What Is The Difference Between Air Fryer & Convection Oven?

If you are wondering what is the difference between Air Fryer & Convection Oven then you are on the right page.

And especially if you are thinking about purchasing your first air fryer then you might be wondering what is the difference between such a device and a traditional oven.

There are real advantages to using an air fryer or is it just a waste of money?


Key Takeaways

  • Inside the air fryer, the cooking happens through hot air, and you can cook the food with no or small amount of oil.
  • The position of the food, Accessories, dimensions of the chamber, and Appearance are some key factors that differentiate Air fryers and Convection ovens.
  • You can use an air fryer for frozen foods, baked goods, leftover food, and everything in between.
  • An air fryer is best for cooking chicken wings or french fries or anything that needs crispiness.

The Science Behind Air Fryers

Despite the name, there is no actual frying going on inside an air fryer. With traditional frying, you have the food completely surrounded by hot oil, which cooks the food.

With air fryers, you can place the food inside the cooking chamber with no or a small amount of oil.

Inside the air fryer, the cooking happens through hot air (air is heated by one or more heating elements).

The air is blown and keeps circulating inside the chamber thanks to the presence of a fan.

Now that you know the mechanism that makes an air fryer work, you can see that an air fryer is, at the end of the day, a convection oven.

However, the cooking result won’t be the same as that you can obtain with a convection oven.

So, now we’ve seen the similarities, let’s move on to discuss the differences between an air fryer and a convection oven. 1

Read: 10 Best Pizza Rolls Air Fryer

Read: 9 Best COSORI Air Fryer

Difference Between Air Fryers And Convection Ovens

A convection oven is a device where hot air is blown and circulates thanks to a fan. Air fryers work in the same way, but they are different because of:

  • The position of the food: In air fryers, you locate the food at the center of the chamber inside a holed basket. Every surface of the food comes into the same amount and temperature of hot air.
  • The dimensions of the chamber: Because the chamber is smaller than an oven’s, temperatures are higher, and air circulates at a higher speed. As a result, the food is cooked more quickly, and you can obtain that crispy effect typical of fried food (you can’t obtain the same result with a traditional convection oven).
  • Accessories: Air fryers come with perforated accessories which absorb access oil and make the food even crispier. It also comes with trays, skewers, air fryer baskets, racks, etc.
  • Appearance: A convection oven looks rectangular in shape and has a door at the front from wherein you can see inside. On the contrary, an air fryer looks circular in shape and has a removable cooking basket. Also, you cannot look inside the air fryer as it does not comes with an open front door. 2

See what Reddit users think

Convection Oven vs Air Fryer
by u/melarusesays in Cooking

Read: How Do We Review An Air Fryer?

Pros And Cons Of Air Fryers


  • Air fryers cook the food more quickly than ovens. This means that they are also less energy-consuming and, therefore, cost-saving
  • With air fryers, you can obtain a result that is similar to fried food, which you can’t get with convection ovens.
  • Air fryers are more versatile than an oven because they allow for different cooking methods: frying, steam, or grilling.
  • Air fryers are cheaper and smaller devices than ovens.
  • Air fryers are easier to use than an oven.


  • With an air fryer, you can’t see inside. However, you don’t need to, because it does anything on its own. You just need to put the food inside and select the program.
  • Cleaning your air fryer could be more complicated. However, the cooking chamber is so small that it won’t require a lot of time. 3

When To Use What?

frozen food

An Air Fryer can be used for frozen foods, baked goods, leftover food, and everything in between.

Air Fryers are small but mighty, and it is best for cooking chicken wings or french fries or anything that needs to be crispy and is small in size or quantity.

On the other hand, you should use convection if you are cooking food that is more in quantity or food that is in layers because the heat from an air fryer might not reach the bottom.

Can You Use Convection Oven As An Air Fryer?

Convection Oven As An Air Fryer

Some Convections come with an “Air Fryer” feature, and if your convention oven has it too, then, of course, you can use it.

However, it is not going to be as effective as an air fryer, and you will also need a perforated tray to make your food even crispier and healthier.

If you do not want to spend money on an air fryer, then a convection oven could do.

Air Fryer Vs. Convection: Which One Is Better?

perforated tray

Personally I like to use air fryers instead of air convention because it drains any excess oil using the perforated air fryer basket and makes the food even healthier and calorie-free.

They also do not require preheating, which saves time and energy. The only downfall of using air fryers is that you cannot cook food in large quantities in them, and they make a bit of noise.

So if you usually cook food in large quantities, then go for air conventional otherwise air fryer is a much better option.

Read: What Is Speed Convection Fans?

Final Verdict

There is only so much of a difference between a convection oven and an air fryer that anyone can get confused between the two.

In this article, we saw how air fryers differ from convection ovens and we hope you found this useful.


What all things can I not cook in an air fryer?

You cannot cook anything that has a wet batter in it in an air fryer.

Does convection oven requires pre-heating?

Yes, you are required to pre-heat the convection oven before cooking anything in it. Your convection oven would indicate to you when it is done pre-heating.

Is it okay to use aluminum foil in an air fryer?

Yes, it is alright to use foil in an air fryer because the unique cooking method of an air fryer does not impact the foil or the food kept in it. 4

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  1. https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/what-is-an-air-fryer/[]
  2. https://www.thespruceeats.com/air-fryer-vs-convection-oven-4774315[]
  3. https://www.iproperty.com.my/guides/air-fryer-pros-and-cons-63530[]
  4. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/food/2022/07/04/can-you-put-foil-in-air-fryer/7760864001/#:~:text=an%20air%20fryer%3F-,Yes%2C%20you%20can%20put%20aluminum%20foil%20in%20an%20air%20fryer,ruined%20by%20the%20air%20fryer.[]
  5. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/food/2022/07/04/can-you-put-foil-in-air-fryer/7760864001/#:~:text=an%20air%20fryer%3F-,Yes%2C%20you%20can%20put%20aluminum%20foil%20in%20an%20air%20fryer,ruined%20by%20the%20air%20fryer.[]

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