Air fried chicken sitting in an air fryer basket on an oven rack

Air frying in your convection oven: a how-to guide

Did you know that air fryers function similarly to a convection oven? In fact, if you own a convection oven, you may not need a standalone air fryer to get the crispy results that these countertop appliances are known for. Learn the differences between an air fryer and a convection oven and how to get excellent “fried” results using your convection oven with this guide.

Select a link below to learn about how to air fry in an oven.

What is an air fryer oven?

An air fryer oven is similar to a convection oven but has a built-in air frying feature that optimizes temperature and air circulation for the task. Convection fans will circulate hot air very quickly around the surface of the food, which will in turn crisp it up to a delicious, golden crust.

Several brands, like Whirlpool, have their own models of ovens with air frying capabilities, so you can enjoy some of your favorite foods, like wings, chicken nuggets or fries without having to pull out an extra appliance. Because it uses less oil and doesn’t require a separate appliance, air frying may be more convenient vs. deep frying.

Air fryer vs. convection oven: what’s the difference?

In essence, a countertop air fryer and a convection oven work similarly, just in different sizes. Both have fans that circulate heat in either a countertop air fryer or oven cavity to achieve crispy, air fried food. Because countertop air fryer compartments are significantly smaller than convection ovens, they may have quicker cooking times. However, convection ovens also have more capacity than air fryers, so you can cook up more of your favorites at once.

Can you use a convection oven as an air fryer?

A convection oven can help crisp up foods, but you’ll need a dedicated air fry function for the best results. Convection ovens and air fryers work similarly, with a convection fan circulating hot air around food in the oven cavity or air fryer compartment. Using an air fry setting will help ensure the best cooking environment for the task, but you can still get a crispy finish on foods using a convection oven. To help with this, investing in an air fryer basket or tray can be beneficial. Other benefits of using your convection oven to air fry include:

  • Convenience - Using a convection oven or an oven with air frying capabilities takes away the need for another appliance that takes up counter space. 

  • Easy to clean up - Air fryers typically require cleaning the basket as well as the pullout compartment that the food goes in after every use, as opposed to just using a sheet pan in a convection oven.  

  • Crispy results - Especially if using dark cookware or a perforated basket, air frying in your convection oven will give you satisfyingly crispy food. 

  • Cook larger batches at once - Since most air fryers don’t have the same capacity as convection ovens, you’ll be able to cook more food at once than with a countertop air fryer, where you might have to cook in batches depending on the number of servings.

Explore Whirlpool® convection ranges.

How to use your convection oven as an air fryer

If you have a convection oven that doesn’t have an air fry mode or option, you can still get similar results to an air fryer by making a few adaptations.

Read the five steps below to learn how to prepare food for air frying, what cookware to use, ideal times and temperatures, and when to flip food. Use these tips to get golden and crispy results when air frying in your convection oven. You can also use these tips when air frying in a traditional oven with an air fry mode.

Learn more tips for air frying food.

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Step 1: Prep your food for air frying

Depending on what you’re trying to air fry, you’ll want to prep the food to ensure a crispy and golden exterior. Foods like veggies and potatoes work better when they are cut into smaller bite-sized pieces, so to give them that nice crunchy exterior cut them into spears, medallions or cubes and lightly coat them in oil to encourage browning.

If working with meat or fish such as air fried salmon, make sure that the skin isn’t too wet by patting the surface dry and lightly coating it with some oil or cooking spray to help the skin crisp up. If using a breading, air frying has better results with a drier exterior (think of adding toppings like panko, shredded cheese or breadcrumbs) as opposed to a wet batter.

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Step 2: Use the right air frying cookware

Part of what makes countertop air fryers so efficient at crisping up your food has to do with the perforated basket or pan that is designed for air frying. To ensure that you achieve similar levels of crispiness as you would with an air fryer, use a perforated tray or basket to allow the hot air to circulate thoroughly on the entire food surface. If you don’t have a perforated tray or basket, use a dark or nonstick tray with low sides, or an oven-safe cooling rack. Place a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper on the lower rack to catch drippings. Learn more about using aluminum foil in an air fryer oven.

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Step 3: Give your food space

Avoid overcrowding so that the hot air can cook/crisp your food evenly and thoroughly. The hot air that the convection fan circulates around the oven cavity will need to reach the entire surface of your food in order to help create a golden crust. Overcrowding will prevent proper crisping and may instead leave you with a less appetizing soggy exterior.

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Step 4: Be mindful of air frying times and temperatures

Convection ovens typically don’t cook as fast as countertop air fryers, so you’ll most likely have to adjust the cooking times. Countertop air fryers tend to use higher temperatures as well, which you’ll have to account for when finding the right cooking times. Generally, you can expect to air fry in a convection oven at temperatures between 350–400°F, but it will vary from recipe to recipe.


If using a recipe that has the time for a conventional oven, it’s best to reference your oven manufacturer’s instructions for cook times and temperatures. If you don’t have your instruction manual handy, then start out by using the times in the package or recipe, and keep your eye on the food as it cooks.

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Step 5: Flip halfway through

As you would with a countertop air fryer, you may want to flip or shake your food to improve air distribution to food surfaces during cooking, but flipping should only be done if the food requires it to avoid any heat loss in the oven. Spray or rub with a little extra oil or cooking spray to promote crisping.

Convection oven air fryer recipes

If you’re ready to give air frying a go with your convection oven, try some of these recipes using an air fry tray or basket to get a delicious result and a healthier alternative to deep frying.

Herbed oven spiral fries

Herbed oven spiral fries

Prep and cook time: 45 minutes


These oven fried spiral fries keep the potato skins on for an extra crisp and are flavored with thyme, rosemary, garlic and red pepper.  


View The Recipe

Roasted garlic potatoes

Perfect roasted garlic potatoes

Prep and cook time: 37 minutes


Baby redskin potatoes are tossed with garlic and olive oil, then seasoned with salt and black pepper in this roasted side dish. 


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Roasted veggies with balsamic glaze

Roasted veggies with balsamic glaze

Prep and cook time: 60 minutes


These roasted veggies are prepared with a medley of sliced portabella mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, red bell peppers and red onions. 


View The Recipe


Root vegetable fries

Root vegetable fries

Prep and cook time: 35 minutes


Create a crispy and colorful side with carrots, garnet yams, sweet potatoes and golden beets tossed in olive oil and garnished with fresh rosemary. 


View The Recipe

Shop Whirlpool® Ranges with Air Fry Mode

If you’re looking for the convenience of having air fried food without the need to add an additional appliance to your kitchen, Whirlpool offers a selection of ranges with Air Fry Mode. You’ll be able to skip preheating on select models and air fry fresh or frozen vegetables, chicken tenders, fries and more to get crispy results right in your oven. Whirlpool® Ranges with Air Fry Mode include a dishwasher-safe air fry basket, giving you the added benefit of easy cleaning.

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