How does an air fryer differ from a convection oven? A commonly asked question among the users. Some people even ask, ‘Is an air fryer a convection oven?’ If we compare these kitchen appliances, we find some similarities and dissimilarities. In this article, we are going to find out the differences between an air fryer vs convection oven by discussing the working principle of both the appliances. We will also present comparative advantages and disadvantages so that you can understand which one is better than the other.
What is convection?
Convection is a method of heat transferring. In this method, heat is transferred from higher to lower heat regions with the help of a medium. The medium can be a liquid or air which has a free-flowing capacity. In the convection oven or air fryer, heat is generated by a heat source. There is a blower fan that circulates the hot air and enhances the convection process.
What is an air fryer?
The air fryer is a compact kitchen appliance that cooks food through convection of hot air. It looks like a coffee maker. The heating source is situated at the top of the heating chamber that primarily circulates heat downward through radiation. A blower fan above the heat source sucks the hot air and passes through the wall. The hot air finally enters the chamber from the bottom of the heating chamber and moves upward. Radiation from the top and convection heat from the bottom ensures a uniform heating of the food. Therefore, without needing an excess of oil, which acts as a source of heat convection in deep frying, an air fryer uses hot air to produce crispy and crunchy foods.
What is a convection oven?
A convection oven is rectangular. It looks similar to a toaster oven. The working principle of a convection oven is similar to an air fryer. There is a heating element that generates heat. A blower fan circulates the heat around the food that gives a crispy texture on it.
What’s the difference between an air fryer and a convection oven?
The working principle of an air fryer and a convection oven is similar. Both of these use convection air to heat the food. However, the air circulation process is different. The blower of a convection oven blows the hot air directly to the food. Therefore, the heat might be harsh to some heat sensitive food. On the other hand, the blower of an air fryer sucks the heat that is generated by the heater and through the hot air to the wall. The hot air then enters the heating chamber from the bottom. Therefore, the heat is uniform and even. The size of the air fryer is small and compact. This is another major factor that enhances a fast uniform hot airflow inside the chamber.
Pros and cons- air fryer
- Compact: The size of an air fryer is as small as a coffee maker. Therefore, it is portable and occupies small space on your countertop.
- Heating is more uniform and even.
- Hot is not directly blown on the food. Therefore, it is suitable for foods that are heat sensitive.
- Food basket is easy to remove and convenient to shuffle the food intermittently during cooking.
- The food is crispier than the food prepared in a convection oven.
- Not possible to cook food to serve more than 2 persons because of the small heating chamber.
- You can not see inside during the operation. Therefore, cannot take any prompt action.
- Difficult to clean. If any liquid dripping falls through the bucket, it’ll give you a hard time to clean it up.
Pros and cons- convection oven
- A convection oven is quiet. It produces less noise than that of an air fryer.
- It is less expensive compared with the price of an air fryer.
- Better for baking food which can have liquid dripping. You just need to remove the food tray and clean it.
- You need not prepare food in batches if the serving is for 3-5 people. It is possible to cook in larger amount in a convection oven.
- You can see from the outside what is happening during cooking. Therefore, you can take any necessary action required instantly.
- The big food tray is not easy to move. Therefore, cleaning is not convenient.
- Not a better option to reheat the soggy food.
So, which one wins? It depends on the end-user. Both of the kitchen appliances has its advantages. Therefore, we can not conclusively decide anything. However, I think an air fryer should be a common item to every kitchen even if you have limited space on your countertop. The value that you get with it is far more what you spend.
If you find the article helpful, you can share it with others. I also encourage you to share your kitchen experience with us through the comment section. Happy cooking!