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Air Fryer vs Microwave

Air Fryer vs Microwave. Since its inception, the Microwave revolutionized how we eat. Its quick, effective and most importantly, convenient. However, a new type of appliance is taking the cooking world by storm, the Air Fryer. It promises to give you deep fried like food without the splatter. Like the Microwave, its relatively quick and convenient. Best of all, it beats the microwave in one critical component, it taste better. Does that mean it should replace the Microwave? I dont think so, this article will go deeper about the difference between the Air Fryer and the Microwave.

Which is Better? Air Fryer or Microwave

In terms of taste, I would say that the Air Fryer wins each time. However, for quickness Microwave is better. But you have delve a little deeper into how each work. Once you understand that, you can see the benefit of both.

How does a Microwave and Air Fryer Cook Food?

Microwaves are work by exciting water molecules in food. As a result, food can be heated from the inside out simultaneously. Its very effective in heating things with liquid especially water. Understanding that, you can see the benefit it has. I would argue that one of the best way to get cooked/steam vegetables is via a microwave. All you need to do is put it in a container with some butter and salt and heat.

With a Air Fryer, it works via convection. A heating element is present as well as a large fan. As the coils generate heat, the fan circulates the hot air around the food. As the surface is heated, it slowly penetrate deep into the food. This is different from the simultaneous cooking method of the Microwave. The benefit of this method is its very similar to how baked food is. The outside will eventually dry and start to caramelize. This is known as a Maillard reaction. When this occurs, more flavor compound develop making it taste different. Texture starts to change and it develops a crispy almost deep fried flavor.

To be clear, in spite of its name, the air fryer does not actually fry. With Deep Frying, its a whole different method of cooking. For more information, you can look at our article on Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer.

Is the Air Fryer Safer than A Microwave?

There is little inherent danger in either appliance. Although a lot of people do fear that Microwave cause radiation, its overblown. The Microwave is designed so that no radiation can escape its cage. With either appliance, the only way it can hurt you is via heat. Sometimes it will get hot and you touch it unexpectedly.

Air Fryer vs Microwave Health

Health wise, you wont notice a difference. Neither uses more oil unless you add more to it. The only way one food would be healthier than the other is the way you cook it. Some recipes require more oil for a Air Fryer so it can add more calories. The same is true for some Microwave recipes. Maybe it requires more cheese or something. That can also add more calories. However, these appliance wont affect your health adversely.

When to use What Appliance?

Since it can be confusing, I have a little guide on which appliance to use. For things like Pizza, Breaded Food, Wings, Meats and other food that needs extra flavor, then a Air Fryer is better. For foods where a lot of moisture is present like Soups, Steamed Vegetable, Reheating Bread, Rice and drinks the Microwave is better.


Both a Microwave and Air Fryer are great appliance and essential. While I think the flavor from Air Fryer is better, there is still a place for a Microwave. It works faster and is better at heating liquid. The Energy used by Air Fryer is also greater. Since it needs to work via convection, its not as efficient. When its needed, I use a Air Fryer. However, for most other task, I use the Microwave.

Looking for a Air Fryer? Check our our article on the Best Air Fryer.

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