Decide which appliance is better with our air fryer versus toaster oven article! We list down their definitions, pros, cons, and which one can be the better pick for your situation.
Air fryers have been a huge hit since they first hit the market. But is the hype all that worth it?
Wouldn’t a toaster oven be a better choice than an air fryer?
In this article, we outline what a toaster oven and air fryer is, along with their pros, cons, similarities, and differences. Then, we decide on which is the better kitchen appliance, along with the best uses for each.
Are you ready? Let’s begin!
What is a Toaster Oven?
Toaster ovens operate similarly to traditional ovens.
However, they are smaller. This is because they are specifically designed for small spaces like dorm rooms or apartments with no access to a full-size kitchen.
A toaster oven is best for reheating leftovers or heating up frozen food. It can also bake, broil, toast, and defrost a small amount of food.
Toaster ovens heat up quickly so that you can pop out items faster than if you were using a traditional oven, which is especially helpful if you’re trying to make sure everyone gets served before dinner time rolls around!
✔️Toaster Oven Pros:
- Easy To Use
You don’t need complex instructions to operate a toaster oven. While yes, you do have to read the manufacturer’s manual, all you really need to do is pop in some food, fiddle with dials and knobs, and let the toaster oven do its magic!
- Easy To Clean
You don’t have to worry about clean-up! Most toaster ovens can get by with minimal maintenance. There’s usually a removable rack and pan that you wash, and the rest of the toaster oven can be wiped down.
- Heats Fast
Heating is always prompt with a toaster oven, and as a result, they work fast as well. Toasts, breads, and certain dinners are easier to cook.
❌Toaster Oven Cons:
- Doesn’t cook the food evenly
An air fryer’s ultimate perk is how they cook food quickly and evenly. Many toaster ovens don’t have the same advantage. Yes, they may cook the food fast, but evenly is out of the question — especially if it’s a larger quantity of food.
- Limited number of dishes that you can cook
You won’t be able to cram in the same amount of dishes in a regular toaster oven in comparison to actual ovens and other appliances. Due to the heating elements in the toaster oven, there are a limited number of dishes you can actually cook as well.
Toaster ovens are best for reheating and toasting in comparison to actual cooking!
What is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a type of convection oven that uses hot air instead of steam or electricity to cook food. Like a convection oven, it cooks food by circulating hot air using a fan.
It’s designed to cook food quickly and efficiently, which makes it an ideal solution for busy people who don’t have much time in their day. All you have to do is place your food into a basket, pop the basket into the air fryer, and set your desired time for the food to be air-fried.
Air fryers use less oil and fewer calories than traditional deep-fryers do — which means you can use less oil and still get the same crispy texture and taste from your favorite food!
✔️Air Fryer Pros:
- Cooks food quickly and evenly
Using a convection fan or convection air currents, air fryers can cook your food without oil, butter, or grease. Cooking in an air fryer can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
Most air fryers use their heating element in combination with the latest technology to give you an even crisp and golden finish to your food. Most of them also include automatic power shut-off, while their heating elements include temperature protection to avoid burning your food.
- Can be used to make healthy “fried” foods
Your usual fried food can be made healthy! French fries, chicken wings and nuggets, and potato wedges are especially what an air fryer is made for, and you won’t regret the purchase. Now you can eat your favorite fried food without the guilt!
❌Air Fryer Cons:
- Bulky design
No matter how small the air fryer you get is, it can take up a lot of counter space. The cooking basket and machine itself is bulky by design, so if you have a small kitchen or a lot of kitchen appliances, this may not be for you!
- Limited Cooking Capacity
If you’re part of a large family or have a lot of roommates, an air fryer might not be the best pick. While they’re still bigger than most toaster ovens, they can’t accommodate a lot of food at once.
Instead, you have to cook in small batches or cook small amounts of food altogether. This can be time-consuming and inconvenient!
- There Are Limits To What You Can Cook
There are some foods that you simply can’t put in air fryers. Battered food, whole roasts and large food, plus some select kinds of food (broccoli, toast, and popcorn, for instance) don’t mesh well with an air fryer oven.
It’s best to invest in an air fryer as a substitute when you already have other primary cooking methods. That is if you have the kitchen space for an air fryer in the first place!
Air Fryer VS Toaster Oven: Which is Better?
If you’re looking for a healthier, more convenient way to cook your food, an air fryer could be the right choice for you.
Air fryers use high heat to cook food while they’re in the air, so they don’t need oil.
They also use less power and are much quicker at cooking than traditional methods like stovetop cooking and baking.
Toaster ovens may have some benefits over air fryers, but there are also some drawbacks.
Toaster ovens offer more convenience than air fryers because their heating elements are located directly on top of the pan, which means less cleanup time and fewer spills when it comes to storing your food after cooking it.
They also require less space than an air fryer does—this is especially true if you’re looking for something small enough to fit on your countertop or even on top of your fridge!
However, if you want something that will cook quickly and efficiently without needing any special tools or equipment, then an air fryer might be a better option for you.
Our Top 4 Air Fryer Picks
Still confused whether to pick an air fryer, toaster oven, or just a regular oven? Needing some product picks to help you choose
01 Cosori Air Fryer – Pro Air Fryer Oven Combo
- Employs fast and even-heating technology
- Automatically adjusts temperatures
- Comes with thirteen easy-touch cooking functions
- Large air fryer basket at 5-quart capacity
- Removable, dishwasher-safe, and non-stick air fryer baskets
Is It For You?
The Cosori air fryer oven does it all: it can roast, broil, bake, defrost, reheat, and air fry all kinds of food! If you’re ever lost for a dish, you can take a look at the recipe book that comes along with this outstanding toaster oven. It has 100 recipes you can try out in your cooking space!
The Cosori air fryer manufacturers employed the new and best technology to make the cooking process a breeze. It has over thirteen one-touch buttons you can use to customize your cooking, and the NTC sensor automatically adjusts the temperature of this kitchen appliance.
All of your food will be cooked evenly! The even-heating technology allows for all cooking methods to end up in near-perfect dishes.
Clean-up will also be easier than ever. Unlike other kitchen appliances and your basic oven, this air fryer has removable air fryer baskets, which are also dishwasher-safe and non-stick.
What’s more, it’s large enough to fit a whole 5-pound chicken. While the huge capacity is a plus, it’s designed to fit perfectly into corner spaces. It allows you to have more cooking space in comparison to other air fryer models and countertop convection ovens!
02 Ninja Air Fryer
- Comes with a dishwasher safe rack, basket, and crisper plate
- With a wide temperature range – from 105 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Has the capacity to dehydrate food
- Has a four-quart capacity
Is It For You?
Air fryers are meant to be time-savers, and the Ninja Air Fryer proves to be one of the best air frying machines out there! The heating elements it employs allows you not just to air-fry food, but dehydrate it as well. The wide temperature range makes sure you have a whole lot of versatility compared to a conventional oven.
The four-quart capacity also makes sure you have room for cooking food larger than your usual frozen french fries and chicken wings. Fit more food in comparison to your regular oven!
It doesn’t just save time for the cooking process, too, but for the cleaning part as well. The Ninja Air Fryer has a dishwasher-safe rack, basket, and crisper plate — all you have to do is pop in a dirty air fryer to be cleaned.
(It’s also the cheapest air fryer we have on this list that’s functional compared to most air fryers!)
03 Chefman Multifunctional Air Fryer
- All-in-one function: rotisserie spit, dehydrator, air fryer, and oven in one kitchen appliance
- Innovative touch-control display with over seventeen preset options for any cooking method you desire
- Comes with interior lighting, air flow racks, rotisserie spits, stainless steel forks, rotating baskets, and drip tray
- Has a 10-liter capacity for big crowds and gatherings
Is It For You?
This versatile kitchen appliance does it all: it air-fries, bakes, dehydrates, and can act as a rotisserie oven. Get that healthy air-fried taste with little to no oil for your food! The Chefman has your needs in mind, and will deliver the best possible results, too.
Aside from the multiple cooking functions you can use, you can also take advantage of the innovative touch-control display with over seventeen preset options. Customize your cooking with convenience!
Plus, the XL capacity makes sure no one in your family misses out on the best possible meals. It’s perfect for large gatherings, too.
Despite the number of accessories this air fryer has, you won’t be stressed in cleaning up. Everything is dishwasher-safe, so all you need to do is pop it into your dishwasher and call it a day.
04 Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven
- Six-in-one functionality for baking, dehydrating, roasting, broiling, air frying, and reheating
- Customizable, one-touch technology to program your cooking
- Comes in a compact, stainless steel design
- Has built-in safety features to prevent overheating
- Has non-stick, dishwasher-safe air fry basket and tray
Is It For You?
The Instant Vortex Plus air fryer is a great addition to your collection of kitchen appliances. With the Instant Vortex Plus air fryer, you can prepare quick, delicious, and healthy meals.
The EvenCrisp technology uses the heating element of the air fryer to create a perfect crisp, golden finish. The heated air won’t burn your food, either — not with the Overheat Protection and automatic power off function.
The versatile temperature range goes from 95 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (35 to 204 degrees Celsius) which allows you to do just about everything with an energy-efficient air fryer!
You can reheat meals or roast everything without needing a roasting pan. All you need is the air fryer’s functionality!
Convenience also reigns supreme with this air fryer. They employ one-touch technology to make sure you can program and customize your cooking with ease and comfort. Aside from the air frying function, you can roast, broil, and bake in the InstantVortex!
Air fryers cook food, sure, but you can also clean up easily. They offer a non-stick, dishwasher-safe air fryer basket and tray to make sure your convenience will never be sacrificed.
Our Top 4 Toaster Oven Picks
After the air fryer models we’ve discussed above, now we have the top four toaster oven models you can choose from!
We have everything: the traditional toaster oven, the cheapest toaster oven you can buy, and the best air fryer toaster oven combo you can find on the market!
01 Hamilton Beach Air Fryer Toaster Oven Combo
- Evenly cooks food with almost no oil in comparison to deep frying techniques
- Easy-reach and access oven door
- Comes with a two-rack design to accommodate a variety of food
- Combines the functionality of an air fryer with the convenience of a conventional toaster oven
- Comes with a 30-minute timer, auto shut-off function, ready bell, and stay-on settings
Is It For You?
If you’re looking for a regular toaster oven but are tempted by an air fryer, this Hamilton Beach model combines both of their functionalities in one innovative machine!
This toaster oven might as well be a convection oven with what it can do. The Sure-Crisp air frying technology makes sure heating elements are circulated evenly throughout the toaster oven, resulting in perfect golden-brown food.
You can save space in your countertop without having to sacrifice quality food as a result.
With two racks involved, you can cook a variety of food in no time! You can program your cooking, too — the 30-minute timer makes sure you lose no time, and the auto shut-off function keeps your food unburnt and your house safe.
If you prefer to warm your food, you can also use the stay-on setting! Whatever the case, this Hamilton Beach model is versatile and can fight for a spot among the many air fryers we listed above, too.
02 Elite Gourmet Countertop Oven Toaster
- Compact, space-saving design perfect for small kitchens or crowded countertops
- Comes with an adjustable 15-minute timer for warming and reheating food to your liking
- Comes with an adjustable temperature knob to toast, reheat, and bake food
- Comes with a non-stick baking pan and wire rack that can accommodate a variety of food
- With a tempered glass door and cool-touch handle for convenience in handling
Is It For You?
Looking for a budget toaster oven that comes with the best quality possible? The Elite Gourmet Toaster Oven is the one for you! You can easily fit your favorite pastries to warm, broil, toast, or bake them properly.
It’s also best for small kitchens or cramped countertops — it has a compact, space-saving design that makes toasting easier.
Other perks in its design include a tempered glass door and cool-touch handle. You’ll be safe using this appliance no matter what!
You can warm, broil, toast or bake a variety of food with the flexible temperature knob and wire rack that can accommodate just about everything! It can definitely rival an air fryer or convection oven.
03 Cosori Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- Comes with the VeSync app for one-touch programming and cooking
- Includes a wire rack, non-stick food tray, fry basket, user manual, and recipe book
- Allows you to cook up to 30% faster compared to a traditional convection oven
- Is easy to clean with a removable crumb tray
- Meets family and large gatherings’ needs with its 25-liter capacity
Is It For You?
The Cosori Air Fryer Toaster Oven can rival a convection oven with its functionalities! It’s a 12-in-1 appliance with more possibilities than ever with its programmable functions. Toast, broil, bake, and save your preferred time and temperature.
The heating element comes in six options, too. It’s possible to cook much faster for large groups of people! Compared to convection baking, this air fryer and toaster oven combo can cook your food up to 30% faster.
While it cooks everything well, you may be worried about clean-up. Well, worry no more — it’s easy to clean with non-stick accessories and a removable crumb tray, too.
04 Cuisinart Custom Classic Toaster Oven Broiler
- Contains 1800 wattage to power baking, broiling, and toasting functionalities
- Is easy to clean with a stainless steel finish, cool-touch handle, non-stick interior, and easy-grip dials
- Comes with accessories such as a baking pan, wire rack, and removable crumb tray
- Roomy interior allows for an eleven-inch pizza
Is It For You?
Looking for something that can replace an air fryer’s functionality? Look no further than the Cuisinart Custom Classic Toaster Oven Broiler! It’s high-power, high-performance quality allows you to bake, broil, and toast with ease. You can fit up to an eleven-inch pizza inside this toaster oven, too!
Whatever you cook or bake, you can rest easy knowing everything’s easy to clean. Polish off the stainless steel front and remove crumbs with the crumb tray inside. The non-stick interior also makes it easier to wash and put away — and the cool-touch handle and easy-grip handles allows you to handle the appliance with ease.
What to Look For in an Air Fryer or Toaster Oven
Whether you choose to look for an air fryer or toaster oven, remember to look for three things: size, functionality, and convenience.
These appliances are made to make life easier, so make sure they don’t take up too much space, can be programmed, and has the functions needed to make cooking, baking, and toasting a breeze!
Is An Air Fryer Really Just A Toaster Oven?
No, an air fryer isn’t like a toaster oven at all. They function quite differently from one another!
For instance, a toaster oven is used for reheating and toasting food. It can only bake and broil a small amount of food.
However, an air fryer can circulate hot air better and come in different sizes. They can accommodate more food and cook more as well.
There is a type of toaster oven that functions similarly to an air fryer: convection toaster ovens. A convection toaster oven is everything you expect a toaster oven to be, except a convection toaster oven comes with a built-in fan.
Convection toaster ovens, then, make food quickly, removes moisture, browns food, and does all these and more with even temperature control. There are also air fryer toaster combinations on the market you might want to check out as well!
What Should You Not Put in An Air Fryer?
While air fryers cook just about any kind of food, there are some things you should never put in air fryer ovens. These include battered food, leafy greens, whole roasts, raw grains, red meat, and popcorn.
The main reason behind most of them is that an air fryer wasn’t built to cook any of these foods evenly and properly. Instead of making them the delicious dishes you know and love, they might just be destroyed in an air fryer.
What Should You Not Put in A Toaster Oven?
Most food can go inside a toaster oven, but some materials are a big no-no. These materials include parchment paper — which you might use for baking. Styrofoam and aluminum foil are also not compatible with most toaster ovens!