If you’re in the market for a new kitchen appliance, you’ve probably heard about convection ovens and air fryers and are wondering if they’re the same. While both appliances use hot air to cook food, there are a few differences that can impact your cooking results and overall satisfaction.
In this article, we’ll answer the question: is a convection oven the same as an air fryer? We’ll explain their differences and similarities, features, cooking methods, and benefits. By the end of this article, you’ll be better equipped to decide which appliance is right for your kitchen and your cooking needs.
What is a Convection Oven?
A convection oven is a type of oven that uses a fan to circulate hot air around food. The hot air penetrates the food from all sides and cooks it more evenly and faster than in traditional ovens.
Convection ovens are also equipped with a variety of cooking settings, including bake, broil, roast, and dehydrate. They are easy to use and maintain, making them a popular choice for home cooks and professional chefs alike.
What is an Air Fryer?
Air fryers also use hot air to cook the food, however, they produce a crispier layer without the need for excessive oil. They are versatile and you can use them to cook your favorite foods that would traditionally be deep-fried, such as french fries, chicken wings, and onion rings.
Most air fryers are designed to be compact and easy to use, with simple controls and minimal maintenance required. They typically have a basket or tray where the food is placed, and some models may come with additional accessories such as baking pans and grilling racks.
If you love spring rolls, french fries, and sweet potatoes, an air fryer may just become your new favorite kitchen appliance.
Differences Between Convection Ovens and Air Fryers
One way to answer the question: is a convection oven the same as an air fryer, is to look at their differences. While convection ovens and air fryers both use hot air to cook food, they aren’t exactly the same thing and there are some key differences worth noting.
Size and Capacity
Convection ovens are typically larger and have a bigger cooking chamber. They come in a variety of sizes, from small countertop convection ovens to full-size models that can fit multiple dishes at once.
Air fryers, on the other hand, are designed to be compact countertop appliances. They typically have a smaller cooking cavity, which can make them less suitable for cooking larger meals.
While both cooking appliances use hot air to cook food, they differ in their cooking methods. Convection ovens offer a wider range of cooking options, including bake, broil, and dehydrate.
Convection ovens also typically have more adjustable settings, such as temperature and cooking time, allowing you to fine-tune the cooking process for each dish. This means you can cook large amounts of food at once.
Air frying mostly involves cooking deep-fried foods, such as french fries and chicken wings. While you can cook a variety of foods in an air fryer, it may not be the best option for more complex dishes that require a wider range of cooking methods.
Convection ovens and air fryers have different fan placement, sizes, and speeds which affect the crispiness of your food. A convection fan is located at the back, while in an air fryer, it’s installed directly on top and closer to the food.
Also, air fryer fans are high-powered, larger, and faster than convection oven fans, which may mean quicker cooking times and drier exteriors.
Convection ovens are typically more expensive than air fryers, especially if you’re looking for a larger, full-size model. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars, depending on the features and size of the oven.
In contrast, most air fryers cost between $50 and $200, depending on the brand and model.
Convection ovens and air fryers are versatile appliances, but they differ in the types of foods they’re best suited for. Convection ovens can be used for anything from everyday meals to special occasions and can accommodate a variety of cooking techniques.
Air fryers are best for cooking crispy, fried foods. While you can use them for other types of food, their small size and limited cooking options make them less versatile.
Can You Use a Convection Oven as An Air Fryer?
The big question that often arises when it comes to these kitchen appliances is, “is a convection oven the same as an air fryer?” or, can it be used as an air fryer? The most straightforward answer is yes, but with some limitations.
As mentioned earlier, convection ovens can produce crispy, fried-like foods, but they don’t have the same specialized cooking basket or technology as an air fryer. Air fryers use a unique rapid air technology that creates a better air distribution around food and produces a crispier finish.
Also, because of their small and compact size, the fan is closer to the food, which adds to its crispiness.
If you already have a convection oven and want to achieve that crispy exterior similar to air-fried foods, you’ll need to use a baking sheet or wire rack to create more air circulation around the food.
Additionally, you can adjust the temperature and cook time to achieve your desired level of crispiness. So, while it may not be as efficient in terms of results, a convection oven can still be used as an air fryer.
So, is a convection oven the same as an air fryer? Despite their similarities, they are not the same since each one has unique features and advantages. Ultimately, choosing between a convection oven and an air fryer will depend on your personal preferences and cooking needs.
Convection ovens are best for those who want a versatile appliance that can handle a wide range of cooking tasks, while air fryers are ideal for anyone who loves crispy, fried foods without the added fat and calories.
If you don’t have an air fryer at home, you can use a convection oven and achieve similar results by increasing air circulation with a baking sheet or increasing the temperature.