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Air Fryer vs. Oven: Can The New Technology Replace The Trusted Old Appliance?



Air Fryer vs. Oven


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While a raging battle has been going on between microwaves and ovens, a new contender has entered. Yes, you’ve guessed it right. It is the sleek and compact air fryer that has quickly managed to become a favorite among homeowners. 

Are you planning to invest in a kitchen appliance and are wondering if you should get an air fryer? Can it take the place of your trusted old microwave oven? Well, you need to know what an air fryer brings to the table before you can come to that conclusion. 

Dive right into this detailed guide to learn everything about both appliances, and then find out if your trusted oven is easily replaceable with the latest air fryer or not. 

Air Fryer Vs. Oven: What’s The Difference?

Most people believe that an air fryer is nothing but a smaller yet more intense oven, as I did until some time ago. However, there are many differences between the two that you need to understand. 

The following points will help you find out if an air fryer can take the place of the microwave in your kitchen:

Working Process

When it comes to the working of ovens, they have 2 separate heating elements, one present at the top and the other at the bottom. They heat the internal air, which cooks the food. Convection ovens, also called fan ovens, have a fan either at the back or on the side to circulate hot air for an intense effect. 

Due to the fan, ovens have low cooking temperatures, and delicate settings such as baking operate with the fan off. 

Air fryers, on the other hand, are small and more intense than convection ovens.

They circulate hot air that is heated by the heating element in a smaller space.

The heating element is present right at the top of your food, and a powerful fan is directly beneath it. 

The combination in a small air fryer leads to intense heat and cooking food much faster than in traditional ovens.

Oven size
Image Source: Wayfair

You can also get more crisp foods from an air fryer, making it ideal for chips and other crunchy foods. In terms of the working mechanism, an air fryer can take the place of a microwave oven. 

Cooking Time

Owing to their working mechanism and size, the air fryer reduces the overall cooking time by about 20% or even more. Most air fryers also do not require preheating, which also ends up saving time. 

Although air fryers are faster than ovens, you will have to open their drawer to shake up the basket contents during a cooking cycle to ensure every item is even and crisp. So you have to babysit the food while it is cooking instead of being able to do other things.


Air fryers are meant to be countertop appliances, which makes them smaller in size. However, even a small dedicated air fryer can take up precious space on your already crammed countertop. 

On the contrary, ovens are larger in size but tend to be built into your kitchen, which makes them a space-saving and sleeker alternative. 

In case you have a small kitchen, there wouldn’t be extra space on the countertop to accommodate an air fryer, but you may have a dedicated cabinet for a microwave. It would be difficult to replace the microwave with an air fryer in such a situation. 

If you have a bigger kitchen or don’t mind storing the air fryer in a cabinet, you can consider investing in it. 

Foods You Can Cook

Air fryers are versatile appliances that can cook almost everything except some limits.

It allows you to make anything from juicy chicken to crispy fries, but the small size may be a problem as you can’t cook a big serving at once. 

Ideally, you need to spread food at the basket’s bottom in one layer to get even results.

Foods you can cook in an air fryer
Image Source: Wayfair

Due to the smaller size, you will have to cook your food in batches, which can be inconvenient depending on how much food you are cooking. 

Health Quotient 

When compared to deep fryers, air fryers are healthier but when compared to ovens. You only need a bit of oil to cook, although it drips through the perforations present in the basket. It ensures your food isn’t swimming in oil or even self-produced fat. 

If you put food on top of a grill with a drip tray at the bottom of your oven, you will get a similar effect, so it’s even.

Option To Reheat

You can reheat food in both appliances, although air fryers prove better here. Air fryers can not only reheat food much quicker than an oven, but the food is also evenly heated and crispy. It can breathe new life into leftovers, be it a soggy pizza or fries. 

Final Verdict: Can You Replace Your Oven With An Air Fryer?

Both ovens and air fryers are invaluable kitchen appliances that can help you reduce both time and effort while cooking. Given the new technology and hype around it, most people are opting for air fryers, so it is natural to wonder if they can take the place of conventional ovens. 

Since it is like a compact and small oven, the working mechanism of an air fryer is much similar. It also lets you cook everything and even reheat food like an oven, but much quicker. 

Can air fryers replace ovens? If you have a small family and cook only a limited quantity of food without spending much time, you can replace your oven with an air fryer. 

But if you don’t have space on the counter shelf and want to avoid the hassle of cooking in batches and opening the basket to toss the food again, you can stick to the trusted old friend, the oven!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Better For Baking – An Oven Or An Air Fryer?

You must opt for an oven to bake food as oven baking can preserve good nutrients and remove bad ones, making it much healthier than air frying.

Can I Cook Frozen Pizza In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can cook a frozen pizza in your air fryer. Preheat the air fryer and then cook it for 7-8 minutes at 370 degrees or until the cheese melts.

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