Can You Replace Your Toaster Oven with an Air Fryer?
When deciding on what type of appliance to buy, many people are at a loss. They have no idea which one is best for them and their needs. One option that has become popular in recent years is the air fryer. An air fryer can be used as a replacement for a toaster oven or other cooking appliances because it does so much more than just frying food. But with this convenience comes some consequences: Can you replace your toaster oven with an Air Fryer?
The answer is yes. Air fryers are capable of toasting food, which is one of the main features of a toaster oven. However, an air fryer has many more features that overcast the limited functionality of a toaster oven. But there are limitations to air fryers as well. Depending on what you plan to cook and how you want it, you might find more options with an air fryer if you were to choose between the two. Ultimately, it all depends on you.
Conventional toaster ovens are a dime a dozen. They can do an amazing number of things and they’re so common that it’s easy for people to find them at any store or even online. But with the new kid on the block, air fryers, owning a toaster oven might be a question you’ve reconsidered.
Well, we’ll talk about this later on in the article, but let’s first take a look at some other comparisons between these two devices!
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 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.
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.
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.
My final thoughts
Air fryers have become more popular over the last couple of years, but they’re still not as well known as their counterparts in the kitchen. You might be able to replace your conventional toaster oven with an air fryer. But that depends on what you use mostly eat and use it for.
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