Martin Lewis air fryer warning as he compares with microwaves

Martin Lewis on his ITV money show
Martin Lewis on his ITV money show -Credit:ITV

Money-saving expert Martin Lewis has offered a word of caution to individuals thinking about trading their traditional ovens for air fryers. The finance whizz was answering queries regarding the popular trend in kitchen swaps, particularly following the Black Friday rush where many market-goers bagged Ninja and Tower air fryers.

Many folks have lauded air fryers for being a pocket-friendly alternative to enduring ovens and they've gained significant popularity to the point where some are even contemplating using them to roast their Christmas turkeys. However, during a chat with ITV's This Morning hosts, as pointed out by Wales Online, Lewis remained sceptical over the alleged energy efficiency of these devices.

He posed a question asking: "I heard you on the show mentioning someone was gonna cook a Christmas dinner in an air fryer. Is that right? If that's being done for energy reasons, I would be somewhat sceptical whether that is a good idea."

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Distilling his apprehensions, Martin said: "If it's being done for taste, I don't want to get involved. I mean, the benefit of an oven is when you're cooking a lot for a lot of people, and you can fill all the racks and have it on consistently.

"Air fryers are good for small things that cook quickly. If you're gonna have to use your air fryer 15 different times for different items generally on energy usage, you'd be better off to use an oven. So it's an interesting thought."

Moreover, he honed in on the financial viability of differing cooking techniques, elaborating: "If you're doing a jacket potato for 10 minutes it's going to be far cheaper [in the microwave] than doing a single jacket potato in an oven and keeping it on for an hour and a half. However, if you were doing a full roast dinner and you were cooking many of them, that is where it's probably cheaper than putting five or six jacket potatoes in a microwave because each additional object you put in a microwave, you need to keep it on longer because a microwave just heats the individual object."

He then offered a simple formula for energy-conscious cooks: "work out how many kilowatts or what fraction of a kilowatt it's using, then multiply that by 34p per hour of use." On the topic of air fryers versus halogen cookers, Martin explained: "If you had a 1000W microwave and you put it on for 10 minutes, one KWH for a sixth of an hour, a sixth of 34p is about 6p, shall we say? So it's 6p turning the microwave on for that amount of time. So yes it's a very useful equation."

Advising on how to save energy during the festive season, Llewellyn Kinch from shared: "If you cook a turkey in the oven for several hours, it'll use up lots of electricity. The savvy way is to use a slow cooker, which costs a fraction to run compared to a traditional oven. Crispy skin lovers can always finish the turkey in the oven for a short period of time. For side dishes, opt for energy-efficient cooking methods, such as the microwave or convection oven. Roast potatoes come out well in energy-efficient air fryers. A final tip is to always match saucepan sizes to hot plates or burners, and keep lids on pots to reduce cooking time and energy waste."

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