Air Fryers Vs Deep Fryers: Which Is Best?

May 2, 2022 – 4 min read
Air fryers are a global phenomenon – let’s be honest, they’re the must-have small kitchen appliance of the 2020s. If you’re after that satisfying crunch without the calories, you simply can’t go past this nifty piece of equipment. Having said that, there’s a reason why deep fryers have stood the test of time. Just think Southern fried chicken burgers with slaw and crispy, perfectly golden fries!

French fries near an air fryer on a kitchen bench.

Air Fryers Vs Deep Fryers: What’s The Difference?

It’s simple. An air fryer cooks your food by circulating hot air and requires only a little or no oil to be used. A deep fryer cooks by submerging food in oil. The great news is that despite the different ways they cook, both the air fryer and deep fryer deliver crispy and crunchy food, yay!

Air Fryers Vs Deep Fryers: Which Tastes Better?

Can an air fryer really deliver the same incredible taste and crunch that makes deep-fried food so indulgent? The answer is yes! But there is a slight difference in the end product.

“If you deep fry something that’s bread crumbed, for example chicken schnitzel, you’ll get a golden, crispy and moist schnitzel. If you put it in the air fryer, the schnitzel is not going to be as oily. And, even though the chicken itself would still be moist, it’ll have a dryer crumb,” says Mel Kuys, head chef at Kuys Katering.

So maybe the better questions to ask are: What should we cook in an air fryer or a deep fryer? And, do some dishes taste better when air fried compared to deep fried, and vice versa?

Let’s do it.

"Can an air fryer really deliver the same incredible taste and crunch that makes deep-fried food so indulgent? The answer is yes! But there is a slight difference in the end product."

What Should I Cook In An Air Fryer?

From frozen food, such as spring rolls, nuggets and dim sims, to roast vegies, the air fryer is the way to go. Air fryers are also fantastic for reheating food while keeping it crispy.

“I find meat pies to be a lot better when cooked in an air fryer because you get better pastry on the outside,” Mel Kuys says.
And for the sweet tooths out there, an air fryer is perfect for making delicious desserts, too.

From cakes and air-fried Oreos to doughnuts and fruit-filled pastries, even dessert fries (oh yeah, you read that right), the possibilities are endless.

What Should I Cook In A Deep Fryer?

Dishes that are unbeatable deep fried include chips, calamari, arancini, Southern fried chicken, fritters, tempura, onion rings, dessert dumplings, and churros.

“Calamari and arancini are best deep fried because with both, you need that golden crunch on the outside,” Mel Kuys says.

Shop The Latest Deep Fryers

DeLonghi 2kg Easy Clean Deep Fryer

Kambrook 4L Family Size Deep Fryer

Tefal Filtra Pro Premium 4L

Air Fryers Vs Deep Fryers: What’s Best For Health?

Part of the reason why air fryers have become such a global phenomenon are the health benefits. When you cook in an air fryer, you use a lot less fat, which means your food has fewer calories. Naturally, it’s going to be better for your health.

“One teaspoon of olive oil contains 40 calories, but a couple of sprays of oil contain only 13 calories. So if you use, for example, the spray over chicken or what you’re cooking in the air fryer, you’re saving yourself a lot of calories,” says nutrition coach Nancy Cicerone from @nutrionionalnancy.

Shop The Latest Air Fryers

Philips Airfryer XXL Digital Smart

Ninja Dual Zone Air Fryer

Tefal Easy Fry Classic Air Fryer

Man cooks breakfast in an air fryer on his kitchen bench.

Features To Look For When Buying: 

An Air Fryer

  • Pre-programmed settings for cooking meat/chicken/fish/frozen food
  • Automatic switch-off to prevent overcooking
  • Power/heat indicator
  • Ready notification
  • Additional accessories such as a grill rack for steak, a pan for wings, skewers for kebabs, and a turning paddle for fries
  • Recipes to inspire you

A Deep Fryer

  • Automatic lid release
  • Automatic lowering for cooking
  • Automatic basket rise when cooking is complete
  • Oil filtration(to remove food debris)
  • Timer/alarm
  • Removable bowl
  • Indicator lights
  • Dishwasher-safe parts

Inspired to rev up your cooking repertoire with a new fryer? See in store or online for expert advice, the best deals and the greatest range of air fryers and deep fryers.

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