Air Fryer vs. Convection Oven: Are They the Same? (2023)

Air fryers have come a long way since they first arrived in homes as futuristic orb-like appliances offering healthier cooking options for our favorite cheat-day snacks. The appliance was introduced in 2005, but it didn't become a commonly seen kitchen tool until 2018, when it was declared the "it" gift for Christmas, according to Amazon data. Air fryers were originally used to reheat food on airplanes, but we soon learned you can do so much more at home with an air fryer than fry chicken wings or donut holes without loads of added oil. We now use this trendy countertop device to bake, rehydrate, roast, and re-crisp leftovers the same way we used our convection ovens, which got us thinking. Is there really a difference between an air fryer and a convection oven?

The short answer? No.

"The results for foods cooked in an air fryer are comparable to a convection oven," says Dawn Sieber, chef instructor at Purdue University's Hospitality and Tourism Management at Marriott Hall, and that's because an air fryer is basically just a miniature convection oven.

What Is a Convection Oven?

Air Fryer vs. Convection Oven: Are They the Same? (1)

"Convection ovens use a powerful fan to circulate hot air inside the oven, allowing chefs to decrease cooking times, control consistent quality of food, and increase and decrease browning with a more uniform appearance," Sieber explains. Convection ovens were popular in commercial kitchens before they were adapted for home use, and now there are multiple home convection options ranging from conventional ovens with a convection feature to countertop convection ovens.

(Video) Air Fryer Vs Convection Oven: What's the Difference?

Convection ovens are great for roasting meats, cooking pizza, baking casseroles, roasting vegetables, and baking scones and crunchy cookies. Cooking goes faster in a convection oven than in a conventional oven, so unless you're using a recipe specifically designed for a convection oven, you'll need to convert recipes with this convection oven conversion guide.

What Is an Air Fryer?

Air fryers also use a fan to circulate hot air around food in the same way a convection oven does, only air fryers are typically smaller and the fan circulates air faster in an air fryer. These little fryers preheat fast and use a fryer basket or perforated tray to help circulate the air and decrease cooking time.

25 of Our Best Air-Fryer Recipes That Prove the Appliance Is Great for Every Meal

(Video) Air Fryers vs Convection Ovens | What's the Difference?

Air fryers are super simple to use and can make golden french fries, crunchy fried pickles, or even crispy kale chips with a tablespoon or less of oil. Because of their ability to decrease calories by not cooking foods in oil, air fryers soared in popularity as soon as they were introduced, but the small size is still a deterrent for many serious cooks. "I never considered the countertop home air-fryer units because they were limited in scope," Sieber admits. "I prefer cooking in my countertop Gourmia multi-function oven because cooking in hot fat on a stove top can be dangerous and includes too many calories nutritionally."

Air Fryer vs. Convection Oven: Are They the Same? (3)

So, Is an Air Fryer a Convection Oven?

Most convection ovens can air-fry, but not all air fryers can do what a convection oven can. The main difference between an air fryer and convection oven lies in the size, with a convection oven generally having more space for cooking larger amounts of food at one time (e.g., the difference between cooking eight mini scones or 16 full-size scones). The fan in an air fryer is located at the top of the appliance, which cooks food a little faster than the back-of-the-oven fan in a convection oven, but a convection oven doesn't require any specialty equipment or accessories like an air fryer does.

The Bottom Line

Choosing between an air fryer and a convection oven is entirely about personal preference. Some prefer the small size of an air fryer, while some want all the cooking options and capabilities that come with a convection oven. For those still on the fence, a combination convection toaster oven air fryer may be the answer. "Last year I purchased a Gourmia toaster oven air fryer that was under $150 to replace my toaster," Sieber says. "It is square and with a slightly larger capacity than a typical air fryer, and it operates much like a commercial convection oven and as an air fryer. It's so easy to turn on and has a shorter preheat than a conventional home oven. Its shorter cook times lead to less possible energy use, and I love being able to pop in some bread to toast, potatoes to air-fry, or chicken sausages to roast when I'm pressed for time."

Using a Convection Oven as an Air Fryer

Both air fryers and convection ovens cook recipes about 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit lower than a recipe for a conventional oven, so in terms of temperature, many air-fryer recipes work in a convection oven. "The conversion is very similar, as long as there is enough airflow for air-frying, such as a basket tray," Sieber says. A perforated tray or even a large air-frying basket for a convection oven will help crisp foods in a convection oven to get the same air-fried results, especially with these air-fryer egg rolls and these air-fryer jalapeño poppers. Because many air-fryer recipes are intended for small batches, you can often double the recipe for a convection oven; just remember to space food out on the tray—especially for air-fried Brussels sprouts, air-fried buffalo cauliflower, and air-fried chicken tenders—to make sure the air can easily touch all sides of the food. Although cooking times for recipes should be close in both an air fryer and convection oven, keep in mind that air fryers cook a little faster than convection ovens, so some air-fryer recipes may take a bit longer in a convection oven. Check to see if the food is ready around the time stated in the recipe, then follow up every two to three minutes if it needs a bit more time to brown.

(Video) Should You Get an Air Fryer or an Air Fryer Toaster Oven? | Gear Heads

9 Air Fryer Accessories That Make the Most of Your Appliance

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is an air fryer a healthier cooking method than a convection oven?

    Air fryers and convection ovens both circulate air around your food, so the difference is less about the machines and more about what you put in them. With a convection oven, you’ll need to coat your food with oil to achieve even distribution, but with an air fryer, you are working with a much smaller space, and you’ll only ever need about 2 tablespoons (or less) of oil in the basket. So, the end results with an air fryer can be healthier if you trust the process and let the air do most of the work.

    (Video) Is an Air Fryer just a Convection Oven? Let's put it to the test.
  • Does a convection oven make food crisp?

    Compared with a conventional oven, a convection oven will make your food much crispier—especially if you cook it on a perforated tray or oven-safe cooling rack so the air can circulate around the entire surface of the food.

  • What's the difference between an air fryer and an air fryer oven?

    (Video) Is an Air Fryer the same as a Convection Oven?!

    In short, size. An air fryer oven is simply a full-size oven that includes an air fry setting. The greatest advantage of an air fryer oven over a countertop air fryer is its larger capacity which allows you to cook bigger batches of food at once.


Can I use my convection oven as an air fryer? ›

Yes, your convection oven allows you to air fry and still achieve the same results. In fact, there are additional benefits to using your convection oven, such as convenience courtesy of their extra cooking capacity. Both convection ovens and air fryers use a convection fan to circulate hot air around the food.

Is an air fryer the same as a convection oven? ›

The main difference between an air fryer and convection oven lies in the size, with a convection oven generally having more space for cooking larger amounts of food at one time (e.g., the difference between cooking eight mini scones or 16 full-size scones).

How long does it take to cook in a convection oven vs air fryer? ›

When it comes to overall cooking time, air fryers are typically faster than ovens. For example, chicken nuggets will cook in about 15 minutes in an air fryer, while they would take 20-25 minutes in an oven. Similarly, french fries will cook in about 15-20 minutes in an air fryer versus 25-30 minutes in an oven.

Which is healthier air fryer or convection oven? ›

Due to the efficient method in which they create and circulate heat, air fryers require absolutely no oil. They're able to crisp up your food simply by how hot the interior gets. However, with little to no oil being added to your dish or meal, it can be just as healthy as being baked in a convection oven.

Why buy an air fryer if you have a convection oven? ›

The main difference comes down to size. Because air fryers are smaller, they heat up to a more intense heat more quickly. If you're cooking for one or two or don't mind cooking in batches, use an air fryer. But if you're cooking for a crowd, it's easier and more convenient to use a convection oven.

Does a convection oven make food crispy? ›

Recipes that Are Even Better Cooked In a Convection Oven

A convection oven will make it faster and crispier.

Can you cook french fries in a convection oven? ›

Convection Oven: 400°F (204°C) for 11-13 minutes. Product must be fully cooked for food safety and quality. For best results: cook from frozen state using recommended time and temperature. Spread frozen fries in a single layer on a flat baking sheet or pan.

Can you bake in an air fryer? ›

You can also use the air fryer to make baked goods. Baking food in the air fryer can be beneficial because you'll save time by not having to preheat the oven. It's also a good choice for people who are avoiding firing up the oven during hot summer months or if you only want to make a few cookies at a time.

Which is better air fryer or air fryer oven? ›

The Benefits of an Air Frying Oven

An air frying oven has more capacity, saving you time and allowing you to cook more food at once so that there's always enough for the whole family. A Frigidaire Air Fry Oven does more than just air fry, so one appliance works harder for you.

How to air fry chicken in a convection oven? ›

After testing a variety of temperatures, I found that 375 degrees F is the best temperature for air frying chicken. Because the air fryer uses convection heat, you do not need to set it as high as you would an oven (in a regular oven, 425 degrees F is best for baking chicken, like Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast).

Which is cheaper convection or air fryer? ›

Generally, an air fryer is cheaper to use than the oven, but this is not always the case. An oven costs 21p to use on average and a 800W air fryer costs 13.6p to use. But if you own an air fryer that is a lot more powerful, you could be using near enough the same energy as an oven.

What does an air fryer do that an oven doesn t? ›

The second major difference is function. An air fryer rapidly circulates heated air to cook and crisp up a range of foods. A conventional, non-convection oven uses still air to cook food.

Is the Ninja air fryer a convection oven? ›

The Ninja® Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven is an air fryer, convection oven, and toaster oven all in one. Get extra-large capacity without sacrificing counter space with its unique design that allows you to flip it up against your backsplash when not in use.

What is the alternative to air fryer? ›

The halogen oven

Halogen ovens work by halogen bulbs in the lid releasing infrared heat which is circulated around a glass bowl by fans. Like air fryers, halogen ovens help to save energy in your home, cutting down your electricity bills.

Do I need a microwave if I have a convection oven? ›

A convection oven can perform all the functions of a microwave and has some additional features. A convection oven is more energy-efficient than an oven, toaster and griller (OTG). An OTG can grill, bake and toast but cannot be used to heat and defrost.

Do I need an air fryer if I have an oven? ›

The air fryer is essentially a mini convection oven that creates a crunchy texture in food. They also have baskets, but in the case of using an oven, you could just put the food on a sheet pan. People generally put products and foods like fries, meatballs, mozzarella sticks, and chicken tenders in air fryers.

Do you need special pans for air fryer oven? ›

You can use any ovenproof dish or mold in the Airfryer, whether it is made of glass, ceramic, metal or silicone. You can also use silicone or paper cupcake cups or molds to bake cupcakes, muffins or small gratins.

Do you have to flip food in a convection oven? ›

Because they produce very even heat, convection ovens eliminate "hot spots" in ovens, which means, for instance, that you do not need to rotate pans when baking cookies (although it's questionable whether this is a good idea even in a normal oven). Air Fryer vs. Toaster Oven: Which Should I Buy?

What foods cook best in a convection oven? ›

Convection cooking is ideal for foods that do better in a dry climate and where you want to encourage browning and crisping. So roasting meats, potatoes and vegetables are all ideal, and it's great for reheating things like fried chicken or baking pizza.

Do chefs prefer convection ovens? ›

If it came down to one choice, the majority of professional chefs would opt for a convection oven because of the thermal control and evenness of cooking it provides. Because it heats more efficiently, a convection oven also reduces overall cooking time, which is a bonus in a busy restaurant setting.

When should I not use convection bake? ›

Avoid convection baking foods like cakes, quick breads, custards and other delicate desserts and pastries.

How long does it take to bake a potato in a convection oven? ›

In a convection oven, bake the potatoes at 375 for 45 to 50 minutes and turn them halfway through the cooking time. Split open the potatoes and scoop out the cooked potato, being careful to keep the skins intact.

How long does it take to cook chicken wings in a convection oven? ›

Chicken Wings in a Convection Oven
  1. Set the temperature of the convection oven to 375°.
  2. Add the wings and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, turning about halfway through. Check them often.
  3. Always check and make sure the internal temperature is at least 160° before removing from the oven.
Sep 4, 2022

Can I use aluminum foil in my air fryer? ›

Yes, you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer. explains that due to the air fryer's cooking process consisting of rushing hot air, your aluminum foil and the meal it's with will not be ruined by the air fryer.

Can I cook a pizza in an air fryer? ›

To Air Fry Frozen Pizza: Preheat air fryer to 370 degrees. Cook frozen pizza for 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is crispy. Store-bought Pizza Crust: You can use small Boboli or flatbread crusts instead of pizza dough. Skip the step of baking the crust.

Can you put a glass baking dish in an air fryer? ›

If the dish is oven-safe, made of borosilicate or tempered glass, it can work in an air fryer. However, if the dish is made of soda-lime glass, it can't withstand high temperatures in an air fryer.

What Cannot be cooked in Airfryer? ›

8 Things You Probably Shouldn't Cook in an Air Fryer
  • Battered foods. Avoid placing wet batter in the air fryer. ...
  • Fresh greens. Leafy greens like spinach will cook unevenly because the machine uses high-speed air. ...
  • Whole roasts. ...
  • Cheese. ...
  • Raw grains. ...
  • Hamburgers. ...
  • Toast. ...
  • Popcorn.
Feb 23, 2023

Why doesn t my chicken get crispy in air fryer? ›

Dry the outside of the food properly before you add oil. Do not use too much oil, as this will make the food less crispy and more fattening. Meat or poultry can be lightly brushed with oil or marinated to get the crispiest results.

What temperature do you air fry in a convection oven? ›

What Temperature Do You Air Fry in A Convection Oven? A. The recommended temperature for air frying in a convection oven is 350 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the food you are cooking.

Can you cook bacon in the air fryer? ›

Bacon is safe to cook in the air fryer, but you need to make sure that you use the proper temperature and that your air fryer is clean before you begin. The best bacon air fryer temperature is 350 degrees F. This will crisp the bacon without causing it to smoke or burn.

Can you cook frozen food in an air fryer? ›

Whether you're cooking finger foods for a party or serving up snacks for the fam; Air-Fryers are perfect for cooking frozen foods. Find cook times and temperatures quickly with this convenient easy-to-use chart.

Why should you not use foil in a convection oven? ›

That's because while foil is heat resistant, it isn't completely heat-proof. Using high heat with aluminum foil in the oven bottom could cause the foil to melt, permanently damaging your appliance.

Can you cook a pizza in a convection oven? ›

A convection oven is perfect for baking pizza. Because the hot air from it moves around, your pizza cooks more quickly than in a conventional oven. Because of this, your pizza will be crisper and have a more even surface than when you bake it in a traditional oven.

Can you put a cookie sheet in a convection oven? ›

To get the best results, use the convection setting when you're cooking or baking with low-sided dishes (such as a roasting pan or cookie sheet). As much as possible, you want to expose the surface area of your food to the circulating air.

Is it worth buying a Ninja Air Fryer? ›

The Ninja Air Fryer is a versatile and powerful kitchen appliance that allows you to cook a wide variety of dishes with minimal oil. It is really simple to use and quick to cook with. Everything comes out super crispy and yummy, making it a great addition to any kitchen.

How long does it take to cook frozen french fries in my air fryer? ›

Place: Place your frozen fries in the air fryer basket. Season: Spray with olive oil lightly and sprinkle with desired salt. Bake: Air fry at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Give the basket a good shake and cook for 5-8 minutes more or till done as you like them.

What is the difference between air fry and bake with Ninja Air Fryer? ›

When using the air crisp lid for the Air Crisp, Bake / Roast, and Broil settings, then heat comes from the top. The main difference between the cooking methods is the fan speed.

What is the healthiest thing to cook in an air fryer? ›

Try a healthy twist on crispy pork chops, air fryer chicken recipes, or healthy fish recipes made entirely in the air fryer. Serve it up with air fryer veggies, like Brussels sprouts or green beans, for a meal that's both easy and good for you, too.

Is it okay to put butter in air fryer? ›

Can you put butter in an air fryer? Yes, you can put butter in an air fryer *. Cooking food with a lot of butter or other fat can make your air fryer * smoke, so please be aware of this if using a lot of butter. To avoid it, you can add a small amount of water to the drawer under the air fryer * basket.

What can I use if I don't have an air fryer? ›

If you have a convection oven or a toaster oven with a convection oven setting, you can use it to make any air fryer recipe — even the New York Times' Wirecutter column agrees that the best air fryer is actually a toaster oven!

How do you air fry in a GE convection oven? ›

Place pan in the oven, select Air Fry mode. Air Fry at 425°F for 10 minutes, flip, cook 5 minutes more. While Brussels sprouts are cooking make the aioli.

Can you use foil in an air fryer convection oven? ›

It is absolutely safe to use aluminum foil in your air fryer. In fact, it can make cooking with the air fryer easier.

Can you use parchment paper or aluminum foil in air fryer? ›

Yes, you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer. No, you cannot put wax paper into an air fryer. Yes, parchment paper can be put into an air fryer.

Can parchment paper be used in an air fryer? ›

Parchment paper can handle the heat inside your air fryer - up to 428°F (220°C). To get the best results, add the parchment paper to the air fryer basket at the same time as you add your ingredients. This prevents the paper from lifting up and coming into contact with the heating element while cooking.

Is it worth getting an air fryer? ›

Topline, air fryers just make cooking a whole lot quicker without compensating on delicious results, and food in some cases is even tastier than if you were to use your conventional oven or, try to keep it a lot healthier by using a microwave, subbing out oil or resorting to just boiling veggies...

How do I use my oven as an air fryer? ›

To ensure that you achieve similar levels of crispy as you would with an air fryer, use a perforated tray or basket to allow the hot air to circulate thoroughly on the entire surface of the food. If you don't have a perforated tray or basket, use a dark or nonstick tray with low sides, or an oven-safe cooling rack.

How to air fry chicken wings in a convection oven? ›

  1. Pat defrosted wings dry with a paper towel, then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place in air fryer basket with space between each wing so the air can circulate and make them crispy. ...
  3. Set air fryer to 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  4. Turn wings half way through cooking time.
Mar 8, 2022

Can you air fry bacon in the oven? ›

Select the Air Fry function and set the temperature to 400°. While the oven is pre-heating cover a sheet pan like this with heavy-duty aluminum foil. On top of the foil place a sheet of parchment paper and two slices of bread. Next, separate the bacon and lay it out evenly on the Ready Cook Air Fry Tray.

Can you use aluminum pans in air fryer? ›

You might also use an aluminum pan to cook in, which is also okay to use in the air fryer. Disposable foil pans can be a great way to reheat food in the air fryer, like lasagna or a casserole.

What can an air fryer do that a convection oven cant? ›

Air Fryer vs Convection Oven

An air fryer or a countertop oven on the air fry setting usually circulates the air a bit faster than in a convection oven. This can sometimes give you a crispier finish that is just a bit closer to an actual deep fried finish, depending on your recipe.

What are the best foods to cook in air fryer? ›

Veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms & onions, and cauliflower all turn out incredible in the air fryer. You can also make your main dish IN the air fryer. It works magic with proteins like tofu, chicken drumsticks, meatballs, pork chops, fried chicken… even steak.

Can you put glass in an air fryer? ›

Depending upon the sturdiness of the glass dish, you can decide whether Glass Pyrex can be used in an air fryer. If the dish is oven-safe, made of borosilicate or tempered glass, it can work in an air fryer. However, if the dish is made of soda-lime glass, it can't withstand high temperatures in an air fryer.


1. Convection Oven vs Air Fryer
(Purchase Guide)
2. Air Fryer Vs Convection Oven: Who's Doing It Better?
(Kitchen Needs)
3. Air Fryer vs Convection Oven - Is Air fryer useful if you already have a convection oven or OTG?
(The Grapevine, India)
4. Instant Pot Vortex Plus 10 Quart Air Fryer, 7 in 10 Rotisserie and Convection Oven
( Best Juicers Reviews)
5. Air fryer vs Convection oven
(Wise Click)
6. Air Fryer vs Convection Oven | Is There Any Difference?
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dan Stracke

Last Updated: 01/07/2023

Views: 5311

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dan Stracke

Birthday: 1992-08-25

Address: 2253 Brown Springs, East Alla, OH 38634-0309

Phone: +398735162064

Job: Investor Government Associate

Hobby: Shopping, LARPing, Scrapbooking, Surfing, Slacklining, Dance, Glassblowing

Introduction: My name is Dan Stracke, I am a homely, gleaming, glamorous, inquisitive, homely, gorgeous, light person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.