Air Fryer Vs Deep Fryer – Read this first!

There are times when only a meal consisting of fried food will do, we all know it’s not the healthiest meal choice, but sometimes that doesn’t matter. The choices you have at that point are either get a takeaway or cook it yourself. And while getting a takeaway is often far less hassle, you have absolutely no control on what you’re putting into your body.

Plus there’s the cost involved, it used to be getting a takeaway was a cheap option, but those days seem long gone now. Looking at it from a sensible point of view, the only way to save money and get exactly what fried food you want, is to cook it yourself. So what will it be: an air fryer or a deep fryer? Let’s take a closer look at both and see which will suit your needs the best.

What’s The Difference Between Air Fryers And Deep Fryers?

They both produce fried food, they both can be purchased in a style to fit in with any kitchen, they’re both more energy efficient than using a hob or oven and they both run on electricity. But that’s where the similarities end, before we get into the differences, let’s have a look at each appliance to get a better idea of how they work.

What Is A Deep Fryer?

Deep Fat Fryer

A deep fryer works by flash cooking food in boiling oil. The food is placed in a basket which is lowered into the boiling oil completely submerging it. As the oil is such a good conductor of heat, it cooks the food quickly at high temperatures. And as the food is completely submerged it cooks all sides at once.

The outside of the food is crispy while the inside is moist as any moisture gets trapped inside of that crispy outer skin.

Best Selling Deep Fryers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Swan SD6040N 3 Litre Stainless Steel Deep Fat Fryer with Viewing Window and Safety Cut Out, Non-Slip, Easy Clean and Adjustable Temperature Control, 2000W, Silver
  • A FULLY ADJUSTABLE THERMOSTAT: with indicator lights to control temperature allows you to cook a whole variety of different foods perfectly, every time. With 7 different temperature functions, it’s easier than ever to cook delicious foods for the whole family.
  • WITH AN INCREDIBLY GENEROUS 3 LITRE OIL CAPACITY: allowing for 1kg of food The Swan deep fat fryer is ideal for cooking large portions of all your favourite foods. From deliciously crisp chips and fries, croquettes, onion rings, tempura, fried chicken and battered fish, spring rolls and samosas, to tasty sweet desserts like doughnuts, churros and fruit fritters.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Russell Hobbs 24570 Deep Fryer, Black
  • 2.5L oil capacity & 1kg food capacity
  • Large Observation window
Bestseller No. 3
Aigostar Deep Fat Fryer 2200W, 3 Litre Deep Fryer Easy Clean, with Viewing Window, Stainless Steel, Temperature Control, Removable Oil Basket, Silver - Ushas 30JPN
  • 【FASTER FRYING & LARGE CAPACITY】2200W high power assures quick preheating and fast oil temperature recovery. Cooking lid with window which helps you to keep a close eye on what you are frying ensuring nothing is burning. With an 3 litre oil capacity allowing for 1kg of food, Aigostar deep fat fryer is ideal for cooking large portions of all your favourite foods
  • 【SAFE COOKING】Stainless steel housing with viewing window in lid helps prevent oil splashing. The cool touch handle ensures your hand away from burns and the anti-slip feet contributes to increased stability. Over-heat protection will be operated when the oil getting to hot or not working properly, it will cut off the electricity immediately
SaleBestseller No. 4
Swan SD6080N 2.5 Litre Deep Fat Fryer with Viewing Window, Easy Clean, Adjustable temperature control, 1800 W, White
  • A fully adjustable thermostat allows you to take complete control over your cooking, letting you adjust the temperature according to whatever it is that you may be cooking. An easy to use four gear temperature function is on hand making it simpler than ever to select the appropriate temperature, letting you create delicious dishes for the whole family in moments."
  • Great for cooking a wide variety of items, the Swan Square Fryer is an incredibly versatile cooking option. Creating deliciously crisp savoury items like onion rings, chips, fish or chicken, the fryer is also great when you want to experiment with something a little more exotic like spring rolls, samosas or crispy noodles. For those with a sweet tooth, the fryer makes sweet treats like doughnuts, fritters and churros quick and easy to create at home, ideal for curbing that dessert craving!

What Is An Air Fryer?

An air fryer uses heat produced by a heating element which is circulated around the fryer. This heat cooks the food in a similar way to the way food gets fried in a deep fryer, crispy outside, soft cooked on the inside, only without using lots of oil. The benefits of using an air fryer over a deep fryer are;

  • Evenly Cooked Food
    As the food is cooked using hot air which is circulated throughout the entire inside of the air fryer, it gets to each and every part of the food. Whereas food cooked in a deep fryer is subject to varying degrees of temperature fluctuations. Being immersed in boiling oil can create pockets of heat some of which will not be the correct temperature for the food being cooked.
  • Less Fat
    The average air fryer uses between no oil at all to one tablespoon of oil to cook the meal. A deep fryer uses anywhere between 6 to 12 cups of oil to do the same job. Some of that oil is absorbed into the food. So not only do you have to use much more oil in a deep fryer, but you’re also consuming more oil from food cooked in a deep fryer. Plus, that oil needs dumping after use which isn’t too good for the environment.
  • Healthier Food
    As less oil is used when cooking in an air fryer, less oil is absorbed into the food and that means less oil is consumed when the food is eaten. Too much oils and fats in our diet are well known contributors to cardiovascular disease. So the less oil used, the healthier our meals become.
  • Easy To Clean
    Cooking oil sticks to everything making it difficult to clean up after using a deep fryer. Not so with an air fryer, as they use hardly any oil at all, air fryers are easy to clean (sometimes all that’s needed is a damp cloth dipped in warm soapy water).
  • No Cooking Smells
    As an air fryer is a self contained unit, no smells permeate through the house when it’s in use. Plus they use only a minute fraction of the oil used in a deep fryer.

Best Selling Air Fryers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Tower T17021 Family Size Air Fryer with Rapid Air Circulation, 60-Minute Timer, 4.3L, 1500W, Black
  • VORTX AIR FRYING TECHNOLOGY: Exclusive to Tower Air Fryers, Vortx technology rapidly circulates hot air around food, cooking up to 30% faster than a conventional oven. Vortx also cooks food with little or no oil, making it much healthier, too! Lose the fat not the flavour with Vortx Air Frying Technology
  • SAVE UP TO 70% ON ENERGY: Cooking food 30% faster, Tower Air Fryers use less power than conventional ovens. Save up to 70% on your energy by simply switching to Air Fryer cooking with savings of £241 per year
SaleBestseller No. 2
Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Digital Air Fryer, 2 Drawers, 7.6L, 6-in-1, Uses No Oil, Air Fry, Max Crisp, Roast, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate, Cooks 4-6 Portions, Non-Stick, Dishwasher Safe Baskets, Black AF300UK
  • ENERGY-SAVING: Save up to 75% on your energy bill* (*testing and calculations based on recommended cook time for sausages, using air fry function versus conventional ovens)
  • 2 INDEPENDENT COOKING ZONES: Cook 2 foods, 2 ways, both ready at the same time. Use different functions, times and temps in each drawer to create complete meals in one appliance, or cater to 2 tastes
SaleBestseller No. 3
Ninja Air Fryer, 3.8 L, ‎1550 W, 4-in-1, Uses No Oil, Air Fry, Roast, Reheat, Dehydrate, Non-Stick, Dishwasher Safe Basket, Cooks 2-4 Portions, Digital, Grey & Black, AF100UK
  • ENERGY-SAVING: Save up to 55% on your energy bill* (*testing and calculations based on recommended cook time for sausages, using air fry function versus conventional ovens).
  • USE LITTLE TO NO OIL: Air Frying circulates hot air to quickly cook delicious mains, sides & snacks. Up to 75% less fat* using the Air Fry function (*Tested against deep fried, hand-cut French fries)
SaleBestseller No. 4
Dual Air Fryer with Visual Window, 9L XL Capacity, 2 Drawers, 9-In-1 Cooking Presets, Touch Screen, Smart Finish, Timer Function, Dishwasher-Safe, Healthy Oil Free & Low Fat Cooking
  • 【Smart Touch Control, Convenient Visual Window】The dual air fryer features a sensitive LED display that is simple to operate and easy to set and control. Super-large visual windows with light allow you to monitor the status of food inside to avoid undercooking or overcooking. Tips: Press the match button to share the program after setting one basket
  • 【9 Litre Capacity, Dual Baskets】9L super-large double air fryer oven consists of dual frying baskets(the max capacity of each: 4.5L), each of which could work independently or together to cook different ingredients. The sync finish function makes it possible to get two baskets ready simultaneously, sharing healthy, tasty fried foods with the whole family

Which Is Better – Air Fryer Or Deep Fryer?

Air Fryer

Now we have an idea of the different way these two products work, let’s look at which is better in the ways it really matters. There are three main areas for comparison here which are;

  1. Taste
  2. Versatility 
  3. Health

Air Fryer Vs Deep Fryer – Taste Test

If you really enjoy the taste of fried foods, then the deep fryer will win every time. Air fryers can produce a similarly crispy exterior but they are somehow lacking in the taste department. Plus there are some foods that come out of the air fryer just too dry for our taste. With that said, if food is seasoned before being placed in a deep fryer, that seasoning taste gets lost in the cooking process.

Not so with air frying, the seasoning seems to get absorbed into the food in an air fryer, but the overall fried taste is superior in a deep fryer when compared to an air fryer.

The Versatility Test

If you have limited space in your kitchen and you want an appliance that does more than just deep fry food, then the air fryer will definitely be your best choice. A deep fryer does just that, deep fries. An air fryer can grill, roast, fry or even bake desserts (using the right attachments). So for versatility it has to be the air fryer.

The Healthy Option

How healthy or unhealthy is fried food? This is usually the main concern when it comes to comparing deep fried to air fried food. And as air fryers use little to no oil at all, they are definitely the healthier option. No matter how hot the oil is, just by the quantity used, more oil will get absorbed into the food which is bad news from a health perspective.

All doctors and clinicians will tell you the less fats and oils you use the healthier you’ll become. So if health is your main concern then it has to be an air fryer. There are, of course, some ways to reduce the amount of fat in your food if you still want to use a deep fryer. These include;

  • Using Oil At The Correct Temperature
    If the oil is not hot enough, the outside of the food doesn’t get crisp enough to prevent the oil from getting absorbed into the food. If the oil is too hot, the outer shell will become crisp too quickly, preventing the inside from cooking correctly. This will result in the food taking longer to cook causing the absorption of more oil over time.
  • Never Allowing The Food To Sit In Oil Once It’s Cooked
    As soon as the food is cooked, it should be removed from the oil, preventing it from getting too saturated as it sits in the cooling oil.

Is Cost A Factor?


When it comes to price, Deep fryers are less expensive to buy than air fryers. With a basic deep fryer starting at around £25.00 (depending on make and model) while a basic air fryer starts at around £37.00 (again depending on make and model). But it’s worth considering that air fryers, even basic models, can be used for more than just frying. 

So What’s The Best – Air Fryer Or Deep Fryer?

As the results above clearly show, it’s a matter of personal choice when all is said and done. For taste it has to be the deep fryer. But if you want an appliance that does more than just deep fry without taking up too much space, it has to be the air fryer. Also from a health perspective the air fryer wins every time.

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