Is it cheaper to use an air fryer or the oven? Cheapest way to fry your food

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The cost of using household appliances will rise again in October, when the second energy price cap rise comes into effect. With the average annual energy bill expected to be more than £3,500, billpayers across the country are being forced to weigh up their options when it comes to doing simple tasks such as cooking. Air fryers are best-loved for their ability to fry almost any food without the need for unhealthy oils, but could they also become the frontrunner as a low-cost oven alternative too?

Is it cheaper to use an air fryer or the oven?

Air fryers are much more energy-efficient than most convection ovens because they cook food much faster, though they do use electricity which is typically more expensive than gas.

According to the latest Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy data, average UK electricity prices were 0.21 p/kWh for 2021, but are now closer to 0.28 p/kWh for 2022 based on the current price cap. 

By the end of 2022 we could see costs of 51 p/kWh for electricity and over 13 p/kWh for gas, assuming the 82 percent rise in October.

While Uswitch claims that an air fryer is in fact cheaper than using the oven, the actual figure will vary based on your energy tariff, location, and size of the air fryer you’re using.

Katie McAuliffe, reporter for the Manchester Evening News, put the two appliances head to head to determine whether it really is cheaper to ditch the oven while frying food.

Her experiment involved frying the same dish in the air fryer and the oven at the same temperature, while tracking her energy usage on a smart meter.

According to Katie, the smart meter revealed that using the airfryer at 200 degrees for 15 minutes cost just 20p.

The next day she set her fan oven to the same temperature and cooked exactly the same dish – which took 11 minutes for the oven to heat up and 30 minutes to cook the cauliflower wings.

How much does it cost to use an air fryer compared to an oven?

Based on Katie’s smart meter readings, she found that the cost of using the oven to cook the same dish at the same temperature cost her more than double what she spent while using the air fryer.

Air fryer

  • Cost 20p to use for 15 minutes

Fan oven

  • Cost 42p to use for 41 minutes (11 minutes heating up, 30 minutes to cook)

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How much can you save by switching from an oven to an air fryer?

The experiment found that using an air fryer saved:

  • 26 minutes in time
  • 22p in cost compared to using the oven

Katie said: “If I used the oven for this length of time every day over the span of a month, I would end up spending approximately £6.60 more than if I used an air fryer.”

Based on Katie’s Bulb energy tariff, she could save a staggering £79.20 over the course of a year by making this one simple switch.

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