Air fryers and broilers are two of the most popular cooking appliances on the market. They both do the same thing: heat food without using oil or fat. But they do it in very different ways, so it’s worth knowing the difference between them before you buy one.
While an air fryer is a standalone device that uses hot air to shorten the cooking time of your food, the broiler is usually a part of another kitchen appliance. It is used to cook food by heat-blasting it from the top.
In some cases, you can get the broiler as a part of the toaster oven, but about that, I have a particular article here.
What is an air fryer, and how it works?
I have written a lot about air fryers up until now, so the overview below will be short. Check out my article here if you want to know more about them and how they work.
- Air fryers use hot air for cooking food.
- The name “air fryer” is misleading: it doesn’t fry the food. Instead, it cooks your food using hot air (between 200°F and 400°F). This means that there’s no need for oil or grease. As long as you’re careful about what you put into the basket, you can use an air fryer without adding additional fat or oil to your foods. Your favorite fried foods will come out just as crispy as they would if you’d cooked them in an oven but with less fat!
- You can cook anything in an air fryer that you usually bake in an oven or make on a stovetop (like fries, chicken wings, and more).
The air fryer uses hot air to cook your food, which means it’s perfect for anyone who wants to reduce their fat intake.
Whether you’re trying out a new diet and want to ensure that you aren’t consuming too much fat or want a healthier way to cook your favorite foods, an air fryer is an excellent option!
What is a broiler, and how it works?
A broiler is a cooking device that uses direct heat to cook food.
The food is placed on a pan rack and slides into the oven. The heat source is usually gas or electricity. The heat is produced by convection or infrared radiation heating elements (like what’s used for your TV remote). The broiler is located at the top of the oven.
When you turn it on, it heats up rapidly until it has reached its maximum temperature, usually around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. When you use your broiler, ensure there isn’t anything flammable nearby (like curtains), as this could cause a fire if you’re not careful!
The broiler is a great way to cook meat, vegetables, and other foods. It’s handy for browning items. You can use the broiler with another oven setting, like bake or roasting.
Keep in mind that this is more like a turbo broiler. It will get anything charred instantly. So it is a good practice to keep the oven door open while using the broiler. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the process is so fast that the food might be ruined before you reopen the oven.
Air fryer vs. Broiler: What are the main differences?
Air fryers use fans to circulate hot air around the food. In contrast, broilers use heating coils at the top of the oven heated by electricity or gas.
The main differences between these two cooking methods include the following:
- Air fryers cook food from all sides.
- Broilers only heat one side of your meal at a time.
- Air fryers are much more convenient than broilers because they don’t require supervision; you can leave them unattended for up to an hour if needed! The only thing you need to do is make sure that there is enough oil to cover all parts of your meal before putting it in and letting it cook on its own.
- In contrast, broilers need to be monitored closely because they have hot elements on top of the food that can burn your meal if left unattended for too long.
- Air fryers don’t require intense cleaning, while broilers have several parts that you should look at after each use to ensure no problems occur.
- You only need to wipe the outside of your air fryer with a damp cloth and maybe clean the basket every now and then, and you’re done! More on the air fryer cleaning can be found here.
- Broilers use more oil because they don’t circulate hot air around your food; instead, they cook it by blasting it with heat from above. They are also easier to use than air fryers because less prep work is involved in putting together your meal before cooking it.
- Air fryers are more versatile than broilers because they can cook various foods, including meat, fish, and vegetables.
- Broilers only cook food from above.
- Cooking capacity is semi-comparable, as it depends on how big your air fryer is and how big your oven’s wire rack is. From experience, I can say that they are comparable.
Price of electricity
It always costs money to use any kitchen appliance.
Now while I suppose you will not use the oven broiler as a standalone thing, I have to count it as such.
So the breakdown would be following:
According to US Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity is 15.46 (Cents per Kilowatt-hour).
The claimed wattage per hour of an average air fryer, like this 8qt one Ninja, is 1,7 kWh. Meaning that one hour of running this will cost you about 26.28 (Cents per Kilowatt-hour).
Now average wall oven, like this one, has claimed wattage usage of 3,5 kWh, slightly above the double of an air fryer above. Running the oven for about an hour would cost approximately 54.11 (Cents per Kilowatt-hour).
At first glance, the difference doesn’t seem that big, but you should include the price of the appliance and the time needed to get the oven and air fryer to the point that you can use them as planned. While for an air fryer, this will be a few minutes, for a broiler, it can be half an hour or longer.
What an air fryer is suitable for
Air fryers are great for cooking foods that need to be crispy. In other words, they cook your food without overcooking the inside. This is great if you want to eliminate excess fat and calories while enjoying a healthy meal.
If you’re trying to get dinner on the table in a hurry, an air fryer will make things easier! Air fryers are also suitable for cooking quickly. They have an intelligent way of circulating heat around the food while keeping the heat in the appliance to increase the temperature faster than traditional ovens or broilers.
Finally, an air fryer is suitable for cooking throughout your dish or meal because it heats from all sides simultaneously (instead of just one side). Thanks to its timer functions, you’ll know exactly when everything will be ready!
What a broiler is good for
Broilers are good for cooking foods that need to be browned, like a steak or chicken breast.
They’re also great for cooking bacon and other items that benefit from being cooked at high temperatures. The broiler can get hot enough to char the outside of your food without overcooking it, so it’s perfect for getting a nice crust on whatever you’re cooking.
Broilers are not meant to be used with wet foods or liquids (like marinades), as they will splatter or get runny when exposed to high heat. If this happens, you should turn off the broiler immediately and clean up any mess before turning it back on again.
The broiler is a great way to cook a steak, chicken breast, or pork chop. Ensure the cooked item is completely thawed before placing it under the broiler. You are, of course, not limited to the meats only. Another great food to cook is asparagus, a quick recipe here. Any vegetable will work, but hard food like asparagus can get soft and eatable quickly with a bit of broiling.
When to use an air fryer and when to use a broiler.
An air fryer is great for cooking foods that need indirect heat and doesn’t require you to babysit them. You can also use it for baking or roasting.
A broiler, on the other hand, cooks food quickly with direct heat from above. It’s best suited for cooking thinner items such as steaks or chops. Anything that needs to be rapidly browned on both sides will work well in a broiler.
Air Fryers are great for food lovers who want to eat fried foods without all that oil or fat.
Air fryers use hot air for cooking food. This means that instead of using oil or fat for cooking, you’ll be using a small amount of oil in the frying basket when cooking.
The main benefit of an air fryer is that it allows you to eat fried foods without all that oil or fat. If you’re trying to watch your weight and eat healthier, air fryers can help you do both!
Air fryers also make it easy for anyone who loves fried foods but doesn’t want to feel guilty about them (or gain weight). They’re super easy and fun to use just put everything in the basket, set the timer, and wait until it’s done!
Which is More Versatile: Air Fryer or Multi Cooker?
When it comes to versatility in the kitchen, the air fryer vs multi cooker debate arises. While air fryers excel in producing crispy and healthier versions of fried foods, multi cookers boast a wide range of cooking functions, from pressure cooking and slow cooking to sautéing and steaming. Both appliances have their own unique perks, but ultimately, it depends on your preferred cooking methods and desired meal options.
Air fryers and broilers are great for cooking but have different uses. An air fryer is an excellent option for anyone looking to reduce their fat intake without sacrificing flavor or texture.
On the other hand, a broiler can be used in place of a grill when you want to brown meat or vegetables quickly.
I hope this article has helped clarify some of the differences between these two cooking methods!