Who doesn’t like fried foods? Just moved into your first apartment and trying to decide what kinds of appliances to buy? Trying to be more health-conscious and upgrade your kitchen? Either way, choosing between an air fryer vs oven can be tough.
On the one hand, air fryers are becoming increasingly popular. They’re small, use little to no oil, and can cook food quickly and evenly. On the other hand, the conventional oven has been around for centuries. They’re versatile, can accommodate large quantities of food, require hot oil for deep frying, and can be used for various cooking methods.
So, which one is the best? The answer may depend on your individual needs and preferences. Here’s a closer look at air fryers vs ovens to help you make a decision.
What Is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a small appliance that cooks food by circulating hot air around it. This cooking method is healthier than traditional frying because it uses little to no oil. That probably explains why 36% of American households own an air fryer.
The working mechanism of an air fryer is quite unique. It has a fan that circulates hot air around the food. The food is cooked evenly from all sides due to the hot air circulation. Air frying cooks the food faster than an oven and also prevents it from sticking to the walls or base of the fryer.
Most air fryers have a capacity of around 2-3 quarts (1.9-2.8 L), which is enough to cook food for one or two people. Some larger models can accommodate up to 6 quarts (5.7 L) of food, which is ideal for families or large groups.
Air fryers cook food quickly and evenly, so they’re a great option if you’re short on time. They’re also easy to use – most models have a digital timer and temperature control.
What Is an Oven?
An oven is a large appliance that cooks food by heating it from the inside. Ovens can be used for a variety of cooking methods, including baking, roasting, broiling, and grilling.
As a traditional cooking appliance, ovens have been around for centuries. The first recorded use of an oven dates back to 1490 in Alsace, France.
Today, over 90% of American households own an oven. They come in various shapes and sizes, from small toaster ovens to large built-in models.
Ovens can be powered by electricity, gas, or even solar power. Electric ovens are the most common type, followed by gas ovens. Solar ovens are less common but are becoming more popular due to their environmentally friendly nature.
Ovens are more versatile than air fryers – they can accommodate larger quantities of food and be used for a variety of cooking methods. However, they take longer to cook food than air fryers.
Air Fryer Vs Oven: The Differences
Now that you know a little bit about air fryers and ovens, let’s take a closer look at the key differences between these two appliances.
As we mentioned, air fryers are small appliances that can fit on your kitchen counter. Ovens, on the other hand, come in a variety of sizes. Some ovens are small enough to fit on your countertop, while others are large enough to be built into your kitchen cabinets.
Size is an important consideration when choosing between an air fryer and an oven. If your kitchen has limited counter space, then an air fryer might be the better option. But if you have enough space for a larger appliance, then an oven would be a better choice.
All in all, air fryers are more compact and take up less space than ovens.
Air fryers have a smaller capacity than ovens – most models can accommodate 2-3 quarts (1.9-2.8 L) of food, although some larger models have a 6-quart (5.7 L) capacity.
Ovens have a much larger capacity. Standard ovens can hold 4-5 quarts (3.8-4.7 L) of food, while commercial ovens can accommodate even more.
So, if you’re looking to cook large quantities of food at once, then an oven would be the better option. But if you only need to cook small amounts of food, an air fryer would be a better choice.
Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food. This is why they’re sometimes referred to as “air fryers” or “air convection ovens.” The food is cooked by hot air, not by contact with a heating element.
On the contrary, ovens cook food with direct contact with a heating element. The element can be located at the top, bottom, or both top and bottom of the oven cavity.
So, what does this difference mean for the cooking process?
Well, air fryers cook food faster than ovens because the hot air circulates more evenly around the food. Ovens can take longer to cook food because the heat needs to travel through the oven cavity to reach the food.
Air fryers and ovens both have temperature controls that allow you to set the cooking temperature. However, air fryers typically have more precise temperature control than ovens.
This means you can easily cook food at a specific temperature with an air fryer. Ovens, on the contrary, can be more difficult to control – the temperature can fluctuate depending on the type of oven and how well it’s calibrated.
However, considering that the latest oven models have improved temperature control, this difference is not as significant as it once was.
Ease of Use
No matter how advanced an appliance is, it’s not going to be useful if it’s difficult to use. So, let’s take a look at the ease of use for air fryers and ovens.
Air fryers are generally easier to use than ovens. They have simple controls and don’t require preheating. You can just add the food to the air fryer basket, set the temperature, and start cooking.
Ovens can be more difficult to use. They often require preheating, and they have more complex controls. Additionally, you need to know how to properly use an oven in order to cook food evenly.
Air fryers and ovens both come in a wide range of prices. You can find budget-friendly models as well as high-end models that come with a hefty price tag.
In general, air fryers tend to be more expensive than ovens. This is because they’re a newer technology and have more features than ovens.
For example, a basic air fryer might cost around $60, while a high-end model with all the bells and whistles could cost upwards of $200.
Ovens, on the other hand, are more affordable. You can find a basic oven for as little as $30, and a high-end model would cost around $100.
Both air fryers and ovens can be used to cook a wide variety of foods. However, ovens take the lead when it comes to versatility.
This is because ovens can be used for baking, roasting, grilling, and more. Air fryers, on the other hand, are mostly limited to frying foods.
So, if you’re looking for an appliance that can do it all, an oven would be the better choice. But if you’re just looking for something to fry food, an air fryer would suffice.
Verdict: Which One Should You Choose?
So, which is the better option – an air fryer or an oven?
Well, it depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for an appliance that’s easy to use and can cook a wide variety of foods, an oven would be the better choice.
But if you’re just looking for something to fry food, an air fryer would be the ideal option.
Regardless of which appliance you choose, both air fryers and ovens can help you cook delicious food. So, it really comes down to your personal preference.