Is An Air Fryer Just A Mini Convection Oven?

I have seen several buyers that consider air fryer and countertop convection oven as identical cooking machines. But in fact, there is a huge difference between both.

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Although, they may appear the same at first sight; moreover, you may have seen them doing the same job, that is cooking food, but the actual difference lies in their design and working principle.


Can a convection oven be used as an air fryer?

Before we move ahead to state the differences between both these units, it is first good to talk about their similarities. This information will help you to clear many doubts in your mind.

The points describing similarities between Air Fryer and Convection Oven:

Here are the things that are common for both these appliances:

  • Both these cooking appliances make use of fans to circulate the superheated air in the cooking chamber. The prime idea is to enhance cooking times while ensuring crispier snack preparation.
  • Countertop ovens and air fryers are designed to fit perfectly into limited space on the kitchen countertop.
  • Both of this cooking equipment can be used to replace conventional ovens and toasters.

Air Fryer Vs. Convection Oven: The Comparison

There is no doubt to say that both, air fryers and convection ovens make use of fans for circulating the heated air in the oven; but the major difference lies in how they work.

In the case of air fryers, this fan is situated on the top portion whereas, for a convection oven, it stays at the bottom part.

Now you might be interested to know how that fan placement makes a difference in cooking. Well, in the case of air fryers, the heating element stays too close to the food bowl, and hence, it is observed to ensure crispy cooking.

Studies reveal that when air intake is fixed at the upper portion of the machine with the exhaust on the back, it helps to regulate the internal pressure and temperature in a much effective manner.

You can expect even heating in the cooking area, and it also reduces the time for preparation by almost 20 percent.


On the other side, the convection ovens are also known as fan-assisted ovens, and they have operations almost similar to the traditional baking oven.

These cooking equipment are generally designed with multiple cooking elements at the back, bottom, and top of the oven. Furthermore, the fan assisted models to ensure an even cooking experience for cakes and things that are required to be cooked at low temperatures.

Note that, the larger or non-perforated models may inhibit normal airflow, and hence, they reduce the desired beneficial effects.

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Size and Cooking Capacity:

These two factors have a great influence on the buyer’s decision; that is why we have listed them here. The size of the appliance is really important because it must fit the limited space in the kitchen.

Having kitchen supplies that restrict your normal workflow or movements in the kitchen are truly a bad idea. Generally, air fryers are smaller as compared to the convection ovens; the former ones can be easily placed on the counter-top whereas the later ones may become unapproachable as they need space somewhere else than the cooking top.

Moreover, the smaller units are easier to maintain and clean as well.

But, another important point to consider here is the overall cooking capacity, and it usually increases with the size of the unit.

Hence, convection ovens are naturally suited for large families; however, air fryers are a better choice for the smaller ones.

Maintenance and Reliability:

In today’s busy lifestyle, nobody wants to see all the food droppings here and there; we rarely find time to handle oil splatter, ingredient remains, and persistent stains.

If you too have the same feeling, an air fryer can serve you better. They are usually made up of non-stick material and are easier to wipe off. You can maintain their interior and exterior as well without making many efforts.

But when we talk about convection ovens, maintenance and cleaning them may appear a tough task. Moreover, their placement makes it too hard to reach up to every corner to take out the spilling.

They start building stains and dripping with time, and then you may need to use detergents to clean them.

Also, your product must be reliable as well, and the biggest support, in this case, can be obtained from the manufacturers.

When buyers are able to get an appliance with a warranty, it naturally leads to the best deal.

Ease of use:

As already discussed, both these appliances make use of safe cooking techniques that leads to extremely healthy food preparation. But the rating can vary when we compare them on the basis of usability.

Experts reveal that air fryers are generally designed to ease the cooking experience with their simple handling. Users can also follow air fryer cooking charts to prepare traditional recipes in a much efficient manner.

Although cooking ovens are believed to work at a 25% faster pace as compared to conventional ovens; but the actual performance varies from model to model.

Note that, the air fryers are observed to be digital as well as manual controls for temperature and time settings. The one-touch presets are another great addition to those advanced models.

But on the other side, the convection ovens, both digital and manual type are likely to have little confusing controls. Their metal exteriors also become quite hot during cooking and may burn your hands.

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Can air fryers replace convection ovens?

Well, there is no doubt to say that air fryers can replace the convection ovens with their solid performance and high-end construction.

It can even replace many other appliances at your home, including a toaster oven, electric grills, and deep fryers as well. Air fryers can be used to prepare a variety of recipes, and they are always amazing in taste due to their even heating procedures.

You can easily find many attractive designs in the market with many advanced functions and efficient controls. An air fryer can definitely ease your cooking routines with its impressive performance.

Feel free to share your observations with me in the comments section!

Also, if you find the information in this post to be useful, be sure to share this post with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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