Cheapest kitchen appliances to run – experts reveal the 4 best options for an energy-efficient kitchen

Experts reveal the cheapest kitchen appliances to run to make your kitchen more energy-efficient – and your savings bigger

A white kitchen with white marble countertops, double ovens built into units
(Image credit: Martin Moore)

With prices continuing to rise almost all of us are looking for ways to lower our household bills – especially when it comes to everyday tasks and daily essentials like cooking. 

While many people may be familiar with the best places to buy appliances for a kitchen, with many household names offering the best value, understanding what the cheapest kitchen appliances to run are can help you make more informed decisions when it comes to cooking and feeding your family.  

Here, experts have broken down the four best energy-efficient appliances for a kitchen so that you can save money at home while continuing to enjoy good food.

The cheapest kitchen appliances to run 

When it comes to the cheapest kitchen appliances to run, it is often smaller, countertop gadgets that offer the best value both upfront and in use.

Here are four of the best options for your kitchen ideas.

1. Air fryers 

A back air fryer turned on to 180 degrees in a kitchen

(Image credit: Alamy)

It is a well-known secret that the best air fryers are some of the best options for saving money in a kitchen – a fact we can testify to having tested and reviewed several models such as the Ninja Foodi DZ401 6-in-1 air fryer review, and the Phillips Essential Air Frier XL review

'Air Frying is a much more energy-efficient wayto cook versus an oven as you are heating up a smaller space and the preheat time is faster, meaning you have the unit on for a shorter amount of time than you would when cooking with your conventional oven,' explains Amanda Long, managing director of Russell Hobbs

Compared to an electric convection oven, an Air Fryer is estimated to be around 50% more energy efficient costing users around 25 cents per hour depending on the make and model. It turns out that it really is cheaper to cook with an air fryer.

2. Slow cookers

A black slow cooker filled with stew

(Image credit: Russell Hobbs)

While slow cookers have had a bit of a bad rap amount younger generations over the last few years, the best slow cookers are starting to make a comeback due to their low costs and energy efficiency despite their longer cooking times. The savings come from the fact that slow cookers (or crock pots) usually only use around 250 watts of energy in comparison to a 4000-watt oven as well as heating up a much smaller area for concentrated cooking. 

'Slow Cookers are among the kitchen’s most energy-efficient appliances, allowing you to cook up a variety of different dishes from stews to curries, and even desserts, in minimal time with minimal fuss,' Russell Hobbs's Amanda Long says. 'Great for gently cooking meals over a longer period of time, load your slow cooker up with your ingredients in the morning and come home to a delicious homecooked meal after work – it couldn’t be easier!'

It is a good time to consider snapping up a slow cooker too, with some of the best Black Friday slow cooker sales cropping up online this weekend. 

3. Microwaves

Roundhouse Kitchen

(Image credit: Darren Chung Photography)

Possibly one of the least glamorous kitchen appliances, microwaves are arguably one of the best low-cost appliances for cooking using as little as 215kWh of energy per year in the average home. What's more, many of the latest, most energy-efficient models are cropping up in Black Friday appliance deals.

'Microwaves offer useful solutions for cooking in your home. Not only packed with easy-to-use functionality, they’re also a great energy-efficient way to cook in your kitchen,' Amanda explains. By heating just the food and not the air space inside like an oven, they use less energy to cook up a meal, whether it’s reheating or defrosting those family favorite meals, or warming through a delicious batch-cooked soup.' 

4. hot water tap

A gold hot water tap in a kitchen island

(Image credit: Wödår)

Whether you already own one of the best electric kettles or still prefer to heat water up on the stove, newer kitchen upgrades are proving to be the best for cutting costs. Hot water taps, often seen as a luxury, are fast becoming some of the cheapest kitchen appliances to add when designing a kitchen from scratch. 

'According to Uswitch, it costs eight cents to boil a kettle for five minutes at a time,' begins Michael Sammon, managing director at Wödår. 'An instant boiling water tap costs about three cents a day and saves you time/effort on waiting and filling up the kettle. 

'Having a gallon of piping hot water literally on tap means you can use exactly the amount required every time. This helps you to avoid overfilling, which reduces both water waste and energy waste,' he adds.

If adding a new tap into your kitchen is not on the horizon for your household, make sure to invest in one of the best electric kettles with a good energy efficiency rating.

The most expensive cooking appliance to run 

Fitted kitchen with pale grey cupboards and a kitchen island with marbled worktop and wooden stools under the breakfast bar

(Image credit: MARK BOLTON)

Unfortunately, the most common cooking appliance also racks up the highest costs. Traditional electric ovens are often the worst offenders when it comes to pushing up energy bills. Luckily, along with swapping out some of your cooking to an Air Fryer, there are a few ways you can make your oven a little more efficient (something that will be needed over Thanksgiving weekend).

'Start by removing baking trays that aren’t in use from ovens as these will absorb heat, meaning the oven will take longer to preheat and food will take longer to cook,' Clare Edwards, Smeg's home economist begins. 'If you have a range cooker, make use of the secondary oven when cooking smaller quantities of food to avoid unnecessarily heating a large cavity,' she adds. 

What uses the most electricity in the kitchen?

Typically it is wet appliances (such as dishwashers, washing machines, and tumble dryers) are the devices that use the most electricity in the kitchen. This is because these devices usually use more power to heat water, in

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.