Air Fryer vs Microwave – What Should You Get?

Air Fryer vs Microwave

“I want to buy an air fryer, but they’re expensive, and I already have a microwave, so why should I get one? What are the differences between the two? Can you give me some reasons why I should get an air fryer?”

These are most common questions many people ask about the two most popular kitchen appliances on the market today—the microwave and the air fryer.

Air fryer vs microwave both cook food, but in completely different ways and with different results.

Air fryers use hot air to cook foods from inside out while microwaves use radiation to heat from outside in. The results of cooking with an air fryer or microwave will vary depending on what type of food you’re cooking. In general, air-fried foods will come out crispy and browned with a crunchy texture similar to that of fried foods.

In this article, we will discuss basics of air fryer and microwave along with their pros and cons so you can compare them easily and decide which one works best for your meal preparation!

How Microwaves Work, Their Pros and Cons:

Toshiba Microwave
Toshiba Microwave 1.2 Cubic Foot

A microwave is essentially a device that uses electromagnetic waves to cook food. When you place your food in a microwave, for example, it converts an electric current into electromagnetic radiation; that radiation then interacts with water molecules and excites them.

This differs from conventional heat cooking methods, which heat food by transferring energy as it moves from one place to another. In a microwave oven the food is actually the source of energy as it moves from one place to another.

Microwave ovens became popular for cooking and reheating foods because of their efficiency and speed of preparation, convenience, and use.

The first Microwave was created in 1945 by Percy Spencer and Robert N. Hall, American Physicists. Many experts consider microwave ovens to be one of the best technologies of the 20th century because of how quickly they cook food.

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Microwaves heat up food quickly and evenly.

Easy to use interface.

Safer to use.

Highly Affordable.

Energy efficient.

Does not make loud sounds while working.

Easy for children to use.

No cleaning required.

Lasts longer than air fryers.


Cannot create crisps like Air Fryer.

Only heats the food.

Microwaves can be dangerous If not used carefully.

Overheats if timer is not set up properly.

Not easily portable

How Air Fryers Work, Their Pros and Cons:

Chefman Air fryer 8 Quart Capacity
Chefman Air fryer – 8 Quart Capacity Stainless Steel Exterior cETL Approved

The air fryer is a new and innovative way of cooking food. The way that an air fryer works is that it uses rapid hot air, instead of oil, to cook anything from French fries to fish and chicken. Oil is not needed since the food fries in its own juices and with all natural flavors, is as if it was deep fried.

Air fryers work similarly to convection ovens. They’re also quite similar to conventional fryers—but instead of submerging food in hot oil, you put it on a basket or plate and let an electric heating element blast it from below with hot air.

The air fryer saves space as it does not need as much room as a deep fryer. It also saves time and money since it uses hot air and not oil.

Philips was the first company to introduce 1st ever air fryer in 2010, with its patented rapid air technology.


Healthy cooking.

Air fryers can cook variety of fried foods all without excessive calories.

No Oil needed.

Saves space, time, and money.

Easy to clean with stainless steel basket.

Easily Portable as compared to microwaves.

Food comes out crispy and browned with crunchy texture.


Air fryers take time to preheat.

Creates smoke.

Slightly expensive than microwaves.

Some people have complained about their air fryers short life.

Check out our article on How to fix an Air fryer that stopped working

Air fryer vs Microwave, Differences between Them:

Toshiba Easy to use display
Toshiba Microwave – Easy to use display with large control panel

There are distinct differences between how air fryers and microwaves cook food. Air fryers work by circulating hot air throughout your food while microwave ovens use radio waves to vibrate water molecules in your food, causing them to bounce off each other and create heat.

When comparing these two types of kitchen appliances, it is important to note that they cook food using two different methods. This not only gives you control over what type of appliance you use but also allows you to make healthier choices for your diet.

Heats Evenly

Air fryers cook food more evenly as compared to microwaves. They use far less energy, and you don’t have to scrub any grease splatters off the inside after frying food in them. It also allows air to get in and circulate around your food for cooking it evenly. However, microwaves can cook food quickly as compared to air fryers.

Cooking Method

Air fryers and microwaves use different mechanisms to heat the food. In an air fryer, hot air circulates and converts to cook the food. In microwave ovens, electromagnetic waves cause atoms in the food to vibrate rapidly and produce heat


The air fryer is easily portable, as it can be placed on your countertop or in a cabinet. Microwave ovens can be moved around, but they are not as easy to store as an air fryer since they take up more space in cabinets.

Reheating Leftovers

Air fryers and microwaves are both great options to reheat your leftovers. Air fryers are use a revolving basket that mixes the food with heat and circulates air around it, so that the food gets cooked all over. Whereas, Microwaves use microwave waves instead of convection to heat your food.

Presets and Timers

Air fryers are far more advanced than microwave ovens because they have many additional features such as presets for different types of foods like veggies or meats that need different drying times, a timer that can help you monitor your food while it’s cooking, etc.

Air Fryers Can Cook Food

One of the biggest differences between microwave ovens and air fryers is how each one cooks food. Microwaves only heat up the food, which means you can’t use them to fry food or cook anything that has a high moisture content (like meat). Air fryers have fans inside that blow hot air out of the sides and bottom of the appliance, drying out your food like a convection oven would. This means you can power through dishes like fries and chicken wings without making a mess or wasting any oil.

Easy to clean

Microwaves and air fryers both are easy to use and clean, making them the ideal kitchen tools for busy cooks on a tight schedule!

Price and Energy Usage

The price of this two items is almost the same. Also, they both take same amount of energy when cooking food. This save you time and energy so that you can get more work done.

Check out our article on Air fryer vs Pressure Cooker

Is air fryer ideal for cooking french fries?

Air fryers are ideal for cooking things like French fries, chicken wings, curly fries, and more. One of the benefits of using an air fryer is that it has a shorter cooking time than other cooking appliances such as a convection oven or conventional oven, allowing you to get dinner on the table faster.

When was 1st microwave and air fryer invented?

Microwaves were invented in 1940s while Air fryers are invented a decade back in 2010 by Philips, a company known for making top quality cooking appliances.

Final Thoughts:

The air fryer is typically considered the better version of the microwave. While both devices cook food in minutes, the air fryer takes longer and gives you a better chance at getting crispy snacks. Furthermore, you can cook more than just frozen foods in an air fryer. You can also bake, roast, grill and fry right in the one unit. All with little to zero oil.

Food cooked in an air fryer looks like it came straight out of a restaurant kitchen, crispy and brown on all sides.

Millions of people are switching to air fryers in droves because they’re healthier and more efficient than ovens or microwaves. According to the recent survey of 2021, about two-thirds of Americans have microwave ovens versus 1/3 that have air fryers. However, the data shows that those who have air fryers are more likely to say they are satisfied with their living conditions and would recommend them to others.

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