Air Fryer vs Convection Oven

At first sight, both of them seem to be doing the same job which is preparing food with very little or no oil. Air fryers and Convection ovens work on the same principle: circulating hot air in a chamber to create even heating, reduce the speed for preparing the food and reduce moisture in the cooking environment.

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These appliances have been your best friends in the kitchen and modernized ways to cook outside the boundaries of pans and stoves. There isn’t a need to worry about uneven cooking with these two. However, all of you are confused whether to drop your money on an air fryer for your lower-fat cooking endeavors or just do with an oven "frying" which yields just about the same level of crunch? We investigated. 

air fryer vs convection oven

What is an Air Fryer? How Does it Work?

Air fryers are essentially a compact convection ovens. Food is positioned right into a food container and slid into the air fryer; the fryer sends electricity to a stainless steel heating coil above the basket. As the coil heats up, a built-in fan circulates the dry air around and over the heating coil. This movement also pulls oil from the food and drawn down into the bottom of the pan by the downward force of the fan. The newly heated air is passed over your food which gets pressured back up when it hits the lowest edge of the pan. The air follows the outline of the food internally, shifting heat to the food.

The claim to fame of the air fryer is that it reduces the oil used during frying bring you a crispier, delicious and healthier food without the additional calories that come from deep frying. Air fryers can make many of your favorite foods.

airfryed food

Below video explains the methodology behind an Air Fryer.

What is a Convection Oven? How Does it work?

Convection ovens cook food by rapidly circulating hot air. The oven is heated by a gas burner or electrical coil at the bottom that releases infrared heat radiation. The radiation heats the air and then transfers it into your food through the process of natural convection. As the infrared radiation warms the air nearest the heating element, it expands and rises, forcing the colder, denser air above it to sink down and take its place.

The claim to fame of the convection oven is that it reduces the oil used during frying bring you a juicy, delicious and healthier food without the additional calories that come from deep frying.

chicken convection oven food

Below Video Explains the methodology behind a Convection Oven.

Benefits of Owning an Air Fryer

First, we will start giving you the scenarios in which the Air fryer has the upper hand compared with Convection Oven 

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    Compact Design:
    The size of the air fryer matters as you will have to adapt it to your kitchen space. Air Fryers was developed recently, and the technologies embedded into it are future proof. Almost every Air Fryer is attractive in its design, has a small display which lets you control its temperature and time in which the food has to be cooked. Unlike Convection ovens which are much more prominent with a rectangular shape, air fryers are not only stylish in design, but they are also compact and rounded. This design allows them not to occupy much of the space in your kitchen.
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    Technologically Advanced:
    The Air Fryer is in a manner that the superheated air generated inside the heating chamber is circulated equally across the food kept inside. This design not only cooks the food evenly however also sets the impact of having original food with similar crispier flavor.
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    Oil-less Cooking:
    The lesser the oil intake you have in your food, the healthier you will be. Most of the air fryers require no addition of oil at all. The prefix oil-less air fryers is significant with air fryers having built-in Rapid Air Technology while a few others just need a little oil. This technology allows your food to be more content-full rather than being just high in fats and increase cholesterol levels which aren’t good for health.
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    High Temperature:
    Air fryers reach more elevated temperatures in a limited time and are, therefore more convenient for delicate meals, such as grills and desserts. Thus, the process with them is shorter making the food retain its juiciness and preserve the healthy ingredients which would vanish while using a convection oven.
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    Maintenance:
    Maintaining an appliance is always a pain point which many people forget considering about before buying. However, the longevity of any device is based on its maintenance. Air Fryer’s are the easiest to clean as they are dishwasher supportable.
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    Healthy Food:
    You might ask how can oily food can be healthy? We also agree upon that but can you resist not having fried food when you love them so much? An air fryer allows you to eat your favorite food which is crispier and flavorful, but better than your desired fast food joint as this is stripped of much oil, which makes it a very healthy choice.
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    Price and Durability:
    Air fryers have a considerable advantage in this as they are less expensive than convection ovens. On the other hand are even easy to maintain which gives them longevity. It’s a well-known fact that keeping the appliance clean away from additional moisture and food residues would make it last longer.
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    Mobility:
    Air fryers are complete portable as they are just over a foot tall and 9 to 10 inches wide. They are lighter and can be carried around easily to even a picnic or can be stored in a cupboard when not in use.
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    Time and Energy:
    An air fryer is a clear winner on the energy efficiency front as an air fryer can heat or cook foods 25% faster than a convection oven, just due to the advantage of its size. Air fryers also preheat faster, in only 2-3 minutes, compared to 10-15 minutes for convection ovens.

Benefits of Owning a Convection Oven

The main advantages of owning convection ovens which are listed below should make you understand the subtle differences between the convection oven and the air fryer.

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    Cooking capacity:
    The bigger the size – the bigger the cooking capacity: A convection oven naturally allows you to cook a more significant quantity of food than the air fryer, due to its size. A convection oven is more substantial than air fryers, as it allows you to keep a significant portion of food in it without having to cut it into small bits. Thus, convection oven allows you to cook enough quantity, unlike the air fryer which cooks only in batch or in smaller amounts.
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    Food doesn’t get undercooked:
    Convection ovens adjust the temperature automatically once you place the food in them. The air circulation gets to the middle of the food, just like it routes through the edges. Hence, you don’t have to worry about your food end up undercooked.
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    Baking:
    A convection oven is the best choice to unleash the baker in you. As it can bake anything of a more extensive quantity of lots of cookies, 18-inch sheet cake, or pastries that need space on a baking sheet.
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    Saves Energy:
    A convection oven uses heat more efficiently than an air fryer, as it requires a shorter cooking time. A recipe that would be cooked at 325 degrees for 45 minutes in a convection oven could take almost double the time in an air fryer, saving you time, energy and money.

Disadvantages of an Air Fryer

Let us make you clear of one thing. Most of the disadvantages of using an air fryer will be drawbacks of the convection oven and vice versa.

  • Cooking capacity:
    As an air fryer is compact, the food has to be chopped into small pieces and kept in the basket, which may require more time to cook if the food is for a more significant group of people. But the air fryer also takes less time to prepare, when compared to a convection oven. Hence, it can be only used to cook or reheat things like a single piece of pizza, a batch of fries for the family, or steak for you and a friend.
  • Baking:
    Air fryers can never replace a convection oven as you can never bake anything of a large quantity. Air fryers can just be used to bake a few smaller cakes and a few cookies just for the four of you.
  • Tasty food:
    The food prepared in an air fryer is quiet healthier which make people raise a common question which is the taste of fry food dishes as no oil is being used for cooking. The food is not tasty as they are dry and not juicy. Hence, it is not recommended for people who love to eat dishes with a juicer finish.
  • Food gets stuck:
    If you do not brush a piece of meat or fish with oil on the grill, then it will become difficult for you to pry off the grill. Since some fat is added to this method, it is not entirely healthy.

Disadvantages of a Convection Oven

Indeed, as we mentioned earlier drawbacks of convection oven led to the invention of Air Fryer. What are those drawbacks? Let us check out them below:

  • Compact Design:
    One of the most significant impediments to differentiate a convection oven from an air fryer is its size and shape. Convection ovens are mostly bigger with a rectangular shape, while air fryers are more compact and rounded and would fit in any countertop.
  • Maintenance:
    Maintaining a convection oven is utter torture. In fact, we have to roll up our sleeves and get in there as their placement additionally makes it difficult to clean every single area of the unit. The built-up stains and dripping can be extremely tough to cast off and subsequently you would need to use robust detergents to leave it entirely spotless.
  • Less crispy:
    The food produced in a convection oven is less crispy but juicier. But bread cooked in a convection oven is always the best when compared to an air fryer.
  • Mobility:
    The convection oven is more massive than air fryers. So, if you do plan on using them frequently, your best bet is to find it a permanent home for it on your kitchen countertop and can’t fit in a cupboard. If your kitchen space is insufficient, you might appreciate the unobtrusiveness and portability of an air fryer.
  • Requires Pre-heating:
    Convection ovens often need to be preheated, and this creates a hassle. Also, most digital air fryers have pre-programmed options, so you can just press a button to begin cooking.
  • Uniform Results:
    The critical factor in cooking in a convection oven is about the heating elements to the position of food. Different racks in a convection oven have separate access to the heat. As a result, even multiple batches of the same food vary in its cooking time.

Air-Fried Vs Oven-Baked Crunchy Fried Chicken

Final Verdict

It is tough to determine the winner of this debate over convection oven vs. air fryer. Both have its pros and cons, and both of them are ultimately accepted and are popular among people. Hence, looking at this you can draw a parallel between these two categories and make your decision by choosing the device over a coin toss or by determining which contains the highest number of your favorite characteristics. It would be essential to keep in mind what kind of food you want to have before choosing a preference or deciding that you need both.

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