Battle for Your Kitchen: Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer

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The legendary battle. The air fryer vs deep fryer. Two heavyweights are entering the ring. Which one will stand victorious? Find out below.

When discussing the difference between an air fryer and a deep fryer, it is essential to note the critical distinction between the two cooking methods.

Deep frying involves completely submerging food in hot oil, while air frying uses hot air to cook food. This distinction is important because it affects the overall taste and texture of the final product.

Air-fried foods are less greasy than deep-fried foods, as less oil is used in the cooking process.

The difference between an air fryer and a deep fryer

An air fryer uses hot air to cook food. The hot air circulates around the food and cooks it from all sides, making for a swift cooking time. Because the temperature is much lower than deep frying, this method also results in fewer calories and less fat per serving of your favorite fried foods.

Air fryers are also safer to use than deep fryers because they heat up more gradually and are not open. Oil splatter should not happen and won’t be as likely to cause a fire or burn someone accidentally as a deep fryer might.

Air fryer work on a hot air circulation basis in enclosed space and, as such, is much safer to cook food in.

Deep fryer work with hot oil. They are much more dangerous than air fryers but produce better-tasting deep-fried foods, as the fat carries the flavor.

You can test this claim yourself.

Prepare two identical chicken breasts, season them the same, and batter them the same, but cook one in an air fryer and the second in a deep fryer. The deep fryer should taste much better. But of course, it will be much less healthy.

Air frying is better for you – but not as fun.

So, how do you determine which one to get?

There are a couple of factors to consider here.

The air fryer is your best bet if you’re looking for a healthier option. Air frying uses less oil than deep frying and produces fewer calories. Hence, it’s excellent for those trying to lose weight or maintain their cholesterol levels.

Plus, because air fryers cook food using hot air rather than oil, they aren’t as messy to clean up after use as traditional deep fryers can be – wipe out any excess grease with paper towels!

The bigger mess will have to be cleaned in a more complex way. Fortunately, I have a detailed article on the topic right here.

If you’re looking for speed and simplicity in cooking methods (and who isn’t?), an air fryer will give you that without sacrificing flavor or texture – no need for multiple pots on the stovetop! You’ll also find more options when using an air fryer vs. deep-frying foods: chicken wings? Check. Hash browns? Check. Duck confit? You got it!

The versatility of this appliance allows almost any recipe calling for deep-frying into something similar but healthier version. Quickly done in just minutes instead of hours. Only through simple preparation methods such as cutting vegetables or meats before putting them into the basket.

Deep frying requires a lot of oil.

Deep frying is a messy process, requiring a ton of oil.

Many people have started to turn away from this method because it can be harmful to your health and expensive. It’s not just the cost of the oil that makes deep frying so expensive. It also takes up valuable cabinet space and can be dangerous to store due to its flammability.

Additionally, deep fryer requires much more oil than you think: most appliances have two lines. One for the minimum and the second for the maximum amount of oil. For example, one of the most popular T-fal deep fryers on Amazon has a capacity of 3.6 quarts (3.5liters).

To ensure the best results every time, I suggest filling it up to the top line. Now I say this not to drain your money but to ensure you are always deep frying at the peak of efficiency.

So deep fryer uses one gallon of oil to deep fry your favorite dish. It will pay for itself over time, even if the first-time investment might be a bit higher than with the air fryer. Then again, I would say that if you are thinking about getting a deep fryer, you are not thinking about small portions.

Now, this might look a bit gloomy, but what will make you happy is the fact that the deep fryer oil can be reused, as described in my article here.

The cleanup involved with deep frying is another reason many avoid this method altogether. While using an air fryer doesn’t eliminate cleanup time, it does make things easier since there isn’t excessive grease left behind in your appliance after use.

You can cook more food at once in a deep fryer.

Deep fryers are great for cooking large quantities of food. You can quickly cook enough to feed a family or even several families.

A deep fryer is your best friend if you feed a large crowd. You can cook more food at once in a deep fryer, so you’ll be able to get everyone provided in no time. Plus, deep-fried foods are always a hit! Whether you’re serving chicken wings or french fries, your guests will surely enjoy their meal.

They’re also great at multitasking. You can cook multiple types of food at once and save yourself time and energy by doing so. For example, if you want to deep fry chicken wings and breaded shrimp as appetizers for your friends’ big game party, all you have to do is drop them into the oil together!

Deep fryers need much more attention. So the dropping mentioned above is not literal, as the oil in the deep fryer is scalding, usually between 350-375°F (176-190°C).

In the end, with a bit of practice, you can enjoy moist deep, fried chicken, crunchy on the top and juicy inside. 

The price of Air frying vs. Deep frying

The comparison might not seem fair regarding the price differences between the deep fryer and the air fryer. Still, it is not the fault of the air fryer that the deep fryer needs way more oil to work.

The breakdown goes like this:

The average price of electricity in the US is currently 15.46 (Cents per Kilowatt-hour) as stated on the website US Energy Information Administration.

An average air fryer uses 1.55 kilowatts per hour. The energy cost to run the air fryer is around 24 cents per hour. And apart from your time and the cost of the ingredients, there’s nothing else.

On the other hand, an average deep fryer uses 1.7 kilowatts per hour, so that the energy cost would be 26 cents per hour. That is not that big of a difference, but you have to count with the oil price, without which you cannot use the deep fryer.

So we add canola oil from Amazon, which is a good choice for deep frying, increasing the price to 15$ per usage. It is important to note that you are most likely using the deep fryer for big parties or large families. So from that usage, you are getting much more batches or portions than you would get from an air fryer.

I am not afraid that you can make about ten batches of deep frying before using new oil. Now, if this is combined with reusing the oil, I think it is possible to drop the price of using the deep fryer to about 75 cents per hour. Assuming that about half of the oil can be reused.

It is hard to compare fryers, but with the large batches of food made in a deep fryer and the oil reused, you can sheer some money off that original 15$.

Both of these appliances should be used with caution.

Both of these appliances should be used with caution. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Always choose the right amount of oil for your appliance. For example, if your deep fryer has a maximum fill line, don’t overfill it. You’ll end up spilling hot oil when it comes time to drop in or take out whatever you’re frying. That can be dangerous to you and potentially ruin any food sitting in the oil for too long.
  • Make sure you use a thermometer to ensure the oil is hot enough before putting food into it.
  • Ensure the air or deep fryer is placed on a stable, clean, and dry surface before turning it on. It should not be near the edge of a counter or table where it could tip over.
  • Don’t overcrowd the baskets. This will cause the food to cook unevenly and could lead to burns.
  • Use tongs or a spatula to flip the food halfway through cooking. Don’t just shake the basket, as this could cause hot oil to splatter.
  • Let the fryers cool down completely before cleaning them. Wiping down the hot surface could lead to burns.

Conclusion

I hope I have given you some insight into the differences between air fryers and deep fryers.

These appliances are great for cooking delicious food and will make your life easier, but they’re not perfect.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce oil usage or want something healthier, then an air fryer might be right for you!

But if you can’t resist those delicious fried foods like French fries, onion rings, or chicken wings? Then maybe consider getting yourself a deep fryer instead 🙂

Vojta Vevera

Combining a love for cooking and using all kinds of technological gizmos helps Vojta to bring the experiences and excitement to all his articles. He is always doing his best to serve you with great information. Mixing over 15 years of cooking experience with his analytical mind and love for all technological things.

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