The Kitchen Appliance to Cut Power Bills
The appliance in most kitchens that uses the most electricity during cooking is the oven. To heat something in a standard size 60cm oven needs to heat around 70 Litres of space. When heating small portions, the oven still heats the entire space which means the same amount of electricity is used regardless of whether the oven is full or not. Heating small portions in the oven may not be the best way to cut power bills!
Air fryers are essentially a small benchtop oven that can be stored in the cupboard and is very easy to clean in the dishwasher. In contrast, the airfryer uses around 5 Litres of space and heats up very, very quickly. A smaller space to heat at the same temperature equates to a considerable reduction in power consumption, with some energy experts showing up to 50% saving compared to a standard oven.
Don’t be fooled by their size either. They are easy to use with simple temperature controls and timers. Some have digital displays with preset cooking functions. Though small, they are remarkably convenient and you’d be amazed at what you can cook in them, such as fritters, brownies, fried rice, baked potatoes, frozen chips, chicken tenders, sausage rolls, sausages, bacon, scones and more. See the full list of awesome air fryer recipes here.
The air fryer ought to be seen as a kitchen companion rather than a replacement for your oven with some British media outlets reporting a 286 per cent increase in sales of air fryers in September compared to the same month last year. (source, ABC online, 5 November 2022). Primarily they are seen as an energy saving appliance to cut power bills, but even without a cost of living crunch, air fryers are brilliant.
Most air fryers heat food in a non-stick basket allowing air to flow around the food heating it quickly and consistently. A convenient tray captures drips for easy removal and cleaning. Breakfast bacon in the air fryer leaves it crispy and tasty and it’s fast too. By the time you have cooked your toast, fried an egg and brewed a coffee, the bacon is almost done. It's a healthy way to cook.
There are a lot of good air fryers around that vary in price and functionality and will save you money in the kitchen. Check if it's dishwasher safe. Most of them are but check anyway. Check the wattage with most of them around 1500 watts. (The higher wattage means it consumes more power.) Check the temperature range with many of them reaching 200 degrees celsius which is plenty hot enough.
Most reputable brands offer at least a 12 month warranty on air fryers. Keep the purchase receipt and store it in a draw in the kitchen somewhere. Or take a photo with your phone and save it to your cloud storage such as Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud. Most retailers will often ask you for your contact details so that they can identify the sale in their systems. That way if you ever need to take it back for any reason, they have a clear proof of sale and can help you navigate the warranty process.
Consider the extended warranty plans if the store offers one. Small kitchen appliances such as air fryers will often extend to a 5 year replacement warranty and are very inexpensive.
Do your research and check the online air fryer reviews. It's a good way to learn from those who have already bought one. That way you can weigh up which is the right one for you.
There is little doubt that air fryers are convenient and there is a ton of good food that can be cooked in them. But the cost benefit of using an air fryer instead of the larger wall oven is hard to ignore and that’s why air fryers are a popular addition to household kitchens to cut power bills, particularly during this time of rising inflation and higher cost of living.