The Great Debate – Air Fryers vs Cooking Oil: Which is the best choice for you? (2023)

Are you ready to fry the competition and find out what’s better between air fryers and cooking oil? It’s time to weigh the pros and cons of each and figure out which one will reign supreme in your kitchen! Whether you’re looking to fry without guilt or cook up a storm with some sizzling oil, we’ve got you covered.

Are you a fan of crispy, fried foods? If you’re from India, chances are you love indulging in popular fried dishes like pakoras, samosas, and vadas. While delicious, these dishes can come with health risks due to the high amount of oil used in traditional frying. That’s where air fryers come in. In recent years, air fryers have gained popularity in India as a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods. But is it really better than cooking with oil? 

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of air frying and cooking with oil, and help you determine which option might be best for you. So let’s dive in and explore the world of air fryers and oil!

air fryers vs cooking oil

What is an Air Fryer? 

air fryer

Air fryers are becoming increasingly popular as a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods. But what exactly is an air fryer? Essentially, it is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air to cook food instead of oil. 

The air fryer works by circulating hot air around the food, which creates a crispy exterior without the need for excess oil. Not only does this result in a healthier version of your favorite fried foods, but it also means faster cooking times and easier cleanup.

They are versatile and can be used to cook a variety of foods, from vegetables to meats to desserts. Some models even come with multiple functions, such as baking and grilling. In India, air frying is becoming increasingly popular, as people look for healthier alternatives to traditional frying methods. 

While the upfront cost of an air fryer may be higher than a traditional frying pan, the long-term savings on oil and the health benefits make it a worthwhile investment. Overall, they are a great option for those looking to enjoy their favorite fried foods in a healthier way.

Benefits and air fryer uses over traditional cooking methods include:

  • Reduced fat intake
  • Healthier cooking
  • Faster cooking times
  • Less oil waste
  • Easy cleanup

What is Cooking Oil? 

Cooking Oil

Cooking oil is an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine, you can find an oil dispenser in every kitchen in an Indian household. The most commonly used oils for cooking in India are refined oil and sunflower oil. Refined oil is a popular choice due to its neutral flavor and high smoke point, while sunflower oil is known for its mild taste and high levels of healthy unsaturated fats. 

While cooking with oil can help achieve crispy textures and enhance the flavor of many dishes, it also comes with potential health risks. Consuming excessive amounts of oil can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease.

Benefits of using cooking oil in cooking include:

  • Improved flavor
  • Increased cooking versatility
  • Longer shelf life
  • Higher smoke point

Drawbacks of using cooking oil include:

  • Increased fat intake
  • Health risks associated with consuming too much oil
  • Difficulty in disposing of used oil

It is important to strike a balance between achieving the desired taste and texture of dishes and maintaining a healthy diet. In the following section, we will compare the benefits and drawbacks of air fryers and oil to help you make an informed decision about which option may be best for your needs. 

Air Fryers vs Cooking Oil – A Comparison

Air Fryers Cooking Oil
Uses hot air to cook food Uses oil to cook food
Requires little to no oil for cooking Requires a significant amount of oil for cooking
Can produce a crispy, fried-like texture with less oil Can produce a traditional fried texture
Can be healthier and lower in calories Can be higher in calories and less healthy
Can be easier to clean and less messy Can be messier and require more cleanup
Can be limited in terms of cooking options Can be versatile and used for a variety of cooking methods
Can be more expensive upfront Can be more cost effective for larger quantities of food
Can produce a consistent cook on food Can produce inconsistent results based on oil temperature and quality

Air frying and cooking with oil have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at how each method affects the flavor, health, and convenience of cooking.

Flavor: When it comes to flavor, oil wins hands down. It adds a rich, deep flavor to food that air fryers can’t match. However, air fryers do offer a healthier alternative with less oil.

Health: Air frying is the healthier option as they require little to no oil. This is especially beneficial for those who are watching their fat intake. However, oil can be healthier if used in moderation and the right type of oil is used.

Convenience: Air fryers win in terms of convenience. They cook food faster and require less cleanup than cooking with oil. Cooking with oil can be messy and requires proper disposal of used oil.

Air Fryers vs Cooking Oil – Final Verdict

Air Frying Pros

  • Require little to no oil (healthier alternative)
  • Faster and more convenient than deep frying
  • Easier cleanup (no oil splatters)
  • Versatile can cook a wide variety of foods
  • Can be used to roast, bake, and dehydrate

Air Frying Cons

  • Expensive
  • May not produce the same crispiness as deep frying
  • Take up space in the kitchen
  • Does not have the same oil-based taste as deep frying
air fryers vs cooking oil

Cooking Oil Pros

  • A staple in Indian Cusine
  • Adds Flavour and Texture to Food
  • Great cooking medium, heats evenly, and prevents sticking
  • Plant-based oils are rich in vitamin E and other nutrients

Cooking Oil Cons

  • High in calories, contribute to weight gain
  • Can have negative health effects
  • Messy and time-consuming
  • Hot oil can be dangerous

Based on the comparison of the pros and cons discussed in the article, it’s clear that air fryers are a healthier alternative to traditional frying with oil. While oil can produce a crispy texture and unique taste, it comes with potential health risks such as an increase in cholesterol levels, heart disease, and obesity. On the other hand, air frying uses little to no oil and can still produce crispy and delicious results. Air frying also offers faster cooking times, easy cleanup, and versatility in the types of food that can be prepared.

In addition, the cost of air fryers in India has become more affordable over time, with many options available in different price ranges. While the initial investment may be higher than purchasing oil, the long-term health benefits and savings on oil costs make air fryers a worthwhile investment.

In conclusion, air frying is the better option compared to cooking with oil for those who prioritize their health and want to enjoy fried foods in a more nutritious way. However, it’s important to note that healthy varieties of cooking oil can still be used in moderation for special occasions or recipes that require its unique taste and texture.


Both air fryers and cooking oil have their pros and cons. While air fryers offer a healthier alternative to traditional frying with less oil consumption and faster cooking times, cooking with oil can provide the desired texture and flavor in certain dishes. Ultimately, the decision between air fryers and oil comes down to personal preference and specific cooking needs.

As with any appliance or ingredient, it’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks and choose what works best for you. Whether you opt for the convenience and health benefits of air fryers or stick with traditional cooking methods with oil, the key is to enjoy your food while making informed and mindful choices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better Cooking Oil and Air Fryers?

It depends on the individual’s preferences and priorities. While oil may offer a distinct taste and texture to fried foods, air frying offers a healthier alternative with lower oil consumption and faster cooking times.

Can we use Oil in the Air Fryer?

Yes, but in small quantities. The purpose of an air fryer is to cook with hot air circulation, which requires minimal oil usage compared to traditional frying methods.

Are Air Fryers Healthy?

Yes, air fryers are considered a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods as they use less oil and can reduce the intake of calories and unhealthy fats.

What can be made in an Air Fryer?

Air fryers can be used to cook a variety of foods, including french fries, chicken wings, fish, vegetables, and even desserts such as cakes and cookies.

What is an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air circulation to cook food, similar to a convection oven. It requires less oil than traditional frying methods and can achieve crispy textures without the need for excessive oil.


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