Do Air Fryers Cook Faster Than Ovens: The Cooking Showdown

So the question is, Do Air Fryers Cook Faster Than Ovens? Ovens have long been a go-to appliance for many households when cooking meals at home. However, with the rise in air fryers’ popularity, some people wonder whether these appliances cook faster than traditional ovens. This article will examine air fryers and ovens and compare their cooking times and methods. (Also see 9 Must-Have Accessories To Make The Most Of Your Air Fryer)

Cooking time is a factor that might make you opt for one appliance over the other. Air fryers are thought to cook food quicker than ovens, but is this the case? We’ll answer the question in this post, including the factors that affect air fryer cooking time and how to adapt your oven recipes to work in an air fryer. 

Which Cooks Faster, Ovens Or Air Fryers?

Air fryer appliances cook quicker than ovens. 

The appliances don’t need any preheating, as they can achieve high temperatures in just a few minutes, beginning cooking sooner. Air fryers have smaller chambers, meaning the heat stays in a compact compartment. Air fryers also have strong fans that run faster, unlike convection ovens with weaker fans. All of these factors allow air fryers to cook food faster than ovens. 

The exception is when you would need to cook large amounts of food. Air fryers can only handle smaller quantities of food, so you might have to prepare several batches depending on their size. This would take a lot of time, so ovens will work faster if you need to cook a lot of food. 

Reasons Why Air Fryers Cook Faster Than Ovens

Here are some explanations for why air fryers cook quicker than ovens:

Compact And Small

Air fryers only use one heating element, while ovens use two. This might make you believe that the oven would cook faster, but the fryer’s size makes the difference. The smaller the region, the more heat the area absorbs, resulting in quicker cooking. 

This heating component heats food with the fan’s assistance. The heat is also delivered from the top of the air fryer. There is less space between the heating component and the food in an air fryer than in an oven. The oven is also larger, so the heating component will take longer to heat up and deliver heat around the chamber. 

Less Preheating Time

Most oven recipes require you to preheat the oven before you begin cooking. Air fryers don’t normally require preheating time as they heat up rapidly. This is thanks to the air fryer’s convection mechanism, which directs hot hair straight at the food in a few seconds. 

If an air fryer recipe does need preheating, the time is rarely more than two or three minutes. Ovens, on the other hand, can require 10 to 15 minutes to preheat. 

No Oil Required

The air fryer’s heat and blasting technique allow the device to cook food from the inside out. No marination is required beforehand, and oil is necessary to provide a crisp fry. Several oven recipes will need you to marinate your food or prepare the trays with grease before cooking. This isn’t necessary for an air fryer. Many recipes don’t require any oiling; if greasing is required, the amount of oil needed is much less. 

Size And Speed Of The Fan

Air fryers have powerful, high-speed fans positioned at the top, close to the heating component. This location allows heat to circulate well around the food, reducing cooking time. As the fan rotates quickly, it manages to heat the smaller chamber rapidly. This speed is around 35% higher than typical convection ovens. Convection ovens use lower-speed fans. They may use one or two fans, depending on your model. These oven fans are also small, so they won’t circulate heat as efficiently.

Cooking Speed

On average, air fryers need around three minutes to reach 350°F, equivalent to hot steam. Ovens will need a lot longer to reach this level, around 15 minutes or more.

Toaster ovens can reach this temperature faster than convection ovens, needing between 6 and 7 minutes to reach 350°F. Despite this, they won’t be able to cook food as fast as air fryers, as their size and make aren’t as efficiently designed. 

Adapting Oven Recipes To Work In An Air Fryer

Now we can cover how to adapt an oven recipe to work in an air fryer.  If you want to try an oven recipe in your air fryer, lower the oven recipe’s temperature by 25%. Time-wise, take away 20% of the oven recipe’s cooking time.  Remember that, unlike ovens, you will need to flip your food in your air fryer around halfway through the cooking process, as this will ensure the food is thoroughly cooked. 

Benefits Of Air Frying

Here are some advantages of cooking in an air fryer. 

  • Air fryers deliver amazing frying results without the need for oil.
  • Air fryers reach high temperatures from 350°F to 400°F rapidly.
  • Less oil is required, which can be beneficial in protecting the heart against coronary disease and inflammation. It’s a healthier cooking method compared to deep frying and other classic cooking methods. 
  • Easier to control the number of calories you want to eat.
  • Hot oil used in deep frying produces acrylamide, a toxic compound that may lead to cancer. Air frying doesn’t produce this compound.

Benefits Of Oven Cooking

  • Ovens slowly cook or bake food from the inside out using hot air. 
  • Can broil, roast, roast, and bake with ovens.
  • Baking can retain important minerals and vitamins in the food.
  • Can cook a large amount of food without the need for batch cooking

The Bottom Line

Air fryers cook food faster compared to ovens. 

Air fryers fall short because they are smaller, so they cannot prepare as much food as ovens. This is because air fryers are efficiently designed, with a powerful fan, compact build, and ideal heating component location. The temperature rises fast inside air fryers, helping to reduce preheating and cooking time.  

If you usually need to cook large amounts of food, stick with an oven. However, if you need to cook small amounts of food quickly or want a healthier way of frying food, you should consider investing in an air fryer. 

Amanda Covington

Amanda, a culinary beacon for busy mothers, boasts over 20 years of creating quick, nutritious recipes. This celebrated food columnist, contributing to various magazines, has penned three best-selling cookbooks. A frequent podcast and cooking show guest, Amanda educates many on speedy meal preparation. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, she manages her food blog and hosts workshops. Connect with Amanda Covington via Journo Portfolio or LinkedIn.

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