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Air Fryer or Microwave: What to Choose?

Updated on May 6, 2021 by Jessica Parker
air fryer or microwave

The decision to go for an air fryer or microwave is ruled by many factors, majorly because they function under similar working principles. You might also own an oven or grill already and wonder often if an air fryer is worth it. Today, there are so many appliances in our kitchen that intend on making our lives easier in the kitchen. Especially with appliances like microwaves, toasters, blenders, etc. making restaurant-quality dishes at home has become the new normal. Another gadget to join the bandwagon of smart appliances is the innovative air fryer.

Although microwave uses hot air to bake its contents and cook food to perfection, air fryers have seen a recent surge, with many claiming them to be better than microwave ovens. With an air fryer, the possibilities are endless and you cook a plethora of dishes easily. Thus, we are here to justify the difference between each of these appliances. This will give you a better idea of what to go for.

How Do Microwaves Work?

A microwave works on the principle of using electromagnetic waves to heat every particle of food. They use extremely high radio frequency waves that transmit through a tube called a magnetron. Their energy is usually equivalent to 2,450 megahertz which makes them very efficient to make and heat food.

How Do Air Fryers Work?

If you've ever wondered, what are air fryers then you should look into how they put in the work. Air Fryers work under the principle of convection where hot air circulates inside its chamber via a high-speed fan. This air sucks out the moisture from foods, forming a crispy layer. With reactions like caramelization and the 'Maillard effect,' an air fryer forms a browning deep-fried effect on the foods. This makes the food taste and looks like fried foods.

Difference between Air Fryers & Microwaves

Cooking Techniques

One of the major differences between these two appliances is the cooking technique in each of them. An air fryer uses an inbuilt coil to produce the heat. This, in turn, uses a fan to circulate the hot air within the chamber. A microwave has a heating element in the form of a tube called a magnetron. It blows out the heat produced by microwaves or high frequency, shorth length radio waves.

Cooking Time

An air fryer takes more time to cook the same food as compared to a microwave. For example, if you decide to cook chicken wings in an air fryer, it might take you 6-7 minutes. But if you plan to cook the same in a microwave it might take you just 3- 4 minutes. But longer cooking time means a better infusion of flavors and thus, air fryers offer an even and flavor-packed cooking.


Microwaves like Black & Decker although countertop appliance takes more space as they come in a size of 17-inch x 13- inch. But an air fryer like Cosori Smart Wi-Fi 5.8 QT comes within the dimensions of 11-inch x 9-inch making them pretty compact countertop appliances.


Air Fryers are versatile cooking appliances. They can cook seafood recipes like crab cakes or lip-smacking chicken dishes or even vegan favorites like tofu. Microwaves can do all that and more, like making food with wet batter like wet batter fishes which unfortunately an air fryer cannot do.

However, the best part about some of the air fryers is that it gives way to baking as well as helping to create delectable desserts like the all-American cheesecake. So, in terms of versatility, microwave wins.

Power Consumption

An air fryer uses around 1500 watts with certain models using up to1200 W as well.  But a microwave uses 1200W for approximately 30-40 minutes of cooking with an additional power of 2-7 watts for other purposes like reheatingThus, from the power consumption point of view, an air fryer uses less power.

Health Factor

Air Fryers are considered healthy as you can cook without the use of any oil. The modern versions of microwave still require some amount of oil to cook larger batches of food or while brushing the baking tray. Therefore, an air fryer is considered a healthier option as compared to a microwave. Also, the electromagnetic radiation in higher quantity might put your food and health at risk, unlike air fryers that use just rapid air technology to cook the food.


The capacity of a microwave is any day more than air fryers as you can cook large batches of food at once. You can even place borosilicate bowls to warm the food. An air fryer, on the other hand, can be used to cook smaller batches of food only. Even a larger size like Dash Deluxe Electric Air Fryer with 6 Qt can cook limited batches of food. For example, while cooking churros you can place only 5 to 6 churros at a time but in the case of a microwave, you can place 10-12 churros at once.

Air Fryer or Microwave: Which One is a Healthier Pick?

When it comes to microwaves, the use of radio frequencies and electromagnetic waves often overwhelms its positives. However, with an air fryer, the use of just hot air to cook food has been a major factor in influencing the purchase decisions of many buyers. With a compact size, cooking delicate dishes like cheesecake has become very easy. Thus, air fryers have been a worthy winner for those who are health conscious but love enjoying fried and finger foods.   So to answer your question, air fryers are considered healthy as compared to microwaves.

How to Decide What to Buy?

Buying a new air fryer depends entirely on your requirements. However, if you are someone for whom capacity matters, then a microwave like Frigidaire, 1.6 Cu. Ft. is the gadget for you. If you are someone who is in love with food for their various legion of tastes then Innsky Air Fryer 10.6 Qt will be your best kitchen accompaniment.

Both microwaves and air fryers are modern kitchen appliances that make our lives easy and convenient. However, deciding to invest in them is purely based on your choice. With both the gadgets offering significant conveniences, you can consider either of them based on their specific uses and work on creating healthier meals without the hassle. If you still find yourself confused, take a look at Bestviewsreviews.com. We've listed down top-rated air fryers and also the best microwaves on the basis of 20k+ reviews. Do have a look!


Rank #1 in Air Fryers

Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid 6 in 1

Created with Raphaël

Rank #2 in Air Fryers

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer

Created with Raphaël

Rank #3 in Air Fryers

COSORI Air Fryer Max XL 5.8 Quart

Created with Raphaël

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