If you’re thinking about getting an air fryer, it’s important to know the difference between air fryers and convection ovens. Even though air fryers are essentially convection ovens, the two appliances are not identical.

Convection baking indicates there is a fan on the inside of the oven. The fan allows hot air to blow around the oven interior and onto the food. The air current is forceful, which transfers heat to the food’s surface to make the food crispier than a regular oven would, but not as crispy as a deep fryer.

Air Fryers and Convection Ovens

Countertop convection ovens look like toaster ovens but are equipped with a fan to distribute hot air on food at high speeds. The convection effect is the motion of the hot air in the oven. The air speeds up the cooking process and makes the surface of the food brown or crispy. Convection ovens also have a rack inside that fits a sheet pan. The rack is wide so it’s easier to spread the food out and ensure it cooks evenly. Layering or stacking the food can stop the hot airflow and cause some foods to remain soft or unthawed.

Air fryers are small, portable convection ovens. Air fryers are not shaped like toaster ovens. Most air fryers are tall and cylinder-shaped, like a coffee maker. The base of the air fryer is actually a removable bucket, and a basket fits inside of the bucket. The food goes in the basket and the basket is in the bucket. The bucket slides back into the air fryer so the cooking process can begin once you turn the device on. The fan is situated on top of the bucket to deliver heat directly to the top of the food and penetrate the food for thorough cooking.

Since the air fryer is smaller than a convection oven and the food is very close to the fan, the air fryer can apply lots of heat to a small cooking area. This means the food will cook much faster than it would in the convection oven.

Air Fryer Meal Ideas

If you want to indulge in a low-calorie meal or snack that is both flavorful and filling, you can learn how to make frozen wings in an air fryer. The wings will have a crispy coating, the meat will be tender inside, and you can season them with the herbs and spices you prefer without having to add oil or butter for frying or sauteing. The air fryer also allows you to prepare foods like steaks and rotisserie chickens without having to add extra oil to your recipe. The air fryer will keep the chicken from getting too dry with a crisp or flavorful coating on the outside so you can enjoy the meals you love without having to worry about consuming additional calories.

The air fryer is also ideal for preparing sweet treats that will make your dinner complete. There are a variety of pound cakes, cookies and cobblers you can prepare in the air fryer that are easy to assemble, are ready in minutes and are sure to impress your guests. So an air fryer is a great choice if you’re looking for a fast and easy way to prepare your food while sticking to your health goals.