With so many air fryer options available in the market, it can be challenging to choose one that suits your needs.
The price variations also don’t make things any easier. My findings show that air fryers range between $30 and $400.
There are several differences between a cheap and an expensive air fryer.
In this article, we’ll compare the two and help you decide which one is right for you.
What is a Cheap Air Fryer?
Cheap air fryers are considered the most affordable air fryers ranging from $30 to $100.
They are generally small-size air fryers with a variety of styles, with the most common being a basket-style air fryer.
Read this article that explains the difference between basket and oven-style air fryers.
Cheap air fryers have a simple design, with basic temperature and timer controls, and have minimal accessories.
The air fryers have basic features and are easy to use. They are an excellent choice for those who are on a budget.
However, these appliances may have some limitations.
With a cheap air fryer, you get a smaller capacity, and limited cooking options, and they may not last as long as the expensive ones.
Pros of Cheap Air Fryers
- Affordable with a low price point, making them a great option for those on a budget.
- Simple to Use because they have simple controls and a straightforward design.
- Easy to Clean
Cons of Cheap Air Fryers
- Limited Features as they come with basic features thus less versatile.
- Smaller Capacity: Cheap air fryers tend to have smaller capacities, which may not be suitable for larger families or households.
- Shorter Lifespan: Due to their lower quality components, cheap air fryers may have a shorter lifespan than more expensive models.
What is an Expensive Air Fryer?
Expensive air fryers are air fryers that cost higher with prices ranging from $100 to $400.
They come in different styles, both basket and oven-style air fryers. These air fryers have more features and accessories than cheaper models.
The advanced features that you may find include multiple cooking options, larger capacity, and better build quality.
Most are also equipped with modern technology, such as digital displays, touch screens, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Expensive air fryers are built to last longer and are often backed by a warranty.
Pros of Expensive Air Fryers
- More Features: Expensive air fryers come with more features, including digital controls, multiple cooking presets, and accessories such as baking pans and racks.
- Larger Capacity: Expensive air fryers tend to have a larger capacity, making them suitable for larger families or households.
- Higher Quality: Expensive air fryers are made from higher-quality components, meaning they’re likely to have a longer lifespan.
Cons of Expensive Air Fryers
- Expensive: The biggest downside of expensive air fryers is their price, which may be prohibitive for some people.
- More Complex: Expensive air fryers come with more features, which can make them more complex to use than cheaper models.
- Larger Size: Expensive air fryers tend to be larger and bulkier, which may not be suitable for those with limited counter space.
Cheap vs Expensive Air Fryer: The Differences
The main differences between cheap and expensive air fryers include:
Cost is the most significant difference between cheap and expensive air fryers.
As mentioned before, the cost of a cheap air fryer ranges from $30 to $100, while expensive models can cost $200 or more.
These air fryers are from the same brand but have different price points based on their design and features.
The AF080 costs less than $100 while the AF161 costs just under $150.
Another difference is in the design of the air fryers.
Expensive models often have more modern and sleek designs, while cheaper models may look more basic or utilitarian.
However, the design does not necessarily affect the functionality of the air fryer.
This difference should only be considered if aesthetics is a major concern in your kitchen and home design.
Size creates a significant difference when you compare expensive and cheap air fryers.
Expensive air fryers have a larger capacity of 6 quarts and above, making them suitable to prepare large meals at once.
Air fryers with large capacities are often recommended for large households or individuals who love to host.
Cheaper models tend to have smaller capacities between 2 to 5 quarts. They are more suitable for small families or single-person households.
4. Cooking Functions
Cooking functions determine how versatile an air fryer can be.
Most expensive air fryers offer a wider range of cooking functions such as air frying, baking, roasting, broiling, reheating, dehydrating, and more.
Cheaper models may have fewer functions or may only have basic air frying capabilities.
5. Time and Temperature Settings
From my experience, successfully mastering an air fryer involves proper handling of temperature and time settings.
The temperature and time settings your air fryer has can greatly affect the ability to do this.
For example, if your air fryer has a maximum temperature setting of 400°F and your recipe requires 450°F, you need to make time adjustments.
Expensive air fryers come with more precise temperature and time settings, allowing for greater control over the cooking process.
Cheaper models may have fewer temperature and time settings or may only have basic settings.
To demonstrate this, the Dash Compact air fryer, which costs under $50 has a maximum cooking temp of 400°F and a time range setting of 30 minutes.
You can also get air fryer combinations that can get to very high temperatures of 500°F.
6. Advanced Features
Expensive air fryers may offer more advanced features, such as automatic shut-off, digital displays, Wi-Fi, and pre-programmed cooking functions.
Another example of an advanced feature you can enjoy with an expensive air fryer is dual baskets.
Cheaper models may not have these features. The control panel may also be analog and basic.
The Phillips Essential Connected air fryer, which costs just under $200 features rapid technology, is Wi-Fi connected, and is compatible with Alexa.
You’re likely to get more air fryer accessories when buying an expensive air fryer.
These may include baking trays, racks, and skewers, which may increase the versatility of the air fryer.
Cheaper models may come with fewer or no accessories, which may limit their capabilities.
Cheap vs Expensive Air Fryer: Which One Should You Choose?
When it comes to choosing between a cheap and expensive air fryer, it all depends on your needs and budget.
If you’re on a tight budget and don’t need all the extra features, a cheap air fryer may be the way to go.
On the other hand, if you have a larger family or need more features and accessories, an expensive air fryer may be worth the investment.
It is better to buy a slightly expensive air fryer made using quality materials, that has your required features and size, that will serve you for years than a cheap one that you may need to replace after a few months.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are cheap air fryers any good?
Cheap air fryers can be a good option if you’re on a budget, but they may not be as versatile or long-lasting as more expensive models.
2. Can I cook a whole chicken in an expensive air fryer?
Yes, you can cook a whole chicken in an expensive air fryer with a larger capacity. You only need a good recipe to follow and the right accessories.
3. What are some accessories that come with expensive air fryers?
Expensive air fryers often come with accessories such as baking pans, racks, and skewers, allowing you to cook a wider variety of foods.
4. Is it worth buying an expensive air fryer?
It depends on your needs and budget. If you are looking for advanced features, larger capacity, and better build quality, then an expensive air fryer is worth the investment.
However, if you have a limited budget and only need basic features, a cheap air fryer may be sufficient.
5. Are expensive air fryers healthier than cheap ones?
No, the health benefits of air frying are the same for both cheap and expensive air fryers.
The key is to choose an air fryer that suits your needs and budget and use it to cook healthy and nutritious meals.
6. Can I cook a variety of foods in a cheap air fryer?
Yes, you can cook a variety of foods, such as vegetables, chicken, fish, and even desserts, in a cheap air fryer.
However, you may have to cook in smaller batches due to the limited capacity.
7. Can I use an expensive air fryer for commercial purposes?
Yes, an expensive air fryer is suitable for commercial purposes, such as in restaurants, cafes, and other food establishments.
They have a larger capacity and advanced features that make cooking large quantities of food easier and faster.
Read this article that explains whether restaurants use air fryers.
8. Do expensive air fryers consume more energy than cheap ones?
No, the energy consumption of air fryers is not determined by their price.
The design and functionality of air fryers are what affect their energy consumption.
It is important to check the specifications of the air fryer before purchasing it to ensure it meets your energy requirements.
Choosing between a cheap and an expensive air fryer depends on your budget and cooking needs.
A cheap air fryer is suitable for those who are on a budget and only need basic features, while an expensive air fryer is ideal for those who want advanced features, larger capacity, and better build quality.
However, both types of air fryers offer the same health benefits of air frying and can cook a variety of foods.
Ultimately, choose an air fryer that suits your needs and budget, and use it to cook healthy and delicious meals for yourself and your family.