Air Fryer vs. Deep Fryer – What’s the Difference?

We all will agree upon the fact that fried foods are delicious to eat. Regardless of whether it is potato fries or chicken or chicken wings or even any other such foods.

All the fried foods are tasty when properly cooked, which is why the outlets serving those fried foods are so popular everywhere. Jumping to the nutrition facts about fried foods, we can easily tell they are not healthy as they tend to produce more amount of cholesterol and fat with them. However, we cannot ignore eating them.

It is 21st century now, and there are a ton of equipment, machines, technology all around us. As the technology is gaining popularity, the cost of making them is getting cheaper and better. That is why there are two different types of equipment deep fryer and air fryer both belonging to this generation of creativity. Both the devices have their purpose and stand up to their promises. Both used for cooking the fried foods, and in this article, we will take a look at the differences between the both.

Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer

We discuss what are these equipment, how do they work? We also discuss benefits of each appliance and disadvantages of owning them. Finally, we provide a conclusion which will help you in making a purchase decision if you are in the dilemma which one to buy for your purpose of cooking.

Table of Contents

What Is Deep Frying?

As the name suggests, the deep frying technique involves the food to be dissolved in the edible oils and cooking it for some time. After making the food dive into the oils, the food gets cooked quickly, and you can enjoy your favorite delicious fried food.

In deep frying, the major step is the selection of oil for cooking food because the oil which we select can contribute to the amount of saturated and unsaturated amount of oily fats that are going into your stomach.

What Is Air Frying?

Contrary to the deep frying, the air frying involves cooking the food with a minimal amount of oil or even without oil. The food whether it is a potatoes or chicken or any other food which you want to fry gets roasted with highly heated air and cooks the food for you.

Air frying is lot simple technique when compared to the deep frying when right appliances are used to cook the food.

How Does Deep Fryer Work?

deep fryer

Deep Fryers are simple devices which have a tub like structure to hold the oil and a basket that holds the food items. Beneath the pan is the heating coil which generates heat when the deep fryer connects to the power supply.

When you turn on the power supply, pour the oil into the basket and set the temperature to the maximum, the thermostat inside the fryer indicates you via an LED when the maximum temperature is reached. After which you can place the food inside the oil bath gently and close the lid again. After leaving the food for desired temperature and time, all you see at the end is the delicious fried food ready to take up on your plate.

Over the time the deep fryers have evolved and with the pace more and more robust technologies and features are induced in them. For instance, the digital displays that show the temperature and indications when the desired temperature reaches, are all latest improvements.

Here is the small video that shows how to use a deep fryer.

How Does Air Fryer Work?

technologically advanced air fryer

Compared to the Deep Fryer, the operation of air fryer is rather simple. All you have to do is connect the air fryer to the power supply, put the desired food into the basket, set the required time based on the instruction manual and turn the power ON. That is it; this is what you got to do with an Air fryer. Most of the Air fryer takes care of the timer and automatically turns OFF after that particular interval.

The Air Fryers utilizes the very little amount of oil and the Air Fryers which Rapid Air technology don’t even require that amount of oil. When the supply is turned ON, the Air Fryer provides super-heated air around the pan or basket in which the food is placed. Through the swirling movement, it circulates air all around the pan and cooks the food consistently.

In most of the cases, you can leave rest of the work to be taken care by Air Fryer itself, however, if you want you can take supervision and check how the food is being with little safety considerations.

So if you are about to decide on what your next kitchen appliance should be among a deep fryer and Air Fryer, then we would recommend you to go through rest of the article. We have compared both Air Fryer and Deep fryer based on cost, use, health, taste, time, capacity and maintenance scenarios.

Below video explains the methodology behind an Air Fryer.

Benefits of Owning an Air Fryer:

Benefits of owning an Air Fryer

First, we will start giving you the scenarios in which the Air fryer has the upper hand compared with the Deep Fryer and in the next section, we will tell you where the Air Fryers lack.

Oil less Cooking:

First and foremost benefit of owning an Air Fryer is oil less cooking. Most of the Air Fryers use as little as a table spoon of oil. The Air Fryers which have Rapid Air Technology built in them don’t even require them. This technology allows your food to be more content full rather than being just high in fats and increases cholesterol levels which aren’t good for health.

The lesser the oil intake you have in your food, the healthier you will be. More facts on how air fryers are healthy will be available in this article.

Compact Design:

Air Fryers developed recently, and the technologies embedded into it are future proof. Almost every Air Fryer is attractive in design and has a small display which lets you control the temperature and time for which the food has to be cooked. Not only it is stylish in design, but they are also compact. This design allows them not to occupy much of the space in your kitchen.

Technologically Advanced:

As we said earlier, the Air Fryer technology is recently developed and has been successful because of various reasons described below. The Rapid Advanced Air Technology supported Air Fryers are capable of cooking you delicious food with minimal or even without oil.

The design of the Air Fryers is in such a way that the superheated air generated inside the heating chamber is circulated equally around all the food. This design not only makes the food to be cooked evenly but also sets the impression of having original food with same crispier taste.

Healthy Food:

Another significant advantage of owning an Air Fryer is it cooks healthy food. Of course, you can complain that oily foods are unhealthy whether they are deep fried or air fried! We also agree upon that but can you resist not having fried food when you love them so much?

Fried foods are safe if taken in limited quantity since they increase the number of saturated fats which are unhealthy to our food. The increase of fats leads to raise the level of cholesterol in our blood and thereby to cause various unwanted diseases. Using Air Fryer, the amount of fat that adds up to your food will be very minimal and hence reduces the chances of causing diseases.


Oh! This is the pain point and many people before buying any appliance doesn’t even consider this. However, it is quite remarkable for the purchase of a utensil for your kitchen because they are the ones which you are going to use daily and require maintenance properly.

Most of the Air Fryer parts are dishwasher supportable and also cleaning them is very easy. How can you clean an Air Fryer effectively? Read out the brief explanation here.

Multiple Use:

The most common statement we hear about Air Fryers is that they are limited to cook one variety of food, but that is not the case. Whether you are planning to cook french fries or the fried chicken or fried chicken wings the Air Fryer will take care of them efficiently. With Air Fryers you can fry, roast, bake, or even grill and the result is super delicious food, ready to serve.

Crispy and textured food:

Not only the food delivered out of Air Fryer is healthy to your body but also will be crispy and retains original texture. Many times people complain in the deep fryer that over cooking of the food leads to losing the texture and crispiness of food. This is not the case with Air Fryer since there is no much of personal involvement and the necessary tools inside the Air Fryer make sure that the food is cooked only till it was meant to be.

Disadvantages of Having an Air Fryer:

Let us make you clear one thing. The Air Fryers are built to overcome the drawbacks of using a deep fryer. Hence, most of the advantages of using an air fryer will be drawbacks of the deep fryer and vice versa.

Cooking Time:

As compared with the deep fryer, the cooking time of Air Fryer is higher than the Deep Fryer. The reason behind this is the amount of time taken for the super-heated air to revolve around the food equally.

Cooking Capacity:

airfryer cooking capacity

This could be a major setback for some and not for many as the cooking capacity of the Air Fryer is not high as compared to the deep fryer. When a deep fryer can cook upon 2 to 12 pounds of food on an average of 6 cups for two people, the Air Fryer can cook 1.5 to 2 lbs. of food easily which might more than sufficient for a family of two or three.

Taste of the food:

Though the food is a lot crispier and retains the original texture, it is lot complained by many of the consumers from Air Fryer purchasers that the taste of food that comes out of Deep Fryer is better than the Air Fryer. However, you should understand that the taste of food from Air Fryer is not worst and is reasonably good. Also, it is an undeniable fact that healthy foods don’t have the best taste and vice versa.


Finally, the most controversial point in purchasing the Air Fryer is its cost. Of course, it is a premium device and attracts a costly tag to it. Regardless of the price, it serves the purpose of what you are paying. It costs 50 or 100 bucks more than the actual deep fryer approximately, but they are worth it.

Benefits of Owning a Deep Fryer:

The main benefits of owning a deep fryer listed below should make you understand the subtle differences between the deep fryer and the air fryer.

Tastier food:

The most significant advantage of owning a deep fryer is getting a lot tastier food when compared to the Air Fryer. The reason behind getting the more palatable food is, the food is being submerged in the oil thoroughly and cooked for certain time at certain temperature. This allows the fryer to cook the food all around it and hence gives you that crispy yet solid stuff.

We all know how the popular outlets like KFC, McDonald’s use deep frying to cook almost all their food items but to a great quantity.

Cooking Time:

The cooking time taken in the deep fryer is relatively less than an Air Fryer. Initially, you have to allow the oil that you are using to deep fry to heat up to a certain temperature. Once achieved, the food like potato or chicken pieces can be put into that scintillating oil and taken out within 15 or 20 minutes serving you with delicious food.

Cooking capacity:

deep fryer cooking capacity

One of the biggest differences you might notice is the cooking capacity. Deep fryers are available in wide ranges. They come with the baskets of different sizes and allow to pour in enough quantity of food for cooking. Any conventional deep fryer will have a minimum capacity of 3 to 4 pounds.

There can be the same size of baskets to choose from or even the different size of baskets, depending upon your need.

Purchasing cost:

Again the cost is the primary factor before making a purchase decision of anything. The cost of a deep fryer is comparatively lower when compared to Air Fryer because of the materials used in manufacturing deep fryer are less.

However, there are even high-end deep fryers in the market available which might cost as same as an Air fryer or even higher than them because of robust technologies built in them or the top capacity food that they can serve or the materials with which it is built, are costlier.


Well in comparison to the Air Fryer, the deep fryers are difficult to maintain because there is a lot amount of oil used. Since the oils heated at high temperatures, the evaporated air flows in and out of the deep fryer itself. This lets the materials and grease from the food materials along with oil to stick to the surfaces of the deep fryer.

Since the baskets are easily attracted to such waste and if the oils that you are using to cook food also have some infiltrated dust particles, then it becomes hard and hard to maintain the deep fryers.

Drawbacks of Owning a Deep Fryer:

Indeed, as we mentioned earlier drawbacks of deep fryers led to the invention of Air Fryer. What are those drawbacks? Let us check out them below:

Unhealthy food:

One of the biggest disadvantages of having a deep fryer and cooking the fried food in it is bringing up unhealthy food. The legitimate reason for it is the amount of oil used to prepare the food. Deep Frying requires the significant amount of oil in comparison with Air Fryer, and hence the fat content in the foods increases drastically.

The unsaturated and saturated fats accumulated inside the food increase not only the fat value but also the calorie values. Hence it increases the cholesterol level in the body and leads to many diseases.

Not an Ergonomic design:

Some deep fryers were built considering all factors of design. However, they don’t fall in the medium range of deep fryers. All other deep fryers are made with least concentration in design. In comparison with Air Fryers, the deep fryers don’t look attractive at all. Also, many of the deep fryers can’t take out the basket of food as and when required.

Safety all the time:

This could be another biggest drawback of using a Deep Fryer, and the reason is, the deep Fryer involves quite a significant amount of oil, and in such cases, it is quite essential that you take necessary precautions while using it.

Some deep fryers come with a closing lid where as many don’t and have minimal indications on whether the food cooked or not. So the chances of oil spilling or over burning of food etc. may happen if proper care is not taken.

Not suitable for a variety of purposes:

Unlike Air Fryer, the deep fryers are restricted to be used only for frying foods. Various foods can be used to fry, but we cannot use it for grilling or pan frying or roasting operations. Since the deep fryer requires oil to cook the food and all these activities, require minimal to no oil, the use of deep fryers restricted to one single purpose which is only deep frying.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

Q: Does deep fryers have oil filters?

A: All the deep fryers don’t have oil filters. However, some of the high end or good quality deep fryers have air filters provided in them that take out the infiltrate particles from the oil.

Q: Does Air Fryer have temperature control and time maintenance?

A: Yes, almost all the Air Fryers come with temperature control system as well the timekeeper which automatically turns OFF the Air Fryer once a certain temperature is reached or after the certain period of time.

Q: Where can we cook chicken nuggets best? Deep Fryer or Air Fryer?

A: We can cook Chicken nuggets in both Deep Fryer and an Air Fryer. However, the taste of these will be almost equal in both the appliances.

Q: Which performs better? Deep Fryer or Air Fryer?

A: Both the Deep Fryer and Air Fryer performs better in the cases where they are meant to work. However, if you utilizing it for variety of purposes, then the Air Fryer has an upper hand.

Q: Do we require oil for cooking food in Air Fryers?

A: Yes most of the Air Fryers require very little amount of oil to cook the food. One or two tablespoons of oil is more than enough for Air Fryer. However, in case of deep fryer you require large amount anything ranging between 2 to 6 gallons.


Fried foods are one of the most liked foods all around the world, and everyone wants to have them once in a week or more than that. Having fried foods and staying healthy cannot go hand in hand. However, with the help of Air Fryer, you can reduce the amount of oil intake to your body and thereby stay healthy.

Both Air Fryer and Deep Fryer outshines in their respective departments. If Air Fryers have different types of control and world class technology running behind it, the deep fryers also have some supportive features like a thermostat for temperature control, removable oil tank, multiple baskets for food items and much other such stuff.

Both the Air Fryers and deep fryers provide tasty and delicious food but when choosing between the two that can provide healthier food, then definitely Air Fryer has the upper hand. There are subtle differences in the way we use them both, but while maintaining them, the Air Fryer again takes the lead.

Thus we leave the decision in your hands which one to choose for cooking your delicious French Fries or Chicken nuggets or Fried Chicken or Chicken Wings or even potato chips for your family. You might want to consider all the above points before considering the purchase.

Have you ever used a deep fryer or Air Fryer in your kitchen? Let us know in comments section below about your experience with them.

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I'm Amanda, the Chief Editor at I love cooking with my air fryer, and I thought to share my knowledge of Airfryer with our users, so my team and I created this blog.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Francis - 19/11/2018

I have a butterball deep fryer. It can take a 20 pound turkey and cook in 80 minutes. I love it and it is not hard to maintain. The oil is drained out through a filter into the same container it came out of very easy. And the fryer is easy to clean. How long will an air fryer take to cook a 20 lb. turkey?

    Amanda - 20/11/2018

    For 3 pound turkey around 35 to 40 minutes. Never tried for 20 pound turkey.


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