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Deep Fat Fryer vs Air Fryer

Published by: Maria Kelley • Updated: October 27, 2023 • Checked By: Chef Matty Riedel

In the modern world, lifestyles are increasingly becoming busier than ever before. Everything is demanding a share of your time. One sector that has been greatly affected is the kitchen. The time spent in the kitchen is reducing day by day.  

In a bid to lure people back into the kitchen, innovation is exploding. Smart gadgets are being manufactured to bring versatility and flexibility to the kitchen. When lifestyle changes are essential, especially health-wise, innovations are being augmented to give you healthier meals.  

Deep Fat Fryer vs Air Fryer 

These days, with so much choice, it’s often hard to choose the right cookware. The deep fat fryer and the air fryer are one such example. Both gadgets have exciting features and benefits. The deep fryer came first, then followed by the air fryer. In the health-awareness revolution, many homes are turning to the air fryer.  

Despite the rising popularity of the air fryer, the deep fat fryer has some excellent features you cannot overlook. This article tears down both fryers and gives you a deeper insight. By the end, you will know which device to use for specific tasks and the more worthy investment in your kitchen.

chilli chips

Deep Fat Fryer

As the name suggests, a deep-fat fryer cooks food by bathing it in hot oil. The deep fat fryer comprises three segments: the outer chamber, the inner chamber, and the third chamber. The outer section is placed on the fireplace, while the inner area is a removable barbed compartment that holds food while it cooks.  

The fat is poured inside the inner chamber of the deep fryer, which has a heating coil. The heating coil heats the fat to the desired temperature, after which you insert your food. Deep frying ejects water from the outer part of the food, making it crispy.  

The crunchy aspect makes food from a deep fryer more tasteful. Nonetheless, it has more calories, dangerous for your health if not monitored carefully.  


  • Affordable 
  • Great taste 
  • Large capacity 
  • Cooks faster 


  • Higher fat content in food 
  • Used oil has to be disposed 
  • Produces a foul odour

Air Fryer 

Air fryers are also called health fryers or low-fat fryers. They use Rapid Air Technology to fry food. The air fryer has a fan that blows hot air around the food from the top. The hot air fills the fryer chamber, and thus, food is cooked from all directions. The outer layer of food becomes crispy while the interior remains tender.  

The most significant benefit of the air fryer is the ability to fry food with very little to no oil. The food from an Air fryer is thus considered healthier.  


  • It uses minimal or no oil 
  • Saves kitchen space 
  • Multipurpose 


  • Expensive 

What To Consider When Choosing Between A Deep Fat Fryer And An Air Fryer  

Choosing between buying an air fryer or a deep-fat fryer is subjective. It depends on your needs and requirements, which may differ from your friend’s. The following factors help you to compare both devices from a tactical standpoint.  

1. Health Aspect 

Healthy living is a goal for many. It should be your top priority, too. As mentioned, deep-fat fryers cook food by immersing it in hot oil, while air fryers use hot air. For air fryers, a little oil may be applied to the food to cover it to achieve a crunchy texture on the exterior.  

Air fryers help you achieve healthy cooking. While you require only one tablespoon of oil with the air fryer, a standard home deep fryer requires 1 to 4 quarts of oil. Since they use approximately 70% less fat than traditional fryers, you also save some bucks on cooking oil. 

air fried potato gems

If you are health-conscious, the air fryer is the way to go. The air fryer also eradicates the hassles of disposing of used oil. Healthy cooking will also prevent lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.  

2. Features 

When it comes to features, it’s line ball. They have similar characteristics, and thus, you cannot use this attribute to pin one down. They come with features such as digital screens and adjustable heat controls. Features vary mainly depending on the specific models, functionality, and price. Some fryers have presets that ease your work in the kitchen.  

The air fryer is equipped with a simple touch operation, gaining the edge in user-friendliness. The touch operation has a strategic switch to turn it on or off. It is also advisable to further check different models before making a purchase. Choose a model that suits your needs.  

3. Capacity 

The capacity of any cooking appliance is paramount in determining what to buy. It’s, therefore, essential to compare the size of the Air Fryer and the Deep Fat Fryer. Generally, air fryers are smaller in size and thus have a smaller capacity than deep fryers. The deep fryer is sizeable to accommodate the frying oil.   

Air fryers are ideal if you have limited space in your kitchen. Their capacity is, however, adequate for home use. When buying an air fryer, you should take note of most of your daily activities. If you only need to fry snacks often, go for a smaller air fryer.  

Deep fat fryers, on the other hand, are a target for large premises. They have a massive capacity. For this reason, they are mainly used at restaurants or in huge families. They also come in handy when you are hosting parties.  

As more people switch to deep fryers at home, manufacturers are tweaking them to make them more appealing. For instance, some models come with baskets of different sizes to accommodate less food.  

4. Maintenance 

Regarding maintenance, you may not need any in the near future. Both fryers are versatile and durable. They require low maintenance, especially when used correctly. Proper care minimizes the need for maintenance and increases the life span of the appliances.

5. Price 

Price plays a crucial role when purchasing any item. Like everyone else, you want value for money spent. The rule of thumb is that paying a little extra in exchange for better quality and reliability is always worth it.  

a pile of cooked bacon

The air fryer is more expensive than the deep fryer mainly due to its innovative technology underneath. It’s worth paying the price if you prefer healthy cooking because it will serve you well. On the other hand, the deep fat fryer is bulky and cheaper due to traditional cooking. Its most significant selling point is its large capacity.  

6. Flexibility 

Air fryers can roast, grill, bake, and fry, while you can only fry with the deep fryer. You can cook steak, burgers, sausages, doughnuts, or French fries with an air fryer. The deep fryer is limited in terms of dishes, but it gives the most authentic taste. It’s good at frying fish, vegetables, and meat. The air fryer is the best option if you are looking for diverse food you can cook.  

In addition, you can easily convert any recipe for your air fryer; here’s how.

7. Cleaning 

An air fryer is easy to clean. It comprises of the cooking basket and the drip pan only, both of which are dishwasher safe. It’s also easy to clean them by hand.

Cleaning is, however, a challenge with the deep-fat fryer. The worry is not the deep fryer itself but the kitchen walls. Oil vapour settles on the countertop and kitchen walls during deep frying.

8. Safety 

When purchasing any appliance, you must pay close attention to its safety details. A hot air cooker is easy to use and safe. Food is covered with a lid when cooking. A deep fryer has no top, and you must stand in front of it with hot oil while it cooks. It’s more risky to use the deep fryer than the air fryer. An air fryer is ideal in homes with young children.  

Fact sheet 

  • Deep Fat Fryer

    Air Fryer

  • Price



  • Healthy cooking

    More calories

    Fewer calories

  • Size 



  • Diversity 

    Cooks minimal foods

    Used to cook/heat many types of foods

  • Taste

    Excellent taste

    Not very great

  • Cook time



Air Fryers We Have Reviewed

Deep Fat Fryer vs Air Fryer: Summing up

Deep fat fryers or air fryers? Neither is the ultimate pick because needs vary from person to person. The best one has to narrow down to your needs. Each fryer offers unique benefits. Do you need healthy cooking? Great taste?  Faster cook time? Regardless of your preferences, you must enter a quid pro quo agreement when choosing your fryer to enjoy some features.  

For a typical scenario, if you aren’t budget-constrained, have a busy schedule and have minimal space, an air fryer is an ideal appliance. It’ll fit inside your tight schedule perfectly. You will always cook quickly, wash the fryer faster and save space in your kitchen. Alternatively, you can go for a deep fat fryer if you don’t have the readies and enjoy deep tasty crunch bites.   

Maria Kelley