Fried chicken and french fries are enjoyed by many people, but the worst part about making them is that they require a lot of oil to fry, which adds a lot of calories and fat. This isn’t a given though, as modern appliances can create healthier and tastier food without the need for so much oil.
Air fryers for example, can use hot air to deep fry and grill food by circulating the air, creating a similar effect to deep frying while reducing the fat content by up to 70%.
However, there are a variety of budget air fryers on the market, both good and bad, each with their own characteristics, and it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you.
The best budget air fryers on the market vary in terms of features, ease of use and price. In total, we considered 8 factors: cooking ability, functionality, cleanliness, capacity, ease of use, safety, durability, and price.
In addition to our own considerations, we also weighed user reviews and independent review sites to determine the quality of the air fryer.
Here’s our comprehensive review of the top 4 best-selling air fryers that will hopefully make your buying decision a lot easier! Here we go!
Philips TurboStar Air Fryer
- Excellent cooking results
- Sturdy construction
- Intuitive and convenient operation
- Timer end alarm
- Automatic shutdown
- Quick-clean basket belt with non-stick grid
- More than 50% uniform cooking
- Non-slip design
- Capacity 800g
- Reduce fat content by up to 80%
- Rated #1 by multiple review sites
- More expensive in the air fryer
- Not many accessories
Philips launched the first air fryer back in 2010. Since then, they have continued to dominate the market until they are affected for the world. In some cases, the popularity of a product is not always related to how good or bad it is, but this is not the case with the Philips HD9641/96. This product belongs to the Avance series, which is one of the three major Philips product lines, the other two being the XXL series and the Daily series.
This air fryer model is HD9641/96 features around 800g of food that can easily satisfy 2 people at a time without having to deep fry multiple times. If you eat it as a snack, it can satisfy 4 people at a time.
So what makes this one stand out is that it uses a rare combination of analogue knobs and a digital display. It’s a pretty intuitive and clever design. Simply turn the knob to set the temperature and time, or select five pre-set values to make the selection work, and it’s one of the simplest and most intuitive interface systems we’ve come across.
While previous Philips models used the “Starfish” design on the bottom of the pan, the new generation uses the “TurboStar” design. They look somewhat similar, but the new design further promotes airflow and ensures more than 50% uniform cooking.
The HD9641/96 also comes with a keep-warm function, which takes effect when the timer reaches its point. Basically, it ensures that your food stays warm for 30 minutes. It comes in handy when no one else is around.
The quality of this product is excellent and it feels sturdier compared to many other air fryers. The outer layer is a plastic shell that is solid and durable. Most of the internal parts are made of metal and can easily withstand the heat inside the fryer. Even after 6 months of use, it remains intact.
The use of a removable non-stick grid on this product makes cleaning a breeze. As for accessories, you can get a cookbook and app (with over 200 recipes with free recipes), as well as a basket for baking cakes. You also have the option to purchase the baking pan and double rack combo at your own expense.
This air fryer has great features, so is it worth the price?
Yes, absolute value.
In a market flooded with air fryers, many of which fail after only a few months of use, the HD9641/96 has always maintained a high level of reliability and is worthy of pride and trust.
Yedi Houseware Air Fryer Set
- Affordable price
- 7 preset buttons
- Good cooking results
- Lots of accessories
- Easy-to-use digital interface
- The timer will sound an alarm when it reaches a point.
- Large capacity
- Automatic shutdown
- Timer can be set for up to 30 minutes
- It can feel inappropriate to buy the full set when you already have some things in the set
With a capacity of 5.5 litres and the ability to feed up to 5 members of the family, the budget air fryer is just one part of a ‘package’ (the others include a grill and pressure cooker) that includes pretty much everything you need to use the air fryer, which is a great deal.
In addition to the standard recipe book and cooking basket, you also get a cake holder, pizza pan, rack, tray, rubber mat, parchment steaming paper (to keep food from sticking to the cooking basket), and a cooking schedule. If you want more recipes, you also have the option of installing their iOS or Android mobile app program.
The air fryer uses an intuitive digital touchscreen and offers seven preset buttons for various foods (fries, meat, fish, etc.). The temperature can reach 200°C and can be adjusted by about 5°C, providing greater accuracy than the Philips HD9641/96.
In terms of cooking results, we found it to be more than adequate, and most users agreed that almost all of their food was up to snuff. For us, this meant getting juicy internal fries and tender chicken wings.
We found the attached add-on accessories particularly useful. The shelf is perfect for wings, and the steaming paper inside keeps the bottom of the fryer from getting dirty with oil and food residue.
Similar to Philips, Yedi Houseware is a brand you can trust. In our research, we saw very few negative reviews and these claims are supported by enough users.
It’s an excellent all-round product that’s durable, easy to use, affordable and cooks to a high standard. Considering the price and the corresponding accessories, we highly recommend this air fryer if you’re looking for a kit solution for your air fryer.
Philips Viva Turbostar Air Fryer
- Excellent cooking results
- The timer will also alarm
- Easy-to-use analog display operation
- Cook 800g of food at a time
- automatic shutdown
- More than 50% uniform cooking
- Timer for up to 30 minutes
- Temperature adjustment is difficult to get the desired temperature
This air fryer model is HD9621/96. It’s essentially an analog display version of the Philips HD9641/96 that we reviewed earlier, and we can confidently say that you won’t find a better analog display air fryer on the market.
At first glance, the design appears to be similar to any other air fryer, but there is one major difference: the temperature scale is located at the top. This effectively reduces the amount of space it takes up.
It’s temperature control is adjusted in roughly 10°C increments (up to about 200°C), separated using straight lines or numerical markers. The markings on the front of the temperature dial are a little hard to see and it’s hard to match the right temperature. This isn’t a big problem for most people, but if you’re very strict about the temperature of the food you’re cooking, it can be unpleasant to use. That’s sort of the one downside of this air fryer.
It’s also easy to clean up. Just like other Philips products (and unlike most other air fryers), the HD9621/96 comes with a removable non-stick grid that allows the fryer to be cleaned more thoroughly.
Note that the timer is set to a maximum of 30 minutes, which is half as long as the HD9641/96, which is a drawback, but fortunately most recipes don’t take more than half an hour. The manufacturers of air fryers understand this, which is why they have designed many products to have a 30 minute limit.
This air fryer is durable, safe, easy to clean, and most importantly, cooks well. We just wish the temperature dial was a little more user-friendly.
Overall, this air fryer is a great option for anyone who wants to get a good quality air fryer with an inexpensive analog display to try this air fryer.
BELLA Electric Air Fryer
- Favorable price
- The timer can be set for up to 60 minutes
- Easy to use
- Above-average cooking results
- Automatic shutdown and alarms
- Plastic smell on first use
- A few users have problems with automatic shutdown due to loose parts.
There are a number of inexpensive, good quality air fryers on the market, but the BELLA electric air fryer is perhaps the top ranked product in the middle.
It is durable, cooks well, and can hold about 2 pounds of food (about 10-12 chicken nuggets) in one cooking session. Considering that it’s one of the most affordable air fryer products available and comes with a 2-year warranty, it would be unreasonable for us not to even recommend it.
The design is simple – similar to many air fryers on the market – and if you’ve used an air fryer before, you can easily get started. It’s a purely analogue display air fryer, with a temperature control of about 13°C and a maximum of about 208°C. In terms of the timer, it can be set to a setting of about 13°C and a maximum of about 208°C. It’s a purely analogue display air fryer.
In terms of the timer, it can be set to 60 minutes. Considering that most products in this price range can only be set to minutes, this is a small surprise.
We found it to cook significantly better than average. This air fryer doesn’t use the patented design that Philips does to promote airflow, but it still cooks food reasonably evenly. You may need to shake the food well to ensure even cooking. If you fill the fryer to the brim, it’s even more important to manually boundary it a bit.
It’s worth noting that the biggest issue with this product is the plastic smell that can develop after the first use. An initial cleaning after purchase will help with this issue, allowing you to use the fryer without food for 10 minutes or more the first time you use it. Another minor issue is that if some of your parts come loose during use, it may cause the air fryer to shut off automatically, but this is rare and only happens in a very small number of cases, with most users praising it.
Considering the price, we didn’t think there would be other parts available. You’ll get 15 recipes in the accompanying manual, but we recommend you do some research to get some additional recipes. This is the best air fryer we’ve seen in this cheap price range.
Air Fryer Buying Guide
There are many air fryers on the market, with Amazon alone offering 100 products, which makes it even more difficult for consumers to choose the right one.
We’ve eliminated a lot of options by narrowing down the choices to the best 4, but sometimes that’s not enough – it’s also important to determine what you need. The best air fryer on the market may not be the right air fryer for you.
Why? Because air fryers don’t always have the same functions or features. For example, some timers may only have a 30-minute timer, while another can go up to 60 minutes. In other cases, some will have an auto-rotate feature that turns the food, while others may require you to shake them yourself.
That’s why we want a buyer’s guide. We want to guide you smoothly through your air fryer purchase, not just blindly follow advice right away!
First, understand what an air fryer is.
As it turns out, an air fryer isn’t really a deep fryer, the term is the result of marketing, so don’t be fooled by the literal meaning.
In its place, an air fryer uses a fan to circulate hot air heated by a heating element to cook food. Whereas in a traditional deep fryer, people use oil to transfer heat to the food, in an air fryer, it works through air.
While air frying is a healthier alternative to traditional frying (because it uses 70% or more less oil than traditional fats and oils), the end result that comes out isn’t quite the same.
Air-fried foods will never have the crunch and consistency (provided by the oil) of traditionally fried foods. However, if you like oven-baked food, you’re in luck because both air fryers and ovens use similar methods to cook food, so the results are similar. But if you’re hoping that using an air fryer will produce food that tastes just as good as traditional deep frying, you might be disappointed.
An air fryer is designed to cook food faster by circulating air, rather than having only one concentrated heat source as is common in an oven. Once you’ve found the best setting for a particular food, you can use an air fryer to produce crispier, more tender food than you can get from a conventional or oven.
Do I still need oil in my air fryer to cook food?
It’s not an absolute problem; some foods require it and some may not. However, most manufacturers recommend that you should add between half a teaspoon and one teaspoon of oil for every 2 pounds or so of food.
Before you put the food into the air fryer, you should use a brush or spray to spread the oil evenly over the food, making sure that you use no more than the recommended amount to prevent the oil from falling out of the air fryer, as this can cause burns.
One thing that is worth noting is the smoke point of the oil you are using. As the name implies, this is the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke, and when it reaches the smoke point it will burn your food, destroy nutrients and even produce cancer-causing substances. So the oil you choose, try to have a smoke point of 200°C or higher, then it will be suitable for most air fryers.
What needs does the air fryer suit?
Air fryers are great for:
- For those who like to cook fried snacks, but don’t want a lot of oil, an air fryer is a great way to bake sweet potatoes, french fries, peanuts and deep-fried fries. But remember, although the use of air fryers can produce a crisp and tender effect, but can not produce the same effect as deep-fried exactly.
- Expect a relatively simple cooking option that can be fried, grilled, baked, or barbecued.
Factors to Consider Before Buying an Air Fryer
If you’ve decided that an air fryer is better for you, then you can read on and we’ll list some of the factors to consider before buying an air fryer, and you’ll consider which air fryer is right for you based on these factors.
As noted at the beginning of this article, there are 8 factors that we consider when determining the ranking: cooking ability, functionality, cleanliness, capacity, ease of use, safety, durability, and price, so it’s really mostly these factors that need to be considered as well.
1. Cooking ability
This is the most difficult factor to determine, with many variables. This is because the number and type of things used, the time and temperature settings, and the amount of oil used can all affect the final cooking result. Even with the appropriate recipe, you can still make some fine adjustments to cook other foods like sweet potatoes, fries, peanuts, and more.
A key part of an air fryer’s cooking ability is its ability to cook evenly. For this reason, there are two main types available.
Manual shaking: Many air fryers require you to shake the fryer to turn the food to ensure even heat distribution and different methods depending on the type of food. For example, to fry French fries, simply tip out the fryer and give it a gentle shake, while something as large as a chicken nugget will be easier to poke with tongs. Most air fryers are designed in this way.
Auto Rotate and Stir: To eliminate the manual shaking and shaking of the food, you can choose an air fryer that will operate automatically. Foods like french fries that require frequent side changes will be much easier to make.
Using an air fryer to cook food is not an exact science, and simply following the instructions on a recipe does not guarantee good results; it is only through trial and error that you can make the most of your air fryer and make delicious food that works for you.
The air fryers all have various functions that are performed through their controls.
- The timer is typically implemented using a digital interface or an analog knob.
- Since food is cooked quickly in the air fryer, the timer can be set for 30 minutes for most foods. However, if you are able to cook food for longer periods of time, then it is best to choose an air fryer that lasts for 60 minutes.
Most air fryers have a temperature range of about 100°C to 200°C, making it easy to cook food.
If your air fryer does not reach the temperature required for a recipe, don’t worry, just cooking the food for longer is usually the solution. The display of the temperature also has an electronic screen display and a rotating dial display, and there are air fryers that combine both, the choice about the display depends mainly on personal habits, there is no good or bad difference. It just needs to be more concerned about whether the temperature adjustment can achieve the desired temperature.
As mentioned earlier, digital air fryers often come with pre-set cooking programs, making it very easy for you to automatically set the time and temperature for some common foods. Some other air fryers take a more similar approach by printing the settings on the top of the lid or pan.
Some air fryers, have other features such as pausing the cooking process, keep warm mode and preheat, which are some nice features, but they are not essential features for using an air fryer.
When it comes to frying, cleaning is a big deal. Just like any other appliance, if you use it a lot, it can be tiring if it’s a pain to clean. Removable accessories are essential, but some of them are removable, but they can’t completely prevent food from sticking to them, so manual cleaning is also essential.
Air fryers exist in a variety of sizes, usually related to capacity. However, you’ll find that sometimes the capacity doesn’t increase as much as the size. This makes a smaller air fryer a more efficient choice.
You’ll also find that smaller air fryers are easier to carry around and tend to produce better cooking results. Why? Because less food means air can flow more easily and ensure evenness.
But that doesn’t mean the smaller the better, yo, if you some cooking wants more people to enjoy, smaller air fryers need to be cooked several times before they work, and waiting too long is not good either.
5. Easy to use
No one likes cumbersome equipment to operate, and an easy-to-use air fryer is safer and better ensures that it produces excellent cooking results. You need to consider the following things.
Are the markings on the fryer easy to see? For example, you want the dial temperature and timer markings to be clearly visible and in even increments to prevent confusion. Similarly, digital displays are generally intuitive and easy to understand.
Cleaning should be simple and straightforward, and all parts to be cleaned should be removable and secure.
Adding and taking out food needs to be easier, whether the lid is heavy, etc., and larger air fryers will generally suffer in this regard.
Is the operation intuitive and straightforward. Do the operating buttons do what you expect them to do? Do their features (e.g. auto shut off) help prevent food burning?
The air fryers on the market today have many safety features. These include a cool handle, a safety button to prevent the basket from falling when removing food, and an automatic shut-off feature when the timer reaches a point. It also prevents smoke buildup, while protecting the internal components from getting dirty or damaged.
This is a difficult factor to determine, as you can only really determine the durability of a product after using it for at least a few months. Unfortunately, most people, including us, simply don’t have the time to do this kind of extensive testing, so we rely on user reviews on the web.
The most common durability issue we see is paint falling off or a non-stick coating coming off. This is more likely caused by regular or heavy cleaning with detergents. A light wash with detergent is the best way to alleviate this problem.
Another problem is an air fryer basket or drawer that has become twisted or brittle due to the heat, and a bent drawer can make it more difficult to insert or remove. And most uncommonly, the air fryer stops working completely due to an unknown cause. These tend to be more common with some of the newer air fryer brands or cheaper products.
The best way to alleviate these problems is to handle your air fryer carefully and follow the instructions when it comes to things like cleaning and operating the unit.
This idea depends on personal budget and needs, all products need to consider this aspect, there is no absolute standard for this.
We hope you like our Air Fryer Top Picks! We aim to create content that is as objective as possible so that we can provide you with maximum value.