Air fryer Vs Convection oven is a debate that’s been raging for a while now and has always confused first-time homeowners. In many ways, they are almost the same, they both use hot air & a fan to cook foods evenly with a signature crunch.
But among the two, which is the better option for you – air fryer or convection oven?
To better help you choose between these awesome (and handy) kitchen appliances, let’s take a look at both the air fryer & convection oven in detail.
What is Convection Oven?
Think of a convection oven like a big toaster oven but with a built-in fan to blow the hot air around. As mentioned in the name, these countertop appliances use convection baking to cook food, but with heating pads both on top & bottom unlike just the top on an air fryer. You get racks on the inside to hold the trays/cooking pans.
You can use a convection oven to make;
- Casseroles, baked pasta, baked potatoes, veggie roasts
- Poultry & sausages
- Meat roasts
- Biscuits, croutons, crunchy cookies, dry toast, scones, etc…
Pros of Convection Oven
Cooks faster and evenly: Since superheated air is circulated fully through the appliance, the heat is transferred fast and evenly to the food, giving it a consistent texture across the surface & within. You get that nice brown, crispy look & taste.
Bigger capacities: A full-size convection oven can obviously cook more food at once than a standard air fryer. If you are cooking for a large family or are hosting friends, an oven can eliminate the need for cooking in different batches.
Easy to use: Convection ovens are pretty straightforward. Use the dials to set the time & temperature or pre-heat it, place the food into it, close the lid & hit engage, that’s it. Soon you’ll have something awesome to bite into.
Cons of Convection Oven
Not suitable for all food types: A convection oven is not good for making delicate foods like cakes, soufflés, loaves of bread, and custard, as the circulating air design doesn’t aid the batter to rise properly.
More prone to breaking down: Compared to air fryers, there are a whole lot more parts in a convection oven. The more the parts, the higher the rate of failure is gonna be.
What is Air Fryer?
Like a convection oven, an air fryer also relies on a fan to move hot air around, but unlike the former, this is done much more rapidly & is inside a far smaller chamber. This gives the food a crunchy “fried” texture that’s akin to deep oil frying – but without the oil. This machine also preheats quickly starts cooking its contents right away.
You can use an air fryer to make;
- Frozen foods like French fries, mozzarella sticks, pizza bites, Egg rolls, bacon, Cannoli
- Chicken wings, tenders, or nuggets
- Fried veggies like Zucchini, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, asparagus, etc…
Pros of Air Fryer
Enjoy healthier meals: When using an air fryer, you do not need to use much (or any) oil to fry your food to golden brown perfection. The hot air also makes the food cook faster and prevents the excess oil, if present, from soaking into your food.
This makes air fried foods far healthier, but without compromising on flavor.
Quicker & more efficient: Cooking in Air fryers are quick to pre-heat and cook their contents faster since no heat is wasted in the surroundings. Also, since they cook so faster, they are also more energy-efficient, with the cost limited to just pennies.
Space-saving: An air fryer is about the size of a coffee maker, with some being even smaller. This makes them great for small kitchens, dorm rooms, kitchenettes, or even RV’s.
Cons of Air Fryer
Too loud: Air fryers are a bit louder than convection ovens. A typical branded air fryer can get as loud as 65 decibels, which puts it on par with a vacuum cleaner.
Hard to clean: With an air fryer, you have to clean both the perforated basket as well as the tub it fits in. It gets harder if you’re cooking chicken nuggets, which results in lots of fat dripping.
These are the Overviews of Air fryer vs Convection Oven.