Q# 173–Are air fryers a good energy-saving alternative to the traditional oven, & are they really worth having?

Migraines and colds have stopped me from even going online for most of a week, so I kept this question on the back burner til I could try and do some more research.

I know, air fryers are all over the place and there are a ton of models. I’m thinking hard about getting one for myself (doing research and the like), but will definitely wait a while (still re-organizing my kitchen after donating some kitchen supplies and appliances I never use anymore).

Now, I’ve heard nothing but good things about how well air fryers work as far as getting food nice and crispy and the like. I’m just concerned whether it would be worth buying and if I thought I’d even use it all that much.

My biggest thing, of course, is wanting to make healthier food. The trouble is, I’m also trying to get away from fried food in general because it’s one of my biggest junk-food weaknesses. I’m afraid I’ll be lulled into a false sense of security regarding eating those healthier fried foods and not turn down cravings when I’m near a fast-food place. It’s part of that trying to train-my-taste-buds thing I’ve wondered about before.

Another is how much space I’ll need to house it. I don’t have very big cabinets and not a ton of extra counter space, so I wouldn’t want some appliance taking over what little counter space I’ve got left. And, I wonder how much I’d want to use the darn thing. I’ve fallen off the healthy eating wagon the past couple of months and need to get back to it, but if I spend a few hundred on some appliance I’ll end up barely using, that doesn’t help.

But more than that, too, is ease of cleaning AND how much energy it’ll suck up versus a traditional oven. It’s not the speed of cooking that I’m most concerned with, but rather the application of heat and energy. In the summer I hate using my regular oven because then I have to get the fans and really try to cool off the kitchen (doesn’t help that the sun beats down most consistently on the kitchen than any other room of the house). I just wonder how much exterior heat is generated by air fryers, if any at all. If there’s a chance I can crisp things up in the summer without sweating because of the damned oven, then great.

I like baking things and using the oven when I can, but when I’m just cooking for myself, it feels a bit silly using that little tray or casserole dish in a huge oven. Something much smaller that doesn’t suck up as much energy (or produce as much heat during the cooking process) sounds like a good idea. I had a traditional toaster oven, but it’s size and limited utility just made me give it up. Great for re-heating fish and fries, but beyond that, it was kind of useless.

The trouble is, I can’t seem to find much info on how using an air fryer vs. a traditional oven could save on the electric bill (if at all), and with my desire to penny pinch where I can to the best of my ability–especially with the bills–this is a concern. Certainly a smaller profile and reduced cooking time may be helpful… and a smaller machine meant for just a couple of portions at a time sounds good. I’d considered one of the toaster oven kinds, but after watching some vids (thank you America’s Test Kitchen), I’m not sold on them. Ease of cleaning is definitely the 2nd highest priority when finding a model (after energy usage) because otherwise I’ll never use the damned thing.

I hate cleaning and especially having to do the dishes.

I just want to know how much can be done with an air fryer and if it’s really worth getting one (or in what circumstances a regular oven would be better).

Time to go look for more info, but anybody with some experience with air fryers, I’d love to hear it.

Floor’s yours…

5 thoughts on “Q# 173–Are air fryers a good energy-saving alternative to the traditional oven, & are they really worth having?

  1. buddy71 says:

    If your stove/oven is electric I would think it would use more energy to cook something in the oven since it’s a larger space to have to heat up and maintain the heat then a smaller air fryer that would sit on the counter. Since air fryers are fairly new I would think the technology behind them would make them a bit more energy efficient. If your stove/oven being electric, is older, and older I mean buy it 10 years or more, I would think it would be much less energy efficient than even a newer electric stove/oven would be. I would think it would be much more efficient cooking the smaller meals in the air fryer then it would be to cook those same smaller meals in the oven. I’ve seen many of the air fryers being advertised as multifunctional and not might be even more of an advantage. I have a gas stove/oven and I rarely use the oven in the summertime for heats up the house way too much and even using the stove can heat up the house, thus I end up using the microwave much more to cook my meals. I also lack the counter space for a air fryer, but I have also looked into them and I think a multi-functional one would better serve my purposes. You might want to look up what consumer reports has said about them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      I need to clean off (and out) the grill I got last year and really learn how to make stuff on it again. I did okay on some things, but I have to admit, I was so worried about cooking temps and stuff that I’m sure I made some mistakes. Perhaps if I get good at grilling over the seasons I can avoid my oven anyway.

      My stove’s only about 3 years old and it’s electric. I just wonder about how much power those fryers pull because I’ve accidentally tripped circuit breakers in my kitchen several times (a good warning when my coffee pot’s about to die, or something else).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ali redford says:

    I love our air fryer, but it’s pretty big; taked up some space. It’s versatile, and it saves some energy over the oven. It puts some heat into the room, but not as much as the oven. I’ve used it to roast chickens, turkey breasts, ham, etc. It’s also good for handcut potatoes, which are more healthful than the frozen ones. When it comes to hand-breaded items, most of the time it does fine, but usually the oven does better, IMO. I like the air fryer really well for cooking regular bacon, too (DH buys big packs to take camping, then never cooks it out there.) The fat drips away, leaving just nice bacon. I like turkey bacon, and the air fryer does a fine job with it. Once DH retires, he plans to dehydrate stuff in the air fryer, too. It came with a nice little cookbook for all sorts of things, even baking fancy desserts!
    All that said, our air fryer likely is bigger than what you want. It’s called a Big Boss, and I got it on a flash sale from that place who has just what I need, if that rings a bell without placing an evil earworm. I think you’ll like having an air fryer if you decide to get one.

    Liked by 1 person

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