Many households in Ireland are struggling with a major cost of living crisis, with energy bills in particular giving cause for concern.
On a mission to cut her kitchen bills, Manchester Evening News reporter Katie McAuliffe tried out a deep fryer and an oven to see which was cheaper.
Your experiment only considers one meal, so it’s possible that other dishes with different cooking times will give different results.
It also depends on how much you’re paying for your energy and how efficient or large your fryer or oven is.
Amid today’s rising energy prices, and with the mindset that I should try to cut back whenever I can, I’m becoming more and more curious to explore alternative options to my daily energy use in hopes of finding cheaper options. . ways of living
I discussed this with a friend of mine, Ellie, and she revealed that based on her smart meter, which sends daily graphs to her phone to tell her how much energy she’s using and how much she spends throughout the day, she believes the most expensive time of a normal day is meals. So, I decided to embark on a mission to discover the most cost-effective way to cook food between a deep fryer and an oven.
To do this effectively, I enlisted the help of Ellie so I could use her nifty smart meter to check the cost of the energy surge at the exact moment I cooked with each of the appliances. Her energy provider is Bulb, which is one of the UK’s leading green energy providers.
A science memory from GSCE reminded me that I had to control my variables for this to be a fair and accurate test. I cooked the same meal, vegan cauliflower wings, at the same time of 12:30pm for two days. To ensure that the readings conveyed only the energy used to cook our food, I made sure that no additional energy was used in the time surrounding our cooking.
After arriving at Ellie’s for the first day, we prepped the cauliflower and set up their awesome Ninja Dual Air Fryer. The original recipe called for 30 minutes in the oven, so we decided to cut that time in half and set the air fryer to 200 degrees for 15 minutes. The process was very quick, after placing the wings in the device all we had to do was press ‘go’ and that was it. In hindsight we could have even used the air fryer for less time as the cauliflower wings were a bit overcooked, but overall it was a hit and the wings were delicious.
The smart meter chart later revealed that the cost of running the fryer to cook the cauliflower at 200 degrees for 15 minutes had been only 20 pence (24 cents). Since the cost could have been further reduced by cooking for less time or at a lower temperature to avoid slightly charring the food, we both agreed that the air fryer was a quick and cost-effective way to cook.
The next day we repeat the same routine, only this time we cook in the oven. We set it to 200 degrees, the same temperature we used with the air fryer, and put it on the fan oven setting. It took 11 minutes for the oven to heat up and then we cooked the cauliflower wings on a baking sheet for a further 30 minutes.
The graph revealed that the cost of using the oven for 41 minutes at 200°C was 42 pence (50 cents), more than double the price of using the fryer.
Time: 15 minutes.
Taste: Delicious, but slightly dry and a bit charred.
Cost: 20p (24 cents).
Time: 41 minutes.
Taste: Perfectly cooked and more succulent than those cooked in the fryer.
Cost: 42p (50 cents).
The air fryer was the clear winner in the cost and time categories.
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