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Are Air Fryers Energy Efficient: A Definitive Answer

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, have lower wattage, 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.

Air Fryers vs. Convection Ovens

Electric Consumption

We picked 5 of each of the most popular electric air fryers and countertop convection ovens to find out whether it is true that air fryers are more energy efficient.

We then compared the wattage of each cooking device, and this is what we found:

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)               1,725 Watts

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

5 Best Air Fryers Average Wattage           1,575 Watts

Air Fryer Wattage Table

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

5 Best Countertop Convection Ovens Average Wattage 1,480 Watts

As you can see, the average wattage of top-rated air fryers is similar to popular countertop convection ovens.

This data debunks the claims that air fryers are more energy efficient to use since they have lower wattage.

Cooking Duration

Taste of Home, a popular home cooking recipe blog, made a chart for the average cooking time of food using an air fryer.

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.

Air Fryers vs. Deep Fryers

Electric Consumption

Air Fryers vs. Deep Fryers Wattage Comparison Table

Cooking Appliance (Air Fryers)   Wattage

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Philips Digital Airfryer XXL

(considered to be one of the best air fryers on Amazon)               1,725 Watts

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

5 Best Air Fryers Average Wattage           1,575 Watts

Air Fryer Wattage Table

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

5 Best Deep Fryers Average Wattage      1,600 Watts

Much like convection ovens, many deep fryers also have similar wattage to air fryers.

So both devices consume about the same amount of electricity when used.

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:

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.

10 Best Air Fryers To Buy

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.

And 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

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Appliance            Wattage               Average Cooking Duration (In Hours)      Estimated Electric Cost

Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer               1,500     0.4166666666666667

(25 minutes)      $0.075

COSORI Convection Countertop Oven    1,500     0.75

(45 minutes)      $0.135

Hamilton Beach Electric Deep Fryer         1,500     0.4166666666666667

(25 minutes)      $0.075

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

(20 minutes)      $0.06

COSORI Convection Countertop Oven    1,500     0.5

(30 minutes)      $0.09

Hamilton Beach Electric Deep Fryer         1,500     0.3

(18 minutes)      $0.054

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:

In an interview, Lisa McManus, executive tasting and testing editor for America’s Test Kitchen said that air fryers are basically little hot air chamber convection ovens.

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.

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:

Acrylamide is a chemical that can cause nerve damage, muscle weakness, impaired muscle coordination and is also linked to developing cancer.

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.

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Does an air fryer use more electricity than an oven?

The amount of energy an air fryer uses depends on the type of air fryer you are using.

However, generally speaking, an air fryer uses less electricity than a convection oven.

And as we have already mentioned previously in this article, deep fryers use the most amount of electricity among all cooking appliances.

Does air fryer use more electricity than microwave?

Again, it depends on the power output of each appliance.

But generally speaking, an air fryer uses less electricity than a microwave oven.

Do air fryers have a hot plate?

Yes, there is a hot plate under an air fryer. This can be used to keep cooked food warm while you cook other dishes.

Does an air fryer need to preheat?

Yes, all air fryers must be preheated before use in order to ensure that they are not too hot when you put your food into the basket.

Which is healthier air fryer or oven?

Since air fryers use less oil and produce high heat, they are healthier than conventional ovens.

But you should follow the manufacturer’s directions on use to prevent any harm to your health.

Also, you should check the usage guide (i.e., before and after the cooking time) by the manufacturer so that you know what amount of time your food will take to cook in an air fryer.

Does air frying hurt my health?

According to WebMD, Air fried foods are nutritionally similar and also lower in calories than their oil-fried counterparts..   It also states that Air fried food is devoid of cholesterol which is found in red meat and dairy products.

Do ovens use a lot of electricity?

Some people think that air fryers use a lot of electricity.

But the truth is, it depends on the type of air fryer you are using.

For example, an air fryer like Haier HU851-R 4-Slice Toaster Oven uses 1450W power. On the other hand, Breville VIN649XL The Smart Oven has a power output of 1600W. Therefore, the Haier HU851-R 4-Slice Toaster Oven is more energy efficient than the Breville VIN649XL The Smart Oven.

How much energy does an electric oven use?

Again, it depends on the type of air fryer you are using. For example:

                Ovens tend to be more energy-efficient because they can use twice as much heat as other appliances do.

                One study showed that ovens use more electric power than any other appliance in the kitchen. They also accounted for a full 30% of all electric use in homes during 2007, according to Department of Energy statistics.

As you can see, air fryers are very much energy efficient.

But it’s still important you use an air fryer wisely so that its useful life is not shortened.

Lastly, it’s also important that you keep your air fryer clean. If you don’t clean your air fryer on a regular basis, the food in the basket will start to take on a distinct odor from the cooking oil and other foods that might have been cooked in it.

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