“Can I use an air fryer as a microwave?” We’re sure many people are wondering if they can save space on their kitchen counter by replacing their microwave with their new air fryer.
Before we get into the specifics, we would like to point out that the microwave air fryer combination and convection microwave appliance are now available!
We’ve written an entire article about this issue. This could be a good option if you frequently air fry and microwave.
In this article, we hope to go over the various ways a microwave oven and an air fryer cook. We’ll discuss how this will affect the type of food that comes out of these kitchen appliances, as well as whether an air fryer can do the job of a microwave well enough to replace it.
Table of Contents
- What is the operation of a microwave?
- What is the operation of an air fryer?
- Is it possible to use an air fryer as a microwave?
- How to cook with an air fryer as a microwave
- What should you do?
- Do air fryers and microwaves produce the same results?
What is the operation of a microwave?
To put it simply, a microwave oven uses heat energy to directly penetrate food. When the microwave radiates the food, the molecules within it begin to move and vibrate. These molecules (and thus your food) heat up as a result of these rapid vibrations.
This means that the microwave oven heats or cooks food from the inside to the outside, which distinguishes it from many other methods used by kitchen appliances to heat or cook food. It is also capable of quickly heating food.
***Read More: Do You Have To Flip Meat In Air Fryer – Useful Guide
What is the operation of an air fryer?
An air fryer does precisely what its name implies. It uses extremely hot air to heat or air fry food. A heating element at the top of the air fryer generates this hot air.
A fan circulates this hot air around the cooking compartment of the air fryer. This method of producing hot air is comparable to that of a hairdryer or a space heater.
An air fryer functions similarly to a convection oven, but due to its smaller size, cooking times are typically shorter in an air fryer. The convection effect on the food is almost condensed due to the smaller size.
Is it possible to use an air fryer as a microwave?
Yes, an air fryer can be used as a microwave. However, because the two are different appliances, the outcome will be slightly different.
Their cooking styles differ as well. One of the most intriguing aspects of the two appliances is the ability to cook meals with little or no oil.
A microwave is a better option for reheating food without adding texture. However, if you want your food to be crispy or crunchy, using an air fryer will help you achieve this perfectly.
Microwaves are sometimes used to reheat TV dinners. The microwave is specifically designed for TV dinners and other microwave meals.
It will be difficult to use an air fryer for the same purpose. It is only possible if the food is removed from the plastic tray and placed in safe air fryer cookware.
By doing so, the primary reason for which people use TV dinners, convenience, is eliminated.
On the one hand, the heating method used by an air fryer is the traditional method that perfectly cooks food. The microwave cooking method, on the other hand, entails the production of microwaves that cook foods in a fraction of the time that an air fryer does.
Every air fryer has heating coils, but the fan component helps to blow the heat generated, which helps to cook food evenly.
***Read More: Why My Air Fryer Keeps Turning Off and How To Fix It
How to cook with an air fryer as a microwave
Notably, air fryers and microwave ovens are two very different types of kitchen appliances with very different cooking styles. This means that it is dependent on your specific use case for one to successfully replace the other.
It is simple to use a microwave to heat a liquid, such as milky coffee. To do this, place one cup of milk in the microwave and heat for about one minute. After that, the coffee granules are added, and your milky coffee is ready.
Unfortunately, the cooking method used by air fryers is not ideal for reheating any liquid in this quick and easy manner. As a result, stews and soups cannot be reheated in an air fryer.
As previously stated, one undeniable fact about the two appliances is their ability to cook meals with little or no oil.
When using air fryers, a perfect dish can be made without the need for any oil, and this cooking method ensures that the food nutrients are retained in a significant quantity at the same time.
If you believe it is necessary to reheat your food, such as fried chicken or leftover pizza, to make it crunchy, you must be aware of the techniques to use.
***Read More: Air Fryer Making Noise – How To Fix?
What should you do?
To prevent the food from becoming burnt, only use low heat when reheating it.
#1. What setting should you use?
It is often preferable to set your device’s temperature range to around 3500F or 1750C.
#2. When to use
Because of the thickness and size of each food item, it is difficult to provide an exact timing for using the air fryer as a microwave.
You can reheat pizza for about 2 to 3 minutes at a temperature of 3500F or 1750C. It will be crispy, and you will enjoy it. This is one of the advantages of using an air fryer over a microwave because it does not cause the food to become soggy during the reheating process.
Do air fryers and microwaves produce the same results?
It is critical to ask this question before deciding to use an air fryer in place of a microwave as if they are interchangeable.
When tested, an air fryer does not appear to have any more or less functionality than a microwave. Surprisingly, both are different kitchen appliances with different but equally useful features.
For instance, if your microwave is used to heat liquids or TV dinners, a conventional air fryer cannot be used for this purpose.
Even though both appliances can be used to cook, there are a few other factors to consider before deciding which one to use.
#1. Taste Distinction
As previously stated, each requires a different amount of time to cook. The microwave cooks food extremely quickly – in a matter of minutes.
The cooking method used in the microwave cooks or heats food much faster than other methods in the kitchen. As a result, it has become an extremely convenient appliance to use in a variety of kitchens, primarily for quick reheating of food. However, due to overheating, the taste and flavor of the food may be diminished.
Cooking with an air fryer, on the other hand, ensures a perfect dish is prepared, but it takes more time.
#2. Texture Variation
In terms of food reheating, an air fryer cooks a meal into a form that will satisfy your taste if you prefer a crispy texture.
The majority of people have microwaves in their kitchens to quickly reheat leftover or pre-made food. This will only take a few minutes, as opposed to your air fryer device, which can take much longer.
This cooking method heats food but does not add any crispy texture to it. However, as long as you take care to thoroughly reheat the food, an air fryer is a better option if the majority of your microwave usage involves foods that need to be crispy.
When it comes to the cooking pattern of an air fryer, it basically applies hot air across the food. This will give the food a different cooking style that is crispier, and it is ideal for foods that require more texture and bite, such as fried foods and chicken wings.
#3. Nutrient Distinction
An air fryer is capable of cooking dishes without the use of any oil. This cooking method retains all of the necessary nutrients at the same time. In contrast, using a microwave to heat food results in the loss of essential nutrients during the cooking process.
The use of microwaves has the advantage of functionally killing a variety of pathogens contained in food within a few minutes due to the high heat to which the food is subjected.
Both appliances are only slightly different, but when your desired food quality is low-calorie or appears crispy or crunchy, an air fryer is an ideal appliance to use.
If you enjoy fries, fritters, and sumptuous snacks but are concerned about calories, choosing a healthy way of cooking, such as using an air fryer, is critical. However, if you want an appliance with multiple functions to help you with your daily cooking, a microwave is a great choice.
#1. Is air frying the same as microwave cooking?
Food can be heated and reheated in microwaves, but not in air fryers, which change the cooking method. A microwave oven is required for heating or cooking food. If you want to cook and receive food that is similar to what you would get from a deep fryer, an air fryer is a good option.
#2. Is it safe to use aluminum foil in an air fryer?
Fortunately, the answer is a simple yes. Aluminum foil can be used as a liner in an air fryer.
However, much depends on the type of air fryer you have and the meal you are preparing with it. Before using aluminum foil in your air fryer, read the owner’s manual for specific instructions.
#3. Can you reheat food in an air fryer?
If you have an air fryer, you can reheat food in it. It’s far superior to using a microwave, and it only takes a few minutes. Using an air fryer to reheat leftovers prevents blandness and sogginess.
#4. Is it necessary to have a microwave if I have an air fryer?
The simple answer is no. Air fryers, as previously stated, serve a different purpose than microwaves. They fry the food with hot air. Furthermore, both appliances can perform tasks that the other may not be able to perform.
Hopefully, our article has provided you with enough information to answer the question, “Can I use an air fryer as a microwave?“
Finally, if you are considering purchasing an appliance that will be ideal for your cooking needs, we recommend that you weigh the benefits and drawbacks. You should also think about the end result you want to achieve.