How Can an Air Fryer Reduce Your Energy Bill, Particularly During a Heat Wave?

How Can an Air Fryer Reduce Your Energy Bill, Particularly During a Heat Wave? ...

This article is part of the CNET's collection of practical tips for maximizing the value of your home, inside and out.

While certain areas of Europe will have record-breaking temperatures this week, many areas in the United States will also experience heat waves with temperatures approaching or exceeding triple digits from sea to simmering sea. If you're looking for ways to keep the temperature down in your own home or apartment but also to cut some money off your utility bill, an air fryer can assist.

Even without those money-saving and heat-lowering features, we likeair fryer ovens for how quick they cook and how tender they turn out chicken wings, fries, vegetables, and seafood compared to full-size ovens. Big ovens take longer to heat and cook, and wont ever give you that gorgeous crispy skin like an air fryer will, and you wont have to transform the heart of your house into a sauna.

Read more: The Top 5 Air Fryers for 2022

After a grill, the air fryer may be the finest warm-weather cooking appliance you can buy. If youre wondering how much energy your gas oven or electric oven uses, weve calculated the costs and compared them to the cost of running an air fryer.

What is the difference between a full-size oven and an air fryer?

Because energy prices vary by state in the United States, we suggest you use some averages and estimates to assess how much you might save if you use the air fryer instead of the oven. This is just one of many reasons we believe air fryers are a worthwhile investment.

Gas oven Electric oven Air fryer
Cost per hour of cooking 40 cents 52 cents 25 cents

What led to the production of these figures? The easiest way to figure out how much you might save with an air fryer versus a big oven was to calculate how much electricity you would use on an electric stove. The same applies for a gas oven, although for that you must consider the cost of natural gas in your state.

Don't worry, we handled the difficult part.

Ovens with gas vs. electric

Since natural gas and electricity rates vary dramatically by state and service provider, the operating cost of each type of oven will vary. Although both use a similar amount of energy and have relatively similar upfront costs, an older oven has a greater likelihood its less energy-efficient than a newer one.

Modern ovens are more energy-efficient than they were previously. However, few, if any, can beat an air fryer.

What is the cost of a gas stove to operate?

We take the energy rating of the oven in Btu and divide it by 100,000. If you know the model name or number, you may be able to find the energy rating there, measured in Btu.

Youll divide 18,000 by 100,000, resulting in 0.18. You also need to find the most recent natural gas prices in your state. This chart contains the most recent prices from the US Energy Information Administration. For example, if the chart price is $23, youll need to divide by 10.

The current price per therm in New York, where I work, is $2.20 per therm (about average for the United States). Next, multiply that price for a therm by the number you calculated in the previous step (0.18 in this example) to get the operating cost per hour of using your gas oven.

To run an 18,000-Btu oven, it would cost me about 40 cents per hour. If I were to run an oven for one hour per day, it would cost $146 per year. Natural gas is about 30% higher in some states (including Georgia, Florida, and Ohio). In Hawaii, it is more than twice that.

An electric oven in New York costs about 50 cents an hour to operate.

How much does a regular electric stove cost?

Calculate the amount of electricity you're using per hour of cooking. Most electric ovens draw around 3,000 watts depending on the temperature. Once you know the wattage of your oven from the appliance label, owner's manual, or an online product listing, multiply that by the number of days you'll be using it each day (well use 1 hour for this calculation), divide by 1,000 watts to get the kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity used.

Next, determine your state's average electricity price per kWh. You may also consult this chart that lists the 2020 prices in cents per kWh. The next year's prices will not be released until December 2022, but if you do some internet research, you should be able to get the most recent information.

If I used my oven for about 1 hour per day for one year, that would amount to roughly $182 per year. The range and burners are not included in the current electricity rate in New York.

When it comes to energy efficiency, a standard 1,500-watt air fryer beats both gas and electric ovens.

How much does an air fryer cost to operate?

Air fryers are electric appliances, so we can use the same methodology as above to determine the operating cost. Smaller models will consume more energy, but a standard 4-quart fryer like this Ninja (our highest-rated model) consumes around 1,500 watts.

We can estimate that the air fryer would consume roughly half the electricity consumed by the average full-size oven in our stove calculation.

A standard 4-quart air fryer will cost about 25 cents per hour to operate, according to New York states average energy costs. That's 50% more energy-efficient than the average full-size electric oven and roughly 35% more efficient than the average gas oven (calculated with New York states average energy costs).

The Ninja 4-quart air fryer oven is one of the finest we have tested.

What are the advantages of using an air fryer?

These are only a rough guideline, and will depend on your state's energy expense, how much cooking you do in a year, and what temperature you're cooking at, and what type and size oven you're using.

Despite the fact that air fryers are more energy- and cost-efficient than these raw numbers, that's only half the equation.

This is why:

Air fryers cook food much quicker than standard ovens.

Because of their smaller cooking chamber and superconvection (intense fan blowing heat into food), air fryers cook foods much faster than your typical gas or electric stove, often in about half the time it takes to recreate a similar dish in a full oven.

Taste of Home compiled a list of common air fryer cooking times for popular foods. We compared them with standard cooking times drawn from Food Network recipes for oven-baked or oven-roasted versions of those foods.

Food Temperature Air fryer cooking time (mins) Oven cooking time with preheat (mins)
Chicken thighs 400 F 20-25 40
Chicken wings 375 F 10-12 40
Chicken breast 375 F 23 30
Salmon 400 F 5-7 12-15
Brussels sprouts 350 F 15-18 40
Bacon 400 F 5-10 20
Cauliflower 400 F 10-12 20
French fries (from scratch) 400 F 10-20 40-45
French fries (frozen) 400 F 6-8 18-20

Air fryers do not need to be reheated either.

Most air fryers don't require any preheating time, making them even more energy efficient. Preheating takes at least 10 minutes, but usually more like 12 to 15 minutes, and preheating requires as much (or more) energy as actual cooking. In the above chart, I added a modest 10 minutes to each of the oven cooking times to account for preheating.

When you think that an air fryer can do the job of an oven in half the time (even faster when you include the reheat time), 300 hours of cooking in a standard oven would likely take less than 150 hours when done in an air fryer.

Chicken wings prepared in an air fryer are delicious and cook in half the time.

Read more: The Top 5 Air Fryers for 2022

Before we get carried away, here are some tips for you.

There are plenty of foods that you probably won't want to cook in an air fryer. Others simply won't fit in a standard air fryer. For larger roasts, a Thanksgiving turkey, or most baking projects, an air fryer may not be the best choice.

An air fryer can handle a lot of the cooking that your more costly, less energy-efficient oven is capable of handling.

Dont toss out your huge oven just yet, because youll still want it to cook that Sunday lasagna and a turkey on Thanksgiving.

Saving money is wonderful, but this isn't the greatest reason to air-fry.

Because air fryers cook so fast and at high temperatures, foods like chicken wings, french fries, and most frozen foods will get crispy on the outside as they would when stuck in a large oven for 30 or 40 minutes.

A number of air fryers Ive used are extremely simple to operate, safe for children to use, and easy to clean.

In under 20 minutes, the Instant Pot air fryer lid produced some excellent fried chicken. Is it possible to have a big oven like that?

Bonus: Air fryers are inexpensive.

Many of the best air fryers we tested were less than $100. You can also get our favorite budget air fryer, the Gourmia 4-quart, on sale for $60.

All about air fryers

See all photos.

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