While bread machines and blenders were once the hottest items in countertop kitchen appliances, air fryers have been all the buzz for the past couple of years. An air fryer is a healthier way to prepare many favorite foods, from chicken wings to French fries, broccoli to seafood. They are also easy to use, relatively easy to clean, and usually don’t take up tons of counter space.
But, how much does an air fryer usually cost? Perhaps surprisingly, there’s no simple answer. Air fryers can cost anywhere from about $30 to upward of $400 or more, which is clearly quite a wide range and can be confusing for consumers. If you’ve decided you’re interested in venturing into the addictive world of easy, versatile, healthier food prep with an air fryer, keep reading to learn how much air fryers cost, what factors affect the price of an air fryer, and if more expensive air fryers are really better than cheaper models.
What Is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a countertop kitchen appliance that, despite its name, is actually much more like a miniature convection oven than a fryer. The air fryer circulates hot air to cook your food quickly and crisply with little to no oil.
How Much Does an Air Fryer Cost?
The prices of air fryers are quite variable, ranging from $30 or so on the low end to $300 or more for high-end models. However, most countertop air fryers for home use cost between $60-150.
What Factors Affect the Price of an Air Fryer?
There are several factors that influence the price of an air fryer, including the following:
There are three primary types of air fryers, and the type certainly influences not only what the air fryer looks like and how it works but also how much the air fryer costs.
- Basket Air Fryers: Basket air fryers are the most popular type of air fryer. They have a removable basket, which holds the food you plan to air fry. The basket is easy to clean and because the basket has colander-like holes throughout, the food inside is exposed to air and can fry faster. However, sauces, marinades, and liquids often drip off the food and out of the basket with this model, so it’s better for dry foods. It’s also difficult to see the food as it cooks to monitor when it is ready, and the capacity is limited by the size of the basket, so they aren’t the most economical in terms of space. In other words, the air fryer itself is often quite a bit larger than the actual cooking capacity. Basket cookers tend to be the least expensive type of air fryer.
- Tray Air Fryers: Tray air fryers are a hybrid of an air fryer and a toaster oven. There are removable trays for your food, so the capacity is usually greater than a basket air fryer. Tray air fryers have heating elements at the bottom and convection fans to help cook the food quickly and evenly. Plus, they allow for other cooking methods like toasting, baking, and rotisserie, and you can see your food as it cooks to know when it is done. However, tray air fryers are usually more expensive than basket air fryers.
- Paddle Air Fryers: Paddle air fryers are not particularly common because they tend to be quite pricey. They have a paddle that constantly agitates the food for the most even, fast, and non-stick cook. They also tend to have higher power outputs.
The capacity of an air fryer dictates how much food you can cook in one batch. Basket air fryers tend to have the least efficient capacities because your cooking space is confined to the basket. Tray air fryers have multiple racks to include the cooking space. Air fryers that have a small capacity (one quart or so) will be less expensive than those with more room. Most people need an air fryer with at least two quarts, but four quarts is much more ideal if you’re cooking for two or more people.
The more powerful the air fryer is, the faster it can cook. The most common wattages for air fryers usually fall in the 1,200-1,500 watt range. Cheaper air fryers usually have lower wattage outputs and higher-end models are more powerful.
The most trusted brands of air fryers, like Cuisinart, Ninja, and Cosori, tend to be more expensive. Some of this is simply because these brands know they can charge a bit more because of brand recognition, but most of the price of an air fryer comes down to features, quality, and performance.
An air fryer is an electrical appliance, so it should be backed by a warranty so that you don’t end up with a useless piece of junk if something goes awry with the circuitry. Typically, cheap air fryers have short warranties, which isn’t a good sign. Look for an air fryer with at least a one- or two-year warranty. You’ll end up paying more initially, but it could be worth it in the long run.
Additional features on the air fryer will increase the price. For example, air fryers that double as toaster ovens or that have app integration and smart technology will cost more than basic units, but many people find these functions well worth the additional cost.
How Much Do Some of the Best Air Fryers Cost?
The most popular air fryers usually cost about $60-130, depending on whether you can find a great air fryer deal. The typical prices of the most popular air fryers include the following:
- Cosori 1500W 3.7 quart air fryer: $100
- Instant Vortex Plus 1500W 10 quart air fryer: $150-160
- Instant Vortex Plus 1300W 2 quart air fryer: $40
- Dreo 1500W 4 quart air fryer: $70-90
- Ninja 1750W 5.5 quart air fryer: $160-180
- Nuwave air fryers: $70-150
Are Expensive Air Fryers Worth It?
In general, most people find that it’s worth it to spend a little more to get a larger, more powerful air fryer. If you have limited counter space, buying a tray air fryer can be worth the added expense as well, as it can also replace a toaster oven.
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