When considering the purchase of a new small appliance that will make your life easier, you are sure to stumble upon small convection ovens and air fryers. Both cost about the same, and both will probably make your life easier if utilized frequently. So which one should you buy? When considering the options of an air fryer vs convection oven, which should you choose? Airfrying is here to help you make the best investment for your needs.
How Convection Ovens Work
A convection oven heats like a traditional oven, for the most part. An element located in the bottom of the unit heats up, and that heat rises and expands to heat the entire unit. The difference with a convection oven is a fan located inside the unit that circulates the hot air all around the food to provide more even cooking.
How an Air Fryer Works
First, air fryers are smaller than convection ovens and are, therefore, easier to heat. However, the main difference between a convection oven and an air fryer is that your food is the heat source. According to Gowise, the heating element is located above the food. Then, the hot air is dispersed around the chamber of the food. The open bottom of the unit heats, and a fan pulls that heat to the top for gentler cooking.
For more information on air fryers, check out our article, What Is an Air Fryer?.
Air Fryer vs Convection Oven
- An air fryer is smaller. This means the unit heats and cooks faster than a convection oven. However, it is important to keep in mind that because convection ovens are larger, you can cook more food at once whereas you might have to cook in batches with an air fryer. The air fryer will also take up less space on your counter tops than a convection oven.
- Air Fryers circulate air faster, and there is no direct heat source on the food. This is great news for bakers and those who love that deep fried texture without the fat. Because of the air circulation, the air fryer is gentler on foods, like baked goods, which could collapse in the harsh air circulation in a convection oven.
- Air fryers are easier to clean. Because of their removable, dishwasher safe, non-stick parts, cleaning an air fryer is faster and easier than cleaning a non-immersible convection oven.
- Air fryers offer “deep fried foods” that are healthier. Air Fryers offer the crispy texture of deep fried foods with only a fraction of the fat, while a convection oven will provide more of a baked finish.
- Air Fryers cook the food faster than in a convection oven. Because the air circulates faster and the chamber is smaller, air fryers cook food to a crispy, even finish minutes faster than in a convection oven.
- Air fryers and convection ovens are comparable in price. Both come in several different sizes, models, and brands that range in price from roughly $100-$300.
- Faster cook times. They both cook food more quickly and evenly than conventional ovens, though an air fryer does cook faster than a convection oven.
- Both require minimal oil. When compared with deep fryers, both air fryers and convection ovens require minimal oil.
When deciding between an air fryer and a convection oven, it really comes down to personal preference. If you want a deep fried finish without the added fat and calories of a deep fryer, then the air fryer is a perfect choice for you. However, if you plan to cook larger meals and aren’t concerned with having a deep fried finish, then a convection oven might be a better choice for you.