Are air fryers energy efficient can be a tricky question to answer.
Throughout our lives, we are seeking the most efficient ways to do things and, if possible, be accurate. Fries are an excellent example of this while being on the topic too.
So let’s take a quick look at the fries.
You want to be able to make them in large portion, because who wants just a few bites. You want them to be crispy, but not dry. You want the ability to make them when desire appears. You don’t want to spend a lot of time to prep the fries and cook them.
If you count all these factors in and ask me the question:
Are air fryers efficient in making those fries?
My answer would be: Yes, they are.
And then you might ask: What about electricity? Are they energy efficient too?
And I would say: In general, yes, but, and you might have imagined there will be something like this, why and how are they energy efficient?
If you are interested in more details and information about how I got to the conclusions above, please read on.
To clarify, You can as well ask are air fryers worth it, and the answers would be pretty much identical. So I will try to answer both of these questions here.
The whole question of the energy efficiency of air fryers is pretty much just a comparison between it and other available options.
The average cost of electricity (one kilowatt-per hour), which is currently is 19.31 cents. Let’s round this down to 19 cents, as it is easier to use while counting.
Now let’s take a look at my favorite air fryer. It requires 1700W to run, which means that it costs 32 cents to run it for an hour.
But without things to compare it to, this is not saying much to us.
So in better detail, it is 8-quart size so that you can fit in quite a sizeable batch of fries. I know it is big, but my wife likes big things (and I can always provide) :-D. Plus, you want to have a big air fryer, as it is way better to be able to cook big things, like chicken thighs.
I do remember the time when I got my first air fryer. It was tiny, like 2-quart or something, and I could fit in just a few fries or one chicken wing. Also, it took about an hour to cook properly. Not the most fabulous experience of my life. Don’t make the same mistake. Always go for a more sizeable option.
But back to the topic at hand.
As a fair comparison, let’s take a standard kitchen oven. As we all have one at home, it is the right choice. Now conventional oven uses around 2-2,5 kilowatts per hour. Just this is getting the price for energy to 32-47 cents per hour.
It doesn’t look like a big difference, but there are some things that add up to it. These are preheating, for example.
While in the air fryer, it takes 5 minutes at most, in the standard oven, it is usually around 15-20 minutes.
The cook time itself is, in most cases, longer. While the air fryer takes about 20 minutes to make fries, the oven based on my experience needs at least 45 minutes! And you also have to turn your fries at least once. The reason for turning them over is the fact that they don’t have space beneath them, so there is no air circulating under them. As such, they are baking from just one side.
So in terms of numbers. Electricity for one batch of fries in air fryer costs around 10 cents. While the same amount in the oven would cost 32-47 cents, and it counts with the fact that you can preheat and flip them in one hour.
You could say that your oven is way bigger than 8-quarts and that you can triple the amount of the fries that you have in the air fryer. That might be true, but then again, you have to flip them and care for them way more than you would have to with the air fryer.
Let’s sum this up in a table below.
1 kWh (kilowatt hour)
19.31 cents (rounded to 19 cents)
My favorite air fryer - 1700 watts per hour
One batch of fries
Conventional oven - 2-2.5 kilowatts per hour
One batch of fries
Are there any other benefits?
Ohh, yes, there are.
You not only have another specialized tool to cook with, but you can do it more healthily as air fryers need about 80-90% less oil to cook your favorite food.
So if you want your kids to eat healthier, but you are fighting with how to persuade them, you can try the air fryer, as it can mimic most of their favorite deep-fried foods. And you can slowly start to move them from deep-fried yummies to healthier options, like air frying or maybe in time steaming.
Of course, an air fryer won’t replace your favorite deep fryer in every single recipe.
The air-fried onion rings, for example, won’t be better than deep-fried ones. Healthier sure, but not better tasing. By the way, if you would like to know if the deep fryers are worth it, you should check my article here. They are not faring badly, to be honest, not at all.
As suggested, the healthier option also lowers down the cost of cooking, as you are reducing the number of ingredients used.
Are air fryers worth it?
In my book, they are worth it. Not only for energy efficiency but for the fact that they are a healthier option to cook, as you don’t have to steam everything.
Will the air fryer replace my selection of appliances? No, it will not. But it is an excellent addition. Sometimes I want to have a party with friends who prefer the oil-less style of cooking or I want to try new things, like chicken nuggets.
I have almost forgotten that most of the air fryers are quite easy to use and clean, as mostly it is enough to wipe them with a piece of paper towel.
Apart from upfront costs, you are getting a new way to cook your food, which is always exciting.
Energy-wise it is one of the most efficient things I know, and it allows you to cook more healthily.
It will take you some time to get used to cooking with it. You will change some recipes, but I do believe this is an excellent addition to an arsenal of appliances for a cook of any skill level.
I hope that I have been able to answer your question:
Are air fryers energy efficient, and are air fryers worth it?
Until next time I wish you happy and more air-fried cooking.
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