When it comes to air fryers, I have been a loyal air fryer owner for well over two years. I first decided to get an air fryer purely for making healthy french fries, but have since used it for much much more. Purchasing any kitchen appliance is a big decision, and air fryers come in all different shapes, sizes, and prices. Today we are going to take a look at the best air fryer under $100.
Best Air Fryer Under $100
There are a number of considerations when picking an air fryer. Here are the things you should think about the most:
- Price. What is your budget like? These are all budget friendly options.
- Size. Each model has a different capacity.
- Controls. How is the air fryer operated?
- Ascetics. An air fryer is a decent sized counter top appliance. How will it look in your kitchen?
Now let’s take a look at some of the different options.
Cuisinart AFR-25 Air Fryer Oven
This Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven is an interesting option if you are in the market for both an air fryer and a toaster oven.
The only downside to this model is the form factor is very different than a traditional air fryer.
You will see the capacity is much lower than the others, this is because it uses an air frying baking tray type basket, vs a traditional basket. The big difference here is the sides are lower, which means you can’t fill it up as much, and it is a little harder to mix the food when you are cooking.
But it does do the job of two kitchen counter appliances, and is nice looking on the counter top!
BELLA 2.6 Quart Air Convection Fryer
I have a small Bella air fryer, and have not been disappointed. While this air fryer has a smaller capacity than some of the other models we looked at, it also has a smaller price point.
Capacity is probably the most important factor next to price when it comes to picking the best air fryer under $100. There’s no point in picking a cheaper model if it won’t make enough!
Bella is well known in the kitchen appliance space, and I have not been disappointed with their products.
This model operates with two knobs, one for temperature and one for time. I couldn’t be more simple!
Dash Air Fryer – Deluxe Electric Air Fryer
The Dash air fryer is an interesting option because it has the largest capacity of all the air fryers we looked at.
It also comes in an array of colors. While aqua is shown here, it also comes in black, read, and white. It also has a dual knob operation like some of the other models we have looked at.
The other benefit of a large capacity air fryer besides making a lot of one thing, is the ability to cook whole meals for smaller groups! This air fryer allows you to cook things like chicken and vegetables together, besides filling up the basket with French fries!
B. WEISS Air Fryer XL (5.5 QT Extreme Model 8-in-1)
Another large capacity air fryer, the Air Fryer XL has a 5.5 quart capacity. The interesting thing about this model is it has a digital display versus the knobs and manual display of some of the other models.
It is also advertised as an 8 in 1 model, which is not wrong! You can do almost anything you want with an air fryer, and this is some good marketing to remind people of that.
This model, like many other air fryers, only comes in a black finish.
Yedi Houseware Total Package Air Fryer, 5.8 Quart
This is another air fryer model with digital display, and a slightly higher capacity than the other model we looked at.
The shape is also somewhat different, and the best part is this air fryer comes with a great accessory pack to help you cook all sorts of things in your air fryer. This is important since the basket is round versus square. It is less forgiving than square models when it comes to adding accessories.
This air fryer is definitely the best value for your money with the included accessories that immediately allow you to get cooking!
Picking the Best Air Fryer Under $100
Picking the best air fryer under $100 will depend on what you need! Here is our comparison table one more time:
You can’t go wrong with any of these great air fryers, but if you are all about capacity, the Yedi or Dash models will be your best choice. If you want to get the best value, pick the Yedi over the dash for the accessory kit.
If you are looking for a dual purpose device, like a toaster oven and air fryer, the Cuisinart is your best choice. It is also the only option we looked at that comes in stainless steel.
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
An air fryer is basically a counter top convection oven. A convection oven is just an oven with a fan in it to circulate the air.
The fan in an air fryer cooks food by circulating hot air around it. That’s it! You cook with just a tiny bit of oil, which crisps the food up like a regular fryer, without all of the fat of deep frying.
Because you are circulating air, if you pack your air fryer basket full (like I do most of the time), you will need to stop it and shake it once in a while so things cook evenly. This may seem like a pain, but it really is not once you get used to it.
The worst case scenario is that you don’t shake your air fryer, and you need to take out the cooked food, then run it a couple of more minutes for the rest of the food to get crispy. No big deal!
Air Fryer Tips and Tricks
Here are a couple of tips and tricks for making the most out of your air fryer.
- Just use a little bit of oil to coat your food. A tablespoon or two will do it for most of the large capacity machines. Use a bowl to coat your food evenly with oil for things you would normally deep fry like French fries.
- For food with bread crumbs, mix a bit of oil into the crumbs before breading your food, or just spray them lightly with oil before air frying.
- Make sure to shake food that is on top of each other during cooking, like French fries. For food that is breaded, I recommend only cooking a single layer of food at a time so the breading does not get messed up.
- The general rule is the more full your basket is, the longer things will have to cook.
- If your air fryer starts to smoke, cook at a lower temperature. Pay attention the smoke point of oil or greasy foods like chicken with skin.
The Best Air Fryer French Fry Tips
I have made hundreds of batches of french fries in my air fryer. Here are the things I have learned.
Don’t bother soaking potatoes for 20-30 minuets. Many recipes will tell you to do this, and it just isn’t necessary. Rinsing the potatoes off a few times with cold water is good enough.
Russet potatoes are the best potatoes for traditional French fries. Russets are the traditional French fry potatoes, but you can make French fries out of any potatoes you have. Sweet potato fries are great too!
Make sure you coat them all with oil. I use one or two tablespoons of oil when I fill my air fryer up with potatoes. I also mix the potatoes and oil together before putting them in in a large bowl.
You don’t really need to worry about cooking temperature. You can blast your fries at 400, or cook them at a lower temperature and turn it up to crisp them at the end. It really doesn’t matter that much. Sometimes I cook them at 350 then turn them up, other times I cook them at 400.
The more potatoes you cook, the longer it takes. I can make a single small potato in about 10 minutes, but if you fill your air fryer basket, you are looking at more like 30 minutes plus.
I hope these air fryer tips are enough to get you started when you purchase the best air fryer under $100. Be sure to let us know any questions you have in the comments!
Perfect Air Fryer Meals for Beginners
Now that you know how to make french fries in your air fryer, here are some great meals to go along with it:
Air fryer cooking is a great way to create quick, easy, and tasty meals. Enjoy your new air fryer!
Last update on 2020-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API