Air fryers are a recent kitchen staple, but, are they really saving you money? We compare air fryer versus oven to test which is cheaper to run.
With households looking to cut energy costs, air fryers are becoming increasingly popular in the UK.
But an air fryer can cost anywhere between £50 to £250 on average, depending on your brand, model, size and wattage. So if you consider purchase costs, usage and wear and tear, is it really the cheaper alternative?
We pit an air fryer versus oven to find out which is cheaper to run and how to cut costs on both.
We’ve also looked at oven versus microwave to find out which is cheaper.
How much does it cost to run an air fryer?
If you run a 2L 1350-watt air fryer for 30 minutes, it can cost you around 18p per use. This is based on the new average October price cap electricity rate of 27p per kWh.
Since air fryers range from 800W to 2500W, the cost can vary. The higher the wattage, the more expensive it becomes.
We’ve crunched the numbers to see how much it costs to run an air fryer. This is if you use it for 30 minutes every day.
You can get a more accurate quote based on your usage with our appliance cost calculator but here’s a rough estimate.
|Appliance||Suitable for||Cost per use||Cost per month||Annual cost|
|2L Air fryer (1350W)||1-2 portions||£0.18||£5.40||£64.80|
|3.8L Air fryer (1550W)||3-4 portions||£0.21||£6.30||£75.60|
|5.2L Air fryer (1750W)||5-6 portions||£0.24||£7.20||£86.40|
|9.5L Air fryer (2470W)||6+ portions||£0.33||£9.90||£118.80|
The cost of an air fryer can vary from as low as £50 to anything around £300. But keep in mind that the cheaper the air fryer, the smaller the portion size.
You might have to cook in multiple rounds, which could cost you more or the same as a larger air fryer.
Which air fryer you pick depends on how many people live in your household and how much food you cook. There are mainly two types of air fryers:
Air fryer ovens: They often come with rotisserie accessories, bake functions and are ideal for family meals.
Basket-style air fryers: They usually have one or two drawers where you can place your food while it cooks.
Some air fryers also come with an instant pot which are basically multi-cookers. They may come with health grill functions.
How to efficiently use an air fryer
Here are a few tips to follow to efficiently cook using an air fryer.
- Use the air fryer to heat up any leftover food instead of an oven. This will not only be quick but also cheaper to run.
- Try not to overfill the air fryer capacity or you will end up having to redo the whole process.
- Always clean your air fryer after a meal or else it will cause damage and a smelly odour.
How much does it cost to run an oven?
Although the oven works well for frozen goods or bakes, it’s also expensive to run. However, the cost of running an oven depends on several factors. This includes its energy rating, how often you use it, size and set temperature and whether it is powered by gas or electricity.
Here are the calculations based on the new average October price cap. The price cap is set at 27p per kWh for electricity and 6.89p per kWh for gas, which is why a gas oven works out cheaper.
Note that this cost is if you use an oven for 30 minutes every day. You can use our appliance cost calculator to compare how much it costs to run an oven for longer or shorter periods.
|Appliance||Cost per use||Cost per month||Annual cost|
|Gas oven 2100W||£0.07||£2.10||£25.20|
|Electric oven 2100W||£0.28||£8.40||£100.80|
Cooking something in the electric oven for a longer time, say 90 minutes, would cost just over 48p. Don’t forget to take pre-heating time into account on top.
While electric ovens are more efficient, gas ovens are cheaper by roughly 20p per use on average. Your energy rating also affects how much you pay to run your oven.
Most ovens are on the energy rating scale of A+++ to G, with A+++ being the most efficient. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient your oven is and the cheaper your bills will be.
Check how much it costs to run your oven in real-time using a smart meter.
How to efficiently use an oven
Here are some energy-saving tips to reduce your bills.
- Don’t open the oven door repeatedly when in use. The heat will escape and it will take longer to cook.
- Turn off the oven a few minutes before your food is ready. The oven takes a while to cool down, so the heat will keep cooking your food.
- It’s best to cook in batches to reduce how much you use your oven daily. You can also heat up leftovers in a microwave if you own one, as it’s cheaper to run. See below.
- Using the convection fan can speed up cooking times and cook your food more evenly as well.
- Make sure that your oven is clean at all times. If you bake on dirt, it makes your oven less efficient.
- Try using glass or ceramic baking dishes as they hold heat better than metal.
- If you’re using multiple dishes, try placing them in a way that moves heat efficiently inside your oven.
What is cheaper: air fryer versus oven?
Air fryers are effectively compact ovens with hot air circulated by a fan at high speed. As a result, it heats up really quickly and means the cooking time of your food is reduced and takes a lot less time than an oven.
This is why generally, an air fryer is cheaper to run than an oven.
A 1750W 5.2L air fryer costs about 24p per use on average, while a 2100W electric oven costs around 28p for the same 30-minute period.
This could result in annual savings of around £14 with an air fryer. Though in reality, it’d be more, as you wouldn’t need to run the air fryer as long as an oven.
If you have a gas oven, that works out cheaper than an air fryer for the same time period, but again, an air fryer is more powerful and cooks the food faster, so you wouldn’t need it on for as long.
Ultimately, what works best for you depends on the size of your household, usage, and how much you cook.
Check how much your household appliances add to your energy bills using our appliance cost calculator.
More energy saving tips
- Oven vs microwave – which is cheaper to run
- Check out our appliance cost calculator to see how household items compare.
- Is it cheaper to leave the heating on low all day or use timed bursts?
- Heated airer or dehumidifier – what’s the best way to dry clothes indoors?
- Heated airer or tumble dryer: which is cheaper to dry my washing?
- How much does it cost to run a kettle?
- How much does it cost to run a fan?
- Is it better to heat a room with underfloor heating or a radiator?
- Dishwasher vs hand washing – which is cheaper?