Can an air fryer really replace a toaster oven? We've been there, and also wondered if these kitchen appliances serve the same purpose or if one is more versatile than the other.
In this article, we go through the key differences between air fryers and toaster ovens, comparing their cooking methods, versatility, speed, health benefits, space consumption, and cost.
By the end, you'll have a clear picture of whether or not an air fryer can replace a trusty toaster oven in your kitchens. Read further!
Can An Air Fryer Replace A Toaster Oven?
In short: no. We need both appliances. While an air fryer may perform several functions similar to a toaster oven, it cannot completely replace it. In many households they have taken the place of the traditional oven.
An air fryer is great for cooking foods with a crispy texture using very little oil, while a toaster oven is better for toasting bread, baking items like meats, cookies or small pizzas, and for broiling.
So, while an air fryer can certainly be a valuable addition to your kitchen, it cannot fully replace a toaster oven. Both appliances have their own unique functions and can complement each other in the kitchen.
Key Differences Between Air Fryers And Toaster Ovens
In our experience, after using both appliances extensively, we've noticed several key differences between an air fryer and a toaster oven.
- Cooking techniques: air fryers use hot air circulation to cook food, resulting in crispier foods. On the other hand, toaster ovens often result in less crispy meals.
- Features: air fryers typically have a compact design and are specifically designed for frying and roasting. They come with a removable basket to easily take out the food, and for easy cleaning.
- Capabilities & versatility: In contrast, toaster ovens have a larger capacity and can perform a variety of cooking functions, including baking, broiling, and toasting. A good toaster oven comes with multiple levels, adjustable racks, timers, and temperature controls for precise cooking.
Cooking Methods: Air Frying Vs. Toasting
When comparing the cooking methods of air frying and toasting, I prefer air frying for its ability to achieve crispy results. Air frying uses hot air circulation to cook the food, resulting in a crispy exterior and moist interior.
Toasting, on the other hand, uses radiant heat to brown the surface of the food. Nevertheless, for some dishes you would need a deep fryer. And if you have large pieces of food, like a turkey, a regular oven will have more space to cook than an air fryer.
One advantage of air frying is the shorter cooking time. The hot air circulates around the food, cooking it evenly and quickly. This reduces the overall cooking time compared to toasting, which may take longer to achieve the desired level of crispiness.
Additionally, air frying is more energy efficient than toasting. Air fryers typically use less energy compared to toaster ovens, as they require less time to preheat and cook the food. This can lead to savings on your electricity bills in the long run.
Versatility: What Can You Cook In Both Appliances?
When comparing the cooking capabilities of an air fryer and a toaster oven, consider the different cooking methods they employ.
- While an air fryer uses hot air circulation to cook food, a toaster oven uses radiant heat.
- This difference in cooking methods can result in variations in food texture and taste.
Cooking Capabilities Comparison
We can compare the cooking capabilities of an air fryer and a toaster oven in terms of versatility. Here are some key points to consider:
- Air fryers are excellent for cooking frozen foods like French fries, chicken tenders, and mozzarella sticks. They use hot air circulation to create a crispy texture without the need for oil.
- Toaster ovens are more versatile and can handle a wider range of cooking tasks. They can bake, broil, toast, and even roast a small chicken or turkey.
- Both appliances can cook vegetables, but the air fryer tends to be faster due to its rapid air circulation.
- Cooking process time comparison: air fryers are generally quicker than toaster ovens. They preheat faster and cook food more efficiently.
- Energy consumption comparison: toaster ovens tend to use more energy since they've larger heating elements and longer cooking times.
Different Cooking Methods
Regularly, we cook a variety of dishes in both our air fryer and toaster oven, showcasing their versatility in different cooking methods.
- The air fryer uses rapid air technology to circulate hot air around the food, creating a crispy exterior while maintaining a moist interior. It's perfect for cooking frozen foods like French fries, chicken wings, and even vegetables.
- The toaster oven, on the other hand, uses heating elements on the top and bottom to evenly cook the food. It's great for toasting bread, baking cookies, and reheating leftover pizza.
- Both appliances have their pros and cons. The air fryer cooks food faster and requires less oil, resulting in healthier meals. However, the toaster oven has a larger cooking capacity and can handle a wider range of dishes. In our experience, they are both easy to clean.
There are many air fryers and toaster ovens on the market, and you need to compare them for their range of cooking methods. Ultimately, it depends on your cooking preferences and needs.
Food Texture & Taste
In our experience, we've found that both the air fryer and toaster oven offer a wide range of cooking options, allowing for versatile food texture and taste. These countertop ovens provide different methods of preparing food, resulting in different textures and flavors.
Here are 5 examples of what you can cook in an air fryer and in a toaster oven:
- Air fryer: crispy French fries, crunchy chicken wings, golden onion rings, perfectly roasted vegetables, and juicy grilled fish.
- Toaster oven: making toast, melt-in-your-mouth baked cookies, tender roasted chicken, fluffy baked potatoes, and deliciously broiled steaks.
With the air fryer's ability to circulate hot air, it creates a crispy texture similar to deep frying, but with less oil. On the other hand, the toaster oven offers more traditional baking and broiling methods, resulting in different textures and taste profiles.
Speed & Efficiency: Which Appliance Gets The Job Done Faster?
Using an air fryer or a toaster oven, the speed and efficiency of getting the job done faster is determined by the appliance's cooking time and performance. When it comes to cooking time, air fryers generally have an advantage.
They use rapid air technology to circulate hot air around the food to cook it quickly and evenly. This can significantly reduce cooking time compared to a toaster oven.
Air fryers are known for their energy efficiency. They require less energy to operate compared to toaster ovens, which can help save on electricity bills. However, it's important to note that toaster ovens can still be efficient in their own right, especially for certain types of cooking tasks.
Health Benefits: Is Air Frying Healthier?
An air fryer offers health benefits that surpass those of a toaster oven. Here are 5 reasons why air frying is healthier than toasting:
- Reduced Oil Usage: Air frying requires significantly less oil compared to deep frying, resulting in lower fat and calorie content in the food.
- Lower Acrylamide Formation: Air frying produces less acrylamide, a potentially harmful chemical compound that forms when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures.
- Retained Nutrients: Air frying retains more nutrients in the food compared to deep frying, preserving the nutritional value of the ingredients.
- Less Oxidation: Air frying minimizes the oxidation process, reducing the formation of harmful free radicals that can contribute to various health issues.
- Decreased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: By reducing oil consumption and minimizing the intake of unhealthy fats, air frying may help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Space & Size: Which Appliance Takes Up Less Counter Space?
Our air fryer's compact size takes up less counter space compared to the toaster oven's (often) bulkiness. When it comes to space-saving solutions and countertop organization, the air fryer definitely wins.
If you have limited counter space or prefer a clutter-free kitchen, the compact size of air fryer makes it the better choice.
Appliance | Height | Width | Depth
Air Fryer | 10 | 15 | 12 (inches)
Toaster Oven | 14 | 16 | 14 (inches)
Cost Comparison: Which One Is More Expensive?
Consider both the upfront price and the long-term savings.
- A lot of air fryers tend to have a similar initial cost compared to toaster ovens. However, they can also save you money in the long run by using less energy and cooking food faster.
- Additionally, the price of air fryers and toaster ovens can vary depending on the brand, features, and size - check your cooking area - so it's important to do your research and compare prices before making a purchase.
Air Fryer Affordability
When comparing the prices of different models, air fryers and toaster ovens generally fall within the comparable price range. Here are some factors to consider when comparing their affordability:
- Cooking capacity: Air fryers usually have smaller cooking capacities compared to toaster ovens, which can affect the overall price.
- Air fryer features: Air fryers often come with additional features such as preset cooking functions, digital controls, and built-in timers, which can increase the cost.
- Toaster oven accessories: Toaster ovens may include accessories like baking pans, racks, and trays, which can add value to the purchase.
- Energy efficiency: Air fryers are known for their energy-saving capabilities, which can result in long-term cost savings on electricity bills.
- Brand reputation: The brand and its reputation can also influence the price of both air fryers and toaster ovens.
Considering these factors, assess your cooking needs and budget to determine which appliance offers the best value for your money.
Toaster Oven Price
When it comes to toaster oven prices, there's a wide range depending on the brand and features.
- Basic toaster ovens can be found for as low as $80, while more advanced models with additional features such as convection cooking or digital controls can cost upwards of $500. Popular toaster oven brands include Breville, Ninja Foodie, Cuisinart, Cosori, and KitchenAid.
- Air fryers generally have a lower price range compared to toaster ovens. The average price for an air fryer falls between $60 and $300. It's worth noting that air fryers offer a unique cooking method that allows for healthier frying with less oil, but less feature than the toaster ovens.
Toaster Ovens And Air Fryers FAQs
Can an air fryer also be used as a toaster oven?
Yes. An air fryer can be used as a toaster oven. You can use a toaster oven to toast bread and make bagels in it. It's a versatile appliance that can handle multiple cooking tasks efficiently. However, nothing can beat a dedicated toaster for bread and bagels.
Are there any specific foods that can only be cooked in a toaster oven and not in an air fryer?
In the on-going debate "air fryer vs toaster oven" there are certain unique dishes that can be prepared in a toaster oven but not in an air fryer such as: baking items like large piece of meats, larger amount of cookies, pizzas, bread and dedicated pastries, cakes, and broiling meats.
The main difference between a toaster oven vs an air fryer lies in the even heat distribution, temperature control. A toaster oven allows for more precise adjustments for specific foods.
Nowadays, besides a regular toaster oven, cooks discover an air fryer is a better appliance for specific cooking needs.
A convection toaster oven is a toaster oven with a built-in air frying capacity: an allround convection oven. It's also called an "air fryer toaster oven". In the end, many home cooks obtain both a toaster oven and an air fryer.
Our blog post has got you covered with thorough reviews and recommendations that will save you the hassle of doing all the research by yourself.