Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer




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It’s the weekend, and the first thing you want to do is to head to the nearest McDonald’s branch just to order that red box with the golden sticks and enjoy the crispy outer layer and the tender insides!

It’s the weekend, and the only thing you have the energy to do is to head home and have some rest. The good news? You can still make those golden sticks at home! How so? By having either of these two appliances at home: the air fryer or the deep fryer.

Both air fryers and deep fryers have been recently introduced to the world of kitchen appliances because fried food is definitely everyone’s guilty pleasure.

In this article, we will provide you with a better insight on how each works, and how to make the best choice by narrowing down the scope of factors to be considered before you make your purchase.

But before we delve into details, let’s give a simple answer to the readers who are in haste:

The Short Answer:

It all comes down to two crucial factors: healthiness and taste.

Both appliances guarantee a delicious meal with crunchy exteriors and mouth-watering interiors, even if they are differently designed.

If you’re a health-conscious person and you pay utmost attention to your body’s intake of calories, then you should choose an air fryer that can use little to no oil to just coat the cooking basket before the hot air circulates through the whole container. Also if you are worried about the non-stick coating being toxic, you can go for teflon-free air fryer it’s a complete healthy deal.

If you’re merely after that heavenly taste of traditional fried food, and you want your meal to be perfectly crispy, then a deep fryer is your best bet. 

Now buckle up for a deep plunge!

Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer – Full Comparison

How Do Air Fryers Work?

An air fryer depends on using the super-heated air for cooking the food. Air blows down from a fan at the top of the fryer, and then the blown air passes through and around the food to make it cook on all sides. You only need to coat the basket with oil, set the temperature and the time needed for your food to cook, and voilà! for more detail check this post on How Does an Air Fryer Works?

How Do Deep Fryers Work?

A deep fryer similarly uses heat; namely, it uses hot oil. Typically, the food is put in a basket and is then entirely submerged into the hot oil, which guarantees the food cooks on all sides at the same time. 

The oil is an excellent heat conductor, so deep frying the food in it removes the water from the outer layer of food and makes it crispy from the outside and moisty from the inside, a taste significantly different from that of an air fryer. We also have a detailed post on how does deep fryers work check it out.

Now, was it essential to mention how each device works? Yes, because the technology used in each determines a number of other equally important factors.


By convenience, we mainly mean whether the device you choose is compatible with your needs.

An air fryer is convenient for two reasons: it performs simple-touch operations, and it is provided with a digital countdown timer and buzzer to let you know when your food is cooked.

So, if you’re a college student, or an elderly, or a busy parent, you should consider buying an air fryer to help you get around your other daily tasks.

A deep fryer is convenient for a larger family of 2 to 4 people, and it has a removable oil container with an oil pouring spout, making it easy to clean.

 So, for this category, it’s a tie!

Size and Capacity

The size and capacity of the fryer are interdependent; the larger the size, the larger the capacity. Typically, an air fryer occupies a smaller space on the counter. For example, a 1.5 to 2-pound capacity can be used to cook food for a family of four. While a deep fryer is commonly larger and takes much space because it depends on having an oil-container that fully covers the food. Anyways in another post, we reviewed The best 6 small deep fryers, make sure to check it out. 

Winner: air fryers.

Cooking Time

This one is easy to determine with unquestionable certainty: a deep fryer cooks food fast compared to an air fryer because the air takes longer to heat. 


The good news? Both are low-maintenance appliances.

Complaints about the devices are limited to problems of the plastic components wearing down or breaking off over time, but when we say “over time,” what we mean is after years of usage!

What you need to do to ensure your appliance, whether an air fryer or a deep fryer is to:

–       Routinely examine them for any signs of malfunction

–       Regularly clean the removable units 

In a nutshell, both last for long without much effort on your side.


Well, as it’s said, it’s a lot of bang for your buck!

Typically, air fryers are pricier since they use more innovative frying systems. That doesn’t mean that deep fryers are worse, technologically speaking.

Buying either is an excellent investment, though, since both display a variety of features.

One thing that you should keep in mind is that an air fryer can be used for multiple uses other than frying food; they can be used to grill, roast, or even bake.

The bottom-line? It’s a judgment call, but If  you are on budget for an air fryer check this post for Best Air Fryers under $100

Cleaning Up

If it seems trivial to you, it is crucial to busy people!

Cleaning up extends beyond the appliance. An air fryer doesn’t take much effort to clean up; you only need to get the cooking container out and clean it. Now, you might argue that it is the same for the deep fryer, well, think again. A deep fryer results in more mess as the oil vapor settles on the kitchen walls, accumulates, and takes so long to clean.

For this section, an air fryer should be your optimal choice!

Now, let’s do the maths and list the pros and cons of each appliance individually.

Air Fryers – Pros & Cons:


  • Healthier
  • Convenient for individuals who are usually in a hurry
  • Doesn’t occupy great space
  • It’s low-maintenance
  • Can be used for a variety of purposes
  • Easy to clean


  • Can make your food dryer
  • Takes a longer cooking-time
  • Pricy

Deep Fryers – Pros & Cons:


  • Gives more crispy dishes
  • More convenient for large families
  • Takes less time to get your meal ready
  • It is low-maintenance
  • Less pricy


  • Gets your food dunked into oil, and hence makes it high in calories
  • Occupies greater space on the counter
  • Takes much effort to clean

Final thoughts 💭

Now that you have enough knowledge of how each appliance works, do the maths to decide which one best fits your needs and your lifestyle. One last reminder: both yield crispy and delicious food, and you wouldn’t need to head to restaurants to have your best fried-chicken meal served.

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