3 Ways to Make Cheap and Delicious Food in an Air Fryer
Air fryers are a fantastic investment for saving money whilst cooking tasty and healthy meals. We looked at how you can save money by using an air fryer to cut down on your cooking times, create perfect juicy meat by using an instant-read thermometer, and make delicious budget recipes using an air fryer.
Read on to learn more.
Big Flavours, Small Budgets – A series of tips and recipes from leading chefs, brands and foodies that show how to create delicious food on a budget.
Select an air fryer to save energy
If you're wondering if air fryers save electricity, you'd be right. If you look at air fryer vs oven energy usage, air fryers use fewer kilowatts per hour and cook things much more quickly. Using fewer watts, and therefore less energy, means spending less money.
An electric oven uses 2,000 watts an hour which costs 0.68p, whereas an air fryer uses 1,700 watts an hour which costs 0.58p. Although the difference in energy consumption isn't significant, the time it takes for food to reach temperature is far less.
Reducing the time you use your electrical appliances will reduce your energy costs, so it's cheaper to use an air fryer than a conventional oven.
Using an air fryer for 30 minutes every day for a year would cost around £98. But using an oven for one hour every day for a year would only cost about £228.48.
Based on the average time an oven takes to cook food compared with an air fryer, you could save around £130 a year.
Why use an air fryer thermometer?
As we already know, food cooks much more quickly in an air fryer. For example, chicken breasts take just 10-15 minutes to reach temperature in an air fryer, compared to around 45 in an oven. And gammon comes to temperature after approximately 45 minutes in an air fryer, usually taking two hours in the oven.
Each air fryer will slightly differ in the speed at which it cooks your food. Plus, the thickness of your meat will be different every time. Both these things affect how quickly your food will cook, so it's always important to cook to temperature, not to time.
Just like when you cook using an oven, hob or BBQ, the best way to ensure you take your food off the heat when it's perfect is by using an instant-read thermometer.
Avoiding overcooking your food not only improves the flavour of your food, it also saves money. Cooking every dish for no longer than necessary will save on energy costs and stop expensive meat from being spoiled.
Which are the best air fryer thermometers?
ThermaStick - Best Budget Meat Thermometer
Simple but reliable, the ThermaStick is the best budget meat thermometer for air fryers. Its long stainless steel probe makes it perfect for taking temperatures in a deep air fryer. Simple to use, it will remove the guesswork from your cooking.
Thermapen Classic - Essential Kitchen Thermometer
A step up from the ThermaStick, the Thermapen Classic features accurate three-second readings, splashproof casing and a two-year guarantee. This is the essential kitchen thermometer for ensuring your air fryer recipes are cooked to perfection.
Thermapen ONE - Ultimate Instant-Read Thermometer
The Thermapen ONE is our most premium food thermometer yet, featuring one-second readings, unrivalled accuracy, waterproof casing and a five-year guarantee. With a robust design that's built to last, this is the only cooking sidekick you'll ever need to ensure every air fryer dish is spot-on.
Choose tasty and cheap air fryer recipes
There are loads of great budget recipes you can make in an air fryer. Fakeaways like fish and chips are a great option because you can recreate your favourite deep-fried foods without using large quantities of costly oil.
Budget air fryer recipe ideas:
Fish and chips
Ham, egg and chips
Our favourite air fryer brand Instant shared their favourite roast chicken recipe with us. We love this recipe because it's so quick and simple, the chicken is cheap, and it makes loads of portions. If you’re looking for a budget date night meal at home, this steak recipe from Instant is really special but easy to make.