Do air fryers use a lot of electricity?

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Air fryers are loved by many people but are they sparing us money on our electric bill or are there any more energy efficient options out there? So do air fyrers use a lot of electricity? To answer this question you’ll learn how much electricity a usual air fryer uses if you cook with it on a daily basis. Also I will compare it to other well-known kitchen appliances (like the microwave or a traditional oven) to find out which is more energy efficient.

do air fryers use a lot of electricity

How much watts do air fryers use

Air fryers are usually between 1400 and 1700 watts. Some small air fryers run on 1000 watts but we have even found a 1 quart air fryer that runs on 700 watts. Usually the wattage of an air fryer depends on the size and the type of an air fryer.

Smaller basket type air fryers don’t need a high wattage and therefore are more energy efficient. On the other hand bigger air fryers or multi use air fryers (like air fryer grill combos or air fryer microwave ovens) need more juice to run.

Check out our complete wattage guide where we analyzed the watts of 33 different air fryers.

Do air fryers use a lot of electricity

Air fryers don’t use a lot of electricity because they preheat very fast and the convection air circulation cooks your food at less time than other traditional methods (like an oven).

Also they use a lot less electricity then an oven for example. As mentioned above an air fryer uses between 1400 and 1700 watts. In most cases they preheat in around 3-5 minutes and usually a food is ready in less than 15 minutes.

To calculate the energy consumption let’s assume that you’ll use your air fryer for 20 minutes maximum. In case of a 1400 watt air fryer that is 0.46 kWh (1400 watt * 20 minutes / 60 minutes / 1000).

I’ve found on the website of the US Energy Information Administration that the average US price for 1 kwh is 14.47 cents. That means one average usage in an average air fryer will costs you 6,65 cents (14,47 cents * 0.46 kWh). In case you are big user and use it everyday it will cost you $24,3 in every year.

Please be aware that average electricity prices vary greatly in the US so check the average price for your state to better calculate your savings.

Later in the article we’ll compare it to traditional ovens to see how much money you can spare with air fryers so stay tuned!

Are air fryers energy efficient

As we have shown above air fryers are energy efficient because they cook your food very fast and preheat even faster. For this reason you don’t need to run your air fryer when its empty for a long time unlike an oven that heats up much slower.

Also we tend not to use the whole capacity of the oven on a regular day so its more efficient to use a smaller air fryer for this reason. This is another reason why we think it is worth buying an air fryer.

Its just a good investment. You can find air fryers that are below $50 you can easily get this money back in around 2 years solely just sparing money on your electricity bill.

Does an air fryer use more electricity than a microwave

Okay I’ll be honest with you. The microwave is the most energy efficient kitchen appliance ever invented. Even the air fryer can’t beat that. Most microwave use between 700 and 1000 watts and you can even set how much watts to cook your foods on (so it can be lower).

This is because microwave uses radiation energy instead of convection energy like the air fryer. For our long answer check out our article on this but I’ll summarize it for you briefly here.

So an air fryer heats up the air first (the medium that carries the thermal energy) and then its ventilation system will carry this heat in the basket eventually passing it to your food. In the case of the microwave oven there is a radiation energy (in the form of microwaves) that are generated and reaches the food directly where the radiation heats up your food (mostly the water in your food). There is no need for a medium to pass the thermal energy. This is why microwaves can work in vacuums like in space.

For this reason an air fryer uses more electricity than a microwave. Also most foods in a microwave cook in a few minutes which makes them to use even less energy.

Despite its slightly higher energy usage we think air fryers are still a very good option for most as food tastes much better than in microwave. Also there are a lot of contradicting studies whether microwaved food is healthy or not. I can’t give you a definitive answer on this but I haven’t used a microwave for years for this very reason, and I won’t until this debate is settled.

Do air fryers use more electricity than an oven

Definitely no. Air fryers do not use more electricity than an oven. Air fryers are much more energy effective than a traditional oven. Let’s use our example from above where we calculated that an average air fryer under daily usage consumes around $24,3 or 168 kWh amount of electricity.

I have looked at 20 traditional ovens from the biggest brands (like Bosch, LG, Samsung or Whirlpool) and they use mostly 3000 and 3500 watts. It is a bit harder to calculate an oven’s energy consumption because depending on the preset you put it on it can periodically turn on and off to be kept at the same temperature unlike the air fryer that goes continuously. Although I must say that I had a built in air fryer function in my oven before I bought myself an air fryer which was circulating heat continuously too. Let’s assume that both the oven and the air fryer will use electricity continuously for the sake of simplicity.

An oven takes a lot more time to heat up. I haven’t used an oven for years so I can’t remember its preheat time so I turned to my fellow cooks at quora to answer this question. So the preheat time to 400 degrees (which is the temperature that most air fryers use) is around 10 minutes for an average oven. Compared to the few minutes that air fryers preheat in it is a lot less. Also since the heating space is much bigger the oven needs more time to cook the food inside.

Luckily I have found a calculator that converts the time needed to cook in an oven to an air fryer. It says that for 15 minutes of cooking at the same temperature (like in our first example) the oven needs 19 minutes. So 10 minutes of preheat and 19 minutes of cooking so a total of 29 minutes electricity usage for the oven.

Let’s continue the example with using a 3000 watt oven. In this case it will use 529 kWh in a year with the same usage (3000 * 29 minutes / 60 minutes * 365 days / 1000). With the average US electricity prices using an oven cost you $76,5 yearly. Compared to $24,3 you could save the price of a small air fryer in every year just by switching to one.

Does a toaster oven use more electricity than an air fryer?

A toaster oven is basically a compact portable mini oven. The main difference here is that the toaster  ovens don’t have an air fry function. This means they don’t circulate the air with a ventilation system like an air fryer. For this very reason the convection oven runs on less watts compared to its size than an air fryer.

But the question is that do toaster ovens use more electricity than an air fryer? We have found that they use a similar amount of electricity. Let’s compare. Most toaster ovens use between 1000 and 1700 watts. It seems very similar to air fryers. The upside is that you can get a relatively large oven that uses less power than an air fryer this size for a good price. On the other hand a convection oven takes more time to preheat and also food cooks slower because the ventilation element doesn’t force the heat through the food like in the case of an air fryer.

So let’s see an example:

We’ll use the Hamilton Beach Toaster Oven and the DASH Tasti-Crisp™ 2.6QT basket air fryer.

We choose this one because they are both very highly rated and both have around the same capacity and same price: The Hamilton’s baking tray dimensions are 23*21.4*5 cm. That equals to 2,461 cubic centimeter (same in mililiter) and that equals to 2.6 quarts approximately (here’s the quart converter I used).

Wattage:

So the Hamilton is 1200 watts and the Dash is 1000 watts (Wow it’s even lower then the toaster oven).

Preheat time:

The Hamilton Toaster Oven takes around 6 minutes to preheat and the Dash air fryer takes around

An air fryer like the Dash Tasty Crisp usually preheats maximum 3 minutes

Cooking time:

An oven like the Hamilton Beach needs around 20 minutes of cooking time for the fries at least at 400 degrees

A typical air fryer will cook French fries around 15 minutes (it varies between 14-16 minutes depending on the size and max temperature).

Energy consumption:

So the Hamilton is turned on for a total of 25 minutes. But an oven is not running continuously once its heated up so let’s assume that it will run around 18 minutes of the total 25 minutes (that’s around 70%). In that case the Hamilton will use 0,36 kWh (1200 watts * 18 minutes / 60 minutes / 1000).

The Dash air fryer uses 18 minutes of electricity too but it is 1000 watts so it uses 0,3 kWh.

So in this case the air fryer uses around 16% less energy for the same type and amount of food to cook.

Does a deep fryer use more electricity than an air fryer?

A deep frier is very effective because oil is a much better medium of thermal energy than air. According to this video the deep fryer heats up in maximum 2 minutes and you can cook the French fries (the example we used in the previous section) in maximum 3 minutes. So a total cooking time of 5 minutes is required. A similar air fryer like the one used in the video below is the Hamilton Beach 35032 that has 3 quart capacity and uses 1500 watt electricity.

In this case the deep fryer uses 0,125 kWh and therefore it uses a lot less electricity than an air fryer, since it uses 0,3 kWh as concluded in the previous section of this article.

Although I must say that the deep fryer is a less healthy option than an air fryer. Also keep in mind if you are concerned about your electricity bill that you have to purchase the oil as well to cook with a deep frier so in the end it is not a more economical option.

What is the best wattage for an air fryer?

This one is really hard to answer. I don’t think there is such a thing as a good wattage for an air fryer. The manufacturers probably designed each model with its wattage for a reason. A bigger air fryer needs more watts to keep the temperature in the basket constant whereas smaller air fryers may need less. Since there are very little differences in watts in different air fryers (around 300 to 700 watts differences) therefore I don’t think this should be a concern to you. In the long run it won’t make a huge difference. If you are living alone for example then you should buy air fryers for single people and it will use less electricity due to its lower wattage.

Lowest watt air fryers

The lowest watt air fryer that I could find is also the smallest air fryer I have every seen. It is the Elite Gourmet EAF-3218BL 1QT and it only uses 700 watts. Can you believe it? It uses as much energy as a simple microwave. Although I must warn you this is a very small air fryer so it is strictly for one person. As for myself I would go for at least a 2QT air fryer even if it uses more electricity because you can never no if you want to cook for more days at once or if you have guests. Luckily we have put together a list of low wattage air fryers if you are looking for one.

Conclusion

So the answer to do air fryers use a lot of electricity is a firm no. As we can see from the various examples air fryers don’t use a lot of electricity and they are rather energy efficient. They don’t need a lot of preheating time and they will cook your food in about 15 minutes. Also they use a lot less electricity than an oven and much healthier than a deep fryer. With the daily usage it will cost around $24 a year with a daily usage which I think is really cheap.

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Thomas S.

Hey there! I've been cooking for myself and loved ones since the age of 18. In our busy world I've always looked for ways to be more time efficient when it comes to preparing food but also creating tasty and healthy dishes. That's when I came accross air fryers a few years ago and eversince I am trying to spread the word of the benefits of these wonderful machines.