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How Much Are Air Fryers?

How much should I pay for an air fryer - featured. Angled view of the Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer air fryer on a wooden table

Air fryers are the rising star of home appliances - but how much do they cost? We find out

Offering a healthier method of cooking corn dogs and fries, to quickly whipping up pleasing treats such as cookies and muffins, there are reasons that so many people have invested in an air fryer and never looked back. If you’re looking to get in on the action, but are feeling confused about how much you should spend on this popular kitchen appliance, then don’t worry – we reveal everything you need to know before you put your hands in your pocket.

What is an air fryer?

Before we skip to air fryer pricing, let’s first remind ourselves about what exactly the countertop appliance is, and whether or not it’s worth getting one. Essentially, an air fryer is a small convection oven. The name itself is slightly misleading, since an air fryer doesn’t actually “fry” food in the conventional sense; instead, it uses a fan to circulate hot air around the cooking chamber to heat and cook food evenly. And that’s all there is to it – the beauty of an air fryer lies in its simplicity.

Their form and function bring a number of benefits. Unlike traditional ovens, air fryers don’t generally require time to preheat, and so they cook food more quickly than a conventional oven. Unlike microwave ovens, which heat food from the inside out, air fryers heat food evenly, giving them a golden color and crunchy texture. Air fryers are extremely versatile, but particularly handy for such foods as fries, nuggets and pizza.

How much should I spend on an air fryer?

How much you decide to splash out on an air fryer will ultimately come down to your specific needs. Will you be cooking for just yourself? Or for two or more people? In addition, are you simply looking for a basic air fryer, or a model that comes with all the bells and whistles?

It’s easy to be tempted by fancy features such as smart app integrations and touchscreens, but the key considerations when selecting a machine are the size of the unit and the space in your kitchen to house it, and the number of people for whom you’ll be cooking. There’s a school of thought that says you shouldn’t need to spend over $100 on an air fryer.

If space is at a premium in your kitchen, then you’d be wise to opt for a compact model that takes up little room on your countertop, or one that can be stashed away when it’s not in use. On the other hand, if it will be used to cook family meals, or entertaining friends, then you’ll be better served by an extra large model, or one with multiple drawers to cook separate meals at once.

Note that opting for a smaller unit doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on taste or quality; there are some pretty nifty options available at reasonable prices – although do be aware that if you’re after a model that offers more generous capacity then you’ll likely be paying more for the privilege. Models from more well-known brands are also likely to command a higher price – for example, air fryers from big names such as Ninja and Corsori will cost more than less well-known rival brands.

Generally speaking, most options for the average consumer will cost around $80-$150, with the cheapest air fryers starting at about $20, while the most premium options can cost as much as $500.

READ NEXT: Air fryers vs deep fryers

Other considerations

As we’ve seen, coming to a decision about how much you should spend on an air fryer isn’t straightforward. So if you’re still scratching your head about the seemingly vast difference in prices, below you’ll find an explanation of the factors you’ll want to focus on.

Energy consumption of an air fryer

One of the main benefits of using an air fryer is that it’s far more energy efficient than a standard oven. Air fryers can cut the amount of energy you’d use in an electric oven by almost half, with some models costing you only about $0.25 an hour to run. It appears air fryers are healthier for your bills as well as your diet.

Generally, most mid-range air fryers will use around 1,500 watts of electricity; the amount of wattage will affect how quickly your food is cooked. Cheaper models often come with low wattage and therefore cook more slowly. As such, if you’re opting for a model at a higher price point, it should be reflected in a higher wattage – which means that in theory it should cook your food faster. If you value speedy meals then you’ll definitely want to consider the wattage of a model before you buy.

Be vigilant, though: spending more doesn’t always guarantee higher power. If the cost is into triple digits, a model should deliver at least 1,500 to 1,800 watts. Although bear in mind that a higher wattage means higher running costs, too.

Should I pick a basket- or a toaster oven-style air fryer?

The most popular version of air fryer tends to be the basket style, with models spanning both integrated and removable baskets. Removable baskets make cleanup more convenient, with many even dishwasher-safe.

How much should I pay for an air fryer. Bird's eye view of an air fryer basket with breaded food inside. Silicone tongs lie on the counter near the basket

If cooking for one, a 2-3-quart air fryer for around $50-$100 will suffice. Mid-range models serving two to four people offer around a 6-quart capacity and cost $100-$150. Air fryers offering a capacity of 10 quarts are perfect for feeding a big family of five or more hungry mouths. Such a model can cost anywhere between $100-$200, depending on extra functionality and brand name.

The downside of basket-style air fryers is that the amount of food you can cook is limited to the capacity of the actual basket itself. Although there are dual-basket models that allow you to cook two different foods at the same time.

Toaster oven-style air fryers – also known as tray air fryers – arrive with multiple trays, rather than baskets, on which to cook food. Some tray air fryers even arrive with added functions, such as a rotisserie option for cooking chicken, which you won’t find in basket-style models.

Although more expensive than basket-style air fryers, toaster oven-style air fryers offer more space to cook food, plus you can see what’s happening inside the appliance while it works its magic. As a result of their larger size (some models offer a 19-quart capacity), they can cost upwards of $200.

Less common are paddle-style air fryers – which, as the name suggests, uses a paddle to move food around while it cooks. These are considerably more expensive and use a lot more energy to cook, meaning your bills will be higher.

READ NEXT: Air fryers vs toaster ovens

Do I need a multifunctional air fryer?

Multifunctional air fryers offer a range of functions beyond simply air frying, including toasting, slow cooking and broiling, for example. But these extra features don’t come cheap, with multifunctional units some of the most expensive on the market. Prices start at around $200, with all-singing, all-dancing models costing upwards of $400, and taking up around 1 cubic foot of space.

With prices so hefty, you’ll want to ask yourself if you really need all the functions offered by such air fryers. Note that there are two-function air fryers on the market too, which combine a standard air fryer with a slow cooker, and have a price point that’s easier to swallow.

To summarize…

Those simply wishing to heat up some quick solo meals will be able to pick up a compact air fryer around $60, while for a mid-sized standard model, you can expect to pay around $100-$150. Do keep an eye out for deals, however, where you can get your hands on pretty decent options for as low as $70. If you’ve decided that a multifunction appliance will be best for your needs then you’ll be likely shelling out upwards of $200; but for that money you’ll be able to do a whole lot more than simply air fry.

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