Air Fryer Vs Deep Fryer: Which Is The Best?

You will agree with me that fried foods are delicious; this is why food joints serving fried foods are popular worldwide. 

But, is it a must you visit the food joint whenever you are craving a nicely fried meal? No! You can fry your own in the comfort of your home, courtesy of a fryer.

But, which will you choose between an air fryer and a deep fryer?

In this article, we shall see everything about air and deep fryers. Moreover, we shall see the key differences between these two kitchen appliances.

What Is An Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a cookware that uses hot air to cook food. One of the main benefits of using this cooking vessel is that it uses very little or no oil, thus contributing positively to healthy eating.

You can enjoy various crispy and mouth-watering meals such as chicken wings, butternut squashes, french fries, and mozzarella sticks with an air fryer.

In addition, you can roast, fry, bake and dehydrate using this cookware.

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

An air fryer works like a convection oven. This cooking vessel has a fan that blows heated air around your food to cook it, as seen in the below diagram.

Image source: Google Scholar

What is a Deep Fryer?

A deep fryer is a piece of cooking equipment that holds a "pool" of cooking oil. In addition, it has a basket with perforated holes for holding food when frying.

Unlike the air fryer, where you use different cooking methods, you can only use a deep fryer to deep fry food.

How a Deep Fryer Works

The heating element in deep fat frying heats the oil to the set temperature. Once the oil has attained your desired temperature, you can dip your food basket in the hot oil to cook the food.

This cooking method dehydrates the outer parts of your food, thus giving it a crispy texture and a flavorful taste. However, this shouldn't be an everyday cooking vessel due to the calories associated with this cooking method.

Comparing an Air Fryer with a Deep Fryer

Now, let's see how an air fryer compares to a deep fryer.

Oil and oil-less cooking

● Air Fryer

Air frying requires very minimal or no oil. 

This cooking technology allows you to enjoy low cholesterol foods since you will hardly use cooking oil; lesser oil in food results in better health.

● Deep Fryer

Deep frying will require submerging food into hot oil to cook it. Most people view this as the main disadvantage of this cooking method since too much oil in food will lead to high cholesterol and calorie levels in your body.


● Air fryer

Air fryers come in different elegant designs; square, rectangular and round-shaped air fryers. Different brands have unique shapes, with some combining their air fryer with an instant pot.

Some air fryers have a rotational air fryer basket inside, while others have their basket resting on a drawer.

Also, an air fryer has a small led display on its construction to help you set and monitor your cook.

In addition, the compact design of this fryer uses up a small operational or storage space in your kitchen.

● Deep fryer

A deep fryer is made of stainless steel and is fueled by electricity or gas. This cooking appliance has a rectangular or vertical heating element sitting inside.

A deep fryer is not as stylish as an air fryer. Also, the deep fryer uses more storage space than an air fryer due to its large build.


● Air fryer

As we had seen earlier, you can use several cooking methods with an air fryer: baking, air frying, roasting, broiling, grilling, and others. As a result, you can prepare several air fryer recipes on this cooking vessel.

You can even have a smoky flavour in your fried chicken and other meats, especially when using a butterball oil-free turkey fryer.

With all these cooking methods possibilities, how is an air fryer different from a smoker grill? 

Well, the main difference between a smoker grill and an air fryer is that a smoker grill has a massive cooking space compared to the air fryer. Therefore, you can opt for Kamado Joe Vs Vision grills whenever you want to grill or smoke for a crowd.

● Deep Fryer

With all the versatility in an air fryer, some recipes can only be handled by a deep fryer, such as wet batter and some types of fries.

However, a deep fryer is not as versatile as an air fryer; you can only fry in a deep fryer.

Food Taste

● Air fryer

Not only will you enjoy healthy meals when cooking in an air fryer, but you will also love the crispy texture it gives to food.

● Deep fryer

Despite an air fry providing you with crispy food, most air fryer users say that deep fried food such as chicken or french fries is tastier than air fried food. 

However, this doesn't mean that air frying produces poorly-tasting food; you will get a good taste. Also, remember the health benefits that come with air fried food!

If you must take deep fried food, always remember to take it in moderation since too much can lead to food-borne illnesses such as obesity, diabetes and heart problems.

However, monitoring your deep fried food consumption is not the only battle you will face; a balanced diet is equally important.


● Air fryer

One of the features to consider when buying a kitchen utensil is its maintenance. You will need to check how easy it is to clean the utensil now that it will be coming into contact with your food.

That said, it's easy to clean an air fryer due to its non-stick surfaces. Also, most air fryer parts are dishwasher friendly.

Generally, you should wash the pan, basket, and tray after every use.

Also, you won't have to worry about discarding used oil since you hardly use oil.

● Deep fryer

You will need to clean your deep fryer daily to prevent buildups or unwanted smells. In addition, you can do a deep clean and sanitization once a week.

How about using cooking oil? You can reuse this oil a few times, but you should replace it as soon as it changes smell or colour.

One more thing, you will not get rid of used oil by pouring it into the drainage. Instead, you can use a recyclable container to discard it.

Cooking time

● Air fryer

When cooking in this convection oven, you will take significant time cooking food in an air fryer because it takes more time for the hot air to move evenly in all the food.

● Deep Fryer

Deep frying takes little time to cook food. However, first, you will have to allow the cooking oil to heat up to an acceptable high temperature. 

Then, you will submerge your chicken, potatoes, or other foods in the scintillating oil for a delicious crispy outcome. This process can take around 10 to 20 minutes, and your food will be ready for serving. 

Cooking Capacity

● Air fryer

The average cooking capacity of an air fryer is 1.5 to 2 lbs which is a small cooking capacity only suitable for a small family of two to three people. 

● Deep fryer

Deep fryers come in different ranges of between 2 to 12 pounds making them perfect for serving larger groups of people compared to air fryers.


● Air fryer 

As seen earlier, an air fryer can use minimal or no oil. Therefore, there are fewer chances of excess oil spillage or burns from hot oil.

However, you must remember that an air fryer can catch fire just like any other electric appliance, especially when not handled properly. Also, ensure that you don't leave the fryer unattended to prevent hazards.

● Deep fryer

Dry fryers can produce fumes when you are cooking. Moreover, hot oil can splash if it comes into contact with water, leading to oil spillage and nasty burns on your skin.

In addition, hot oil can catch fire, especially when left unattended. 

Burning oil beyond its smoking point is another hazard that arises as you deep fry your food. Therefore, it will be great to know your oil's smoking point before using it.

Some of the perfect cooking oils include olive oil and canola oil. Olive oil and blended oil have a smoking point of 405°F and 450°, respectively. Canola oil has a smoking point of 400°F, and many people use it in deep frying.


● Air fryer

Finally, you would want to know how deep you will need to dig into your pocket to bring the air fryer home. That said, this convection oven costs more than a deep fryer, but it's worth every coin you spend on it.

On average, the least you can spend buying an air fryer is one hundred dollars.

● Deep fryer

A deep fryer is affordable; you can take one home for as little as twenty-five dollars.

Air Fryer Vs Deep Fryer: Comparison Table


Air Fryer

Deep Fryer


Round, square, or rectangular-shaped air fryers

Electric deep fryers are rectangular or vertical.

Stovetop deep fryers are round in shape.

Type of heat

Heating element and Rapid air technology

Gas or electric operated


Uses less oil, translating to less calorie intake

It uses a lot of oil, leading to more calories

Cooking time

It takes reasonable time to spread hot air in food for a thorough cook

You will need to heat the cooking oil first before submerging your food. Cooking doesn’t take a lot of time.


Wide temperature range of up to 400°F

Narrower temperature range of up to 390°F


Around 1500 Watts

Around 700 – 2000 watts depending on model


Most models require little countertop space

Occupies more space than an air fryer

Cooking options

Grill, bake, fry, broil, roast, and many others depending on model

Deep frying only


Mostly steel grey or black. Also, you can color if the brand allows.

It looks like a metallic toaster box. 

Mostly steel grey or silver

Food appearance

Light or dark golden depending on the cooking duration

Dark golden brown


Crispy taste and butter flavor on chicken and other foods

Crunchy outer layer on chicken and other foods. Moist and juicy food interior.


Safe to use. Outer build and handles are cool during frying

Chances of burns, fires, and oil spillage due to heated oil

Ease of operation

Easy to operate using the settings on the control board

You will need to know the correct cooking temperature when preheating oil. 

Skills and effort required to deep fry food


Air fryers from good brands have high-quality parts; thus, they are long-lasting.

Cheap quality air fryers may peel off over time.

Deep fryer parts may rust, melt or burn due to direct contact with hot oil.

Clean up

Easy to clean since it uses little or no cooking oil

Hectic to clean the butter mess and oil spillage on the countertop


You can easily carry it around. 

It can be used indoors or outdoors.

Not portable, especially when loaded with oil


Costly, depending on the type of model

Cheaper than an air fryer, depending on the type of model


As we have seen above, both air and deep fryers have unique features. Also, each of these kitchen appliances has its strengths and drawbacks.

A deep fryer will give you crispier and highly flavored food than the one you buy at the local food joint because you will control the quality of oil you will use.

In contrast, an air fryer will provide tasty and low-oiled healthy food. Moreover, you have a wide range of cooking methods with your air fryer.

Now, whichever appliance you choose between an air fryer and a deep fryer will solely depend on your preferences. Therefore, go through every detail we have discussed above and choose wisely.


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