Air Fryer Buying Guide: Best Air Fryer for the Money
If you are considering buying an air fryer for your home but are having trouble figuring out which one is right for you, this post is what you have been looking for! Below we will help you ask yourself the right questions so that you can see through all the shines and flashes from the top brands marketing campaigns and pick the air fryer that better fits your needs.
If you are new to air fryers and haven’t read a lot about them yet you might also want to check out these other articles to better understand how air fryers can actually fry your food with so little oil or what are some of the health benefits that come with eating air fried food as opposed to traditional deep fries.
Objectively there are only three things you should be looking at when considering which air fryer to buy:
- Your budget.
- How many people are you going to be cooking for.
- What kinds of food are you going to be cooking the most.
Those are the three key aspects to consider when making your decision. Then of course there are other more subjective aspects which can also influence your decision, such as the design of the appliance, whether you care buying from an Asian brand or not, etc. Those are all valid aspects too, but I’m afraid nobody can help you there. If you just felt in love with the exquisite design from the Philips AirFryer then that might tilt the balance for you.
So let’s focus on the three objective aspects that you should be looking at before buying an air fryer.
What’s your budget for an oil less fryer?
First things first, you need to be realistic about your budget. There is no point in looking at a Ferrari if what you can really aford is a Toyota.
The pricier option
A few years ago when oil-less fryers came out there were two brands competing to become the category generic. Phillips with the AirFryer and T-fal with the Actifry. Both had their pros and cons, but eventually Phillips steped up their game and T-fal hasnt come out witha new model years, leaving the Phillips Airfryer family of oil-less fryers as the best option in the market for many years in a row now.
The AirFryer comes in three different flavors, the HD9641/96 (the simplest model, good for 2 portions per cook), the HD9240/94 (the larger version for up to 4 portions per cook) and the HD9650/96 (the XXL for up to 6 portions per cook ), and also has a large variety of optional accessories such as a grilling tray, a baking tray or a double layer rack which you can purchase separately. If you decide to get any of these accessories the overall cost of the machine will be more expensive than the initial purchase price. Just something to keep in mind.
|AirFryer HD9741/96||AirFryer HD9240/94||AirFryer HD9650/96|
|Buy now||Buy now||Buy now|
The most affordable
If the Actifry and the AirFryer are beyond your possibilities at this point. then there is a whole range of less well known brands which offer air fryers at much more affordable prices.
There seem to be two different approaches amongst these less well know brands. Most of them, such as Beida, Avalon Bay or GoWISE seem to be trying to replicate the Philips AirFryer, whereas other brands such as BIG BOSS have been able to come up with a more original solution at a more affordable price.
Personally we recommend the BIG BOSS if you are on a budget. It’s a great appliance, built with high quality materials and good design. Plus they had the guts to develop their own product instead of trying to imitate Philips.
|GoWISE USA 1700-W 5.8-QT 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer||Secura Air Fryer 1500W Electric Hot Air Fryers||Big Boss Oil-less Air Fryer, 16 Quart, 1300W|
|Buy now||Buy now||Buy now|
How many people are you going to be cooking for?
Next thing you want to ask yourself is how many people are you generally going to be cooking for.
If you live alone or as a couple, then your options here are pretty much wide open. You can choose any air fryer out there and you’ll be able to get any meal done in just one batch.
If you are going to be cooking for more people though, your options narrow down, as some of the basic models have a relatively low capacity of 800g, which translates to no more than a dozen full chicken wings. If you think you’ll only be using your air fryer for side dishes, such as fries, 800g might also do the trick for a family of 4, however if you are thinking main dishes, then you’ll have to start looking at air fryers with a larger capacity such as the Philips Airfryer 9240 with a capacity of 1.2Kg, the T-fal Actifry with a capacity of 1Kg or the BIG BOSS
Large capacity air fryers
|AirFryer HD9650/96||Actifry||BIG BOSS|
|Buy now||Buy now||Buy now|
What kind of food are you going to be cooking the most in your air fryer?
Another important thing to consider is what types of food are you going to be cooking the most.
Frying is widely used to cook a very large variety of dishes. Sure the first thing that probably comes to mind are french fries, but also fried vegetables, chicken wings, spring rolls or even fired rice or noodles.
Air fryers cook your food by circulating hot air at very high temperatures around your food, which makes them get that crispy outside and soft inside that’s so characteristic from fried food. Now in order for your food to be cooked evenly the air needs to touch every inch of the surface of the foods you are cooking, otherwise the areas that had not been touched by air wont crisp. This can become an issue when you load too much food into your fryer and the different pieces touch with each other. If you are cooking fries or chicken wings then you can simply grab the frying tray a few times while the food is cooking and shake it or manually flip your food to ensure it’s cooked from all sides, but when you are dealing with much smaller pieces of food such as rice then the thing gets trickier.
All air fryers come with a frying basket were you place your food for it to cook. The food always remains still in the tray unless you shake it, stir it or flip the pieces. This is true for all expect the T-fal Actifry which comes with a stirring paddle that will continuously steer your food while it cooks.
So the choice you need to make here is quite simple. If you are not into fried rice and other similar foods then go for the Philips AirFryer (or their less expensive alternatives which we looked at earlier). Now if you often cook rice, works and other foods that come in very small pieces, then you will want to go for the T-fal Actifry.
Which air fryer is right for you
After answering these questions, you should have a pretty good idea of what air fryer is best for you. Still it can be useful to take a look at some of the most common scenarios and see which air fryer we would recommend in each case.
- If you are a student living in a dorm or sharing an apartment and are on a tight budget – Get one of the recommended affordable air fryers
- If you are a young professional living alone or with your partner – Get the Philips AirFryer HD9641/96 or de HD9240/94 (the larger option is always nice to have in case you have friends over some time or you just simply want to cook in bulk)
- If you are a family of 3 to 5 – Get the Philips AirFryer HD9650/96 or the T-Fal Actifry
- If you are any of the above but really like fried rice, noodles and similar foods – Get the T-Fal Actifry
I use it to make dinners every evening for my husband and I. The meat is never dry and it tastes delicious. I love cooking again because of the shorter cooking time and the cleanup is a breeze. We are eating healthier now, and the food tastes amazing.