Difference Between Air Fryer and Convection Oven (With Table)

Air fryers and convection ovens are both using a fan to circulate hot air to cook food faster than traditional ovens. Air fryers, on the other hand, cook faster than convection ovens primarily to the placement and size of their fans, etc.

Air Fryer vs Convection Oven

The difference between an air fryer and a convection oven is that air fryers are smaller and have a faster cooking time. Air fryers also don’t require a large heating appliance. Convection ovens are cheaper, comparatively, and their cleanup is easier than an average air fryer.

A small countertop convection oven that simulates deep frying without the need for oil is known as an air fryer. Browning reactions produce a crisp coating when hot air is circulated at high speeds by a fan. It has a removable bucket with a handle, and a removable basket fits inside. The bucket, filled with food, is inserted into the device, turned on, and the cooking begins.

A convection oven is one that uses fans to circulate air around the food, resulting in a very even heat. Because of the increased air circulation, a convection oven cooks food faster than a conventional non-fan oven, which solely depends on natural convection to circulate hot air.

Comparison Table Between Air fryer and Convection Oven

Parameters of comparisonAir FryerConvection oven
SizeAir fryers are smaller and more compactConvection ovens will take up counter space as they are bigger
Fan placementLocated at the backLocated at either the back, in the center or on the side
Fan sizeLarger and faster fansSmaller and slower fans
HeatingAir enters from the topAir enters from the top and the bottom.
CleaningCleanup is difficultCleanup is easier

What is an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is an instrument that utilizes little to no oil to cook food quickly. The heating elements are usually found on top of the unit and are accompanied by a huge fan. It swiftly preheats and begins cooking meals straight away. To promote air circulation, food is placed on a perforated tray, which is generally within an air fryer basket.

Air fryers cook food that would otherwise be submerged in oil by circulating hot air. The frying chamber of an air fryer radiates heat from a heating element near the food, and hot air is circulated by a fan. Depending on the model, temperatures can reach 250°C.

Their perforated racks also allow fat to drain into the drip pan, keeping your food from absorbing too much oil and making it crispier.

In an air fryer, there isn’t a lot of cooking oil utilized. When compared to non-convection ovens, air fryer cooking times can be lowered by up to 20%.

What is a Convection Oven?

A convection oven functions similarly to an oven, with heating components on both the top and bottom. The convection option works in conjunction with a fan, which is normally found in the oven’s back.

Its fan may be turned off to bake like a regular oven, making it suitable for delicate chores like cookies and cakes. Although some manufacturers sell crisper trays to mimic air frying, most convection ovens do not come with any extra accessories.

Convection ovens circulate hot air within the oven using a strong fan, allowing cooks to reduce cooking times, maintain consistent food quality, and increase and decrease browning with a more uniform appearance.

Many perforated accessories are available for air fryers, allowing for quick and easy frying with no effort. Among the items are air fryer baskets, trays, racks, rotisserie spits, and kebab skewers. On the racks, you can set small baking pans or tins, if desired.

An impingement oven is another type of convection oven.  This oven is commonly used in restaurants to cook pizzas and lightly toasted bread, but it can also be used for other cuisines. Impingement ovens produce a high volume of heated air from above and below the meal. The airflow is directed at the food, which is normally transported by a conveyor belt through the oven.

Main Differences Between an Air Fryer and a Convection Oven

  1. The difference between an air fryer and a convection oven is that the air fryer is smaller in size and more compact so it’s easier to fit in cabinets and any other space, whereas a convection oven is bigger in size, so it takes up a lot of fixed space.
  2. In air fryers, the fan is placed at the back, and it’s placed on the back, the side or at the center in a convection oven.
  3. The fans are larger and faster in air fryers when compared to convection ovens.
  4. To help with heating, the air enters from the top in air fryers and from the top and bottom in convection ovens.
  5. In convection ovens, the cleaning is easier than in air fryers. In air fryers, you need to clean all the utensils included like the perforated tray, food basket, etc. In convection ovens, you only need to clean the pan.

Conclusion

Although most convection ovens can air fry, not all air fryers can match the capabilities of a convection oven. The primary difference between an air fryer and a convection oven is size, with a convection oven often having more area for cooking larger quantities of food at once.

The top-of-the-oven fan in an air fryer cooks food slightly faster than the back-of-the-oven fan in a convection oven, but a convection oven doesn’t require any additional equipment or attachments like an air fryer.

It’s totally a matter of personal preference when it comes to choosing between an air fryer and a convection oven. Some people choose an air fryer because of its small size, while others prefer a convection oven because of its many cooking options and capabilities.

References

  1. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/402064
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2002.tb08740.x
  3. https://ifst.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1745-4549.2004.23075.x
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