Air Fryer vs Toaster Oven – 7 The Notable Differences

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Air fryer vs toaster oven – what are the differences between the two? Air fryers are increasingly becoming popular kitchen appliances across the globe. This is mostly because chefs and cooks have realized the benefits associated with these fryers over traditional toaster ovens. Most people love the convenience that an air fryer presents when preparing meals in the kitchen. For instance, these appliances do not require you to oil the food you are cooking. Instead, these appliances cook food by passing hot air over the food.

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To understand the differences between an air fryer and a toaster oven, it is crucial to know the definition and mode of operation of each of these appliances.

What is an air fryer?

The best definition of an air fryer is a classy and compact kitchen appliance designed to use air currents for preparing meals. These appliances are fitted with powerful and high-performance fans that circulate hot air at high speeds thereby delivering crispy meals that have fried textures and properties. These appliances bring about a ‘deep frying’ effect and feeling without using cooking oil.

These appliances are convenient in that they are just plugged and use. They save you the trouble of having to buy oil for preparing deep-fried meals with crispy and crunch textures. The fans in these toasters have dehydrating effects which in turn crisp food in the same way that deep-frying does. This makes air fryers to be worthy investments for people losing weight and those battling obesity.

How do you use an air fryer for preparing food?

Air fryers come with removable buckets that house the baskets that sit on top of drip trays. These are appliances are quite easy to use. To start the cooking process, all you need to do is remove the bucket then place your food items in the basket and then push the basket inside the appliance. You should then adjust the timer and temperature control depending on the food you are preparing.

How do you use an air fryer for preparing food

Since the heating elements in air fryers are placed at the top side of the appliance, you will have to shake the basket severally. This is so that the cook can be cooked evenly especially when preparing foods whose ingredients are closely stacked together.

Defining a toaster oven

A toaster is basically a conventional oven that uses radiant heat from heating elements to cook food. Heating elements in toaster ovens are placed at the top and/or the bottom parts of the toaster. For older toast oven models, these heating elements are either placed at the top or bottom; but not in both parts.

Due to the mode of operation of the toaster oven, these ovens are ideally slower compared to air fryers. Additionally, their energy consumption is considerably higher than that of air fryers. However, toaster ovens are roomier in comparison to air fryers. This is because air fryers are designed with small interior spaces to confine in small spaces for efficiency.

How do you use a toaster oven?

Toaster ovens are straightforward to use. You just need to place your food on a pan, put the pan in the oven and then close the airtight door. After closing the door, you should then set the countdown timer and temperature according to the recipe you are preparing. Modern toaster ovens come with pre-set functions and hence you may not need to set these parameters manually.

Which are the main differences between air fryers vs toaster ovens?

Air fryer vs toaster oven has the following differences:

Cooking methods

Modern toaster ovens come with a wide range of cooking options and methods. These options are such as toasting, grilling, baking, and roasting. However, these toaster ovens are only limited to basic cooking and food preparation methods.

Air fryers on the hand are designed to execute all the cooking options and functions of toaster ovens. In addition to this, these fryers come with additional functions that include air frying and dehydrating. As such, air fryers are more flexible in their cooking options as compared to toaster ovens.

Maintenance and ease of cleaning

There is nothing more convenient about using ovens than owning a toaster that is effortless and easy to clean. This is the convenience that comes with air fryers. Since these fryers do not require oil when preparing meals, they are effortless to wipe clean in all parts including the drip pans in the fryers. Additionally, these appliances are constructed using non-stick materials.

Toaster ovens are also easy to clean due to their non-stick surfaces. However, since you have to use oil when using toaster ovens, cleaning is considerably harder as you have to clean the mess left by the oil. As such, you may need to use cleaning detergents and water to remove the oily mess that remains after cooking. In addition to this, toaster ovens are more susceptible to staining than air fryers.

Cooking speed

Air fryers are quite fast when it comes to cooking food. This is because the high-performance fans in these toasters produce intense and extra-hot air that cooks food quickly. Ideally, the cooking time in air fryers is half the time taken by ovens to prepare the same food in the same conditions. However, there are rare instances when toaster ovens are faster than air fryers. For instance, when toasting bread slices, a toaster oven will take a shorter time to toast the slices as compared to an air fryer.

Cooking space

air fryer vs toaster oven cooking place
Cooking place in toaster oven wider air fryer

Toaster ovens are bulkier and larger than air fryers. As such, these ovens tend to take cooking space in the kitchen than air fryers. What is more to note about these fryers is that they are compact in their shapes and sizes thereby making them space-efficient.

Since the recent past, manufacturers of toaster ovens are now designing compact toasters that have better capability and performance as the traditionally large ovens.


Generally, air fryers are pricier than toaster ovens. Therefore, you should be prepared to spend more on an air fryer than you would for a toaster oven. However, the maintenance of air fryers is more affordable than that of toaster ovens. Therefore, if you invest in a toaster oven you can end up spending more in the long run as their maintenance is higher and expensive.

Power usage

The high-performance fans in air fryers have high consumption. Therefore, these fryers tend to consume more power than toaster ovens. However, there is a catch when it comes to the power consumption of toaster ovens. This is because these ovens cook for longer sessions than air fryers. As such, the power consumption difference between these two kitchen appliances is negligible.


Generally, both of these appliances are safe and pose no direct safety hazard to their users. However, the safety of these appliances depends on how well they are used. For starters, you need to follow the manufacturer’s guide on how to use the appliances. Additionally, since the appliances have electrical components, you should never operate the appliances using wet hands. This is for purposes of avoiding electrocution.


Both of these kitchen appliances are powerful, efficient, and reliable in their own right. While air fryers are seemingly the better option, it is worth noting that toaster ovens are equally efficient. When choosing between the two, consider your needs, preferences, and personal tastes. This will go a long way in enabling you to settle on the appliance that is right for you.

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