People Warned About Using Air Fryers Instead Of Ovens To Cook Food

Martin Lewis has warned people about using air fryers instead of ovens when cooking.
Credit: ITV & Alamy

Do you prefer to use the air fryer over the oven to cook your food? Well, an expert has now shared a warning about this habit and it may change your mind. 

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air to cook food by circulating it around 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, an expert has now shared his doubts about the popular appliance.

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Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis 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.

“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.

Martin Lewis
Martin Lewis has warned people about using air fryers instead of ovens when cooking. Credit: ITV

Lewis explains 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.

So 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 nearly enough of the same energy as an oven.

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For example, the 2,000W air fryer costs 34p per, 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.

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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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.