Air Fryer VS Convection Oven: Which Do You Need?

Air fryers have been all the rage over the past couple of years, with numerous air fryer recipes being published on lifestyle websites. Essentially a smaller and more portable version of a convection oven, air fryers utilise the same convection function  use of a fan to circulate hot air throughout the oven  as a countertop convection oven, which allows food to be cooked more quickly than in a traditional oven.

Ninja air fryer max with french fries that were cooked in it   Cuisinart steam convection oven with broccoli and chicken

Ninja Air Fryer Max  $249 | Shop here

Cuisinart Steam Convection Oven  $1021.90 | Shop here

With the similarities between the two appliances, trying to decide on which appliance to purchase can be a huge dilemma. That's precisely why we've compiled a list of considerations that will hopefully help to make this decision-making process much easier!

1. How much kitchen space do you have?

First and foremost, before any other considerations, you need to first consider how much kitchen countertop and storage space you have. If you're working with limited space in your kitchen, an air fryer might be a better choice for you, given its smaller size, relative to that of a convection oven.

Unlike a convection oven that will likely have to remain permanently on your kitchen countertop, an air fryer can also usually be stored away in a cupboard, when not in use (Note: Air fryers tend to be relatively tall, so it might not fit in every cupboard). 

On the other hand, if kitchen space is not an issue for you, either appliance would work just fine for you.  

2. How much time do you have?

Because an air fryer is much smaller in size, it is able to allow air to move around more rapidly, allowing for a shorter pre-heat time. Additionally, with its fan that is in closer proximity to the food, an air fryer is also able to concentrate a large amount of heat onto a relatively small cooking area, allowing food to be cooked more quickly than in a convection oven.

Given its quick pre-heat and cooking time, an air fryer would thus be the perfect appliance for any time-stretched Singaporean who is constantly pressed for time.

(For a list of kitchen appliances that all time-stretched Singaporeans need, head over to this article!)

3. How many mouths are you feeding?

While an air fryer is typically able to cook food in a shorter amount of time given its smaller size, its smaller size also means that it can only cook a smaller quantity of food at once. Unlike a convection oven that can comfortably cook enough food to feed a larger family, an air fryer will probably only be able to cook one to two servings at a time.

Hence, if you're feeding more than two mouths, you'll probably have to cook in multiple batches in the air fryer. This would thus contribute to a longer cooking time and one that might be even longer than the typical amount of time it would take to prepare the same meal in a convection oven. 

Overall, if you're cooking for only one or two people, the air fryer might be the perfect tool for you since you would be able to enjoy cooking this smaller portion of food in a shorter amount of time. However, if you're cooking for a larger family, the time-saving argument of the air fryer might not be relevant for you, and it might thus make more sense to purchase a convection oven instead. 

4.What kind of dishes do you typically prefer preparing?

If you're going to be cooking things like frozen food, chicken wings or meatballs, the air fryer would definitely be more than sufficient for you. However, if you're intending to experiment with various recipes, to bake and are simply looking for something a little more versatile, a convection oven would definitely be a better option given its larger size. 

Baking is still completely possible in the air fryer (For an air fryer brownie recipe, click here!). However, the air fryer's ability to make baked goods is not equal for all varieties of baked goodies. While cookies might turn out perfectly in the air fryer, breads, cakes and muffins might do better in a convection oven instead.  

(For some air fryer recipes, head over to this article: 6 Healthy Air Fryer Recipes That Are Worth The Shot)

5. What are your thoughts on cleaning? 

For those who aren't fans of cleaning and absolutely detest the idea of it, you might want to skip out on the air fryer and simply purchase a convection oven instead. Both appliances are definitely much easier to clean up than cooking on a stovetop, which typically requires you to wash your pots and pans, cooking utensils as well as the stove itself and its surrounding areas.

However, unlike convection ovens which are pretty much a breeze to clean since you'd only have to wash the baking pan, air fryers require a little more time and care for cleaning up. To clean an air fryer, you would have to wash both the perforated basket and the bucket that it fits in. If you're cooking foods like chicken wings or salmon that tend to have slightly more fat, there will probably be a lot of dripping, which can make the cleaning process a little more challenging and time-consuming. 

Overall, making a decision on whether you should purchase an air fryer versus a convection oven is one that has to be based on your personal preferences and needs. If you have any further questions regarding these products, feel free to reach out to our customer support team at or our live chat, and we’ll be more than happy to help!




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