Can an Air Fryer Replace a Microwave? Factual Comparison!

An air fryer and microwave are both abundant in features. But when it comes to bulk cooking, heating or searing beverages, and preparing food speed, the difference arises. Your utilization and food preparation methods will determine if your air fryer can completely replace your microwave or not.

So, can an air fryer replace a microwave? Because it doesn’t offer the same convenience, speed, or cooking process as a microwave, an air fryer cannot take its place. You should choose an air fryer if you enjoy cooking fresh and frozen vegetables, fresh and frozen meat, and prefer crunchiness.

Well, there are a lot of other factors that make air fryers different from microwaves. Let’s find them out!

air fryer vs microwave can an air fryer replace a microwave

What is the Function of an Air Fryer?

The air fryer uses a motor fan to quickly move hot air over the meal. This hot air will help to prepare the meal and create a crunchy surface using the Maillard technique. This way, an air fryer cooks and crisps meals using heated air.

There is a heating coil or a laser bulb that helps to generate heat. The meal will be cooked rapidly and accurately as a result of the heat. This will give it a crunchy exterior and delicious interior.

When you compare an air fryer to a convection oven both cook similarly. Where the air fryer’s cooking area is less and only a tablespoon of oil is applied to the dish, it produces greater outcomes. Also, it is preferable for all kinds of foods. You will get a crunchier and crispy meal as a result.

In this way, it will consume fewer calories. When comparing an air fryer to a microwave oven, cooking time is also quicker. In this way, you can see that there are a lot of differences between an air fryer and a microwave.

What is the Working Procedure of a Microwave?

Microwave ovens prepare food differently from regular ovens and do not need to warm up first. Because of this, they can heat meals more quickly than a typical oven in your home.

A microwave circulates through the meal as it turns on a glass container and lets it cook uniformly. An equal amount of meat can be cooked in a microwave oven approximately six times quicker than in a normal oven.

Additionally, they use less electricity than a typical oven. The microwave has a sealed steel frame jar that prevents any radiation from escaping. Moreover, it is equipped with several fail-safes to ensure that people can utilize it correctly.

The resonator is a component within the microwaves and produces electromagnetic rays. If you check the power system, which is on the right side of the oven, you can notice the resonator.

How an Air Fryer and a Microwave are Different from Each Other?

how an Air Aryer and a Microwave are Different from Each Other

Let’s now proceed on to the distinctions between the two machines such as an air fryer and a microwave so that you can have a clear view.

  • Heating Time

Similar to an Air fryer, a microwave can warm meals significantly faster. This is because the meal heats up immediately due to the microwave’s interaction with the water droplets. An Air fryer is slower and can require up to 5 minutes to fully preheat.

On the other hand, a microwave will require a few seconds to minutes. Due to the internal heating system, an air fryer takes longer to prepare and heat foodstuff.

After the coil has heated up, the food is heated fully and uniformly by excess heat. This hot air will be pumped quickly around it. While slower than a microwave oven, an air fryer is far quicker than any traditional oven.

  • Food Texture

You can cook food in an air fryer to get a golden and crunchy texture, and a delicate interior. Pizzas, fried chicken, French fries, as well as delectable desserts and sweets, you can prepare all using an air fryer. In short, an air fryer fries meals from the outside and distributes heat internally.

On the other hand, food is cooked entirely in a microwave. The waves disperse from the inside out when it combines with the food molecules.

The water droplets become dry if you microwave them for a long time. It works well for preparing espresso and tea as well as warming meals and drinks.

  • Different and Latest Functions

In comparison to a microwave, an air fryer is more adaptable. There is a quick circulation of heated air in a tiny container. Besides its ability to air fry, it can perfectly prepare food.

With little experience and the correct equipment, you can bake, roast, reheat, and fry about anything within an Air fryer. Only boiling beverages or water are the major differences.

For reheating meals, stews, and beverages, microwaves are excellent. On the other side, rice and pasta can be prepared quickly in a microwave.

  • Multiple Health Advantages

Food is simply and quickly cooked in an air fryer using hot air. It distributes heat as a microwave does instead of emitting radiation. The producers of microwave ovens assert that they do not change the nutritional value of meals.

On the other side, NIH (National Institute for Health) research found that microwave heating enhanced the amount of acrylamide in meals. It is a neurotoxin and cancer-causing chemical.

When food has been heated to a high temperature in an air fryer, the amount of acrylamide in the meal reduces. This is because meals prepare rapidly in dry and heated air.

  • Food Preparing Capacity

A microwave is a sizable appliance that makes it simple to prepare food in large quantities. Besides how much meal you prepare, it will be ready for consumption in 30 minutes.

On the other hand, an air fryer can’t be utilized to prepare large quantities of food as it is compact in size. For bulk foodstuff, you must prepare it in many rounds because of its small size, or in some cases large size double basket air fryers can be helpful.

A maximal limit for an air fryer also appears and you will have to stick to it. The restriction ensures that the heating and circulation are dispersed appropriately in the air fryer.

  • Temperature Variations

In comparison to microwaves, an air fryer prepares food at a lower temperature. You will have a lot of temperature possibilities with a microwave. Based on your brand, the temperature adjustment can be as higher as you like.

Based on the model, an air fryer can reach temperatures of up to 400 degrees F which is approximately 200 degrees C. On the other hand, it prepares meals properly and uniformly due to quick hot airflow.

  • Maintenance and Clean Up

Due to their size, ovens are harder to clean than Air fryers. You will have to ensure that the cleaning supplies are free of dangerous substances. It is because they are highly flammable. To find hidden spaces within a microwave, you will have to look inside deeply.

An air fryer is small and lightweight and has removable and dishwasher-safe elements. An air fryer is simple to clean. You can use a dishwasher, or wipe it with lukewarm water and soap.

The compressor and coils within the air fryer are extremely durable and long-lasting. After cleansing, both machines need to be wiped off and dried before usage.

  • Power Usage

In comparison to a microwave, an air fryer uses less power and is more effective. For a long time, it only requires 1200–1600 watts of power. But it is also based on the model. That energy is used up by a microwave in 30 minutes.

Additionally, the microwave includes a rest phase that uses up to 7 watts of power. Also, a standby option is not available on an air fryer.

Which is a Better Option a Microwave Oven or an Air Fryer?

It is essential to know the distinctions between an air fryer and a microwave oven before making your decision. To sum it up, air fryers are much healthier and better than microwaves.

While adding a little quantity of oil to a microwave will be necessary, air fryers don’t need any oil at all. It is because they are effective of doing frying, baking, and other tasks that don’t even involve the use of oil. Air fryers do not require oil as they cook a meal using hot air.

In this way, using an air fryer is a healthy option if you are seeking a better choice.

Furthermore, you can accomplish more with them over time because they are more adaptable than ovens. So, when it is to comparison, air fryers are the best options to cook healthy and crunchy meals without using oil.

Benefits of Using an Air Fryer

Benefits of Using an Air Fryer over a microwave

Although air fryers are widely used machines, some people are unsure of how they work. The efficiency of this machine can vary between makers and types, just like any other machine.

On the other hand, you can consider the following benefits when utilizing an air fryer:

  • Fried food can be enjoyed while having less fat
  • You can adjust the duration to within a few seconds
  • Cleaning air fryers is not difficult at all
  • Hot oil can be used without getting burned
  • Many different foods can be fried in air fryers

Both deep frying and pan-frying result in a lot of hot oil. In the situation that a small amount of water is spilled on the heated oil, it could ignite and burn you.

When utilizing an air fryer to cook your meal, there is no need to be afraid of fire, flare-ups, or explosions. The machine can support itself completely. Fried dishes can be cooked in the fryer and they use very little oil.

Additionally, air fryers are very versatile. A vast range of dishes and desserts can be made with air fryers. Also, any kind of frozen vegetable and meal can be cooked. Some air frying appliances can also bake, broil, and roast your meal.

Drawbacks of Using an Air Fryer

Though air fryers are wonderful kitchen machines, there are a few downsides to take into account. The following are the two most significant issues:

  • There isn’t much frying spare capacity with air fryers
  • There are chances that the preparation of your food will take a bit longer if you overfill

Unlike traditional deep fryers, air fryers are compact. They have been designed to be set on a countertop without occupying a lot of space. The kinds of meals you can make can be limited because air fryers have less cooking area than microwaves.

Benefits of Using a Microwave

Benefits of Using a Microwave
  • Microwave ovens efficiently reheat meals
  • Microwaves Cook food faster as compared to air fryers
  • A microwave is great for precise and accurate frying as it cooks equally from inside and outside
  • It is easy to use a microwave

The ability to prepare meals quickly is the microwave’s main benefit. Unlike other sources of heat, microwaves can make meals in the shortest time.

You can cook meat in a microwave oven 6 times quicker than in a conventional oven. It requires much less time to microwave a few dishes of chicken as compared to an air fryer. An air fryer will require anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.

The microwave takes more energy than air fryers but as they cook faster so they can be considered energy efficient. They are very quick to quickly start and prepare meals. As a result of not having to delay for the machine to warm, overall power consumption will be reduced.

Additionally, microwaves are quite precise. Also, it is easy to operate a microwave. You can simply place the food in the oven, and adjust the power and time. Then you can enjoy it while you wait for the food to prepare. You will have to take the container out so you can turn or rotate the meal.

Also read: Can an Air Fryer Replace a Toaster Oven?

Drawbacks of Using a Microwave

You can rapidly and accurately make meals in a microwave oven. Sadly, using a microwave has several drawbacks based on the type of meal you are cooking.

The following are a few of the most significant problems with these appliances:

  • Your food can become dry in the oven
  • Thick foods cannot dissolve in ovens
  • The flavor might be destroyed by ovens

Microwaves cook meals by warming the water droplets within the meals. So, they can dry out your foodstuff. You can place a wet hand towel on the pan while cooking a dry-form dish such as a frozen sandwich or reheated pizza. It will help to protect the food from dryness.

The inability of ovens to reach thick meals is another drawback. The magnetic coil produces a wave that only penetrates the foodstuff by one or two inches. In this way, the meal will not cook properly from the inside.

On the other side, the interior part of the meal will not get as warm as the exterior part of the meal. Luckily, most of the food items that you prepare in the microwave don’t become too sticky to be a problem.

Can an Air Fryer Replace a Microwave?

No, an air fryer won’t take the place of a microwave. Both machines can prepare meals quickly and accurately. But how they prepare meals is different in both appliances.

Food is cooked in a microwave oven by heating the water droplets there. It makes preparing items like frozen food or warming leftovers quick and more efficient.

On the other side, an air fryer cooks food using heated air. This implies that cooking in an air fryer can take a bit longer than cooking in a microwave.

Moreover, you can utilize an air fryer to brown and crunch items that wouldn’t look very appealing coming out of microwaves. For example, if you cook French fries in a microwave, they will become soggy.

So, a microwave is still your best alternative if you are seeking simplicity and speed. Thus, an air fryer is the best option if you want precisely crisp chicken wings or cooked veggies.

An air fryer is unquestionably the best choice if you are seeking a healthy method of preparing your meal. Unlike microwave ovens, air fryers don’t need any oil at all to prepare meals.

You can now eat fried, baked, or grilled meals without concern about the negative medical complications of oil.

In this way, you can see that both appliances have the same and different aspects that make them different from each other.


Can an air fryer replace a microwave? Although an air fryer works better as a substitute for a normal or convective oven, microwaves are quicker and more practical. So, this indicates that you cannot replace an air fryer with a microwave.

In this blog post, I have clearly explained all the factors and aspects that make the air fryer different from the microwave. The way of working, speed, and features make them distinct.

Do you want to add up your opinions? Do share them in the comment section!


Your convection oven can function as an air fryer. Even though it can be less efficient as compared to using a tabletop air fryer, you will get excellent results. You will have more food preparation space to deal in a conventional oven.

Yes, microwave air fryers are beneficial. They provide the greatest features of both machines. They allow for speedy food heating using the microwave option as well as quick browning and crisping of meals using the air fryer option.

Yes, you can utilize an air fryer as a microwave. Similar to how you use the microwave’s tray to prepare or warm up foodstuff, you put meals in the air fryer basket or the oven’s racks.

Mery kitchen aims

Mery Webber

Mery Webber, the founder of Kitchen Aims, is a passionate home cook with extensive experience in the kitchen appliance industry. Through her blog, she aims to share her knowledge and help readers create the perfect kitchen.

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