Why is there a huge price disparity in air fryers?

From bestreviews.com
By
Jennifer Blair

No matter how much we might try to eat healthy, let's face it -- fried foods are just too tempting to resist. That's why air fryers have revolutionized healthy eating. They allow you to indulge in all your favorite fried comfort foods like french fries without all the oil and fat that deep-frying usually involves. 

Sounds pretty good, right?

Lots of popular appliance brands have ventured into the air fryer market, so they are plenty of options if you want one for your kitchen. It just depends on how much space you have, what features you're looking for, and how much you want to spend.

You can find air fryers of various sizes, with different capabilities, at price points that fit most budgets, but this begs the question -- is there any difference between affordable fryers and the super pricey, high-end models and how do you find what you're looking for?

 

Expensive versus affordable, what's the big difference?

The truth is that all air fryers work the same way: They circulate hot air around food via convection so it develops a crispy, crunchy exterior while staying juicy and tender on the inside. More expensive fryers usually have more power than their budget-friendly counterparts, though, so they can cook your fried favorites more efficiently. 

Budget-friendly air fryers are usually on the small side, so most can only fit enough food for one to three servings. If you pay a little more, though, you'll usually get a larger fryer that's perfect for families or parties.  

Air fryers are pretty user-friendly, so operation is fairly easy. Expensive models may be a little easier to use, though, because they usually have a variety of presets for commonly cooked foods like fries and chicken, taking all the guesswork out of air-frying. 

Do you need a top-of-the-line air fryer with all the bells or whistles, or will a more affordable model fit your needs just as well? Here are some of the best air fryers on the market across a range of price points so you can determine which might be the best option for your kitchen. 
 

Bella 1.6-Qt. Air Fryer: $34.99 at Macy's (was $49.99)

Only need an air fryer that's large enough to cook for one or make quick snacks? This Bella model is one of the smallest air fryers on the market, but it still offers plenty of convenient features like a 30-minute auto-shutoff timer, variable temperature, and a ready indicator light. It also offers 1,000 watts of power, which is pretty impressive for such a small fryer. 

Best for: Couples and solo diners who just can't resist fried goodies or those with very little cabinet/counter space.

 

GoWISE USA 3.7 Qt. Digital Air Fryer: $68.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond

For a small family, the extra space that this GoWISE air fryer provides will be much appreciated. It can accommodate more than 3 pounds of food and offers 1,400 watts of power for quicker, more efficient cooking. Best of all, it has eight presets for foods like fries, shrimp, chicken, and fish, which takes all the guesswork out of using the machine, and it comes with 50 recipes. 

Best for: Small families who want a user-friendly fryer or those who are new to air frying.

 

BLACK+DECKER Purify 2-Liter Air Fryer: $77.99 at Amazon (was $149.99)

BLACK+DECKER is a respected name in the home appliance arena, and this air fryer lives up to the excellent reputation. It offers variable temperature controls and can heat to 400 degrees, with a preheat indicator light to let you know when it reaches your desired temperature. It also features nonstick cooking surfaces that release food easily as well as a dishwasher-safe fryer basket. 

Best for: Those who want an air fryer from a brand with a proven track record and quick, easy cleanup.

 

Crux 5.3-Qt. Digital Air Convection Fryer: $101.49 at Macy's (was $144.99)

You'll pay a little more for this Crux air fryer, but that's because it's more powerful and versatile than others in this price range. Not only can it "fry" foods, but it also bakes, roasts, and grills. It offers eight preset options, too, which makes operating the fryer as easy as can be. It also holds up to 4.4 pounds of food, so it's large enough for most families. 

Best for: Families of four to five who want a multi-use countertop appliance. 

 

PowerXL Air Fryer Pro 6 Qt. with 7 in 1 Cooking: $115.99 at Amazon (was $159.99)

Want plenty of power from your air fryer? This model from PowerXL boasts a whopping 1,700 watts in a compact design, so your food cooks in a hurry. But this fryer is also plenty versatile, offering both rotisserie and dehydrate functions in addition to the air frying feature. The bright, easy-to-read touch screen makes operation a breeze, too.

Best for: Home cooks who like kitchen gadgets but lack the counter space for multiple appliances. 

 

NuWave 10 Qt. Airfryer: $129.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond

This NuWave 1,500-watt model is the perfect combination of power, versatility, and size. That's because you can do more than air fry your favorite foods thanks to the included rotisserie kit and the generous 10-quart capacity that can fit up to an eight-pound ham. It also has retractable vents to keep food juicy and moist. 

Best for: Anyone who regularly cooks for large groups and wants plenty of bang for their buck.

 

Cuisinart Digital Air Fryer Toaster Oven: $269.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond

You really can't go wrong with a Cuisinart appliance, and this air fryer is no exception. You can use it to air fry up to three pounds of food, but it also functions as a versatile toaster oven, dehydrator, and a place to proof dough. It has preset programs for fried favorites like fries, wings, and chicken nuggets, and the nonstick interior allows for easy cleaning.   

Best for: Kitchens that need to free up the oven for baking and other recipes.

 

Philips Premium Airfryer XXL with Fat Removal Technology: $299.99 at Amazon

Like all air fryers, this model from Philips uses little to no oil for "frying." But what sets it apart from other models is its fat removal technology, which captures excess fat to keep it away from your food. It's large enough to cook for up to six people and can fit a whole chicken. It also offers multi cooking technology, so you can air fry, bake, grill, roast, reheat, dehydrate, and toast in a single appliance. 

Best for: Anyone who's interested in reducing the fat in their recipes and doing more than air frying.

 

Breville Smart Oven Air: $624.99 at Macy's

Looking for the Cadillac of air fryers? You can't really top this model from Breville, which has 1,800 watts of power and plenty of handy features that make cooking even easier. You can air fry plenty of goodies with little to no oil, but you can also toast, bake, roast, broil, and dehydrate in this impressive countertop oven. It can even fit up to a 14-pound turkey and offers an extremely user-friendly LCD display with 13 presets for the easiest operation around.

Best for: The home chef who wants an air fryer that can do it all and has all the bells and whistles for convenient operation. 

Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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