Yes, everyone is air frying but you.
The air fryer is becoming a staple of the 21st-century kitchen, thanks to its ability to make crispy foods like Buffalo wings, onion rings, and even kale chips with little to no cooking oil. As a bonus, unlike a stovetop fryer or full-size oven, the air fryer won't heat up your whole kitchen—and your meal will be done in next to no time at all.
Different models of air fryer go on and off sale all the time for all different reasons, so it can be tough to find the best deal. But we're keeping an eye out for you! Here are some of the lowest prices we've found recently for top-performing air fryers.
01 of 12
Philips Premium Airfryer XXL
Normally $350, Now $150
With 2,200 watts of power and a basket that can hold a whole chicken or two bags of frozen french fries, the Phillips XXL lives up to its name. Like most air fryers, this one also has settings for grilling, baking, toasting, and dehydrating in addition to air frying, and it has the added advantage that all of its removable parts are dishwasher-safe. Philips' "Fat Removal Technology" also claims to render and drain more fat from meats than similar models.
02 of 12
Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer 8-Quart Multi-Use Air Fryer
Normally $200, Now $152
The Instant Pot Duo Crisp has two separate lids: one for standard Instant Pot pressure-cooking, and a special tall one for air-frying. Our reviewer loved the 6-quart version, and this model is essentially the same but a third larger. It works just as beautifully as its 6-quart cousin, but it is a bit more expensive. If you’ve got a large family or find yourself whipping up snacks for a tailgate crowd frequently, it might be the one for you.
03 of 12
Instant Vortex 5.7-Quart Air Fryer Oven Combo
Normally $140, Now $100
From the makers of the Instant Pot, the innovative thing that Instant Vortex models offer is top-down airflow, which helps preheat and cook faster, thus making for crispier food. This model is nowhere near as large as the 10-quart Instant Vortex Plus we reviewed, but it has just as much power and performance.
04 of 12
Ninja AF101 Air Fryer
Normally $130, Now $99
The Ninja AF101 has similar wattage to other air fryers, but its capacity is on the smaller side. If you’ll only be air frying in small batches, that’s a good thing: All that power makes the machine cook quickly and efficiently. It also can be set to a wider temperature range than many other models, which makes it multifunctional. Crank it to 400 degrees for baked potatoes or turn it way down to 105 to dehydrate apples, citrus or even ginger.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
05 of 12
Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro
Normally $500, Now $400
This versatile machine made the winners list in our reviews of both air fryers and toaster ovens, and it's for good reason. It heats quickly and efficiently despite its capacious interior, which can bake a 13-inch pizza or air-fry nearly an entire bag of frozen French fries at once. Our main problem with the Breville Smart Oven models is their high prices, which this deal helps remediate.
06 of 12
Calphalon Performance Countertop French Door Air Fryer
Normally $350, Now $255
This air fryer offers massive size and high-quality performance, plus its French doors and stainless-steel finish look so very fancy. It's an elegant addition to any kitchen, as well as an effective air fryer, toaster, convection oven, broiler, and even slow cooker.
07 of 12
Instant Pot Pro Crisp & Air Fryer 8-Quart Multi-Use Air Fryer
Normally $270, Now $235
As the name suggests, the Instant Pot Pro is one of the brand's higher-end models, in both functionality and price. Its quality-of-life upgrades make the machine more convenient to use and add a few more cooking options. It can be set to a wide range of temperatures—from 70 to 450 degrees—making it effective for both slow-cooking and quick-frying. Plus, its advanced digital interface is simple to use and even includes a progress bar. The inner pot has its own handles for easy removal, and there’s a switch that releases pressurized steam gently.
08 of 12
Oster Extra-Large Air Fry Oven
Normally $200, Now $190
Oster says this enormous-capacity machine can cook two chickens, two large pizzas, or three 10.5-by-13-inch baking pans at once. It definitely justifies its size with functionality, as it can bake, broil, toast, dehydrate, and more—there's even a pizza-specific mode. Oster makes a countertop convection oven that's the same size and was our Lab's top pick in testing, but this version features an extra-powerful fan to allow for effective air-frying in that massive capacity.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
09 of 12
Instant Vortex Plus 10-Quart 7-in-1 Digital Air Fryer Oven
Normally $150, Now $110
From the makers of the Instant Pot, this air fryer/oven doesn’t have pressure-cooking capabilities, but it sure is great at frying up crispy foods. The machine also comes with a rotisserie basket and spit for countertop roasting. In her Instant Vortex Plus review, our tester found the capacity a little lacking—it could barely hold a small chicken—but was extremely impressed with its performance as both air fryer and rotisserie.
10 of 12
Dash Deluxe Electric Air Fryer
Normally $100, Now $78
The Dash Deluxe offers a striking look—available in five colors to match any kitchen—along with a 6-quart capacity to easily “fry” meals for the whole family. It also features an auto-shutoff feature along with an insulated handle and outer housing that ensures the machine stays cool to the touch, even when it’s at maximum temperature.
When we tested the Dash Deluxe’s miniature cousin, the Dash Compact Air Fryer, our reviewer loved its design and safety features but found it underdelivered on power and had a slightly too-small capacity. Well, the Deluxe solves both those problems, cranking up the power from 1,000 to 1,700 watts, and tripling the size of the basket.
11 of 12
Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill
Normally $230, Now $210
If you’re looking for a higher-capacity air fryer, Ninja has you covered. We’ve reviewed both this machine and the Ninja Foodi 6-in-1, and found that both make solid air fryers. The 5-in-1 is advertised as an indoor grill—and its high-powered heating and fan do a great job at charring and searing, no propane or charcoal needed—but that power also makes it an excellent air fryer.
12 of 12
Zafro 6 Quart Air Fryer
Normally $100, Now $80
Many value-priced air fryers skimp on size, with a teeny basket that can't hold very much food at once. Not so with Zafro's 6-quart model, which is big enough to make French fries for the whole family.
How do you use an air fryer?
Pretty much the same way you use a toaster oven: Set the temperature, put food in, close the door, and let it cook for the recommended time. (Depending on the particular recipe and your particular model of fryer, you may need to preheat first.) Air fryer baskets and racks are generally made with lots of perforations or a mesh texture, which allows for good air circulation and doesn’t trap moisture. The major difference from baking in a traditional oven is that you need to leave lots of room between food items; if the air fryer is overfilled, you won’t get good crispy results. Shaking the basket periodically during cooking can help keep individual items from sticking together, but if there’s too much stuff in there, you just won’t get perfect results.
How does an air fryer work?
The secret behind deep frying is submerging food in hot oil: Oil is a really good conductor of heat, which makes things cook at the rapid speed needed for good crunch, while being completely surrounded by oil heats the food evenly from all sides at once. Air fryers use a (typically electric-powered) heating element to rapidly heat the air in the cooking chamber and then imitate the thermodynamics of deep frying by using a fan to circulate the hot air and cook the food much more evenly than a traditional oven. It’s sort of like a small but mighty convection oven.
How much should I pay for an air fryer?
It depends on how and how much you plan to use it! To feed a large family including big fans of crispy, crunchy foods, you’ll need a high-end model with lots of power and a large capacity. The absolute best air fryers sell for $200 or more, but that high price gets you an array of useful extras and design features in addition to impressive performance. If you’ll only be making an occasional batch of french fries or just want to experiment using an air fryer as a beginner—or if you’re only feeding one or two and don’t need a high-capacity machine—you can get away with a smaller, cheaper air fryer. There are great air fryers for less than $100 out there, though they’ll be smaller and offer fewer features. Is an air fryer worth it at all? Assuming you’ll actually use the thing, yes. An air fryer can absolutely make crispy foods that are as good as “real” deep-fried ones, but even a compact air fryer will take up counter space, and the cost for a good air fryer might not be worth it if you only ever use it once or twice.
What materials are safe to use in an air fryer?
Can you put foil in an air fryer? Yes. Can you put parchment paper in an air fryer? Yes. Can you put glass in an air fryer? Yes, if it’s oven-safe. The general rule with using dishware and other materials in an air fryer is if it’s oven-safe, it should also be air fryer-safe. (That said, check your individual air fryer’s manual to make sure it doesn’t have any additional rules.) One material that should definitely not go in an air fryer is paper towels. Parchment paper has a special heat-proof coating to make it oven-safe; paper towels (and wax paper, which is also not heat-proof) can easily catch fire at frying temperatures.
What are some good air fryer recipes for beginners?
A great way to get acquainted with the air fryer’s powers is using it on some vegetables. Simply prep the veggies, season with salt, spices, and a little bit of oil, and air fry until done. Green beans, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes are all great candidates for this treatment. Cooking bacon in an air fryer is also incredibly easy, as long as you make sure to pour off some grease between batches. For a simple introduction to air frying chicken, try our simple air fryer Buffalo wings recipe, which gets tasty, crunchy wings from a simple mix of spices and nothing else.
What can’t you cook in an air fryer?
To fans, the air fryer is a miracle machine that can make anything. That’s…almost right, but there are a few items that don’t work well or are downright unsafe. Don’t cook any of these in an air fryer:
- Wet-battered food. An air fryer can do a great job with fried chicken and other items with a layer of dry breading, but keep drippy batters out of the air fryer. A liquid coating won’t stick to the food long enough to cook, so you’ll end up with half-battered items and a pile of burnt batter at the bottom of the machine.
- Heavily oiled food. A little bit of cooking oil can help an air fryer get food extra-crispy, but if it’s coated with so much that it might drip during cooking, you could end up with smoking oil and a charred taste in everything inside the machine.
- Fresh spinach. Spinach shrinks down so much when it cooks that any attempt to make crunchy spinach chips will end in burning. Use a sturdier green, like kale or Brussels sprouts, instead.
- Popcorn. Air fryers just can’t get to a high enough temperature to pop the kernels.Try using the stovetop or an air popper instead.
How do you clean an air fryer?
The goal of cleaning your air fryer is to remove any crumbs or grease stuck inside. These can smoke or burn when you run the machine, giving an acrid taste to anything inside. Most air fryers have a removable crumb-catching tray in the bottom that’s simple to dump in the trash after each use, and the easiest ones to clean come apart easily, with baskets and lids and other pieces that are dishwasher-safe. Other air fryers have parts that must be washed by hand, but that’s usually as easy as wiping them down with a soapy sponge or cloth. Just make sure you read and follow the care instructions for your machine in particular.
One part you need to be especially careful with is the heating element. Water can damage its electrical circuitry, and it should never be immersed in liquid. Some models have a removable heating element to make cleaning it and the rest of the machine simple. How often should you clean an air fryer? You should empty out the crumbs after every use, at the very least. If that leaves the inside fairly clean, you can go for two or three uses between full cleaning, but not much more. And if your air fryer starts to smoke or give off a bad smell, you should immediately unplug it and give it a thorough cleaning once it’s cooled down.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This roundup was written by Jason Horn, a Spruce Eats staff commerce writer with more than 15 years of experience writing about food, drinks, cooking, and mixology. He compiled testing data from our Lab and home testers, and scoured Amazon to find the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday early deals.
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