Battle for Your Kitchen: Air Fryer vs. Convection Oven

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If you have ever cooked with an air fryer or a convection oven, you know that the two have many similarities.

Both air fryers and convection ovens use hot air to heat food, which cuts down on your energy bill.

However, there are also some key differences between these cooking appliances. In this post, we’ll explore whether getting an air fryer or a convection oven for your kitchen is better!

Air Fryer vs. Convection Oven – How Are They Different?

Air fryers and convection ovens are both small kitchen appliances used for cooking food. They both rely on hot air to cook food, but they do this differently.

In short, an air fryer uses a fan to blow hot air around your food in a small, enclosed space. The heat generated by the heating element moves through the air and cooks your food from all sides simultaneously.

This produces a crispy texture even though no oil is involved, hence the name “air fryer.”

A convection oven is much bigger, so it takes longer for a fan to circulate hot air and keep it at the desired temperature than inside an air fryer. Another essential difference between the appliances is that the convection oven circulates hot air around the food, not through it.

Both air fryers and convection ovens cook food by circulating hot air.

Both air fryers and convection ovens rely on circulating hot air to cook your food.

An air fryer uses a small fan that blows hot air around the sides and sucks it back up through your food as it cooks.

Older convection ovens didn’t have fans to circulate air and only provided heat from all sides.

These days, we have access to modern versions of convection ovens. They are already decked out with one powerful fan in the back and four heaters from the top, bottom, and sides.

Energy usage

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the current electricity price is 15.46 (Cents per Kilowatt-hour).

It might surprise you, but the COSORI Pro II air fryer and the Breville Smart Oven convection oven on Amazon have almost the same wattage usage, between 1,7-1,8 kilowatts per hour. 

Using either of these appliances will cost you 26.28 – 27.82 cents per hour.

If we talk about effectiveness, I say that an air fryer is better if you cook small portions. In contrast, a convection oven is way better if you have a big family or a lot of friends from time to time.

Air fryer vs. Convection oven: Fans and chamber sizes

One of the main differences between an air fryer and a convection oven is the cooking chamber’s size and the fan’s mechanical design.

Air fryers are smaller than other convection ovens but still have a larger capacity for food than most toaster-sized air fryers. Some air fryers have enough space to cook up to 8 pounds of food, while others can only handle 1-2 pounds.

Cooking the ingredients from all sides quickly. The fan design comes into play in heat circulation. The fan is designed to force air down the sides of an air fryer, sucking it back up through the food in a basket.

In general, however, an average-sized family can make all their favorite meals in one or two batches in an average-sized model.

Convection ovens tend to be much larger than standard countertop models because they’re designed for commercial kitchens where large amounts of food need to be prepared quickly.

They often come equipped with racks so that meat can be placed vertically instead of horizontally, allowing more room inside each cavity while keeping everything nice and crispy!

Convection ovens use a fan usually located at the back of the appliance, pushing the hot air forward and making it ‘bounce’ all over the chamber. This might not be the best design, but it is the best solution if we account for the size of a convection oven.

Smaller = quicker

Because they are so much smaller, air fryers cook food faster than convection ovens.

Convection ovens have a larger cooking chamber than air fryers and can handle more food at once. If you’re cooking for a crowd, it may be better to use your convection oven instead of an air fryer.

However, for individuals or couples who want a quick snack without waiting hours for the food to cook inside their large ovens, an air fryer is the way to go!

Convection ovens are more expensive than air fryers.

You can expect to pay more for a convection oven than an air fryer, but there are good reasons. Convection ovens cost more because they have larger capacities, advanced features, and are more efficient.

  • Larger capacity: A standard-size convection oven is usually over two cubic feet. In comparison, the average air fryer is only 0.5 cubic feet. This means that you can fit up to six racks of ribs in your convection oven at once or cook enough pizza to feed a large family at once! While you might not need all of those extra racks, it’s nice to know they’re there when you need them – whether it’s for holiday baking or making party snacks for your friends’ next football game party.
  • Advanced features: Some people want their cooking appliances for nothing more than convenience, and if that’s what you want out of yours, then go ahead and get an air fryer! But if you’re looking for something with some bells and whistles (or even just one big bell), then go with a convection oven. They tend to have better controls, which come in handy when adjusting temperatures during different stages of cooking certain foods.

COSORI Pro II Air Fryer Oven Combo, 5.8QT Max Xl Large Cooker with 12 One-Touch Savable Custom Functions, Cookbook and Online Recipes, Nonstick and Dishwasher-Safe Detachable Square Basket

What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that cooks food by circulating hot air around it. This means you can cook food in an air fryer without using oil, making it a healthier option than deep frying. So, what can you cook in an air fryer?

You can cook various foods in an air fryer, including chicken, fish, vegetables, and desserts. The key to success is experimenting and discovering what works best for you. For example, some people like to cook chicken breasts in an air fryer, while others prefer to cook wings or thighs.

Air frying is a great way to make healthier versions of your favorite fried foods. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make delicious meals in your air fryer.

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro, Brushed Stainless Steel, BOV900BSS

What Can You Cook in Convection Oven?

Convection ovens are unique tools that help you cook food more evenly and quickly. But what can you cook in a convection oven?

Here are some ideas:

  • Roast chicken or turkey: Convection ovens can help you roast a whole chicken or turkey evenly, so it’s cooked through but not dry.
  • Bake cookies or cakes: Convection ovens circulate heat around the food, so they’re great for baking cookies or cakes that need to be nice and fluffy on the inside but crispy on the outside.
  • Cook fish or veggies: Fish and vegetables can benefit from the even cooking that convection ovens provide, so they’re perfect for those who want healthy meals with little effort.

Air fryers are smaller and more compact than convection ovens.

To prove this, I will list the dimensions of the kitchen appliances from the top, you know, the COSORI Pro II air fryer and Breville Smart Oven convection oven.

The air fryer has size: 11.78″D (29.9cm) x 13.87″W (35.2cm) x 12″H (30.5cm)

The convection oven: 17.5″D (44.5cm) x 21.5″W (54.6cm) x 12.7″H (32.2cm)

That is a big difference, especially if you have a smaller kitchen. 

Air fryers can be taken with you, which means they’re a great appliance to take on vacation or even just to the office. Convection ovens cannot be transported easily. If you’re looking for something easy to move around, an air fryer is probably your best bet for portable cooking.

If you are interested in air fryers and how do they work exactly, check out my article here.

Which One Is the Best for You?

So, which is the best option for you?

Well, if you want to be able to cook a wide variety of foods and don’t mind paying more than $100, it’s simply a convection oven. To get all the benefits of an air fryer and not wait for something to cool down before putting it back in the oven or microwave (or air fryer), go with an oven.

If you’re looking for something that can do almost everything in small batches and costs around $100, then go with an air fryer.

Conclusion

Both the air fryer and convection oven are great tools for cooking. An air fryer might be suitable if you want something that can quickly cook some fries or chicken wings. 

This appliance is also great for making small batches of food without heating an entire oven or using a lot of energy. 

On the other hand, if you need something more significant with more capacity than an air fryer offers, then a convection oven may be just what you need! It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Vojta Vevera

Combining a love for cooking and using all kinds of technological gizmos helps Vojta to bring the experiences and excitement to all his articles. He is always doing his best to serve you with great information. Mixing over 15 years of cooking experience with his analytical mind and love for all technological things.

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