Six air fryers worth their salt — all on sale, from just $39

·14 min read

We may receive commission from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Air fryers: A window into a new world of food-prep. (Photo: Walmart)
Air fryers: A window into a new world of food-prep. (Photo: Walmart)

Last year, while everyone was fixated on baking bread in quarantine, I had a different idea: I decided to finally buy myself an air fryer. I was determined to find out what was so amazing about the countertop appliance that has practically dethroned the Instant Pot as a No. 1 bestseller. And whaddaya know — there are tons of great machines available at terrific prices. Let's run down a few, shall we?

Philips Viva Collection Analog Air Fryer

For the air-fryer newbie, simplest might be best, and with that in mind, I'm all over the Philips Viva Collection Analog Air Fryer. How simple? Well, for one thing, it's got the word Analog right in its name! But one look at this little workhorse tell you that you won't be fumbling with a head-spinning array of dials, readouts and buttons. Refreshing!

Philips Viva Collection Analog Air fryer  (Photo: Walmart)
Yes, Analog is the future — your future best friend in the kitchen, that is. (Photo: Walmart)

But don't mistake its simplicity for ineffectiveness. Thanks to its patented Starfish technology, your delicacies-to-be get all-encompassing super-heated coverage while cooking, the crispy result facilitated with less than a tablespoon of oil! And it doesn't just fry — roasting and baking are a breeze as well with the Viva Analog. Also easy? It's affordability; it's now just $119, less than half its usual price of $250.

"Excellent!" said one five-star reviewer. "One of the simplest and best air fryers. Bought this one as a back up (if I should need it) but use my original one every day." Yes, you read right— they bought two of them.

."Great product," say "Chef Mom," another repeat customer. "This is my 2nd one . The first one I gave away to my son three years ago. I ordered same item again... I would give thumbs thumb ups and many likes to Vacuum Cleaner Market. I Tested the new airfryer as soon as I received today. it worked perfect. Thank you!"

$119 $250 at Walmart

 

Want to save even more? Make sure you’re signed up for Walmart+. It’s so easy to sign up for your free 15-day trial here, and a quick three-question survey will add on an additional two more weeks for a solid 30 days of use. (And by the way, those without Walmart+ still get free shipping on orders of $35 or more.)

An air fryer cooks the crispiest, juiciest, healthiest veggies

Vegetables may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of an air fryer. They weren't for me. I, like everyone else, pictured French fries and chicken wings — but broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts have become my favorite foods to cook in the air fryer. You can pop any kind of vegetable in there and yield the most tender results using barely any oil. And it’s so easy.

The Farberware 3.2 Quart Digital Air Fryer is a perfect beginner unit for making side dishes because it’s a mini and it’s a small investment. Even smaller right now, because it’s on sale for just $39 at Walmart, down from $60.

Farberware 3.2 Quart Digital Air Fryer

The perfect little air fryer for newbies. (Photo: Walmart)
The perfect little air fryer for newbies. (Photo: Walmart)

I’ll usually preheat my air fryer to about 375 degrees first. Preheating is so important. Air fryers work a lot like convection ovens in that they circulate hot air around your food, ensuring even heat distribution. I put maybe a tablespoon of canola oil in the basket before cooking. The basket inside this Farberware unit keeps your veggies from taking an oil bath.

Last winter, I would gaze longingly at the grill on my deck, remembering cookouts with fondness. At least we had cookouts! So naturally, it occurred to me to pop corn on the cob in the air fryer, too. The result? Crispy, juicy, mouthwatering perfection. I flipped the cobs once at 400 degrees and served them with burgers as if there weren’t six inches of snow on the ground outside.

$39 $60 at Walmart

Air fryers are the easiest way to make breakfast, period.

For me, the air fryer became my breakfast go-to. Early on, I texted a friend about my purchase. Her response was, “you have to cook bacon in that thing!” She was right. Cooking bacon in the air fryer is quick and simple — two minutes at 375, then flip it and cook for another two minutes if you like your bacon crispy, like me. It's a lot less messy, too.

Now I’m famous for whipping up a full diner breakfast — eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast — using only my air fryer. Toast? Yes, you read that right. I just spread on a tiny bit of butter on top, then I put it in the basket of the air fryer at about 325 for five minutes (give or take; I like my toast toasty). You can finally kiss your rusty old toaster goodbye and trade it in for a modern-day multitasker.

Iconites 20 Quart 10-in-1 Air Fryer Oven

One of Walmart's customer favorites is on sale. (Photo: Walmart)
One of Walmart's customer favorites is on sale. (Photo: Walmart)

If you have an air fryer/toaster oven combo like the popular Iconites 20 Quart 10-in-1 Air Fryer Oven — which is on sale at Walmart for a whopping $76 off — then you can just choose the “toast” function (it can also fry, bake, roast, grill, braise, dehydrate and broil).

$162 $238 at Walmart

And on that note, air fryers can hard-boil eggs!

best air fryers
Breakfast is served! (Photo: Getty)

I know how crazy this sounds, considering an air fryer uses hot air and not hot water to cook food, but you can hard boil eggs in this hot appliance — in fact, it’s even easier than boiling a pot of water and risking having your eggs over-boil, under-boil or crack midway. In fact, it doesn’t require any water at all.

I just preheat my air fryer to 250 — err on the side of caution here — and cook six cold eggs for 15 minutes. The hot air circulates around the eggs and results in a "hard-boiled" egg just like you’re used to making the old-fashioned way — minus, well, the old-fashioned way. Then plunge them in an ice-water bath for the perfect amount of doneness.

Gowise USA 1700-Watt 5.8-QT 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer

Make eggs with ease. (Photo: Amazon)
Make eggs with ease. (Photo: Amazon)

Amazon has an insanely popular unit, the Gowise USA 1700-Watt 5.8-QT 8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer, that would be perfect for egg boiling. It's got more than 23,000 five-star reviews, and it's 30 percent off.

$63 $90 at Amazon

Air fryers make stale bread and pastries fresh again

best air fryers
Reheated pastries come out crispy, not soggy, in an air fryer. (Photo: Getty)

File this under “things you have to experience to believe.” I don’t like to refrigerate bread, but I also hate when my bread goes stale. Ditto for pastries and cookies. I happened to be Googling how to bake a cake in an air fryer (I plan to try it soon!) when I learned an air fryer hack that changed my life: Just add water!

No, really — all you have to do is add water, either to the air fryer’s drip pan or right on top of the pastry itself, to make stale baked goods taste fresh. Preheat your appliance to 350 and pop in your days-old croissants, cookies, doughnuts, muffins or bread. The water and the hot air/steam work together to release the moisture inside the pastries and make them "fresh" again.

Ninja Foodi TenderCrisp 8-in-1 6.5-Quart Pressure Cooker

Ninja Foodi TenderCrisp™ 8-in-1 6.5-Quart Pressure Cooker (Photo: Walmart)
Ninja Foodi TenderCrisp 8-in-1 6.5-Quart Pressure Cooker (Photo: Walmart)

Yes, this is a pressure cooker...a pressure cooker that also air-fries with the best of them. This beast takes multifunctionality to the next level. As such, it's particularly great for home cooks with limited counter space. Defrosting, baking, roasting, tenderizing and crispy, crunchy frying. It truly does it all. And how cool-looking is this!?

No wonder it's receive over 700 five-star reviews. "The best thing ever for cooking!" says one of them. "I have wanted a pressure cooker for so long. Almost all of my friends have one, so I am super excited about this Ninja Foodi OP300. It's not just a pressure cooker either, it's also a crisper. So firstly it is pretty heavy and heavy duty."

"I love my pressure cooker!"testified another elated user. "So many nights I have no idea what I am going to cook for dinner and don't have very much time between the kids' homework, basketball practice, church, step team activities etc. I love that I can throw food frozen or thawed in the pressure cooker and cook up a wonderful, tender meal so quickly!" She's employed the air-frying function to whip up "chicken patties, burritos, reheated french fries, frozen onion rings and so much more! It is healthy, crunchy, crispy, I don't have to heat up my kitchen with the oven or waste vast amounts of oil, and it tastes great in minutes! My kids love using the Airfryer too! Now with the Foodi I have the best of both worlds!!"

$149 $229 at Walmart

Air fryers make cooking seafood a cinch

It's all too easy to overcook a flakey white fish or end up with rubbery shrimp. I like to get my seafood fix in a restaurant so I can avoid embarrassing myself by cooking anything that came from the sea. But in 2020, I wasn't doing too much dining out, so I figured that having an air fryer was a reasonable excuse to try my hand at making the dish I mess up the most: scallops. If things went wrong, I could always blame it on the air fryer.

I'm delighted to report that, thanks to my air fryer, for the first time in my life I can actually cook one of my favorite foods at home. I just sprinkle some sea salt on the scallops, spray the basket of the air fryer with cooking spray and cook them for about 5 or 6 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees (I use a meat thermometer to check).

PowerXL Vortex Air Fryer

This popular air fryer has hundreds of five-star reviews. (Photo: Bed Bath & Beyond)
This popular air fryer has hundreds of five-star reviews. (Photo: Bed Bath & Beyond)

It turns out a machine that circulates hot air made up for my years of goofing around with a cast iron pan, and the results are perfectly done, tender and delicious. The 7-quart PowerXL Vortex Air Fryer would be great for making scallops, shrimp or even fish filets — and it's $33 percent off at Bed Bath & Beyond right now. It has an LCD screen, temperature control, a detachable easy-cleaning basket and seven cooking presets, plus auto shut-off.

$117 $150 at Bed Bath & Beyond

Looking for more great Walmart deals? Check these out:

TV deals:

Vacuum deals:

Headphones and earbud deals:

Bedding deals:

Video game deals:

Smart-home deals:

Kitchen deals:

Fashion deals:

Beauty deals:

Health and Wellness:

Read more from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.