Air fryer vs convection oven is no less than batman vs superman. After all, both are wonderous kitchen appliances equipped with state-of-the-art technology to cook healthy and delicious food. However, both of them have some similarities and distinct features.
If you are wondering which one is better, you are at the right place. Our duty is to present an unbiased comparison of the two kitchen appliances, and your task is to be the final judge to pass a verdict about their performance. It’s a fair deal, right?
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It’s a portable countertop, kitchen appliance with a wider surface area. It uses a heating coil or a radiating element either inside or outside the cooking area. Furthermore, a fan assists in circulating the hot air around the food to ensure perfect cooking.
A convection oven comes with a heating coil, preset at the bottom or top only. Later, the forceful fan removes the steam from the food to create a crispy exterior.
Why do we call it a convection oven? It’s because the air movement inside is responsible for the convection effect that results in faster cooking. This way, it transfers a higher temperature to the food than a standard oven.
Read more: The 5 Best Convection Ovens for 2023
As the name suggests, an air fryer comes with a built-in fan to circulate hot air to prepare healthy fried meals. It provides a perfect substitute for deep frying since it doesn’t require oil. Nonetheless, it prepares the delicious fried chicken with a crispy texture on the outside and tenderness on the inside.
You can consider an air fryer a smaller and portable convection oven. It looks like a coffeemaker with a handle for the removable frying basket.
Since it’s smaller, it concentrates a large amount of heat onto a smaller cooking area, thus cooking food quickly than a convection oven.
Before selecting any of the two kitchen appliances, it’s better to analyze their features and operations.
An air fryer has the edge over a convection oven because it lowers the additional fats and calories since it doesn’t require any extra oil as in deep frying.
By the way, the heating element is usually on the top in an air fryer’ while a radiating coil is present at the bottom of a convection oven.
It’s better to cook some specific food items in an air fryer than a convection oven, such as chicken nuggets, fries, and other frozen items. It doesn’t mean that you can’t cook them in a convection oven; instead, an air fryer ensures gentle cooking.
Lastly, you can reduce your cooking time by 20 percent if you use an air fryer.
A convection oven is preferable if you want to bake bread, cakes, and other food items which don’t require a crispy exterior.
A convection oven is known for even heat distribution and consistent cooking. Furthermore, it allows you to select the temperature according to the cooking requirement.
Similar is the case with an air fryer; however, it heats faster and requires lesser time to preheat. It’s because it facilitates better heat circulation in its compact cooking space.
Moreover, both of these appliances optimize the internal temperature to keep it consistent throughout the cooking cycle. You don’t need to worry about your food not properly cooked from the inside since the hot air seeps through the food.
Another advantage of an air fryer over a convection oven is that it achieves a higher temperature, making it a suitable choice to bake healthy desserts.
As far as sizes are concerned, we all know that a convection oven offers a larger cooking area than an air fryer. This way, it allows you to cook a larger food quantity such as lamb chops, pizza, rotisserie, casseroles, or pies. You don’t need to chop bigger food chunks to fit them in a convection oven.
On the contrary, an air fryer, being a compact appliance, offers a smaller cooking capacity. But, it doesn’t mean you can’t cook two or three pounds of french fries simultaneously. Nonetheless, you can’t roast lamb legs or other larger food items in an air fryer.
A convection oven comes in a rectangular shape with a front door that ovens. Conversely, an air fryer comes with a round-shaped basket to hold different food items.
Advantages of a Convection Oven
- Spacious cooking capacity – You can cook larger food items, portions, or multiple meals simultaneously.
- Versatile – A convection oven offers various cooking options, including roasting, baking, broiling, and dehydrating.
- Convenient Cleaning – You can clean the oven’s interior with a clean damp cloth.
Disadvantages of a Convection Oven
- Larger Footprint – Occupies a lot of kitchen countertops, which can be a problem if you have a smaller kitchen.
Advantages of an Air Fryer
- Even Cooking – Since an air fryer is relatively compact, that’s why the fan rapidly circulates the air to ensure fast and consistent cooking.
- Compact – Doesn’t occupy much of your counter space. Not only that, but an air fryer is lighter than a convection oven.
- Cooks Frozen Food – You can cook your favorite frozen food in an air fryer, courtesy of its fan to remove the moisture from the food.
Disadvantages of an Air Fryer
- Lesser Capacity – Fits smaller portions of food in its basket.
- Difficult to Clean – You can conveniently wash the basket with soapy water. However, it’s relatively difficult to clean the moisture or grease drippings from the compact interior.
It all drills down to your personal preference to choose an air fryer or a convection oven.
An air fryer reduces your cooking time, while a convection oven gives you a larger booking capacity. Similarly, an air fryer requires minimal oil to cook your daily frying food or frozen items, while a convection oven is an apt choice to bake delicious cakes and bread.
Our advice is that if you want to reduce your daily calorie count of regular meals, an air fryer is an ideal choice. However, if you have a larger family and want to cook bigger meals, you can choose a convection oven to meet the cooking requirements.