Air fryer, microwave, and toaster oven, these three are the most fundamental appliances for any kitchen. You can never make a kitchen your dream kitchen excluding any of these three. That is why most of us have all of them. Interestingly, we often forget its proper uses. No more confusion, let’s dig into the ultimate battle of air fryer vs microwave vs toaster oven.
Cooking the wrong food in the wrong appliance will make your food a complete failure. So you need to know which appliance to use for which purpose. For example — you cannot make a cake in an air fryer, or make some crispy fried chicken in the microwave.
These three appliances work differently, and if you can figure those out, you can easily learn which appliance to use for your next culinary experiment!
Air Fryer Vs Microwave Vs Toaster Oven Functions
The first thing you’ll need to know what are the functions of these appliances. Naturally, you can’t do all types of cooking in a single appliance. You will have to know the right use by learning about their different functions. Below we have provided a guideline on the different uses of each appliance.
So let’s dig in—
Uses Of Air Fryer
An air fryer is excellent for frying foods like French fries, chicken katsu or even chicken nuggets. You should always keep in mind that an air fryer can never fry battered food like prawn tempura or onion rings. That will make everything a complete mess.
As you all know, air fryer works by circulating heated air around the food. So it makes a deep fry effect even with a tiny amount of oil. Those who are health conscious must utilize this appliance to meet the sudden cravings of fried foods. Although you can only air fry only breaded, non coated food. The food that drips oil or coating is not suitable for air frying. That is why you should never fry prawn or vegetable tempura or even batter coated chicken fry.
Another amazing use of an air fryer is to fry up empanadas or mini pies. You can brush egg yolks or oil to make them golden and crispy. An air fryer is actually quite a fancy appliance to have if you prefer healthy yet tasty foods on your plate. Read more about this smart appliance: Best Air Fryer.
Uses Of Microwave Oven
On the other hand, we usually use a microwave for warming food. Defrosting frozen food, heating food, or even cooking some items are the basic functions of a microwave. Some microwave ovens have a built-in additional toaster option, which is commonly known as a convection oven. But you can never replace a toaster oven or a gas oven with a microwave when it comes to roast, bake or even broil the food. This appliance is excellent for warming food, and thereby widely used for this function only.
Uses Of Toaster Oven
And lastly, a toaster oven is kind of the one thing that comes with every kitchen set up. In our opinion, this appliance is the king of all appliances. Because every recipe revolves around the simple instruction of putting the food in the oven. No matter it’s a cake or a whole chicken, a toaster oven is the most used heating appliances all over the world.
With all these uses, a toaster oven is however, not capable of efficiently warming food. You can defrost anything frozen in a toaster oven, nor can perfectly fry French fries. This appliance works very simply, but that is enough to cook most of the food items.
So you can clearly see these three appliances are clearly irreplaceable by one another. If you are smart, you can get away with making the right use every single time. Anyways, all three appliances have some advantages and disadvantages that will help you make the right choice. So let’s get into the pros and cons of cooking in each appliance—
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Air Fryer
The only function of an air fryer to fry foods with a little amount of oil. This appliance certainly has some pros and cons when it comes to cooking variation. Let’s check out its merits and demerits:
Advantages Of Air Fryer
- The first and most crucial perk of an air fryer is frying the food in a low amount of oil. You can brush the oil over the food or spray oil on it. This little amount of oil is indeed enough to give your food a taste just like its deep fried version.
- Using an air fryer ensures even frying of the food without ever turning it. The air circulation makes sure even heating and cooking of the food.
- You can use an air fryer for baking purpose too. Making pies, roast potatoes, you can even bake garlic breads in air fryer too!
- Did you know making croutons in an air fryer provides the best result? I enjoyed the best crouton I ever made the other day I was making Caesar salad. I just spattered some oil over the bread cubes and throw it in the air fryer to crisp up.
- The last but not the least importance of an air fryer is definitely the health benefits. You cannot beat an air fryer to provide the healthiest fried food you’ll ever have. The air fryer isn’t controversial either for potential carcinogenics.
Disadvantages Of An Air Fryer
- As you already guessed, the only use of air fryer is frying stuff. You can’t bake, you can’t roast or even you can’t warm up food in an air fryer. I mean you can still do these tasks, but the result will not be perfect.
- You can’t fry any food that drips or dipped in a liquid better. Like a British favorite beer battered fish or Japanese prawn tempura. You can only fry breaded foods or foods with no coating, like chicken katsu or French fries.
- As an air fryer is a compact appliance, you can’t cook a lot of food or a large batch of food in an air fryer. So if you have a large family, it’s wise to skip air fryer.
- In my experience, air fryer takes a lot of time to finish cooking too. Air frying a batch of French fry takes just about 15-20 minutes, which is actually longer than deep frying it.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Microwave Oven:
Just like an air fryer, our favorite microwave has a long list of pros and cons too!
Let’s skip beating around the bush and dig into the pros and cons—
Advantages Of Microwave Oven
- This kitchen appliance probably earned its fame for being surprisingly fast. Warming up your food will take just a few seconds in your microwave. Ever tried 2 minute mug cake? Yes, a delicious mug cake will be ready in only two minutes to meet the cravings of your sweet tooth.
- A microwave is amazing at defrosting frozen foods too. If you meal prep your foods for the weekdays, you can eat those meals right away with defrosting and warming it up in the microwave just a few minutes. You can also defrost raw food too.
- A microwave also ensures the most even warming you’ll ever experience. The microwave ray penetrates right into the food and heats up the food inside. That way you’ll not have to face cold inside and burnt outside like a toaster oven or stovetop.
- A microwave doesn’t cost much electricity like an air fryer or a toaster oven as it runs for very little time.
- Any microwave oven with a convection facility has the capability to replace both air fryer and a toaster oven.
Disadvantages Of Microwave Oven
- The first and foremost concern of using a microwave oven is its health benefits. There are certain controversies of microwaved food being carcinogenic, although still not proved.
- A microwave oven is not good for grilling, broiling, baking, or even roasting. Most of the time we use the microwave for only warming the food.
- A microwave oven is quite notorious for ruining the flavor of any food too. You certainly won’t get the optimum result with cooking in a microwave. So it’s better not so choose a microwave.
- Another negative aspect of using a microwave oven is making the food dry. It dries up the moisture and also makes the food unpleasant to eat. Although you can solve this problem by using a damp kitchen tissue to cover the food.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Toaster Oven
A toaster oven also has certain pros and cons. Having the most versatile uses, a toaster oven also has some drawbacks.
Let’s find those drawbacks along with perks of using a toaster oven which is listed down below—
Advantages Of Toaster Oven
- It indeed has the most versatile application among all the heating kitchen appliances. You can certainly do all the heating for any type of cooking.
- Perfect for roasting, baking, broiling, grilling and whatnot. You can also replace an air fryer with a toaster oven and still get a decent result.
- Great for dehydrating food also. You can dehydrate vegetables, fruits and also herbs in a toaster oven.
- A toaster oven is also a great option for warming your crockeries to avoid your foods from getting cold.
Disadvantages Of Toaster Oven
- A toaster oven is obviously not efficient for warming food. It will leave the inside cold while the outside gets burnt.
- This appliance also cannot defrost any food. Although it still makes amazing frozen pizzas or frozen lasagna.
- A toaster oven also cannot produce even cooking on the food like a microwave or an air fryer.
All these advantages and disadvantages obviously lead to one thing, these three appliances cannot replace one another. If you have all three appliances then you’re one step ahead at decorating your own smart kitchen.
So, that’s all for our air fryer vs microwave vs toaster oven battle. I hope this post will help you use the right appliance for the right cooking. Make the right use of these appliances as described and enjoy its advantages. Happy cooking!