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Air fryer vs deep fryer: Comparison guide to determine the healthier option | Health

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Fried food is a universal favourite, loved for its irresistible taste and delightful crispiness. From golden French fries to succulent fried chicken, frying enhances the taste and texture of many foods. No wonder fried food holds a special place in our hearts (and stomachs alike)! While the most relished fried food is the deep-fried one, air fried food has started to gain immense popularity for the health benefits it offers. In this comparison guide, air fryer vs deep fryer, we will discuss in detail how each one differs in all aspects of health, taste, cost, efficiency and safety. We will also recommend you the 8 best air fryers at the end of the guide to help you shop with ease.

Air fryer vs deep fryer: A detailed comparison to help you find the right frying solution.
Air fryer vs deep fryer: A detailed comparison to help you find the right frying solution.

But first, lets get acquainted with different types for frying techniques in brief.

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Different techniques to fry food

Frying food can be done in several ways. The most common methods include:

Deep frying: Food is completely submerged in hot oil, resulting in a crispy outside and tender inside.

Pan frying: Food is cooked in a shallow pan with a small amount of oil.

Stir-frying: Similar to pan frying but involves constant stirring, typically done in a wok.

Air frying: Uses hot air to cook food with little to no oil, aiming to mimic the results of deep frying.

Now, we’re going to delve into two popular frying methods in detail: air frying and deep frying.

Let’s start with understanding the basic difference between these two types of frying methods and the appliances used for them.

Air frying

Air frying is a cooking method that uses hot air to cook food. The air fryer circulates hot air around the food, cooking it evenly and creating a crispy layer on the outside. This method requires significantly less oil than deep frying, making it a healthier alternative. 

What is an air fryer?

An air fryer is a modern kitchen appliance that cooks food by circulating hot air around it. It uses a convection mechanism to fry foods with a fraction of the oil used in traditional deep frying. The result is a crispy, golden exterior similar to deep-fried food but with fewer calories and less fat. Air fryers come in various sizes and with different features, influencing the air fryer price.

Check out these air fryers on Amazon
 

Deep frying

Deep frying involves cooking food by immersing it completely in hot oil. This method produces a crispy and often crunchy exterior while keeping the inside moist and tender. Deep frying is known for creating that classic fried taste and texture that many people love. However, it uses a large amount of oil, which can lead to higher fat and calorie content in the food.

Also read: How to choose the best air fryer for your kitchen: A comprehensive buying guide for you

What is a deep fryer?

A deep fryer is a kitchen appliance used for deep frying. Food is submerged in hot oil, typically between 350°F and 375°F, to achieve a crispy, flavourful coating. Deep fryers can be used to cook a wide range of foods, from classic French fries to tempura and doughnuts. The deep fryer price varies based on capacity, features, and brand.

Check out these deep fryers on Amazon

Air fryer vs deep fryer – What are the key differences?

Ever wondered how air fryers and deep fryers stack up against each other? While both appliances cook food using hot air, they have several key differences that affect performance, health benefits, and convenience. Let’s break it down and see what sets them apart.

Amount of oil used

How much oil do you need? One of the biggest differences is the amount of oil used. Deep fryers need a lot of oil to fully submerge the food, whereas air fryers use little to no oil. This makes air frying not only healthier but also cheaper, as you won’t need to buy and store large quantities of oil.

Less oil means healthier cooking

Looking to eat healthier? Air fryers win here since they use less oil, producing meals with fewer calories and less fat than deep-fried foods. You get to enjoy the taste and texture of your favourite fried foods without the guilt!

Cooking time and food quantity

How long does it take to cook? Deep fryers cook food faster than air fryers. Moreover, keep in mind that air fryers often have a smaller capacity, so if you’re cooking for a crowd, you might need to do it in batches.

Safety

Worried about safety? Deep fryers can be risky due to the large amounts of hot oil, which can cause burns or even fires if not handled properly. Air fryers, with their minimal oil use and built-in safety features, offer a safer cooking experience.

Cost

Are you budget-conscious? Generally, air fryer price is more upfront than deep fryers, but you’ll save money on oil in the long run. Plus, many air fryers come with multiple cooking functions, making them a versatile addition to your kitchen.

Versatility

What can you cook? Are these appliances easy to use? Both appliances can fry foods, but air fryers are more versatile. They can also bake, roast, and grill, giving you more cooking options. Deep fryers are mainly used for frying, so they’re less flexible. We will talk about the versatility of an air fryer in detail in a later section of our comparison guide.

Now that we know the basic differences, lets talk about the health and nutrition in food from both techniques.

Also read: Best air fryers under 5000: Achieve delicious, low-fat meals with top 9 picks

Air fryer vs deep fryer: Health and nutrition

When it comes to health benefits in the air fryer vs deep fryer showdown, the air fryer is the clear winner. It reduces calorie intake by 70 to 80 percent and contains significantly less fat. Not convinced? Here are some checkpoints for you.

Air Fryer

Less oil usage: Air fryers use significantly less oil compared to deep fryers, often just a tablespoon or even less.

Lower fat and calorie content: Due to the reduced oil, foods cooked in an air fryer tend to have fewer calories and less fat.

Health benefits: Reducing oil intake can lower the risk of heart disease, reduce cholesterol levels, and support weight management.

Air fryer side effects: Some studies suggest that air fryers might reduce the formation of harmful compounds like acrylamide, but more research is needed.

Deep Fryer

High oil usage: Deep frying involves immersing food in large amounts of oil.

Higher fat and calorie content: The oil absorption during frying increases the fat and calorie content of the food.

Potential health risks: Regular consumption of deep-fried foods can lead to health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Some concerns also link high-temperature frying to the formation of potentially carcinogenic compounds.

For instance, you can air fry a batch of fries for a family of four to five using just two tablespoons of oil, while a deep fryer would require several cups of oil to achieve the same result. Would you still go for a deep fryer?

Air fryer vs deep fryer: Which one is easier to use?

Is an air fryer easy to use? Let’s find out

Air Fryer

Simple operation: Most air fryers are straightforward to use with intuitive controls.

Easy to clean: Many parts of the air fryer are dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze.

Preheat and cooking time: Air fryers usually have a short preheat time and cook food quickly.

Less messy: With minimal oil usage, air frying is much less messy than deep frying.

Deep Fryer

Careful handling needed: Deep frying requires careful handling and attention to avoid burns and spills.

Complex cleaning: Cleaning a deep fryer can be more time-consuming due to the large amount of oil.

More space required: Deep fryers typically take up more counter space and need storage space for oil.

Also read: Best air fryers for healthier cooking: Discover top 10 options for your kitchen

Air fryer vs deep fryer: Which option is more versatile?

Air fryers are incredibly more versatile than deep fryers, offering much more than just frying capabilities. They can bake, roast, and grill, making them a multifunctional asset in any kitchen. Imagine preparing crispy vegetables, juicy chicken wings, or even baking cakes and muffins—all with a single appliance. This versatility not only expands your culinary options but also saves space and money, as you don’t need multiple devices for different cooking tasks. Have you ever tried baking a cake in an air fryer? It’s surprisingly effective!

Multifunctional cooking: Air fryers can bake, roast, and grill, not just fry.

Variety of foods: Cook vegetables, chicken wings, cakes, muffins, and more.

Countertop space-saving: One appliance handles multiple cooking tasks, reducing kitchen clutter.

Cost-efficient: No need to buy separate appliances for different cooking methods.

Expanded culinary options: Enables you to try diverse recipes and cooking techniques.

Convenience: Simplifies meal preparation and cleanup.

Air fryer vs deep fryer: Which food tastes better?

Taste is undeniably subjective.

Have you noticed how deep-frying can sometimes overpower the natural flavours of foods with oiliness? Air frying tends to preserve their original flavours and textures better.

Air fryers give you a crispy outside with less oil—perfect for guilt-free fries or crispy chicken. They keep things light and fresh, but do they match the crunch of deep-fried favourites like onion rings or doughnuts? Deep fryers, on the other hand, deliver that classic, crunchy bite that’s hard to resist, just like the golden, crispy fish and chips or perfectly fried chicken.

The choice purely depends on whether you prefer lighter, healthier options or crave that deep-fried deliciousness.

Is it safe to use an air fryer?

Air fryer vs deep fryer, which one do you think is a safer option to use at home?Have you ever accidentally burned yourself while deep-frying?

With an air fryer, the danger is minimised. However, it’s important to remember that there are still potential risks, like hot surfaces and steam burns, though these are usually less severe compared to deep frying. On the other hand, deep fryers come with a higher risk of burns from hot oil and oil splatters. The risk of fire hazards is also greater with deep fryers, especially if they are used improperly or if accidents occur.

Also read: Best large air fryer choices: Explore top 10 picks for healthy cooking

Does switching to an air fryer help in weight loss?

Have you ever thought about how much oil goes into your favourite fried foods?

Switching to an air fryer can indeed help with weight loss. By using little to no oil, air fryers significantly reduce the fat and calorie content of foods compared to traditional deep frying. With an air fryer, you get to enjoy similar tastes and textures with fewer calories, making it easier to stick to a healthier diet. However, it’s still important to consider the overall nutritional value of the foods you’re cooking.

Are there any disadvantages of using an air fryer?

We have covered all the advantages of an air fryer. Here are some disadvantages of an air fryer you can consider:

Capacity limitations: Air fryers typically have smaller cooking capacities compared to traditional ovens or deep fryers. This means you may need to cook food in batches if you’re preparing meals for a larger group.

Cooking time: While air fryers are generally faster than ovens for certain foods, they can take longer than deep fryers, especially for foods that benefit from deep frying’s quick cooking in hot oil. For instance, air frying a samosa might take 30-45 minutes in an air fryer.

Texture differences: The texture of air-fried foods may not always match that of deep-fried counterparts. While they can achieve crispiness, some foods may not have the exact texture you’d get from deep frying.

Learning curve: Using an air fryer effectively may require some experimentation and adjustment to cooking times and temperatures for different foods, especially if you’re used to traditional frying methods.

Initial cost: Air fryers cost can be expensive upfront compared to basic deep fryers, although their versatility and potential long-term cost savings on oil can offset this initial investment.

Despite these drawbacks, many people find the health benefits, convenience, and versatility of air fryers outweigh these minor inconveniences.

So, did we convince you to switch to an air fryer already? If yes, here are our top 8 air fryers on Amazon you can add to your kitchen today for a healthy transformation. Also check out the user reviews to make an informed decision.

Also read: Best air fryer ovens: Top 10 picks for culinary upgrade

Best air fryers on Amazon

1. Pigeon Healthifry Digital Air Fryer

The Pigeon HealthiFry Digital Air Fryer makes healthy cooking a breeze with its 4.2-litre capacity and powerful 1200W motor. It utilizes 360° high-speed air circulation for crispy results using up to 95% less oil. Featuring a digital display and 8 preset menus, it offers convenient cooking options with quiet operation and easy cleanup.

Specifications of Pigeon Healthifry Digital Air Fryer:

Capacity: 4.2 litres

Wattage: 1200W

Material: Stainless Steel, Plastic, Aluminium

Special Feature: Digital Display, 8 preset menus

What buyers are saying on Amazon?

Buyers appreciate the air fryer’s colour and user-friendly design. However, concerns arise regarding its durability, handle, performance, and technical reliability.

2. PHILIPS Air Fryer

The Philips Air Fryer HD9200/90 is a versatile kitchen companion with a 4.1-litre capacity and powerful 1400W motor. It uses patented Rapid Air technology for even frying results with up to 90% less fat. With temperature control from 80°C to 200°C and a 60-minute timer, it can fry, bake, grill, roast, and reheat a variety of dishes effortlessly.

Specifications of PHILIPS Air Fryer

Capacity: 4.1 litres

Wattage: 1400W

Material: Plastic

Special Features: Temperature Control, Programmable

What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers appreciate the air fryer for its ability to cook healthy foods with minimal oil, resulting in well-cooked and tasty meals

3. AGARO Regency Air Fryer For Home

The AGARO Regency Air Fryer has a capacity of 12-litres and works on 1800W power. It features 360° heat circulation technology and a temperature range of 80°C to 220°C, ensuring even cooking. With 9 preset recipes, 3 assist cooking functions, and a digital display, it offers convenient cooking options from baking to roasting and toasting.

Specifications of AGARO Regency Air Fryer For Home

Capacity: 12 litres

Wattage: 1800W

Material: Stainless Steel

Special Feature: Temperature Control, Circuit overload protection, Dishwasher safe

What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers praise the air fryer for its attractive appearance, affordability, spacious size, and user-friendly design.

Also read: Best air fryers: 10 budget-friendly picks under 3000

4. INALSA Air Fryer for Home

The INALSA Air Fryer offers a spacious 4.2-liter capacity and operates at 1400W, featuring Smart AirCrisp Technology for versatile cooking. Its 360° hot air convection system cooks food faster, reducing oil usage by up to 99% for healthier meals. The appliance includes a visible cooking window, 6-in-1 functionality (air fry, bake, roast, grill, toast, reheat), and user-friendly touch controls for effortless cooking.

Specifications of INALSA Air Fryer for Home

Capacity: 4.2 litres

Wattage: 1400W

Material: Plastic

Special Feature: Temperature Control

What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers appreciate the air fryer for its high quality, health benefits, user-friendly operation, efficient oil consumption, and easy cleaning.

5. PHILIPS Air Fryer NA120/00

The Philips Air Fryer NA120/00 offers a large 4.2-liter capacity and operates at 1500W, utilizing Rapid Air Technology for even cooking with up to 90% less fat. It features a unique starfish design pan, preset menus for various cooking methods, and customizable time and temperature settings. 

Specifications of PHILIPS Air Fryer NA120/00

Capacity: 4.2 litres

Wattage: 1500W

Material: Aluminium

Special Feature: Temperature Control

What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers say that the air fried food by this air fryer tastes as good as deep fried food. It uses minimal oil they say.

 

6. Lifelong Air Fryer

The Lifelong Air Fryer LLHF25 is compact with a 2.5-liter capacity and operates at 800W, using Hot Air Circulation Technology for oil-free cooking. It features temperature control up to 180 degrees and a timer from 1 to 60 minutes, perfect for quick and efficient cooking. The non-stick basket ensures easy cleanup.

Specifications of Lifelong Air Fryer

Capacity: 2.5 litres

Wattage: 800W

Material: Plastic

Special Feature: Hot Air Circulation Technology, Temperature and Timer Control

What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers appreciate the air fryer’s user-friendly design, quality build, and minimal oil consumption. Some do not like the lack of customisable temperature modes. 

7. Prestige Nutrifry Electric Digital Air Fryer

The Prestige Nutrifry Electric Digital Air Fryer offers a spacious 4.5-liter capacity and operates at 1200 Watts, designed for efficient cooking with up to 80% less oil consumption. It features a Touch Panel with Digital Display for easy control over time and temperature settings. It has 8 preset cooking modes including options for frying, grilling, roasting, baking.

Specifications of Prestige Nutrifry Electric Digital Air Fryer

Capacity: 4.5 litres

Wattage: 1200 Watts

Material: Plastic

Special Feature: Touch Panel with Digital Display, 8 Preset Menu Options, High-Capacity Frying Basket with non-stick coating

What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers find it convenient and effective for promoting health. However, concerns have been raised about its performance.

8. Havells Air Fryer Prolife Crystal

The Havells Air Fryer Prolife Crystal offers advanced features for healthier cooking with its 5-liter capacity and 1500 Watts power. The touch control panel with LED display allows precise temperature and timer adjustment. Safety features include a child lock and overheating protection, making it user-friendly and safe for everyday use.

Specifications of Havells Air Fryer Prolife Crystal

Capacity: 5 litres

Wattage: 1500 Watts

Material: Plastic

Special Features: Touch control panel with LED display, 8 preset menu options with preheat function, Aero Crisp Technology

What are buyers saying on Amazon?

Buyers rave about the air fryer’s crispiness, praising its ability to cook delicious, flavourful food with minimal oil.

Top 3 features of the best air fryers

Best air fryers Capacity Wattage Special feature
Pigeon Healthifry Digital Air Fryer 4.2 L 1200 W 360° High Speed Air Circulation Technology
PHILIPS Air Fryer HD9200/90 4.1 L 1400 W Rapid Air Technology
AGARO Regency Air Fryer 12 L 1800 W 360° Heat Circulation Technology
INALSA Air Fryer 4.2 L 1400 W Visible Cooking Window
PHILIPS Air Fryer NA120/00 4.2 L 1500 W Rapid Air Technology with Starfish Design
Lifelong Air Fryer LLHF25 2.5 L 800 W 360° Hot Air Circulation Technology
Prestige Nutrifry Electric Digital Air Fryer 4.5 L 1200 W Touch Panel with Digital Display
Havells Air Fryer Prolife Crystal 5 L 1500 W Aero Crisp Technology

Best overall air fryer

The Pigeon HealthiFry Digital Air Fryer excels with its 4.2-litre capacity and powerful 1200W motor. Using 360° high-speed air circulation, it achieves crispy results with up to 95% less oil. Featuring a digital display and 8 preset menus, it ensures convenient cooking with quiet operation and easy cleanup, making it a top choice for healthy, hassle-free meals.

Best value for money air fryer

The Lifelong Air Fryer LLHF25 stands out as the best value for money with its compact 2.5-liter capacity and efficient 800W operation. Utilizing Hot Air Circulation Technology, it ensures oil-free cooking with precise temperature control up to 180 degrees and a versatile timer from 1 to 60 minutes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while both air fryers and deep fryers have their merits, an air fryer emerges as a better choice for many. It offers healthier cooking with significantly less oil, resulting in lower fat and calorie content in your favourite fried foods. This means you can enjoy crispy delights like fries and chicken guilt-free. Whether you’re looking to manage your weight or simply enjoy a lighter cooking approach without sacrificing taste, an air fryer proves to be a worthwhile investment for your kitchen.

Similar articles for you

Best air fryers: Top 10 brand choices to elevate your cooking

Best air fryers under 5000: Top 10 picks to relish fried food without guilt

Best air fryers: 10 best options to help you achieve your health goals

Best air fryer: Explore our top 10 picks guide for an informed choice

 

FAQs on air fryers vs deep fryers

1. What are the main differences between air fryers and deep fryers?

Air fryers cook food using hot air circulation, requiring little to no oil, while deep fryers submerge food in hot oil for cooking.

2. Which is healthier, air frying or deep frying?

Air frying is generally considered healthier as it uses significantly less oil, reducing fat and calorie intake compared to deep frying.

3. Can you achieve the same crispy texture with air frying as with deep frying?

Air fryers can produce a crispy exterior similar to deep frying, but the texture may not be exactly the same due to the absence of oil immersion.

4. Are air fryers more versatile than deep fryers?

Yes, air fryers can bake, roast, grill, and fry, offering more cooking options compared to deep fryers, which are primarily used for frying foods.

Disclaimer: At Hindustan Times, we help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and products. Hindustan Times has an affiliate partnership, so we may get a part of the revenue when you make a purchase. We shall not be liable for any claim under applicable laws, including but not limited to the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, with respect to the products. The products listed in this article are in no particular order of priority.

 


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