What are these two appliances, Toaster ovens, and Air Fryers, used for? Which one is the best of the two?
Both have different functions but both do share some similarities. They can be used to roast or toast bread, bagels, meats, and more. But each appliance specializes in their own unique functionality. The air fryer uses high heat to cook food using oil/fat at a lower temperature than conventional ovens.
This helps with energy savings as well as reduces cooking time by 30 – 50%. A regular oven cooks on average at 410 degrees Fahrenheit while an air fryer cooks on average at 360-375 degrees Fahrenheit. Traditional ovens use convection heat where hot air circulates around the food being cooked.
Some models use oil/fat, like the conventional ovens only at lower temperatures. These simple functions allow you to roast or toast bread, bagels, meats and more.
A Toaster oven uses heat from an open heating element (similar to your stovetop) to both cook foods as well as brown them. It’s perfect for small meals like pizzas, leftovers, frozen snacks or even leftover “smores”.
The heating element is housed inside either on top of the door frame or across the bottom of the oven cavity. Depending on brand you can bake cakes, broil skewers of salmon etc… It is very similar in function to a regular oven with the exception that it is much smaller overall.
What are their differences?
Air Fryers heat up very quickly, typically can cook food in half the time as a regular oven and use less energy to do so. Many of them come with accessories like cake pans etc… which allows you to cook more than just French fries, fried chicken or tater tots, but healthier options like veggies (if you don’t mind somewhat crispy golden brown color).
Air fryers also allow you to “fry” your food without all the added fat/oil by tossing your potatoes/meat/poultry etc… in a little bit of oil/fat before cooking. You can even bake cookies or cakes using an air-fryer. It has it’s own limitations just like any piece of cooking equipment when you’re trying to cook something that requires precision when it comes to time or temperature, but in general they can be used in many ways.
Toaster ovens cook at the same rate as a regular oven which makes them ideal for baking/roasting small batches though not comparable to an actual large convection oven. They cook food evenly without dry spots and are great for leftovers, reheating pizza slices etc…
Toaster ovens usually make toast very well too – more even browned color than a regular toaster on both sides of your bread or bagel. If you want crispy golden-brown French fries from a toaster oven you need to cut them up smaller than regular size so they cook evenly. A toaster oven will take longer to heat up than an air fryer, but it will also retain the heat longer once the door has been opened. This is common with nearly all appliances out there, however if you wish to broil skewers of salmon or bake a casserole – this would be the appliance for that job.
Which one is better?
That’s really your preference! It really depends on what kind of cooking you’re doing and how much food you’re cooking for. Air fryers are great for small meals like breakfast sandwiches, French fries, roasted meat etc… whereas a Toaster oven is ideal for baking small batches of cookies/cakes or reheating. You’ll find both appliances in middle-priced kitchens as well as high priced kitchens because they both serve a different purpose and each appliance does it’s job very well.
What is one to look for when buying an air fryer/toaster oven?
There are 3 main factors to look for:
price, convenience, and use-case. How much money do you want to spend? What kind of foods will you be cooking most often? Do you just need something quick and easy that can toast bread and make eggs or do you want more advanced features like baking and broiling too? Once you answer these questions, the choice becomes pretty clear what your perfect appliance would be! We hope this guide was helpful! Happy Air frying/Toaster oven cooking!