What’s the Difference Between an Air Fryer Oven and an Air Fryer?

Air frying is quickly becoming everyone’s alternative to deep frying for its practically oil-less yet deep-fried-like crispy outcome. It’s done using either an air fryer oven or countertop air fryer that circulates superheated air from all angles to produce a crunchy, fried, and evenly-browned result.

Air fryers are not created equal, with “oven” versions accommodating more than most. That said, the best air fryer toaster oven edges ahead of the majority of countertop models. Despite the healthy and sumptuous meals both a countertop air fryer and an oven air fryer are known to create, there are key differences between the two that are worth noting.

an air fryer and over fryer

What Is an Air Fryer?

Also called a countertop air fryer, a traditional air fryer comes with a fryer-style basket designed to copy the kind of crisp produced by deep-frying. In a countertop fryer, heat circulates rapidly around the food, cooking it quickly and evenly. These appliances usually range from three to five quarts, with most five-quart models big enough to serve two people.

Traditional Air Fryer Benefits

If you have enough counter and storage space to spare, air fry food on the regular, and don’t usually cook for more than two people, a conventional air fryer could be the ideal choice. Here are some benefits you’ll enjoy if you opt for the original version of the air fryer:

    • You can use it and then store it away in a flash after cleaning. As you can imagine, there is usually little to no hassle involved.
    • In general, countertop air fryers are budget-friendly, so the price isn’t a primary consideration when buying one. And while there are bigger and more advanced models with heftier price tags, they are still relatively cheaper than their air fryer oven counterparts.
    • Since it accommodates less, countertop air fryers can cook smaller quantities of food faster. One batch should be enough for one or two people.

What Is an Air Fryer Oven?

An air fryer oven is a full-sized-oven version of the traditional air fryer. Most of the time, it’s an advanced conventional oven that features the air frying mode built within its system. Whether electric, gas, or induction, an air fryer oven usually has a bigger capacity and takes up less space on the kitchen counter.

Air fryer ovens make use of a high-powered fan system to move air around the oven cavity at high speeds. In a high-quality model, you can almost guarantee an air-fry feature that cooks food to a perfect crisp.

air fryer oven

Air Fryer Oven Benefits

Though not as handy as its standalone counterpart, the air fryer oven does have unique perks of its own. Here are some of the most notable:

    • The most notable difference is its larger capacity for air frying. Unlike the traditional air fryer, it may limit your air frying to your home’s kitchen. Still, while a countertop fryer only allows cooking for two people at most, the air fryer oven lets you prepare for a bigger group in one go. Seems like a fair exchange, doesn’t it?
    • An air fryer oven doesn’t require opening up additional space on your kitchen countertop for a separate appliance. In its case, air frying is a feature integrated into the cooking system.
    • Since you can cook bigger batches at once, you will have more time for entertaining instead of slaving yourself in the kitchen.
    • The best air fryer oven models go the extra mile. They can bake with true induction, are built with smudge-proof stainless steel, and often have a pre-configured steam-cleaning mode.

How To Get the Best Out of Your Air Fryer Oven

The outcome of cooking using an air fryer oven is as much in your hands as it is on the appliance. Here are some tips to help ensure an evenly brown and perfectly crisp finish each and every time.

Overloading is a bad idea; don’t do it.

There are limits to how large a batch you can air fry in one go using the oven fryer, and exceeding that can lead to disappointing results. That said, don’t pack food too close together because you want to fill every bit of space on the tray.

There still needs to be some distance between food items so that hot air can circulate around each and at all angles. This is what leads to that perfectly crisp finish you’re looking for.

The right tray makes a difference

There is such a thing as a right and wrong tray where some types of food are concerned. Using these specific pieces for oven air frying lets hot air circulate around each food item more thoroughly, leading to faster and crispier outcomes.

Choose Air Frying!

Air frying is a healthier alternative to conventional frying that produces great-tasting outcomes, so there are plenty of reasons to integrate it into your cooking routine. Whether you choose a standalone countertop unit or an oven’s built-in air-fryer feature to accomplish the goal shouldn’t make much of a difference.

Both options are capable of providing air-frying perfection in all aspects. Unless portability and cooking capacity are major concerns, neither should be the better choice than the other in general.

Read More: 

A first-timer’s guide to using an air fryer

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