A Comprehensive Comparison Guide Between Deep Fryers and Air Fryers

We all savor the taste of crispy fried dishes, from french fries to fried chicken. With the growth of fast food restaurants and drive-through outlets such as KFC and MacDonald's - fried dishes now account for a large portion of caloric consumption globally. With so much information tossed out on the newest frying appliances to hit the market, making a decision on what type of fryer will be ideal for your frying needs can prove a challenge.

Personally, I was confused just like you are especially with the lack of an online resource that can cut through the noise and offer a comprehensive analysis of the two most common fryers in the market: deep fryer vs air fryer. Therefore, I took it upon myself and did some hands-on research the result of which is this comprehensive review/comparison guide.

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In this comparison, I will outline my findings and help you figure out in minutes what took me over 100 hours of research to compile.

Deep Fryer vs Air Fryer

Definitions and Uses

An air fryer is an appliance used for cooking food through the circulation of super-heated air.

On the other hand, a deep fryer is a pot-like appliance used for cooking by dipping foods in to heated oil.


Deep fryers have a long-history. The earliest known evidence of deep fryer use traces back to Spain and Portugal in the 13th century. Later growing on to Japan, Belgium and France (the home of the french fries) and expanded globally.

The air fryer is a relatively modern invention from Dutch Electronic Company Philips.

Key Features

While both share some common features such as display screens, user-friendly controls and adjustable temperature. Some of the other unique features include

  • Digital countdown timers with ready signal and automatic shut-off functionality
  • Cooking pre-sets
  • Safety features


  • On the surface, both do the same thing - frying food.
  • Both produce crispy and crunchy food externally and soft and tender internally.
  • They have made cooking effortless and easy.


Apart from the different technological make-up and functioning, some of the other notable differences include:

  • Oil Use: Deep fryers require a too much oil for the food to completely submerge in it, while air fryer only needs a spoonful or none at all.
  • Cleaning: For those of us who were so used to deep fryers you can relate with the hassle involved in scraping out oil when it comes to cleaning your deep fryer with the air fryer this isn't a problem.
  • They also have different sizes
  • Taste: If you are like me and your reason for eating fried food is the taste, then deep fried foods will taste better than air-fried food.
  • Uses: You can't use a deep fryer for much else than deep-frying, with an air fryer you get much more functionalities than just frying.
  • Price: Despite deep fryers being bigger in size than the counterpart air fryers, there prices are actually the opposite. Due to the additional features and increased functionality air fryers cost slightly more.

An In-depth Comparison: Deep Fryer vs Air Fryer

Deep Fryers

Modern deep fryers come in stylish designs, manufactured by some of the leading home appliances brands such as BLACK+DECKER and GoWise USA. Before buying a deep fryer, some of the things you should consider are:

Deep Fryer meganannblog

Deep Fryer meganannblog

  • Frying Quality
  • Size: Determines food and oil capacity.
  • Power Consumption
  • Time it takes to heat up
  • Time the deep fryer takes to reheat after dropping in food from the freezer

Key Features of Modern Deep Fryers

  • Thermostat for adjusting oil temperature
  • Timers with audible alarms
  • Oil filter
  • Removable food baskets
  • Safety control features
  • Automatic baskets that rise up when done cooking.

Pros of Buying a Deep Fryer

  • When it comes to deep-fried foods one of the advantages of using a deep fryer is the unrivaled taste. In fact, renowned Master Chef Gordon Ramsay said that nothing was going to beat the taste of deep fried food.
  • Affordable: Deep fryers are affordable compared to other alternatives in the market
  • Comes in different sizes fitting for both small families of two or big families of six


  • Difficult to clean especially those that come without an in-built draining valve
  • Its dependence on oil makes it unappealing to the health conscious
  • High calorie count

A deep fryer is a great kitchen appliance that makes cooking delicious meals easy and effortless. However, before buying a deep fryer it is important to consider the features, pros and cons and make a decision based on your needs.

Air Fryers

Rapid Air Technology (RAT)

Air fryers work by the use of RAT a patented technology that involves circulating hot air at super-fast speeds through a heater that in turn radiates into the food from every side. Designed by home appliance giant Philips. Other notable manufacturers include T-fal, BLACK+DECKER and GoWise USA.

Air Fryer meganannblog

Air Fryer meganannblog

Key Features of Modern Air Fryers

  • Display screens
  • Countdown timers
  • Cooking pre-set modes

Pros of Buying a Air Fryers

  • Air fryers have variety of uses such as frying, roasting, grilling and baking.
  • You only need a little amount of oil max when cooking with an air fryer
  • Food cooked by an air fryer have low caloric count
  • Easy to clean


  • They are relatively expensive
  • Some air-fried foods might lack sufficient moisture
  • Considerably longer cooking times

The air fryer is a great alternative for the health conscious. It is well worth the investment.

For Who?

If you want a fryer that produces food with that "deep fried", taste then you might want to consider a deep fryer. Depending on your family size, there is a great variety of deep fryer sizes to choose. However, for a fryer that uses less oil but still fries just fine and you can part with a few extra bucks, then the air fryer is the right alternative for you.

Benefits of Specific Features

  • Size: It is important to consider the size of your family in order to buy a fryer size that matches your needs.
  • Timers with Audible Alarms: Timers are essential, especially for a busy mum with many errands to accomplish. With a timer you can pre-set the timer and once the time runs out it will alert you. Preventing food from overcooking.
  • Automatic On/Off: This feature excites me the most. With this functionality you can set on your fryer and one the food is ready it will automatically turn off. It is important to buy a fryer that has this feature.

Additional Tips

For useful tips on how to use the products, make sure you read the manual that comes with the product. Additionally, you can watch instructional YouTube videos.

Different brands provide different Guarantees so be sure to read the product description and terms well.

Some fryers have dividers meaning that they cook more than one meal at a time. However, when cooking different meals concurrently do ensure that both need the same temperature and cooking time.

Before making a decision on a fryer brand to purchase. Take some time going through customer reviews and ratings especially on platforms such as Amazon.


After hours of research, testing and figuring things out by trial and error. I guess I am in a good position to offer this verdict. (Drum rolls) According to my findings the deep fryer wins the battle of deep fryer vs air fryer by virtue of its affordability, variety and the unbeatable "deep fried" taste.

Air fryers don't actually fry I am even surprised that it uses the name "fryer." However, it has its benefits like cooking efficiently and using minimal oil. I wasn't convinced it's worth the expensive tag it bears. 

If you feel you must get yourself an air fryer, consider going for the Philips Digital Airfryer as it is the absolute best model in the market and absolutely worth it. It has high ratings and reviews from satisfied customers and it comes with essential features that makes using it easy.

​This review is not meant to convince you to go for one over the other but rather to make an informed decision.

​Check them out on Amazon

>>Click here to check price for Deep Fryer vs Air Fryer at amazon<<

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Megan Ann

I’m Megan Ann, mama to 2 and wife to James F. Core. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. In this blog, I try to write useful and informative articles to help you as much as I can with my knowledge.

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