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Convection Toaster Oven vs Air Fryer: Which One Is the Best?

The convection toaster oven vs. air fryer debate has been going on for years, but does it really matter which one you use? In this blog post, we’ll be comparing the two to find out!

The first thing is that we need to look at the features of each item. Convection ovens have a convection fan that circulates heat from the bottom heating element through the other parts of the oven. At the same time, air fryers use hot air circulating around food in a chamber to cook it even without adding any fat or oils.

Another thing to keep in mind may be the versatile use in different methods and time taken in cooking. With several models, it may become difficult to decide which one is right for you. As each model has specific features, it is essential to draw comparisons to pick the best one. This article will assist you to figure out which of these two products is better suited for your needs!

Differences in Working: Convection Toaster Oven vs Air Fryer?

To put it simply, air fryers are like portable convection ovens. They do not really fry your food; instead, they use the convection baking method to cook the food. Besides, the right amount of oil on your food gives uniform crispiness to the outer layer. In comparison to the hot air effect of a convection oven, the food has a lighter texture with crispiness when cooked in the fryer.

To learn about the differences, you may need to know how they work in comparison to traditional ways of cooking. Both the appliances cook food quicker than the normal oven as they have a fan to keep the hot air circulating. However, the air fryer wins here as it cooks even faster due to its smaller area and higher insulation.

The heating element of the fryer heats the insides and starts cooking right away. Besides, the basket of the air fryer is perforated to allow the hot air to pass through and promote quicker cooking. Similarly, a convection oven heats with the top and bottom elements to cook along with the fan.

You do not get perforated accessories to promote even and quicker cooking in a convection oven. However, you may invest in these accessories if you wish to use them similar to the fryer. Now, let’s look at some more differences between the two.


Air fryers can be kept on countertops without taking up too much space in the kitchen. In comparison, convection ovens require full-size cupboards and counters. The size is a major factor when it comes to quickly heating up and retaining the heat in an air fryer.

Besides, the food cooks quicker as it is closer to the heating elements. If you wish to have a multipurpose appliance, you may pick a convection oven with toaster and air fry settings. However, if you need an add-on appliance for your kitchen, air fryers are an excellent choice for faster cooking.


The small size of the air fryer allows it to heat faster along with the top-down heating system. Its hot air coming from top to bottom heats up every inch of the food. You may preheat the fryer to have the same oven effect for your food. Besides, the quick heating feature can also be used to reheat leftovers to taste as good as fresh food.

Fan Placement And Speed

Air fryers have a more potent air convection fan system to ensure the food cooks uniformly within less time. The fan is situated at the top of the fryer, which is directly below the heating element. Whereas in a convection oven, the fan is placed in the backside or the center of the oven.

Additional Accessories

Air fryers come with different accessories such as perforated baskets, trays, racks, skewers, and spits. These can be used for various dishes such as kebabs and rolls. Moreover, you may get baking pans and tins to add some more cooking options. You may choose similar accessories for your convection oven; however, they do not come along with the oven.

Pros and Cons of Air Fryers Compared to Toaster Ovens

When it comes to the air fryer vs convection toaster oven debate, both appliances have some advantages and limitations. Here are some significant pros and cons to assist you in making an informed decision.

  • Air fryers do not have a viewing window to check the doneness of your food. Whereas convection ovens let you watch the food when it is cooking.
  • In comparison to a convection oven, air fryers are loud and may reach up to 65 decibels in sound. This sound is similar to a vacuum cleaner.
  • Air fryers are expensive when compared to convection ovens.
  • You will need less counter space to store an air fryer. On the other hand, a convection oven will need the whole countertop or a cupboard.
  • Depending upon what you cook, the crumbs inside the air fryer may get tricky to clean. Other than that, it has a no-mess nonstick basket that does not have residual food. When cleaning a convection oven, you just need to clean the pans.
  • You can quickly preheat the air fryers, while the convection oven may take more time due to its large size. Even if you invest in a large air fryer, it will heat quickly as it has insulation.
  • You may use a convection oven instead of toaster ovens as they come with a crisper tray.
  • Air fryers come with accessories such as additional racks, rotisserie spits, and skewers.
  • There are specific recipes that can be cooked in air fryers and may not work in conventional ovens.
Convection Toaster Oven vs Air Fryer

Which Appliance is Good for Cooking Specific Food Items?

You can cook multiple recipes in both an air fryer and convection oven. All you need is to reduce the temperature by 20°F to 25°F (10 C) from a conventional oven recipe. Besides, your air fryer will come in a recipe book to customize different food items for specific recipes. An air fryer cooks frozen food the best and gives it a crispy outer texture.

You will be surprised with the versatile use of the air fryer as it can cook healthy vegetables. You can master making air-fryer beans or jalapeno peppers. Besides, you may use it to make chicken kebabs, egg rolls, and cauliflower wings. There will be a uniform crunchy texture on all sides of the food for you to enjoy it even more.

Just remember to evenly space the food in the tray or the basket. Overcrowding the food may lead to uneven cooking. The air fryer cooks faster, so you can cook in batches in the same amount of time instead of adding too many ingredients at once.

Another thing to note while using the air fryer is the cooking time. The fryer will cook for food faster, so you may need to check the food early for its doneness. On the other hand, you may have to keep the food a little longer in the convection oven.

Keep a check on the food as per the time in the recipe and remove it immediately to prevent it from drying out. You can enjoy cooking casseroles, granola, roasted meat, and vegetables in the convection oven.

Also, not that you cannot cook recipes that use wet batter in the fryer in a regular perforated basket. Avoid using cheese that melts when heated in the fryer, or you will end up with messy insides. Some vegetables, such as broccoli, do not cook well in an air fryer as it dries the texture.

Wrapping Up

It may not be an easy decision, but with so many advantages to each appliance, it just depends on what you’re looking for. Convection ovens are great at cooking evenly and quickly – they can bake more than toast while air fryers cook faster and use less oil. In convection toaster oven vs air fryer battle, both the appliances have some tradeoffs when choosing either one for your kitchen.

If you’re searching for a way to save time or money, then the answer is clear! If you plan on cooking larger or smaller batches of food than what will fit in your air fryer, then a convection oven may be more appropriate for you. On the other hand, if you are searching for something easier to clean up after use and want better control over how darkly browned your food turns out at different stages of cooking time (e.g., light versus well-done), then an air fryer might be right for you.

Ultimately, it is all about personal preferences. Whatever option you choose; we hope that our blog post has helped clarify some of the key differences between convection ovens versus air fryers. Now it’s up to you—which one of these brilliant appliances will win the battle in your home? Stay tuned for more comparisons and product recommendations for appliances.

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