Does an Air Fryer Use More Electricity than a Microwave? A Cost Comparison.





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Navigating the dinner rush often feels like a well-choreographed ballet, where the air fryer and microwave pirouette as our trusty kitchen sidekicks. Drawing on years of experience testing out these culinary companions, I’ve come to recognize one burning question that’s top of mind for home chefs: when it comes to energy efficiency and keeping our wallets happy, which gadget can truly claim the spotlight?.

The pursuit of scrumptious meals shouldn’t mean playing havoc with the monthly utility budget. Getting savvy about how much juice these appliances sip is more than just practical—it’s essential in our eco-conscious kitchen performance.

Think about this: your dependable microwave usually runs between 700 to 1200 watts—hearty in its own right. But those stylish air fryers? They pack a punch up to 1700 watts! This nugget of knowledge sets us up for an enthralling face-off.

So grab your apron and let’s unravel this culinary mystery together—with each penny saved being another step towards victory in this domestic dance of economy vs. indulgence.

Key Takeaways

  • Air fryers usually use more electricity than microwaves because they have a higher wattage range, typically 1400 to 1700 watts.
  • Running an air fryer can cost about 23.8 cents for half an hour and around $112 annually, which is more than the expense of using a microwave.
  • Microwaves do not need to preheat and are faster at cooking certain foods compared to air fryers, which could save energy and time for quick meals.
  • Though air fryers can be pricier to run, they offer versatile cooking options like roasting and baking that microwaves cannot match.
  • It’s important to consider heat emission, energy efficiency, and household electricity costs when choosing between these appliances as it affects long-term savings.

Energy Consumption: Air Fryer vs Microwave

When comparing the energy consumption of an air fryer and a microwave, it’s important to consider the average wattage usage and cost comparison between the two appliances. This will help determine which one is more energy-efficient for your cooking needs.

Average wattage usage

Alright, let’s chat about the average wattage usage of air fryers versus microwaves. It’s important to know since this impacts how much we’re spending on electricity every time we cook up a storm in the kitchen.

Here’s a quick break down in an easy-to-read table format:

ApplianceAverage WattageEstimated Cost per 30 min UseMonthly Cost (30 min/day)Annual Cost
Air Fryer1400 – 1700W23.8p£7.24£86.88
Microwave700 – 1200WLess than air fryerVariesVaries

We’ve got our air fryers typically pulling between 1400 to 1700 watts, which can add up to a monthly cost of around £7.24 if you’re using it daily for about half an hour. Annually, that’s a good £86.88 out of pocket.

Now, microwaves are generally lighter on the wattage, coming in between 700 to 1200 watts. They’re cheaper to run, and while I don’t have the precise monthly and annual costs here, trust me, they’ll cost you less than the air fryers.

Keep in mind, the power consumption for both appliances can vary. Some air fryers can be real energy guzzlers, more so than your average microwave. Always check the wattage before you buy!

And there you have it – a straight-up comparison of what you can expect to pay when choosing between these two kitchen favorites. Keep cooking smart, folks!

Cost comparison

Based on the important facts, it’s crucial to consider the cost comparison between air fryers and microwaves. Running a standard 4-quart air fryer would cost about 25 cents per hour, which is approximately 50% more energy than a microwave. At an average wattage usage of 1400W for an air fryer, it translates to around £86.88 annually compared to using a microwave. Despite being considered energy-efficient, some air fryer models consume more power than microwaves due to varying energy consumption.

Considering running costs in the household budget becomes essential when choosing between these kitchen appliances. The difference in electricity consumption contributes significantly to making an informed decision relating to kitchen appliances’ cost-effectiveness and long-term utility expenses for home cooks.

Considerations for Choosing Between Air Fryer and Microwave

When deciding between an air fryer and a microwave, it’s important to consider factors such as cooking time, preheating, and the ability to cook a variety of foods. Each appliance has its own benefits and drawbacks that can impact your energy consumption and overall cost.

Cooking time

Cooking times vary between air fryers and microwaves. Air fryers generally take longer to cook food than microwaves. For example, cooking frozen fries in an air fryer can take around 15-25 minutes, while the microwave takes about 4-5 minutes for the same task.

This difference in cooking time should be considered when choosing between the two appliances as it impacts meal preparation, especially for those with busy schedules.

A shorter cooking time may make the microwave more convenient for quick meals or snacks but using an air fryer allows for a crispy texture without excessive oil, making it worth considering despite the longer cook time associated with some foods like chicken wings or vegetables.


Preheating an air fryer usually takes around 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the model. Meanwhile, a microwave does not require preheating and can start cooking immediately. The difference in preheating time between air fryers and microwaves may influence your choice of appliance, especially if you are looking for quick meal preparation.

Ability to cook a variety of foods

Air fryers offer versatility in cooking a wide range of foods, from crispy french fries to juicy chicken wings. With their ability to roast, bake, and even grill, air fryers provide flexibility for creating diverse meals.

Additionally, many air fryer models come with different accessories that expand their capability to cook various dishes such as kebabs, vegetables, and even desserts.

Microwaves are suitable for heating leftovers and cooking certain foods quickly but have limited capabilities when it comes to preparing a variety of meals. Their primary function is reheating rather than actual cooking or providing the same level of crispiness achieved by an air fryer.

Other Factors to Consider in Cost Comparison

– Heat emission and energy efficiency are important factors to consider when looking at the overall cost of using an air fryer or microwave. Additionally, take into account your household electricity costs to determine which appliance is more cost-effective in the long run.

Heat emission

Air fryers emit less heat compared to microwaves, making them a better choice for keeping the kitchen cool during hot weather. This also means that air fryers are more efficient in using energy for cooking.

Considering both cost and energy efficiency, this is an important factor to consider when choosing between an air fryer and a microwave.

– Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency

When considering energy efficiency, it’s essential to note that air fryers generally use more power than microwaves. The wattage of an air fryer can vary from 1400 to 1700 watts while microwaves typically range between 700 and 1200 watts.

Despite being labeled as energy-efficient, certain air fryer models may still consume more electricity compared to microwaves. It’s crucial for home cooks to factor in the cost of running these appliances when making a decision on which one to purchase.

Given the fluctuation in energy consumption among different air fryer models, it is important for individuals to be mindful of their household expenses related to electricity usage before opting for an air fryer or microwave.

Household electricity costs

Household electricity costs for an air fryer can add up. Running a 1400W air fryer for just 30 minutes could cost around 23.8p, amounting to £86.88 per year, which is significantly more expensive than running a microwave for the same period.

Considering household electricity costs, it’s essential to note that while air fryers are considered energy-efficient, certain models consume more power than microwaves. This higher energy consumption directly impacts monthly and yearly electricity expenses, making them an important factor in deciding between these kitchen appliances.


In conclusion, air fryers and microwaves vary in energy usage. Air fryers can consume more electricity than microwaves due to their wattage range. Despite this, both appliances have their benefits and considerations when it comes to power consumption.

Understanding the cost comparison between them is crucial for making an informed decision. Efficiency and practicality are essential factors to consider in determining which appliance best suits individual cooking needs.

The impact of choosing the right kitchen appliance can lead to significant cost savings over time. For further guidance on maximizing energy efficiency in your kitchen, explore additional resources or consult with a professional for personalized advice on appliance selection and usage strategies.


1. Does an air fryer use more electricity than a microwave?

An air fryer can use more electricity than a microwave due to different power usage and cooking efficiency levels.

2. How do I compare the cost of using an air fryer versus a microwave?

To compare costs, look at the energy consumption comparison for both kitchen appliances and consider their efficiency when using them to cook food.

3. Are microwaves more energy-efficient than air fryers?

Microwaves are often seen as more energy-efficient cooking methods compared to air fryers because they usually heat food quicker and consume less power.

4. Can choosing between an air fryer or a microwave impact my electric bill?

Yes, your choice can affect your electric bill since there’s a difference in electricity consumption between microwaves and air fryers which may lead to variations in cost savings with these cooking appliances.

5. Is it better for the environment to use an air fryer or a microwave?

It depends on how efficient the appliance is; evaluating household appliance efficiency like that of microwaves and air fryers helps understand their environmental impact based on energy usage evaluation.

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