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The best affordable Ninja air fryer alternative, according to our expert

instant vortex plus air fryer best affordable ninja alternative air fryers

This Ninja alternative rivals the Foodi Dual Zone and is the one to buy if you’re looking to spend under £200

It’s well known that Ninja produces some of the best air fryers on the market but they are also some of the priciest, with most dual-drawer models, such as the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone, costing well over £200.

What if I told you, though, that you could get a five star, best-buy air fryer with many of the same features for less than £200?

It’s true. I’ve tested dozens of air fryers over the last five years and while you generally get what you pay for when it comes to these tabletop ovens, there’s one stand out model that costs just £150 and can often be picked up for even less during sales periods such as Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day.

The Instant Vortex Plus Dual Drawer air fryer is a spacious Ninja alternative with a 7.6l capacity.

You can read my full Instant Vortex Plus review for the full lowdown but here are some highlights I think are worth pointing out if you’re thinking of buying.

What you get

  • Two 3.8l drawers – big enough for four small chicken breasts or four generous portions of chips
  • Clear viewing windows so you can check on food without disturbing the cooking process
  • Wide temperature range from 35ºC to 205ºC
  • Six cooking modes: air fry, roast, bake, reheat, grill and dehydrate
  • Sync function to cook two different things at once at different times and temperatures
  • Glossy, responsive touchscreen

What you don’t get

  • Preset cooking functions
  • High-heat quick cook settings (such as the Max Crisp on the Ninja Foodi)
  • No recipe booklet or cooking time advice for beginners

READ NEXT: Best Ninja air fryers

Other air fryers to consider

I think the Instant Vortex Dual Drawer is the very best affordable Ninja alternative out there. But if it’s not for you, here’s a few others I’d consider if you’re trying to keep costs down.

tower xpress pro combo 10-in1 air fryer best affordable ninja alternatives

Tower Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1

This oven-style air fryer from Tower might be a few years old now but it’s still one of our favourite affordable options. Unlike the classic dual-drawer models we’ve compared above, this roomy 11l fryer looks more like a compacted version of a traditional oven.

It comes with an array of accessories including crisper trays, a pizza rack, kebab skewers and perhaps my favourite: a rotisserie chicken spit. The multi-tier design and range of accessories make this a great multifunctional appliance.

The main downside? It’s not quite as attractive or solidly built as the Instant or Ninja and its design makes it litter harder to clean. You can often pick this up for under £100, though, so well worth the sacrifice if money is your driving factor.

best air fryer for two people - salter dual digital air fryer

Salter Dual Digital air fryer

Our favourite budget dual-drawer model, this digital offering from Salter, comes with two 3.8l non-stick cooking baskets and is a solid all-round performer. While it doesn’t offer much in the way of accessories, it does feature classic handy dual basket functions, which allow you to match or sync the baskets.

This particular model is pretty light on features and doesn’t look or feel quite as swish as those around the £150+ mark. Nonetheless, it’s a competent dual design air fryer, which will set you back around £100.

Check price at Argos

A Ninja Air Fryer Max Pro 6.2l AF180UK sitting on a kitchen counter top, with the display panel showing a timer countdown

Ninja Air Fryer MAX Pro 6.2l AF180UK

Ok, so we’re cheating a little bit with this one as it’s technically a Ninja air fryer. However, if you’re still keen to get your hands on something Ninja branded but don’t want to spend too much, opting for a more compact model could be the way to go. This £150 single drawer model still has a decent 6.2l capacity, as well as six cooking modes – including that excellent Max Crisp function – and a solid build that looks and feels incredibly stylish. Of course, you’re sacrificing space and you can pick up similarly sized air fryers for less, but this proved to be a high performer in our tests, earning a five-star recommended award.

Check price at Ninja

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