How is an air fryer different than a toaster oven?

In today’s generation, developing machines have made the lives of humanity a lot easier. The technology we use ranges from various industries such as commercial, residential, agricultural, and even scientific.

Machines have proven their worth and are now challenging the extraordinary to fit an ordinary man’s life.

This extends to the culinary industry, where food is a necessity and not just a conversation starter. The list has become endless, from the evolution of stoves to electric ones, single-door refrigerators, to smart ones. As long as the food is a staple in our lives, you can rest assured that technology is not far behind.

Throughout this list, we’ve underlined and emphasized in bold the kitchen appliance that won in that specific feature.

Turning to toaster ovens

Our grandparents and parents probably have a toaster oven somewhere lying in their kitchens. Going back to the late 1800s, the trustworthy toaster oven by Alan MacMasters used a heating element to withstand various cooking temperatures. It heats small amounts of food at a moderate speed.

Today, appliance giants have widely manufactured it with amazing improvements in various cooking modes like baking, toasting, heating, and many more!

Not to mention, toaster ovens nowadays offer varying modes of cooking temperatures to suit your needs. It often requires a watchful eye, or else the food inside can be burned. Can you imagine living in this age without an oven in the kitchen? We simply cannot!

Now, what’s an air fryer?

Air fryers have been coined by Philips, a prominent brand making various kitchen appliances, above others. A type of convection oven, this particular appliance back in early 2010 is intended to perform similarly as a deep fryer sans the heavy amount of oil in cooking.

Amazingly, it utilizes hot air from a regulating air inlet and lets out heat through an exhaust. The results will make your food extra crispy without another dosage of fat! Take note, never use oil with this machine! Otherwise, it will burn your food big time.

We rounded up our top six features to determine which kitchen machine performs better. For sure, each appliance has its pros and cons. So please take note of this list; it might be the one you’re looking for!

7. Safe to use?

Upon the use of ovens, many are familiar with their metal sides all around. However, as conductors of heat, the hot air usually extends to ovens’ exteriors—making it quite hard to manipulate and usually needs to stay put on a countertop or table.

Its heavy weight makes it difficult for the economy to build customized oven holders to make its placement space-savvy. But, on the other hand, some toaster ovens have gotten reports of unnecessary smoke emitting from their interior to the outside.

This caused quite an uproar among the market, challenging kitchen appliance giants to spice up the game and improve the machine’s heating elements.

On the other hand, air fryers are not prone to smoke so long as the food to be cooked inside is not high in fat. It must be known that this particular kitchen appliance does not require oil for it to cook your exquisite meal efficiently.

Because of this, the general market has patronized the use of air fryers greatly, especially in this generation where health and food quality are partners-in-crime.

6. Price Range

It is a known fact that air fryers differ from toaster ovens greatly in price. In economics, the higher the price, the fewer quantities consumers are to buy willingly.

To relate, air fryer’s global market is valued at USD 658.9 million in 2018 alone, compared to toaster oven’s at a whopping USD 3.2 billion in 2018. This goes to show that toaster ovens have been the go-to for main households ever since they came out back in the 1800s, and their affordability is what makes it stay that way.

5. Green Consumption

The air fryer achieved great prominence for its flexibility in use over large ovens. Almost boasting of how it can perform even the most advanced toaster oven today, this particular kitchen appliance cuts energy costs too than microwave ovens! Running between 1200-1500 watts, the air fryer is often found a better alternative.

However, a toaster oven is on another different scale. Although overlooked, this energy saver only uses about 900-1400 watts at most. Thus, toaster ovens still prove to be the winning option at this feature.

4. Cleaning Maintenance

Since air fryers usually don’t use oil in cooking, they are relatively easier to clean than toaster ovens. The latter is made up of a rectangular prism, usually 55×40 in centimeters, a rack to hold up the tray, and not to mention its metal sides.

This means you have to go through every side of the oven to make sure you’ve covered every oil particle. Often, it needs a sponge and soap to be able to cover all oil-covered spots. Talk about high maintenance!

On the other hand, air fryers are preferred for having a low-maintenance cleaning system. For households with busy kitchens, it is time-consuming to make sure each appliance is spotless. This often brings a grudge for machines where oil splatters and drops are prevalent.

It will only take you a few minutes to clean both the interiors and exteriors of an air fryer with an air fryer. Did we mention that oils aren’t present in this particular kitchen appliance?

3. Cooking Time

Almost all inventions have the vision to simplify and lessen the use of time upon usage. That’s exactly what air fryers aim to be. A typical toaster oven will cook or heat food, usually double the time than air fryers.

More often than not, it needs to be preheated at a certain temperature, and it does not heat your food right away.

This particular kitchen machine goes hand in hand with lesser green capacity to consume, when the longer your appliance uses in wattage, the more time it takes to cook your food. Now, we can’t afford that in today’s busy world, do we?

This is where a much more capable air fryer topples the usual toaster oven. Please note that air fryers have a small area for food to cook or heat, and it uses a more advanced heating element than the usual toaster oven.

This fact makes it better to cook with since it only uses less time to cook and heat your next scrumptious meal.

2. Food Capacity

Food cooked in air fryers usually has almost “cooked to perfection” goodness. Why so? Air fryers manufactured nowadays use a cooking area for heating and cooking, making the heat more concentrated on that particular area.

This brings lots of food nominated for the large capacity to have the ability to be cooked from the outside to the inside. It’s one of the perks of having an air fryer!

On the other hand, some toaster ovens also have a large capacity. However, they are smaller than air fryers and microwave ovens, which can cook huge amounts of food.

While toaster ovens are rectangular, the design only focuses on where the tray is—therefore not all around the food circumference. This is normally a hindrance when using toaster ovens.

1. Oil Content

Toaster ovens and air fryers both use fans to move hot air all over their cooking area. With that aside, some bakers and cooking staff like to use some vegetable oil to fully cook or heat the food they prepare while using toaster ovens. Generally, if you heat your food without oil using this appliance, it normally wouldn’t come out as satisfactorily as using an air fryer.

As we have mentioned previously, air fryers don’t generate or use oil to heat or cook the food you want to eat – that’s what the compressed hot air is for. In addition, the inside of the air fryer is so hot that it doesn’t need oil to preheat it further.

This is why lots of the new generation find this trendy AND useful because of this fact among many more. With dozens of social media content to show off how great their respective air fryers are faring, it’s no surprise how it’s widely gaining popularity all over the Asia Pacific, with North America as air fryers’ top users.

The verdict

Whether using an air fryer or toaster oven, it is a general truth that you should buy whatever suits your lifestyle and your needs.

If you have the budget to go further for a trendier and quite considerably healthier kitchen appliance, go for an air fryer! However, if you need a trustworthy machine to do your occasional baking and cooking needs, then a toaster oven might be your top pick.

Let this list be your guide in buying your next cooking appliance! Have fun weighing the options that will fit your daily life.

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