Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer: The Similarities and Differences

Delicious, fried food is everybody’s fantasy; we simply can’t stop ourselves when we see a plate of hot fries or crispy wings. Frying is an easy method to cook chicken, vegetables, bread and meat but deep frying requires a reliable appliance. Some common appliances used to cook these dishes are air fryers and deep dryers. While air fryer does not fry food in a traditional manner, yet it is gaining a lot of popularity. Now let’s compare air fryer vs deep fryer. What are the key performance differences, and which one should you buy when you are on your next shopping spree!

How does an air fryer work?

Air fryers are considered to be the most important invention in the culinary world in the recent times. It is a compact appliance which requires less energy, cooks healthier food and makes the food crispy. The important question here is how does an air fryer work?

Principle of convection

Air fryers primarily work on the principle of convection. A device inside the air fryer heats the air, this hot air slowly rises above and spreads across. In addition to the natural hot air movement, an additional fan, is also incorporated in the air fryer which further helps in circulation. This hot air helps the food to become soft and reduces cooking time. Thus, food is quickly cooked in a high intensity environment. The food is then placed in a basket which has small holes this allows the air to flow freely.

A very small amount of oil is required. Hence a lot of people prefer air fryers because they use minimum quantity of oil, making the food healthier. This is in fact great for patients suffering from cholesterol, diabetes or heart diseases. The oil free enables people to fight obesity in a better manner. My own aunt is a huge foodie. But due to health constraints she couldn’t eat fried potatoes, butter wings, and stuff like that. With the introduction of air fryer in her life, things became easier and accessible for her. She now cooks all sorts of food in an instant.

Size of an air fryer

An air fryer is usually 1 square foot in size, they are 16 to 18 inches in height which makes the appliance highly suitable for smaller kitchens as well as they do not require a lot of space.

Benefits of Air Frying

An air fryer can make your life really easy while also ensuring you eat healthy food. This combination is rare to find but air fryer does provide that option. Here are some of the most important benefits of an air fryer that you can surely not miss.

Health Benefits

Everybody says health is wealth and it resonates even true when we don’t feel really well. Health should always be valued and to maintain a healthy lifestyle it is important that we adopt healthier practices. Apart from exercise, the food you eat is equally important. Air frying uses 70 to 100 percent less oil which means that all the food you cook absorbs less food. Lesser the oil, lesser the calories which means greater benefits for your health

Quick cleanup

Unlike other devices air fryer is very to clean and does not require hours of effort. The frying baskets, racks and other internal devices of an air fryer are nonstick, they do not get damaged in dishwashers and are really strong. Once the food is cooked, the air fryer can immediately be cleaned which helps in removal of all sorts on unwanted odors. Well, at least now we won’t be fearful that our dishes will stink in the morning once we try to wash them.

Enhanced safety

I remember whenever I used to cook, I burnt my hand because at the end of the cooking process I touched the hot pot. This has made my cooking experience dreadful but with air fryers this fear has been buried forever. Outside surface of an air fryer is designed to be cool to touch. There is also no chance of hot oil spilling over your clothes or your children because it cooks food with minimum oil. Apart from that there is no threat of an air fryer bursting out with food if the pressure increases, with a pressure cooker many such incidents have happened. I remember my mother in law cooking her favorite stew in a pressure cooker once, she forgot to time the dish correctly and released the pressure before time which resulted in huge explosion. Such incidents could be scary and with introduction of air fryers all of this hassle simply ends.

How does a deep fryer work?

Deep fryer is a conventional appliance, being used for many years. In a deep fryer we heat oil up to 350 to 375-degree Fahrenheit. The food is submerged in this burning oil and then cooked for a considerable amount of time. The intense heat denatures enzymes, proteins and softens dietary fiber within the food thus giving food the perfect fried texture. The food is lowered into the oil using a cooking basket and is also used to later remove the food from the pool of oil. On average two to six cups of oil is required for household use but this oil needs to be removed after a day or so otherwise it could leave a bad odor, or the food might not get cooked properly.

Size of a deep fryer

The deep fryer is almost of the same size as that of an air fryer. The average size is 16 to 18 inches in height, but larger models of the appliance are also available.

Benefits of deep fryers

Cook comfort food with ease: From crispy chicken nuggets to sizzling prawns to hot fish, fried food is everybody’s go to option but not everybody loves cooking them as well. I also love eating all these food items but I can’t cook them for hours because I do not have the patience. Deep fryers provide an easy option because the food is cooked in high intensity oil so the cooking time is considerably reduced, and you can get your plate of loaded fries in less than 15 minutes.

Vegetable antioxidants

Vegetables fried in dryer fryers have higher level of antioxidants in comparison to vegetables boiled in water, a higher level of antioxidants in food will reduce risk of heart diseases and cancer, they reduce the damage caused by oxidation.

Should you Buy an Air Fryer or Deep Fryer?

Well, after understanding both the appliances in such depth, it is now decision time. So how do we decide which one is better? Here are some important factors to consider.


There is no debate over the fact that food cooked in a deep fryer is crispier and absolutely delicious. Although air fryers can produce a crispy exterior, but the true taste only comes when food is cooked in a deep fryer. There is nothing which can replace the consistency offered by a deep fryer.


In terms of efficiency air fryer is much better than the deep fryer because it is custom made for quick, easy and healthy cooking. The internal circulation of hot air and pre-installed fan help the internal mechanism to be extra smooth thus air fryer clearly wins in this category.


Air fryer uses minimum oil and there could be nothing better than this. Doctors recommend us all to cook in minimum oil and air fryer help us to follow their command. Due to the reduced oil usage in oil and clean method cooking, air fryer offers a much healthier option. In terms of health benefits, air fryer is once again a winner in this category.


If you want to have an appliance that could cook more than just fried food, then one should definitely opt or air fryer. You can also buy extra devices to grill and roast food in an air fryer. Fun fact: you can even bake desserts in an air fryer! The process might be a little complicated but if you are dedicated then this isn’t an impossible task. But even deep fryers can cook a lot of stuff so in terms of versatility, both are almost equal, but air fryer has a slighter edge.


Air fryer provide an easy cleaning option, the frying basket and many other devices are covered in nonstick coating. The fryer itself can easily be cleaned using a damp cloth. On the other hand, deep fryer can only be cleaned once all the oil is removed and it is important to ensure that fryer is cool before disposal. Air fryer wins in this category.

Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer Final Verdict

Five years ago, deep fryer would have been a clear choice for any food lover, but times have changed, priorities have changed and so have our choices. Today everyone prefers or at least tries to opt for a healthier, safer option therefore air fryer is a winner here. It might be slightly expensive but once you make it a habit to cook in air fryer then one becomes accustomed to it. However, if you only want to have delightful food which swings your head off then go with a deep fryer.

3 thoughts on “Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer: The Similarities and Differences”

  1. Air fryer is definitely the winner in this case. Almost everybody prefers healthy food over delightful food. And yes it’s a bit costly, but considering its benefits, it is definitely worth buying.

  2. I’ve got both and I only realized that the food cooked in a deep fryer tastes different than the food cooked in an air fryer after I used both. Both are great appliances but I use air fryer more often.


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