Deep Fryers vs Air Fryers

Deep Fryer vs Air Fryer

Quick Answer: What are the differences between air fryers and deep fryers? Deep fryers require enough oil to completely submerge the food. Air fryers can use a tablespoon or even no oil at all to cook foods. The oil used to deep fry can penetrate the food deeper, so it would have a thicker and crispier crust. More…

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 fryers vs air fryers.

Therefore, I took it upon myself and did some hands-on research the result of which is this comprehensive review/comparison guide. 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 into the 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 by 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



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


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

  1. Oil Use: Deep fryers require too much oil for the food to completely submerge in it, while air fryer only needs a spoonful or none at all.
  2. Cleaning: For those of us who were so used to deep fryers you can relate to the hassle involved in scraping out oil when it comes to cleaning your deep fryer with the air fryer this isn’t a problem.
  3. They also have different sizes
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Price: Despite deep fryers being bigger in size than their counterpart air fryers, their prices are actually the opposite. Due to the additional features and increased functionality air fryers cost slightly more.

An In-depth Comparison

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:

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

Key Features of Modern Deep Fryers

  1. Thermostat for adjusting oil temperature
  2. Timers with audible alarms
  3. Oil filter
  4. Removable food baskets
  5. Safety control features
  6. Automatic baskets that rise up when done cooking.

Pros of Buying a Deep Fryer

  1. 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.
  2. Affordable: Deep fryers are affordable compared to other alternatives in the market
  3. Comes in different sizes fitting for both small families of two or big families of six


  1. Difficult to clean especially those that come without an in-built draining valve
  2. Its dependence on oil makes it unappealing to the health-conscious
  3. 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: Key Features

  1. Display screens
  2. Countdown timers
  3. Cooking pre-set modes


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


  1. They are relatively expensive
  2. Some air-fried foods might lack sufficient moisture
  3. 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

1. Size

It is important to consider the size of your family in order to buy a fryer size that matches your needs.
2. 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.

3. 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.


Which is better a deep fryer or an air fryer?

Deep fryers might only be able to deep fry, but they are the best at deep frying. While an air fryer is healthier and uses less oil, it lacks the tastiness and flavor that a deep fryer can provide. Moreover, an air fryer just cannot replicate the same effect a deep fryer has on battered foods. (Source)

What is the disadvantage of air fryer?

The downside

Air-frying also produces high temperatures at a very rapid rate, thus making it extremely easy to burn food. And charred food may be carcinogenic. In addition, Cucuzza adds, because most devices cook 1 to 3 pounds of food at a time, it can be challenging to air-fry meals for a large family. (More info)

Why you shouldn’t use an air fryer?

While air fryers reduce the likelihood of acrylamide formation, other potentially harmful compounds could still form. 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. (See more)

Can air frying replace deep-frying?

Although air fryers can produce a crispy exterior similar to a deep fryer, there’s nothing that can replace the real deep fried consistency. Also with an air fryer you may find certain foods come out more dry than they would if you used a deep fryer.(Click here)

Is there radiation from air fryer?

In contrast to other ovens, air fryers do not use any electromotive radiation. Even EMFS are not harmful to your health. To put it simply, air fryers work by product or radiating heat that circulates to cook the food. This heated radiation is completely healthy and causes no form of hazards to your food. (The full answer)

Do air fryers use a lot of electricity?

Air fryers, on average, run at about 1500 watts as opposed to the estimated 2.3kWh that are used to run your average in-home oven. Each kilowatt is about 1,000 watts so compared to a conventional oven, an air fryer uses about half as much energy.(Read more)

What are the pros and cons of an air fryer?

They’re versatile, easy to use, and promise deep-fried flavor without the oil. But, like any product, they have downsides. They’re bulky, difficult to clean, and have limited cooking capacity. (More…)

Can you put raw meat in Airfryer?

Fortunately or unfortunately, you can cook raw meat in an air fryer. Per Air Fryer Market, you can cook anything in an air fryer, even a full chicken. However, fitting a full chicken in most air fryers may prove a challenge.(Read more)

Can you put aluminum foil in the air fryer?

Yes, you can use aluminum foil in an air fryer, as long as you use it safely, and avoid covering critical components of your machine that could cause uneven cooking and even damage. Be sure to use a small amount to cover the bottom of your basket, or wrap your food with it. (The full answer)

Do you have to clean air fryer after every use?

Ideally, your air fryer should be cleaned after every use in order to avoid charred food and gunk buildup. But there are certain parts where an occasional clean will suffice. “The parts of your air fryer that must be washed after each use are the basket, tray and pan,” says Bedwyr. (Full article)

Do chefs like air fryers?

Do chefs use air fryers

Chefs are people like the rest of the world so yes, chefs do use air fryers myself included. Air fryers are a great way to prepare less calorie-dense foods that are usually high in calories, air fryers cook the foods really fast, and they require less time and energy to invest in. (See more)

Why are air fryers so popular?

Air fryers are popular because they are affordable, don’t use as much oil as a traditional fryer, and heat food evenly and quickly. These appliances are much healthier than deep fryers and work more rapidly than a standard convection oven. (More info)

Are air fryers toxic?

And if you are looking for “healthier” alternatives, then air frying is a healthier choice than deep-fried. Remember air frying can still run the risk of creating acrylamides, which can negatively impact your health. Your air fryer itself can contain toxic chemicals that could leach into your food. (More info)

Why do air fryers catch fire?

Air fryers have air vents to release heat. The air vents need ample space to release the heat, and if you put too close to a surface, say your wall, you risk a fire hazard. (Click here)

Does a deep fryer use radiation?

So, do these specially made fryers emit radiation? The short and most accurate answer is No. Air fryers do not emit radiation. Unlike microwave ovens that use electromotive force (EMF), nuclear reactors such as air fryers do not use the same radiation type. (Click here)

Is air fryer safer than microwave?

Now that we’ve established that cooking food using air fryers and microwaves is a lot healthier than cooking it with a deep fryer or a conventional oven, it’s time to learn which of the two units is healthier and more hygienic. In short, air fryers are a lot healthier than microwave ovens. (Source)

Can you air fry an egg?

Place cold eggs into the air fryer basket. Air fry the fresh eggs at 270 degrees Fahrenheit for 17 minutes of cook time. Carefully remove the cooked eggs from the basket of the air fryer and place them into a bowl of ice water. Remove the eggs from the ice water bath after 10 minutes. (More…)

How long do chips take in air fryer?

Tip the chips into the bottom of an air fryer (the part with the paddle), add the oil, and toss the chips in the oil so they are evenly coated. Program the fryer to cook for 30 mins using the paddle. After this time, check that the chips are tender and cooked through. (See more)

Are ovens with air fryer worth it?

The Benefits of an Air Frying Oven

An air frying oven has more capacity, saving you time and allowing you to cook more food at once so that there’s always enough for the whole family. A Frigidaire Air Fry Oven does more than just air fry, so one appliance works harder for you. (The full answer)

How much is a deep fryer?

Deep fryers can cost as little as $30 up to around $700 for a commercial grade appliance. This includes double vat fryers in the higher end of the range. We’ll take a look at a range of different deep fryers from simple countertop models to more deluxe free-standing models. (See more)



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 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 was 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 make using it easy.

The best bargain air fryer is the GoWise USA, with almost all air fryers retailing at $100 and above this Air-fryer costs a paltry $75 in comparison.

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

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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