Air Fryer Advantages and Disadvantages

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Air Fryers

Are you aware of all of the benefits, and potential downfalls, of using an air fryer?

How about the pros and cons when compared to deep fat fryers?

If all of the pros and cons to using an air fryer were all listed and explained in one place, wouldn’t that be great?

Fortunately for you, you’re in the right place because air fryer advantages and disadvantages will be discussed thoroughly in this post!

So whether you are considering a small air fryer, a large air fryer, an inexpensive air fryer, or maybe what we think is the best air fryer, this article will help you decide if it is the right cooking appliance for you and your family!

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Check out the great reviews on our recommended air fryer, the GoWise 5.8 quart electric air fryer!

It’s always a good idea to do some research and information gathering before purchasing a kitchen appliance, especially when it can be anywhere from $75 to $300!

Not only do you want the best value for your dollar, you want to make sure it’s the right thing to do and will provide benefits to you and your family for years to come.

You Can Check Out The 5 Best Air Fryers Under $100 Here!

Air Fryer Advantages

Air fryers offer a multitude of benefits, and each of them will be discussed in detail. While there are many air fryer pros to think about, in terms of convenience, safety and cooking, there are even health benefits associated to using air fryers and not deep fat fryers.

The pros of air fryers are listed below:

  1. Air fryers are safe to use
  2. Air fryers are easy to clean
  3. Air fryers are inexpensive use
  4. Air fryers use less oil compared to deep frying
  5. Air fried food has less calories and fat
  6. Air fryers don’t take up much countertop space
  7. Air fryers are easy to use

Safe to Use

Air fryers are a self-contained kitchen appliance that protects the user from the hot heating element and splattering hot oil.

Traditional deep fryers use very hot cooking oil, usually around 325° F, that’s ready to splatter and burn anyone or anything that’s careless when using it. In addition to personal injury, deep frying can easily lead to fires and cause substantial amounts of damage and even death.

In case you don’t believe me, the dangers of deep fat frying are so serious that even the United States Department of Agriculture provided an article detailing the dangers and how-to’s of using them here.

Most air fryers come with auto shutdown safety features once the timer is done. This helps prevent food from getting burnt or dried out, and it also adds the piece of mind in knowing that the appliance is turned off.

Things happen all of the time and it’s easy to not hear or be near the kitchen appliance when it’s done, so the auto shutdown feature is a HUGE BONUS for air fryers compared to deep fat fryers, convection ovens, traditional ovens and grills.

Another great feature about the design of air fryers is you don’t have to worry about the potential side effects from air fryers due to the radiation being emitted from them, like when using a microwave oven.

One of the safest things about all air fryers is the ability to remove the cooking basket of food so you can safely grab the food with tongs or forks.

Just about everyone is aware of the dangers of deep fat frying turkeys, as it’s almost an annual event that someone burns down their house while attempting to fry a turkey for Thanksgiving.

Check out some of the fails in the video below!

Easy to Clean

Since minimal oil is used in air fryers, the cleaning process is relatively simple and quick. All that is needed is some hot water, dish washing soap and a little bit of elbow grease. A detailed explanation on how to clean an air fryer is given in our other post!

On the contrary, if you deep fry food, then you will have an extreme mess to clean up due to all of the oil used while cooking food, which usually splatters and spills all over the place!

When you are scrubbing and cleaning your air fryer, then you will want a comfortable bristle brush like one of these to help you clean!

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Inexpensive to Use

Cooking oil can be expensive, especially if you need a gallon or more of it!

You will need to purchase at least a gallon of cooking oil to operate a countertop deep fryer, which really adds up every time you want to cook!

Sure, you can re-use cooking oil to lengthen the life and usefulness of it, but ultimately it will go rancid and you will need to dispose of it and get new cooking oil, again.

Take a look at the difference between clean and dirty cooking oil!

dirty frying oil
Used Cooking Oil

clean frying oil
New Cooking Oil

To highlight the expense involved with a traditional deep fryer oil, we’ve listed some common cooking oils.

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In addition to the cost of the cooking oil, deep fryers require a substantial amount of power to operate!

Air fryers, on the other hand, do not require a long time to warm up, so that helps keep power consumption and cost down.

Typical power consumption is around 1500W for air frying, which is in the same range as countertop convection oven, microwave oven, pressure cooker, instant pot and conventional oven.

Overall, air fryers are simply more economical and more convenient to use when compared to deep fat fryers in the kitchen even though the cooking time isn’t as short!

Use Less Oil Compared to Deep Frying

As stated previously, a traditional deep fryer requires about a gallon of cooking oil to operate. On the other hand, air fryers require possibly up to a tablespoon of oil depending on the food and recipe, and many times none at all!

The main benefits of using less oil when cooking with an air fryer are listed below.

  1. Less cooking oil means it is cheaper to cook with!
  2. It is much easier to clean a little bit of cooking oil than a lot of it!
  3. You are less likely to spill the oil when you are dealing with smaller amounts (think small bottle vs a large gallon bottle)!
  4. Cooking and eating less oil means fewer calories, less fat and healthier meals!

What you will need to when using an air fryer is an oil sprayer or mister to properly coat the food, so be sure to check out our recommendations!

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Food has Fewer Calories and Fat

A tablespoon of cooking oil is about 120 calories and 10-14 grams of fat, depending on the type of oil used.

If you want to air fry, then you only need a little oil, like a tablespoon or less. It is safe to say that very few calories and fat are added to the food when air frying.

This means you can still get that fried food taste, texture and crunch, without all of the guilt associated with deep fried foods!

During the deep frying process, the food is submerged in cooking oil, thus causing it to absorb at least twice as much oil, or up to 240 calories and 20-28 grams of fat.

On the positive side, the additional fat adds more taste, but it comes at the cost of fat and calories!

While I can’t make the decision for you, do you really want a french fry that is just crispy, or one that is crispy and drenched in extra oil and fat?

If you are interested in more information on the health benefits of air fryers, then you might be interested in our more in-depth post “Air Fryer Health Benefits“.

Don’t Take Up Much Countertop Space

The typical air fryer is less than 1 foot cubed, or 1 foot by 1 foot by 1 foot. This is slightly bigger than most coffee makers or Keurigs, but smaller than a countertop convection oven or toaster oven.

It’s small and light enough to simple tuck away in the pantry when you aren’t using it. But, if you have to leave it out on the countertop, then it’s comforting to know that it’s small and not going to be an eyesore!

Countertop deep fryers are about the same size as the air fryer, or possibly a little deeper due to the handles on the baskets sticking out front of them. They aren’t as ascetically pleasing to look at as an air fryer, so you’d want to hide it in the pantry when you’re not using it.

Easy to Use

One of the main benefits of air fryers is that they are super easy to use!

For the most part, you dump in the food, frozen or thawed, mist them with a small amount of oil, select the time and temperature, and that’s it!

For a lot of meals you will need to shake or mix up the food half way through the cooking process so that all of the surfaces are exposed and get crispy and crunchy.

Or you can buy an air fryer that stirs the contents continuously, like the T-fal ActiFry Air Fryer!

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Air Fryer Disadvantages

Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and roses when it comes to air fryers. Like any product, there are some drawbacks or characteristics that some or all people might not like.

We’ve listed some of the disadvantages and downfalls of cooking with an air fryer below.

  1. Air fried food tastes different than deep fried food
  2. Air fried food might not be as crunchy as deep fried food
  3. Easy to burn or dry out food with an air fryer
  4. Air fryer cooking times are longer than deep fat fryers
  5. Air fryers cost too much
  6. Air fryers aren’t good for large groups or families

Food Tastes Different Than Deep Fried Food

Ever wonder why healthier foods don’t taste as good as less healthier ones? Well, unfortunately, the same concept applies to air fried foods when compared to deep fried foods.

Since air fryers require less oil for the cooking process, less oil is absorbed by the food, and this lack of fat ends up leading to less tasty food.

In addition, most people find that the food is dryer than deep fat fried food, especially when you don’t use any cooking oil!

Check out our post that closely examines air fryer vs deep fryer taste!

Food Might Not be as Crunchy as Deep Fried Food

Food is submerged in boiling oil in deep fat fryers, thus allowing the oil to get into every nook and crack possible. The end result is a well-cooked and crunchy meal.

Since deep fat fried food is the only thing we’ve all known for our lives, up until when air fryers were introduced to the market a few years ago, we already have an expectation of what fried foods should be like.

Unfortunately, air fried foods don’t always get as crunchy as deep fried foods. And no, cooking them longer or adding more oil may not change this!

However, from our experience, we’ve found that frozen food can get nice and crunchy when cooked in an air fryer, like a ninja air fryer.

This downfall is simply one of the compromises you might have to take if you want to take advantage of all of the positive aspects of cooking with an air fryer!

Easy to Burn or Dry Out Food

When cooking at a high temperature like 300-400° F, it doesn’t take long for something to get burnt if you aren’t monitoring it closely.

Sometimes the food even gets stuck to the air fryer basket, making clean up a pain!

Personally, I’ve never had much making fried chicken in an air fryer as it never comes out crispy and it’s usually very dry! It could just be I’m doing something wrong, or maybe this isn’t the right cooking method for chicken and french fries!

There are recommended cooking charts for air fryers for various foods, but you make need to do a bit of trial and error to make sure your food is properly cooked, but not burnt or dried out!

Cooking Times are Longer Than Deep Fat Fryers

On average, an air fryer will take 2-3 times as long to cook food as a deep fat fryer will.

The circulating hot air is not as efficient at transferring the heat to the food as the boiling cooking oil is in a deep fryer, so as expected, it simply takes longer to cook.

However, the safe and hands-off cooking of an air fryer helps make many users overlook this aspect of air fryers.

Cost Too Much

What is “too much” is always a relative and debatable topic, but some of the high-end air fryers can cost quite a bit of money. However, you can find high-end deep fryers, as well, that cost a lot, so it all depends on what you are comparing to.

Given that an air fryer is just a one-time purchase, and the oil is an every-time-you-use-it purchase, the cost of owning and using an air fryer is much cheaper in the long run than than a deep fryer.

And if price is an issue, then you will be happy to know that you can find inexpensive air fryers under $100.

But if you’re looking one of the best rated ones, then a Philips air fryer is what you are looking for!

Aren’t Good for Large Groups or Families

It can be difficult to feed a large group of people with an air fryer. The volume is limited, and with the longer cooking times, if you need to batch the food, the first batch might be cold by the time the second batch is done.

Deep fryers will work better in that instance because you can find a deep fryer that has a larger cooking capacity, and we already know that they cook food faster than an air fryer.

Hence, air fryers are best for small families that want to cook whatever will fit in the air fryer in one setting, whether is chicken wings, fries, vegetables, or possibly re-heating leftovers like pizza!

Check out all of the things you can cook in an air fryer here!

Summary of Air Fryer Advantages and Disadvantages

We hope that this thorough review of the pros and cons of air fryers was helpful to you!

There are many benefits to buying and owning an air fryer, and the health, financial and safety reasons would be our top reasons for recommending air fryers over deep fat fryers.

Sure, the taste and slightly less crunch might take a little getting used to, but that sure beats the dangers and mess of operating a traditional deep fryer in the home!

Every day is seems like there are more and more recipes, accessories and uses in the kitchen for air fryers! It appears they are here to stay, and that a LOT OF PEOPLE REALLY LIKE USING THEM!

Want to Learn More About Air Fryers?

Interested in learning more about air fryers? Be sure to check out some of our best posts below!

Feel free to leave a comment in the area below! We love hearing from readers to get other people’s experiences and perspective on the air fryer topic! It’s such a fast-growing and exciting product to be using!

3 thoughts on “Air Fryer Advantages and Disadvantages”

  1. A lot of good info. One thing I didn’t see in the article was the cooking odor. I only use my deep fryer outdoors. Do air fryers give off that same foul smell?

    • Thank you for the comment!

      Yes, based on our experiences using the air fryer, it will give off the odors of the food you are cooking, just like most other cooking methods.

      When we cooked chicken wings, it ended up sort of smelling like fried foods in the house, which was disappointing, but at least the wings were awesome!

      But the air fryer itself doesn’t give off any odors just from running!


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