What are the Top 12 Differences between air fryers and toaster ovens? can they be replaced with each other?
Baking and frying are two cooking methods most of us can’t survive without. So, to invest in a kitchen appliance that performs the cooking functions efficiently and prevents us from unhealthy fast food, most of us keep searching for different oven types. Air fryers and Toaster Ovens are popular appliances used in the kitchen, but which one should you choose? This causes a question: what are the differences between an air fryer and a toaster oven？ What are their pros and cons?
To address the issue, today I am going to explore this question according to my 5 years of experience, you should look for some gold nuggets in this article.
After reading the article, you will know:
- How do air fryers and toaster ovens work, so that you can use them in the correct way
- Pros and Cons of air fryer and toaster oven
- Top 12 differences, it’s better to choose
- Best air fryer and toaster oven to buy in 2022
- Pro tips when using air fryer and toaster oven
The more sentences you read, the more delicious food you will enjoy!
Keep reading carefully till the end, let’s go！
Origin and development of Air Fryers
Air fryers are miniature convection ovens. Do not take me wrong. By convection oven, I don’t mean ‘conventional ovens.’ (Please note the spelling difference).
There’s a great deal of difference between the two. A convection oven uses powerful fans to blow hot air inside the baking chamber. The heating element here is the fans. (On the contrary, there’s no use of air in a conventional oven, only heat).
Like a full-size convection oven, air fryers also use hot air blown by powerful fans inside the basket. However, the only difference is the build and size of an air fryer and a convection oven.
An air fryer is a compact kitchen appliance that gives you crispy food without using much oil to cook food.
People may argue that the air frying doesn’t give the ‘fried’ vibe to the food. That’s true because these compact appliances are not frying the food in the first place. They are cooking the food with hot air. So, the complaint isn’t genuinely valid.
In addition to food texture, most people opt for an air fryer due to its 70%-80% less oil consumption than regular deep frying. So, the tradeoff between calories and texture is undoubtedly worth it.
How Does an Air Fryer Work?
Air fryers have a single cooking chamber that houses a fryer basket that sits on top of the air fryer’s base. The fans are above the basket, and they supply hot air inside the cooking chamber of the device.
You need to take out the basket first, put your breaded or marinated food in the air fryer’s basket and place it inside the air fryer. Now, set the temperature and cooking time of the appliance.
Stop the air fryer in between to flip sides and when get done, take out the basket with air-fried foods.
So, does this magical appliance come only with benefits? Perhaps, no. Let’s look at the benefits and downsides of an air fryer.
The Size is Manageable
When you own an air fryer, there’s no hassle with storage space. Unlike the massive convection ovens, they only take up a corner of your storage cabinet.
Furthermore, you can easily keep them on the counter without taking up too much counter space.
You Can Cut Down Your Fat Intake
The hot air cooking of the air fryers helps you manage your daily fat intake. Since the air-fried recipes do not use oil at all or only need a few teaspoons, you can manage your diet well with air fryers.
Easy to Clean
If you cook food in an air fryer regularly, you need to clean it regularly (fact stated straight away). The good part, though, is that it is easy to clean. You only have to put some dishwashing soap into the basket with some water and then sponge the inside and outside of the cooking chamber.
Speedy Cooking Process
When it comes to air fryers, you’ll notice that your cooking time literally reduces by half
Now, we have some downsides too to discuss:
There’s Not Enough Space to Cook Large Batches
Air fryers are best-suited for single meals. If you’re big on gathering people, this device is not the ideal choice.
There’s No Option for Toasting Bread
Even though air fryers are versatile, they do not toast bread like a regular oven or a toaster oven. So, no toast for breakfast.
Not Suitable For Every Kind of Cooking
While an air fryer is good for crisping up breaded chicken, it is not a good choice for tempura (no runny batters inside because the fan will blow the batter and create a mess).
Furthermore, the kitchen device doesn’t have a broiling option, so you may not get a crust in some dishes.
Origin and Development of Toaster Ovens
Toaster ovens are mini conventional ovens. You can heat leftovers in them, broil your roasts, or even bake a pizza. The toaster oven comes with a heating rack and a baking plate—a heating rack for toasting foods like bread and bagels while the baking pan is for baking or broiling food.
The toaster ovens are compact in design and usually emanate heat from both the top and the bottom. Both parts have heating elements (more on the working of a toaster oven in the next part). So, your food gets evenly toasted or cooked depending on the temperature settings.
These kitchen appliances are compact and their power consumption is much less than a full-sized conventional oven. However, they do not offer the same space as conventional ovens.
We can say that a toaster oven is an appliance that falls between a conventional oven and a microwave. You can cook food in it like a regular oven and warm up your food like a microwave.
How Does a Toaster Oven Work?
A toaster oven has two heating elements that emanate dry heat. One heating element is fixed on the top of the oven and the second one is at the bottom.
Depending on the oven setting (toasting, broiling, or baking) these heating elements adjust the inside temperature. When broiling, the upper heating element works to give a perfect melted top to dishes like a casserole or a pizza.
The lower heating element works when you set the toaster oven for baking or toasting.
To get the full out of a toaster oven, check the user manual thoroughly and only then start your baking or broiling journey.
Like any other kitchen appliance, toaster ovens have pros and cons. So, here’s some more about these little machines:
You Can Perform Multiple Cooking Functions
Toaster ovens can let you bake, toast and broil in a single appliance.
No Heating of the Cooking Area
While you can feel the heat around your conventional oven, toaster ovens keep the heat to themselves. So, you will most probably not sweat while baking something in a toaster oven.
Timers that Tell that the Food is Ready
Toaster ovens ding bells when the food is ready to be taken out. So, you don’t need to keep peeking inside the oven to see your cake rising up or the cheese on your pizza melting.
Bulky in Size
Toaster ovens are not handy appliances. You need counter space for them, and there’s no way you can store them after using them (too much hassle).
May Have Uneven Cooking
Toaster ovens cook pretty fast, so you may get uneven cooking if you aren’t controlling the temperature or worse, burnt food. To prevent this, keep flipping sides mid-cycle.
Air Fryer vs. Toaster Oven: The Breakdown Chart of Top 12 Differences
|Air Fryer||Toster Oven|
|Size||They can range from 2 quarts to 6.8 quarts. The 6.8 quarts air fryer holds up to 6.5 liters of food.||Small to extra large toaster ovens can have sizes ranging from 0.3 cubic feet to 1 cubic foot.|
|Portability||You can move them with you||Some models of toaster ovens are immovable once installed|
|Cooking Space||Less than a toaster oven, so it is hard to cook big batches||Fair cooking space in larger sizes.|
|Health Benefits||Cuts down your fat intake by lowering the oil used in the food||Better than fried food; you can bake, toast, and broil with as less calories as you want|
|Types of food||Breaded chicken and fishVegetables that have some weight (no leafy greens because they blow up inside and no wet batters; they don’t get cooked)||Baked items like pizza, casseroles, cookies, cakes, etc. Don’t work well for breaded food, but you can work with marinated chicken, etc.|
|Cost||$30-$300 depending on the model and size||$25-$1000 depending n the capacity and model.|
|Energy Consumption||800 watts to 2175 watts||1200-1400 watts when in use|
|Efficiency||50% more energy-efficient than an electric oven||Uses one third or half of the energy a conventional electric oven uses|
|Features||Air frying||Toasting, Baking, Broiling|
|Heat Source||Hot Air fans||Electricity-resistant coil or an infrared lamp|
|Cooking Method||Conventional cooking using hot air around the food||Conventional cooking using dry heat coming from a coil or an infrared lamp|
|Cooking Time||Depending on the food, these appliances can cook in 5-35 minutes at various temperatures||Typically works much faster than a conventional oven; you can cook food within 15-20 minutes|
Now you got all the information about air fryers and toaster ovens, you must want to try them!
Best 3 Air Fryers reviews in 2022
Ultrean Air Fryer 4.2 Quart
The Ultrean air fryer is a lifesaver for those who want to cut down their cooking time. These air fryers come in four eye-catching, contemporary colors which can blend well with any type of kitchen interior.
The air fryer has a clean design with a spacious non-stick basket. The basket is dishwasher safe, so the cleaning gets easy and quick once you cook in it.
The four-liter capacity of the appliance can even hold whole chicken which most small-sized air fryers cannot hold, the unit isn’t heavy and once the basket clicks in, you can single-handedly lift it, it’s very suited for a family size of 3 to 5 people.
So, if you want to have an aesthetically appealing, spacious air fryer, Ultrean Air fryer 4.2 is the one.
Ninja Foodie 8 Quart 6-in-1
Ninja foodie 8 quart is undoubtedly one of the best air fryer brands currently available in the market. The most distinctive feature of this air fryer is the dual baskets it has. With its Smart Finish feature, you can cook two types of food simultaneously in the baskets or even pull off large batches of food using the two baskets, most other kinds of air fryers only have one basket. However, as it has a large capacity, it will consume more power.
The air fryer can perform multiple cooking functions(6 in 1) like air frying, air broiling, dehydrating, etc, most of the other kinds of air fryers have 2-4 functions. The 8-quart air fryer capacity is suited for a family size of 5 to 8 people.
Cosori Air Fryer Oven Combo
The 5.8-quart capacity of this air fryer basket makes it suitable for air frying big batches of food. The basket is so spacious that it can easily fit a 5-pound chicken. The wide LED display of the air fryer makes it super-convenient to operate.
Once you’re done cooking, you can put the square basket directly in the dishwasher to easily clean up the mess. The square design gives more space to air fry food and keeps the cooking chamber well heated, your mouth will fill with the flavor of food when the food gets well heating.
If you want to get an air fryer with a clean design and user-friendly display, pick this one. It’s suited for a family size of 4 to 6 people.
Best 3 toaster ovens reviews in 2022
BLACK+DECKER Countertop Convection Toaster Oven
The Black and Decker convection toaster oven doesn’t make its place in the top models of convection toaster, but its price adjusts it in the cheapest toaster range. So, if you want all the functions of convection ovens without taking up too much space in the kitchen.
The only thing I don’t love is the buttons. They aren’t lit, which makes them hard to see at night. The display is dated and may be tough to handle
But it preheats faster and cooks faster than an oven. I also prefer using it to reheat foods in place of my microwave which hardly gets used now. All the baking, broiling, and toasting functions work well with the machine, so it’s a fair option.
Panasonic Toaster Oven FlashXpress
The Panasonic toaster oven is for those people who want an affordable appliance that works well and takes up less room on the counter. Although the machine looks a bit dated with the dials and buttons resembling radio sets, they function quite well and achieve all the toaster oven functions properly.
It can hit 300 degrees within 1 minute, it’s great for combo cooking, and there is almost literally zero pre-heating step for the oven.
However, the price is a bit higher than the Black and Decker convection toaster oven, but it is worth the money.
The door has a spring setting, so when you open the door, the tray comes out with it (your toast is in front of you immediately), that will be fantastic cooking time!
Toaster Oven by Mueller Austria
With a power usage of 1100 watts and a temperature range of 150-450 degrees Fahrenheit, Mueller Austria has manufactured a quite well-performing unit. The unit has a built-in timer and a baking pan that you can use for crisping up those nuggets or getting a bubbling bruschetta.
The toaster oven has a lever that you can use to adjust the elevation and temperature inside. Overall, this one is also quite a good choice for people looking for a toaster oven.
As it looks like, this one is too heavy to carry so you’d better ensure a good place to put it in your kitchen
Toaster Oven Air fryer Combo
Toaster oven air fryers are kitchen appliances that combine both the air fryer and a toaster oven features in a single unit. These machines are compact like their parent machines and can perform much more functions than an air fryer or a convection toaster oven.
The functions include bake, slow cook, broiling, roasting, toasting, air frying, and much more. Unlike the air fryers, these fryers and a toaster combination ovens are spacious, so you can even roast a rotisserie chicken in one of them if the settings allow.
Moreover, the compact body of these machines makes them better than an air fryer or a toaster oven because they can fit into a corner of the countertop without taking too much space. With its powerful system, it can take 5-10 minutes to cook food while other common types will take 10-20 minutes.
Even if you are a beginner, you can easy to use dials and the selection process(do not need to read instructions). You can also control it from your phone if you like, Yes! It can connect to WIFI.
Can an air fryer replace a toaster?
An air fryer can replace an oven toaster for those who do not use the oven toaster heavily. If you don’t use your oven toaster for baking and broiling large batches of food and only for toasting bread, you can switch to an air fryer comfortably.
Additionally, an air fryer has functions that your toaster oven may not have like dehydrating. Still, you cannot broil or toast your bread in an air fryer, so it depends purely on your usage of the appliances.
Do I need a toaster oven if I have an air fryer?
It depends on what you are aiming for. If you want to bake cookies or cakes, it is better to invest in a toaster oven, but if you only use your air fryer for crisping up breaded frozen items, you don’t need a toaster oven.
Air Fryer vs. Toaster Oven: The Bottomline
Air fryer vs toaster oven is not a valid debate. Both these appliances work pretty much for the same primary functions. However, air fryers have less capacity than a toaster oven. The capacity may become a challenge in settings where you need to cook big batches of food. But for typical crispy frozen items or breaded chicken, the space of an air fryer works just fine.
Both appliances use almost the same range of energy, so the final decision of buying any of them boils down to what kind of food you want to cook. After all, buying kitchen appliances solely depends on personal preferences.
You can comment here if you have any suggestions, tell us what are you thinking now! You can also share the article on social media, you may get some amazing opinions!
Thanks for reading!
My love for food was influenced by my brother, a chef at a 2-star Michelin restaurant, and we often exchange food knowledge together. It’s been 12 years since I first stepped into the kitchen, and with my vast experience and expertise, I will share many ideas on how to make dishes more delicious!