Scientists put air fryer to the test against other kitchen appliances (2023)

No need to get in a flap if your roast doesn't fit in the oven this Christmas, as an air fryer might be able to save the day - and for a fraction of the price.

The gadget has been made popular with promises of a cheaper, quicker way to heat up grub, and without the need for calorific oil.

Reviewers at Which? decided to compare aMorphy Richards fryerwith microwaves, hobs and ovens to test if it can cook a whole chicken.

They also steamed vegetables, cooked chips and baked a cake in different kitchen appliances and compared them on cooking time, energy use and cost.

They found that the pressure cooker was both the cheapest and quickest way of roasting a chicken, taking 32 minutes and costing a tiny 11p - 28p cheaper than the electric oven

The Which? testers compared theMorphy Richards Health Fryer 480003 (pictured) to other common cooking appliances

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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO COOK IN AN AIR FRYER?

Chicken - 18p

Chips - 10p

Cake - 8p

Jacket potato - 13p

(Video) Putting the Air Fryer to the ULTIMATE Test

The researchers found that air fryers proved up to three times cheaper than a conventional oven to run, and cooked the food equally as well or even better.

However, air fryers can cost anywhere between £30 and £300, so it may take some time for any savings made on running costs to offset the purchase - unless you get one in your stocking, of course.

Microwaves, pressure cookers and slow cookers also have lower running costs than ovens, but don't always give the best results.

The Which? testers initially cooked a three pound (1.4 kg) chicken in all these appliances, including both a halogen and conventional oven.

This bird would be big enough to feed four people, with enough meat left for some Boxing Day sandwiches.

They found the pressure cooker was both the cheapest and quickest way of roasting it, taking 32 minutes and costing a tiny 11p - 28p cheaper than the electric oven.

But unlike the oven, it fell short on getting achieving one of the highlights of the Christmas roast - the brown, crispy skin.

The air fryer also cooked the chicken's skin nicely but gave perfect, tender meat, all for just 18p and in under an hour.

Additionally, if you ditched the oven and used an air fryer for every Sunday roast for the rest of the year, using the gadget would equate to an annual saving of £11.

The testers did note that the chicken cooked in the electric oven was also a little dry, meaning the air fryer came out on top over all other appliances.

The air fryer cooked the roast chicken's skin nicely, and also gave perfect, tender meat, all for just 18p. If you ditched the oven and used an air fryer every weekend for the rest of the year, using the gadget would equate to an annual saving of £11 (stock image)

(Video) Is an Air Fryer just a Convection Oven? Let's put it to the test.

The microwave was the cheapest and quickest method of steaming broccoli, costing just 3p to cook the broccoli florets in five minutes, while the induction hob gave the best results

The induction hob and pressure cooker were joint winners for cooking soup, as they both cost 9p to run, but the former gave a better consistency and the latter was six minutes faster

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COOK IN AN AIR FRYER?

Chicken - 53 minutes

Chips - 23 minutes

Cake - 33 minutes

Jacket potato - 48 minutes

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Emily Seymour, Which? Energy Editor, said: 'Energy bills are a real concern for millions of households across the country, especially when many are already feeling the pressures of the cost of living crisis, and cooking is one of the everyday costs that really mount up over time.

(Video) Is Air Fried Food Really Healthier? | Talking Point | Full Episode

'There has been a surge of interest in air fryers and smaller cooking appliances in recent months, and our research shows that the hype could be justified in some cases, as we've found these products cost less to cook certain foods than conventional ovens.

'The cost savings will soon be lost if you have to cook more than one batch though, so it's still better to use your oven if you're cooking large quantities.

'But for quick, small meals, we've found that it's worth trying out the alternatives.'

The chicken wasn't the only Christmas classic that the testers tried cooking, but also a side dish of steamed broccoli.

Air fryers, as they work by blasting the food with hot air, are not appropriate for steaming vegetables, so instead they used an induction hob, microwave and slow cooker.

The microwave was the cheapest and quickest method, costing just 3p to cook the broccoli florets in five minutes, while the induction hob gave the best results, making them joint winners.

However, the pressure cooker overcooked the veg, took over double the time of the microwaves and used the most energy of 0.204 kWh.

For a festive starter, the testers wanted to see which appliance would be best atheating a smooth butternut squash soup.

Liquids cannot be put in an air fryer, therefore they used an induction hob, pressure cooker and slow cooker to cook the dish.

The induction hob and pressure cooker were joint winners, as they both cost 9p to run, but the former gave a better consistency and the latter was six minutes faster.

However, the slow cooker received a bonus point for requiring less hands-on attention, and was therefore the most convenient.

None of the appliances were perfect on cooking quality, with some chips overcooked and some undercooked. But the air fryer again came in first place in both speed and price, with the fries taking just 23 minutes to heat up

While Prue Leith may shake her head at the sight of a baker pouring batter into an air fryer, there was not a soggy bottom in sight when the 'Showstopper' emerged. It only costed 8p and was done in almost half the time of the electric oven at 33 minutes

The testers next cooked two portions of chips in an air fryer, halogen oven and electric oven.

(Video) Putting Weird Things In An Air Fryer (TEST)

None of the appliances were perfect on cooking quality, with some chips overcooked and some undercooked.

But the air fryer again came in first place in both speed and price, with the fries taking just 23 minutes to heat up.

It was also about a third of the price of cooking in an electric oven, and less than half the price of the halogen oven.

The only drawback is its capacity, as the Morphy Richards Health Fryer 480003 tested recommend only a maximum of 500g of chips, which is about three portions worth.

For those that fancy themselves the next Bake Off champion, the Which? testers also tried baking a cake in a variety of different appliances.

While Prue Leith may shake her head at the sight of a baker pouring batter into an air fryer, there was not a soggy bottom in sight when the 'Showstopper' emerged.

It only costed 8p and was done in almost half the time of the electric oven at 33 minutes.

However, the three-egg cake did come out rather smaller than those from the other appliances, due to the fryer's size limitations.

All appliances them gave a fluffy potato, however the microwave was the clear winner, taking just eight minutes to cook it for 5p worth of energy

The humble jacket potato was the last food tested by the Which? team, and they used the whole range of appliances to do so.

All of them gave a fluffy potato, however the microwave was the clear winner, taking just eight minutes to cook it for 5p worth of energy.

The air fryer and pressure cooker were also strong performers, costing 13p and 9p respectively, and taking 48 minutes and 32 minutes each.

Oven cooking the potato was the longest and most energy intensive way of preparing it, but did give the crispiest skin of them all.

Due to its tray size, the air fryer would only allow for one potato to be cooked at a time.

The results of the study therefore suggest it a great product for households with fewer mouths or smaller stomachs.

(Video) Should I use oil when cooking with an air fryer? #shorts

FAQs

What is the problem with air fryer? ›

Not only does air frying still run the risk of creating acrylamides, but polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines can result from all high-heat cooking with meat. These compounds have associations with cancer risk, according to the National Cancer Institute .

Are air fryers more efficient than ovens? ›

The researchers found that air fryers proved up to three times cheaper than a conventional oven to run, and cooked the food equally as well or even better.

What is the truth about air fryers? ›

An air fryer is a healthier option than deep frying foods and can be an inventive way to fry not only meats and potatoes but other nutritious foods such as broccoli, yams, tofu, or eggs. Compared with deep-frying, using an air fryer can reduce the amount of fat, calories, and potentially harmful compounds in your food.

Why cant you use an air fryer near a stove? ›

Oil can't be put inside the fryer basket separately or the unit might overheat and ignite. Never place the fryer on a stovetop—a hot stovetop could cause the unit to smoke, melt, and even catch fire.

Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer? ›

It is absolutely safe to use aluminum foil in your air fryer. In fact, it can make cooking with the air fryer easier.

Does air fryer use a lot of electricity? ›

Considering that's exactly half the wattage pull of the average full-size oven from our stove calculation, we can project that the air fryer will use roughly half as much electricity to operate. Using New York's electricity prices, we safely say a standard 4-quart air fryer will cost about 25 cents per hour to run.

Can you put raw meat in Airfryer? ›

It is safe to cook raw meat in the air fryer if it is fully defrosted, seasoned, and monitored. Some fully cooked foods, including chicken tenders or fries, can be placed frozen in the air fryer. However, with raw meat, it's recommended to thoroughly defrost to allow more even cooking and a tasty final product.

Can you cook a pizza in an air fryer? ›

Place the pizza in the air fryer, and cook at 375 C / 180 C for 8 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Add mozzarella chunks or burrata chunks on top of the pizza base and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Remove the pizza from the air fryer, allow it to cool slightly, and serve.

What appliances use the most electricity when turned off? ›

Many modern appliances continue to draw electricity for as long as they're plugged in—even when the power is turned off.
...
These six appliances are some of the worst offenders:
  • Television. ...
  • Computers. ...
  • Phones. ...
  • Stereos. ...
  • Microwaves and Coffee Makers. ...
  • Traditional Lamps.

Do air fryers really taste like fried food? ›

Air fryers create food that tastes fried without deep-frying it in oil, which can result in 70 to 80 percent fewer calories than deep-fried foods. Air-fried foods don't taste exactly like deep-fried foods, but they're similar. The outside has the familiar crunch, and the inside is softer.

Is air fryer better than microwave? ›

What is this? In terms of retraining more nutrients for food, air fryers are better than microwaves. They need very little oil in the cooking process, so the food is always healthy after cooking. Microwaves, however, still require a small quantity of oil.

Are air fryers good for diabetics? ›

We know air frying is better than traditional frying because it cuts down on fat and calories typically added when frying in oil. So, in that sense, air fried foods are the better choice when you have diabetes, especially if you're looking to lose or maintain weight.

How do I prevent acrylamide in my air fryer? ›

Acrylamide can be reduced by not cooking food at a too high temperature for too long. Consumers should aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when frying (including air frying), baking, toasting or roasting food.

Where is the best place to put an air fryer in the kitchen? ›

Always keep your air fryer on a level, heat-resistant countertop and make sure there are at least five inches of space behind the air fryer where the exhaust vent is located. Pre-heat your air fryer before adding your food.

Should you unplug air fryer when not in use? ›

Several air fryer manuals make a point to tell users to unplug the appliance when it's not in use. Ryerson said, in addition to always monitoring one's cooking, the city's fire education outreach also warns people to unplug any appliance that can generate heat when it's not in use.

Can you cook eggs in the air fryer? ›

Crack 2 eggs into an air fryer safe pan and season with salt and pepper. Set the pan into the air fryer basket and place the basket back into the air fryer. Set the temperature to 375 degrees and the timer for 5 minutes. Once done, remove the basket and then the pan.

Can you use Pyrex in an air fryer? ›

Depending upon the sturdiness of the glass dish, you can decide whether Glass Pyrex can be used in an air fryer. If the dish is oven-safe, made of borosilicate or tempered glass, it can work in an air fryer. However, if the dish is made of soda-lime glass, it can't withstand high temperatures in an air fryer.

Can you pop popcorn in a power air fryer? ›

If your air fryer basket has large holes, line the basket with foil. Pour the popcorn kernels into the basket and spray with oil. Cook on 400°F for approximately 5-8 minutes, listening carefully popping.

Is an air fryer healthy? ›

Are Air-Fried Foods Better for You? By most measures, air frying is healthier than frying in oil. It cuts calories by 70% to 80% and has a lot less fat. This cooking method might also cut down on some of the other harmful effects of oil frying.

What is the cheapest way to cook food? ›

For instance, microwaves, slow cookers and air fryers all tend to be cheaper ways of cooking meals than using an oven. “While cooking more efficiently will help reduce the amount of energy that consumers use, the money they save as a result will only go so far.

Does an air fryer use oil? ›

Yes, even air fryers need a little oil!

Why is my chicken not crispy in the air fryer? ›

Dry the outside of the food properly before you add oil. Do not use too much oil, as this will make the food less crispy and more fattening. Meat or poultry can be lightly brushed with oil or marinated to get the crispiest results.

What meat is best in air fryer? ›

As with all dry-heat cooker methods (grilling, broiling, pan frying and oven roasting), tender beef cuts perform best in the air fryer. Those cuts include Top Sirloin, KC Strip, Ribeye, Tenderloin and Tri Tip. Ground beef also can be easily prepared in an air fryer.

Why do you need to flip meat in air fryer? ›

To help food crisp, always turn, rotate or shake the contents in the air-fryer basket—just like flipping french fries, fish fillets or chicken tenders halfway through cooking in a traditional oven).

What is the best thing to cook in air fryer? ›

Veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms & onions, and cauliflower all turn out incredible in the air fryer. You can also make your main dish IN the air fryer. It works magic with proteins like tofu, chicken drumsticks, meatballs, pork chops, fried chicken… even steak.

Can frozen food be cooked in air fryer? ›

Whether you're cooking finger foods for a party or serving up snacks for the fam; Air-Fryers are perfect for cooking frozen foods. Find cook times and temperatures quickly with this convenient easy-to-use chart. Air Frying = cooking made simple.

Can you put frozen meals in an air fryer? ›

Cooking frozen food in the air fryer is faster than using your oven plus no need to defrost or thawing before cooking.

Does unplugging TV save electricity? ›

The fast answer to that question is yes. Take a quick walk around your home, and you might be surprised by how many devices are plugged into your walls. Unplugging appliances to save energy is no myth; it's a fact.

Does leaving a charger plugged in use electricity? ›

According to the Energy Saving Trust, any switched on charger that is plugged in will still use electricity, regardless of whether the device is attached or not. The amount of electricity produced from this only costs a few pence, but it will shorten the shelf life of the charger.

Does my phone charger use electricity when not in use? ›

Feel the heat? That's wasted electricity—technically, it's called "no load mode," but in reality it's just another vampire. According to the Berkeley Lab's testing, cell phone chargers in no load mode consume around 0.26 watts, and laptop chargers, 4.42 watts.

Are air fryers good for cholesterol? ›

Air fryers and health: The bad

But air fryers have perils. They can raise levels of cholesterol oxidation products or COPs, created when the cholesterol in meat or fish breaks down during cooking. COPs are associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other diseases in some studies.

Why are air fryers so messy? ›

Since the splatter is contained inside the kitchen appliance, air frying doesn't make nearly as much of a mess in your kitchen as a deep fryer. Yet food particles and burnt-on bits can easily build up in the nooks and crannies inside of the main unit and air fryer basket.

Can you reheat Chinese food in an air fryer? ›

If you're like me, then you love Chinese food. But sometimes, cooking it at home can be a bit daunting. That's where the air fryer comes in handy – it's perfect for reheating Chinese food!

Can I reheat soup in an air fryer? ›

Can soup be heated in an air fryer? Yes, as demonstrated, you can heat soup in an air fryer! Put the soup in an oven-safe ramekin, cover it tightly with foil, and air fry at 375F (190C) until heated through.

Can you heat up coffee in an air fryer? ›

In order to use an air fryer to roast coffee, it would first need to be preheated, much like a normal roaster. By preheating, roasters can ensure the air fryer is set to a consistent temperature. This ensures the beans are not only roasted evenly, but also absorb heat instantly as soon as they are added to the basket.

Are air fryers inflammatory? ›

Generally, when compared to deep frying, the air fryer is a healthier option because it has fewer calories, and can result in less inflammation, potentially decreasing the risk for chronic disease down the line.

Can diabetics eat potatoes? ›

Potatoes are a versatile and delicious vegetable that can be enjoyed by everyone, including people with diabetes. However, because of their high carb content, you should limit portion sizes, always eat the skin, and choose low GI varieties, such as Carisma and Nicola.

Can diabetics eat air-fried sweet potatoes? ›

Sweet potatoes are an amazing source of Vitamin A, They also have about ⅓ less carbs and calories than white potato fries. As sweet potatoes are lower on the glycemic index, air fryer sweet potato fries are a somewhat smarter choice for diabetics.

Why are air fryers being recalled? ›

The air fryer can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards. Newair toll-free at 833-715-1021 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday https://www.newair.com/pages/newair-magic-chef-digital-air-fryer-recall or https://www.newair.com/pages/recall-registration for online registration.

Is there a recall on air fryers? ›

The recall: This recall involves the Magic Chef Air Fryer Digital Air Fryer oven with model numbers MCAF56DB (black) and MCAF56DW (white). Magic Chef is printed on the top of the fryers and the rating label on the bottom has the brand name Magic Chef along with the model number.

Are air fryers worth the trouble? ›

Topline, air fryers just make cooking a whole lot quicker without compensating on delicious results, and food in some cases is even tastier than if you were to use your conventional oven or, try to keep it a lot healthier by using a microwave, subbing out oil or resorting to just boiling veggies...

Which brands of air fryers have been recalled? ›

Affected products
ProductModel number
Insignia - Digital Air Fryer - Family Size - BlackNS-AF55DBK9-C
Insignia – 10 qt. Analog Air Fryer -BlackNS-AF50MBK9-C
Insignia – 10 Qt. Digital Air Fryer Oven - BlackNS- AFO6DSS1-C
Insignia – 5.3 Qt. Digital Air Fryer Oven - Stainless SteelNS-AF50DBK0-C
2 more rows
21 Apr 2022

Are there chemicals in air fryers? ›

Why Are So Many Air Fryers Toxic? The Perils of PFAS. Most non-stick coatings contain PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), a class of chemicals often used to create low-friction surfaces. As a result, non-stick coatings are super easy to clean, making them a popular choice in kitchen tools.

Can you get sick from an air fryer? ›

There is a potential risk of food poisoning.

The researchers found that the air fryer and toaster oven didn't eliminate the bacteria as effectively as a deep fryer did.

What is better deep fryer or air fryer? ›

Deep fryers will give a traditional taste and are best for thick or wet batters, as wet batter may drip through the air fryer basket before it sets. Foods with dry exteriors work best in an air fryer and can still create crispy, caramelized foods using a fraction of the oil.

What are the best foods to cook in an air fryer? ›

Veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms & onions, and cauliflower all turn out incredible in the air fryer. You can also make your main dish IN the air fryer. It works magic with proteins like tofu, chicken drumsticks, meatballs, pork chops, fried chicken… even steak.

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