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Air Fryer vs Microwave Oven: Explained: Difference between an Air Fryer and a Microwave Oven

Air Fryer vs Microwave Oven 

A modern kitchen is equipped with all the necessary gadgets that enable us to have an easy life. The environment that we live in is quite fast-paced, and we are highly dependent on this kitchen equipment to help us cook meals on the go. Two gadgets that are found at home in our kitchens and in our hearts are the air fryer and the microwave. Both come with their strengths and functionalities and provide us with a hassle-free cooking experience. The question is not really which is better among the two, or air fryer vs microwave, they both have their set of pros and cons, rather, it is important to understand your needs and requirements before you decide to bring home either one or both of the gadgets.

Let’s deep dive into the difference between air fryers and microwaves, the technology they use to cook meals and their benefits.

On what Principle does a Microwave Work?

As the name suggests, microwaves use electromagnetic waves to heat food. These tiny particles of waves make the water molecules in the food vibrate, thereby generating heat to cook food. Microwave radiation uses a high amount of energy and hence cooks the food faster as compared to a conventional oven.

What are the Uses of a Microwave Oven and its benefits?

It is a common misconception that a microwave is only used to reheat food. We can use a microwave to cook and bake food as well. Some benefits of using a microwave are:

It is budget-friendly :
When we talk about the price points, a microwave is more affordable as compared to an air fryer.

Quick and easy to cook :
As we know, microwaves vibrate water molecules present in the food, this generates heat and cooks the food quickly. Using a microwave is the quickest way to cook or reheat food.

Cooks food in large quantities :
Since the microwave cooks food fast, we can cook large quantities of food using this device.

Multifunctional and handy :
Microwave not only reheats food but it is also used in cooking and baking. Even if you just need to heat a pizza, or coffee or even make desserts, you can count on a microwave to deliver the result.

On What Principle Does an Air Fryer Work? 
Air fryers work on the principle of convection. There are tiny coils and a fan present in the air fryer oven, these coils heat up and the fan distributes hot air around to evenly heat food. Additionally, an air fryer requires little to no oil to cook food, this helps to retain the nutritional content of the food and makes the food healthy and crispy at the same time.

What are the Uses of an Air Fryer and its Benefits?

Air fryers have a special place in hearts and there are a variety of reasons for the same. Take a look at some of the benefits of an air fryer:

Uses little to no oil to cook food

It is a given fact that air fryers cook food with as less as one tablespoon of oil and sometimes even less. An air fryer takes about 20-30 minutes to cook food, however, it retains the taste and flavours of the food.

Promotes weight loss

Eating what we like should not have to come at the cost of our health. With an air fryer at home, you can eat all the fried items such as chicken, french fries, veggies etc without having to deep fry it. But not deep frying food you are taking away any excess oil that would otherwise cause health issues or make you gain weight.

Safe to use

Another important thing to remember is that traditional cooking requires us to heat oil in an open pan. This can lead to spillage and even burns if not handled with care. With an air fryer, you have no such trouble, all you need to do is place the food item in the bottom rack, sprinkle one spoon of oil if you like and get cooking.

Low on maintenance

An air fryer is quite simple to maintain and easy to store. To clean the gadget, you just need to remove the bottom compartment and wash and cleanly store it.

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Air Fryer vs Microwave Oven- The Difference

Capacity:

When it comes to capacity, microwaves have a higher capacity than an air fryer. Since food can be reheated and cooked fast in a microwave, batch cooking is easily possible. However, the capacity of an air fryer is small and food can be cooked in relatively small batches.

Health:

A microwave uses electromagnetic radiation to cook and this may not be healthy for your body. On the other hand, the air fryer’s working principle is the convection method and uses just about one spoon of oil or less to cook food. Between the air fryer vs microwave oven, in this case, the air fryer is a more healthy option to go for.

Variety:

While air fryers only let you healthily fry different kinds of food, a microwave oven lets you bake and reheat food. Certain food items are easier to cook in a microwave as compared to an airfryer.

Sizes:

The size of the microwave is measured in inches and it ranges from 10 -11 inches in height to about 22 inches. Whereas the size of an air fryer is measured in quarts, the smallest is about 1-2 quarts which are deemed fit for 1-2 people and the largest is about 5.8 quarts which work for five people or more.

Comparison Table - Air Fryer vs Microwave Oven 

Details

Microwave

Air Fryer 

Technology used

Electromagnetic waves

Convection

Affordability

Starts at about Rs. 4500

Slightly expensive, costs around Rs. 6000

Health

Needs more oil to cook food

Uses minimum to no oil to cook food

Time

Cooks food in about 5-10 minutes or less

Requires around 20-30 minutes to cook food

Taste of the food

Food may lose flavour or taste whilst cooking

Retains the food taste and flavour

Maintenance

Low maintenance, just requires you to wash the rotating plate after usage

Low maintenance as well. Just requires you to pull the bottom compartment and wash and clean it.

 

What materials can you use in a microwave and an air fryer?

Microwave:
In a microwave, you can use dishes made of ceramic, plastic, glass, silicone or paper sheet

Air fryer:
In an air fryer, you can use dishes made of ceramic, metal, aluminium foil, glass, silicone and even wood.

What are some of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Air fryers and Microwaves?

Microwave

Advantages of the microwave are:
Saves time when it comes to reheating or cooking food.
Super simple and easy to use.
Low on maintenance

Disadvantages of the microwave are:
Uneven heating of food, some areas may remain cold, whereas some may be extremely hot
Uses electromagnetic radiation to cook food, the food loses its nutritional value
Food may lose taste and sometimes become stretchy.

Air Fryer

Advantages of the air fryer are:
Easy to prepare super healthy and nutritious meals
Simple to wash, clean, store and maintain
Flavourful and tasty meal is ready within no time

Disadvantages of air fryer are:
Takes more time to cook meals compared to a microwave
The surface gets hot when food starts to cook in the internal compartment, care must be taken to avoid touching it.
Can only cook food with the given presents, less variety of options compared to a microwave.

How To Decide What To Buy Between Airfryer vs Microwaves?

Buying an air fryer or microwave boils down to what your needs and requirements are. For starters, if you are looking to invest in a gadget that quickly heats the food for you, helps you defrost, bake or even grill food then the microwave is a better option. It allows to do all these functions and that too much faster than an air fryer.

An air fryer on the other hand is a healthy way to fry food. Most food items that require you would traditionally deep fry can be cooked in an air fryer with little to no oil. So if you are looking to eat healthily then an air fryer is a perfect choice.

 

Frequently asked questions

1. Is an Air Fryer a healthier alternative than a Microwave?
Yes, an air fryer cooks food with little to no oil, hence it is a much healthier option as compared to a microwave.

2. Which among the two, Air Fryer vs Microwave consumes more power?
While a microwave may use up to 1200 watts of power for, say about 30 minutes they are still considered to be more energy-efficient than air fryers which use around 1200-1500 watts of power.

3. Are Air Fryers safer as compared to Microwaves?
Air fryers usually turn hot on the outside when the food is cooking in the inner compartment, so there is the risk of hurting oneself. For the microwave, on the other hand, you can still use the handle to remove and insert food into the compartment.

In terms of the health factor, food cooked in an air fryer is more healthy and nutritious than in a microwave.

 

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