air fryer power consumption

Do Air Fryers Use A Lot Of Electricity? In-Depth Guide

When we’re answering the question do air fryers use a lot of electricity, it’s not only about talking about how much watts air fryers consume.

Besides talking about watts, we also need to compare them with other types of ovens. For example, we should also talk about whether an air fryer uses less or more electricity than a toaster oven.

We’ll see if using an air fryer will run up our electric bill. That’s certainly an important aspect when we’re considering buying an appliance like this one. Which means that we also cover some air fryer pros and cons.

The short and direct answer is that air fryers can not only cook in a very short time delicious, crispy food without any or much oil added but that they can also save us money. You’ll see why I’m saying that.

Do Air Fryers Use A Lot Of Electricity? They Don’t

air fryer heating element

Before going into complicated things and before I start to ramble on and on, let me give you a short explanation on why air fryers are actually energy-efficient. Especially when they’re compared to regular ovens.

I mean one reason is very obvious: air fryers are smaller than full-sized ovens. It’s only natural for them to consume much less electricity.

Pretty much all air fryers consume less than 2,000 watts.

Even bigger countertop oven air fryers don’t reach 2,000 watts. You can expect a maximum of 1,800 watts for a big one like the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro.

Basket air fryers can consume even less because they’re smaller and they cook food very fast.

For example, the Ninja AF101, which is one of the most popular basket models at this moment, runs on 1,550 watts. That’s how many watts some popup toasters use. That gives you an idea about how energy-efficient some air fryers truly are.

Moreover, according to this article from November 2022:

  • a typical gas oven costs $0.30-$040 per hour of cooking
  • an electric oven rings up $0.52
  • the least amount goes to air fryers, with $0.25 per hour of cooking (4 quart model)

According to these numbers, we could say that, on average, air fryers can be two times more energy efficient than a full-sized electric oven. It also makes them about 35% more energy efficient than a gas oven.

And I should also remind you of the short preheat time and fast cooking times. These wonderful appliances really don’t waste energy at all.

Does an air fryer turn up your electric bill?

In order to analyze how much electricity air fryers use, we have to look at several factors.

One of the important factors is establishing how many watts various models consume. That’s the easy part because it’s clear information.

Once we compare a few different types of air fryers and different air fryer sizes, we can get a clear picture of how many watts various models consume.

On the other hand, the rest of the factors that determine the answer to the question do air fryers use a lot of electricity are up to each of us.

The amount of electricity we consume depends on: how often and how much we use an air fryer.

If you only use it once or twice per week for about 30 mins or so, then frankly I don’t even see the point of wondering if an air fryer will run up your electric bill. In this case, it definitely absolutely won’t.

On the other hand, if someone uses their air fryer daily for one hour or more to cook various dishes, will it run up their electric bill?

The short answer is that it won’t, especially if we replace using a regular oven with using an air fryer most of the time.

While an air fryer runs on 1,500-1,800 watts on average, a regular, full-sized oven can use between 2,500 and 5,000 watts. That’s a huge difference.

Plus, we must always remember that air fryers, due to their circulating heated air fan technology, cook food much faster and they don’t need long preheat times.

How many watts does an air fryer use?

There are 2 main types of air fryers:

  • basket air fryers
  • oven air fryers (convection toaster air fryer ovens)

The basket ones are cylindrical, taller than they’re wider.

And the oven ones look like regular countertop ovens but come with an air fryer function. And a basket that looks sort of like a perforated oven tray.

Let’s pick up a few examples from both types to see what is the difference in the watts they use.

When we talk about cheap air fryers, we talk about small sizes, like 2 quart. These are also the models that consume the least amount of energy, pretty much around the same as a 2-slot toaster.

One such example is the Instant Vortex 4-in-1 2-QT which uses 1,300 watts.

The Ninja AF101 uses 1,550 watts. It’s one of the best sold models at the moment. It also has a 4 quart capacity. It is good enough to feed 2-3 people.

The Instant Pot Vortex Plus 6-in-1 has a 6 quart basket. It can cook 4-6 servings. And it uses 1,700 watts.

As we move up to the GoWISE USA 8-in-1 7-Qt that feeds 6 people, we also get the same wattage, 1,700 watts.

The same wattage is used by Chefman Max XL 8 Qt.

Moving on to ovens, we have the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro with 1,800 watts. But it can also bake a 13-inch pizza so it’s big.

1,800 watts is as high as it gets for air fryer toaster ovens. With some models only consuming 1,700 watts.

Air fryers cooking times & temperatures

According to this article, chicken nuggets can cook in 10-15 mins in an air fryer, while they would take 20-25 mins in an oven.

The same goes for French fries.

I can say that air fryers cook food at least 10-15 minutes faster than a full-sized oven.

Preheat times are also greatly reduced. It will take about 1-3 minutes to preheat an air fryer vs 10-15 minutes preheat time for an oven.

Food is cooked at 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit. It depends what food you’re cooking and what recipe you’re following.

In the beginning, it might seem a shock just how fast food is cooked. I recommend keeping a close eye on the food as it’s cooked. Especially if you’re experimenting with new recipes.

For some recipes, you might need to start with lower temperatures because the air gets hot very fast. If you want even cooking, some recipes might require a lower temperature in the beginning and then a gradual increase.

You might also need to shuffle the food or turn it over at least once during cooking.

One con that I definitely want to mention that has nothing to do with our subject is that some models might be very loud. At least they cook food fast.

What is an air fryer? Air fryer vs Convection oven

After talking about watts and how much electricity an air fryer uses, let’s understand exactly what an air fryer is so that we know exactly what we’re dealing with.

Simply put, an air fryer allows us to cook foods without having to deal with oil. Thus, it’s the perfect alternative for those who want to enjoy the taste and texture of fried meat, vegetables and dough without the excess oil that frying implies.

When we’re using an air fryer, the food is cooked by rapidly circulating heated air (rapid air technology). A fan is used to circulate hot air around food.

That’s why foods are cooked quickly. And they’re crispy, just like we get from frying minus all the oil.

On the other hand, a non-convection oven uses still air to cook food. Basically, there’s no difference when it comes to how air fryers and convection ovens cook food.

Convection ovens work based on the same principle of circulated heated air to cook food. The fan idea to circulate hot air around food is an inspiration from convection ovens.

Thus, we could say that an air fryer is a convection oven by a different name and, in most cases, different shape.

The difference is that basket air fryers are smaller than convection toaster ovens.

That’s why a fan can circulate air faster in an air fryer. And the food can be cooked more quickly.

Moreover, these delightful appliances also preheat a lot faster than ovens, especially the non-convection ones.

Plus, the use of a basket or perforated tray also improves heated air circulation, which also contributes to cooking food faster.

Toaster oven air fryers

There are also quite a few countertop convection ovens that include an air fryer function. Or toaster ovens with an air fryer function, like the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro.

With appliances like these countertop toaster convection ovens with an air fryer function we get the best of both worlds.

Oven air fryers like the Breville have a lot of functions for those who want a highly versatile appliance that can fit even in small spaces.

Basket air fryers

Toaster oven air fryers are actually not the most popular or best sold models on the market. That place belongs to basket air fryers.

This is the original shape in which air fryers were designed. According to this article, Fred van der Weij invented the basket air fryer model in partnership with Philips in 2010.

Basket air fryers are cylindrical appliances that take up a lot less space on the countertop.

They have a basket with holes in which the ingredients are placed.

The basket comes with a handle for easy maneuvering. And for easy tossing of the food at intervals during cooking. Use a pair of tongues if the tossing is too adventurous for your skills. I totally use a pair of tongues, no tossing for me.

Besides cooking food faster and more energy-efficient thanks to their shape and smaller size, they also take up less space. That makes them perfect for small families or bigger families with not so much space in the kitchen.

As you can see, by answering the question do air fryers use a lot of electricity, I’m once again pointing out that air fryers are certainly more energy-efficient than big ovens or even convection toaster ovens.

That’s because their major pro, besides cooking crispy food without oil at all or with a couple of tablespoons of oil, is that they’re efficient.

Air fryers don’t waste electricity because they have short preheat times and the food is cooked much more quickly than in regular ovens. And that’s why the answer to the question do air fryers use a lot of electricity is no, they don’t.