Martin Lewis issues warning over ‘money saving’ air fryers and microwaves

Finance expert Martin Lewis has warned that using an air fryer or a microwave instead of an oven might not save you money on your energy bills.

Mr Lewis warned that air fryers and microwaves may not be more economical than ovens as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

In an episode of his podcast, the money-saving expert said it is cheaper to cook some meals in a microwave or an air fryer, but in some circumstances, it is cheaper to use the oven.

Mr Lewis explained cooking a single jacket potato in the microwave in just a few minutes is a sensible way to save on energy bills, but cooking a full roast for several people in the microwave is likely to be more expensive than using an oven.

He said: “The problem with the equation for heating equipment is an oven is going to be about 2000W.

“A microwave gives you consistent heat whereas an oven is warming up to full temperature and then topping it up so it isn’t running at full power the whole time,” he continued.

“But if you’re doing a jacket potato for 10 minutes it’s going to be far cheaper [in the microwave] than doing a single jacket potato in an oven and keeping it on for an hour and a half.

“However if you were doing a full roast dinner and you were cooking many of them, that is where it’s probably cheaper than putting five or six jacket potatoes in a microwave because each additional object you put in a microwave, you need to keep it on longer because a microwave just heats the individual object.

The average wattage of an air fryer is 1kW, meaning they cost around 30p per hour to run


The finance expert explained that a simple equation can be used to calculate how much it will cost to use an appliance.

He said: “General equation is, find the wattage of an item, then work out how many kilowatts or what fraction of a kilowatt it’s using, then multiply that by 34p per hour of use.

“If you had a 1000W microwave and you put it on for 10 minutes, one KWH for a sixth of an hour, a sixth of 34p is about 6p, shall we say? So it’s 6p turning the microwave on for that amount of time. So yes it’s a very useful equation.”

The average oven uses around 3kW, meaning it costs around £1.02 an hour to use, according to home services company Hometree.

Analysis by the company found that while the average wattage of an air fryer is 1kW, meaning they cost around 30p per hour to run, microwaves and slow cookers were found to be the most energy-efficient kitchen appliances.

At 700w, microwaves cost 23.8p per hour to run, according to Hometree, while slow cookers cost 5p an hour.

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