Who doesn’t enjoy crunchy French fries or crispy chicken nuggets? Yes, they are lip-smacking. Children and adults alike, we all love them. But, what we don’t enjoy as much, is the hassle of preparing them. It is a big process.
But, in today’s times, there are many smart appliances out there that help us prepare these delicious snacks with the least amount of effort. Some of them are microwave ovens and air fryers. While microwave ovens have been in our kitchens for over a decade now, air fryers gained popularity in recent times. Many people claim that air fried food is healthier, crispier, and tastier. But is it true? If you are in the market for a good kitchen appliance then which one of these items should you prefer?
In this article, we have listed the advantages and disadvantages of both these appliances to help you make the best decision for yourself.
1) Working mechanism
Now, the working mechanism is extremely important because that is the main difference between these two appliances.
In the traditional microwave ovens, radiation or microwaves are used to cook food. They consist of a magnetron that produces microwave radiations continuously. The water molecules present in food get directly heated up when exposed to this radiation and in turn heat up and cook the food. This technology has been in use for many decades and in fact, radio and television transmitters also use microwave technology. Of course, the waves in ovens are shorter and less intense.
On the other hand, air fryers use Rapid Air Technology. This is a very simple technique. The food to be cooked is placed in a chamber and very hot air is made to move rapidly over the food. This process in turn heats up and cooks the food.
2) Time consumption
As mentioned before, ovens use microwave technology to cook food. This process is very quick and it heats up food very quickly. In fact, microwave ovens are 6 times faster than air fryers. Air fryers take a lot more time to heat up and cook food.
3) Taste, texture, and health
Rapid air technology, though time-consuming is perfect and uniform. All the food gets heated up evenly and you are left with crispy, crunchy, and lip-smacking snacks. There is no question of food being undercooked.
Microwave ovens on the other hand also provide similar results. But sometimes, because of the radiation, food can tend to lose its natural flavor, texture, and crunch. People who used both the appliances often reported that food prepared in an air fryer was usually tastier and retained its shape well.
Air fryers also use almost negligible amounts of oil. So, all your French fries, nuggets, chips, and other snacks can now be prepared without using excessive amounts of oil. This makes the food healthier and you can eat it guilt-free. Microwave ovens on the other hand, usually require higher amounts of oil.
So, from a health and taste perspective, air fryers definitely have the clear edge.
4) Safety and maintenance
It comes without saying that air fryers are smaller in size and less complex so naturally, they are easier to clean and maintain. If you do not have a lot of time on your hands to maintain appliances then, air fryers should be your go-to option.
Also, rapid air technology is one of the safest ways of cooking food. Microwaves use radiation and this radiation can sometimes alter the composition of food, making them unfit for consumption. Also, most people tend to use plastic containers to microwave their food. This can lead to toxins from plastic being mixed up with food. So, air fryers are a safer option. But, if you are using microwave ovens then we recommend using glass or ceramic containers.
We all know that the bigger the size, the larger is the cooking capacity. According to HomeAwesome in microwave oven buying guide, most microwave ovens are large in size, they can cook a huge amount of food in a single stretch. Whereas, in air fryers, the cooking capacity is less as their size is smaller. It will take you several iterations of the process to prepare large quantities of food. So, if you have a large family or cook huge amounts of food regularly, then we suggest you go for microwave ovens.
6) Power consumption
Air fryers are very unique appliances. They take a lot of time to reach their desired cooking temperatures and for this reason, they consume very little power. And on standby mode, they do not consume any power at all.
Microwaves on the other hand consume anywhere between 1300 - 1500 watts of power. In addition to this, they consume a few watts even in standby mode. So, even in the power consumption department, air fryers seem to have the edge.
So which of these appliances should you choose?
Everyone is different and everybody’s tastes and needs are different. You should choose an appliance that suits you and your family’s needs.
But, from the above-mentioned criteria, we have seen that air fryers out do microwave ovens in most departments. If you are new to cooking, have a smaller family, or enjoy deep-fried food on a regular basis then, air fryers are a perfect option for you. They are cost-efficient, easy to use, easy to maintain, and most importantly produce healthy and tasty food.
If you prefer microwave ovens, or already have a microwave at home then you don’t need to worry. They do the job pretty well too. They cook food faster, they can cook food in large capacities, and are extremely popular appliances. Apart from this, the ovens are very versatile. In an air fryer, you can only prepare fried food but in ovens, you can fry, grill, and even bake food. From nuggets to cakes, microwaves can prepare any kind of food well.
So, this choice really depends on you. But, you can be sure that whatever appliance you choose, your job in the kitchen will become much easy and enjoyable.