Does an Air Fryer Replace a Deep Fryer? – Comparison Report!

We can’t even entertain the thought of cutting back on our favorite deep-fried food items. Though they’re considered unhealthy, there is nothing that compares to a plate full of fried chicken or some fries.

This is where an air fryer comes in. An air fryer is the most hyped kitchen appliance for all the right reasons! It helps you cut back on the calories so that you can enjoy your favorite foods guilt-free. So, does an air fryer replace a deep fryer?

Even though an air fryer also fries food, it cannot replace a deep fryer. Both the fryers crisp up food, but an air fryer cannot replicate the juiciness that a deep fryer gives. An air fryer can dry up food.

Let’s do an in-depth comparison between the two fryers! 

The differences between an air fryer and a deep fryer

Listed below are all the main differences between an air fryer and a deep fryer:

  1. Deep fryers require tons of oil to fully submerge the food, whereas food in an air fryer only requires about a tablespoon or no oil at all. 
  2. Deep-fried goods tend to be crispier than air-fried items because the oil can penetrate deep into the food while deep frying. Air fried items may come out dryer because they use little to no oil. 
  3. Deep fryers are good for deep frying only, whereas you can cook many kinds of foods in an air fryer, including desserts!
  4. Cleaning an air fryer is much easier, comparatively. Cleaning a deep fryer and replacing its oil can be hectic.

Air fryer or deep fryer: Which is better?

Let us discuss which of the two is better based on several factors.

Taste of food

If all you care about in deep-fried foods is the taste and not the extra calories, then you should definitely opt for a deep fryer. Though an air fryer is a healthier option, it isn’t necessarily tastier. Some foods tend to come out drier from the air fryer, and it definitely cannot replace the taste and consistency of a deep-fried item.

Verdict: Deep fryer.

Your health

Deep-fried items are mostly avoided because of how unhealthy they are. The extra fat poses a great health risk in the long run. This is exactly why the air fryer was made; to replace the extra calories without you having to ditch your favorite foods.

However, if you have to use a deep fryer, ensure the oil is at the appropriate temperature. If the oil isn’t hot enough, it can seep into the food and make it soggy; your outer crust won’t be crispy. And if it is too hot, then the outer crust will cook faster, and the insides will be left uncooked.

Verdict: Air fryer.

Cooking versatility 

If you’re looking for a handy appliance that helps you with more than just deep frying, then an air fryer is the best pick. You can do a lot with an air fryer. You can grill, roast, bake, and whatnot!

However, a deep fryer would suit you best if you want something that gives you that perfect deep-fried texture and consistency.

Verdict: Air fryer.

Cooking time 

A deep fryer takes much less cooking time as compared to an air fryer. A deep fryer would hardly take 3-5 minutes to fry your food in hot oil. In comparison, an air fryer needs to get the air heated up to cook food which can take 10-20 minutes.

Verdict: Deep Fryer.

Limitations of an air fryer

So far, we’ve mostly talked about the good aspects of an air fryer. But just like any other appliance, it has its limitations too.

Apart from the texture and taste difference, there are some other limitations to air fryers as compared to deep fryers, which are as follows:

  • The food in an air fryer isn’t as juicy as when you cook it in a deep fryer. The hot oil in a deep fryer evaporates all the water on the exterior of the food and locks the moisture in the interior, leaving the food tender and moist.
  • The food cooked in an air fryer is often dry because of the excessive air.
  • Food cooked with wet batter can create a mess in an air fryer.
  • Air fryers take twice to thrice more cooking time compared to deep fryers.
  • Air fryers are more expensive as compared to deep fryers.
  • Air fryers have small baskets and so have lesser food capacity. Though the baskets of air fryers and deep fryers are usually the same in size, you cannot cook a lot of food in an air fryer at once.
  • Controlling the air heat in an air fryer can be difficult to manage; in this aspect, a deep fryer is much easier to use.

Things to make in an air fryer

Though deep fryers give a great taste, you can make many things in an air fryer that can’t be made in a deep fryer. Here’s a list of all the things you can make in an air fryer:

  • Cooking fruits: You can cut up fruits and put them in an air fryer to cook them perfectly.
  • Bacon: Bacon cooks nicely in an air fryer; it comes out crispy and with much less grease.
  • Frozen foods: You can easily and quickly fry any frozen food in an air fryer.
  • Steaks: Yes! You can make steak in an air fryer. Rub the meat with your favorite seasonings and a little oil and grill it in the air fryer.
  • Cookies: Many people love making cookies in their air fryer. It takes much less time as compared to a conventional oven because you don’t need to preheat it.
  • Chicken breasts: Chicken breasts cooked in an air fryer are juicier and more tender as compared to when you cook them on the stovetop or oven.
  • Chicken wings: We love making chicken wings in an air fryer. They always come out crispy!
  • French fries: Well, a single serving of fries doesn’t satisfy our cravings. You can make a bigger batch with much fewer calories in an air fryer!
  • Vegetables: You can roast vegetables in an air fryer to give them a crispy exterior and a soft interior.

Things to make in a deep fryer

We know that both the machines don’t produce the same results when it comes to taste and texture. Here are all the things that are made better in a deep fryer:

  • A deep fryer is your pick when you’re craving traditional deep-fried food.
  • Deep fry vegetables in extra virgin olive oil; they get high in antioxidants and are great for your health.
  • You can make fried chicken, tempura, fish and chipsdonuts, fritters, etc. all these things are made best in a deep fryer. 

Air fryer vs. deep fryer: Which is more economical 

An air fryer would definitely cost you more than a deep fryer. The prices for air fryers start at 100$, whereas a simple deep fryer should cost you around 25$.

However, when you buy an air fryer, you can do much more with it than just deep frying. You can roast, grill, make pancakes, deserts, and whatnot! It can be an easy substitute for your oven or multicooker. 

Deep fryers don’t offer that range of options, and considering the amount of oil you have to use every time, that oil also costs a lot which can be a downside.

Given this comparison, the air fryer gets an edge over the deep fryer as you can do much more with it. 

Final words on whether an air fryer can replace a deep fryer

Finally, no, an air fryer cannot replace a deep fryer. The two can produce similar results, but a deep fryer is a clear winner when it comes to frying. However, air fryers and deep fryers both have their pros and cons.

If you’re looking for authentic, delicious deep-fried food, then go for a deep fryer, but if you want to invest in something with a variety of functions, then go for an air fryer.

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Immad Amir
I'm Immad, a passionate home chef and the proud curator of RavvyReviews, a kitchen appliance & food blog. Through my blog, I share expert tips all aimed at inspiring fellow food enthusiasts to embark on their culinary adventures with confidence and creativity. I love interacting with you guys, do share your thoughts in the comments. Get in touch with me through
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