Air fryers use a range of wattage – typically anywhere from about 900 to as much as 2200 Watts of electricity for larger models. This converts to about 0.9 kWh up to 2.2 kWh per hour of use. But on average, energy consumption would run in the 1500 Watt range for a mid-size air fryer.
Compared to conventional ranges, air fryers have notably less power and that’s to be expected. Air fryers are countertop/tabletop units that are both compact and portable. Full-size stove/oven combinations on the other hand are larger, stationary appliances that are designed to stay in a single location.
A Key Factor in Choosing an Air Fryer
In today’s marketplace, there are literally dozens of different brands and models of air fryers and lots of different features are promoted by manufacturers to woo customers. One of the most important variables to consider is the amount of electricity (power) each air fryer uses. Most air fryers are capable of cooking and crisping a variety of dishes. But some are better equipped to do it faster, in slightly larger quantities – and more efficiently.
Larger air fryers can be useful when batch cooking, or to serve larger families. But depending on how you use your air fryer, a small air fryer can certainly be a useful appliance too since normally you can only cook one dish at a time.
But what you need to pay attention to is the wattage offered with each air fryer. The reason is to make sure your air fryer is up to the task. If you are planning to cook larger volumes of food – you’re going to need a larger air fryer and one that has more power. That’s a given. So if you’re in this market, don’t even bother looking at the numerous smaller models available.
How Air Fryers Work
The way air fryers work is similar to convection ovens. The heating element generates hot air inside the fryer and the fan next to the element blows that air at significant force so it flows over and around the food inside the cooking basket. It’s this forced air cooking that gives air-fried food that deliciously crispy coating on the outside – while making the inside soft, moist and perfectly cooked.
Generally speaking, air fryers are far more compact units when compared to any standard size home oven. But the size of air fryers varies considerably. What you should keep in mind is that the more interior space an air fryer has – the higher the wattage required for cooking a full load of food.
Size May Matter
There’s a clear correlation between the size of an air fryer and the power it’s going to require to function effectively. That’s why you should expect to see higher wattage ratings on the larger models available. How many watts of power an air fryer offers should be one of the important numbers you consider before purchasing. If you’re standing in front of a display model, you can typically find the wattage on a label somewhere on the unit.
And if you’re shopping online for an air fryer, chances are you’ll find the wattage listed in the title or description. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find the information you want. But in almost every case, it’s there for the taking and it’s something you shouldn’t take lightly.
Consider your immediate air fryer requirements, as well as your projected needs in the not too distant future. If you are buying an air fryer for the first time, you might opt to try a smaller unit first. But if you’ve used an air fryer before and tasted the food it produces, you might want to opt for a larger model to serve more people, cook multiple food at once, or to batch cook your favorites.
The Need For Power
Three important considerations when cooking with an air fryer and how much power it is going to require include:
1. How much food is in the basket
2. The temperature you’re cooking at
3. The duration you’re going to cook this food for
Keep in mind that any wattage rating for any electrical device indicates the maximum power output. That means it’s not necessarily using all the power at its disposal and lower temperatures and cooking times will use notably less power than higher temperatures and extended cooking.
A Larger Air Fryer Offers More
If you plan on cooking more than one dish at a time, you might want to choose an air fryer with a larger basket – one that separates the food easily. You may find that this is a more energy efficient solution compared to running two separate batches in order to cook the same volume of food. It’s also a better option if you’re cooking for multiple family members.
As of this writing, the average cost for electricity in the United States (according to the energy information administration EIA) is 14.2 cents per kilowatt hour. Individually, it doesn’t seem like much. But, like compounding interest (and late fees) those seemingly insignificant amounts can add up quickly.
Costs To Operate
The actual cost of running an air fryer can vary depending on your particular cost for electricity.
Compared to a conventional oven, the costs are considerably lower when cooking with an air fryer. That’s to be expected given the vast difference in size.
For a conventional range, the average is anywhere from 2500 Watts up to 5000 Watts of power. Keep in mind that these are large ovens. They take longer to cook the food inside, so a standard oven is going to run longer and draw power over extended periods. It may take twice as long to cook the same food while using twice as much power to do so. So it would cost at least twice as much or more to run a standard range as it would a large size air fryer.
Why is it important to know how many watts an air fryer uses? Well for one, it’s practical from a use point of view. It’s also good to know how much additional electricity you’ll be using by adding another appliance.
Have you ever received a bill that seemed to be higher than expected? Typically the first reaction is to question the accuracy of your billing. The second reaction is to figure out where you might have ramped up electricity usage without noticing and the third is to look at ways to cut costs.
Air Fryers Are Economical To Use
The good news is that it’s quite economical and affordable to purchase and operate an air fryer. Air fryers cook food faster and the taste is often better than you can get from a full-size oven. Most foods cook thoroughly in 15 – 20 minutes, so you probably won’t be running your air fryer too long at one time.
One factor to keep in mind is that if your air fryer has been damaged or is defective but still functional – it may use more electricity than normal.
Compared to other kitchen appliances, air fryers are notably more energy efficient and therefore more economical. As an example a standard oven often takes twice as long to cook the same food and it uses twice as much power to do so.
Three Primary Factors that Determine Energy Consumption
In short, there are three keys that determine how much energy an air fryer uses. These include:
Number One: the capacity or size of the fryer
Number Two: the temperature at which the air fryer is set
Number Three: the amount of time the air fryer is running to cook your food
A small starter air fryer is going to use very little power to cook a single or double order of French fries right out of the freezer. But if you’re using the same air fryer for an extended period of time, well, obviously you’re going to use more power. The larger your air fryer is – the greater the amount of electricity it’s going to consume every time it gets used.
Higher temperatures mean more power is needed to keep the fryer operating consistently at the same temperature over the duration of the cooking time. How much time it takes to cook will impact electricity usage to some degree as well.
That’s why it’s important to consider what type of food you are planning to cook in the air fryer. Some foods are going to take longer to cook – that’s just the way it is. It doesn’t matter if you’re cooking in an air fryer or regular oven. But if you’re cooking something that’s going to take 20 minutes until it’s done to perfection it’s going to use more power than something that only requires 10 minutes at 300°F.
Unplug When Not In Use
Keep in mind that your air fryer is only going to be using electricity while you’re cooking. When you’re done preparing your meal or snack, make it a habit to unplug your air fryer. That way there’s no chance of it drawing any unnecessary electricity. An appliance like a refrigerator needs to run all the time and is constantly using electricity. So even though its energy consumption per hour is low – it’s running all the time and those costs add up.
Air fryers use less power than deep fryers, microwaves and of course – traditional ovens. One easy way to save a little extra on your electricity consumption is to only cook foods that have fully been thawed in advance. This is going to take some additional planning, but may be worth it. You’ll need to think a few hours ahead and take food out of the freezer and leave it on the counter to thaw before adding to your air fryer. Whenever you cook food that has fully thawed, it’s going to take less power and less time to complete.
Air fryers are designed to be appliances that use very little electricity and are not designed for operating over extended periods of time. Most foods in the air fryer are completely cooked relatively quickly – in about 10 to 20 minutes when you’re doing it right.
Since air fryers are compact and portable, you can conceivably use them anywhere you have access to an outlet. That makes them excellent to use in cottages, RVs and trailers.
Economical and Efficient
The air fryer is an economical appliance to own and operate. It generally takes a lot less time to cook the same kind and quantity of food in an air fryer due to the high intensity heat and the small cooking chamber inside. For example, it might take you 10 minutes to cook fries in an air fryer, but double or triple that time in a full-size oven.
Naturally, the higher the wattage capacity of an air fryer, the higher the temperature it can produce. But for most cooking applications, a 400 degree Fahrenheit works perfectly. Fan-driven heated air circulates rapidly all around the food making the process of cooking in an air fryer quite convenient.
Cooking with an air fryer makes a lot of sense economically since it cooks most foods faster than a conventional oven and uses less power to do so.
Warming up foods is like a slice pizza can work well too (although capacity is limited) and it won’t leave you with a soggy crust. And the lower the amount of heat required – the less power you’re going to consume.
Some air fryers these days allow you to adjust the amount of wattage deployed to suit whatever it is you’re cooking. This enables you to fine-tune your cooking to get the foods just right. With controlled energy consumption, you should be able to save a little bit of money on your electricity bill at the same time.
Air fryers are not expensive at all to run and the cost of these units is affordable for most singles and families. The convenience factor is huge as well. You simply take your air fryer out of the pantry or cabinet as needed and enjoy crispy, delicious food whenever you want.
An air fryer with adjustable wattage may be the ultimate. But it can take some practical experience in order to learn the perfect wattage to use for specific dishes.
Having a high wattage capacity can help speed up cooking even further. But the downside is you have to be careful not to burn your food. If you love the crunch you get from fried foods, chances are you’re going to enjoy that similar taste you get with your air fryer and you’ll never have to worry about that overwhelming smell of grease in the kitchen again. Consuming far less oil isn’t a bad thing either.
What the Wattage Rating Tells You
Discovering the wattage of an appliance tells you how much power it is capable of using. The wattage rating listed with any air fryer (or any electrical appliance for that matter) is the maximum amount of power that this device will need. Keep in mind that it’s not necessarily using this power at all times. But the higher the wattage rating, the more electricity it will likely use. But overall, the amount of money it costs to rum is minimal.
Operating an air fryer at a higher wattage probably means your food’s going to cook faster and may even crisp up better. That’s often the case when cooking with hot circulating air. But you’ll need to keep a closer eye on your food to make sure you don’t overdo it. And that can take some experience.
As a guide, we have looked at 2 popular Chefman Air Fryers, to give you an idea of how much power the use and the cost:
This air fryer is 6.3 quart, and is rated at 1700w
|6.3 quart||15 Minutes||1700w||0.43||$0.06|
|6.3 quart||30 Minutes||1700w||0.85||$0.12|
|6.3 quart||45 Minutes||1700w||1.28||$0.18|
|6.3 quart||1 hour||1700w||1.7||$0.24|
This air fryer is 3.6 quart, and is rated at 1200w
|3.6 quart||15 Minutes||1200w||0.3||$0.04|
|3.6 quart||30 Minutes||1200w||0.6||$0.09|
|3.6 quart||45 Minutes||1200w||0.9||$0.13|
|3.6 quart||1 hour||1200w||1.2||$0.17|
Calculated Energy Usage
To calculate energy use of any specific air fryer, take the stated wattage and multiply it by the number of hours you use it in a day. Once you’ve arrived at this figure, divide the total by 1000 and you’ll be left with a daily kilowatt per hour reading. As an example let’s take an air fryer with a 1500 Watt rating used for 30 minutes a day. If we multiply the wattage by ½ hour and divide it by 1000 – we have a total of .75 kWh. So your daily operational costs would be well under one kWh.
You can’t beat an air fryer for cooking efficiency and affordability. Since an air fryer works by convection (it heats air and circulates this air around the food in the basket) it cooks food rapidly – as long as this heat circulation is continuous and the airflow is not impeded. This enables the hot air to get to all sides of the food in the basket.
An air fryer is much smaller than a conventional oven so there’s less area to heat up. Therefore they cook faster and can be used for shorter periods of time. The trick to getting the most efficiency out of your air fryer is to keep it clean and free of any food particle accumulations.