It’s fun to cook, isn’t it? Especially these days when we can find countless kitchen equipment that helps us to make some of the most mouthwatering dishes. Some equipment, like the microwave, is fairly conventional but highly effective. Others, like a super-versatile fryer, are relatively new to our kitchens. With a variety of cooking apparatus available, it may be very daunting to decide which one to use to prepare your meals.
It is very hard to point out difference between air fryer and microwave ovens as both of them help us save time in the kitchen as well as make cooking easier. This is why “air fryer vs microwave” has become one of the most trending questions these days. Therefore, in this blog, we will be discussing everything about both of the appliances, their working principle, and the difference between air fryer and microwave along with which is more suitable for you and your preferences.
How Do Air Fryers Work?
All air fryers work on the convection principle. What happens in this method is very hot air is circulated within the chamber of the air fryer by a high-speed fan. This in turn helps in sucking out all the moisture from food items resulting in a crisp layer. The advantage of cooking in this manner is that the outside of a piece of the food heats up extremely quickly, resulting in crispiness that is impossible to achieve in a traditional oven. However, opposed to contrary belief, air fryers also happen to have some disadvantages. Air fryers are most commonly utilized to fry foods that would otherwise be exceedingly unhealthy, thereby making them slightly less unhealthy.
How Do Microwaves Work?
Microwaves work on the principle of heating every particle of the food item with electromagnetic radiation. It works by transmitting extremely high radiofrequency waves through a magnetron tube. The microwaves are efficient enough to cook as well as heat food as the energy utilized in these processes is equal to 2,450 megahertz.
A microwave heats small pockets of water by penetrating the 3 cm outer cover of your food item. By conduction, the heat from these small water pockets spreads throughout the rest of your food. Microwaves often contain turntables in the center that keeps spinning and are timed to spin a certain number of times per minute to ensure even cooking. Newer variants come with a fan on the back or the side of the cavity that stirs up the heat and produces even cooking results. These are known as convection microwaves and rival the capabilities of countertop ovens.
Can An Air Fryer and Microwave Be Used Interchangeably?
Technically, an air fryer and a microwave cannot be utilized interchangeably as both are designed to serve different purposes and are unique to each other. The primary difference between an air fryer and microwave is that the latter is known for heating and reheating food only whereas in the case of air fryers, they completely alter the way you cook, enhancing the flavor of your meals.
So, in short, if you want to cook food and give it a touch of frying, the air fryer is the one for you to choose from. However, microwaves are more frequently used to reheat food instead of cooking it. Hence, microwaves cook food quickly but don’t generally add much taste to the dish.
Major Differences Between Air Fryers and Microwaves
One of the major points of difference between air fryer and microwave is size. Air fryers are small and compact, due to which they may be stored anywhere, especially on the counter when not in use. When not in use, you can simply just put back the air fryer on the kitchen shelf. In this way, you can utilize that space for other culinary activities. Microwaves, on the other hand, are larger and cannot be stored on a kitchen shelf. They require their dedicated slot, and shifting from one location to another might be inconvenient.
2. Cooking Capacity
Two of the most important factors to consider while buying an air fryer and microwave are the cooking capacity as well as the size of the cooking appliance. They’re especially important if you frequently cook for a large group and limiting equipment is the last thing you want. Upon comparing air fryers and microwave ovens, it’s clear that air fryers are more compact and lightweight than microwaves.
They do not, however, have the same cooking capacity as microwaves. Another thing to think about is the location of your kitchen. Most air fryers may be placed on a counter, giving them an additional advantage in terms of compactness. Air fryers are also very easy to store due to their small size and lightweight construction.
3. Cooking Technology
In the case of air fryers, heat is generated by an inbuilt coil. The hot air is then circulated within the chamber by using a fan. Whereas the heating element in a microwave is a tube called a magnetron. The heat is produced by high-frequency microwaves or short-length radio waves that are blown out by magnetron.
When attempting to make a comparison and find out the difference between air fryer and microwave technology, we must especially address the radiation aspect. The fact that the technology employs radiated heat to cook the foodstuffs confers “radiation” to the air fryer. As a result, harmful electromagnetic radiation poses no threat to food. Because microwave ovens employ electromagnetic radiation to cook foods, most people consider air fryers to be a better alternative. Therefore, air fryers are safe in our opinion, as they use proven technology.
4. Usability / Versatility
Air Fryers are a piece of multipurpose kitchen equipment. They may prepare meat dishes such as crab-cakes or vegan delicacies such as tofu, potato nuggets, potato wedges, etc. All of these and many more may be done by microwaves as well. Moreover, it will also enable you to prepare wet batter fishes that you cannot prepare with air fryers.
5. Health / Hygiene
Air fryers and microwaves, in comparison to conventional ovens, provide significantly healthier cooking. These devices remove the fluids from the food being cooked, allowing it to fry or cook without oils, hence avoiding any health risks linked with excessive oils. You may be needed to add oil occasionally, but it will be a very little amount compared to the amount of oil used to cook items in a deep fryer or a regular oven.
Less oil means healthier meals as well as greater hygiene. In short, air fryers are far superior to microwave ovens in terms of health. Though microwaves might demand a little quantity of oil, air fryers do not. This is because frying, baking, and any of the other functions performed by air fryers do not require oil. In addition, air fryers may retain more nutrients than microwaves.
6. Power Consumption
Now let us have a look at the battle of air fryer vs microwave with respect to power consumption. In contrast to microwaves, air fryers take a longer time to reach the proper cooking temperature. Nevertheless, because the heating does not last long, air fryers are fairly energy-efficient, consuming between 1200 and 1500 watts. On the line of line of discussing costs, air fryers and microwaves are priced similarly, just like budget-friendly functional microwaves, air fryers too can be bought in as less as $100.
Microwave ovens use roughly 1200 watts for a 30-minute cooking time, thus they’re far more energy-efficient than air fryers. But a microwave will only use 2-7 watts in standby mode, which is a very small amount of energy.It’s also important to note that, since the time and temperature are both changeable components on air fryers, the difference between a 1200-watt and a 1500-watt machine is minimal. However, you should be aware that air fryers use significantly less energy than microwave ovens.
Verdict | Air Fryer Vs Microwave, Which Comes Out On Top?
Understanding the difference between air fryer and microwave technology will allow you to determine which option is the best for you. Radiation from microwave ovens that helps to cook food is frequently regarded as a disadvantage. Because this method already has a lot of power, it has the advantage of cooking meals quickly. Microwave ovens cook about 6 times faster when compared to other cooking techniques and models. If you only need to warm up food, a microwave may be a better option. Microwaves also have a longlife expectancy since they include few moving parts, resulting in a durable design that is excellent for usage in the house.
The air fryers, on the other hand, benefit from the unique Rapid Air Technology, which allows them to cook exceptionally well. The food’s construction is crispy and crunchy, making it a favorite among foodies. Furthermore, because it uses 70-80% less oil than standard gas burners and microwave ovens, it is a more dependable solution. Consumption of fried dishes cooked in air fryers is a popular choice among people who enjoy fried cuisine. It’s also a higher-level appliance for a family because of its “easy to clean” function. Choose an air fryer if you wish to eat healthier cuisine. On the other hand, if the cooking volume is a priority, a microwave oven is a better choice.