Energy bills are rising and many families are wracking their brains about how to reduce their bills. Manchester Evening News reporter Kate McAuliffe tests an air fryer and oven to see what works best for a particular meal
(Image: Kate Mcauliffe)
Energy bills are rising, increasing the financial burden on families during the cost of living crisis.
On a mission to cut their bills in the kitchen, Manchester evening news Reporter Kate McAuliffe tests an air fryer and oven to see which is cheapest.
Of course, their experiment only considers one meal, so you might find that other dishes – with different cooking times – produce different results.
It also depends on how much you are currently paying for your energy and how efficient and large your air fryer is.
But in general, Uswitch’s energy experts say an air fryer can be a cheaper way to cook if it’s smaller than your oven and heats up quickly.
This is usually a newer model that is more energy efficient. Older air fryers that are larger and slower to heat can still guzzle a lot of energy.
Amidst the current soaring energy prices, I have become increasingly curious to explore alternatives to my daily energy consumption in the hope that I can find cheaper ways of living.
I discussed the topic with a friend of mine, Ellie, and she told me that according to her smart meter, mealtimes are the most expensive part of the average day.
So I decided to test the most cost-effective method of cooking food between an air fryer and an oven.
Are you afraid to pay your energy bill? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
To do this effectively, I enlisted the help of Ellie so I could use her nifty smart meter to check the cost of the energy peak at the exact time I was cooking with each of the devices.
Your energy supplier is Bulb, one of the UK’s leading green energy providers.
Looking back at GSCE science reminded me that in order for this to be a fair and accurate test, I needed to control my variables. I cooked the same meal, vegan cauliflower wings, at the same time at 12:30 p.m. over a two-day period.
To ensure that the readings only reflect the energy used to cook our food, I made sure that no additional energy was used in the time surrounding our cooking.
After arriving at Ellie’s on the first day, we prepped the cauliflower and set it up impressively Ninja Dual Air Fryer. The original recipe called for 30 minutes in the oven, so we decided to cut that time in half and set the air fryer to 200 degrees for 15 minutes.
The process was very quick, once we placed the wings in the device all we had to do was press ‘go’ and that was it.
How the energy bill crisis is affecting you
In hindsight we could have run the air fryer even shorter as the cauliflower wings were a bit too overdone, but overall it was a success and the wings were delicious.
The smart meter graph later showed the cost of running the hot air fryer to cook the cauliflower at 200 degrees for 15 minutes had been just 20p.
Given that the cost could easily have been reduced with shorter cooking times or using lower heat to avoid slightly scorching the food, we agreed that the air fryer was a quick and inexpensive way to cook.
The next day we repeated the same routine, only this time we cooked in the oven. We set it to 200 degrees, the same temperature we used with the air fryer, and put it on the convection setting.
It took the oven 11 minutes to heat up and then we cooked the cauliflower wings on a baking sheet for another 30 minutes.
The graph showed that the cost of using the oven for 41 minutes at 200ºC was a staggering 42p, more than double that of using the air fryer.
- Time: 15 minutes.
- Flavor: Delicious, but slightly dry and slightly scorched.
- Cost: 20 p.
- Time: 41 minutes.
- Taste: Perfectly cooked and juicier than in the air fryer.
- Cost: 42p.
The hot air fryer emerged as the clear winner in both the cost and time categories.
Using an air fryer saved 26 minutes and cost 22p less than using the oven. If I used the oven that long every day for over a month I would end up spending about £6.60 more than using an air fryer.
Over a year I would save £79.20 switching appliances if I only cooked one meal a day.
While the oven gave marginally better results on the taste test, I think it’s a small price to pay to save more than half the cost.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/i-compared-energy-cost-air-26719103 "I compared the energy costs of an air fryer to an oven and one was definitely cheaper."