Welcome back to Air Fryer Bro. Today I am going to write an article talking about the wattage of air fryers (my favorite kitchen appliance!!). This is not the first time that I have written about air fryer wattage. In my research project, I worked out the average wattages of air fryers, as well as writing an article about how energy efficient air fryers are (you should check that out if you are worried about your electricity bill in 2023). But today is a bit different. Today I want to discuss why air fryer wattage is so important when you are buying a new one. Essentially, what to look out for (in terms of wattage) when in the market for an air fryer.
Actually, this article was inspired by some mis-information on the web. These days, anyone can write about air fryers and (unfortunately) there are people out there that seem to have never actually used an air fryer extensively to cook food, and are giving misleading and, frankly, wrong advice. As the Air Fryer Bro, this kind of annoys me 🙂 So today I look to set the record straight.If you use your air fryer a lot, this is an important lesson to learn.
Before we start, I have a full article explaining my top recommendations for low wattage air fryers, if you are in the market for one.
What is Wattage?
Most people know about volts, but not many understand what wattage really is. To many, both wattage and volts are bundled together as a ‘power rating’ without much knowledge as to the difference! Wattage is commonly known as the ‘power’ or ‘force’ that will be doing work inside your electrical appliance. Watts are calculated by multiplying the volts (input at the wall socket) by the amps (referring to the rate at which this electricity flows through your appliance).
The wattage marked on your air fryer will be the maximum amount of ‘power’ that it will need, so it is not necessarily using this all the time it is plugged in. Although it gives you an indication as to how much electricity your air fryer will use. The higher the wattage of your air fryer, the higher its electricity usage (generally speaking).
How Can I find out the Wattage on an Air Fryer?
If you have the physical air fryer in front of you, there will be a label that states the wattage. This is often found on the base of the air fryer, like you can see with my Philips air fryer below.
If you are buying your air fryer online, the wattage is often displayed within the title of the product. However, you may have to do a bit of digging to find it.
Let’s use Amazon as an example. The GoWise air fryer below clearly states that it is a 1700 watt appliance.
However, I found another GoWise air fryer that doesn’t state the wattage in the title, so my next step is to take a look at the product description. This time, the wattage was stated right there in the description.
Both of these places are easy to find, being right at the top of the listing. Unfortunately, from time to time, this information may be more hidden. You may find it in the fancy marketing blurb in the middle of the product listing, but failing that, I always go to the question-and-answer section of the listing. As you can see below, there is always someone on hand to help out with this. Although be aware that the answer is likely to be more reliable if more than one person has the same answer or if it is a company representative answering 🙂
Why is Air Fryer Wattage Important?
Now that you know the wattage of your appliance, the next question is…..’Why is it important that you know the wattage of your air fryer?’
Well, the wattage relates to the power of your air fryer. If an air fryer has a higher wattage, it is not only likely to use more energy. It is also more likely to cook faster or crisp better. When cooking with hot air, this is often the case. This can be important when cooking those french fries to the ultimate crisp!
The thing other people seem to forget is you can’t give a blanket wattage for all air fryers, as these days the size of air fryers varies so wildly. Yes, if you had a full size air fryer that was 1000 watts I might be worried, but if I had a small air fryer with this rating, it would still be fine. You need to take wattage and size into account.
This is why I will run through the different air fryer types and the wattages you should expect. If the figure you have is slightly off, it is possible the company has found a way to be more energy efficient. However, if it is way out, you are probably going to end up with a unit that is underpowered.
Typical Wattages for Different Air Fryers?
During this article I will talk about bucket/ basket style air fryers (originally conceived to replace the deep fryer), as well as air fryer ovens. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you can read THIS article that will explain everything.
Wattage of Small Bucket or Basket Air Fryers
These days there has been quite a market for small or micro air fryers that would even work on an RV 🙂 I have a whole article talking about small air fryers I would recommend, if you are in the market for one.
I would classify a small air fryer as one that is around 1-2 quarts in size. For this size of air fryer, I would expect a wattage around 800 watts for 1 quart and getting up to just over a 1000 watts for 2 quart capacity.
And the lower wattages of these air fryers doesn’t mean you can only cook vegetables in them, you can cook anything in these that you can in larger more powerful units (as long as it fits inside).
Below is an example of one of these micro air fryers, you can click the image to view it over at Amazon.
Wattage of Medium Size Bucket or Basket Air Fryers
This would be something typically around the 3-4 quart capacity range. When air fryers first came out, this was pretty much the only size you could get! Oh, how air fryer technology has moved on 🙂
For this size of air fryer, I would expect the wattage to be somewhere around 1300-1500 watts.
Below is a prime example of this type of air fryer over at Amazon, again you can view it yourself over there by clicking the image. This particular model is 3.2 quarts in size and comes in at 1400 watts.
Wattage of Large Size Bucket or Basket Air Fryers
These larger traditional styled air fryers are now available in sizes up to around 7-8 quarts. For a cooking area this large, I would expect a wattage of around 1700 to be able to cook well.
The 8.5 quart ESLite unit below is a prime example, clocking in at 1700 watts. Click the image to view it on Amazon.
Wattage of Air Fryer Ovens
I would say that under powered air fryers are most common in air fryer ovens. This is where I have seen the most complaints of appliances that don’t crisp well or take too long to cook. So, I would be especially careful when buying one of these. You will notice that a lot of them have lower ratings than the biggest bucket air fryers. Some of them are just more energy efficient, but you will find others that are underpowered!
Air Fryer ovens are a little harder to quantify, as they come in so many different sizes. In general, these are much larger than traditional bucket air fryers, being based more on the traditional oven design.
The smallest air fryer ovens are around 10 quarts in capacity. For these I expect a wattage of around 1600-1700. It pretty impressive that these seem to be more energy efficient than the 7-8 quart bucket air fryers! They come in at around the same wattage.
The largest air fryer ovens are typically over 20 quarts in size, so they are pretty massive beasts. Amazingly, the highest rated one I could find is 1800 watts.
Below is an example of one of these, you can click the image to view on Amazon.
Wattage of Air Fryer Microwave Combo Units
Yes, air fryers now come in the microwave combo variety, you didn’t read that wrong 🙂 The question is, for this article, what is the typical wattage of a microwave/air fryer combo appliance? Surprisingly, the majority of units I see on the market are around the 1000 watt mark. This makes it one of the lowest wattage air fryer options for sale. Just make sure to get a good one with a good air fry crisping performance. Below is an example of a typical air fryer microwave, you can view it over at amazon by clicking the image.
Is Low Wattage Best for Air Fryers?
Many people think they should get the lowest wattage air fryer possible to use less energy and therefore lower the amount of electricity you pay for. Actually, for air fryer use, this is self-defeating. If you have an air fryer that is lower wattage for its size (as stated above), you may find that it takes longer to cook the food and get that proper air fryer crisp we all love. This will lead to longer cooking times and probably using less energy overall. So a proper matched wattage to size ratio will actually lower your electricity or energy bill 🙂 And if you use it in place of a conventional oven, even more so 🙂
What Should I Do if my Air Fryer Has a Lower Wattage?
If you feel that you have an air fryer with a low wattage for its size, there isn’t much you can do. If the crisping performance seems low or the timings you need are a lot higher than the typical air fryer recipes you find online, you might want to replace the unit.
What else can you do if you find yourself with (or want to buy) an air fryer with a lower wattage? For me, I would simply find as many user reviews as I can for the product and see if there are multiple reviews complaining of weak cooking performance. If not, we can assume this manufacturer has worked some air fryer efficiency magic 🙂
That’s All Folks!
Happy air frying! If you are still on the fence about air fryers, you can find out why I love air fryers so much from another article I wrote about how air fryers changed my life 🙂