Is an Air Fryer Worthwhile for the Frugal Kitchen?

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

By the author of The Ultimate Guide to Frugal Living and What to Eat When You’re Broke

I’ve written before about how I managed to make good meals with ill-equipped kitchens while rambling through Europe. Now that I’m back in the US and settled in, I’ve been going in the opposite direction and equipping my kitchen nicely. Recently, I got an air-fryer oven for my small apartment home.

These aren’t inexpensive items and I got mine with some accumulated Amazon gift cards. Here’s the one that I purchased. Because my kitchen is small and I don’t have a whole lot of storage space, I wanted something that could serve more than one purpose. This one has the functions of both an air fryer and a toaster oven. It has a digital screen with these features: Air Fry, Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Convection Bake, Dehydrate, Reheat, Keep Warm, Fries, Wings, Bacon, Snacks, Vegetables, Seafood.

At the time of this posting, it’s more than 50% off as a limited-time deal. If you want an air fryer, this is a killer sale.

The Pros of an Air Fryer

Of course, with any new appliance, there’s a bit of a learning curve. But the Gourmia air fryer is super easy to use. Here are the things I like about it in my frugal kitchen.

  1. It’s very easy to use. Simply preheat to your selected temperature, pop your food in, set the timer, and walk away. You don’t really need to flip things over or stir your food or any of that. Load it and leave it. Time is money in my world so it’s nice to be able to pop together a healthy meal and go do other things while it’s cooking.
  2. It works fast. It preheats to 400 degrees in minutes. It’s really quick – sometimes so quick I haven’t even finished preparing whatever it is I’m putting in when the bell dings to let me know it’s ready. Likewise, it cooks things quickly. It takes about the same amount of time for most stuff as a microwave but the texture is way nicer.
  3. It makes things perfectly crispy. Speaking of texture, if you like a nice crisp surface to your meat or other food this is the right tool for the job. If you ever get any of those little frozen Chinese dumplings or other appetizers, this is the perfect way to cook them without using a bucket of oil or a lot of hands-on time. You can heat up a slice of leftover pizza to crisp perfection in less than 5 minutes.
  4. It doesn’t heat up the house. Gone are the days when you avoid cooking certain items because it’s hot outside and you don’t want to turn on the oven. Partly because it’s a smaller appliance and partly because it cooks so fast, you don’t risk heating up your house with this.
  5. It’s healthy. We all know that deep-fried things aren’t good for us (even though they taste so lovely.) Even folks who eat keto want to choose healthier fats for their diets. An air fryer allows you to get a nice crisp “fried” type texture without additional oil. I do use an olive oil spritzer on some items so that the coating isn’t dry.

All in all, I’m really pleased with my purchase.

The Cons of an Air Fryer

Of course, nothing is perfect. Here are the negatives.

  1. It takes up a fair bit of space. These things aren’t tiny and they aren’t really something you’ll want to haul in and out of your cupboard if you use it with any regularity. Make sure you have the counter space for it before committing. I had wanted a toaster oven for a while so when I found this one that was multipurpose, I knew it was worth my valuable counter real estate.
  2. They’re not cheap. Aside from the sale that is going on at the time of this publication, these usually run over a hundred dollars. You might also be able to grab one from Facebook Marketplace or a thrift store if you watch carefully.
  3. They can be smokey. If the item you’re making has a lot of fat, it can cause quite a bit of smoke. I made some mozzarella stuffed meatballs (yes, they were as good as they sound) and holy Moses in a market, that was a lot of smoke. The fat splattered a bit and got on the element, and it was ugly. I had to turn on a couple of fans and open the window. I have SINCE experimented with the same recipe, and the judicious use of tin foil greatly reduces this issue.

If these factors aren’t dealbreakers for you, you may want to give an air fryer a shot.

The bottom line

An air fryer certainly isn’t an essential kitchen appliance. But it can save a lot of time and effort, and for some folks, that is worth both the money and the counter space. I couldn’t be happier with my purchase, and I’m really glad I bought it. I’m sure once the newness wears off I won’t use it quite as much, but so far, I’ve used it every day for at least one meal since I purchased it. I have an injury that doesn’t allow me to be on my feet for long, and a hands-off cooking method is a game-changer for me.

Do you have an air fryer? Do you like it? What do you see as the pros and cons? Would you buy it again? If you are considering an air fryer, do you have any questions?

Let’s talk about air fryers in the comments section.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is an author and blogger. She's the single mom of two daughters and credits extreme frugality and a good sense of humor for her debt-free lifestyle. She is the author of numerous books, the editor of, and is the founder of a small digital publishing company in the emergency preparedness niche.

14 thoughts on “Is an Air Fryer Worthwhile for the Frugal Kitchen?”

  1. I have been looking for another fryer for about a year and have been eyeballing this particular one for a few months but couldn’t justify spending $100+ when I already had one. I swear by my air fryer for all the reasons and more you listed above, Daisy. I really really wanted this 1 though, because it’s bigger than mine and can hold a 12 inch pizza does rotisserie and has the French Glass doors and low n behold, you post on your website. I went through the link here and bought it. I also think it’s good for preparedness if lights go out because I can possibly run it on my generator. This is something I will try and post on your other website OP to let everyone know.

      1. Just got it. It is BIG. I have a pretty big kitchen with an island and I literally had to put it on one of my deep chest freezers. I am gonna try it out Tuesday with some chicken wings and I will let you know how it turns out. I am not sure I will test it with my solar generator as it looks like it might take up all the juice, but i am keeping my other air fryer because 1 is none and 2 is 1.

          1. Ok here’s my review of it. I used it to make chicken wings tonight and the wings came out pretty good, a lil more grease than my other airfryer but all in all, easy clean up and it has a lot more settings than my other air fryer. I am going to say this one is going to be my main air fryer and I am going to put up the other air fryer in my tool shed because 1 is none and 2 is 1. This air fryer did not smoke, nor did it smell the house up as my other one. I am pretty impressed over all because of all the functions on it for different types of cooking, such as roasting, air frying, grilling, toast, etc. Thanks Daisy for this tip. Well worth the $60 I paid for it at half off.

  2. Your article made it seem pretty good. So, I looked at the reviews, wow, 4 pages of one star reviews is Not good. “…grease collects INSIDE the machine where the fan is. You cannot clean in there.” Others mentioned very hot surfaces, catching on fire, melting… etc.

    Call me old fashioned, but I like my durable goods to be durable, and to have a tad bit of quality. Maybe, someday I’ll get an air fryer, not today though.

    1. No worries! I appreciate your input!

      I haven’t had this issue with it getting too hot on the surfaces – you could put your hand right on top of it without burning. I wipe down the interior after cooking anything that spatters using a damp sponge after removing the interior racks but I have only had it a few weeks, so I can’t speak to the issue with the fan. I would think that could be an issue with any air fryer, since the fans are always enclosed.

      1. Good, food for thought. Everything I know about air fryers occurred here today.
        Thanks for the reply,… and for all your other writing.

    2. I had no issues whatsoever as mentioned in the reviews, as of yet. Have only used once since getting it but I will say that it was very easy clean up and for the money it’s worth it, because I was just looking at this same air fryer a few months ago and it was over $150.

  3. Deb in central Texas

    I have a different brand air fryer. It does not toast, but will roast, air fry, bake and rotisserie cook. My microwave (from 1997) died a couple of weeks ago. The air fryer takes a bit longer than the microwave took to heat things that are already cooked, but I have now basically been “broken” from the habit of repeatedly re-warming my cup of coffee several times in the microwave, and now use a thermal cup instead. This may be real progress… I intend to try baking a loaf of bread in it soon, as my glass 1 pound loaf pan fits in it with head room to spare. I appreciate less need to use the big oven, saving on energy costs, and not heating up the kitchen so much.

  4. I think if an air fryer meets your needs, go for it. I don’t have the counter space (despite a reasonable sized kitchen) for it to “reside”. And I don’t want to give up cupboard space on the main floor to store it. If the day comes and it is just me, I may consider it. I know my work teammate (and his wife) love the one they have. It does appear to allow healthier cooking of some foods.
    To each his/her own.

  5. Several years ago, my very generous sister gave me a new air fryer. I didn’t want it. It’s big (we have a small kitchen). We already have the big oven, the toaster oven and a microwave, so the new air fryer sat in it’s box, unopened for about 3 years. In fact, I had set it aside to send to Salvation Army. Then we had another blistering Texas summer and I looked at the air fryer in a whole new light. Use of the big oven and even the toaster oven were forbidden in all but early morning hours, which limited what we cooked. So we decided to give it a try. Now we use it almost daily and in the summer, several times a day. We’ve almost worn it out.

    However, what Daisy said about cleaning it is true. It’s an unpleasant job if it isn’t done regularly.

  6. My Ninja Foodie combo air fryer instant pot died a few weeks back after several years of casual use. I used the instant pot more often than the air fryer function I decided against buying another Foodie and bought a Corsori bucket style air fryer. For just the two of use it is working out a lot better than I thought it would. The ease of use of a single use device over the multi-use Foodie is really nice.

    Although I do miss having the pressure cooker capability and will buy an instant pot soon.

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