Air Fryer vs. Convection Oven | Which One is Better?

What is Convection Oven

Convection baking utilizes a fan to move hot air around and inside the oven, with the oven acting as a heating unit. Since air convection increases the surface area of the food, the food will become crunchier because of it.

As a result, air fryers are essentially convection ovens. However, this does not imply that the two are identical. Let’s have a look at what those distinctions are.

Ninja DT251 Foodi 10-in-1 Smart XL Air Fry Oven.
  • A countertop convection oven is rectangular in design with a front door that opens on a hinge at the bottom, similar to a typical toaster oven. A convection oven is distinguished from a regular toaster oven by a fan that circulates hot air.
  • Although many oven ranges have a convection option, we’re only comparing countertop convection ovens to air fryers for this comparison.
  • A convection oven features an inside rack that can fit a sheet pan (preferably a perforated one to allow maximum airflow) like a toaster oven. The food can be spread out on the rack rather than being piled in tiers because it’s so wide.
  • The convection effect refers to air movement inside the oven, which results in speedier cooking by delivering higher temperatures to the food’s surface than in a conventional oven. As a result, it both speeds up cooking and improves the browning and crisping of your food’s surface.

Because stacking or layering food obstructs the passage of heated air, this is critical. Cooking is more even when the food is arranged in a single layer.

What is an Air Fryer:

Like convection ovens, air fryers use a fan to circulate hot air around food; however, air fryers are typically smaller, and the fan distributes air faster. These little fryers heat up quickly and circulate the air to reduce frying time using a fryer basket or perforated tray. Check out how an air fryer is different than a convection oven.

Phillips Smart XXL Air Fryer
  • Air fryers may produce golden french fries, crunchy fried pickles, and even crispy kale chips with just a tablespoon or less oil. Air fryers exploded in popularity as soon as they were launched due to their ability to reduce calories by not frying dishes in oil. Still, their small size remains a hindrance for many expert cooks.
  • Certain dishes, however, are better suited to air frying. Breaded meals, such as mozzarella sticks, chicken nuggets, and jalapeno poppers, do better than baked chicken wings or burger patties.
  • While both a full-size convection oven and an air fryer employ a fan to circulate hot air, the air fryer circulates the air more quickly inside a tiny chamber, allowing the cooking process to be completed faster.
  • A basket is also used in air fryers to distribute hot air more evenly across the bottom of your food.
  • Air fryers cook your food by swirling hot air around it. Traditional convection ovens employ a similar approach, but there are a few important changes.

Difference Between An Air Fryer and A Convection Oven:

Air fryers cook faster than convection ovens and don’t require the use of a huge device, such as your oven. Their perforated racks also allow fat to drain onto the drip pan, preventing your food from absorbing extra oil and being crispier as a result.

The negative point of air fryers is that they cannot cook as much food as an oven can. In an air fryer, food cooked in a single layer cooks faster. Some dishes, such as French fries, can be stacked, but they should always be tossed once. Air fryers can also be noisy, but many manufacturers take this into account when designing them.

There are other few differences between an air fryer and a convection oven which are described below:

Fan Speed, Placement, and Size:

The fans in air fryers are larger and run quicker than those in convection ovens. According to one manufacturer, the fan on their air fryer setting is 30 percent faster than the fan on their convection setting. The fan is situated just below the heating element on the top of an air fryer. It’s in the back in a convection oven, either in the center or on the side.

Heating Procedure:

In an air fryer, the heat comes from the top, while in a convection oven, it comes from both the top and bottom. The top-down method concentrates the heat and cooks the food faster.

Capacity Difference:

Convection settings are built for full-sized ovens and toaster ovens, while air fryers are countertop appliances. Air fryers and convection toaster ovens may heat up quickly thanks to the countertop area. It also brings the food closer to the heating components, allowing it to cook faster. Some convection ovens and toaster ovens and some pressure cookers and microwaves now have an air fry mode.

Additional Accessories:

Many perforated accessories are available for air fryers, allowing for speedy and consistent cooking with little to no turning or tossing. Air fryer baskets, trays, racks, rotisserie spits, and kebab skewers are among them. If desired, little baking pans or tin cans can also be placed on racks.

Related: 10 Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven Combo in 2021

Air Fryer vs. Convection Oven Time And Temperature Cheat Sheet

What is air fryer vs convection oven cook time? Air frying and convection cooking both works by directing heat more comprehensively, you may need to adjust the temperature and cooking periods for your favorite recipes.

Reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and the cooking time by around 20% when baking a recipe in an Air Fry oven. Multiply the cooking time in minutes by 0.8 to determine the bake time.

When utilizing a convection setting, you have two alternatives. The first option is to reduce the cooking time by around 25% (by multiplying the given time in minutes by 0.75) while maintaining the recipe’s recommended oven temperature for a standard oven.

The second option is to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees while sticking to the recipe’s cook time. (If you ask us, the second convection option is often favored, while the first option is an alternate for those in a hurry to prepare.)

We’ve also included a chart with approximate temperature and cook time conversions for everyday recipes and desserts for your convenience.

Time and Temperature Chart For Air Fryer, Convection, and Traditional Oven:

RecipeAir Fryer SettingConvection Setting 1Convection Setting 2Traditional Oven
Pizza (12-inch crust)425 Fahrenheit for 16 Mins450 Fahrenheit for 15 Mins425 Fahrenheit for 20 Mins450 Fahrenheit for 20 Mins
Salmon (2 pounds)350 Fahrenheit for 12 Mins375 Fahrenheit for 11 Mins350 Fahrenheit for 15 Mins375 Fahrenheit for 15 Mins
Roasted chicken (5 or 6 pounds)400 Fahrenheit for 1 hour 12 Mins425 Fahrenheit for 1 hour 8 Mins400 Fahrenheit for 1 hour 30 Mins425 Fahrenheit for 1 hour 30 Mins
Meatloaf (1.5 pounds)325 Fahrenheit for 45 Mins350 Fahrenheit for 45 Mins325 Fahrenheit for 1 hour350 Fahrenheit for 1 hour
Brownies325 Fahrenheit for 25 Mins350 Fahrenheit for 22 Mins325 Fahrenheit for 30 Mins350 Fahrenheit for 30 Mins
Roasted vegetables375 Fahrenheit for 45 Mins400 Fahrenheit for 40 Mins375 Fahrenheit for 55 Mins400 Fahrenheit for 55 Mins
Cookies325 Fahrenheit for 9 Mins350 Fahrenheit for 9 Mins325 Fahrenheit for 12 Mins350 Fahrenheit for 12 Mins


If you don’t have access to a full-size oven, a toaster oven is the best option. You’ll get the most bang for your buck if you get one with an air fryer built-in. You won’t be blown away by the performance of an air fryer if you already own an oven, especially one with convection.

If you like breaded, frozen foods, having an air fryer on hand saves time and energy while cooking them nearly as effectively as a convection oven.

The decision to add small appliances, like so many other aspects of a kitchen, is based on personal criteria such as money, counter space, and how often you prepare specific sorts of foods. Each of these appliances has advantages and disadvantages. The best kitchen appliance for you is the one you’ll use the most at the end of the day.

Joseph is Green Home and Kitchen's editor-in-chief. He describes himself as a dedicated home improvement and automation advisor. He enjoys helping others discover the joys of innovation. Joseph closely follows the latest trends in the industry to keep the visitors in the flow.

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