Air Fryer Vs. Microwave | 5 Similarities and 8 Differences

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For most people, microwaves and air fryers often serve the same purpose. But in reality, these two couldn’t differ in function. Yes, these kitchen appliances have a similar look and provide a hassle-free cooking experience, but that is where their similarities end!  

Green Air Fryer and Microwave

So what’s the difference? Which one should you get for your kitchen? While both these gadgets are exceptional tools to have in your kitchen, they each have unique functionalities and features.

For instance, air fryers cook food by circulating hot air around it, which is called the convection method. This results in a crispy and evenly cooked dish. Microwaves use the help of electromagnetic waves, also called microwaves, to heat food quickly.   

In this article, let us explore the similarities and differences between air fryers and microwaves by taking a deep look at their features and benefits.

What Is An Air Fryer?

How Does An Air Fryer Work

An air fryer is a convection oven that uses hot convection air to cook foods. It is used to prepare meat, pastries, and potato chips in a restaurant-like quality.

This kitchen gadget has undoubtedly revolutionized our kitchens! It is so integrated that some mums can’t make any decent meal without using it.

How Does An Air Fryer Work?

An air fryer consists of the heating section, the fan system, the food chamber, and the switch panel. It works on the principle of circulating hot air around the food to cook it evenly from all sides. Essentially, it tries to recreate the effect of deep frying without all the oil and grease. 

Types of Air Fryer

Presently, you can find four main types of air fryers on the market. They are:   

  • Paddle-Type Air Fryer – This air fryer has a rotating shaft in the center that helps to cook food evenly.
  • Cylindrical Basket Air Fryer – This air fryer looks like a small barrel. It has a cylindrical cooking basket suspended in the air fryer unit. 
  • Oven Air fryer – As the name suggests, this type of air fryer looks like a small oven. It has a pull-out drawer equipped with a cooking basket.
  • Basket-Type Air Fryer – This air fryer has a basket similar to that of a deep fryer. The only key difference between the two is the oil-less frying.

Benefits of Air Fryer

Air fryers are very popular because they are packed with so many benefits. Most people who have already used them believe it’s one of the best kitchen inventions of all time.

One of its main advantages is that you can cook a wide variety of foods using little or no oils, making it a healthier alternative to deep frying. Following are the other benefits of air fryer:

  • It comes with simple controls that make it easy to cook various food.
  • It is compact and easy to store.
  • It promotes weight loss as it cuts calories by up to 80%.
  • It is more energy efficient than most cooking devices.

What Is A Microwave?

How Does A Microwave Work

A microwave or a microwave oven is an electric oven that heats and cooks foods by subjecting them to electromagnetic radiation, which falls under the frequency of microwaves.

Although microwave boasts of modernity, it has seen better days. Historians placed its origins in the Second World War when the military used it for radar technology. After the war, this technology trickled down to commercial use, and the first microwave was born!  

How Does A Microwave Work?

Microwaves, as already mentioned, use microwaves, i.e., electromagnetic waves, to heat food in a short amount of time. These EM waves zap the water molecules in the food.

The zapping causes them to vibrate and thus generate heat. This kind of heating is called dielectric heating.

One misconception everyone has is that you can only use microwaves to reheat your food. But that’s false! You can use microwaves for cooking various food items, including rice, chicken, popcorn, etc.

Types of Microwaves

Like air fryers, there are several types of microwaves in the market. They are:  

  • Solo Microwave – As the name suggests, this type of microwave can be used to perform only one function – to heat food.
  • Convection Microwave – While most microwaves use only electromagnetic waves to heat food, convection microwaves also circulate hot air around the food to cook it evenly from all sides.
  • Grill Microwave – This type of microwave has a grill element in addition to electromagnetic waves. This grill can be used to brown or crisp food. 
  • Smart Microwave – This type of microwave comes with Wi-Fi-enabled features such as voice control and other smart features.
  • Under-counter Microwave – This microwave oven is fit into a low cabinet and uses a sliding door for opening.
  • Countertop Microwave – This free-standing microwave easily stands on a flexible counter and is easy to relocate.
  • Built-in Microwave – This microwave can easily fit inside a wall or existing cabinetry.

Benefits of Microwave

Just like air fryers, microwaves also come with their own benefits, making them a popular choice for cooking.

One of the main advantages of microwaves is that they are very fast and convenient, making them the perfect choice for busy people who don’t have the time to cook using traditional methods.  

Some other benefits of microwaves are: 

  • It is affordable and easy to find.
  • It cooks food faster than conventional ovens and won’t make a mess.
  • It can easily handle large quantities of food.
  • It can be used to defrost food.
  • It is easy to use and clean.

What Is An Air Fryer Microwave Combo?  

Air Fryer Microwave Combo

It’s no doubt that air fryers and microwaves are our great kitchen partners, so do you want to buy both of them? Wait for a moment, now you have a better choice!

As the name suggests, these microwaves come with a built-in air fryer, which means you can now cook your food using little or no oil. Air fryer microwaves combine the speed of a microwave with the hot air technology of an air fryer to cook food evenly and quickly.  

The air fryer microwave combo is one of the latest kitchen appliances specifically designed to make cooking faster and easier. Whoever came up with this combination deserves a pat on the back.

Plus, the air-fryer microwave combo has all the features one would expect from a microwave. There are additional benefits, such as defrosting, re-heating, and cooking.

Benefits of an Air-Fryer Microwave Combo

Here are the benefits of using an air-fryer microwave combo:

  • It allows you to air fry as well as microwave food efficiently.
  • It can cook food faster than either an air fryer or a microwave.
  • It aids in weight loss as you get to enjoy fried foods without deep-frying.
  • It is quite energy-efficient.
  • It is very easy to use, clean, and maintain.
  • It mitigates the risk of acrylamide contamination.

5 Key Similarities Between Air Fryers And Microwaves

Airfryers and Microwave

Microwaves have been in use in our kitchen for many years now. When compared to microwaves, air fryers are relatively new appliances. Even though both differ in functions, they share a few similarities. Let’s take a look at some of those similarities.

1. User-Friendly

Air fryers and microwaves are both very easy to use, and you don’t need to be a culinary expert to master them. A quick look at the manual and you should be an expert in no time. 

Both have in-built timers that will notify you when your food is ready. They also have numerous cooking presets that make cooking even easier. All you need to do is select the preset, and the air fryer or microwave will do the rest. 

2. Safety Features 

Another similarity between air fryers and microwaves is that they both come with various safety features. These features include an automatic shut-off function that kicks in when the air fryer or microwave detects an anomaly.

For example, if the air fryer or microwave overheats, the automatic shut-off function will kick in to prevent a fire.  

3. Portable and Compact 

Most manufacturers understand that not everyone has the luxury of a large kitchen. So both appliances, air fryers, and microwaves, are available in various sizes.

You can easily find one that will fit perfectly in your kitchen. They are also very light and can be easily carried from one place to another. 

This quality is great for people who are fond of traveling or going on camping trips. Air fryers and microwaves are also very easy to store away when not in use. 

4. Affordable  

Both are very affordable, and you won’t break the bank when buying either one. Air fryers and microwaves are also very energy-efficient, which means you will save a lot of money on your energy bills.

5. Easy To Clean    

 Air fryers and microwaves are very easy to clean, and you won’t have to spend hours scrubbing them. Most Air fryers and microwaves are dishwasher-safe and come with removable parts that can be easily cleaned.

8 Top Differences Between Air Fryer And Microwaves

Air fryer and Microwave

When comparing air fryers and microwaves, it’s important to realize that they function differently and are very different appliances. Let’s take a look at some of those differences between air fryers and microwaves. 

1. Health Factor  

We are sure you have heard about the wonder that is air frying. Air fryers are the healthier option, as air-fried food is lower in calories and fat than deep-fried food. Air fryers also preserve more nutrients in food compared to microwaves.

2. Versatility

On matters of versatility, Air fryers are the clear winners. They can practically cook any recipe that requires deep frying. You can also use air fryers to roast, bake, and grill food, while microwaves are mostly related to reheating or cooking simple food.

You can also use a microwave for cooking wet food like wet batter fish – something you can not do with an Air fryer.

3. Cooking Technology 

Air fryers use hot air technology (also referred to as Rapid Air Technology) to cook food. This gives air-fried food a crispy exterior and a tender interior. The technology microwaves use electromagnetic radiation to preheat and cook food in less time.

4. Cooking Capacity

Most microwaves tend to be a bit bigger compared to Air fryers. This gives them the ability to hold more food and cook larger portions. Air fryers have a smaller cooking capacity and are mostly used for cooking small meals or snacks.  

5. Cooking Time  

 Microwaves are much faster than Air fryers when it comes to cooking time. This is because microwaves cook food all the way to the inside.

Air fryers must preheat before they can start cooking, which takes some time. Plus, the hot air technology takes time to evenly cook the food. So a microwave will be the better option if you are in a hurry.

6. Sizes

Microwaves are measured in cubic feet, and their sizes usually range from 0.50 to two cubic feet. Air fryers are measured in quartz.

The smallest ranges at about two quarts, and the largest up to eight quarts. Air fryers are, therefore, more compact and easier to store than microwaves. 

7. Affordability 

While they are both affordable, microwaves are cheaper than Air fryers. Air fryers are a bit more expensive, but they are worth the investment, especially if you are looking for a healthier cooking option.

8. Usage of Power

Air fryers consume less power than microwave ovens, although some models of microwave ovens consume less power.

Final Word

Both appliances are great kitchen appliances and offer many benefits. For instance, air fryers are a healthier option and can be used to cook various food, while microwaves are more affordable and can cook very fast.

So, it all comes down to your needs and preferences when choosing your preferred appliance. If you are on edge and find it hard to choose between the two, we suggest you go for the Air Fryer Microwave Combo. It will definitely give you the best of both worlds.

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