Do air fryers use radiation? Experts settle this common misconception

The truth surrounding the cult kitchen appliance

cooking with air fryer on countertop
(Image credit: Future Photostudio / Philip Sowels)

If you've had your eye on an air fryer for a while now, teetering on whether or not to take the plunge, you might've wondered about any risks to be wary of – namely, whether air fryers use radiation to cook your food.

Following the surge in popularity of the best air fryers, we've seen more and more people keen to know the ins and outs of this investment before buying – and rightfully so. Everything from researching what size air fryer you need to important things to look for in an air fryer to ensure it's the perfect fit for you.

Therefore, it makes sense that you might be curious whether they rely on radiation to cook your food, too, considering that some of our other go-to kitchen appliances such as microwaves rely on this method of cooking. However, despite the claims, you'll be happy to know that air fryers do not use radiation.

air fryer cooking chips on countertop

(Image credit: Future Photostudio / Philip Sowels)

Do air fryers use radiation?

'Despite the growing popularity of air fryers, some worry about the toxicity and cancer risks, while others remain sceptical about the benefits of air-fried foods,' begins James Longley, managing director at Utility Bidder. 'A common misconception surrounding air fryers is whether they use radiation to cook our food. The truth is, air fryers do not rely on radiation for cooking.'

Instead, air fryers employ a method of cooking known as convection cooking, which is the same as the method used when cooking food in an oven. 'This works by circulating hot air around the food at a high speed, which creates a crispy outer layer while retaining the moisture inside, resulting in products that closely resemble fried foods but with considerably lower levels of fat,' explains James.

cooking with air fryer on countertop

(Image credit: Future Photostudio / Philip Sowels)

Continuing, James highlights that the confusion surrounding air fryers supposedly using radiation stems from a misunderstanding of how air fryers work. 'Unlike microwave ovens, which use electromagnetic radiation to rapidly heat food, air fryers utilise heated air as their primary means of cooking.'

Thea Whyte, small appliance expert at AO assures that 'air fryers rely on this rapid circulation and its heating element that emits non-iodising radiation, which is perfectly safe for consumption.'

Not to mention, because of the sheer speed at which hot air inside an air fryer circulates, Thea adds that this means 'food can be cooked faster and cheaper than if you used an oven', for example. This is exactly what contributes so heavily to the lower cost of running an air fryer (and what typically takes the cake in the air fryer vs oven debate if you're after quick and easy meals on the regular).

Shop our top-rated air fryers

As they say, knowledge is power, and the clarification of being assured that air fryers don't use radiation to cook food is the knowledge that will allow us to be more informed about our investments and feel better about taking the healthier approach to home-cooked meals.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.