Cooking your favorite meals at home has never been easier, thanks to appliances such as air fryers and convection ovens that offer multiple cooking presets and options.
Now if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably wondered: what is actually the difference between an air fryer and a convection oven? And do you really need both or is one or the other just enough?Table could not be displayed.
Both air fryer and convection ovens use rapid heat circulation to cook food. This method is a faster way to cook than ovens with regular heating elements. But air fryers circulate air faster than convection ovens and make food crispier than an oven. If you’re ever making fries, fried chicken, or any food that requires a crispy result, you’ll want to use an air fryer. A convection oven will give you best results when baking or making meats and roasts.
This post is for someone who does not have an air fryer or a convection oven just yet. The good news is, these two appliances are now available as a combo so you don’t have to buy two separate machines.
What To Look For in an Air Fryer/ Oven Combo
Few things you’ll want to keep in mind before picking a model to buy:
Capacity: it helps to know what you might want to cook and for how many people. If you’re cooking for a many persons (therefore, larger size meats, bakes and so on..) you’ll need a large oven capacity, which also means you’ll need larger countertop space and perhaps higher cabinet clearance. If you’re not planning on using the oven for big cooking tasks, maybe you’ll just use it to toast bread or reheat food then you can probably get away with a smaller capacity oven.
Accessories: Whether they are included or available for separate purchase, you’ll want to know ahead what accessories are available for each oven. Things you might need are a broiling/baking pan and an air frying rack (a perforated rack that allows for air circulate). A Pizza stone would not be as necessary but definitely nice to have.
Controls: Oven controls are either digital or mechanical dial controls. Digital control is more precise and usually comes with a lot of presets that take the guesswork out of your job. Ovens with mechanical control are slightly less expensive, but on the other hand you’ll have to set the temperature and timer yourself, and you’ll need to keep a lookout on your food.
Best Air Fryer/ Oven Combo
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This digital air fryer and toaster oven has a unique compact design that does not take up a lot of space on your countertop and can be flipped up and stored away easily when not in use. Yet, it is spacious enough on the inside: it can accommodate a 13” pizza, 9 slices of bread or 6 chicken breasts (6 to 8 oz each).
The oven has 8 functions: Air fry, Air roast, Air broil, bake, toast, bagel, dehydrate and keep warm. It includes two accessories: a baking pan and an air frying basket. You also get a recipe guide.
The digital display shows the timer, temperature and any additional customization settings.
Dimensions: 19.72 x 7.56 x 14.96 inches
Included Accessories: Baking pan, air frying basket
Capacity: 13″ pizza, 9 slices of toast or 4-lbs of fries (or other food), 8 cookies. It does NOT fit a whole chicken.
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If you need larger capacity, more functions and overall great results, look no further than the Breville Smart Oven Air. This one comes packed with 13 cooking functions: toast, bagel, broil, bake, roast, warm, pizza, proof (for baking), air fry, reheat, cookies, slow cook and dehydrate.
As you can see, these functions allow you to make a large array of food and recipes in many different ways.
When it comes to capacity, it has 1 cubic ft interior. It can accommodate 9 slices of bread, pans 9” and 13” wide, so far it has the same capacity as the Ninja Foodi. But because Breville’s Smart Oven has height to it, it can also accommodate a full chicken or even a 14 lbs turkey or a 5-qt dutch oven. The slow cook function is a fantastic setting for cooking tough meats and Roast setting would be best for cooking meats crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. While Dehydration is great for making delicious healthy snacks.
Smart Oven Air uses what Breville calls Super Convection Technology, which is a 2-speed convection fan (regular, super) for even better cooking control. It allows for fast and even heat distribution, especially for functions like air frying or dehydration.
Included with the oven are air fryer rack, round pizza rack, cooling rack and a roasting pan.
Dimensions: 18.5 x 26 x 17 inches
Related: Comparisons of Breville’s smart ovens.
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If you’d prefer an oven that has mechanical controls instead of digital, this Cuisinart model is one to consider. Although it is smaller in capacity than both the Breville and Ninja ovens.
The Cuisinart TOA-60 has 0.6 Cubic foot interior, it can accommodate up to 3 lbs of frozen foods (wings, fries.. etc), 6 slices of toast, bake a 4 lbs chicken or 12” pizza.
It has 7 functions: air fry, convection bake, convection broil, bake, broil warm and toast. There are four selector dials on this oven: timer, temperature, function and toast shade selector. All have to be set manually to your desired selections. There’s also a light button which will conveniently light the interior so you can observe your food better.
Included with the oven: oven rack, baking pan and air fryer basket.
Dimensions: LWH: 15.50″ x 16.00″ x 14.00”
Which Air fryer/Oven Combo To Buy?
- If price is a factor in your decision, the Ninja and Cuisinart ovens are comparable price wise (at the time of writing). Ninja Foodi is more advanced in features, and it is more compact, but on the other hand, it cannot accommodate a full chicken for example. So it’s great for general food prep, reheating food or air frying frozen food for example, but it’s not the best choice for making larger meals. On the other hand, the Cuisinart has less width, it’s not digital, less functions, but it has height to it so it can accommodate a full chicken.
- If you don’t mind a bigger price tag, then the Breville would be the perfect choice for all kind of cooking tasks. It has great capacity for all sorts of foods, 13 functions including air frying, slow cooking and dehydration. And two speed fan for even more control of your cooking.