Can an Air Fryer Really Replace a Microwave? 6 Key Differences to Consider

Microwaves and air fryers are two of the most popular kitchen appliances in homes today. Both appliances are designed to make cooking faster and more convenient. However, while microwaves have been around for decades, air fryers are a relatively new invention. 

As a result, many people are asking the question: Can an air fryer really replace a microwave? In this blog post, we’ll explore six key differences between these appliances to help you make an informed decision.

Cooking Technology

Microwaves and air fryers use very different cooking technologies. Microwaves use electromagnetic waves to heat food. These waves excite the molecules in the food, which generates heat and cooks the food from the inside out. This makes microwaves very good at heating up food quickly.

Air fryers, on the other hand, use convection cooking. This involves circulating hot air around the food to cook it. The hot air cooks the food from the outside in, creating a crispy exterior while keeping the inside moist. Air fryers are particularly good at cooking foods that would normally be deep-fried, such as french fries, chicken wings, or onion rings.


Microwaves are very versatile appliances that can be used for a wide range of tasks, from cooking to defrosting. They are particularly good for reheating leftovers, cooking frozen meals, and making popcorn. Additionally, some microwaves come with features such as steam cooking, which can be used to cook vegetables and other foods.

Air fryers are not quite as versatile as microwaves, but they do excel at cooking certain types of food. As mentioned earlier, air fryers are great for cooking foods that would normally be deep-fried. However, they can also be used to cook other types of food, such as vegetables and meats.

Cooking Time

Microwaves are typically faster than air fryers when it comes to cooking or reheating food. A microwave can heat up leftovers in just a few minutes, while an air fryer may take longer. However, air fryers can cook certain foods faster than a traditional oven, which makes them a good option for busy weeknights.

Health Benefits

Air fryers are often marketed as a healthier alternative to deep-frying. This is because they use much less oil than deep-frying, which can reduce the calorie and fat content of the food. Additionally, air fryers are able to cook foods to a crispy texture without the need for additional oils or fats, and you can avoid saturated fat when deep frying—the main cause of obesity.

Microwaves, on the other hand, don’t have any health benefits per se. However, they can be used to cook healthier meals by steaming vegetables or cooking fish.

Ease of Use

Microwaves are generally easier to use than air fryers. You simply put your food in the microwave, set the time, and press start. With air fryers, you need to preheat the device, put your food in the basket, and set the cooking time and temperature. Some air fryers also require shaking or flipping the food halfway through cooking, which can be inconvenient.

You can watch a video on how to use the Air Fryer here:

Many Recipes With Air Fryer

Air fryers offer endless possibilities for delectable dishes, including small portions of entrees, snacks, and desserts with minimal prep work. They can even be used to make cakes, cookies, and other baked goods with a crisp golden-brown finish. Air fryers save time and space, making them a versatile and increasingly popular kitchen appliance. Try air fryer desserts to experience their versatility and expand your cooking horizons.


Finally, price is another key difference between microwaves and air fryers. Microwaves are generally less expensive than air fryers. You can find a decent microwave for as little as $50, whereas air fryers can cost $100 or more. However, it’s worth noting that air fryers are more versatile than microwaves, so they may be


Can you use an air fryer for microwave meals?

No, an air fryer is not designed to be used for microwave meals. Microwaves use electromagnetic waves to heat food, while air fryers use convection cooking to circulate hot air around the food. As a result, the two appliances are fundamentally different and not interchangeable.

What appliance can an air fryer replace?

An air fryer can replace a traditional deep fryer for cooking crispy, deep-fried foods with less oil. Additionally, an air fryer can be used to cook certain types of food that would normally be cooked in an oven, such as vegetables and meats.

Can air fryer be used to reheat food?

Yes, an air fryer can be used to reheat food. Simply put your leftovers in the air fryer basket and heat them up at a low temperature for a few minutes. However, keep in mind that some foods may not reheat well in an air fryer, so it’s best to experiment and see what works best for you.

Can I put aluminum foil in an air fryer?

Yes, you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer, but it’s important to do so correctly. Use only enough foil to cover the food and avoid covering the entire basket or blocking the air vents. Additionally, make sure that the foil is securely fastened to the food to prevent it from blowing around in the air fryer.

Can I reheat rice in air fryer?

Yes, you can reheat rice in an air fryer. Simply put the rice in the air fryer basket and heat it up at a low temperature for a few minutes. However, be sure to add a small amount of water or broth to the rice to prevent it from drying out. Additionally, stir the rice occasionally during the cooking process to ensure even heating.


In conclusion, while both microwaves and air fryers have their strengths and weaknesses, they are fundamentally different appliances that are designed for different purposes. Microwaves are best suited for reheating, defrosting, and cooking certain types of food, while air fryers excel at cooking crispy, deep-fried foods with less oil. 

When deciding whether to replace your microwave with an air fryer, it’s important to consider factors such as cooking technology, versatility, cooking time, health benefits, ease of use, and price. Ultimately, the decision will depend on your individual cooking needs and preferences. However, with the information provided in this article, you should be better equipped to make an informed decision.