You may think you know better than the crowd. But when it comes to the Air Fryer vs. Toaster Oven debate, there’s a lot of passion on both sides. And that’s because for many people, this decision is not about which appliance will save them space and money. This choice comes down to which one works best, and that’s what we’re going to look at with this careful, detailed analysis.
- What is an Air Fryer?
- What Is A Toaster Oven?
- Air Fryer vs. Toaster Oven: Which One to Choose?
- Quick Tips for Cleaning Air Fryer vs. Toaster Oven
- 1. Can I use an air fryer as a convection oven?
- 2. How do you clean an air fryer basket?
- 3. Do air fryers cook food faster than toaster ovens?
- 4. How much oil do I need to use in an air fryer?
- 5. Can I bake in an air fryer?
- 6. Can you put water in an air fryer?
- 7. Can I do anything I would in a toaster oven with an air fryer?
- 8. Which is healthier, air frying or toaster oven cooking?
- In Conclusion
What is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a type of appliance that can cook food by circulating hot air around the food. It may work using convection, so the air is heated and then circulated through the food, or it may use a halogen lamp. The idea behind this is similar to that of a convection oven, except that the air fryer uses much less power than an oven and works more quickly.
An air fryer may be useful for cooking a variety of different types of foods. Users can make chips, chicken nuggets, pizza, and a range of other dishes with this device. It may also allow them to warm up leftovers quickly, without having to wait for an oven to heat up. Unlike frying food in oil, which adds significant fat content to many foods, an air fryer does not do this. However, it does not necessarily produce foods that are lower in calories; it just removes some fat from the dish. Instead, these devices are better at producing fried foods that have a crunchy texture on the outside while remaining soft on the inside.
How Does it Work?
An air fryer is essentially a small convection oven. By rapidly circulating hot air around the food, it crisps up the outside while keeping inside tender and juicy. When cooking French fries in an air fryer, for example, you get all the taste of deep-fried potatoes, but with only a fraction of the fat.
Air fryers circulate hot air using a mechanical fan. The fan is located near or above the heating element. As the hot air circulates through the frying basket, it cooks food from all sides at once.
Advantages Of An Air Fryer
There are several advantages to using an air fryer, such as:
1. Health benefits:
Air frying foods requires significantly less oil than deep-frying them in hot fat or oil. As a result, the foods you cook in an air fryer are typically lower in fat and calories than those cooked in deep fryers.
Air fryers can be used to cook many different types of foods, including meats, vegetables, and fried snacks. You can also find recipes online for desserts that can be prepared in an air fryer.
3. Ease of use:
Air fryers are relatively simple to use compared with other kitchen appliances, such as slow cookers or pressure cookers. Once you turn on the machine and set the timer, it will automatically shut off once the food is cooked.
Disadvantages Of An Air Fryer
1. It was expensive
An air fryer is one of the most expensive kitchen appliances you can buy. They range from $100 at the low end to more than $300 for a top-of-the-line model. It’s a Larger Appliance.
2. It can’t deep-fry
An air fryer is not suitable for making crispy French fries and fried chicken. It can’t handle anything that requires more than a tablespoon of cooking oil.
3. It can’t blend/cook large quantities of food
An air fryer might be too small for your needs, especially if you have a big family. A 2-liter Air Fryer won’t be able to cook a whole chicken or enough French fries for a crowd.
4. It takes space on your countertop
You might not have enough space in the kitchen to accommodate an air fryer, especially if you don’t use it every day. Also, most air fryers are quite heavy and bulky, which makes them even less portable.
What Is A Toaster Oven?
A toaster oven is an appliance that makes your cooking fast and saves you money on electricity. The oven is small in size, can be placed on the countertop, and has built-in heating elements in the top and bottom of the oven.
The toaster oven is suitable for baking bread, pizza, and homemade cookies. If you want to use it as a second oven instead of a microwave, it’s important to know how to use it properly.
Toaster ovens are available in several sizes, some large enough to handle frozen pizzas or a full chicken.
How Does It Work?
A toaster oven uses a pair of heating elements that glow hot orange when electricity is run through them. One element is at the top of the oven and one at the bottom. The thermostat is a temperature-sensitive switch that cuts power to the heating elements when it gets hot enough inside of the oven.
Most toaster ovens have open coils on the bottom and sidewalls of the oven. These are made from nichrome wire, which has a high resistance. Resistance is a measure of how much electrical energy is lost in wires. When electricity flows along these wires, they heat up because they are wasting so much energy as heat. The electricity heats up these metal rods until they glow red or orange. This can be seen through most toaster oven windows.
The metal rods stay hot until the thermostat turns off the switch to prevent overheating and fire hazards. When you open the door, you let out all of that hot air, and the thermostat turns on again until it reaches temperature again.
Advantages Of A Toaster Oven
There are a lot of advantages that toaster ovens offer which makes them the perfect choice for many of us. Here are some of the most important ones:
1. Easy to use
Although it is not as easy as a regular toaster, a toaster oven is still very simple to use and it doesn’t require any special skill or knowledge.
2. Highly versatile
A toaster oven can do much more than just toast bread slices. You can bake, roast, and even broil, making it a very versatile appliance.
Compared with other types of ovens, toaster ovens are much cheaper, yet they can do pretty much anything other types of ovens can do.
4. Easy to clean and maintain
The fact that a toaster oven is smaller than other types of ovens means that it is also easier to clean, maintain and store when you don’t need it anymore.
Because they are much smaller than other types of ovens, they do not require as much energy to work, so you will save money on your energy bill every month.
Disadvantages Of A Toaster Oven
Toaster ovens are a great appliance to have in the kitchen, but they do have their disadvantages.
1. Difficult to Clean:
Cleaning a toaster oven takes more time than cleaning a microwave or a conventional oven. Since it is small in size, it has many corners that make it difficult to clean.
2. Heat Loss
Food cooked in a regular oven loses heat every time you open the door to check on it or add more ingredients. This isn’t the case with a toaster oven, which has glass doors that allow you to see inside without losing heat. The interior of a toaster oven is also insulated, so little heat escapes when the door is closed.
3. Slow Cooking
It takes several minutes longer than a full-size oven to preheat and several minutes longer to cook foods.
4. Small Size
The main disadvantage of the toaster oven is its size. It can toast bread, bake potatoes, reheat leftovers, and cook frozen foods. If you would like to cook more than that, you should consider a full-size oven.
5. Dangers for Kids
The biggest disadvantage of a toaster oven is that it can be dangerous for kids. They can open the door and hurt themselves with the hot steam that comes out of it.
Air Fryer vs. Toaster Oven: Which One to Choose?
Toaster ovens and air fryers are both relatively small appliances that are designed to make cooking easier. They have quite a few similarities, but some important differences.
There are other things you’ll want to consider as well. Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of air fryers and toaster ovens:
1. Heat source
- Air Fryer: It’s usually an electric heating element. This element is typically located at the top of the fryer, which is why air fryers have a fan that constantly blows hot air around the appliance. This hot air heats up the food or dish you are cooking.
- Toaster Oven: It’s also generally an electric heating element. This element can be located at the top of the oven, or it can be located on both the top and bottom of the oven. This ensures that your food or dish will be cooked evenly.
2. Limited Space
- Air Fryer: can be small enough to fit on your countertop. But with a capacity of only 2 to 6 quarts, it’s definitely not a large appliance. It’s perfect for smaller kitchens, dorm rooms, or anyone who doesn’t want to take up a lot of space.
- Toaster Oven: Toaster ovens range in size from 8 inches tall and 16 inches wide to 20 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Because they’re so much larger, they tend to have much larger capacities as well. While some air fryers might be able to hold six chicken thighs, a large toaster oven can easily accommodate 24 chicken thighs at once. If you’re cooking for a crowd or just like having leftovers, this might be a better appliance for you.
One of the most important differences between toaster ovens and air fryers is temperature control.
- Toaster ovens have an adjustable thermostat that goes from 150 F (about 70 C) to 500 F (260 C).
- Air fryers, on the other hand, are typically limited to a reach of only up to 400 F (204 C). As such, air fryers are not as versatile when it comes to baking and cooking meats such as roasts.
4. Speed of Cooking
- Toaster ovens are great for warming up leftovers and cooking quick meals, but they can cook most foods that an air fryer can.
- Air fryers cook food faster than toaster ovens, but the difference isn’t huge.
5. Cooking Methods
- Air fryers are best for frozen foods and french fries
- Toaster ovens are better for roasting, toasting, baking, and broiling.
6. Type of Foods
- Toaster ovens are larger, more versatile and can cook for several people. They can cook anything from small casseroles to large meat roasts and even pizzas.
- The air fryer is a smaller appliance that is designed to cook just one or two servings of food. It uses convection cooking, which is efficient and cooks food quickly, but many people find it best for frozen foods such as French fries or chicken nuggets or vegetables like green beans or corn.
Perhaps the most important is price.
- Air fryers generally cost more than toaster ovens.
- Toaster ovens start at around $30, while air fryers usually cost closer to $100.
8. Size and Shape
- Air fryers are generally a bit smaller than toaster ovens, which makes them more suited for countertop use. They’re also more vertical in shape, with baskets that can be raised or lowered based on the type of food being cooked and the desired amount of browning.
- Toaster ovens tend to be larger and wider and may take up two spaces on the countertop when in use.
- Air fryers are easy to clean because they are relatively small and everything is nonstick.
- A toaster oven requires wiping out any crumbs that have accumulated in the bottom of the oven and cleaning off the tray. If something has spilled or burned on, you may have to scrub it a little before wiping it clean.
Quick Tips for Cleaning Air Fryer vs. Toaster Oven
Because of the popularity of air fryers and convection ovens, we’re dedicating this entire article to cleaning these appliances. We will share some best practices for cleaning the appliance and keeping it clean.
Air Fryer Cleaning Tips
Make sure to unplug your air fryer before beginning the cleaning process.
Remove the basket from the air fryer, and wash it in hot, soapy water or place it in your dishwasher if it is dishwasher safe.
Use a damp cloth and mild soap to wipe down the outside of the air fryer and all of its accessories.
Toast Oven Cleaning Tips
Make sure to unplug your toaster oven before beginning the cleaning process.
Remove all attachments, such as baking pans, crumb trays and baking racks. Wash them in hot, soapy water or place them in your dishwasher if they are dishwasher safe.
Use a damp cloth and mild soap to wipe down the inside of the toaster oven as well as all of its attachments.
1. Can I use an air fryer as a convection oven?
Most air fryers include the option to use convection heating; this is sometimes known as “air roasting.”
2. How do you clean an air fryer basket?
If your air fryer basket isn’t dishwasher-safe, clean it with dish soap and water (be sure it’s completely dry before using), or by filling it with warm water and a few drops of dish soap, running it for five minutes, then rinsing and drying.
3. Do air fryers cook food faster than toaster ovens?
No, they are comparable.
4. How much oil do I need to use in an air fryer?
This depends on what you’re cooking, but generally it takes less than 1 tablespoon of oil to achieve a crisp texture.
5. Can I bake in an air fryer?
A: Yes, you can bake with an air fryer! The appliance has two different settings for this purpose. Make sure you put the pan on the highest rack before you start baking.
6. Can you put water in an air fryer?
Yes. It’s important for safety reasons to always add water when using your air fryer as a convection oven. The water helps create steam which will prevent your food from drying out and becoming too crispy. For foods that release a lot of juices while cooking such as meats, you can add water and/or wine to help keep them moist and flavorful.
7. Can I do anything I would in a toaster oven with an air fryer?
You can, but there are limitations.
Air fryers can’t achieve the high temperatures that many toaster ovens can, so you’ll be limited in certain types of baking, like roasting vegetables.
8. Which is healthier, air frying or toaster oven cooking?
This depends on what you’re making and how often you use these appliances. If you’re cooking fatty foods in an air fryer, it’s more like deep-frying with less oil than it is like healthy roasting in an oven. On the other hand, if you’re using both appliances for healthy cooking methods like baking and roasting vegetables, there isn’t much difference between them from a health perspective.
We can see that air fryers are hands down winners in terms of faster cooking time, cheaper pricing and more food options. However, as most things in life, there is no clear winner, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. So my recommendation would be to complete your kitchen with both.