air fryer ovens use more electricity than basket air fryers.
Amid the rising energy costs, air fryers have been touted as a must-have cooking appliance to help lower costs.
First launched in 2010, they work by blowing hot air around the cooking basket or tray.
This rapid air movement will create a convection effect that cooks the food. The heat also shortens the cooking time while keeping your food moist inside yet crunchy and crispy on the outside.
As time has gone on, they have grown in popularity.
But the October energy price cap increase has left many wondering how to save energy and lower their bills.
This extends to cooking appliances and one option is air fryers.
As a result, sales for this handy appliance are booming. For example, Lakeland recorded a 636% increase in purchases of its own model from February to August 2022.
But can they really save money?
We look at how much electricity air fryers use and the potential money they can save you as well as a range of models to suit different preferences.
How Much Electricity do they Use?
This appliance has two main types – basket air fryers and air fryer ovens.
- Basket air fryers tend to be smaller, and are usually used for cooking one item at once. For example, a portion of chips.
- Air fryer ovens are larger, and can be used to cook multiple things at once. They can also cook a wider variety of foods like pizza.
When it comes to electricity usage, it depends on the type, size, temperature and amount of time the unit is used.
Generally speaking, air fryer ovens use more electricity than basket air fryers.
To calculate how much electricity your appliance is using, multiply the device’s wattage by the number of hours you use it per day. Then divide the number by 1,000 to get the daily kilowatt-hour.
For example, a 1500W appliance used for an average of one hour per day means it will use roughly 1.5 kilowatts of electricity.
Most air fryers use between 1.4 and 1.7kWh (kilowatts of energy per hour).
To work out running costs, you need to know what you pay per kWh. This can be found on your energy bill.
The highest price you could pay per pence/kWh is 52p. With that in mind, this amount is used to calculate running costs following the price cap increase.
Based on an average of 30 minutes per day, running costs include:
- A 1500W basket air fryer will cost approximately £1.82 per week, £7.40 per month and £90 per year.
- A 1700W basket air fryer will cost roughly £2.10 per week, £8.36 per month and £101 per year.
- A 2400W air fryer oven will cost roughly £2.91 per week, £11.84 per month and £144 per year.
Once you know how much you pay for electricity per kWh, you can work out the cost of your air fryer by multiplying this number by your air fryer’s kWh.
Air Fryers vs Ovens
Amid the rising energy prices, more people might be thinking about switching from regular ovens to air fryers when preparing food.
As with all appliances, it’s important to use them efficiently and air fryers are particularly good for smaller portions or serving sizes.
According to air fryer manufacturer Ninja:
“Large ovens may be able to cook bigger foods, cook more at once and be well-insulated but their size may mean more energy is required to get them to temperature, and more energy could be lost if access to food is needed during cooking.
“If you have a small air fryer… there’s no need to heat up your whole oven to cook a single portion.”
When considering electric ovens, energy expert Jennifer Warren, of Energy Guide, says:
“Typically, it will be cheaper to run an air fryer vs a traditional electric oven.
“This is mainly due to an air fryer requiring less kilowatts per hour to reach its maximum temperature and the fact that they cook things much more quickly due to the amount of surface area they use.”
Research by Utilita in August 2022 found that the annual savings of using an air fryer could be up to £279.66 per year.
On average, air fryers were found to run at £55.91 per year, compared to gas cookers at £121.06 per year and electric cookers at £335.57 per year.
So, by switching from an oven to an air fryer for certain recipes, you could save on your energy bills depending on the appliances you’re using.
Just make sure to switch your device off as soon as you have finished using it.
There are endless options to suit your cooking needs and budget.
Here are a few options to consider:
Magic Bullet 2.5-litre air fryer
This model from Magic Bullet is great for small households.
It is easy to set up and runs very quietly, making it all the more impressive when you realise how quickly it heats up.
The 2.5-litre capacity allows the device to cook a decent-sized portion of chips, vegetables or burgers.
Its small stature makes for easy storage and at just £96 from Amazon, it is a cheap option to think about.
Ninja Air Fryer Max
This model from Ninja contains easy-to-read instructions, with its box explaining all options.
The controls are labelled and textured. It also emits a loud beep if you need to shake the contents midway through cooking.
The 5.2-litre capacity tray has high sides which allows room for cakes to rise and small whole chickens to roast.
At approximately £150, it may sound like a lot but it is among the best air fryers.
Cosori Pro 4.7L
One of the more underrated air fryers, this model from Cosori is practical when cooking for two people, or for side dishes for four.
It features a tray that locks in, requiring release before use.
All seven pre-set functions are selected using the tempered glass panel and include chicken, fries, steak, seafood and vegetables. Uniquely, there’s also a bacon function.
It also comes with a recipe booklet to help those who are new to air frying.
Costing less than £110, this device is one of the best-value options.
Instant Vortex Plus Dual
This option is one of the best if you are looking for a dual-drawer air fryer.
The touchscreen control panel gives the model a sleek, minimalistic look when turned off.
The two drawers each have a 3.8-litre capacity, which is a good size for cooking a main and a side for up to six people.
It has adaptable Sync functions. SyncCook allows for the same thing to be cooked in both baskets at the same time, while the SyncFinish program allows for two different things to be cooked on different functions but set at the same finish time.
It is available for £200 on Argos.
Sage Smart Oven Air Fryer
It may have a premium price but this appliance has a large capacity and could be used in place of a regular oven.
Offering pre-sets and functions that can tackle anything from a crumpet or chips to slow-cooked casseroles, it’s so much more than an air fryer.
Sage uses technology that combines a supercharged convection heater with air frying to really crisp things up.
Compared to other air fryers, this appliance reaches one of the hottest settings, with a top temperature of 230°C.
The £330 price tag may be a lot but it is one of the few air fryers that could be used instead of a regular oven.
So in effect, air fryers will save you money because when switching to this device from regular ovens, you will be using less energy and your bills will subsequently go down.
Caitlin Wood, Assistant Marketing Manager at Russell Hobbs, says:
“Air fryers are a cheaper and easy alternative to oven cooking, using less energy than other cooking methods.”
“So it’s no surprise that many are rushing to purchase one ahead of the October price cap announcement.”
But it cannot fully replace an oven because you are limited in what you can cook.
While air fryers are great for cooking things like sausages and chips, they cannot roast a whole chicken.
Nevertheless, they can be a smart investment when it comes to cooking time and saving money.
So, make sure to buy an appliance that is practical.
Air fryer ovens can have up to 24-litre capacity and buying a large one can still be cheaper than running a conventional oven.