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27th Oct 2023

Warning issued to people who use air fryer rather than an oven

If you’ve been using an air fryer instead of an oven then you may need to keep reading.

Martin Lewis isn’t convinced that air fryers are actually a much cheaper and healthier option than traditional ovens, IGV reported.

On an episode of his The Martin Lewis Podcast, the expert explained that while a microwave consistently provides heat, an oven warms up to a temperature before topping up, meaning it isn’t at full power the entire time it is cooking.

Lewis says: “A microwave gives you consistent heat whereas an oven is warming up to full temperature and then topping it up so it isn’t running at full power the whole time.

“If you were doing a full roast dinner and you were cooking many [jacket potatoes], it’s probably cheaper [putting them in the oven] than putting five or six jacket potatoes in a microwave because each additional object you put in a microwave, you need to keep it on longer because a microwave just heats the individual object.”

But, if you just wanted one jacket potato, which would take about 10 minutes to cook, Lewis advised it would be “far cheaper” to use a microwave.

Applying some math, Lewis advised, a person could work out whether it was best to use an oven or air fryer for each meal.

The equation involves finding the wattage of an item and then calculating how many kilowatts, or what fraction of a kilowatt it’s using, before multiplying that by 34p per hour of use, IGV reported.

But here’s where it gets tricky.

An oven is about 2,000W, while a 1,000W microwave used for 10 minutes would cost approximately 6p.

So if someone is cooking something small and simple, it is probably cheaper in the microwave or air fryer.

The Money Edit backs up Lewis’ advice, noting in an article in February, that “generally”, air fryers are “cheaper to use” than an oven.

However, as a caveat, it warned if someone owns a more powerful air fryer, they could be using the same amount of energy as an oven.

For example, the 2,000W air fryer costs 34p per, which is 13p more than an oven.

Cooking the same food twice in an 800W air fryer could cost over 26p, which is more expensive than cooking in an oven.

Lewis has previously warned that his advice about using air fryers has been misrepresented in media reports and that he had simply given a “straight explanation” over wattage costs per hour, rather than saying air fryers could cost more.