People are being warned about using air fryers instead of ovens to cook food.
An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air to cook food by circulating it around the food at high speed.
It is commonly used as a healthier alternative to deep frying, as it can produce similar crispy results without the need for as much oil.
However, Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis has shared his doubts about the popular appliance.
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He isn’t convinced that air fryers are actually a much cheaper and healthier option than traditional ovens.
On an episode of his The Martin Lewis Podcast, he explains that while a microwave consistently provides heat, an oven is warming up to full temperature before topping up, which means it isn’t running at full power the entire time.
Lewis says: “A microwave gives you consistent heat whereas an oven is warming up to full temperature and then topping it up so it isn’t running at full power the whole time.”
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He adds: “If you were doing a full roast dinner and you were cooking many [jacket potatoes], it’s probably cheaper [putting them in the oven] than putting five or six jacket potatoes in a microwave because each additional object you put in a microwave, you need to keep it on longer because a microwave just heats the individual object.”
However, if someone is cooking just a single jacket potato, which only needs around 10 minutes, it will be ‘far cheaper’ to use a microwave.
Lewis adds that if someone was getting technical, they could work out whether it’s best to use an oven or air fryer for each meal using a simple equation.
The equation involves finding the wattage of an item and then calculating how many kilowatts, or what fraction of a kilowatt it’s using, before multiplying that by 34p per hour of use.
But the problem with the equation for heating equipment is that an oven is about 2,000W, while a 1,000W microwave used for 10 minutes would cost approximately 6p.
Therefore, if someone is cooking something small and simple, it is probably cheaper in the microwave or air fryer.
The Money Edit has echoed Lewis’ advice while noting that ‘generally’, air fryers are ‘cheaper to use’ than an oven.
But it warned that if someone owns a more powerful air fryer, they could be using near enough the same energy as an oven.
For example, the 2,000W air fryer costs 34p peruse, which is 13p more than an oven.
Really, the quantity of food being cooked is the most significant factor.
Cooking the same food twice in an 800W air fryer could cost over 26p, which is more expensive than cooking in an oven.
Air fryers have been incredibly popular in recent years because they are thought to be more cost-effective and healthier than an oven.
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However, Lewis’ comments will have raised some eyebrows.
While some may have thought they were saving money by using an air fryer, it seems that this may not always be the case.
When it comes to cooking and being as cost-effective as possible, each scenario may require a different approach.
In short, it’s best to consider the recipe and the number of items before choosing whether to use a microwave, air fryer, or oven.
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