Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer: Which is Better for Cooking?

The allure of preparing delicious fried foods such as chicken wings, and potato fries, means you must invest in a good and high-quality fryer; whether electric deep fryer, propane fryer OR an air fryer.

In the light of this, many home cooks pretty much get confused as to which fryer to buy, and often wonder how air fryers compares to deep fryers.

Image of How Air Fryers compare to Deep Fryers

In this guide, you will know the key differences between air fryers vs deep fryers, and what to consider before buying any one of them. If you are stuck and need help selecting a good hot air cooking appliance, our tested reviews of the best air fryers in 2022 is a good place to start.

Overview of Deep Fryer vs Air Fryer Mode of Cooking

The most obvious difference between an air fryer and deep fryer is their mode of cooking.

Modern deep fryers feature digital displays that indicate current and desired cooking temperatures.

Air fryers, in comparison to deep fryers, use Rapid Air Technology to circulate heated air.

That said, let’s take a look at how the air fryer differs from the deep fryer and vice versa, in seven major use cases and categories of performance.

Comparing The 6 Key Differences Between an Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer

1. Oil Usage

Frying food using deep fryer uses more oil compared to using the air fryer, which uses little or no oil. For this reason, buying an air fryer generally means more cost savings.

Although the oil used after deep frying can be reused, most health experts don’t recommend it, especially if the debris from previously burnt food is still floating around.

2. Healthy Cooking

Foods that are air fried are generally healthier compared to those that are deep fried. One study by newair indicated that air fried French fries contain up to 80% less fat in comparison to fries that are deep fried.

This is good news for individuals who want to cut down on fat consumption. However, foods prepared using the deep fryer are a lot more tasty, moist and tender.

3. Time to Cook Food and Capacity

The air fryer cooks food much slower compared to the deep oil fryer because the level of heat oil transfers is faster in a deep fryer.

Depending on the amount or quantity of food you want to prepare, some deep fryers come with large and small cooking baskets. Air fryers often comes in handy especially when you want to reheat fried food or prepare smaller food portions.

4. Cost

The deep fryer is much more affordable, unlike the air fryer, which comes with more advanced features. The price differences also arise due to the fact that deep fryers are made using more affordable components.

A standard deep fryer retails at between $50 to $250 while major brands of air fryer can cost for anything from $100 to $250.

5. Safety

When you are cooking using the deep fryer, you need to keep a safe distance from the pot and hot oil to avoid the risk of scalding or even fire outbreak. Air fryer cookers, on the other hand, are much safer to use since the food is covered with a lid while cooking.

6. Multiple Uses

The air fryer can be used to cook different types of foods through baking, roasting, frying and even grilling. The number of dishes that can be prepared using the deep fryer are restricted because you cannot use this cooking device to roast, pan fry and grill your meal.

If you have your eyes set on an air fryer, be sure to check out our top-rated air fryer reviews to get the best.

The main difference between air fryers and deep fryers

The main difference between air fryers and deep fryers is that air fryers use less oil and are healthier compared to deep fryers. However, deep fryers cook food better than air fryers.

While an air fryer is regarded as a healthier cooking option (less oil usage) it lacks the tastiness and flavor that a deep fryer can provide.

Comparison: How Deep Fryers Compare to Air Fryers Side by Side

CategoryDeep FryerAir fryer
Oil usageHigh oil contentLower oil content
Cook timeFaster cooking timesLonger cooking times
CaloriesHigher caloric countLower caloric count
CostRelatively affordableUsually more expensive
CleaningTypically difficult to cleanEasier to clean

Buying Guide

What to Consider When Buying a Deep Fryer

When purchasing a deep fryer, you need to pay close attention to the following pertinent points:

  • Capacity: Deep fryers come in different sizes from small, medium to large. If you want to deep fry whole chicken and other large items at a family gathering, you should opt for a bigger, more efficient deep fryer.
  • Type of use case: Indicating what you want to use your fryer for is another important consideration. For instance, the propane fryer is more appropriate for preparing bigger meals like a holiday turkey while a smaller electric fryer can be used to prepare dishes like fried pickles and French fries.
  • Safety: when choosing between the different types of deep fryers, it is important to note that the electric deep fryer is much safer compared to the propane deep fryer since it has helpful control features like an automatic shut off.
  • Cost: the decision on how much you can spend to acquire a fryer depends on your budget. Bigger electrical fryers are generally more expensive than smaller electric deep fryers.

What to Consider When Buying an Air Fryer

The process of finding a good air fryer is fairly easy if you know what you want. Your decision should be guided by the following factors:

  • Wattage – most air fryers used today operate within the power range of 700 watts to 1500 watts.
  • Capacity – the capacity of air fryer you want to buy will depend on the amount of food you want to cook. Most air fryers are designed to prepare foods weighing between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds.
  • Adjustable cooking settings – the cooking settings fitted in the air fryer are designed to enhance sound decision making. The settings can also go a long way to define the taste and how well the food is cooked.
  • Size of the fryer – with regards to size, you need to look at your family size and amount of food consumption to come up with a good size reading.
  • Cooking style – this is perhaps the most important determinant when buying an air fryer. If you are a big fan of fried food, and desire something that will cook fast without leaving too much mess, the air fryer is definitely a good bet.