Air Fryers vs. Convection Ovens – Choose the Best

By Jack Mash

When it comes to kitchen appliances it is only natural to want the best your money can buy. Everyone wants to know that they are buying something which is good quality. These days, the health factor is also something that people pay great attention to.

So, when it comes down to Air Fryers vs. Convection Ovens… which is worth your hard-earned cash?

The Similarities

For those not in the know, Convection ovens and Air fryers work on basically the same principle. The air within their space is heated, usually with a halogen bulb or electric coil, and circulated around food to cook it. Both appliances will usually also allow for specific time and temperature controls, making them easy to use.

The Differences

The main differences are the size of each appliance, the price range, and the amount of food they can prepare.

Convection Ovens: The Pros and Cons

Convection ovens are considered the superior option when it comes to home-cooking. They cook more evenly, more quickly, and produce crispier results than a traditional oven.

In relation to air fryers, however, the matter becomes less clear-cut.

  • Convection ovens can do everything a traditional oven can.
  • They are very durable.
  • They have a large cook capacity.
  • They are large and bulky.
  • Non-portable (usually).
  • Recipes may require recalculation due to cooking method.

While you can get a convection oven for $100 – $500 if you’re looking to get a really good model you might have to consider paying $1000 – $3000.

Air Fryers: The Pros and Cons

Air fryers were initially intended as an alternative to deep and shallow fat frying methods. Hailed as a healthier alternative, they have quickly gained traction. The question is whether or not they can be versatile, too.

  • Between 60 – 80% less fat is used versus deep fat frying.
  • Light and portable.
  • Easy to store
  • Creates crispy food fast.
  • Less versatile than a convection oven.
  • Less cooking capacity.
  • Still requires oil to cook food.
  • Less durable than a convection oven.

You can easily buy a decent air fryer for $100 – $300. This makes them more affordable than convection ovens, but they are less versatile.

The Verdict

In all honesty, convection ovens and air fryers have broadly different purposes. While a convection oven aims to be a smarter, more powerful version of the traditional oven, the air fryer simply replaces other frying methods.

With that said, however, the air fryer can take the place of a convection oven if you intend to only use the oven for oil-based cooking methods. If you simply want a healthier way to crisp your favorite fried foods the air fryer is for you. If you want something that bakes, roasts, fries, and can hold a casserole dish… well, the convection oven is your best shot.

In the end, it boils down to what you can afford and what you have space for. Remember, a convection oven generally replaces, or works in tandem with, a traditional oven. An air fryer, however, is a counter-top appliance much like a mixer or blender.

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