Difference between air fryer and convection oven
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What is the difference between an air fryer and a convection oven?

Air Fryer & Convection Oven – What’s the difference?

So do you want to know what’s the difference between an air fryer and a convection oven? 

Well, as a matter of fact, convection ovens and air fryers share more similarities than differences.

Size is a major thing that actually distinguishes them. The convection oven is larger in size and can cook more food at once than the air fryer. The air fryers can only handle small portions due to their size and for large amounts, you can cook in batches while using an air fryer.

Besides size, there are some other differences as well, so in this post, we’ll go over the major differences between both in detail, So let’s get started now:

Before digging deep into the major differences, let’s have a look at what actually this convection oven is:

What is a Convection Oven?

convection oven

Convection ovens cooks food by circulating hot air around the food, cooking it evenly and quickly. This is different from traditional ovens, which rely on radiated heat to cook food. Because convection ovens circulate the hot air, they cook food about 25% faster than traditional ovens. They also tend to produce more evenly cooked food, with less risk of overcooking or uneven browning. Convection ovens can be used for most types of cooking, but they work particularly well for roast chicken, roast beef, and baked goods.

Now let’s have a look at the key differences between a convection oven and an air fryer:

Cooking Speed

Both convection ovens and air fryers circulate hot air around your food, but an air fryer does so more quickly because it is a smaller appliance with a smaller cooking area.

Cleaning requirements

Both convection ovens and air fryers require cleaning, however, an air fryer requires more frequent cleaning than an oven.

Electricity Usage

Again air fryers due to their small size use less electricity as compared to convection ovens. Air fryers make the cooking process quick with less electricity usage, so they are more energy efficient comparatively.

Food Texture

Convection ovens typically only crisp the surface of the food that is in contact with the rack or pan, whereas an air fryer generates a crispy exterior on the whole surface of the food.

Cooking Speed

In an air fryer, food often cooks more quickly than in convection due to the rapid airflow in an air fryer.

Cooking Time

Air fryers have a smaller capacity than convection ovens, so they cook faster than convection ovens.

Cooking Temperature

There is little difference in temperature between air fryers and convection ovens, so many air fryer recipes are compatible with convection ovens when it comes to temperature. So, many air-fried recipes can be prepared in a convection oven as well.


The food on the tray of the air fryer is below the fan, which is located at the top of the air fryer. And in the convection oven, the fan is situated in the back.

Allowed Ingredients 

Some ingredients that should not be used in an air fryer, such as excessive amounts of oils, or dry spices, can be used in a convection oven.

Convection oven or air fryer, Which one is better?

air fryer

Both air fryers and ovens have their own pluses and minuses, but which one you should get for your kitchen depends on the amount and type of cooking you want to do most.

Considering Food Quantity 

You should consider the quantity of food you will be making. Convection ovens are larger than air fryers. And that’s why they are more feasible in preparing larger quantities of food in one go.

So, you can use a convection oven if you are cooking for a large family and you don’t want to spend time cooking in multiple batches.

Additionally, to cook larger goods like a whole chicken or ham, the convection oven again is the best option in this case as well.

Considering kitchen space

The quantity of room you have in your kitchen is another factor to take into account. Convection oven takes up a lot of space on the kitchen counter because of its size. Additionally, hiding them when not in use is also not really a practical solution.

Be sure you’re comfortable with the idea of the convection oven becoming part of your kitchen. As they are not easily movable just like air fryers. 

And the one benefit of having an air fryer is that, if you don’t intend to use it frequently, it might be more logical to put one in a kitchen cabinet because it may be smaller.

The final truth is that both of these gadgets can improve your kitchen’s functionality and alternatives. Depending on what and how much you want to cook, you can simply decide which one is better for you.

How to use a convection oven as an air fryer?

As with an air fryer, you can also air fry in the convection oven perfectly. Using a convection oven is more practical because you will have more space for cooking. 

A convection fan circulates hot air around the food in the oven cavity or in the air fryer compartment in convection ovens and air fryers. Getting an air fryer basket (or tray) can help ensure that your food turns out properly cooked.

You can cook more food at once than with a countertop air fryer because in an air fryer you will need to cook in more than one go. It depends on the number of servings. Also, most air fryers don’t have as much capacity as convection ovens.

The Wrap up on Convection oven vs. air fryer

The air fryer and convection oven both are good to go depending on your preferences. If you want to cook for a small family, an air fryer is a good choice. If you want to cook in bulk amounts, a convection oven will be more handy.

Similarly, if you just want to air fry the food any good quality air fryer will work, but if you want to bake and make grilled foods as well, a convection oven would be a better choice in this regard.

So, based on your preferences, decide whether to get a convection oven or an air fryer!


When should you use the Air Fryer Instead of the Oven?

The air fryer is the best option if you simply need to prepare small amounts of food at once and aren't cooking for a large gathering.

The air fryer can pretty much do it all, whether you want to produce baked goods, reheat leftovers, or heat up your favorite prepared frozen foods. But again not in very large quantities. Repeating the cooking process can be done if you want to cook in larger amounts.

When should you use a Convection Oven Instead of the Air Fryer?

The convection oven is the best choice if you want to cook many things in a single go. In ovens, you can roast different vegetables in trays. And you can bake pizza, and bagel bites, as well.

Also, baked items like cookies, cakes, and pastries can also be prepared using convection ovens.

Can I use foil in the convection oven?

Yes, you can use aluminum foil in a convection oven while cooking.

In a microwave convection oven, the convection cooking feature allows the safe and efficient usage of aluminum foil for perfectly cooked food.

Which is better: an air fryer or a convection oven?

Air fryers heat up more quickly since they are smaller. Use an air fryer if you're cooking for one or two people or don't mind cooking in batches. However, using a convection oven is simpler and more practical if you're cooking for a large group of people.

So both work well, depending on your cooking requirements.

How to Convert Oven Temperatures for Convection Cooking?

Shorten the recommended temperature by 25°F and reduce the cooking time by 20 to 25 % when adapting a standard oven recipe for use with an air fryer or convection oven. Simply make sure your convection oven or air fryer is completely heated before placing your food in there and keep a watch on it to make sure nothing is overcooked or undercooked.

Is a convection oven the same as an air fryer?

Air fryers and convection ovens have many similarities. Both use a fan to circulate hot air, giving food a more even, frequently crispier finish. The size difference is the primary distinction. An air fryer is smaller in size than a convection oven. But both work on almost similar mechanisms of cooking by use of hot air.


AboutQurratulain Asghar

I am a professional writer having 5+ years of experience.
Besides that, I also have got exceptionally good cooking skills and experience of using many different air fryers. So, here I’ll be sharing my knowledge through my recipes, guides, and reviews related to air fryers.

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