
This inexpensive air fryer comes with only the basic accessories, as you would expect at this price point.
Additional accessories are available to purchase separately if you feel the need, however it comes with all the essentials you need right out of the box.
As a bonus the fryer includes a recipe book of 50 hot air fryer recipes, which is a nice little perk!
BLACK+DECKER Purify 2-Liter Air Fryer#4 Our #4 Rated
The Black + Decker air fryer is from a quality brand for those looking for a frier with a smaller footprint.
Black + Decker have been innovating products for 175 years, with it all starting in Connecticut in 1843.
Their range of small kitchen appliances has been increasing in recent years including a leap in the air fryer market.
With so many years of innovation behind them, and a number of Black and Decker electrical items in my home, i’m not surprised that their hot air fryer is a hit.
The stand out feature of this air fryer is their innovation of dual fans, compared to the conventional single fan you'll find in most air fryers.
This means you’ll get a more evenly cooked meal or snack, with cripsiness across your basket.
I really like the cool touch handle that helps to keep the heat from the basket away from you. As a result, you won’t need to faff around with oven gloves (assuming it remains cool enough!)
With non-stick and dishwasher safe parts, cleaning up after you cook is minimal hassle... aside from the mess I seem to make when cooking anything!
The Black + Decker just comes with just 1 additional accessory, the basket divider. With this divider you can cook 2 different foods at the same time, without them falling on top of each other.
In my opinion the main downside of this air fryer is the manual timer.
It doesn’t provide the accuracy of a digital timer which might impact time sensitive meals. However a timer on your phone will easily replace this feature.
Power air fryer XL 5.3#5 Our #5 Rated
This guy is huge! The XL size is perfect for large families or big portions.
The Power air fryer XL is a beast!
The basket is perfectly suited to large families or those who like big portions.
Rumor has it that the basket is so big it can fit an entire chicken.. but I haven’t been brave enough to try it!
Standing at 16” tall, the XL has a touch screen display providing you clear frying information alongside 7 cooking presets, for one touch cooking of common foods.
The frying temperature range is impressive, at 180 to 400 degrees. When you find tasty looking recipes online, this range means you should be able to follow them to the letter.
It’s a small touch, but I just love the frying animation on the touch screen!
To compliment the large basket there is a monster 1700w of power to ensure your foods are nice and crispy.
The power air fryer comes with a basket divider so you can cook 2 of your favourite foods at once. Along with a hot air frying recipe book to give you some ideas to get started with.
Personally I’m not a huge fan of this futuristic dome type design of this fryer, but one of my friends seems to love how it looks. So I guess it’s up to personal preference!
If you’re looking to fry for a large family and spend under $100 on an air fryer, this is definitely my recommendation for you.
Phew! We made it! That was a lot of air fryers to review.
The Cosori 3.7 Quart Air Fryer is my pick for the best air fryers under $100.
It has a great combination of a digital screen, its beautiful looks, a square basket, the shake reminder feature and 1500w of power, with the added reassurance of a 2 year warranty.
For our budget, this is the best all round performer. And it will look great on your kitchen side.
The only exception being if you are wanting to cook for a large family, then I would recommend the Power Air Fryer XL.