Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer

You are here because you love fried food but not sure which to choose between air fryer vs deep fryer. It depends on the preferences of the frying process which these two fryers differ.

No doubt both fryers produce enjoyable fried foods such as french fries, meat, vegetables, potatoes, and more with a crunchy texture.

The main difference of the air fryer vs deep fryer is the method used in frying the food. The air fryer uses a convection method that includes the circulation of hot air to cook the food and uses less oil or none. On the other hand, deep fryers use lots of oil to deep fry food which can be unhealthy. It makes use of the traditional conventional cooking process.

Cooking with less oil or none is the reason the air fryer has been marketed as a healthy cooking appliance. So if you are into healthy cooking, air fryers are the ideal choice to buy.

For traditional deep-fried food, the deep fryer is the best bet for you.

If you are not sure yet which is best for frying your home fries, read on to distinguish the differences, pros, and cons, performance, cost and other outstanding features of each frying appliance.

Also Read: Convection Oven vs Conventional Oven

Air Fryer Overview

An air fryer is designed to solve the problem of excessive consumption of oil from food cooked through deep frying. It offers alternative healthy ways of frying food with hot air hence using less oil or none.

How does an air fryer work?

Air fryers work by using the principle of convection. It consists of heating elements that produce the hot air and then circulated with the help of a fan.

The hot air is spread across efficiently to all parts of the pot to ensure food id fried evenly.

It is this hot air that cooks food faster and gives it a crispy texture and browning finish.

With rising cholesterol, heart diseases, obesity, etc, its time to reduce the intake of cooking oil or fat for a healthier body.

An air fryer is an electric appliance that wont hurt your electricity bills.

There are many cooking functions you can do with an air fryer which makes it more versatile than a deep fryer. Most of the air fryer can air fry, roast, bake, grill, dehydrate, etc.


  • Fries healthier foods
  • Versatile
  • Cheaper to operate
  • Cost-effective with 80% oil reduced usage
  • Available in many sizes
  • Faster cooking
  • Easy cleaning with some parts being dishwasher safe
  • Enhanced safety features


  • Air fryer with the quality features are slightly pricy
  • Cant achieve the crunchy and taste of a deep fryer
  • Risk of black crust build-up

Also Read: What Can You Cook In An Air Fryer?

Deep Fryer Overview

The deep fryers have been used for years to deep fry foods using the conventional process. Food is cooked inside hot oil-producing crunchy and delicious foods.

Since the food is submerged inside the hot oil, it can cook food evenly and faster even than an air fryer. The oil is heated at 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can cook a variety of food like french fries, turkey or chicken, potatoes and other fried foods.

A basket is used to lower the food into the boiling oil and also remove the food easily.

Just like air fryers, deep fryers come in different sizes to suit all capacities of cooking. The average size is about 16 to 18 inches in height but also you can buy a smaller or large size of deep fryers.


  • Evenly cooked food
  • Affordable to buy
  • Faster cooking process
  • Delicious, brown and crunchy fried food
  • Alarm and timers alert you when the food is ready therefore preventing overcooked food.
  • Easy temperature control and usage
  • Oil filters to allow reuse of oil multiple times
  • The basket prevents food soaking


  • Less healthy due to excessive cooking oil
  • Not much versatile
  • The cost to operate can be expensive

Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer: Differences

The fryer may have some similarities but they are completely different in major aspects. Here are some of the major differences between an air fryer and a deep fryer.

  • Air fryers use the convection cooking process while deep fryers use a conventional method. Hot air circulates in an air fryer to cook the food while deep fryers cook using hot boiled oil.
  • Food from deep fryers has a thicker crispier crust due to oil penetrating the food.
  • Air fryers require little to none oil to cook while deep fryers require lots of oil to submerge foods inside.
  • Easy clean up for air fryers than deep fryers due to the oil amount used.
  • Air fryers are more versatile than deep fryers. Air fryers can air fry, roast, grill, bake, dehydrate, and more. Deep fryers can only fry foods.
  • Food comes out dry from an air fryer than a deep fryer which uses a lot of oil.

Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer: Comparison

Comparison Table Summary

FactsAir FryerDeep Fryer
How they CookHot air Hot oil
HealthinessMuch healthier Less healthy
Typical UsesVersatile: Frying, baking, grilling, and roasting Only Deep frying
Cooking Time (fries and snacks)10 to 20 minutes 3 to 5 minutes (Faster)
Food TasteGreat taste depending on recipeCrunchy and tastier
SafetySafer to use Poses some risk
Ease of CleanupEasier A little hectic
Average Prices$100 to $300 $50 to $250

Let’s compare the two frying appliances to determine which is better to buy. People have different preferences and the below features and factors influence the purchasing decisions.


There are many kitchen appliances we wish to buy but the price becomes a barrier. So, at first glance, the air fryers can seem to be expensive due to their initial buying prices.

The good news is the air fryers are cost-effective to use overtime, unlike deep fryers. They require less oil or none to cook food and also they are energy efficient.

Deep fryers come at a lower buying price but the operating cost is expensive with overtime use. It requires a lot of oil which has to be replaced after two or more frying rounds.

Cooking Times

If you are conscious about the cooking times of the fryers, then a deep fryer is faster in frying food. For instance, french fries can be cooked within 3 to 5 minutes while the same can take about 10 to 20 minutes in an air fryer.


With many diseases associated with poor eating habits and cooking methods, it’s good to consider the healthiness of these fryers.

The great thing with frying food is the crispiness and brown texture that comes from using oil. Using an air fryer reduces the amount of oil used thus promoting healthy cooking.

More oil or fat leads to more calories and therefore using an air fryer is healthier than a deep fryer.

Due to the oil usage, cooking some of the common foods produces the following calories.

  • Fried Chicken = 3038 Calories Vs 1830 Calories
  • Fish & Chips = 1087 Calories Vs 600 Calories
  • Scampi & Chips = 975 Calories Vs 424 Calories
  • French Fries = 687 Calories Vs 267 Calories
  • Onion Rings = 411 Calories Vs 176 Calories
  • Chicken Nuggets = 305 Calories Vs 180 Calories

An air fryer is capable of cooking food with 80% less fat compared to deep-fried foods.


If the goal for your fried foods is taste, then a deep fryer is your go-to fryer. This does not mean air fryer cant fry tasty foods but the deep-fried foods have a crunchy and delicious taste hard to beat.

Capacity & Size

Both fryers have different sizes and capacities that cater to small frying up to large batch frying of foods. The overall size of air fryers is a smaller size that is suitable for small kitchens or space-saving on the kitchen countertop.

Most of the deep fryers on the market come with a large capacity ideal for frying large batches of food at once. The problem with large deep fryers is the storage space they require.

There are smaller sizes of deep fryers that can fit the home kitchen. Air fryers are better if you looking for a fryer than can fit your kitchen counter and require less storage space.


An air fryer is safer than a deep fryer since the food is enclosed inside the cooking pot and covered with a lid. It has safety features to ensure the air fryer can cause any accidents.

Most of the air fryers are equipped with auto shut off function to switch off the fryer in case of a problem.

On the other hand, the deep fryers need careful use since the food is not enclosed. You need to keep a distance while frying to avoid the hot oil from burning you in case of a fire outbreak.

Versatility & Performance

In modern cooking, a versatile appliance is vital for everyday cooking tasks. An air fryer, in this case, is more versatile than a deep fryer.

With a standard air fryer, you can air fry, roast, grill, and bake food.

The deep fryer is designed for only frying foods without extra functionalities like the air fryer. In terms of the performance, the deep fryer cooks quality fried food faster, evenly and with the best taste.

With an air fryer, you get an appliance with multiple cooking functionalities utilized in cooking a wide variety of meals.


To get a rich feature fryer, you have to pay more. High-end air fryers and deep fryers come at a higher price but their plenty features help in easy operation and increase the cooking efficiency.

You may find programmable timers, adjustable temperature controls, digital screens, wireless controls, removable parts, etc.

The quality air fryers come with pre-programmed settings for consistency eliminating guesswork in cooking food. The Cosori Wifi air fryer comes wireless connectivity to utilize thousands of recipes from an app.

It also offers convenience and ease of use preparing different recipes for meals.

Maintenance & Clean up

With the proper maintenance, both fryers can last long and enjoy cooking without issues. Air fryers are very easy to maintain as all required is to clean the parts. With less oil being used, cleaning an air fryer is easy and also can be cleaned with a dishwasher.

Deep fryers require regular draining or filtering of the oil and also cleaning the cooking surface. The cleaning process is not because of the fat and greasy parts.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Fryer

There are some important features and factors to look for when buying a fryer regardless of an air fryer or a deep fryer.


The budget on how much to spend determines the appliance to buy. Fryers with plenty of features, bigger size, and reputable brands come at a higher cost.

The fact deep fryer has a lower cost of purchase can range between $50 to $200.

A quality fryer can cost between $70 to $300 on Amazon and other online retailers.


Ensure to look for features that enable easy operation, safety, efficiency in cooking with the fryer.

Most of the mid-priced and high-end fryers come with quality features for convenience and consistency results when cooking.

What you pay is what you get.


Small fryers are ideal for cooking small batches of food for a small number of people.

If you need to cook for a large crowd, a large capacity fryer is better. Cooking a whole chicken of turkey would require a large capacity deep fryer or an air fryer.

Air fryers can be available from 1.5 quarts to 16 quarts.


Its also good to consider how easy is to operate the fryer, maintain, clean, and storage space. Air fryers are easy to clean with some parts being dishwasher safe and the fact they use less to no oil for cooking.

A deep fryer may produce some smells and are challenging to clean compared to air fryers.

Type Of Use

The intend of using the fryer can be good to help decide between a deep fryer and an air fryer. If you want more than just frying, then an air fryer is more versatile to cook other functions like roasting, grilling, and baking.


The wattage is also important to consider to save some power bills or fulfill the intended cooking functions. Most of the quality air fryer range from 700 watts to 1800 watts.

Cooking Times

The time taken to cook the meals is a great factor to consider for fryers. Both fryers cook faster but the deep fryers fry food quicker than air fryers.

Temperature Settings

The fryer should have options for temperature control for easy control and convenience. Adjustable temperature settings give the user total control over the cooking process.

Most of the quality air fryers and deep fryers come with a variety of temperature settings.


Can using the fryer affect your health? Different cooking methods have an impact on human health and this why you need to consider the healthiness of the fryer to buy.

As determined above, the air fryers are a clear winner when it comes to healthy cooking.


Choosing a fryer from a renowned brand is a great thing to consider. These brands have many years of experience and resources to manufacture quality fryers which meets the standards of the regulatory bodies.

A good example of great brands to choose from includes Philips, Secura, Cosori, Black N Decker, Cuisinart, GoWise USA, T-fal, etc.


Which is a better air fryer or deep fryer?

It depends on one’s preference either to use a deep fryer or an air fryer. In general, air fryer is better for healthy cooking, versatility, low operation cost, space-saving.

Deep fryers cook tastier food than air fryers but the oil used can lead to more calory consumption. Air fryers are the future fryers one should invest in.

Can an air fryer replace a deep fryer?

The answer is no. An air fryer only gives you an alternative healthier way of frying food with less oil or none. This results in more dry crispy fried food than deep-fried food which has a crunchy and delicious taste.

Does air fried food taste as good as deep-fried?

Since food cooked in an air fryer uses less oil than deep-fried food, it tends to have leaner taste than deep-fried foods. The fried food in an air fryer wont looks like food from a deep fryer due to their difference in cooking method.

Deep-fried food tastes better than air fried foods.

Can I fry battered food in an air fryer?

It’s not a good idea to fry battered foods in an air fryer because it causes a mess once the batter drips in the bottom of the air fryer.

Does an Air Fryer make food crispy?

Yes, with the new air fryers in the market, you can make crispy food with a golden brown. Make sure to spray some oil to the food for the perfect browning and crispy texture.


There you have it! The comparison of air fryer vs deep fryer comes down to the intended use of the fryer and preference.

The air fryer is a clear winner for healthy cooking due to the use of less oil, a reduction of about 80%. If you are keen on calories, the air fryer is the ideal fryer to buy.

Also, the versatility of air fryers gives them an edge over the deep fryers. You can roast, bake, grill, dehydrate, fry with air fryers, unlike the deep fryer which can only deep fry food.

Deep fryer cook tasty fried food like french fries and come at an affordable price.

All in all, it comes to the preference and goals to achieve while cooking with either fryer.

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