Air fryer warning as expert reveals one thing he wishes he'd known

The Lakeland Dual Basket Air Fryer cooking a fish and chip dinner.
-Credit: (Image: Lakeland)


Air fryers have soared in popularity recently, with many people turning to them as a way to save energy and reduce fat in their cooking. These devices cook food using hot air and significantly less oil than traditional methods.

Additionally, due to their compact cooking spaces, meals are prepared faster than in an oven. However, a consumer affairs expert has issued a cautionary note for those considering purchasing one. For money-saving tips, sign up to our Money newsletter here.

In a recent Instagram video shared by consumer champion Which?, Harry Kind, a consumer affairs specialist, revealed things he "wishes he knew" before buying an air fryer, reports the Liverpool Echo. One piece of advice he gave was: "Don't spend less than £50".

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He clarified that while it's not necessary to break the bank, buyers should "generally" aim to spend at least £70. Harry justified this and said: "We've found cheaper air fryers that cost so much to run, cook so unevenly, and feel, well, flimsy, that we've named them 'Don't Buys".

Furthermore, he stated that purchasing an air fryer is unlikely to result in significant short-term savings. He noted that cooking a meal in an air fryer typically saves between 10-40p, meaning it will take a while for the device to pay for itself.

Air fryers are similar to traditional oven ranges in their capacity to bake and roast food, but they come with a unique feature, which is that their heating elements are positioned at the top of the appliance, accompanied by a large, robust fan.

This configuration delivers quick, crispy outcomes, all while using less oil than standard deep fryers. Owing to their focused heat source and strategically placed fan, air fryers heat up rapidly and guarantee uniform cooking, making them a popular choice for both efficiency and taste.

In 2023, it was reported that more than 12.5 million UK households owned an air fryer. According to Lakeland's annual sales figures, sales of air fryers were up 1,175% on 2022, when they were already soaring in popularity, as households continued with their efforts to save energy on standard ovens.