Air Fryer Vs Toaster Oven

When deciding between an air fryer and a toaster oven, it’s helpful to compare their functionalities, cooking results, and how they fit into your kitchen routine. Both appliances offer convenience and versatility but in distinct ways.

Air Fryer

How It Works: Utilizes rapid air circulation to cook food, offering a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods by using significantly less oil.


  • Healthier Cooking: Achieves crispy, fried-like results with minimal oil.
  • Speed: Generally cooks food faster than a toaster oven due to the rapid air circulation.
  • Texture: Excels at producing foods with a crispy exterior and tender interior.


  • Capacity: Typically smaller than toaster ovens, which may require cooking in batches for larger meals.
  • Specialized Use: Primarily focused on mimicking deep-frying textures.

Toaster Oven

How It Works: Cooks food by radiating heat from electric elements. Many modern toaster ovens also include convection baking, which uses a fan to circulate hot air around the food, somewhat similar to an air fryer but usually at a slower rate.


  • Versatility: Can perform a wide range of cooking tasks including baking, broiling, toasting, and in some cases, convection baking.
  • Capacity: Generally larger than air fryers, allowing for bigger batches of food or larger items.
  • Energy Efficiency: Uses less energy than a conventional oven for small to medium cooking tasks.


  • Cooking Time: May take longer to cook certain foods compared to an air fryer, especially if not using a convection setting.
  • Texture: While it can produce somewhat crispy results, it may not achieve the same level of fry-like crispiness as an air fryer.

Key Differences

  • Cooking Method and Results: Air fryers offer a quicker and healthier way to achieve crispy and fried-like textures. Toaster ovens are more versatile, capable of handling a broader range of cooking tasks beyond frying.
  • Capacity and Size: Toaster ovens typically have a larger capacity suitable for more substantial meals, while air fryers offer a compact solution focused on speed and crispy results.
  • Usage and Convenience: If crispy, fried textures are a priority, and you’re cooking for smaller numbers, an air fryer might be more beneficial. For versatility and the ability to cook larger meals or use different cooking methods, a toaster oven is preferable.


Choosing between an air fryer and a toaster oven depends on your specific cooking needs, the amount of space you have, and the types of dishes you prefer to prepare. Some might opt for an air fryer for its quick cooking times and healthier “fried” results, while others might prefer the versatility and capacity of a toaster oven. For many, having both appliances provides the best of both worlds, allowing for a wide range of cooking techniques and meal options.

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Bubbly Chef author