Straight to the Point
If you’ve ever wondered “is an air fryer worth it?” and come to Serious Eats (a site known for not buying into trends or marketing fads) to find out, then the answer might surprise you. Because we genuinely like air fryers. Compared to a convection oven or toaster oven or even an air fryer toaster oven, air fryers offer quicker cooking, speedier cleanup, and little-to-no preheat time. Because of their compact cooking chambers and powerful fans, air fryers heat fast. Add in their perforated baskets and you have a recipe for nice, deep, all-over browning—no, they don’t deep-fry—with minimal effort (read: a toss or two per cooking cycle).
We recently tested 11 popular air fryers and came away with four models that performed incredibly well, were easy to use, and were fairly effortless to clean. And with Black Friday and Cyber Monday having just happened, we thought it’d be helpful to roundup which of our favorite air fryers are on sale. Get one and you, too, can make crispy fries, chicken wings, salmon, and Brussels sprouts as much as your air-fryer heart desires.
So, without further ado, here are the three best, tested-and-recommended air fryer deals happening right now.
The Very Best Air Fryer: Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer, 6-Quart
Normally $160, Now $98
In our tests, the Instant out-performed all of the other air fryers—producing the crispiest, most well-browned food in the least amount of time. And it's less than $100 (39% off) at the moment, which is the lowest price we've ever seen it go for.
Outside of performance, the Instant's usability features make it a standout. It has a control knob that allows you to easily scale the temperature and time in 5-degree and 1-minute increments, a screen that isn't littered with presets, a stay-cool stainless steel handle, and an easy to clean basket with a removable perforated insert.
Another Great Air Fryer Under $100: Ninja Air Fryer, 4-Quart
Normally $120, Now $100 at Target
Of the smaller capacity air fryers we tested, the Ninja performed the best. And if you typically cook for one to three people and are sure you won’t want something larger, it’s well worth considering—especially since it’s 45% off (be sure to clip the extra savings coupon before adding it to your cart). Unlike the Instant, which is mostly digital, the Ninja has analog controls and a smaller screen. We appreciated the clearly labeled, sparse (read: no presets) control panel, though having to press-press-press buttons wasn’t as easy and just turning a knob. Still, it’s a great air fryer—and the cheapest model we recommend. And if easy cleanup is what you value, the Ninja’s removable parts are dishwasher-safe (though the manufacturer does recommend hand-washing).
A More Splurge-y, Smaller Air Fryer: Philips Premium Digital Air Fryer
Normally $250, Now $200
This compact air fryer features a control knob for easy time and temperature adjustment and a smaller, square basket that dissembles for thorough cleanup (it's dishwasher-safe). We found, as long as you didn't overload the basket, it performed very well. And though you can only set the temperature in 25-degree increments (i.e. 350℉, 375℉), it still worked fine for everything we cooked in it. For those into history, Philips actually invented the air fryer.
What's the best air fryer?
When do air fryers go on sale?
Typical sale periods like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime Day are good times to look for air fryer deals.