Air fryers are, in my opinion, incredible kitchen devices that can help you significantly reduce the amount of oil you need to cook with and in some cases, drastically reduce your cooking time. However, they all require electricity to run.
Just how much electric and air fryer uses depends on the make and model as well as the machines capacity and the amount of time it’s turned on for. On average air fryers use between 1,400 and 1,700 watts of electricity which converts to between 1.4kwh and 1.7kwh per hour of use.
In this post, I’ll be discussing the different factors that determine the number of watts an air fryer uses as well as how that translates to kWh and real money.
This should help you to decide whether purchasing an air fryer is the right choice for you and your family.
Air Fryer’s Size & Electricity
One of the largest variables in the amount of electricity your air fryer requires is going to be the machines size.
A larger air fryer is suitable for those looking to cook more food. Ideally those who are looking to save time and money through batch cooking or simply have a larger family and therefore more mouths to feed.
Simply put cooking more food requires more power.
Air fryers work by heating the air in a confined space to a high enough temperature to cook food. If the amount of space and therefore the amount of air capacity is high, then the amount of power required to heat the area up is going to be high.
Take for example the Philips HD9220/20 with an 800g capacity. This air fryer has operates on 1425W (watts) of power.
Meanwhile, the Philips HD9240/90R1 with an increased capacity of 1.2kg operates on 2100 W of power.
This 50% increase in capacity has resulted in a 30% increase in power required to operate.
Another example is the Ninja AF101 air fryer which has a capacity of 4 quarts and requires 1,550 watts to operate and the Ninja MAX XL (model number AF161) which has a capacity of 5.5 quarts and requires 1,750 watts of power to operate.
A 35% increase in capacity between the 4 quarts and the 5.5 quarts models requires just over 12% more power.
As you can see in all cases, I’ve found that there is a direct correlation between the machines size and power consumption.
Air Fryer’s Settings & Electricity
Some air fryers (especially ultra-modern models) come with a number of different settings.
These are often on digital panels which allow you to adjust the machine based on the food you’re cooking and a number of other variables i.e. time, well done, capacity etc.
In this case certain settings are going to increase the amount of power required to run the machine.
Take for example the 6L Chefman. This ultra-modern air fryer has a number of different settings and options for users.
One example of how this machine can use more or less power based on the settings is through the option to turn on the light within the machine.
This air fryer has a window at the front by turning on the light you’ll be able to see your food better.
Alternatively, take for example the Instant Pot’s Vortex Plus air fryer. This machine has a number of different settings which allow you to air fry, bake, roast, toast, broil, dehydrate and even rotisserie your food.
Each of these different settings will require a different amount of power.
An sadly while some electrical appliances provide you with a varying indicator of watts, the air fryers I researched (including my own) don’t.
Therefore I’m unable to reliably tell you how turning on the light or setting your air fryer to dehydrate might affect the number of watts, therefore, the KWH consumption in your home, and ultimately your electric bill.
That said, it’s still something to consider when purchasing a machine and when adjusting these settings.
The Food You Cook In Your Air Fryer & Electricity
There are two ways the food you cook in your air fryer will adjust the amount of electricity consumed. These are;
- The amount of food
- How long the food takes to cook
Both of these things are relative, but I’ve listed them separately for this example.
While cooking a chicken breast in an air fryer may take 15 minutes, cooking 2 chicken breasts in an air fryer might take 20 minutes.
An while cooking 2 chicken breasts in an air fryer might take 20 minutes, cooking some fries from frozen might only take 15.
Ultimately, the amount of electricity an air fryer consumes is going to depend on how long the air fryer is turned on for and the amount of time required is going to depend on the food type and the food amount.
Sadly, there are not many ways you can get around this problem. After all, if you need to cook 3 chicken breasts for 3 people then you need to cook 3 chicken breasts, regardless of how much electricity it’s going to consume.
However, if you are planning on cooking in batches or for a large number of people then stacking your air fryer using an air fryer rack or using an air fryer basket splitter if you plan to cook more than two ingredients is going to be a more energy-efficient solution when compared to simply running the air fryer twice.
Same Food, Same Size & Same Settings = A Varied Amount Of Electricity
An just to make all that more confusing, if you took two air fryers of the same capacity, on the same settings and cooked the same amount of food in both for the same amount of time then each could still use a different amount of electricity.
This is down to the manufacturer and the design of the air fryer.
Take for example the NutriChef 3.7-quart air fryer which uses 1,300 watts and the NutriChef digital air fryer which uses 1,400 watts.
Same company, same capacity, but a difference of 100 watts. In the terms of price, you’d be paying an extra $0.13 per hour from using the 1,400-watt NutriChef air fryer when compared to the 1,300-watt NutriChef air fryer (based on an electricity rate of $0.13 Kwh).
That may not sound a lot but let’s assume we use our air fryer for just an hour a week, every week for a year. That’s roughly two meals a week cooked in the air fryer.
In which case the difference is $6.76 (based on an electricity rate of $0.13 per kWh which is currently the US average).
Energy Suppliers & The Difference In Price
Two people could buy the exact same air fryer from the store and use it for the exact same amount of time each week. However, the cost of running the machine could differ based on the cost of energy at each home.
The average cost per KWh in US homes at the time of writing is $0.13.
So let’s assume one person was paying $0.10 per Kwh and another was paying $0.15 (giving us an average of 13). Both of our test dummies used the machine for one hour a week, every week for a year.
In which case person one who pays $0.10 per Kwh would have spent $5.20 and person two who pays $0.15 per Kwh would have spent $7.80.
An increase of 50% or a difference of $2.60 a year from one appliance alone.
How Much Does It Cost To Run An Air Fryer
To make all this much easier to digest I’ve made the following table which should help you to understand how much money your air fryer costs to run.
This table isn’t going to be 100% accurate as we determined earlier that different machines despite being the same size can use a different number of watts.
However, it’s relatively close and should help you to understand the difference between the numbers and the total cost.
This table is also based on the cost of one kWh being $0.13 (as it is at the time of writing this article)
How Does The Cost Of An Air Fryer Compare To An Oven
I was unable to find much information online about how much electricity modern-day electric ovens use.
Taking an average of the two most likely suggestions (between 3,000 and 5,000 and 2,000 and 5,000) gives us 4,250 watts.
Therefore we can assume that running an oven for one hour equals 4.25kWh which at a rate of $0.13 per kWh would be $0.55.
This is significantly higher than the average 3.2-Quart air fryer which costs $0.18 per hour and a 5.8-Quart air fryer which costs $0.22 per hour.
Ultimately, running the average electric oven costs twice as much as the cost of running the average 5.8-quart air fryer.