Air Fryer vs Slow Cooker – What Should You Buy in 2023

Air fryer vs Slow cooker

The air fryer and slow cooker are two different types of kitchen appliances that use different heating methods to cook food. While both can be used to make everything from veggies to desserts, each appliance has its own special advantages and disadvantages over the other. So the choice you make depends on what you need to cook and how you want your food prepared.

If you’re interested in using an Air Fryer Vs Slow Cooker but aren’t sure which one is right for you. Here’s an easy guide on how they work and how they can help with your cooking habits at home.

How Slow Cooker Works, Uses and Disadvantages:

Crock Pot Slow Cooker - 7 Quart Stainless Steel
Crock Pot Slow Cooker – 7 Quart Stainless Steel

A slow cooker uses a cooking method called moist-heat cooking, which entails simmering food at a low temperature for a long period of time. In slow cookers, steam created from heating liquid inside covers and surrounds your food as it cooks. This moist heat keeps foods from drying out and falling apart as they would with hot air circulation from an air fryer.

A slow cooker is a special cooking appliance that allows you to make your food deliciously tender and flavorful even when you’re not right there to keep an eye on things. It works by heating up your food with steam instead of hot air, making each bite as warm and delicious as the last. The name “slow cooker” comes from the fact that it takes a long time to cook meals.

This appliance is very useful for busy people who have a tight schedule during the day since they can leave their food to cook while working.

While an air fryer is a newer innovation, slow cookers have been around for a long time. In fact, they were first introduced to consumers in 1940.


Slow cookers are portable.

No need for monitoring.

Perfect appliance for busy people.

Slow cookers are ideal for making food deliciously tender.

They do not heat up the whole kitchen (Which most people complain about their air fryers)


The slow cooker takes 2-12 hours to cook food.

Plastic handle melts.

Cooker’s Lid may burst.

Cannot make fried foods.

How Air Fryer Works, Uses and Disadvantages:

NUWAVE BRIO 6-Quart Digital Air Fryer
NUWAVE BRIO 6-Quart Digital Air Fryer with Phone App

Air fryers work by using powerful air circulation to quickly cook food. By circulating hot air around your food, it gets crispy as well as roasted, giving you those delicious restaurant-style French fries. The results are similar to those of a traditional oven or deep fryer, but air fryer doesn’t use any oil—and it’s great for those who want to watch their fat intake and don’t have a lot of time on their hands.

Air fryers have been gaining a lot of popularity because they are a healthier alternative to traditional frying. They differ from traditional fryers in how they heat food.

Traditional deep fryers heat oil or grease to high temperatures. This allows them to cook food quickly. Air fryers, on the other hand, circulate hot air around your food with a fan, heating it from all angles for a more even finish.

Air fryers were first introduced in 2010s by Philips.


Quickly cooks food.

A healthier alternative to traditional deep frying.

Air fryers use little to no oil.

Compact and easy to carry appliance.

You can cook a variety of items in it. For instance, you can air fry, air broil, grill, bake, toast, dehydrate, etc.


Expensive as compared to slow cookers.

Starts giving E1 Error

Some people have complained about their air fryers creating smoke in the kitchen.

Air fryer stops working if the nonstick basket is overfilled.

Air Fryer vs Slow Cooker, Comparison:

With both slow cookers and air fryers are on-demand in today’s busy homes. How do you know which one is right for you? Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between these two cooking methods and figure out what’s best for your home.

Cooking Capacity:

Crock Pot Slow Cooker 7 Quart - Can Cook For 9 People
Crock Pot Slow Cooker 7 Quart – Can Cook For 9 People

Slow cookers have 1 Quart to 8.5 Quart capacity. They can easily cook food for 5-9 people at once. On the other hand, air fryers have a 2 to 16 Quart capacity. They can easily cook food for 12-16 people at once.

As far as cooking capacity is concerned, air fryers are better. They can accommodate significantly more food than slow cookers. Air fryers are also generally much larger than slow cookers. So they’re perfect for large families or people who like to entertain often.

Cooking Methods:

Cooking methods vary. While air fryers use hot air circulation to cook food, slow cookers heat up your food with steam instead of hot air. Both cooking methods take advantage of convection and conduction to circulate heat for an optimal result.

Power Consumption:

Each appliance uses different methods to heat food, but slow cookers are said to be more energy-efficient. According to Consumer Reports, air fryers use nearly double the amount of energy of a slow cooker. So if you’re looking for ways to cut down on your electric bill, an air fryer is not necessarily your best bet.


Being that air fryers use hot air circulation to cook food, it is imperative that you stay on top of maintenance. Make sure you clean your air fryer after every use with a damp towel and make sure all of your parts are dry before you start cooking again. If you do not properly care for your air fryer, it will not last long.

Attention Required:

While not as complicated as an air fryer, slow cookers still require some attention. You’ll need to add enough water to cover your food and remember to check on it throughout cooking time. Make sure you don’t overcook your meal, too.    

Cleaning and Care:

It’s much easier to clean an air fryer than a slow cooker, and it will likely last longer as well. Many air fryers have removable ceramic nonstick inserts that can be easily cleaned under running water. A slow cooker, on the other hand, is usually much harder to clean and may contain harmful chemicals such as BPA.

Related: Best Ceramic Air Fryer

Price Difference:

Air fryers are more expensive than slow cookers, but not by much. On average, air fryers cost about $100 to $200 while slow cookers start at about $50. There are plenty of high-end air fryers that can easily reach over $500 with all their bells and whistles. But there are also air fryers available for less than $50 in-case you’re on a tight budget or don’t plan on using it regularly.

Who Should Buy An Air Fryer?

Air fryers are convenient and will save you a considerable amount of time when preparing your meals. If you’re looking to spend hundreds of dollars on an appliance that has plenty of functionality, then you should consider buying an air fryer. Not only is it more efficient than a slow cooker, but you can also use it to bake and roast food as well!

For quick snacks or simple side dishes, we recommend trying out an air fryer at home!

Who Should Buy Slow Cooker?

If you’re in search of an old-fashioned, no-fuss way to cook food, a slow cooker is definitely your thing. Simply add your ingredients to an insert, set it on low heat and forget about it until dinnertime. You can also make stews or other moist dishes with little concern for overcooking (or drying out) your ingredients—it’s pretty hard to overcook anything when it’s slow cooking!

Can You Use an Air Fryer as a Slow Cooker?

You can use an air fryer as a slow cooker, but it won’t work quite the same way. To use an air fryer as a slow cooker, you’ll want to adjust some of its cooking features so that they match those of a slow cooker.

Check out our article on Best Air Fryer Pressure Cooker Combo

Final Thoughts:

Air fryers and slow cookers are two great tools to have in your kitchen. While both machines will enable you to whip up a delicious meal, they do come with some notable differences. In order to help you better decide which tool is best for you, we’ve outlined everything there is to know about each appliance.

In case you still have any questions in your mind, you can always contact us through our contact page and we will be happy to help.

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