What’s the Difference Between Air Fryer and Deep Fryer?

What’s the Difference Between Air Fryer and Deep Fryer

At first glance, both these appliances might seem similar: a nifty gadget that allows you to enjoy deliciously crispy foods at home. However, people often wonder what the difference is between an air fryer and a deep fryer.

If you’re thinking about purchasing either of these appliances, you might be looking to add more flavor to your favorite crispy foods or trying to lower your oil intake for health purposes. If you want to ditch fast food and cook at home, you should definitely opt for either a deep fryer or an air fryer.

While deep frying needs a good amount of oil to fry your foods, an air fryer needs a high temperature to compensate for less oil. Since both add a tasty kick to meat and veggie dishes, which one is better in terms of cost, oil usage, taste, and health?

Many believe that the new age air fryer might eventually replace conventional ovens and deep fryers. But, is this really true? Is the deep fryer actually replaceable? We’ll discuss how both appliances function, their differences, and conclude the much-argued topic, air fryer vs. deep fryer!

How Does an Air Fryer Function?

Air fryers look very similar to deep fryers and actually work like convection ovens. They use Rapid Air Technology, letting out heated air from the fat at the top of the appliance. The hot air then blows around and through the food inside for evenly cooked results.

The hot air also bounces off the bottoms, helping cook the food’s base evenly. Since the food cooks from all sides, it tends to have a very crispy exterior and a juicy, tender inside.

Let’s not forget, every dish needs little to no oil to cook. You can prepare french fries, chicken nuggets, and burger patties to perfection inside these nifty fryers.

How Does a Deep Fryer Function?

A deep fryer flash fries everything it cooks. It’s a more traditional fryer found in many homes. If you crave deep-fried food at home, this is the appliance for you. It comes with a removable basket with perforated holes to help your food cook through.

It works best with frozen foods such as sausages, pre-packaged patties, etc. All you have to do is have the coils heat the oil to a set temperature before you submerge the basket with the food inside.

Once the food touches the oil bath, it removes the water from the outer layer to give it a golden crispy crunch. Deep frying adds more flavor to your meals, but it also adds more calories.

How Does an Air Fryer Differ From a Deep Fryer?

Since both a deep fryer and an air fryer cook delicious food, it can be challenging to choose between them. However, there are a few crucial points of difference between the two cooking appliances that can help you choose the right one for your kitchen.

Let’s check out the differences between a deep fryer and an air fryer, based on:

  • Features
  • Cooking Time
  • Health Factors
  • Taste
  • Maintenance


Deep fryers have manual features, while air fryers tend to be more high tech. Most air fryers come with automatic timers, a temperature controller, and more. On the other hand, some deep fryers have pre-cooking features and other useful features.

Many deep fryer models come with adequate odor control to help keep out the oil smell after frying. Some even have a removable container feature to help clean up any excess oil spillage.

Air fryers tend to have more simple touch control panels. They can come with multiple features, but more so for convenience, not use. For instance, the buzzer or auto countdown can save you the trouble of serving undercooked or overcooked food.

Therefore, when it comes to features, you can opt for either appliance depending on your choice of usage.

Cooking Time

The cooking time for deep fryers is less than for air fryers. Whether it’s meat, vegetables, fruits, or fish, it only takes about 5 – 7 minutes to prepare food in a deep fryer.

Air fryers, on the other hand, come with more upgrades. Cooking in an air fryer can take an average of 10 – 15 minutes. Air fryers take more time since they don’t flash fry foods using excess oil.

Health Factors

The one crucial point where air fryers take the lead is the food’s health factor. These days, people are looking for healthier options for their favorite meals. With the rise of blood pressure, stress, and obesity, healthy meals are becoming more popular.

Deep fryers use excessive oils for cooking purposes. While this does add to the delicious taste, deep-fried foods are the key reasons for cholesterol and diabetes patient surges.

However, air fryers don’t need much oil to cook. You can simply brush about a tablespoon of oil over your food before cooking and it’s good to go. Air frying needs 80% less oil than deep fryers. Therefore, if you want to eat food that’s less detrimental to your health, choose an air fryer.


If taste is your main concern, opt for a deep fryer. Its flash-frying technique adds a distinctive crispy, crunchy, and scrumptious feel to all your meals.

You won’t find these same delicious benefits from an air fryer. While an air fryer does add a crispy exterior texture to all fried foods, the inside might remain dry.


Maintenance comes at a price for deep fryers. After deep frying foods, the appliance is challenging to clean due to oil spillage and any leftover gunk from flash frying. On the other hand, air fryer maintenance is quick and cost-effective.

Most air fryers come with a non-stick basket that doesn’t store excess oil or any leftover gunk. This makes them dishwasher safe, and their stainless steel interiors pose no risk during the cleanup process.


While there are some stark differences between a deep fryer and an air fryer, they both cook delicious food. You can opt for both or either, depending on your food preferences.

If you like your food crispy and juicy, go for the deep fryer. However, if you prefer using less oil, the air fryer is your best bet.

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