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How to use an air-fryer to save you money

Air-fryers are now a must-have piece of kitchen kit – they're speedier and healthier than more conventional ways of cooking. But, do air-fryers save you money? Find out how an air-fryer can trim those energy bills, plus what to look for when you’re shopping for one and how to get started.

How do air-fryers save money?

You may be wondering if an air-fryer is really cheaper to run than an oven, for example. In a nutshell, yes it is. Air-fryers cook food fast at a high temperature with a fan. A typical air-fryer (1,000W) costs just 34p per hour to run, which is roughly the same wattage and energy consumption as a conventional oven. But since it heats up quickly, you can cook meals in a fraction of the time, making it a great-value cooking method.

Use your air-fryer to cook food that you would typically bake in an oven, such as chips, sausages and breaded fish. You can even cook a whole chicken in an air-fryer! The food will cook much more quickly, saving you both time and money.

If you love oven-baked potatoes, achieve the same crispy skin with an air-fryer. Did you know you can even cook toasties, sausage rolls and muffins in this smart appliance?

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How does an air-fryer work?

An air-fryer is basically a mini fan oven that roasts and bakes, but it also gives food a nice crispy result in little time using minimal oil, so it can be a healthier cooking method in comparison to say deep-fat frying. If you're air-frying shop-bought chips, sausages and breaded fish, it's unlikely to be healthier than baking them.

Air-frying vs deep-fat frying

Cooking food in the air-fryer instead of a deep-fat frier means you’ll be using much less oil, trimming your food bill and your fat intake. It’s a win-win! You’ll still achieve that lovely crisp texture with your air-fryer – try it for cooking bacon, fries and fried chicken.

What should I look for when purchasing an air-fryer?

Capacity is one of the biggest factors when choosing a model. Are you cooking for two or feeding a family? The bigger the capacity, the more worktop space needed. Next up is budget. Prices vary enormously, but a simple, compact model will still cook food well. However, it will likely have less or no pre-set programmes and manual dials rather than digital. But remember, there's no need to spend a lot to enjoy the money-saving benefits of air-frying!

Is an air-fryer easy to clean?

You may be wondering how to clean an air-fryer and be put off by the thought of cleaning various parts, but good news: it's a quick and easy job that doesn’t require expensive cleaning products. The best way to clean an air-fryer is simply to hand wash with hot soapy water and leave to dry. Check the manual to see if some parts are dishwasher-safe.

What to cook in an air-fryer and meal ideas

The good news is air-fryers are incredibly versatile, meaning you can cook pretty much anything in them and usually much more speedily.

Cook air-fryer roasties to crunchy perfection, giv veg the edge with air-fryer roasted vegetables or be inspired by our vegetarian air-fryer recipes.

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From party food to family meals, snacks to treats, we have plenty of quick air-fryer recipes and top tips to help you make the most of your budget-friendly appliance.

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