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29th Feb 2024

Air fryer energy consumption - air fryers vs ovens

Air Fryer Energy Consumption

Cost of living & energy prices in the UK

Although it's beginning to look like energy prices are starting to steadily decline again, many of us are still more mindful than ever on the electricity usage of our household appliances. With the average monthly energy cost in UK being between £60.42 and £115.40, it's no surprise that more and more people are asking bout energy efficiency and the cost to run higher energy appliances. 

We're all looking for ways to save energy at home, and some are even diving into exciting green tech, like solar panels! These panels not only help the environment by reducing carbon emissions, but they also lighten the load on your wallet by lowering your energy bills.

Beyond that, more recent additions to our homes are now being looked at under the spotlight to determine whether or not they offer a more cost effective option or whether they might be considered "energy vampires".

The humble electric range cooker has an estimated running cost of £70-£113 as of late 2023. This might seem like a drop in the ocean compared to the running costs of some other energy hungry white goods such as Washing machines and Tumble Dryers, but as the old saying goes "every little helps"!

Air fryers are an increasingly popular solution to making an energy saving but are air fryers more energy efficient? Will an air fryer save you electricity? Let's dig deeper to answer these questions.

Air fryer vs Ovens

Prawn Skewers

What is the difference between an air fryer and an oven?

Air fryers and conventional ovens differ in 5 key ways, these are generally considered to be the usual benefits of an air fryer:

  • Cooking Temperature
  • Speed
  • Appliance Size
  • Usage of fats or oils
  • Cooking technology

Cooking Temperature

One of the main selling points of an air fryer is the speed at which it can cook food compared to a traditional oven. Because air fryers are much smaller than conventional ovens, they can reach a high temperature much quicker than an oven – (The Salter Dual Cook Pro 8.2L air fryer can reach 200 degrees in just under 3 minute)

Speed

Generally speaking food cooks 25% quicker in an air fryer as opposed to an oven – so not only are you reducing cooking time but you’re also reducing the amount of electricity used which in turns helps bringing those ever increasing bills down slightly.

Size

Air fryers are generally more compact and work well in small and large kitchens alike. They also work well for efficient single servings whereas a larger oven has a big thermal mass and is at its optimum efficiency when cooking larger meals. How often is your oven completely at capacity each time you use it?

Oil usage

The health aspect of an air fryer cannot be overlooked. The primary source of this health claim is that they don't usually require as much oil to achieve the same (or better)  results compared to a traditional electric or gas oven. This is especially true for roasting or baking.

Cooking Technology

While conventional gas or electric ovens use radiant heat (whether from a flame, element or with the help of a fan assisted element), air fryers use a powerful fan to rapidly circulate hotter air in a smaller space. This may help to prevent heat loss and can also lock in moisture more effectively. Radiant heating can often leave foods drier overall by comparison. 

Let's compare some air fryers with a typical domestic oven

EK4548 – Salter Dual Cook Pro

Salter Dual Cook Pro

If you often find yourself cooking for a big crowd or have a larger family then the Salter Dual Cook Pro might be the air fryer for you. 

Complete with two baskets, it means food can be cooked separately in both compartments at different temperatures and times.

Energy usage comparison - Air Fryer vs Electric Oven

When looking at the cost to run the air fryer for an hour a day on maximum power with both baskets in use it would cost you the below:

EK4548 Dual Air Fryer – 1450-1750W:

Energy used whilst on max for 1 hour – 1.75kWh

Cost per hour – 1.75kWh x £0.28 per kWh [1] = £0.49

If we compare this to the costs of using a domestic electric oven for an hour you can see the striking difference in cost between the two:

Domestic Electric Oven – 2000W/ 5000W:

Energy used per hour low – 2kWh

Cost per hour – 2kWh x £0.28 per kWh [1] = £0.56

Energy used per hour on high – 5kWh

Cost per hour - 5kWh x £0.28 per kWh [1] = £1.40

Which was cheaper to run? Air fryer or Electric oven?

The results are clear in this comparison. The cost per hour is nearly up to x3 less with the Salter Dual Cook Pro air fryer. Taking into account the speed at which air fryers can cook food, the chance of using your air fryer for more than an hour a day are rather low which helps lower the cost even more.

Let's keep looking...

EK2818 – Salter Go Healthy 3.2L Air Fryer

Salter Go Healthy 3.2L Air Fryer

If you tend to cook smaller meals and you’re looking for a more compact air fryer then the 3.2L Go Healthy Air Fryer is the perfect air fryer for you. Able to reach maximum temperature of up to 200 degrees it’s the perfect counter top appliance to help speed up your cooking whilst also saving the pennies on your electricity bill.

Again, we’ve included the running costs for our Salter 3.2L air fryer for you to compare against the electric oven results above:

EK2818 Salter 3.2L Air Fryer –1300W:

Energy used whilst on max for 1 hour – 1.3kWh

Cost per hour – 1.3kWh x £0.28 per kWh [1] = £0.36

With the 3.2L air fryer providing an excellent energy consumption rate, it might be the perfect addition for those cooking for one or two people at a time.

Perhaps you’ve already invested in an Air Fryer but aren’t quite sure what to cook in it? Then look no further as we’ve also gathered some of our favourite air fryer recipes to get you started.

Do air fryers use a lot of electricity?

Well in this case we can see that the answer is no, at least not compared to a typical domestic electric oven. At just 36p for an hour of electricity on it's maximum power setting - it shows a typical saving of around 20p to £1.04 - if used every other day in a month that's a potential saving of up to £15 or around 25% of a small household's monthly energy bill! 

Real world results will vary of course but as an approximate benchmark we can already see that Air fryers can save energy and represent one way to be more energy efficient and save money in the long term. 

Are air fryers worth it?

Hopefully you can see just how much of an opportunity there is to save energy and lower electricity bills by adding an air fryer to your kitchen. They can save you time and money in the long term. Air fryers can also offer a way to improve the health factor of many every day meals. 

Investing in health and reducing energy consumption is an increasingly growing focus for younger adults, there are stats to suggest that over 60% of 18-24 year olds frequently use their air fryers. It's never too late to make a positive life change and embracing one of many exciting options available is a great place to start. 


If you are interesting in exploring what the newest air fryers are and how there's one for every kind of kitchen, have a look here at what Salter have to offer.


Are air fryers better for the environment?

It's a complicated process to fairly and accurately measure the environmental impact of any product or type of product. Putting aside manufacturing and other considerations - the continued impact is going to be based on the kind of energy being used. Thanks to the increased reliance on renewable energy in the UK, electrical appliances stand to continue to become better and better as the generation of their power improves also. 

How do Air fryers compare to gas ovens?

Many households will be using an electric air fryer along side a gas oven, so how do air fryers compare to gas ovens? It's harder to make a direct comparison because of the variability in gas usage and oven efficiencies so how about instead we look at some of the downsides of gas ovens specifically.

  • Indoor air pollution - Gas ovens emit nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) during combustions. Well vented modern gas ovens are generally considered safe they may still contribute towards poor indoor air quality. 
  • Greenhouse gas emissions - Since natural gas is a fossil fuel, it's going to release greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. These gases contribute towards climate change. Although gas is still used as a major source of energy generation in the UK, our reliance on it is decreasing and electricity generation is getting greener and greener. 
  • Cooking efficacy - Gas ovens are often more prone to inconsistent heating and uneven heat distribution. Having consistent control of temperature is much harder in a gas oven. 

Final thoughts

We should all try to be more mindful of our energy usage; to reduce our cost of living and to be more environmentally conscious. Using an air fryer isn't going to be the magic bullet to change the world, but they do offer a highly beneficial positive impact to everyone who uses them. The humble kitchen cooker and oven are no doubt going to remain a staple of the typical UK Kitchen, but with air fryers - we can can stand to benefit from how they cook food more efficiently, effectively and economically. 


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