Have you ever pondered on the difference between air fryer and convection oven? Both popular cooking appliances can help make delicious meals while saving time and energy.
But they have different features that make them better suited for certain foods.
Air fryers have gradually become one of the most popular kitchen appliances in recent years, with their ability to give tasty fried foods with less fat, calories, and hassle more than conventional deep-fryers and regular ovens.
Convection ovens offer good performance in baking or roasting but also use hot air for cooking food quickly while retaining moisture. So which appliance should you choose?
In this article, we will traverse the difference between air fryer and convection oven so you can decide which best suits your needs.
We’ll look at the similarities, how each appliance works, and what food it can cook.
What is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a compact-size countertop appliance equipped for deep frying without submerging the food in oil.
An air fryer design has a fan that distributes hot air at high speed, producing a crispy layer through browning reactions such as the Maillard reaction.
Air fryers were made smaller because they were initially designed to reheat food on airplanes.
What is a Convection Oven?
A convection oven (also known as a fan oven or fan-assisted oven) is an oven that has fans that circulate air around food for an evenly heated environment.
The increased air circulation causes the fan-assisted convection oven to prepare or cook food faster than conventional ovens (non-fan) or standard ovens, which depend only on natural convection to circulate the hot air.
Fan-assisted convection ovens are primarily used for baking batches of food. They are also used for non-food industrial implementations.
What Are the Similarities Between an Air Fryer and Convection Oven?
Air fryers and countertop convection ovens are quite similar appliances.
They both function by circulating hot air with a fan, giving foods a crispier and even finish. The significant difference is the size of both.
Because these countertop air fryers are smaller, they heat up faster than a convection oven.
Below are the difference between air fryer and convection oven.
What is the Difference Between Air Fryer and Convection Oven?
1. Cooking Methods
Air fryers use hot air for quicker and even food preparation while retaining moisture. Convection ovens also use hot air for cooking food quickly and evenly, but they also help keep water in the food, making it juicier and tastier.
2. Food Type
Another difference between air fryer and convection oven is the type of food they can cook. Air fryers are great for making crispy French fries and chocolate chips, chicken tenders and chicken wings, and other fried snacks.
Convection cooking ovens are better suited for baking crab cakes, crunchy cookies, desserts and roasting meats and vegetables.
In terms of convenience, air fryers and convection ovens are easy to use and require minimal effort. Air fryers are great for making quick snacks, while convection ovens are better suited for baking or roasting larger amounts of food.
Air fryers are smaller and lighter, making them easier to store and transport. Additionally, air fryers have shorter cooking times than convection ovens. This makes them ideal for busy households who need to get meals on the table speedily.
Regarding cost, air fryers tend to be more affordable than convection ovens. Air fryers are smaller and less powerful than convection ovens, so they require less energy and cost less to run.
However, the convection option offers more features and capabilities, which may make them worth the extra cost.
In terms of safety, air fryers and convection ovens are safe to use as long as they are used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Air fryers can get very hot, so keeping children away from them while in use is vital.
Convection ovens also get hot, but they have safety features such as auto shut-off and cool-touch handles, making them safer for use around children.
Air fryers are generally easier to clean than convection ovens. They come with removable parts that can be washed by hand or loaded in a dishwasher, while convection ovens require more cleaning effort.
Moreover, air fryers have non-stick surfaces, making them easier to clean.
7. Energy Efficiency
Both air fryers and convection ovens are energy efficient. Air fryers, however, use lesser energy than convection ovens, but convection ovens offer more features and capabilities, which may make them worth the more significant energy consumption.
Air frying ovens use less electricity and heat up faster than convection ovens, making them an excellent choice for those looking to save energy.
Furthermore, air fryers are generally quieter than convection ovens, making them ideal for households with small children or pets who may be disturbed by loud noises.
Air fryers are more versatile than convection ovens. They can cook assorted delicacies, from fried snacks to roasted vegetables, using perforated baskets and baking trays.
Convection ovens are better suited for baking and roasting larger meals. Also, air fryers have adjustable temperature settings, allowing you to customize the cooking process.
9. Health Benefits
These countertop air fryers offer some advantages over convection ovens. Air fryers consume less oil than traditional ovens and deep-frying methods, making them a healthier option for reducing fat intake.
Again, air fryers can cook healthier versions of traditional fried food with little to no added fat or oil, making them an excellent choice for those looking to eat healthier.
Air fryers and convection ovens both produce delicious results. Air fryers make crispier textured food than convection ovens, while convection ovens are better suited for baking and roasting larger meals.
12. Heating Mechanism
In an air fryer, the heat comes from the top, while convection heating exudes from the top and bottom. The top-down method style circulates the heat more and can cook food faster
13. Fan Placement
The fan is attached to the top of an air fryer, directly underneath the heating element, from where it spins the hot air. In a convection oven, the fan is located in the rear of the oven, either in the middle or on the side.
14. Fan Size and Speed
Air fryer fans are bigger and spin faster than convection fans. One of the manufacturers confirmed that the fan settings on their air fryer are 30% faster than the ones on their convection oven.
Air fryers are equipped with many perforated accessories that encourage quick and even cooking with little tossing or flipping. They include air fryer baskets, perforated trays, spits for rotisseries, racks, and skewers for kebabs. Small tin cans or baking pans can also be placed on racks if preferred.
When Can One Use the Air Fryer Instead of the Oven?
Whether you’re looking to prepare baked goodies, heat your favorite prepared frozen foods, or reheat leftovers, the air fryer can do pretty much everything. Air fryers have become popular in the kitchen counter space because they are small but mighty.
The air fryer is your go-to appliance if you aren’t expecting a large crowd and just making little batches of food at a time.
The fast-spinning fan and hot air mechanism of the air fryer make the food crispier than regular convection. It would be best to use an air fryer for food like wings and fries because they are small enough to fit, and the added crispiness makes them taste better.
When Can One Use the Oven Instead of the Air Fryer
The convection oven is ideal if you’re prepping for a larger crowd, a commercial kitchen, or cooking multiple items at once. Roast trays of your favorite foods such as baked casseroles, vegetables, pizzas, and, of course, sweets like cookies and cakes using a convection oven.
Although there is a difference between air fryer and convection oven in terms of features and capabilities, both offer outstanding performances in cooking food quickly and evenly while retaining moisture.
Choosing between an air fryer and a convection oven depends on your needs and preferences.