Tater tots in an air fry basket on a kitchen island

Air fryer oven vs. air fryer: a complete guide

Air frying can replicate the taste and texture of deep-fried food using minimal to no oil by rapidly circulating hot air around the ingredients. Traditionally, this method involved dedicated countertop appliances. However, many ovens now come with built-in air fry capabilities, offering you another way to get air-fried results without a dedicated air fryer. Whether you opt for a standalone air fryer or an oven with integrated air frying capabilities, both options enable you to conveniently make your fried favorites. Read on to learn more about their similarities and differences.

What are the differences between an air fryer and an air fryer oven?

Air fryers and air fryer ovens vary primarily in size and versatility. Both appliances feature heating elements and a fan that rapidly circulates hot air around food to give it a “fried” finish. However, a standalone air fryer is a countertop appliance that can typically fit just a few servings at a time and may be limited to air frying. An air fryer oven is a full-sized oven that can air fry in addition to baking, broiling, roasting and more.

A countertop air fryer is a great option if your existing oven doesn’t have air fry capabilities. On the other hand, if it’s time for an oven upgrade, consider choosing a model with air fry to add even more versatility to your kitchen. Ultimately, the choice between an air fryer oven and a countertop air fryer depends on individual preferences, available space and cooking needs.

What is an air fryer?

An air fryer utilizes rapid air circulation and intense heat to create a crispy finish on foods. A perforated basket or tray is typically used to help ensure that all surfaces of the food are exposed to the hot air, resulting in a crispy, fried texture without the need for excess oil.

What is an air fryer oven?

An air fryer oven has an air fry cooking mode that uses convection fans to circulate hot air around the food’s surface, creating a crispy golden crust. Many appliance brands, such as Whirlpool brand, offer ovens with air frying capabilities, allowing you to enjoy favorites like french fries, chicken wings or nuggets without the need for an additional appliance. Air frying in your oven can be a convenient and healthier alternative to deep frying or air frying in a countertop appliance.

Which is better: an air fryer or air fryer oven?

Air fryer ovens offer many of the same benefits as standalone air fryers but with added convenience. Integrated into your oven, they save counter space and offer a larger capacity for family meals. If you typically cook for fewer people, a countertop air fryer may suffice, offering affordability and quick cooking for smaller batches of food.

Tips for using an air fryer or air fryer oven

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Preheat: Before using your air fryer or air fryer oven, consider preheating the appliance. Refer to your product manual for specific heating instructions.

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Adjust cooking time: Air fryers cook food faster than conventional ovens. When using non-air fryer recipes in an air fry oven, shorten the cooking time accordingly to prevent overcooking.

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Consider rack placement: For even air circulation, place the air fry basket or tray in the middle rack of your oven. This helps ensure consistent cooking throughout the food.

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Use a perforated tray or basket: To help promote proper airflow and achieve crispy results, use the perforated air fryer basket provided with your appliance. This allows for more exposure on all sides of the food.

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Avoid using excess oil: Air fryers require minimal oil to achieve a crispy texture similar to deep frying. Follow recipes and lightly brush fresh foods with cooking oil to avoid using too much.

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Limit cooking spray: Whether you’re using an air fryer oven or a countertop air fryer, avoid using excessive amounts of cooking spray, as it may damage the air fryer tray or basket over time. Just a light spritz of cooking spray is all you need to aid in crisping.

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Place a baking tray below: To help prevent drips and crumbs from accumulating in the bottom of your oven, place a baking tray on a rack below the air fryer basket.

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Use aluminum foil correctly: Foil can be used to line a baking sheet on a rack or two below the air fry basket, but never to line the actual basket or the inside of a countertop air fryer.

Air fryer recipes

From crispy appetizers to juicy main courses and delectable desserts, these recipes showcase the versatility and convenience of air frying in either your countertop air fryer or your oven with air fry capabilities. Read on to learn new ways to enjoy your old favorites or find a new recipe for your family to enjoy.

Air fried salmon

1. Air-fried salmon

This recipe provides a simple yet flavorful method for air-frying salmon. It begins by seasoning the salmon filets with your favorite flavors. The filets are then air-fried in a preheated air fryer, resulting in tender, moist salmon with a crispy exterior.

Air fried shrimp

2. Air-fried shrimp

Indulge in the delicious simplicity of air-fried shrimp with this easy-to-follow recipe. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or a flavorful appetizer, air-fried shrimp is sure to become a family favorite. Discover how to achieve tender, juicy shrimp with a golden, crispy texture right in your air fryer.

Air fry pork and shrimp spring rolls

3. Air fry pork and shrimp spring rolls

Indulge in the savory flavors of homemade pork and shrimp spring rolls. This delightful dish features a blend of ground pork, succulent shrimp, crisp cabbage and aromatic spices, all wrapped in delicate pastry and air-fried to perfection.

Air-fried strawberry hand pies

4. Air-fried strawberry hand pies

Treat your family to the goodness of homemade strawberry hand pies with this simple recipe. These delicious treats have a buttery, flaky crust packed with a sweet and tangy strawberry filling that everyone in the family will love. It’s the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.

Air fryer chicken katsu sandwiches

5. Air fryer chicken katsu sandwiches

Get ready to make mouthwatering crispy chicken sandwiches. Tender chicken thighs are marinated in a flavorful mixture, coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs and air-fried to your liking. Then, they’re served on toasted brioche buns with creamy wasabi slaw and tangy pickles for a delicious twist on a classic favorite. It’s a family-friendly meal that’s sure to become a new favorite.

Explore Whirlpool® Ranges with Air Fry Mode

Discover a new level of convenience and versatility in your kitchen with Whirlpool® Ranges featuring Air Fry Mode. Revolutionize the way you cook with the power of air frying, allowing you to create healthier versions of your favorite fried foods right in your oven. Say goodbye to cluttered countertops and enjoy the benefits of having an all-in-one appliance that bakes, broils and air fries with ease.

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