Cheap vs expensive air fryers - Family Guide Central
| | |

The Difference Between Cheap vs Expensive Basket-Style Air Fryers. A Lot to Consider!

If you’re looking to invest in an appliance- a new air fryer, for example- it’s important to understand what sets one brand apart from the other.

The difference between expensive and cheap air fryers can be a difficult decision because there are so many factors involved in choosing the right product.

One of those factors is how much time you want your food to cook for; research has shown that cheaper models take more time to cook than their pricier counterparts (we’ll get into this later).

It’s also important to consider your needs. Are you looking for a fryer that can cook multiple dishes? Does it need to be able to work quickly or with ease so you don’t have too long of a wait in between cooking and eating?

What are the differences between cheap and expensive basket-style air fryers?

Cheap air fryers are typically less expensive than their more expensive counterparts. For example, an inexpensive air fryer might be $50 whereas a pricey one could range from $200 to $500. Cheap air fryers typically have a shorter life than expensive ones, and they don’t often come with additional features such as dehydrate or sear cooking.

What features should you look for in a basket-style air fryer?

In regards to the number of features, more expensive air fryers will either have a dozen different settings or just a few really focused ones. You’ll rarely see an expensive air fryer in the middle. But just in case you were curious, generally speaking, the more features an air fryer has, the more pricey an air fryer gets.

Air fry

Every air fryer should fundamentally have this option for cooking. Turning on air fry turns on both the heating element to generate heat and the fan to circulate it. What good would an air fryer be if it couldn’t air fry?

Air Roast

Air roasting is a cooking technique that uses hot air to cook food. It can be done in an open-air environment or, as with most home models of air fryers, in a closed environment. The air roasting method produces a meal in about half the time it would normally take in a regular oven. Under this setting, your air fryer will cook at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time. This stops the meat from drying out allowing it to retain moisture making it tender and juicy.


This function is often good for bread and cakes. It keeps the temperature and fan at a consistent rate so that the bread would rise. However, be careful with this feature, it can dry out the exterior of your bread very quickly if you aren’t constantly monitoring the baked food.


When set to broil, your air fryer will crank up the heat. Broiling temperatures typically fall around up to 232 °C (450 °F). Broiling usually involves extreme heat and it’s often recommended that you raise your food closer to the heating element.


This feature is mostly for making your sliced bread crispy and brown. It uses high temperatures but nothing as high as broil.


It is recommended to use this setting for foods like bagels, breadsticks, and other similar food items. It basically runs the air fryer without the fan. It also keeps the top element at a lower heat so as not to burn your bagel.


Reheating uses a gentle warming temperature with a low to medium fan spin for even heating.


Dehydration is a setting that uses the built-in fan along with the lowest temperature (54 °C or 130 °F) for 4 to 8 hours. This method removes the water from your food and dries it up.


Some air fryers will have the ability to cook from the bottom of the basket. This method may require that you first preheat the air fryer with the crisper plate in. This superheats the crisper plate directly touches your food, searing it while it cooks.

Expensive air fryers have a wider range of temperature settings

The higher-end air fryers are often powered by 1800 watt power and can fry food quicker than the cheaper models. At higher powers not only can it cook food quicker, but this allows them with the ability to broil and even sear your meals.

However, expensive air fryers may also have the ability to go down to really low temperatures. Dehydration is a method of cooking that requires a low temperature for an extended length of time (130°F for 4 hours). This is opposed to the traditional way of using an air fryer.

What is good about large basket-style air fryers?

The best thing about large basket-style air fryers is that they are very easy to use, which means that there’s no need to invest in a lot of additional equipment. They also offer up to two times the cooking area of a smaller air fryer.

Large basket air fryers can hold much more food and this is especially important if you have a large family.

Are expensive basket-style air fryers less noisy?

Air fryers can be expensive and noisy. However, some air fryers are designed to be less noisy than others.

As far as I can tell, expensive air fryers don’t necessarily mean they are quiet. In fact, it may be quite the opposite. The more power and heat these air fryers can consume and generate, the louder they seem to get.

Take the dual basket air fryers. These air fryers in particular have 2 running fans so it’s much more noticeable for people who are bothered by noise.

Are cheaper basket-style air fryers prone to cracked baskets?

There are different types of materials that make up plastic and there are different levels of plastics that are produced.

Unfortunately, the cheaper air fryers often have to cut corners with cheaper, less durable plastics. As a result, you may end up cracking your basket with normal everyday use.

I’m lucky that this has never happened to me because I have seen other people post pictures of their broken baskets.

Cheap air fryers often have a shorter warranty and less quality than expensive ones.

Be aware that cheaper air fryers not only mean poorer quality in plastics, but it may also have a lot to do with poor quality heating elements and even motors.

What extra accessories do more expensive basket-style air fryers tend to include in the box?

Basket Liners

These are baskets that go directly over the main basket(s) of the air fryer. It’s also the container directly holding the food. This helps keep your air fryer baskets clean.

Non-stick crisper plates

These plates can be described as mesh pans and are designed to give hot air access to the bottom of the food. This helps create a more evenly cooked meal.

Grill rack

This is also very similar to how a crisper plate is. The idea is the same. Instead of simply just small holes, grills leave even bigger gaps between the heat and the food.

In-oven thermometer

This helps you with getting the temperature of your food just right. Cooking has come down to a science and getting the right internal temperature can sometimes make or break a good meal.

What is the best basket-style air fryer money can buy?

It’s probably going to be the air fryer that has all the bells and whistles. It should have the highest wattage and be made out of some type of stainless steel.

What is the best basket-style air fryer for the price?

The basket style fryer that I use the most and find best for the price is the Ninja Foodi dual basket air fryer. It’s a spectacular fryer because it can cook two different things at one time.

What is the most budget-friendly basket-style air fryer?

I really wouldn’t bother with the cheapest basket-style air fryer. These things tend to break down sooner than you’d hope. You can take care of it while you want but in most cases, the heating element will fail or the motor will kick dirt.

What is the worst, least expensive basket-style air fryer? (that we don’t recommend)

Don’t even bother going here because there’s nothing to look at. Avoid this one at all costs.

Other interesting articles: