Air Fryer Vs. Microwave: Which One Is Better?

Matthew Mountain
by Matthew Mountain
You’re debating between a microwave and an air fryer. We’ll make it simple for you — a microwave simply heats up food, but an air fryer can cook things to give your chicken and other foods that near-perfect roast. But there’s more to it than heating or cooking styles. Scroll down to find out what.

These days, it’s not uncommon to find a microwave and an air fryer in the same home. These appliances make cooking easier and faster, and both are affordable while not taking up a lot of space.

But you may be wondering which is better, or you may want to know which is more versatile. In the end, air fryers and microwaves both have attractive qualities, and one system is good at some things while the other fulfills its own purposes. In the end, you can’t go wrong with having both systems.

This article will compare microwaves and air fryers so you know what’s best at what. Explanations will also be put forward as to why each system is preferred these days.

Microwaves and air fryers are both attractive fixtures, and one can’t be deemed superior over the other. They each fulfill different needs of homeowners, and this is why you should have one of each system in your home. In general, a microwave will heat things faster, but an air fryer will deliver more thorough cooking, that which resembles an oven.

Do You Need Appliance Repair Services?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Air Fryer Background

Air fryers have become popular in recent years, and this is because they deliver effective deep frying without the use of hot oil. A lot of individuals love deep-fried food, but making this at home has always been difficult. Even if you had an at-home Frialator—and not many individuals ever did—making fried foods would entail a lot of mess and other hassles.

But the air fryer has taken away the need for the classic Frialator, and now individuals can make deep-fried food without all the associated hassles. Air fryers are also healthier than traditional friers, as you’re not submerging your food in unhealthy oil and fat. Before, when you’d submerge your food, you’d know it was absorbing all that unhealthy fat, grease, and oil.

With the air fryer there’s none of this. Oil is absent from the air fryer, but you’d never know this because of how the food comes out; all the goodness of fried food without the drawbacks. And if you want to add a little bit of oil, the system can handle this; you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged.

How the Air Fryer Works

An air fryer will heat to a very high temperature. Once the basket is in the proper position, the system will close completely, a fan will circulate, and very hot air will be generated so the food can cook.

The main benefit of the air fryer is you can cook something fast and without all the hassles and messes that are associated with other cooking methods. Another benefit is that food will get crispy in a way that a conventional oven can’t deliver.

Most individuals use their air fryers to fry things, but air fryers can also complete a range of tasks that were traditionally for the oven alone. For example, if you have french fries that would normally be deep-fried, you can pop these in the air frier instead; this way you’ll get to enjoy the delicious taste without all the health consequences.

Another food that’s often cooked in an air fryer is chicken. This cooks quick and it gets crisp real nicely. Good fried chicken is always crispy, and any fried chicken connoisseur will tell you that. The air fryer has been a real game-changer when it comes to making country-style meals and other fried favorites.

Air Fryer Pros and Cons

Air fryers are definitely popular these days, but they’re not all upside. They have their downsides as well, and these should be considered before you purchase an air fryer. If you know what the upsides and downsides are, you’ll know how to get the most out of your air fryer and stay away from the hassles it presents.

Pro: Easy Cleaning

One of the most attractive things about the air fryer is that it doesn’t take a lot to clean this after you’re done using it. When you compare the air fryer to the Frialator, cleaning is night and day.

Since oil will be for the most part absent from the air fryer, all you need to do is wash the basket with a soft sponge, some dishwashing soap, and warm water. You can dry the basket after cleaning and stick it back in after an hour or so has passed.

The system is also pretty compact, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning difficult nooks and crannies on the exterior. Keeping the outside of the air fryer clean is quite easy; just give the air fryer a quick wipe down every day at the end of the day.

Pro: Easy Use

Operating an air fryer is not a challenging task. After you use it once or twice, you’ll be a master. This is why—once you use the air fryer—it’s quite likely you’ll never be able to go back to the oven or microwave.

Throw frozen snacks in the air fryer and set the mode and timer—that’s all you have to do. Come back and enjoy your fried food when it’s done cooking. Everything will cook through thoroughly, and the air fryer has a variety of settings so you can get the best cooking possible.

Pro: Safer

Air fryers are also safer than most other cooking appliances that are commonly found in modern residential kitchens these days. With an air fryer, you don’t have to worry about radiation like you do with a microwave. And since there’s no hot oil, there’s no risk of starting an oil fire.

This is also a self-controlled appliance, so you don’t have to worry about excessive heat. And once the system is done, it’ll automatically shut off so your food doesn’t burn. Technology has really improved in this space, so cooking these days is a lot more hassle-free.

Pro: Healthier

The air fryer is also a healthier option, and this point has been discussed already. If you don’t want to be consuming a lot of cooking oil, grease, and fats, then you should purchase an air fryer and start cooking with it.

A lot of individuals who are on diets use the air fryer. With this system, they can enjoy the resemblance of fried food without all the health consequences real fried food can’t separate from.

Con: Price

There are a lot of air fryers out there these days, but the high-performance and visually attractive ones cost a pretty penny. Some air fryers double as pressure cookers, and others feature multi-layer racks for grilling and steaming.

Is a complex air fryer like this worth buying? This is something that only an individual can decide for themselves. If you want to combine many appliances in one, then getting a multifunctional air fryer would be a good move.

Con: Size

Another downside of air fryers is the limited capacity. If you’re only cooking for yourself and another person, then you won’t have a problem getting by with an air fryer. But air fryers aren’t best for families, especially large families.

If you have more than four individuals living in your home, then perhaps you should stick to using the microwave or oven. This doesn’t mean you can’t use an air fryer; you just can’t use it on a large scale.

Microwave Background

Microwaves may seem like new technology, but they’ve actually been around for multiple decades. The first microwave was invented during WWII, and the first commercial model was sold to the public in 1946.

A microwave exposes food to electromagnetic radiation, and this is what heats the food. Water molecules within the food are heated, and this is why food can sometimes feel hot in the center but cooler on the outside.

Microwaves heat in a very unique way. This method, however, means you can’t heat some things in the microwave. For example, you need to refrain from putting metallic items in the microwave, as the radiation will bounce off the medal and cause sparks or a fire.

Using a Microwave

Microwaves are often used for reheating and defrosting food, but they can heat liquids adequately as well. One thing to keep in mind when using a microwave is that you’re not doing anything to boost the food’s flavor. This is why individuals don’t initially cook with a microwave; they use a pan or oven to make the food and save the microwave for reheating.

Sometimes, a microwave will not heat a piece of food all the way through; this is why you should refrain from trying to reheat thick items in the microwave. You’ll want to avoid overheating as well.

Do You Need Appliance Repair Services?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Owning a Microwave and an Air Fryer

Microwaves and air fryers cook in fundamentally different ways, which means that one appliance is better for certain types of cooking than the other. For example, if you want to heat something up quickly, then this is when the microwave will be best. But if you want to cook something thoroughly through—without hot oil or a bulky oven—then this is when the air fryer will be superior to the microwave.

Matthew Mountain
Matthew Mountain

Matt loves everything DIY. He has been learning and practicing different trades since he was a kid, and he's often the first one called when a friend or family member needs a helping hand at home. Matt loves to work with wood and stone, and landscaping is by far his most favorite pastime.

More by Matthew Mountain