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Air Fryer Vs Microwave Oven: A Complete Buying Guide!


Do you want to elevate your culinary experience but are confused between an air fryer and a microwave oven? This article will explain to you the difference, pros, cons, and usage of an air fryer vs a microwave oven. So you can decide which appliance deserves a spot in your kitchen.

- Updated: 28th Nov 2022, 18:31 IST
  • 1
    What is an air fryer?
  • 2
    How does an air fryer work?
  • 3
    Pros And Cons Of An Air Fryer
  • 4
    What is a microwave oven?
  • 5
    How does a microwave oven work?
  • 6
    Pros And Cons Of A Microwave Oven
  • 7
    Air Fryer Vs Microwave Oven: Key Differences
    • Technology Used To Cook Food
    • Cooking Capacity
    • Temperature Control
    • Cooking Time
    • Health
    • Price
    • Size
    • Noise
    • Versatility
    • Ease Of Use
    • Cleaning
    • Maintenance
    • Power Consumption And Efficiency
  • 8
    Air Fryer Vs Microwave Oven: Summing Up

For many years, the air fryer vs microwave oven debate has been going on. People have constantly been arguing back and forth about which one is better. There is no doubt in that a microwave oven is more convenient. However, air fryers are becoming quite popular as people are looking for healthier cooking options instead of deep frying.

Both kitchen appliances have their fans but if you are confused about which one is better, read on.

By the end of this article, you will have a crystal-clear understanding of which appliance is perfect for your needs. Therefore, without further ado, let us get started.

Also read: Microwave Oven Buying Guide 2022: Everything You Need To Know

What is an air fryer?

Air fryer

The air fryer was invented in the 1970s by a company named Turbochef. It gained popularity after 2010.

An air fryer is a compact countertop appliance that uses little to no oil while cooking or frying food. The air fryer uses hot air to cook food. It circulates heat evenly with the help of a fan. It cooks food from the outside in.

How does an air fryer work?

In an air fryer, convection heating will be used to cook food. An electric heating element produces heat which will be circulated around the food evenly. Generally, all air fryers have a fan. This fan helps circulate the hot air.

Also read: Types Of Microwave Ovens: Complete Buying Guide

Pros And Cons Of An Air Fryer

It cooks food quickly as compared to the microwave oven.Quite expensive
An air fryer makes use of less energy than microwave ovens.Compact in size, so you need to cook food in small batches.
Foods cooked in the air fryer are healthier as compared to deep-fried food.Some people don’t like air-fried food’s smell.
Air fryers are easy to clean.Usually, air-fried food might not be as crispy as deep-fried foods.
Air fryers don’t heat up your kitchen countertop as much as microwave ovens do. 
It promotes weight loss as food is air fried. 
It is safe to use and requires less maintenance. 

What is a microwave oven?

Microwave oven

A microwave oven uses electromagnetic radiation to cook food. This appliance produces water molecules in the food, which in turn produces heat. It is called dielectric heating. A microwave cook food from the inside out.

This kitchen appliance was invented in the 1940s but earned prominent space as a common kitchen appliance in the 1970s. And, till then, it has been around for a long time.

Also read: What Is A Convection Microwave Oven?

How does a microwave oven work?

hpw does microwave oven works?

A microwave oven uses electromagnetic radiation to cook food. These microwaves produce a high-frequency electric field. It becomes the reason for the production of the polar molecules which rotate in food and generate heat which cooks the food.

Pros And Cons Of A Microwave Oven

Inexpensive kitchen applianceIt uses electromagnetic radiation to prepare food. Therefore, food loses its nutritional value and sometimes even taste.
It is easy and quick to cook food in it.Uneven heating of food
In a microwave oven, you can cook food in large quantities. 
A microwave oven offers multi functionalities like cooking, baking, and heating food. 

Air Fryer Vs Microwave Oven: Key Differences

Here are the key differences between an air fryer and a microwave oven.

Technology Used To Cook Food

In an air fryer, rapid air technology is used as a primary source to cook food. Whereas in a microwave oven, electromagnetic waves are used as a primary source to cook food.

Cooking Capacity

An air fryer is compact in size as compared to a microwave oven. Therefore, it can cook less food than a microwave oven.

Also read: 5 Best Inalsa Air Fryer To Buy In India

Temperature Control

When it comes to temperature control, an air fryer is a clear winner as it offers more control over temperature. It means you can easily customise the cooking procedure to make sure the food is cooked evenly.

Cooking Time

Generally, in air fryers, cooking time will be more as compared to a microwave oven.


The air fryer uses minimal to no oil to cook food, whereas a microwave oven requires more oil to cook food. So, food cooked in an air fryer is more nutritious than in a microwave oven.


Typically, microwave ovens are less expensive than air fryers.


Air fryers come in different sizes. However, typically, they are smaller in size as compared to microwaves.


Microwaves make little to no noise, whereas air fryers are relatively noisy.


You can use air fryers only to cook food. However, microwaves can be used to reheat, defrost, and for other tasks.

Also read: 5 Best Air Fryers You Can Buy In India Right Now November 2022

Ease Of Use

In the microwave, all you need to do is, place the food in a microwave-safe container, set the timer, and you are good to go. On the other hand, in the air fryer, you need to add food to the basket, adjust the timer, and wait for the food to cook.


You need to clean air fryers after every use, and it needs more cleaning as compared to microwaves. You need to wash the basket and drawer after each use. On the flip side, to clean the microwave, all you need is a damp cloth.


Microwaves are easy to maintain and require minimal cleaning. However, an air fryer is small in size, so it also will not require much time to maintain.

Power Consumption And Efficiency

A microwave consumes less power than an air fryer.

Also read: 5 Best Philips Air Fryer That You Can Buy In India

Air Fryer Vs Microwave Oven: Summing Up

After analysing all the pros, cons, usage, and differences between both kitchen appliances, it is up to you to decide which one is the perfect pick for you. If you are living alone, investing in the air fryer is the prudent choice because it will not save your hard-earned money but also provide you with nutritious benefits. On the flip side, if you have a large family, go for a microwave oven as it will cater to the various needs of each person without making holes in your pocket, just like an air fryer does by using excessive electricity. In short, it is vital to select a model that perfectly suits your taste, budget, and culinary requirements.

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Highlights of the Story

  • In today’s fast-paced life, we are highly dependent on kitchen appliances to cook meals easily and quickly.
  • If you are wondering which one will win the battle of the air fryer vs microwave oven, you have come to the right place.
  • This article will arm you with enough information to make an informed decision.