I’M nervous as the buzzer on my air fryer goes off, marking the moment of truth – will my roast dinner taste good?
I’m testing to see how cooking the nation’s favourite dish in an air fryer fares, as thousands rush to buy one in a bid to save cash on their energy bills.
3I was blown away by how great my Sunday dinner tastedCredit: Darren Fletcher
3It was really simple to use and wasn’t a hassle to clean eitherCredit: Darren Fletcher
3My chicken was juicy and my Yorkshire puds were just right too.Credit: Darren Fletcher
Sales of air fryers are rocketing.
Tesco has reported a 200% year-on-year rise in sales, while Iceland’s managing director has tweeted about the appliance being a sell-out product in stores.
They are much cheaper to run, according to experts.
Research from Utilita shows households could save £263.80 a year by swapping their ovens for an air fryer instead.
It means more families are looking to make the switch to save money on bills, which have soared to £2,500 this winter.
I’ve put one to the test to see whether I can cook my Sunday dinner in one.
Choosing the air fryer
Choosing my air fryer was a mission.
I wanted to get one that wasn’t too pricey and would fit in my small kitchen.
With so many options to choose from, I was struggling to find the best one for me.
In the end, I opted for the Tower Family Size Air Fryer, which costs £66.99 on Amazon.
It has a capacity of 4.3litres.
The advert for the appliance claimed I could save up to 50% on my energy bill compared to using a conventional oven.
I’m getting worried about how much my energy bill will cost this winter, and I’m already fighting the urge to turn my heating on – so I was very tempted by this saving.
Cooking the roast
I went to the shop, armed with the dimensions of my air fryer pot.
But I couldn’t find a whole chicken small enough to fit in – so I had to get creative and buy a single chicken breast portion instead.
That was fine as I was cooking just for myself – but I would have been in trouble if I was making dinner for a big family.
I’m not the best cook, so I wanted to get an air fryer that looked easy to use – and this one was.
All I had to do was put my food in the air fryer container, and set the temperature and timer.
There was a handy instruction manual explaining how long you should leave your food in the fryer.
For chicken and frozen potatoes, it was 20-25 minutes.
For frozen veg, it was around 10 minutes.
I was sceptical about what my roast would taste like.
I thought the chicken would be dry and the Yorkshire puds shrivelled up.
But when I opened up the container, the unmistakable mouthwatering smell of cooked chicken wafted around my kitchen.
I sliced into it, and it was cooked perfectly, piping hot, and surprisingly juicy – I would never have been able to tell it hadn’t been cooked in the oven.
My favourite part of a roast is crispy, golden potatoes.
But my air-fried roast potatoes didn’t quite hit the same spot – they didn’t have that same oven-cooked crunch.
However, I was happy they weren’t as greasy.
My Yorkshire puddings, on the other hand, were crisp and delicious.
The peas tasted great too – they popped in my mouth and weren’t dry at all.
I was surprised at how good it tasted – and the best thing was that there was hardly any washing up to do, and the fryer was quick to clean.
How much it cost on my energy bills
I asked Uswitch to crunch the numbers on how much it cost me to cook my air fryer roast dinner – and I was impressed at the savings I made.
The Tower air fryer has a wattage of 1,500.
Based on this, and my cooking times, I asked Uswitch to calculate running costs.
It took 25 minutes to cook everything in total, costing me 21p.
If I had cooked it in the oven, it would have taken far longer at around 30 minutes – which Uswitch said would cost 40p.
If I used my air fryer every Sunday to whip up a roast, it would cost me £10.92 over the year – compared to £20.80 using the oven.
Make sure to factor in the additional cost of using gravy.
No roast is complete without gravy, but I couldn’t make that in the air fryer – so boiled my kettle instead and whisked some up.
It costs 9p to boil a kettle for five minutes.
I was honestly blown away by my air fryer – it lived up to the hype.
I couldn’t believe it slashed my cooking bill in half.
The quality was fantastic too.
The only downsize was the size of mine – I would advise getting a super-size air fryer if you want to use it for the whole family, or buy a smaller chicken.
I’ll definitely be swapping my oven for the air fryer while energy bills are soaring.