To Fry or To Bake: The Ultimate Air Fryer vs Convection Oven Battle




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This is our comparison of Air Fryer vs Convection Oven 

We discuss the main differences between Air Fryer vs Convection Oven, which one is healthier, what you should buy, and what food items work best in each appliance. They are both kitchen appliances that can be used to substitute deep-frying, but are they really the same thing? We found out. 

A Quick Summary of Air Fryers 

An air fryer is a counter-top kitchen appliance that looks like a small version of an old school microwave oven. It uses convection currents to circulate hot air around food in order to cook it with less oil compared to deep-frying. 

A Quick Summary of The Convection Oven 

A convection oven is a common appliance in many kitchens because of its versatility; it can function as an ordinary oven, toaster oven or air fryer depending on the requirements. This type of oven also features hot air that circulates around food like what happens in deep-frying but without requiring as much oil. 

Air Fryers vs. Convection Ovens: What’s The Difference?

One major difference is how food is cooked…. 

Air fryers are mainly designed to fry food with hot air circulating around it while convection ovens are known for their capability to bake, roast, broil and toast. 

Cooking Using Air Fryer

Another difference is the time it takes to cook… 

Air fryers cook food up to 50% faster than convection ovens because the circulating hot air sears in flavors and creates a crispy exterior similar to deep-frying. Convection ovens on the other hand, typically take longer because it works by heating the room-temperature air inside and then using fans to circulate it around the food, cooking it more slowly. 

The price ranges are different….. 

The price range is also different. Air fryers are usually cheaper than convection ovens because they are simpler in design and smaller in size. The average price of an air fryer ranges from $50 to $150, while convection ovens can cost up to twice as much or more.

Lastly, the type of food that can be cooked… 

Food items that do well in an air fryer are basically those that require less oil and shorter cooking time such as French fries, fish fillets, chicken wings, etc. Food items that work best in a convection oven are those that require more time to cook but don’t use a lot of oil such as roasted chicken, turkey, etc. 

Air Fryer: What’s The Big Deal? 

Air fryers have been gaining popularity in recent years, especially with the rise of low-carb diets. But how does an air fryer work? Simply put, they cook foods with hot air and without any oil, resulting in crispy textures. It is amazing how this process works!

There are several advantages in cooking with an air fryer that you may not get from a convection oven. 

First, food can come out crispy and crunchy, just like how deep-fried food tastes like – think crispy on the outside, tender on the inside! It’s a healthier alternative to deep-frying because it can cook the same amount of food but using less oil. 

Secondly, food cooks faster taken 30-50% of the time compared to a convection oven. This is because hot air circulates around the food very quickly in comparison and sears in flavors. 

Lastly, it’s more compact and space efficient; most models don’t take up much countertop space. Convection ovens, on the other hand, are bigger and bulkier. 

How Does The Convection Oven Work? 

Both an air fryer and convection oven use the same mechanism to cook food. 

Convection Oven

An electric current passes through coils, generating heat that is directed towards the metal walls of the appliance. The hot metal surface transfers heat to the food which causes it to cook. 

The difference is in how it’s done… 

Air fryers circulate room-temperature air that is heated in order to cook food. Convection ovens, on the other hand, pre-heat solid metal (usually aluminum) to transfer heat to food, thus, takes longer to heat and cook. 

5 Air Fryers Benefits That Every Cooking Enthusiast Need To Know 

1. Air fryers don’t need a lot of oil in order to cook French fries and other similar food such as fish fillets, chicken wings, etc. making it a healthier and more nutritious method.

2. Some types of food such as roasted chicken and turkey can be cooked in air fryers without requiring too much time – perfect for that Sunday family dinner. 

3. Air fryers take less time (30-50%) to cook food and it’s faster than using a convection oven – allowing you to cook more dishes in the same amount of time. 

4. Air fryers are more compact and space efficient than convection ovens, making it easy to place them on your kitchen countertop, allowing you to prepare your food faster. 

5. Some models can double up as mini grills and even steamers too – perfect for cooking vegetables, fish and other food. Some have extra features like baking, broiling and roasting such as the Philips XL Airfryer. 

Air Fryer & Convection Oven: Are There Any Similarities? 

Both work by circulating hot air around food to cook it faster. However, air fryers require less oil and shorter cooking times. 

pizza rolls with spinach

Both appliances are convenient to use and their designs can be sleek and modern. Both cook food faster than conventional ovens and can cook a variety of food, from meat to vegetables and even pasta. They both can give you a crispy tasting result because there is less moisture collected within the oven when cooking. 

Further, they are both a lot smaller than the traditional oven, which makes it easy to find space for them on your kitchen countertop. 

Air Fryers: Are They Really Worth The Cost? 

Yes, if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to deep-frying. Air fryers cook food faster and allow you to use less oil when cooking. They can give food an extra crisp texture which is perfect for people who enjoy French fries, fried chicken, etc. 

They are efficient – they use little power to cook a small amount of food. For instance, an air fryer on average can cook four servings of French fries that can take less than 10 minutes to cook. 

They are convenient – they require less oil, take up little space and can also use it as a steamer and grill too – perfect for people who are always on-the-go or those who struggle to cook larger dishes.

Air Fryer vs Convection Oven: What Can You Cook In Them? 

Air fryers can cook anything you’d normally deep-fry. This includes French fries, fish fillets, chicken wings and even tater tots! You can also use air fryers to roast vegetables like potatoes or cauliflower florets. 

Cooking Fish and Potatoes Using Air Fryer

Convection ovens are perfect for cooking roasted meat such as lamb shanks, whole chicken or a turkey, or even for baking a cake. They can also steam food and allow you to broil it – perfect for fish fillets that need a crispy texture on top. 

Cook Time: Air Fryer vs Convection Oven 

Convection oven. The convection oven takes an average of 20-30 minutes to preheat depending on the model and wattage, but you can cook most dishes in one hour approximately. A roast chicken on average would take 1h 30 min to cook. 

Air fryer (to cook at 160°C). It takes 10-20 minutes to preheat and you can cook chicken wings for example in 25-30 minutes. Generally speaking you can cook most dishes in half the time as a convection oven. Some models come with a timer and an automatic shut off/power off feature which is very convenient and great for when you’re busy. 

Air Fryer vs Convection Oven: Efficiency And Cost 

In terms of energy efficiency, air fryers are more efficient. They use less electricity since they do not have a heating element which means less frying and constant temperature. Convection ovens usually require two heat sources – one for baking/broiling and another for circulating hot air. So as a result, they consume more electricity to run two heating elements. 

Air fryers range from approx $50-$150 while convection ovens can cost anywhere between $100 – $800. Convection ovens vary greatly in price depending on how big it is and whether you choose a single or double door version. If you want more cooking options such as baking and broiling, you’ll need to purchase a convection oven with these features. 

Air Fryer vs Convection Oven: Which Is Healthier?

A healthy cooking appliance should have these important qualities… 

  • It cooks using less oilI
  • t’s energy efficient 
  • It’s easy to clean 
Cooking Using Airfryer

As previously explained an air fryer uses less oil to cook food compared to a convection oven. Since a convection oven uses more oil, food takes longer to cook. Excess oil in foods is often the culprit for weight gain; so if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to deep frying and counting calories, an air fryer is a better choice. 

Similarly, both appliances need electricity to operate. However, as the air fryer mainly relies on residual heat, its energy use is lower and more efficient when cooking compared to a convection oven. 

Finally, both appliances are easy to clean but a convection oven requires a lot more time and effort as it’s bigger and has more parts to it. An air fryer is easier to clean as only the basket and filter need cleaning after use. 

In Conclusion… 

Though both appliances may have their similarities, as discussed there are certain pros and cons for each – it all depends on your specific needs and preferences. 

An air fryer is a cheaper alternative to a convection oven, uses less oil, more energy efficient and easier to clean. If you want to roast meat or bake things like cakes and cookies which requires more time, choose a convection oven. If you are looking for a healthier convenient option that cooks quickly and you enjoy cooking smaller foods such as meatballs, tater tots and crispy chicken, choosing an air fryer is the way to go.

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