You’re not going to believe this, but the answer is YES. Yes, you can use a toaster oven instead of an air fryer.
But what are you missing out on, and what are you not?
Can a toaster oven replace an air fryer?
Toaster ovens and air fryers have similar cooking functions, but they are not exactly the same. While a toaster oven can perform some of the functions of an air fryer, such as baking, broiling, and toasting, it may not be able to replicate the same level of crispy and golden results that an air fryer can achieve.
Air fryers use a powerful fan to circulate hot air around the food, creating a crispy outer layer while keeping the inside moist. Toaster ovens typically use traditional heating elements, which may not provide the same level of air circulation as an air fryer.
So, while a toaster oven can be a versatile appliance in the kitchen, it may not be a complete replacement for an air fryer if you are looking for that specific crispy texture.
How do toaster ovens work?
If you’re not sure how toaster ovens function, don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you.
A toaster oven is a small kitchen appliance that has two functions: heating and broiling food. It does very well for toast or other bread products such as sandwich bread and can make leftover slices of pizza crispier.
Not to be mistaken with a toaster, a toaster oven lays the meal flat on a cooking tray.
It is one of the simplest and most basic appliances, making it a good tool for people starting out with their own kitchen. In addition to toasting bread, bagels, and waffles, it comes with a variety of settings that allow users to cook beyond toast.
Toaster ovens cook by utilizing their heating elements both on top and below the tray where the food sets. You can control the temperature of the cooking elements as well. You can lightly warm up your food or turn on the broil feature which brings up the heat to its maximum which can go up to 500° Fahrenheit
Toaster ovens also have timers so that you can control how long you want them to cook your food.
How do air fryers work?
I’m sure that you’ve heard the stories about how air fryers can make food crispy without the need for oil or butter. It’s a strange concept, but it really works!
Air fryers use a fan to distribute hot air throughout the food and are perfect for pretty much any meal.
It’s a misconception that air fryers don’t have the capability to toast bread. That’s not true. It’s also a misconception to think that air fryers, fry food. That’s also not true.
Air fryers actually enclose food into a basket while blowing extremely hot air at it. The air creates a convection effect that cooks food evenly. These devices can cook up to 450° Fahrenheit.
The air fryers circulate this hot air throughout the chamber basket. The hot hair also comes from a single heating element usually located right above the basket.
The result is a crispy texture due to the evenly distributed heat cast all around the food.
You can also add oil if you wish, to create that fried food feel but it’s not necessary to obtain that crunchiness.
The results end up cooking and browning foods like french fries, chicken, steak, pastries, and more using up to 80% less oil than a traditional deep fryer.
What are the differences between a toaster oven and an air fryer?
A toaster oven and an air fryer are both kitchen appliances that can be used to cook a variety of foods, but there are some key differences between the two:
A toaster oven cooks food with heating elements, while an air fryer cooks food with convection. This means that an air fryer circulates hot air around the food to cook it, while a toaster oven simply heats the air inside the oven.
An air fryer typically cooks food faster than a toaster oven. This is because the hot air circulates around the food and cooks it evenly, while a toaster oven may have hot spots that can cause uneven cooking.
A toaster oven is generally larger than an air fryer and can hold more food. This makes it a better option for cooking larger items like whole chickens or pizzas.
A toaster oven can be used for a wider range of cooking tasks than an air fryer. In addition to toasting and baking, many toaster ovens can also broil, roast, and even steam food. On the other hand, air fryers are mostly made for frying food in the air, though some models may also be able to bake or grill.
People often say that an air fryer is better for you than a toaster oven because it uses less oil. However, it’s important to note that not all air-fried foods are healthy, and some may still be high in calories, fat, and sodium.
What are the benefits of toaster ovens vs air fryers compared
Benefits of using a toaster oven over an air fryer
- Larger capacity: Toaster ovens are generally larger and can hold more food than air fryers. This makes them a better option for cooking larger meals, such as roasts, casseroles, and pizzas.
- Versatility: While air fryers are primarily designed for air frying, toaster ovens can be used for a wider range of cooking tasks. In addition to toasting and baking, many toaster ovens can also broil, roast, and even steam food.
- Price: Toaster ovens are generally less expensive than air fryers, making them a more budget-friendly option.
- Easy to clean: Toaster ovens are often easier to clean than air fryers because they don’t have as many parts and components.
Benefits of using an air fryer over a toaster oven
- Healthier cooking: Air fryers use less oil than traditional frying methods, which can make them a healthier cooking option. This is especially true for foods that are traditionally deep-fried, such as chicken wings or french fries.
- Faster cooking: Air fryers typically cook food faster than toaster ovens because they use convection technology to circulate hot air around the food.
- Energy efficiency: Air fryers are generally more energy-efficient than toaster ovens because they use less energy to cook food.
- Easy to use: Air fryers are often easier to use than toaster ovens because they have simple controls and settings. They also don’t require preheating, which can save time and energy.
What types of food can you cook in a toaster?
You can cook a lot of different types of food in a toaster oven. The main meals you’ll find best to be used in a toaster oven are toast, chicken nuggets french fries, and etc.
But what about other types of food? Probably not much more, however, these types of foods are optimal for a toaster oven.
It can make almost any meal crispy and also works well with cookies and other baking goods.
What types of food can you cook in an air fryer?
Air fryers can basically do the same. However, the food you find from an air fryer may not be as crispy as a toaster oven, but it’s close. So close, that you might not be able to tell.
for air fryers cannot cook liquidy foods. What type of food is dipped in liquid batter, and doughy foods are probably not the best choice when using an air fryer.
Air fryers work really well when you were trying to reheat leftover foods. Have you ever tried to eat leftover french fries? It becomes really stale after a certain amount of time. But if you start this into an air fryer, it becomes crispy again. The air fryer will also cook any leftovers to your desired temperature for you, too!
Toaster ovens vs. air fryers: Which one’s better?
The actual answer to this is, it depends. It depends on what you prefer and your cooking style. It’s important to understand that these two devices are different, but they do a lot of the same things.
They both use heating elements to cook their food. The toaster oven has two heating elements, one on top and one underneath. It doesn’t use any flow of air to cook food. The air inside stays static while the heat radiates from the heating element.
The air fryer usually has one heating element located above the basket, any fan that redirects the heat to circulate throughout the chamber. This gives an all-around even cook.
A toaster oven is good and we want to re-cook or cook something to make it crispy. An air fryer can arguably be able to make things crispier.
Experimented with both to reheat my french fries from McDonald’s. One thing I noticed for certain is that the leftover french fries from McDonald’s that I placed in the air fryer ended up being crispier than the ones that I placed in the toaster oven.
What features should I look for in a toaster oven and an air fryer?
|Feature||Toaster Oven||Air Fryer|
|Cooking Capacity||Larger, can fit 4-6 slices of bread or a small pizza||Smaller, typically suitable for 2-4 servings. More expensive models are now as large as toasters.|
|Cooking Functions||Baking, broiling, toasting, roasting, and more||Air frying, baking, grilling, roasting, and more|
|Temperature Control||Usually adjustable from 150-450 degrees Fahrenheit||Usually adjustable from 200-450 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Cooking Time||Typically longer cooking times than air fryers||Typically shorter cooking times than toaster ovens|
|Preheat Time||Longer preheat time required||Little to no preheat time required|
|Size||Larger and take up more counter space||Smaller and more compact|
|Accessories||May come with additional baking trays, racks, or pans||May come with additional accessories, such as a baking tray, grill pan, or rotisserie spit|
|Price||Typically less expensive than air fryers||Typically more expensive than toaster ovens|
|Brand and Model||Many brands and models to choose from||Many brands and models to choose from|
How do toaster ovens and air fryers compare in terms of temperature and cooking time?
Toaster ovens and air fryers have different temperature ranges and cooking times, which can affect the way food is cooked and the final results. Here’s a comparison:
- Toaster ovens typically have a temperature range of 150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the model. This makes them suitable for a wide variety of cooking tasks, from toasting bread to roasting meats.
- Air fryers typically have a temperature range of 200 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, again depending on the model. This range is suitable for air frying, baking, grilling, and roasting.
- Toaster ovens typically have longer cooking times than air fryers, because they use convection heating to cook food more evenly. For example, a toaster oven might take 15-20 minutes to cook a small pizza or a few chicken wings.
- Air fryers use a high-powered fan to circulate hot air around the food, which can cook food faster and more evenly than a toaster oven. For example, an air fryer might take 10-15 minutes to cook the same amount of pizza or chicken wings.
Toaster ovens vs. air fryers: Which one is easier to clean?
The winner here has to go to the toaster oven. Toaster ovens have trays and most of the time, that’s all you’ll need to wash after using one.
With an air fryer, the basket can get pretty dirty. I found that most people don’t bother with cleaning the basket but I feel that if you don’t clean this basket after each and every cook, it will grow moldy due to the leftover crumbs of food.
Also, the air that gets circulated in the air fryer doesn’t help. It distributes the heat and the mess.
Things to consider when deciding between an air fryer or a toaster oven
Type of food
- Air fryers are best for foods that are traditionally deep-fried, such as chicken wings and french fries.
- Toaster ovens are more versatile and can be used for a wider range of foods, including baked goods, casseroles, and roasted meats.
Size of food
- Air fryers are best for cooking small to medium-sized foods, such as chicken wings or fish fillets.
- Toaster ovens are better for cooking larger foods, such as whole chickens or pizzas.
Quantity of food
- Air fryers are best for cooking smaller quantities of food, typically 1-2 servings.
- Toaster ovens can accommodate larger quantities of food, making them a better option for cooking for larger groups.
Preference of cooking method
- If you prefer crispy, fried foods, an air fryer may be the better choice.
- If you prefer a wider range of cooking methods, including baking and broiling, a toaster oven may be the better choice.
Brand and model of appliance
- It’s important to do research on specific brands and models of both air fryers and toaster ovens to determine which one will best meet your needs.
Functionality of the appliance
- Consider the specific features and functions of each appliance to determine which one will best meet your cooking needs. For example, some air fryers may have additional functions, such as baking or grilling, while some toaster ovens may have features like convection cooking or steam functions.
Size of the kitchen
- Consider the amount of counter or storage space you have available in your kitchen when deciding between an air fryer or toaster oven.
- Toaster ovens are generally less expensive than air fryers, so they may be a better option if budget is a concern.
- Air fryers are generally more convenient to use than toaster ovens because they don’t require preheating and can cook food faster.
- Toaster ovens may be more convenient for certain cooking tasks, such as toasting bread or reheating leftovers.
Safety and ease of use
- Both air fryers and toaster ovens are generally safe and easy to use. However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines for each appliance to ensure safe and effective use.
Are there any safety considerations when using a toaster oven and an air fryer?
- Never leave the toaster oven unattended while it is in use.
- Keep the toaster oven away from flammable objects, such as curtains or towels.
- Use only oven-safe cookware in the toaster oven, and never use aluminum foil as it can cause a fire.
- Keep the toaster oven clean and free of food debris, as buildup can cause a fire.
- Always use oven mitts or potholders to remove hot items from the toaster oven, as the exterior can become very hot during use.
- Never leave the air fryer unattended while it is in use.
- Keep the air fryer away from flammable objects, such as curtains or towels.
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket or tray, as this can cause uneven cooking and potentially start a fire.
- Do not put any flammable materials, such as paper or plastic, in the air fryer.
- Always use oven mitts or potholders to remove hot items from the air fryer, as the exterior can become very hot during use.
What types of foods can be cooked in both a toaster oven and an air fryer?
Some examples of foods that can be cooked in both a toaster oven and an air fryer include:
- Chicken wings: Both appliances are great for making crispy, flavorful chicken wings.
- Fish: Whether you’re cooking fish fillets or fish sticks, both toaster ovens and air fryers can provide great results.
- Vegetables: Whether you’re roasting, baking, or air frying, both appliances can be used to cook a variety of vegetables.
- French fries: Both appliances are great for making crispy, golden-brown french fries.
- Pizza: Both toaster ovens and air fryers can be used to cook delicious pizzas.
- Baked goods: Both appliances can be used to bake a variety of sweet and savory treats, such as cookies, cakes, and muffins.
- Roasted meats: Both toaster ovens and air fryers can be used to roast meats, such as chicken, beef, and pork.
Which one lasts longer?
Generally, a well-made and well-maintained toaster oven or air fryer can last for several years. However, there is no definitive answer as to which one lasts longer, as it depends on several factors such as the brand, model, usage frequency, and maintenance.
Some brands and models of toaster ovens and air fryers may be more durable and longer-lasting than others.
Air fryers you should expect anywhere between 1 to 3 years of life expectancy. Toaster on the other hand are typically known to last as long as 5 years.
In terms of maintenance, both toaster ovens and air fryers require regular cleaning and care to ensure their longevity. Keeping the interior and exterior clean, avoiding excessive buildup of food debris, and following the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your appliance.
How to make toast from an air fryer?
If you’re wondering if an air fryer can make toast just as well as a toaster oven, why not try it out yourself?
The following is a step-by-step guide on how to make toast with an air fryer.
- Sliced bread in the air fryer basket
- Turn the temperature up to 400°F and air fry for three minutes
- You will hear the toast eventually flying around inside the chamber
- Remove the toast and spread butter over it
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