Does an air fryer save you money? Yes, and not just because it costs less to run than an oven

It’s no wonder we’re all obsessed with them

Air fryers line up from testing day
(Image credit: Future / Philip Sowels)

By this point, we probably don’t need to tell you all of the reasons why air fryers are so great. But we’re going to anyway, just in case you’re doubting whether an air fryer saves you money. 

Yes, the best air fryers have taken the world by storm over the past few years, and there’s no sign of them sinking into the background anytime soon. These nifty appliances have made cooking easier than ever, and there are so many different options on the market - from dual-zone air fryers to the best air fryers for a family of four

And while air fryers are generally considered to be a cheaper alternative to the oven, have you ever wondered whether an air fry actually saves you money? Well, we’ve decided to look into this and answer the question once and for all. We think you’ll like the answer, too.

Does an air fryer save you money?

Ultimately, the cost to run an air fryer is cheaper than the cost to run many other appliances in your home - including a typical convection oven and the hob. In fact, it takes third place when looking at the cheapest kitchen appliances to run

Air fryers line up from testing day

(Image credit: Future/Phillip Sowels)

Sam Milner, air fryer expert and co-author of the bestseller, The Complete Air Fryer Cook Book, has seen this money-saving perk for herself. She says, ‘An air fryer does save you money in so many different ways. For example, we run four air fryers for the same cost as having a shower.’

While this cost run is a big factor in an air fryer saving you money, there are other ways an air fryer can save you money. Below, we’ve outlined just a few of them.

1. You can cook multiple foods at once

Although this isn’t possible with a single-basket air fryer, dual-zone air fryers allow you to cook multiple foods at once - even if they have different cooking times and different cooking requirements. 

Image of Instant Dual Zone air fryer on the countertop of a kitchen on a countertop

(Image credit: Instant)

If you were to use a conventional oven to do this, you’d either have to cook them in two batches (therefore keeping the oven on for longer), or you’d need to cook them in two different appliances (ultimately making you spend even more money on your energy bills). 

John Knight from Daewoo Electrical Appliances says, ‘This way of cooking also eliminates the need for lots of different appliances as the majority come with different settings such as grilling, roasting and of course frying so people can save money buying lots of products for their kitchen.’

So, if you have a fussy family or you like to cook up elaborate feasts, using a dual-zone air fryer can save you money. 

2. Pre-heating takes a fraction of the time

When using an oven, you need to wait for it to pre-heat before popping your food in to cook. It can sometimes take upwards of 15 minutes to reach your desired temperature, and that’s essentially 15 minutes of wasted energy and wasted heat. 

Of course, not pre-heating your air fryer is one of the biggest air fryer mistakes you can make, but you’ll be happy to know that it doesn’t take as long as an oven. 

Most modern air fryers will take around 5 minutes to preheat, meaning you’ll waste less energy (and less money) waiting to start cooking your food. 

Salter 7L dual air fryer with divider on kitchen worktop

(Image credit: Salter)

3. Food cooks faster

If you’ve had a long day at work or you’re rushing to eat dinner before you head to your kids’ ballet lessons, an air fryer will be your friend. While it may be small, it’s extremely powerful and can cook your food extremely quickly. 

Osman Ozturk, Senior Director, New Product Innovation at SharkNinja told us, ‘You can cook enough burgers for four people in your AF300UK or AF400UK in just 12 minutes, for no more than 14p of electricity*’ (correct figures at the time of writing).

He also added that ‘The AF300UK and AF400UK cook up to 75% faster than fan ovens.’

Because of this, your food will cook faster than an alternative cooking tool (such as an oven), and you’ll ultimately spend less on your energy. To test this for yourself, Osman has also suggested the use of an energy monitoring plug

‘Plug-in meters allow you to measure the energy consumption of appliances with accessible sockets. Careful use of domestic smart meters may allow you to approximate your oven’s energy use,’ he explains. 

Cream shaker kitchen with traditional bar handles

(Image credit: Future)

4. You’ll spend less money on food

Of course, we’re not saying that you won’t buy any food when you have an air fryer. You have to buy food to cook in it, after all. What we’re saying is that you’ll spend less money on things like takeaways and microwave meals. 

Sam explains, ‘The air fryer is fantastic for cooking your favourite takeaway foods, meaning that you can save money on creating a fakeaway at home, such as an air fryer doner kebab. ‘

In fact, this is something I agree with, too. As someone who has spent way too much money on takeaways in the past, I’ve since strayed away from Saturday night takeaways to make my own fakeaways. Not only is this healthier and tastier (If I do say so myself), but I’ve also saved a huge amount of money in the process. 


Is it cheaper to use an air fryer than an oven?

According to the current price cap, an example 1500W basket air fryer used on average for 30 minutes a day will cost roughly £1.52 per week, £6.53 per month, and £79.39 per year.

Of course, the exact price will depend on the specific air fryer you have and the energy price cap at the time, but experts all agree that using an air fryer is cheaper than using an oven.

Not only does it use less energy per use, but you’ll typically use an air fryer for a shorter amount of time, too.

Will I save money using an air fryer?

Yes! The cost to run an air fryer is cheaper than the cost to run an oven and other kitchen appliances. Not only that, but you can also cook multiple foods in one dual-zone air fryer, reducing the need to use (and spend money on) other cooking appliances. 

However, you will only continue to save money using an air fryer while you take care of it. Electrical safety experts, Direct365, explain, ‘Over time, build-up of food and oil can cause your air fryer to overheat, which can damage the appliance's internal components. This is not only a hazard but could be expensive as you might need to get your air fryer fixed or replace it.’

So, does an air fryer save you money? We think it’s a resounding YES!

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.