Can an Air Fryer Save You Money in the Kitchen?

Not sure if an air fryer is worth the investment? This appliance could potentially save you time and money.

by Rose Scott
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If you don’t own an air fryer, you might wonder what all the fuss is about this countertop cooker and whether investing in one is worth the cost.

The following provides a general comparison of an air fryer’s energy usage compared to an oven, the pros and cons of cooking with an air fryer and some tips for getting your money’s worth if you choose to buy one.

Is It Cheaper To Use an Air Fryer Than an Oven?

The energy consumption of an air fryer and a traditional oven depends on their size, wattage and how long they are used. However, air fryers generally tend to be more energy-efficient than ovens. See the following rough comparison.

Most air fryers have the following characteristics:

  • Typically uses 1,000 to 1,700 watts of power
  • Preheating time is generally shorter, about 3-5 minutes
  • Cooking times are usually faster

Here is how an oven compares:

  • Typically uses 1,000 to 5,000 watts of power, depending on the size and type of oven (electric or gas)
  • Preheating time is longer, often around 10-15 minutes
  • Cooking times are generally longer

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Pros and Cons of Cooking With an Air Fryer

Cooking with an air fryer has gained popularity in recent years due to its perceived health benefits and convenience. However, not everyone loves them.

Before investing in an air fryer, here are some pros and cons to consider.

Air Fryer Pros

In addition to saving energy, air fryers also have the following benefits:

  • Healthier cooking: Air fryers use hot air for cooking food, requiring little to no oil. This can reduce fat and calorie content compared to deep-fried foods, making it a healthier alternative. This method of cooking can also save money on cooking oil.
  • Faster cooking time: Air fryers often cook food faster than traditional ovens or deep fryers due to their compact size and efficient heat circulation. Busy families may find getting a home-cooked meal on the table much easier than relying on prepared foods and takeout.
  • Ease of cleaning: Air fryers typically have non-stick surfaces and removable components, which make them easy to clean. Many parts are dishwasher safe, further simplifying the cleaning process.
  • Versatility: Air fryers are versatile appliances that can cook various foods, from vegetables to meats and even baked goods.

Air Fryer Cons

Some people dislike air fryers for the following reasons:

  • Limited capacity: Air fryers typically have smaller cooking capacities than ovens or deep fryers. This can be limiting if you need to cook for a large family, as you may need to cook in batches.
  • Taste and texture: While air frying can produce crispy and delicious results, some people feel the taste and texture may not be quite the same as deep-fried food.
  • Cost: Air fryers can be expensive depending on the size and how fancy the features are, running from $60 to $150+. This initial cost may be a barrier for some. The cost of accessories can also add up if you find yourself buying every air fryer gadget you come across.
  • Counter space: Air fryers can take up valuable counter space in your kitchen, especially if you already have other small appliances.
  • Learning curve: There may be a learning curve when first using an air fryer, as you may need to adjust cooking times and temperatures to achieve the desired results.

Money-Saving Uses for an Air Fryer

If you’re considering buying an air fryer, you want to ensure you’ll use it often enough to make the purchase worth it. Here are some ways you can get your money’s worth:

Reheat Leftovers

Air fryers can reheat food without making it soggy like microwaves often do. This can help you save money by reducing food waste, as you’re more likely to enjoy leftovers when they retain their original texture and flavor. Try these creative ways to repurpose leftovers.

Make Snacks

Instead of buying pre-packaged snacks, use your air fryer to make homemade versions, such as potato chips. This can be both cost-effective and healthier, as you control the ingredients.

Toast Things

It’s easy to toast things in an air fryer. Investing in one may allow you to do away with your toaster and/or toaster oven.

Cook From Scratch

Utilize your air fryer to make it quicker to cook meals from scratch instead of relying on pre-packaged or takeout options.

Meal Planning

Plan some of your meals around air fryer-friendly recipes, especially for nights you know you’ll have limited time to cook.

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Are Air Fryers Really Worth the Money?

If you’re looking to save money in the kitchen, an air fryer usually consumes less energy due to its lower wattage and faster cooking times. And overall, air fryers can be a healthier and more convenient alternative to traditional cooking methods, but they have some limitations.

It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether an air fryer fits your cooking needs and if you will use it often enough to be a worthwhile investment.

If you decide to invest in an air fryer, clean and maintain it regularly to ensure it functions efficiently. This can help extend the life of your appliance, saving you money on replacement costs in the long run.

Reviewed October 2023

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