Air Fryer Vs Oven Which Is Faster & Better?

affiliate message-min

check best deals

Cooking food through time-consuming traditional ways is challenging amidst work and life responsibilities.

Air fryers and ovens perfectly appeal to modern households' cooking needs and lifestyles because of their versatility and convenience.

But should you have both of these appliances?

Knowing what an air fryer is and how it differs from a convection oven is important if you intend to buy one or both soon.

The main difference between the air fryer and oven is the size and energy consumption. An air fryer is ideal for cooking smaller portions and consumes less energy. On the other hand, a convection oven is much bigger and good for making large amounts of food together, but it consumes more power.

Air Fryer

An air fryer is a compact and attractive countertop appliance known for its ability to cook healthy food without using oil.

The heating source of an air fryer comprises a heating element and a large fan that blows high-speed hot air through food to cook it evenly.

The food goes into a perforated air fryer basket. The pool of hot air surrounding the food gives it a crunchy texture while keeping it tender and juicy.

Convection Oven

Like air fryers, convection ovens also use a convection mechanism for cooking food.

The heating elements are present at two locations— above and below the cooking chamber.

The fan is located at the rear wall of the oven, unlike an air fryer’s fan above the cooking compartment.

During cooking, the food goes on a wire rack or tray. 

Air Fryer vs. Oven Head To Head Comparison

Below is a comparison between an air fryer and an oven to help you decide.

Time Comparison: Which Cooks Faster?

Time Comparison Which Cooks Faster

An air fryer is much smaller than a convection oven. It heats up quickly and, in most of the recipes, doesn’t need preheating either.

Due to its smaller size, cooking food in an air fryer is much speedier than in an oven.

The rule of thumb for air frying: When cooking an oven-based recipe in an air fryer, reduce the cooking time by up to 20% and the cooking temperature by 25°F.

Taste Comparison: Whose Taste Is Closer To Deep-Fried?

While air fryers and convection ovens employ the same mechanism to cook food, an air fryer’s fan is much faster and stronger than a convection oven.

The powerful fan gives the food a deep fryer-like crust.

So, food cooked in an air fryer is much closer to how it would taste in a deep fryer and tastes much better.

Price Comparison: The Wallet-Friendly One?

Price Comparison The Wallet-Friendly One

The normal price range for an air fryer is between $70 to $250. You can easily find a good-quality air fryer for under $200.

As for the convection oven, it can cost you between $100 to $350. A good quality oven with ample cooking power costs around $150.

Buying an air fryer is much more affordable than buying a convection oven.

Size Comparison: Which Is More Space-Saving?

Size Comparison Which Is More Space-Saving

Both air fryers and convection ovens come in various sizes.

Overall, the size of an air fryer is smaller as it is meant to be kept on the countertop.

An air fryer is even smaller than the smallest convection oven, making its placement in the kitchen easy.

On the contrary, convection ovens are much larger. They are often built into the kitchen wall with a dedicated oven compartment.

When they are not fitted into the kitchen wall, keeping them on the countertop all the time can take a lot of precious countertop space.

Unlike air fryers, you can also not keep an oven in a kitchen cabinet.

In conclusion, air fryers are much more compact and easier to accommodate.

Which One Is Easier To Clean?

Which One Is Easier To Clean

Air fryers come with several accessories; cleaning them after cooking food can be a hassle.

But the good news is that air fryer accessories usually have a non-stick coating and are dishwasher-safe.

In the case of a convection oven, you have to clean the cooking rack, walls of the cooking chamber, and drippings on the door.

In conclusion, when it comes to cleaning, both air fryers and ovens pose similar challenges.

In fact, because of its larger size, an oven’s cleanup can be more time-consuming.  

Cleaning tip: For easier cleanup, use aluminum foil in the air fryer as well as in a convection oven.

Fan Comparison: Which Is More Powerful?

The air fryer fan is located at the top, above the food basket. It is larger and operates with more power than the fan in a convection oven.

Some manufacturers even claim their air fryer’s fan is 25 to 30% faster than a convection oven.

An air fryer’s fan is also closer to the food; therefore, it circulates heat through the food more efficiently and speeds up the cooking process.

Conversely, the fan in the convection oven is much smaller and less powerful. You will find it in the back, on the right, left, or center of the rear wall.

It does not help much in speeding up the oven’s heating mechanism or crisping up the food better.

Energy Usage: Which Is Power Efficient

Fan Comparison Which Is More Powerful

Coming soon…

Is Air Fryer Healthier Than Oven?

Yes, air fryers can be considered healthier than convection ovens.

Here is why.

In an air fryer, food cooks in a perforated basket; all the excess oil and grease drips through it on the drawer.

In a convection oven, food usually cooks on a tray, so it sits with all the grease and food juices throughout the cooking. Hence, a lot of the oil gets absorbed by the food.

Secondly, an air fryer requires much less oil than a convection oven to achieve a deep-fryer-like texture.

Note: Using a drip tray and metal basket to catch oil drips in a convection oven may help retain the food's healthiness.

Thirdly, an air fryer cooks much faster than a convection oven, which may help retain more nutrients in the food during cooking.

Can An Air Fryer Replace An Oven?

No, an air fryer cannot replace a convection oven because both have their own utility.

A convection oven is a superior option if you frequently cook food in greater quantities for a large family, thanks to its larger size.

However, its cooking is not as quick as in an air fryer.

Due to its smaller size and quick heating technology, an air fryer is more suitable for quickly prepping meals or snacks in smaller quantities.

Does Air Fryer Cook Faster Than Oven?

Yes, an air fryer cooks faster than many cooking appliances in the kitchen, thanks to its compact inner space and fan speed.

The concentrated space allows the hot air to reach all sides of the food, creating a crispy layer on the exterior through convection cooking.

Cooking Times Chart For Air Fryers

The cooking time for an air fryer depends on various factors.

You have to consider the state of the food (fresh or frozen), the size of food items, the potency of your air fryer (wattage), and the type of food.

Some general guidelines to follow when making various items in an air fryer are given below.

RecipeAir Fryer TimeConvection Oven Time
Chicken Wings15-20 mins at 400F35-40 mins at 375F
Chicken Breast22-25 mins at 375F23-27 mins at 400
Chicken ThighsApprox. 25 mins at 400F35-40 mins at 400F
Steak10-15 mins at 400F20-25 mins at 350F
Meatballs7-10 mins at 400F15-20 mins at 350F
Salmon10-13 mins at 400F25-30 mins at 375F
ShrimpApprox. 10 mins at 375FApprox. 12 mins at 400F
Bacon10-12 mins at 400F10-15 mins at 380F
Baked Potatoes40-45 mins at 400F55-60 mins at 400F

Final Words

Comparing air fryers with convection ovens and other appliances helps you make an informed decision when making a purchase. An air fryer is worth buying to cook food faster without using oil. The smaller size of the air fryer makes it more convenient to handle and store in the kitchen. A convection oven is more suitable when cooking in large quantities and serving a party. You get the best of all worlds if you get your hands on the Best air fryer oven combo.