These kitchen devices have just one purpose and that is to cook your food. They might seem to be doing the same job, but there are factors that make the Microwave Oven, Convection Oven and Air Fryer, different from each other.
Therefore, to help you decide which among these kitchen appliances you should purchase, here are the details that you should consider.
Microwave ovens use radiation to cook food. The technology used here is the use of electromagnetic waves similar to those of the radio and television transmitters. These machines cook food very swiftly because heat is carried to the food particles very quickly.
Convection oven and air fryers seem to be almost exactly alike. Both uses air circulation principle to cook food.
Convection ovens evenly spreads the hot air within the area. The temperature is automatically regulated, as you put the food in them. They have enough space to accommodate big amounts of food and you can be sure that these things will not end up insufficiently or half-cooked or half-baked. The air circulation reaches every part of the food that you’re cooking – the edges as well as the middle section.
Air fryers use a technology, which is similar to convection ovens, as mentioned above. Air fryers are an innovative product, which do not require the use of oil when cooking. Another significant feature of air fryers is that they are so compact, you can place them in your kitchen counter tops without worrying about space. This placement demonstrates that air fryers offer more convenience to the family.
Microwave ovens are popular among every home and you can’t deny that they offer convenience, too, in cooking your food. Therefore, there is an extensive use of microwave ovens and testimonials about microwaves and how safe they can be to use. However, there is still a feeling of uncertainty among some people, who believe that using microwave to cook their food make the food less healthy because the nutrients get destroyed by the electromagnetic waves.
There is no doubt that food cooked in microwave ovens and air fryers are healthy. They have similar techniques and they both use fans that distribute the hot air throughout. These cooking appliances do not have heating elements, so as not to limit the temperature to the nearest area of food only.
Convection ovens allow you to cook anything that you like, with the use of least amount of oil, just to add some moisture. Hence, the dish will cook in its own natural juices, a gravy that is made from meat juice, some stock and other ingredients. However, when it comes to baked goods, such as certain cakes and puffed up dish like souffles, convection ovens may not be considered appropriate to use. The hot air that is circulated can be too harsh on the surfaces of these sweet, baked food that can result in these pastries collapsing.
The air fryers, on the other hand, can reach higher temperature than convection ovens, helping in finishing the cooking in a very short time. In air fryers, your food will not get dry, so you do not need to add oil. All the healthy ingredients get preserved, unlike in other types of ovens, where nutrients can vanish due to slow cooking.
Air fryers have smaller chambers, so they circulate air much faster and they are more gentle on baked goods, which is why many cooks find them more suitable to use. They do not blow hot air directly onto the food, but it is blown by the fan and circulated and then spread outside the chamber. The air rises from the open bottom and heat the pastries from all around, without collapsing it.
Size and Cooking Capacity
When you buy a kitchen appliance such as the microwave oven, a convection oven or an air fryer, it’s hard not to consider the size and cooking capacity of the appliance that you have in mind. You will need to have it adapted to the space in your kitchen and this should not limit your movements while you are cooking.
Microwave ovens and convection ovens are usually bigger than air fryers. You cannot place the first two on your counter tops, so they aren’t as easily reachable as the air fryers. You’ll need to take some efforts to place the food on the microwave or the convection oven, to monitor the cooking process and even to take out the cooked food. Many people, who are in charge of cooking for the family, find this positioning somewhat uncomfortable.
Because these two are big in size, they offer larger cooking capacities. You can cook food in big quantities at once and you can even put larger chunks of meat on them without any hassle of space.
Air fryers do not have these issues about placement. Their small size makes them fit, even on small kitchen counter tops and they are therefore very approachable. These are great to use in family dinners and even when entertaining visitors in the kitchen.
Air fryers are smaller than microwave ovens and convection ovens. Due to their shape, you might also think that they can’t cook food in large quantities. However, don’t allow yourself to be fooled by this, because today there are many air fryers that are built with deep chambers, where you can cook large quantities. All you need to do is find these models, when you start looking for a kitchen appliance, such as the air fryer.
Maintenance and Reliability
When it comes to maintenance and cleaning of microwave and convection ovens, we can say that both are not easy to clean. There would be food drippings, stains and oil splatters all around and can cause a mess in your favorite spot in the house. If you own a microwave or a convection oven, you’d better begin preparing yourself for hard work, as soon as you find your kitchen becomes dirty in the areas surrounding these appliances. There are also parts that are difficult to reach by your cleaning hands and the drippings that got dried up, takes every effort and a strong detergent to remove.
Air fryers are super easy to clean. The materials used in the interior and exterior will not give you any issues during cleaning. Maintaining them is just a breeze because of their small size and, in addition, they contain non-stick pans that you can wipe clean in just a couple of minutes. The mobility that air fryers provide is also very valuable to consider.
After you have read all the details of the subject kitchen appliances, can you choose now? Or you need some more details? We understand if you find it difficult to make a choice, because they have so many similarities in features and aspects. To further aid you in making an intelligent choice, here is some more info:
Microwave ovens that are built these days are not just for the purpose of popping a bag of popcorn, heating left overs or yesterday’s dinner. They can do more than that. The latest models of microwave converts its cooking process to a more automatic operation, such as heating a wider range of food, offering speed cooking, grilling and convection. As compared to convection oven and air fryer, microwave ovens keep your kitchen cool and they cook more efficiently than using a cook top or a conventional oven that is run by gas.
Yet, still, microwaves cannot compare with air fryers. Here’s why:
- Microwave ovens may need a little less oil for cooking your food than using the conventional gas burners, but in air fryers, you don’t even need to use oil. Alternatively, if you must, it will only be very less amount, saving you about 70% – 80% in the process.
- Air fryers allow you to eat fried foods that do not contain oil, which is healthy. Again, the microwave oven cannot fry without adding some oil.
- Of the three appliances, the air fryer is the easiest to clean. Besides using minimum oil or no oil at all, it has a removable frying basket that makes cleaning it very easy and takes only minimum time. Making the microwave free from dirt, marks and stains can be a tough job, especially the grime and oil that has been on the appliance for a time and got hardened.
- Air fryers can provide you with crispier foods such as chips, chicken nuggets and French fries than what you can get from a microwave oven.
- Air fryers save you time in the kitchen because you can finish cooking in less time, compared to a microwave or convection oven.
- Some models of a microwave oven are only able to heat up the food, while you can cook anything that you can imagine in an air fryer.
What about the price?
One bit of advice that we can give you is not to look only at the price of the kitchen appliance. Prices should not be the basis of your purchase, but based on all the factors mentioned above. Since they are almost similar in features, you can ask yourself which of these you need most in your cooking and which of these has the most factors you like.