Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer

With the increasing popularity of air fryers, the question of why it’s a good investment is still a question many ask themselves before purchasing a new small appliance. The answer, however, depends upon a variety of considerations, including: health goals, time, and clean-up, which is where the basic differences lie. So, to discover which best suits your cooking needs, keep reading this article: Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer.

Similarities: Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer

Both air frying and deep frying provide a delicious, crispy outer finish while keeping the inside juicy and tender by placing food in a basket and cooking it inside a small appliance that fits on the kitchen counter top. When needed, both air fryers and deep fryers can be taken out of their respective places on the shelf and settled on the counter. Once the food is ready and the appliance is cleaned, it can go right back in a cabinet or shelf. Because newer models are both small, modern, and sleek in design, they can also be stored on the counter top without much notice or fanfare.

As far as cooking results, air fryers and deep fryers both provide similar results–a crispy outer layer or crust and a juicy inside due to the cooking process. Both air fryers ( through rapid air technology) and deep fryers (through hot oil submersion) lock in moisture and create the crispy texture most people love about fried food. Foodies crave food like fried chicken, French fries, onion rings, mozzarella cheese sticks, fried pickles, catfish and other fried delicacies, which cook beautifully in both appliances.

Differences:  Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer

When operating a deep fryer, cook the food by placing it in in the basket and submerging it in preheated oil that can withstand high temperatures–typically, vegetable, canola, and peanut. During this process, the food is saturated in oil and cooked from all sides, which provides a crisp finish that is even on all sides. While the result is hot, evenly cooked, delicious food, the downside is a higher rate of oil absorption, which increases calories and saturated fats. For this reason–and the messy oil cleanup–a lot of home cooks don’t use their deep fryers daily, and some, only  sparingly.

An air fryer, on the other hand, uses rapid air technology, which circulates hot air all around the food in a way that parrots oil submersion in a deep fryer. However, because an air fryer requires only a few spritzes of of oil, the food’s moisture is locked in by the oil, and the oil gives it the crispy outer finish people love about deep fried food. While you will have to shake the basket or flip the food throughout the cooking process for a more even result, the food retains its nutrients and only absorbs a fraction of the fat it would contain if deep fried. In addition, preheating takes only 2-3 minutes, and clean up is a breeze with non-stick, dishwasher safe baskets and chambers.

Conclusion: Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer

Deep fryers certainly have their place in the kitchen and provide great-tasting food that is difficult to replicate in any appliance, including an air fryer. However, due to the fat added to deep fried foods and the depletion of nutrients throughout the cooking process, a deep fryer is an appliance that should be used only occasionally by health-conscious cooks. While an air fryer does not perfectly replicate a deep fryer with every food variety, it provides the best, healthiest alternative for daily, in-home use.