Air fryers have a reputation for being eco-friendly alternatives to ovens and deep fryers.
This is because air fryers are advertised to be energy efficient, fries food faster, and don’t require cooking oil!
But are air fryers more energy efficient for daily use?
This and more air fryer-related questions will be answered below as we did all the research for you.
Let’s get started with the most popular one:
Do air fryers use a lot of electricity?
Air Fryers vs. Convection Ovens Cooking Time
Taste of Home, a popular home cooking recipe blog, made a chart for the average cooking time of food using an air fryer.
Based on the image above, it appears that air fryers can cook food between 5 to 25 minutes (on average), which is considerably fast.
But the best thing about using an air fryer instead of a convection oven?
There is no preheating required so you can further minimize electric consumption.
Just turn on your air fryer and throw in the food you want to fry.
On the other hand, cooking food using a countertop convection oven means spending at least 5-6 minutes to preheat the device; at least 15 minutes when using a conventional large oven.
After preheating the oven, cooking the food will require an additional 10 to 40 minutes, depending on what you are cooking.
For a clear comparison:
It will take an average of 45 minutes to make fried chicken using an oven, according to MyRecipes, while it will only take around 30 minutes using an air fryer.
And if you take a look at the cooking time chart by Taste of Home above, air frying a chicken will only take 10 to 25 minutes.
And do you like French fries?
It will take 20 minutes (at most) to make French fries using an air fryer, while according to Well Plated, it will take 30 minutes to cook French fries using an oven.
However, there is a caveat of using an air fryer, but more on this below.
Verdict: Air fryer vs. Convection Oven
Granted that both appliances are used in the same frequency, air fryers are more energy efficient given that:
Air fryers can cook food faster and don’t need preheating, which translates to less electric consumption.
And for reference, below are some of the most popular electric air fryers and countertop convection ovens.
Air Fryers vs. Countertop Ovens Wattage Comparison Table
|Cooking Appliance (Air Fryers)||Wattage|
|Philips Digital Airfryer XXL|
(considered to be one of the best air fryers on Amazon)
|GoWISE Programmable Air Fryer||1,400 Watts|
|Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer||1,500 Watts|
|Ninja Max XL Air Fryer||1,750 Watts|
|Innsky Air Fryer||1,500 Watts|
|Cooking Appliance (Countertop Convection Ovens)||Wattage|
|Toshiba Digital Toaster Oven||1,500 Watts|
|Breville Mini Smart Oven||1,800 Watts|
|COSORI Convection Countertop Oven||1,500 Watts|
|Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven||1,300 Watts|
|Oster Toaster Oven||1,300 Watts|
Air Fryers vs. Deep Fryers
We already know that making chicken using an air fryer takes 25 to 30 minutes and around 45 minutes using an oven.
How long will it take to fry chicken using a deep fryer?
Deep Fryer Cooking Duration
While ovens need preheating, one downside of using a deep fryer is heating the cooking oil first before you can deep fry food.
On average, you’ll have to wait 5-10 minutes (according to CNET) for the cooking oil to reach the optimal frying heat.
But once the oil is heated, deep-frying any food shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
For example, deep frying a chicken will only take 8 to 15 minutes (according to Taste of Home) once the cooking oil has been heated to your desired temperature.
Another popular food blog, All Recipes, also deep fry chicken within 25 minutes.
Hence, both deep fryers and air fryers can cook fried chicken at about the same time.
But deep fryers have a slight edge.
Deep fryers can fry other food like veggies and potato fries much faster than an air fryer.
Verdict: Air fryer vs. Deep Fryer
Deep fryers can be more energy efficient than air fryers for daily use, but it depends on the food you cook.
However, you can only cook oil-fried food with deep fryers.
Meanwhile, you can use most air fryers to grill, braise, roast, and even bake.
And not to sound biased towards air fryers, but air fryers can also help you save money as they can cook food with little (if any) cooking oil.
Deep fryers on the other hand cooks food in a vat of boiling oil.
So, would you rather save electricity cost or cut off on using cooking oil?
Which do you think has a far better impact on the environment and your budget?
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Meanwhile, below are some of the best deep fryers in the market.
Best Deep Fryers
|Cooking Appliance (Deep Fryers)||Wattage|
|Cuisinart Deep Fryer||1,800 Watts|
|Presto FryDaddy Electric Deep Fryer||1,200 Watts|
|T-Fal Deep Fryer||1,700 Watts|
|KRUPS Electric Deep Fryer||1,800 Watts|
|Hamilton Beach Electric Deep Fryer||1,500 Watts|
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Air Fryer vs. Oven vs. Deep Fryer: Electric Usage Costs
In this part of the article, we will estimate the cost of electric usage when cooking fried chicken and French fries using an air fryer, oven, and deep fryer.
For fairness, let’s use cooking appliance models with the same wattage (1,500 watts), and let’s say that the electricity in your area costs 12 cents per kWh.
The estimated cost of cooking food using electric appliances will be as follows:
- Device Wattage x Hours Used (cooking duration) ÷ 1000 = Appliance Usage in kWh
- kWh x $0.12 = Estimated Cost
Estimated Electric Usage Cost Of Making Chicken
|Appliance||Wattage||Average Cooking Duration (In Hours)||Estimated Electric Cost|
|Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer||1,500||0.4166666666666667|
|COSORI Convection Countertop Oven||1,500||0.75|
|Hamilton Beach Electric Deep Fryer||1,500||0.4166666666666667|
Estimated Electric Usage Cost Of Making Potato Fries
|Appliance||Wattage||Average Cooking Duration (In Hours)||Estimated Electric Cost|
|Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer||1,500||0.3333333333333333|
|COSORI Convection Countertop Oven||1,500||0.5|
|Hamilton Beach Electric Deep Fryer||1,500||0.3|
As you can see, it appears that you can save electric costs when frying chicken and French fries using a deep fryer.
Given that all appliances have the same wattage and your are cooking the same amount of food.
But full disclosure, this result is based only on the data (e.g., cooking duration) we derived from the sources we have mentioned above.
Also, this doesn’t account for the cost of cooking oil used in deep frying.
You can do your calculation, and feel free to share your results with us.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
And despite their name, air fryers don’t actually “fry” food.
As you may already know, air fryers cook food by blowing hot air on and around the food.
A heating mechanism and a powerful fan are installed on the top section of an air fryer.
Food will be placed in a fryer-style basket directly below the top section of the device.
When you turn on the air fryer, superheated air will rush down, circulate, and cook the food with a crispy finish.
In a way, conventional convection ovens and air fryers are similar as they cook food using fans and superheated air.
However, air fryers are generally smaller, so they can cook much faster.
What Air Fryers Can Cook?
Air fryers aren’t just limited to frying stuff.
Brandi Crawford, author of The Super Easy Air Fryer Cookbook: Crave-Worthy Recipes for Healthier Fried Favorites, stated in an interview that anything you can bake, you can make in an air fryer.
This includes chicken breasts, burgers, steak, lamb chops, and veggies.
You can even bake desserts using an air fryer!
Click here to learn more delicious recipes for air fryers.
Are Air Fryers Healthy?
With all its convenience and efficiency, some people are concerned that air fryers might not be healthy.
Well, here’s what we found about this topic:
Medical News Today stated that switching to air-fried foods can promote weight loss as it can help reduce your intake of oils from oil-fried food.
An article by WebMD also added that air frying is healthier as it cuts calories by up to 80%.
In the same article, WebMD also stated that air frying potatoes lower acrylamide formation by up to 90%.
Acrylamide is created by the chemical reaction that happens when you oil to fry potatoes and other starchy foods.
But you might be wondering:
Is acrylamide bad for your health?
But on the downside:
Researchers at the Taiwan Society of Indoor Environmental Air Quality states that air fryers pose an indoor air pollution risk if used without proper ventilation.
Indoor air pollutants can cause respiratory diseases or even cancer.
Moreover, Teflon coatings are found on some air fryer baskets and air fryer accessories such as a grill pan.
While Teflon is generally safe to use, Teflon coatings on nonstick cookware start to break down at temperatures above 570°F, releasing toxic fumes into the air.
These toxic fumes can cause a polymer fume fever, also known as the Teflon flu.
Are Air Fryers Eco-Friendly?
The term eco-friendly has been thrown a lot these days, especially in household and personal products.
But what does it really means?
What does “eco-friendly” mean?
If you search for the literal meaning of the word eco-friendly online, you’ll come up with different definitions, including:
- not harmful to the environment (Google)
- not environmentally harmful (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
- earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment (SF GATE)
- designed to do the least possible damage to the environment (Cambridge Dictionary)
As you can see, there’s a lot of ambiguity as to what eco-friendly means.
But in most cases, eco-friendly is used to describe products, practices, and activities that help conserve Earth’s natural resources, minimize waste, and prevent pollution.
- Meanings of Eco-Friendly Terminologies (according to experts)
So with this in mind, air fryers can be considered an eco-friendly alternative to ovens and deep fryers given that:
- It can cook food fast, reducing electric consumption.
- You can cook food in an air fryer without using cooking oil.
- Besides frying, you can use air fryers to roast, grill, braise, bake, and more.
Moreover, air fryers are perfect for reheating previously fried foods.
As you may already know, reheating fried food with an oven or microwave makes them soggy.
Meanwhile, the technology behind how the air fryer works makes it possible to reheat crispy foods to stay crisp.
The more leftover food you can reheat, the less food will be wasted, which is a big eco-friendly point towards air fryers.
But this is our own opinion, and we would love to hear your thoughts.
Do you think air fryers are better for the environment? Why or why not?
Air Fryers Pros and Cons
Advantages of Using Air Fryers
- Air fryers are easy to use and can cook food much faster than ovens.
- It makes healthier food as food cooked quickly retains most of its nutrients.
- Air fryers are generally more energy efficient than most convection ovens.
- Lowers the amount of acrylamide formation in French fries by up to 90%.
- Air fryers don’t need cooking oil to fry food.
- Makes less greasy and oily crispy-fried food.
- Air fryers are safer than deep fryers as it cooks food without heating a large container full of scalding oil.
- Most air fryers are smaller than an oven; they won’t occupy most of your kitchen.
- The small size of air fryers and the absence of cooking oil means they are easy to clean and maintain.
- Cleaning air fryers requires less water and soap.
- Perfect for reheating leftover fried food.
Disadvantages of using Air Fryers
- Air fryers have a small cooking capacity, so you might have to cook in batches if you have a big family.
- Air fryers are much louder than any oven when operating.
- It can be a source of indoor pollution.
- Some air fryer accessories are coated with Teflon.
- Most air fryers are made with plastic.
- Air fryers are more expensive than most deep fryers.
- Air fryers have longer cooking times compared to conventional deep fryers.
Conclusion: Are Air Fryers Energy Efficient For Daily Use?
As we have shown above, air fryers are more energy efficient than most convection ovens because they can cook food much faster.
However, many air fryers are well-suited for small families, maybe consisting of 1 to 3 people.
This is because most air fryers can only prepare food in small quantities.
And for larger families, cooking food in batches might defeat the purpose of using air fryers to save electric consumption.
Fortunately, newer models of air fryers now have larger cooking capacity so you just have to take some time to look.
And while deep fryers can fry food faster than air fryers, the latter will allow you to braise, roast, grill, and bake, so there’s no need to use an oven or microwave to prepare other meals.
Not to mention air fryers will let you cook a variety of food without using a vat of cooking oil.
But we want to hear your thoughts.
In your opinion, are air fryers more energy efficient than ovens and deep fryers for daily use?
Would you start using one?