Everything You Need to Know About Deep Fat and Air Fryers

From crispy golden chips and tempura vegetables to mouth-watering southern fried chicken and fish pakoras, fried food is a guilty pleasure for many, but which appliance is best for cooking it at home?

What is a Deep Fat Fryer?

A deep fat fryer is the modern equivalent of an open chip pan and basket. It works by heating an oil-filled basin to a set temperature, ready for foods to be immersed and for the oil to brown and crisp their exterior.

What is an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is an increasingly popular kitchen appliance that can cook food quickly and evenly, with little to no oil, and still provide a crispy finish by circulating hot air at high speeds around the food. There are several different types of air fryers with different shapes and sizes, and other cooking appliances with air frying capabilities.

What’s the difference between Air Fryers and Deep Fat Fryers?

While a deep fat fryer heats fat or oil into which the food is submerged to perfectly cook it and give it a crispy exterior, an air fryer circulates hot air around food with a convection fan to simulate the results of deep frying. Air fryers use little to no oil.

Deep Fat Fryer Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Authentic-tasting fried food. As food is submerged in oil during the cooking process, it will have a much higher fat content than air frying.
Can be affordable to purchase. The oil needs to be replaced regularly and is not always easy to dispose of – pouring fat down the drain can cause serious blockages in your pipes and drains.
Food cooks quickly. Some people may not feel comfortable cooking with volumes of boiling hot oil due to the risk of accidents.
The smell of grease can linger in your home after cooking with large amounts of oil.
Food is immersed in oil leaving lots of excess grease, which you often need to pat off with kitchen paper before eating.

Ninja Air Fryer Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Up to 75% less fat than traditional frying methods*. Enjoy healthier versions of your favourite fried foods such as chips, using little or no added oil. May not be as suitable as a chip fryer for ‘wet’ batter e.g. battered fish.
Removable parts such as drawers and crisper plates are dishwasher safe. Some people find cleaning the heating element fiddly.
Does more than just frying – you can Roast, Bake, Reheat and more depending on the model you choose.
You can cook frozen food straight from the freezer.
Food cooks quickly and evenly.

Deep fat fryers vs air fryers – which is best for you?

It depends on the meals you tend to cook, but with thousands of recipes available online, there’s almost nothing you can’t make with the right air fryer – even things that are usually deep-fried like fakeaway fish and chips, or seaside-style donuts, Ninja Air Fryers offer a healthy way to cook your favourite fried foods – up to 75% less fat than traditional deep frying*.

*Tested against deep-fried, hand-cut French fries.