Air Fryer Vs. Toaster Oven - You can get the best of both worlds.
Why choose a Convection Toaster Oven
Why choose an Air Fryer
Finding the right little kitchen appliance for you can be a daunting task. There are too many options; any wrong choice can cost you hundreds of dollars, and with a machine you rarely use.
If you are trying to choose whether to buy a convection toaster or an air fryer, you can find many similarities between the two types of devices; they are tabletop machines that use high-powered fans for cooking food quickly evenly. But one of the main reasons they are so popular is that they use little or no oil to cook your food, making them a much healthier choice.
However, there are also significant differences, giving each product its niche in the market. We’ll look at the difference between an air fryer and a convection toaster, what they can cook, the features each machine can have, and most importantly, their price.
After finishing reading this section, we hope you will have a better idea of which device is right for you.
What’s the difference between an air fryer and a toaster oven?
The names of these devices might make you believe that the significant difference between a convection toaster and an air fryer is that one in the oven and the other is the fryer, right?
But in fact, it is not correct.
Despite the name ‘air fryer”, there’s no frying involved. At all.
- Similarity: The most notable similarity between the two products is the way they cook. Both appliances use high-speed fans (air fryers tend to use more speed and higher RPM) to circulate air around the food inside to heat it evenly from all.
- Heating element: Generally, convection toasters will have a heater at the top and bottom of the appliance for more even heating, while air fryers usually have only one unit located on top. And they are relying on the increased RPM to do the work.
- Size & Shape: The general shape of these two products are also different (although there are one or two exceptions to this rule). The standard air fryer is taller than wide, offering deep but narrow cooking areas, while the convection toaster is the exact opposite and has a broader but shallower cooking space.
Flatter and broader cooking surface are more beneficial to make a crunchy, golden brown food more efficient, as moisture can more easily evaporate from ingredients that are spread over than food that is stacked together.
- Storage & Portability: Storing an air fryer would be an easier task. These machines are usually smaller in nature and easier to move around. You can store them in a cupboard and take them out as needed, while convection toasters will most likely need a permanent place to live as they are much larger and heavier.
What foods can they cook, and how quickly?
There are many different foods that you can use, either an air fryer or a convection toaster; These two types of devices have a lot of available menu options. Some of the device user’s favorites are French fries, fried sweet potatoes, chicken wings, onions, and even some tiny cookies.
However, there are some foods that each appliance will cook better than its competitors, mainly due to the cooking space’s shape. Let’s give you some examples.
- Pizza: The sizeable internal capacity of a convection toaster is ideal for cooking pizza if you have a large model. At the same time, it’s hard to cook a whole pizza in an air fryer unless you make mini pizzas (let’s face it, more appetizer than the main course).
- Chicken wings: While you can cook chicken wings in a convection toaster oven, they don’t taste as good as made from an air fryer.
- Whole Roasting: If you want a roast chicken of all sizes, then the oven is the right choice unless you plan to buy an extra sizeable industrial air fryer.
- Roasted vegetables: They can be cooked by using both devices. However, if you prefer crunchy vegetables, you will need a toaster as the large cooking surface will further facilitate golden brown food.
- Cakes: Both of these devices are proficient in baking; however, you’ll be able to cook bigger pies in a convection toaster, with arguably better results.
- Frozen Food: One of an air fryer’s best functions is its ability to cook frozen foods, making it a great device that can help you get food on the table in a flash. Cooking frozen foods in the toaster comes in many nuances. You should always check the food packaging (and your appliance manual) before you plan to cook frozen meals.
- Toast & bagels: As the name suggests, toasters are not only capable of toasting bread or bagels, while it’s not an option with an air fryer.
Performance: Generally, most foods can cook in either appliance, but the volume will be much smaller than an air fryer because you cannot spread the food out due to the basket’s shape.
All the same (capacity, power, and quantity of food), an air fryer will cook food much faster than a convection toaster because the fan it uses rotates at speed. The RPM is higher, and the air fryer does not need preheating either.
However, you will be able to cook more food to a golden crispness in the oven as there is more surface of cooking areas to spread the food out. If you are cooking for more than one or two people, you will need to cook multiple batches in the air fryer, which will lose its “fast cooking” advantage.
What kind of features can you expect?
The features you’ll find on any particular device depending on the product’s quality and how much you spent on it. Higher-end devices often have more functions. Here are some of the common features you’ll find on each standard device.
Convection Toaster Oven
How Easy Are They To Clean?
Modern appliances are becoming simpler to clean, thanks to non-stick products, coatings, and removable parts.
Both of these types of device are relatively simple to clean, although we have to put the air fryer’s advantage as all the parts in contact with food (usually) are removable and safe with dishwasher.
It can also happen with some convection toaster ovens, but the stand can be much more extensive and a lot handier for cleaning than a standard air fryer basket. You will often find food scraps stuck in the grid of rack and basket.
See more: The Best Way to Clean Your Air Fryer
Is there a significant price difference?
Of course, the price difference between both types of appliances is enormous and varied, from low-end to high-end versions available. Still, overall, the air fryer is much more affordable than a convection toaster oven.
While you can buy an air fryer for as little as $ 40, the selling point is somewhere between $ 100 – $ 150 for the most popular and reliable appliance like the Ninja Max XL or Cosori XL.
Likewise, having one or two convection toaster ovens sells for around $ 60 (most basic equipment), while the best price for your money is from $ 150 – $ 250 with toasters like the Breville BOV800XL or the NuWave Bravo XL.
If you like the sound of both devices and have a few bucks to spare, you can find a combo all-in-one appliance-like “Air Fryer Toaster Oven.”
Both the air fryer and the convection toaster are incredibly efficient and convenient devices for fast cooking healthy meals, and both have a position in the market.
There’s no doubt that the convection toaster will cook more foods to a higher standard (assuming you want a crispy texture and golden brown); until now, it was still the better appliance for authentic cooking. The toaster can cook whole meals (for large families if you buy a large one), while even with the broadest air fryer, you’ll have trouble cooking large quantities of food.
However, the air fryer is more convenient. It cooks faster, lighter, and more portable, and all things equal, they are also cheaper.
So if you are looking for a large, powerful kitchen appliance to cook everyday family meals, we highly recommend purchasing a convection toaster oven.
If you want to find a convenient, affordable machine to cook snacks, chips, or meals by yourself, the air fryer can help you save a lot of money, not to mention the space in your kitchen.
If you still can’t decide between the two after reading to the end, there’s always the “Air Fryer Toaster Oven” if you have the budget.