Difference Between Air Fryer And Microwave: 5 Things You Must Notice

Nowadays, most modern families equip themselves fully with cookware like ovens, dishwashers, stoves, etc. However, there are two appliances that many usually mistake: air fryers and microwaves. 

If you cannot tell the specific difference between air fryer and microwave, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s post, we will unveil everything you need to know regarding these two units. 

5 Differences Between Air Fryer And Microwave

Generally, there are five significant differences between an air fryer and a microwave. They are the cooking techniques, the cooking time, the versatility, the power consumption, and the capacity.

1. Cooking Techniques

One main Difference Between Air Fryer And Microwave is the cooking method. 

  • How do air fryers work?

Air fryers work by convection, in which a high-speed fan allows hot air to travel within the frying basket. 



Then, this air draws moisture out of the food and forms a crunchy coat. Owing to reactions such as the caramelization and the “Maillard effect,” the machine would turn the ingredients golden brown. As a result, the food will taste and appear like professional fried dishes.

For a better understanding of how an air fryer works, please refer to this video:

  • How do microwaves work?

On the other hand, in microwaves, each food particle gets heated by extremely high radiofrequency waves called electromagnetic waves. 

In other words, tubes called magnetrons will carry these specific waves to the food and vibrate the water particles in the ingredients. As the vibration happens, heat gets generated. 

Differences Between Air Fryer And Microwave
Differences Between Air Fryer And Microwave


Because their energy is typically 2450MHz, which is pretty high, the machine is efficient for preparing and reheating food. However, due to quick cooking, the dishes sometimes lose flavors. 

If you want to know more about a microwave’s operation, please watch this video:

2. Cooking Time

Cut to the chase, an air fryer costs you more time to cook the same food than a microwave. For instance, if you want to fry chicken wings in an air fryer, you would have to wait for at least 6-7 minutes. 

However, if you utilize a microwave for cooking the same chicken wings, it only costs you 3-4 minutes. However, the taste would be different, too. Most of the time, air fryers offer better flavors and appearance.

3. Versatility

Frankly, air fryers come in handy. Thanks to this machine, users can easily prepare vegetarian dishes like eggs and tofus, nail seafood like crab cakes, and fry the best batches of chicken fillings. 

However, microwaves can also master all of this, and unfortunately, they are even more versatile. While air fryers say no to dishes with wet batter, microwaves can process those dishes with ease. 

On the other hand, some air fryers do win a few points back as they offer settings for baking desserts. Yet, in terms of versatility, they still cannot surpass microwaves.

4. Power Consumption

Next, let’s talk about the power consumption of each appliance. Typically, air fryers take up approximately 1500W to prepare a dish. However, some energy-saving models only consume 1200W.


On the other hand, microwaves will cost around 1200W if the cooking period takes 30 to 40 minutes. Moreover, it also comes with an additional power of 2W to 7W in standby mode. In other words, even when you don’t use your microwave, you still have to pay an extra cost. 

Therefore, if you’re one of those who prefer to cut down on your living expenses, an air fryer might be your go-to appliance.

5. Capacity

If you’re asking which machines can cook a larger amount of food, a microwave is our solid answer. Indeed, microwaves allow users to process large batches of ingredients all at once. Even when you want to reheat a huge porcelain bowl of food, this machine can handle the task with ease. 

However, an air fryer can only nail small batches one by one. Even larger models find it challenging to deal with a large amount of food. For instance, while a medium-sized air fryer can only cook two large chicken wings simultaneously, a microwave can handle twice as much.

Difference Between Air Fryer And Microwave: Which One To Buy?

Now, when you have acknowledged all of the Difference Between Air Fryer And Microwave, it’s time to consider which one to get. Well, it depends on what you’re looking for and what your cooking goals are.

When do you need a microwave?

There are several situations where air fryers are useless. For instance, you cannot warm a cup of milk or melt the butter to bake a cake in an air fryer. In these particular cases, you might ask for the help of a microwave.



Also, for specific applications, microwaves are the golden choice. For example, some objects only work with microwaves like baby bottles. At the same time, an air fryer couldn’t thaw your ingredients. Therefore, if you want to prepare dishes but only have frozen ingredients, go for a microwave.

Below are all details regarding a microwave’s pros and cons:


  • Users have quicker cooking time.
  • Microwaves offer a precise process.
  • The machine is easy to use.


  • The food might be dry.
  • Microwaves cannot deal with thick ingredients.
  • The food sometimes loses flavors.

When do you need an air fryer?

On the other hand, certain cases work amazingly with an air fryer but don’t end up well in a microwave. For instance, homemakers rarely cook meat in a microwave solely. In other words, if you want to process meat like chicken, fish, pork, or beef, an air fryer is the better selection.


Moreover, if you’re all about fried food but terrified of hot oil splashes, an air fryer can save the day. Firstly coat the ingredients lightly with oil, put them in the frying basket, and close the lid. And there you go, a delicious, hassle-free fried dish.

To understand more about an air fryer’s pros and cons, refer to the information below:


  • Your food will be healthier as it’s less fat and oily.
  • Users can clean their air fryers with ease.
  • Users can avoid hot oil splashes.
  • Air fryers are more energy-saving.


  • Air fryers are short of capacity.
  • It costs more time to cook food.


That’s all we have for today. We bet you’ve known the difference between air fryer and microwave with our detailed explanations above. The decision now is 100% up to you. Whether you decide to go for a microwave, an air fryer, or both of them, we believe you can deliver flavorful dishes to your beloved family. Enjoy!

Read More:

Where Is The Best Place To Put A Microwave In The Kitchen?