Air Fryer Vs Convection Oven – What Are The Differences

I don’t know any place in the world where the air fryer hasn’t taken over the cooking. It’s, in fact, the latest hottest kitchen appliance.

However, we still have a whole load of people who aren’t enjoying the benefits of having an air fryer.

This might be because they are misinformed or they haven’t just heard much about it yet. Either way, we all need these different and upcoming tools every now and then.

Today, we bring you the 2 common gadgets: air fryer and convection oven. We intend to guide you into making an informed decision before you decide to buy the tools.

air-fryer-vs-convection-oven

Image: Slice Pizzeria

What Is an Air Fryer and How Does It Work?

We may describe the air fryer as the compact countertop gadget that circulates air around your food through convection heating. The air is made to circulate the food using a fan.

In this process, the food that would have been cooked using fat is cooked using air and minimal to no oil. The air surrounds your food the same way oil surrounds your food when you are deep frying. The air frying process is considered a healthier option to deep frying one.

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Philips Avance Digital Turbostar Airfryer

Philips Airfryer, Avance Turbo Star, Digital, Black, HD9641/96

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This tool will cook your food more evenly using its 5 pre-set for all your popular dishes. Using its turbostar air fryer technology it uses 75% less fat and delivers crispy textured food with tender inner parts.

You can control it using the quick control dial. It works instantly and delivers the perfect results in a short while. This is one of the best air fryers in the market today. The item is easy to clean and use.

Understanding the Air Fryer Better

For you to understand how it works you need to know the different parts of the item. An air fryer features the following parts.

  • Cover
  • Basket holder
  • Basket
  • Divider

Its base is the main body of the air fryer as it holds all the functional units of the air fryer. On top of the cover, you have the basket holder that is meant to hold the cooking basket. Beneath it is the fan that you use to circulate hot air in the air fryer.

You usually place your food in the cooking basket which is in the basket holder. The base of the cooking basket is made in form of the wire mesh to ease the air circulation around your food. It further has a divider which makes it easy to cook the different kinds of food at a go.

How it works

If there’s one thing that each of you will agree on is that the deep-frying method of cooking makes your food taste delicious.

However, when we come to the Healthline, too much oil increases the caloric intake and thus becomes hazardous to your health and specifically your heart.

Contrary to the deep-frying method, the air fryer method is where instead of using oil you use air for the frying process.

use the air fryer

Air is made to come out and inside the parts of the air fryer and if you have placed just enough amount of food in the gadget you will have their outer surface being crispy.

You might compare it to the regular oven but it’s a little different because with the air fryer you have the air moving more rapidly than it does with the oven. Moreover, cooking takes place in a confined space which may or may not affect the evenness and cooking times of the cooker.

So, most people ask how comes it still develops the crusty outer skin that’s also eye-catching and tasty?

The reason is simple, during the cooking process there is the surface level reaction of the amino acids and sugars. It occurs when the cooking temperature reaches and is maintained between 280 and 330 degrees. This is what makes the food so tasty and visually appealing.

If you will maintain your temperatures at the 320 degrees level, chances are that you will get all the benefits you need to acquire only the healthy fats. The best part is further that the air fryer makes you cook hand-free. No need to turn the fries.

In summary, it all happens to give you the perfect crispy texture, moist and tender interior surface. Mark you, they aren’t only used for the chips as they were in the earlier days, today, we use the air fryer for different cooking needs.

From curries to different desserts and to different kinds of potatoes, this gadget is what you need for your day to day use.

The Benefits of Using an Air Fryer

air-fryer

Image: Slice Pizzeria

There are different reasons as to why the air fryer is common today. They include the following.

Healthier cooking

When using the air fryer, you don’t have to use oil and if you do, it’s very minimal. This is especially so when you need to cook your chips or brown your meats.

Something that when you are using the regular cooking method, you might have to use a lot of oil to deep fry thus consuming more calories.

From frozen fries to onion rings and to chicken wings, the list is endless of what you will cook in this and receive the perfect product. The air fryer method gives your food the chance to drain off the excess oil if any is in the food as opposed to soaking the oil in the food.

So, if you thought the fact that they are claimed to make you the healthy food is a lie, think again.

I’m not disputing the fact that there have been a few concerns on the method of cooking but one thing that’s true is that it uses lesser oil which makes it ideal for your deep-frying recipes.

  • It is versatile

The last thing you need is a kitchen gadget to simply cook a single meal from your list. That makes it a wasted resource. With the air fryer, you can deep fry your food, stir fry them, reheat, broil, bake or roast your food.

You can also make your favorite nuggets, chicken breasts, fish and shrimp dishes among your other day to day meals. Some people even prefer to buy the large air fryers that will cook a whole piece of chicken. This gadget is more useful than your regular fryer.

  • Less cooking time

The design makes it cook your food faster than your regular oven because it cooks your food uses the fan to circulate the hot air on all parts of your food.

Normally, it will take the oven about 20 minutes to properly preheat but the air fryer, in this case, reaches the required temperature quick. This means that you can cook your food in 15 to 20 minutes while it takes so long to cook in your regular oven.

  • They are easy to use

Even if you are a beginner at using this gadget you don’t have to go to school to understand how to utilize it fully. You only need to set the temperature and time then let the food cook after you have shaken it a few more times.

Most of the air fryers have 2 buttons that control the entire gadget. There is no need to stir or keep checking your food as you do with your regular stoves.

  • It’s space-saving

Being a countertop gadget and still operating as the oven does is a plus for anyone who has a small kitchen. It will allow you to enjoy the services of the conventional oven with a small item. Furthermore, the tool doesn’t occupy a lot of space on your counter.

They are further easy to store away if you need to as opposed to large ovens. It can even work as a toaster oven thus ideal for anyone not intending to stuff their kitchen with different tools.

  • They are energy efficient

If you have noticed the oven heats up your house as you are cooking something. Luckily the air fryer doesn’t. Even when there’s a heatwave you will have the air fryer cook and not influence your home temperature.

If you intend to regulate your energy bill then buying the air fryer is better than the conventional oven. Besides, today, most people prefer to work with gadgets that are environmentally friendly. This is one such gadget.

  • It’s easy to clean

The item is easy to clean as you only must clean the basket and the pan and you can place them directly on your dishwasher. The best part is that your food will never stick on the pan rather it will slide into your plate since the pan is non-stick.

So, for all those with problems of cleaning, worry not as you won’t have to invest much time to clean with this gadget.

The Major Draw Backs of An Air Fryer

  • Large families

The air fryer suits those with small families. For most air fryers including those that are advertised as being ideal for large families, they will cook for not more than 4 people. There are families where you have 6 to even 10 people.

In such cases, the air fryers become ineffective since you might have to cook your food twice. If you have a large family then you may want to invest in the regular conventional oven.

  • The quality

Most people complain that they are never as durable as they claim to be. Some parts of the air fryer are made of plastic or inexpensive metal parts. This influences its quality as it may not last long.

On the inside, its fan, heating element, and controls wear off sooner than you expect. Even the pans and baskets aren’t as durable often. This is to say you will be buying new parts and entirely new gadgets every so often.

If you can, always buy your air fryers from popular brands like Philips. Cozyna or secura.

  • Though versatile it limits you

You can cook almost anything in the air fryer, however, for you to cook anything perfectly the size must be considered. This all depends on which basket you have. For example, some air fryers won’t cook your whole chicken like you would love to because of the size and shape.

Extra Large Digital Countertop Convection Oven

Oster Extra Large Digital Countertop Convection Oven, Stainless Steel (TSSTTVDGXL-SHP)

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This convection oven features the convection technology that allows for the fast and even heating method. The item gives you the digital settings for your pizza, broil, bake, toast and defrost your food.

It has a 90 minutes timer as well as the auto shut off function. With this item, you have 2 racks, a boiling rack and baking pan. The item is easy to use as it gets rid of guesswork.

Similarities of An Air Fryer and Convection Oven

  • They both use hot air to cook your food. The air circulation provides you with enough heat that you need to cook your food. In both cases, zero to minimal oil is needed to cook your food evenly.
  • They also use the fan to circulate air in the air fryer and convection oven. This equal circulation of air results in quicker cooking within a faster duration.
  • They will both fit on your kitchen counter thus saving on the space you would rather use with large gadgets.
  • They both will replace your toaster ovens, conventional oven, and toasters among other appliances.

Air Fryer and Convection Oven Comparison

convection-oven

Image: Slice Pizzeria

The following are the main factors that may be of interest to you. So, we compare the effectiveness in regards to how they work, the price, space, and performance among other features.

  • The healthiness of the product

Like we have seen in the previous contexts, both items use air to cook your food. They lack the heating element which is found in the conventional regular oven.

When you are using the heating element, your ease of cooking the food is determined by the proximity to the heating temperature.

Nevertheless, the convection oven allows you to cook almost anything you wish to. They require you to add a small amount of oil to cook the food. The food cooks in its natural juices living it moist and tender.

So, in this case, the healthier choice happens to be the air fryer because it mostly requires no oil to cook your food. You must add some oil when working with the convection oven to help with moisture retention.

The air fryer also cooks your food at higher temperatures which means that your food cooks quicker to retain the healthy nutrients and moisture. This, therefore, gives you a clear cut that the air fryer is better when it comes to healthy cooking.

  • How they work

They both use the hot air to cook your food with the help of the fan. However, they differ in some way in that, the air fryer has its heating element on the top of it while the convection oven has it at the bottom. Here is how it affects your food results.

The air fryer heating element that is located very close to your food makes your food crispy by taking the air in from the top and using the exhaust on the back to regulate the temperature and your internal pressure.

On the other hand, the convection oven works more the same as the regular oven. It works with the fan to circulate warmed heat and thus evenly cook your food. In some cases, the convection oven has the heating elements located at the back, top and bottom of the same gadget.

Check out the video below to know more about how to use a Convection Oven.


This means that it has more advantages when it comes to even cook your food.

  • Size and space

The air fryer comes in smaller as it features a footprint of up to 12 inches thus, they will most probably fit on any kitchen counter. The air fryer further fits under the kitchen cabinet so most of the gadgets are placed on the counter.

If it doesn’t fit there are smaller models with a reduced height. The largest air fryer features a footprint of 16.9 inches. It comes in at the size of 8 quartz.

The convection oven, on the other hand, mostly has a footprint of 14 inches by 22 inches. This doubles up the size of your regular air fryer. It even has a height of about 22 inches. Which therefore means that when it comes to saving on your counter space, choose the air fryer.

  • The cooking capacity

The convection ovens happen to be bigger than your regular air fryers. They are not mostly placed on the countertop because of their size. So, most people find them not as ideal because you must bend to check your food and remove it once it’s cooked.

On the contrary, the air fryer is smaller in size and thus easy to use on the counter. So, since you have big convection ovens, they also have a bigger cooking space compared to the air fryer.

You can, therefore, put larger amounts of food in the convection oven at once while the air fryer is meant for those with smaller amounts of food to cook. Although they have deeper chambers that allow you to cook larger amounts, they are smaller when compared to a convection oven.

  • The maintenance and reliability

The last thing you want is to buy an item that you will have to spend so much money maintaining. Whenever you are cooking using the regular cooking methods the most common thing is the splattering of food and dripping that causes stains.

The air fryer is good in this aspect as it prevents the tendency to have a messy kitchen. They further normally have non-stick pans which make it easy to clean them. This further means that their maintenance is quite easy.

The maintenance of the convection oven is a tricky deal to some extent. You can’t even reach all the corners of the oven because of the way it’s structured which may lead to the harboring of the bacteria. You need strong detergents to thoroughly clean it.

The reliability of the items is defined by the brand we are talking about. The material, quality of the unit, and the design determine whether either of the item is reliable or not.

This means that you will check your item individually if you are to determine whether it’s reliable or not.

  • Ease of use

The air fryers are designed to make it easy to cook your food. When using the air fryer, you only need to place the food in the cooking basket, set the temperature and time then let it cook. If you wish you can flip or toss it a few times as you are cooking.

Although the convection oven as=re said to cook 25% times faster than the regular ovens it might be hard to control the item since there are rarely recipes designed for cooking in the convection oven.

The control setting is different with each brand so you don’t have a clear-cut setting as to which setting to use in the cooking process.

  • The performance

Both the convection oven and the air fryer aim at producing the perfect result. They both aim at giving crunchy and flavourful food. The air fryers are made to cook smaller amounts of food and they can handle your different cuts of meats.

The convection oven handles larger cuts of food or even whole chicken pieces. This is something that the regular air fryer can’t do. For this reason, when it comes to performance the convection oven wins.

Is the Air Fryer Just A Convection Oven?

I would say to some extent yes. However, I would refer to it as the mini convection oven because it does almost everything the convection oven does though in smaller quantities. They are a great buy for those who don’t cook food in large quantities.

For some people, it’s better to have convection while for others the air fryer is the real deal. The air fryer will make you replace various tools like the toaster oven, the toaster, and the deep fryer among others.

Can You Air Fry in The Convection Oven?

Yes, you can as they both use the same method of cooking. They cook all the same stuff the only difference is that in the convection oven you need to use a little more oil than you use when you are using the air fryer.

Although you can use the oven to air fry if you wish to reduce the oil you use in the cooking to a zero level, consider using the air fryer.

Which Is Better the Air Fryer or Convection Oven?

I must say, that it’s very hard to say this is the best oven or the other between these two gadgets. The reason is that they do all the same work and are designed to cook in an almost similar method.

I would advise that you check on the above features to see what it is you really want in the gadget and then make a decision based on your conclusion.

Notice that whether you choose the air fryer or the convection oven you will have the utmost benefit of each item you feel will serve you.

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