Fried food is everyone’s favorite, and you can’t hide this guilty pleasure no matter how much you try. And yes, it is a guilty pleasure because we eat french fries, chicken wings, and a lot more fried fast food items, knowing that they are harmful to our health.
But, thankfully, the cooking appliance manufacturers worry about our health, maybe more than we do ourselves. The invention and the continuous production of air fryers is proof of that.
Air fryers are exactly what the name suggests. A cooking appliance that uses air, hot air to be exact, to fry anything you want without drowning it into a pool of oil.
Thanks to air fryers, eating fried foods is now just a pleasure that’s free from any sort of guilt of unhealthy eating and consuming excessive fats and calories.
But, in this article, we are not going to talk about how good air fryers are and how everyone should own one. Air fryers have been around long enough now that they have become a mainstream item instead of a luxury item, as was the case a few years back.
So, if you don’t own one, we can tell you that you are missing out on a lot of healthy and delicious fried food.
In this article, we are going to talk about some budget-friendly air fryers, so even if you are on a low budget, you can still eat healthily.
As the title suggests, we will list the 5 best air fryers under $50 that you can buy right now. In this list of air fryers under $50, you will find the air fryers of some of the best global brands. So, let’s get into it.
Dash Tasti Air Fryer
This Dash air fryer is simple and elegant, and it looks good sitting on your kitchen counter. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and reasonably priced.
The fryer is also available in six different colors so, you can choose your favorite. It is compact and lightweight, which makes it perfect for small kitchens and dorm rooms.
It’s a small capacity air fryer that can be used by campers for on-the-go cooking. This Dash air fryer has similar base features as the previously mentioned models.
It has an auto shut-down feature that saves energy and prevents overcooking. The fryer features a two-knob control system, one for time and one for temperature.
It features the AirCrips technology as well, to cook food evenly. The cooking capacity of this air fryer is 2.6 quarts and, you can cook food for 2-3 people.
The wide basket enhances the cooking performance. It allows the air to circulate better and faster, resulting in better tasting food. The only downside of this model is that it’s less powerful.
This air fryer uses 1000 watts of energy, and other models use 1200+ watts of energy. With less energy usage, the cooking speed decreases.
Why we like it:
- Simple and easy to use
- Compact and lightweight
- The body and handle stay cool all the time
- No preheating is required
Elite Gourmet Air Fryer
One of the best air fryer brands out there and also our top pick as the best air fryer under $50 is the Elite Gourmet’s EAF-0201BG Compact Air Fryer.
Elite Gourmet makes some of the most versatile air fryers; however, this one is just a plain and compact air fryer that has the cooking performance to match any expensive air fryer. The only thing is, there are no multiple cooking functions, or presets, or a fancy control system.
The EAF-0201BG has a 1000-watt heating mechanism that evenly cooks your food in no time. From the refrigerator to the table within a few minutes- you can quickly prepare snacks for guests or complete dinners for the family.
The 1000-watt heating mechanism allows this air fryer to generate a wide temperature range of 175F to 395F.
As for cooking time, the EAF-0201BG has a timer that you can set to cook for one to thirty minutes. So, even though the air fryer only has the frying cooking method, you can still cook a lot of different food items using a wide range of cooking settings.
One very likable and helpful feature is that on the top, you can find cooking instructions for SIX popular food items. To start and get the hang of the fryer’s optimal settings, these instructions are a big help.
You have to go through a learning phase to understand how the analog control system works. There are two dials on the air fryer- one to set the time and the other to set the temperature.
Once you master these two dials, you can cook almost anything in this compact air fryer with ease.
Why we like it:
- Fast and even cooking.
- Non-stick PFOA/PTFE free pan.
- 2.1-quart cooking capacity. (Available in a smaller 1 quarts option too.)
- Available in FOUR different colors.
- Dishwasher-safe fryer pan.
- Cool-to-touch handle and exterior for your safety.
GoWISE USA Programmable Air Fryer
GoWISE USA is an American brand that does all the designing and manufacturing keeping an average American household in their mind.
That is why GoWISE USA air fryers have two prominent features; good cooking capacity and ease of use. GoWISE USA wants its users to enjoy good food in large quantities, and it also ensures that anyone can use their air fryers for cooking.
We were delighted to see that they didn’t compromise on these two features even when making a budget air fryer. The GoWISE USA GW22638 air fryer has the biggest cooking capacity in this price category, and it is the only budget air fryer with a digital control panel and EIGHT cooking presets.
It also produces some deliciously tasty food thanks to the 1400 watts heating element. With all these features, the question arises that how does GoWISE USA manage to keep the price under $50.
Well, the original price of the GoWISE USA GW22638 is about a little over $50.
However, the features and the cooking performance are of a much much higher category, which is why this air fryer made our list.
We think that the 3.7 quarts cooking capacity and the EIGHT presets that let you prepare some favorites like Fish, Fries, and Chicken with a single press are definitely worth a little over $50.
And it’s not like the price is too high, $60 is still a budget-friendly price, and the Gw22638 makes a very economical option when you count the features it brings to your kitchen.
Looking at all the options in our list, if you can afford to spend a little extra money, we strongly suggest the GoWISE USA GW22638.
Why we like it:
- EIGHT one-touch presets
- 3.7 quarts cooking capacity
- Comes with an LED screen that indicates everything
- Sound indicator to let you know when the food is ready
- Comes with a 50-recipes cookbook
Elite Gourmet Compact Air Fryer
This is another air fryer from the same brand that is our top pick for the best air fryer under $50. Elite Gourmet’s EAF-3218BL compact air fryer brings ease of use and durability to your kitchen.
Just like every air fryer, the EAF-3218BL also makes oil-free fried food with great taste, but the construction and style of this air fryer are what make it different.
With the oblong shape finish and three very unique color options, the bland and boring look of an air fryer won’t ruin your kitchen’s outlook.
You can choose the Black air fryer for an elegant look, go for the red one to add some bold color to your kitchen’s decor, or go for the unique option of Mint color.
One thing is for sure, whichever color you choose will be different, and it will definitely improve your kitchen’s style.
Another great thing is the control system. With only two dials, one to control time and another to control the temperature, anyone can easily cook food for themselves.
The temperature can go from 195F to 390F, and you can cook for as long as 30 minutes in one go. Thanks to this wide range of controls, there aren’t too many things that this compact air fryer can’t cook. It’s perfect for air frying, baking, roasting, and even some indoor grilling.
When the size is as compact as the EAF-3218BL air fryer, you have to make some compromises on the cooking capacity. The EAF-3218BL only has 1 quart of cooking capacity, but there are bigger options too.
This air fryer comes in FIVE different cooking capacity options; 1 quart, 1.1 quarts, 3.5 quarts, 5.3 quarts, and 5.5 quarts. Of course, with increasing cooking capacity, there will be an increase in the size and footprint of the air fryer as well.
So, make sure you know about your capacity requirements and how much space you can afford to give to this compact air fryer in your kitchen.
Why we like it:
- Affordable for everyone.
- Compact and portable air fryer.
- Wide range of cooking time and temperature.
- Cool to touch handle and body for user safety.
- Dishwasher-safe non-stick coated fryer basket.
Dash Compact Air Fryer-2 Quart
When you search for compact air fryers that are best for small kitchens or tight spaces like dorm rooms, Dash is a brand that will always comes up trumps.
Some of the air fryers of Dash will compromise on features and cooking capacity but not on compactness. But don’t worry, the model we have chosen for you doesn’t compromise anything.
The Dash DCAF150GBBOK02 has a little bit of everything. A 1000 watts heating element generates an array of temperatures, so you can cook an array of foods.
A decent enough cooking capacity of 2 quarts which is enough to feed up to 3 people at once. Lastly, a teeny tin footprint to ensure that this Dash air fryer perfectly fits any cooking space. You can even store it in a cabinet after use.
Finding all these things in a $50 air fryer isn’t a regular occurrence, but thanks to our research team, you can buy this air fryer right now and get air frying.
There are a few other features worth mentioning. Firstly, the two indicator lights which indicate when the air fryer is on and when the air fryer is cooking at high temperatures.
These indicators help you with your cooking and ensure your safety as well by telling you when to open the crisper drawer.
A very useful safety feature is cool to touch crisper handle and fryer housing. No matter how high the temperature is that you are cooking at, the exterior housing and the basket’s handle will stay cool at all times.
This might not seem important, but if the housing gets or the handle gets too hot, there is a fear of injury, especially if kids are playing around. So, it is a good feature to have.
Why we like it:
- Auto shutdown to prevent overcooking.
- Compact and lightweight unit.
- Great for taking along on road trips.
- Non-stick crisper for fast and easy cleanup.
- Wide temperatures let you cook different types of foods.
- Available with multiple accessories too.
Copper Chef Air Fryer-2 Quart
Copper Chef is a relatively new brand, but it really impressed us with the cooking performance and the easy-to-use digital control system.
Even though the cooking performance will not match the level of other air fryers on this list like the GoWISE USA, but considering it is the cheapest air fryer on the list, the cooking performance is pretty solid.
With the Rapid Air Technology and Copper Chef Power, the hot air surrounds your foods from every angle possible for fast and even cooking.
The 1000-watt Turbo-Cyclonic heating element cooks delicious, juicy, and crispy fried food within minutes without all the oil and fats.
So, when you cook dinner for two in the 2 quarts fryer basket, you won’t have to wait too long to enjoy delicious fried chicken wings or french fries or fish or whatever you want to enjoy.
The Copper Chef air fryer goes as high as 400F to cook the food perfectly, so you don’t have to worry about unevenly cooked food and versatility. Whatever you decide to cook in this small air fryer, it will provide great taste and texture.
The thing that impressed us the most is the fact that the cheapest air fryer has a digital control panel. Even some of the biggest brands don’t include a digital control panel on their budget air fryers.
You can take a look at Chefman, Elite Gourmet, and more; they are still installing analog controls on their cheaper air fryers.
So, the digital control system with a separate power button and separate buttons to set the cooking time and temperature are very welcome features and make it a lot easier for beginners to cook food.
Why we like it:
- LCD screen and digital controls
- No guessing while cooking
- Compact size fits any space
- Low price, but the build quality is above average
- Safe non-stick coating
- Highly versatile, thanks to the temperature range
Chefman Turbofry Air Fryer-3.6 Quart
Chefman produces a wide range of kitchen appliances from coffee makers to mini-fridges. The products are easy on the consumer’s budget and of the highest quality.
Chefman does produce some high-end products as well which provide great competition to some of the globally leading brands.
The TurboFry air fryer is one of those products that are easy on the budget but has the feel of a high-end product. The fryer has a sleek round design finished with matte black color that will vastly improve any kitchen countertop decor.
The round design isn’t for style purposes only. It allows the fryer to hold 40% more food than traditional fryers. This increases the cooking capacity of the fryer to 3.5 liters so you can cook the favorite meals for the whole family.
The fryer has a wide temperature range as well. You can use temperatures from 200℉ to 400℉ that allow you to cook crispy and delicious foods all while using 98% less oil than traditional fryers.
The fryer is multi-functional because you can not only air fry but also roast and grill your foods according to your own recipes. The fryer is also extremely easy to use. It has a digital LED screen that allows you to see the timer and temperature settings.
One start/stop button and two more touch buttons to control the cooking time and temperature. There are no presets in the fryer so you have to do the settings manually for every dish you want to cook.
Why we like it:
- Sleek and smart outer look.
- Easy to use.
- Dishwasher safe, easy to clean.
- Good cooking capacity.
Before we move towards the conclusion, we would also give you a buying guide about air fryers. Buying an air fryer under $50 is not easy, especially when you consider the number of options you face. Even in this article, you only have FIVE options, but still, you might be having trouble deciding which one to buy.
Similarly, you might not like any of our picks. This buying guide is to help you counter that scenario. After reading this buying guide, you will know exactly what to look for in an air fryer under $50.
So, even if you don’t like any of our picks, you can look at other options and choose the right one for yourself. So, do give a read to the following buying guide.
Considering the budget, you won’t be looking for the biggest of air fryers in terms of capacity, but you should still go for the biggest air fryer capacity you can get under $50.
For instance, the GoWISE USA GW22638 has almost 4-quarts cooking capacity, which is very good. It lets you cook for up to FOUR people, but the overall size of the air fryer is still quite compact to fit any kitchen.
As a one-liner, we would just say that the minimum limit is 2-quarts. Anything smaller than a 2-quarts cooking capacity is not worth buying, in our opinion.
Next is power. How much wattage does the air fryer use? Just like the cooking capacity, the higher it is, the better it is. Higher wattage will mean a more powerful heating element, which means better cooking performance.
A 1000 watt heating element will cook your food more evenly and quickly than an 800-watt heating element.
So, any air fryer with a 1000 watt or above heating element will do nicely. The GoWISE USA air fryer on our list has 1400 watt heating element, which is the primary reason it cost more than $50. The rest are all 1000 watt air fryers which provide great cooking performance and versatility too.
Budget air fryers don’t really focus on providing an intuitive control system to their users, but they really should start doing so now. Because more and more brands are starting to do this to stand out from the competition.
By intuitive, we mean a digital control panel with illuminated buttons and display screens.
An analog control system with just two dials to control the cooking process is an outdated design, even though some of the biggest brands are still following it.
When a newcomer like Copper Chef can integrate a digital control panel into their $40 air fryer, the bigger brands should look towards upgradations too.
So, lastly, we would say the along with cooking capacity and power, having a digital control panel will make the whole cooking process much easier.
We hope your search for the best air fryer under $50 ends with our article that contains the 5 best air fryers under $50. You already know about our top pick- the Elite Gourmet EAF-0201BG Air Fryer. But the rest of the FOUR options are great too for several reasons.
Only you can make the right final decision because only you know about your needs and demands clearly. We are just a helping hand, trying to provide as much information to you as possible so you can make the right decision.