What is the cheapest way to cook – oven, air fryer or microwave?

·2-min read
What is the cheapest way to cook – oven, air fryer or microwave?

Energy bills are on the rise as the cost of living crisis worsens and a planned energy prise cap rise by regulator Ofgem in October.

As a result, many households are reviewing their budgets and use of resources to streamline their spending.

From switching off lights when leaving a room to keeping outlets turned off when not in use, there are some easy ways to be energy and cost-efficient when you need it most.

So when it comes to cooking, one of the most essential tasks, how can you make meals with the most bang for your bulb?

Air fryers

According to researchers, the most recent cooking appliance to fly off the shelves also has the most efficient use of energy.

And its fuel saving ways don't end there. Dubbed a healthy alternative to deep or shallow frying, air fryers require a significantly smaller amount of oil when cooking.

On average, the use of an air fryer for one hour costs 14p a day, according to a study by energy supplier Utilita.

This adds up to an economical £52.74 for an entire year.


At the lowest end of the energy scale, microwaves have been found to cost only 8p a day.

Although this cheapest alternative may have more limitations on cooking methods than other appliances, savings could potentially be in the hundreds compared to other appliances.


Gas ovens are notorious for their use of natural resources, so you may be surprised to hear that electric ovens are in fact the most energy-intensive appliance.

Households that switch to other cooking apparatus could save up to £604, the study found.

A typical day’s use of an electric oven is 87p and over a 12-month period would cost £316.

A dual cooker, which uses part gas and part electric power, has a daily cost if 72p while a gas cooker is 33p a day.

Slow cookers, although generally used for longer, cost significantly less at 16p per day – and an average of £121 per year.

Energy saving cooking

Research conducted by Utilita found that different cooking methods can also help cut power consumption by up to 90 per cent.

Cooking in batches can save £158 a year – and using the right size pan for your portions, with a lid, can bank £72.

Lowering your boil to a simmer cuts costs further by about £68.

And for your cuppas, be sure to fill the kettle just with what you need, as overfilling can cost an extra £19 a year.

The study was based on a poll of 2,000 homes who cooked for an average of 43 minutes per day.