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27th Oct 2023

Finance expert issues advice on when it’s best to use an oven over an air fryer

Katy Thornton

air fryer oven

Air fryers are all the rage, but they might not always be the most effective cooking method.

They’ve been around a while, but in the last couple of years air fryers have become the trendiest cookware item to have in the kitchen.

The Airfryer brand was introduced by Philips in 2010, but the term started to be used generically around 2018 and by 2022  the cooker really took off. As the Guardian noted in December they started flying off the shelves and then selling out again as soon as they got restocked. In the US, the air fryer started making a dent in the market in 2017.

Reports suggested the device that uses hot air to cook food by circulating it around at high speed could save a bit of money.

The device was also viewed as a healthier option over deep frying as it can produce similar, crispy results.

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis isn’t convinced that air fryers are actually a much cheaper and healthier option than traditional ovens, IGV reported.

On an episode of his The Martin Lewis Podcast, the expert explained that while a microwave consistently provides heat, an oven warms up to a temperature before topping up, meaning it isn’t at full power the entire time it is cooking.

The equation involves finding the wattage of an item and then calculating how many kilowatts, or what fraction of a kilowatt it’s using, before multiplying that by 34p per hour of use, IGV reported.

But here’s where it gets tricky.

An oven is about 2,000W, while a 1,000W microwave used for 10 minutes would cost approximately 6p.

So if someone is cooking something small and simple, it is probably cheaper in the microwave or air fryer.

The Money Edit backs up Lewis’ advice, noting in an article in February, that “generally”, air fryers are “cheaper to use” than an oven.

However, as a caveat, it warned if someone owns a more powerful air fryer, they could be using the same amount of energy as an oven.

For example, the 2,000W air fryer costs 34p per, which is 13p more than an oven.

Cooking the same food twice in an 800W air fryer could cost over 26p, which is more expensive than cooking in an oven.

Lewis has previously warned that his advice about using air fryers has been misrepresented in media reports and that he had simply given a “straight explanation” over wattage costs per hour, rather than saying air fryers could cost more.

This article originally appeared on JOE UK 

Header image via Getty


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