Airfryer Vs Microwave Oven – What’s the Difference & Which is Better?

Kitchen appliances in the market have made cooking processes easier. Many light and heavy dishes can be made in a fraction of seconds with the help of appliances like air fryers and microwave ovens.

Microwave ovens use electromagnetic waves to transfer heat from the inside to the outside of wet food that has moisture present in it.

Whereas, air fryer is used for advanced cooking styles of frying items in less oil to achieve similar taste, fragrance and textures like that of traditional deep fryers.

This article will help you understand the difference and relativity between these appliances by explaining their functions and benefits.

Difference between Air fryer & Microwave Oven

With the help of below mentioned points, we understand the difference in functions of air fryer and microwave oven:

Heating Method

  • Microwave ovens produce microwaves that create vibration of water molecules in the food. This vibration of molecules generates the required heat to fry food items.
  • Air fryers have an inbuilt heating coil that heats up and allows the fan to blow the heat. This process helps in maintaining uniform heating for an evenly cooked result.
  • Both appliances use different heating methods for cooking purpose and have different benefits of their techniques.
  • Microwave ovens cook food quickly in a short span which saves energy and time for the user. However, due to the quick cooking and frying processes, the flavour of the food is sometimes lost or may not come out correctly.
  • Whereas with an air fryer, the cooking time is longer which results in crispy and flavourful dishes. However, the time taken for cooking is very huge compared to microwave ovens.

Temperature Role

  • While considering the benefits of cooking devices, hot air circulation is an important characteristic to be compared.
  • Hot air is evenly distributed in regular and convection ovens with automatic temperature adjustment. It is easier to cook food for the user.
  • The hot air quickly passes from the centre to the sides, adequately heating every portion of the food. The delivery of heat is accurate and if used correctly it will almost never result in undercooked food.
  • Air fryers have a different culinary experience that features a slow cooking process which is better for desserts and flavourful food. It also helps in limiting the amount of oil.
  • Convection ovens may not be able to cook delicate slow cooking-process dishes in the right manner with the right flavourful results.

Energy Efficiency

  • Air fryers take time to reach the required cooking temperature. Hence the powerful cooking temperature it operates on is for a less amount of time.
  • There are differences in energy consumption based on the wattage power of the air fryer model. However, the most maximum consumption is around 1200-1500 during the high power cooking time.
  • Whereas microwave ovens consume as high as 1200 watts for 30 minutes a day. It also consumes 2-7 watts of additional energy when kept on standby mode.

Hygiene and Health Considerations

  • Both appliances promote healthy and hygienic techniques of cooking through even heat distribution. Hot air circulation takes place with the use of a fan to blow hot air in all directions.
  • Unlike traditional ovens, convection ovens allow temperature control which helps in accessing different styles of cooking with the same appliance.
  • Convection microwaves also provide convenience compared to frying pans and deep fryers as it requires a small amount of oil. It ensures that the food is cooked with less amount of oil by utilising the juices and moisture already present in the food item.
  • However, air fryers are a healthier option as it does not require the addition of extra oil at all. It cooks food items at high temperatures to the lower cooking time.
  • In the air fryer cooking process, a lot of nutrient and moisture is retained in the food item.

Technology Used

  • Microwave ovens operate with electromagnetic radiation through micro-waves that heat food items.
  • Air fryers have systems that work with radiated heat to cook foods. This eliminates the risk posed by the use of harmful electromagnetic radiation.

Cooking Capacity

  • While comparing the benefits of cooking devices the size and capacity of the unit is an important factor.
  • Convection ovens are big, cannot be placed on counter tops and have limited mobility which makes cooking uncomfortable.
  • However, microwave ovens have a large space and good capacity for multiple food preparations and large quantity cooking.
  • Air fryers also have large chambers that hold a good amount of food. They have a compact design and can be easily placed or stored on counter tops.

Is Cooking With an Air Fryer Healthy?

Air fryers operate with a hot air circulation technique that cooks the food item with a crunchy and crispy exterior. It is considered a healthy way of cooking as it requires a very less amount of oil.

However, it produces the same texture and similar taste that is achieved by deep fry cooking. It lowers the overall fat content of the food and prevents the risk of heart diseases and inflammation.

Consumption of food prepared in air fryers also cuts down calorie intake and helps in promoting weight loss.

It also helps in reducing the formation and consumption of harmful compounds formed while deep frying food items.

Though air frying is considered healthier than deep frying, it may still be associated with many negative health effects.

Consuming fried food regularly may lead to heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Can Air Fryer replace microwave?

Microwave ovens have spacious designs and offer high cooking capacity as compared to the air fryer. It works and heats up food faster than an air fryer and can effectively and safely heat up liquids.

Some functions and techniques of both the appliances may be similar but that does not ensure they can be replaced by the other.

Both appliances have their own set of benefits that allow specific cooking tasks being performed in the best way.  Air fryers cut down calorie intake by up to 80% by reducing the use of oil. However, it takes a long time to reheat or cook any food.

On the other hand, microwave ovens may not be a good option for frying food items.

It will heat up the oil but due to controlled heating temperature, it will not allow the oil to pass the boiling point which is important for frying food. Oil with low-temperature cooking can only result in sautéing of food.

Is an air fryer good for reheating food?

Leftover food items turn soggy and many appliances fail at reheating them perfectly. Some appliances do not reheat the food properly and it does not retain the crisp the food had originally.

Air fryers are a great option to reheat food to make them crispy and fresh again.

Reheating food for barely a few minutes will result in fresh food with the original texture and crisp. It can be used to reheat a variety of food items like pizza, vegetables, french fries and fried meat.

Our Top Picks for Air fryer & Microwave

Best Air Fryer – Philips Daily Collection HD9218 Air Fryer

Philips Daily Collection HD9218 Air Fryer

It allows temperature control up to 200 degree Celsius and has 30-minute timer setting.

Philips Daily Collection Air Fryer is an innovative appliance with Rapid Air Technology. It allows grilling, baking and roasting to cook food items with up to 90% less fat compared to traditional cooking process.

The temperature control feature of up to 200 degree Celsius along with a timer setting of 30 minutes allows easy cooking of a variety of dishes.

This air fryer comes with a long cord length of 1.8 meter for easy functioning and can be used for making fries, aloo tikkis, roasted chicken, grilled vegetables, cakes and more.

It uses less oil and ensures food is crispy on the outside and tender from the inside.

It has a power consumption of 1425 watts and promotes low fat cooking results with its unique design. This appliance creates less smell compared to other fryers and is easy to clean.

Buy on Amazon

Best Microwave Oven – Samsung 23 L Solo Microwave Oven

Samsung Solo Microwave Oven

Innovative technology with a wide distribution of microwaves for evenly cooked food results.

This Samsung Solo Microwave Oven has a capacity of 23 litres and is suitable for families with 3 to 4 members.

It has a maximum cooking time of 99 minutes and can be used for reheating, defrosting and cooking dishes.

The interior has ceramic enamel which prevents bacteria and keeps the oven hygienic. The innovative heating technology ensures heat distribution is uniform for evenly cooked results.

It saves electricity with lower power consumption on standby mode with the touch of a button.

This appliance sports a stylish design and comes with an easy control dial system.

It comes with an elegantly curved handle and ceramic enamel coating on the exterior which is easy to clean. It also has a child lock feature that ensures complete safety.

Buy on Amazon


With this article, we have tried to cover all the necessary points. Consider the information on the different functions and benefits of air fryers and microwave ovens before making a decision. Both appliances have a unique set of functions that cannot be replaced by another.

There is no clear winner in this segment. IT all depends on your requirements.

Air fryers promote a healthier cooking style but take longer to cook meals. Microwave ovens allow quick cooking but are not a good option for delicately cooked flavourful meals. Air fryers make more flavourful meals with crisp edges and exteriors.

This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Know how we select product.