Why Don’t Restaurants Use Air Fryers? (4 Valid Reasons)

Air fryers have been trending for a while now and it seems that every other home haves one if you open an appliance catalog you will certainly find a whole spread filled with different air fryer models. However, the question is why restaurants don’t use air fryers?

There is a valid answer for this question and in this article, I will teach you everything I know about it and some additional things that you should know about air fryers but first, let’s see why restaurants don’t use them.

Restaurants don’t use air fryers due to the reason that they just can’t produce the amounts of food that a regular fryer can. In addition, the foods don’t taste as authentic as for example fries fried in oil. Restaurants also thrive for the utmost quality that air fryers simply can’t reach.

When these reasons are considered, it is no wonder that restaurants don’t even look at air fryers.

As a chef myself, I use a Ninja Air Fryer when I’m home to easily produce unbelievably delicious food. However, I couldn’t imagine using one when working at a restaurant.

The answer does have more into it and if you want to fully understand why this is a more in-depth way, you should stick with me until I have explained it. Without further due dive into it.

Why Don’t Restaurants Use Air Fryers

There are 4 reasons why restaurants don’t use air fryers instead of deep fryers and each one would be enough for the restaurant to turn from it if and when there is a chance to use a proper deep fryer.

1. Taste

The first reason why restaurants don’t use air fryers is simply the taste. When you use an air fryer, there is much more oil and grease in the foods that will make them taste less authentic than deep-fried fries, chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, or whatever.

The original idea for air fryers is to replicate the texture of deep-fried foods without being as unhealthy, therefore when a customer comes to a restaurant and wants to order fish & chips with that incredible taste of grease, they want the real deal, not something between fast-food and healthy.

2. No enough volume

Even if customers would like to order some air-fried food which I’m sure many people would, the biggest no-no is the size and capabilities of an air fryer.

Most air fryers come in the size of 4-10 quarts which isn’t just nearly enough for the needs of a restaurant. Think about it, if the restaurant would have a party of 10 with most of them ordering fries, some of them ordering chicken wings, and some side finger foods for all of them you would need 10 air fryers to make it happen and commercial-sized air fryers aren’t exactly a thing because there are already convection ovens and deep fryers available.

3. Limitations

In addition to the two big limitations above there are additional ones so let’s talk about them for a while.

When a restaurant haves a convection oven and a deep fryer, there’s no much that they can’t prepare, however, there are many things that just aren’t ideal for air fryers and I’ll give you a few examples. Let’s say that you would need to prepare cheesy toast with the cheese practically dripping from the sides. Well, the cheese would drip inside of the air fryer that would be hard to clean and it would just mess up the toast as well.

There are many more foods that just won’t be a good fit to cook with air fryers and I have listed some of them below.

  • Corndogs & other foods with wet batter
  • Broccoli (will get extremely dry)
  • Large and thick meats
  • Foods with many seasonings (will burn on the surface)
  • Pasta, rice, etc. (or similar that requires liquid to cook)

Restaurants are far more efficient with ovens and fryers than they would ever be with air fryers.

4. Quality issues

Lastly, if you would want to take all the power and size from your air fryer and fill it as full as it possibly can, it certainly wouldn’t cook all the ingredients evenly but leave some of them frozen and some of them overcooked. For this reason, restaurants just wouldn’t be able to serve quality dishes to the customers.

With these 4 reasons in mind, restaurant owners just won’t invest in an air fryer because it wouldn’t be beneficial for them in most cases. However, I’m certain that there are small restaurants that make some kind of use from it and if this is the case then I’m sure that it is valuable within that restaurant.

Why you shouldn’t use an air fryer

Air fryers operate in such high temperatures that it is too easy to burn and spoil the foods you are trying to cook. In addition, this will allow for the air fryer to overcook the foods from the outside and leave uncooked or even frozen from the inside, therefore the quality just isn’t assured.

There is also some food that is ideal for air fryers and I have listed a few of them below which make the air fryers as popular as they are.

  • Potatoes
  • Bacon
  • Salmon
  • Properly prepared chicken
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Potato, vegetable, & fruit chips

Do you have to clean the air fryer after every use

Depending on what you cook and your own preferences at home, in general, you should clean the air fryer after every use. However, when you are cooking something with a minimal mess such as oil-free fries or onion rings then it isn’t necessary to clean it after every use.

But if you leave your air fryer without cleaning for the next time after making some cheesy toast you are in for a hassle-rich cleaning session next time you are using it.

Also, there are some great ways to minimize or even skip the cloning on some occasions such as bamboo air fryer liners and silicone air fryer liners that are just a dream when preparing food with an air fryer.

Do chefs use air fryers

Chefs are people like the rest of the world so yes, chefs do use air fryers myself included. Air fryers are a great way to prepare less calorie-dense foods that are usually high in calories, air fryers cook the foods really fast, and they require less time and energy to invest in.

Believe it or not, I and other chefs aren’t always thrilled to cook after a long day of cooking at work so an air fryer is a perfect machine for chefs I would say. For home use only of course.

My recommended air fryer: Ninja Air Fryer. I love this air fryer because it is affordable, dishwasher safe, small enough that it will cook everything evenly, and it looks simple enough to look elegant in my kitchen.

Does air fried food taste as good as deep-fried

Air-fried food doesn’t taste as good and authentic when compared to deep-fried foods even when they perform extremely well as well. The only reason why air fryers can reach the same taste levels as deep-fried foods is the absence of large amounts of oil and grease which makes deep-fried food taste so good.

All in all air fried food are extremely tasty and they will give that crust which really isn’t possible in homes considering you don’t have a deep fryer of your own.


When considering the 4 reasons above it is clear why the majority of restaurants simply can’t use an air fryer even if they would like to. For home use air fryers are just incredible in my opinion considering if it is the right model, you cook the right foods with it, and you know how to use it properly.

I hope this article gave you the answers you were looking for and that you have a better understanding of the practices of restaurants and that when you get a fried meal in front of you, there’s a 99% chance that it is deep-fried.

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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