Can an air fryer replace a microwave


Last Updated: July 5th, 2023

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As a microwave owner you are planning to join the air fryer community and you ask: “Can an air fryer replace a microwave?” Or you have a budget or space for just an air fryer or microwave.  If this sounds familiar, then you may be wondering if an air fryer can replace your microwave.

Air fryers and microwaves work in a completely different way and the end result is often different too. So can an air fryer replace a microwave? Keep reading to find out.

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How Do Air Fryers And Microwaves Work?

When it comes to understanding Airfryers and microwaves work, there are a lot of people who feel like they are in the dark. And, while we may not all be experts on the inner workings of every device in our home, it is always interesting to learn more about them, especially if they can make our lives easier!

Working Mechanism Of Air Fryers

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that “fries” foods without all the oil of traditional frying. But before you choose an air fryer, its important for you to know how it works.

Air fryers have a heating coil and a fan installed. Usually the heating coil is under the fan so it can effectively push the hot air in to the food (although it may vary). This thermal reaction is called convection and it is pretty effective. When the coil reaches high temperatures, the air around it is heated up. With the help of the fan, the super hot air is circulated around the air fryer, cooking everything inside.

The secret to an oil-free crispy exterior lies in something called “The Maillard Reaction.” This is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives fried foods their signature crunch (Source)

Working Mechanism Of Microwave

Even though they’ve been around for years, many people still don’t understand how microwave ovens work. And it’s not surprising, given that microwaves use a type of electromagnetic radiation, which is invisible to the naked eye.

Microwave ovens emit microwaves, which are a type of electromagnetic radiation. These microwaves cause the water molecules in the food to vibrate. The friction from this vibration creates heat, which cooks the food.

In other words, these waves are generated by oscillating electric charges, and they move through the air or any other transparent medium at the speed of light. When microwaves strike an object, they cause the molecules in that object to vibrate. The faster the vibration, the greater the amount of heat that is produced. This is how microwaves are able to heat food quickly and efficiently.

Main Differences Between Airfryers And Microwaves

Air fryers and microwaves are both kitchen appliances that can be used for cooking. The answer to “can an air fryer replace a microwave” depends on the differences between the two appliances and your individual needs.

The main difference between the two is the way they heat food. Air fryers use hot air to cook food, while microwaves use electromagnetic waves. As a result, microwaves tend to cook food faster than air fryers.

Additionally, air fryers are more versatile than microwaves, as they can be used for frying, baking, and roasting, while microwaves are typically only used for reheating and defrosting. Air fryers can be used to cook almost anything – bacon, steaks, and fried chicken, for example. Microwaves have the advantage when it comes to warming up liquids and soups.

Every day, microwaves use 1200 watts of power for about 30 minutes while air fryers typically consume less power, somewhere between 1200 to 1500 watts. Check out our round-up of the top 4 low wattage air fryers here.

Using a microwave would just not be energy efficient enough. Plus, some people prefer air fryers because they provide a more natural way of cooking food. Rather than using radiation, air fryers simply circulate hot air around the food. This makes them a healthier alternative as compared to microwaves.

Using Airfryer To Reheat Food: Hit Or Miss?

Using an air fryer to reheat your food can be a hit or miss, depending on what you’re trying to reheat. For example, if you’re reheating french fries, they tend to come out beautifully crisp and almost as crunchy as freshly fried. However, if you’re trying to reheat something like a chicken breast, you might find that it comes out dry and tough.

This is because of the way that air fryers work – they circulate hot air around the food, which can cause moisture to evaporate quickly. A microwave would be a better fit for this situation, perhaps. As a result, it’s important to experiment with your air fryer to see what works best for you and your favorite dishes.


Can I reheat food in an air fryer?

Yes, you can reheat food in an air fryer. To do so, preheat the air fryer to the same temperature you would use to cook the food originally. Then, heat the food for half the amount of time you would normally cook it. For example, if you originally cooked the food for 10 minutes, cook it for 5 minutes when reheating.

Is an air fryer more safe to use than microwave?

Air fryers use rapid air technology to cook food, which is a safer cooking method than using microwave ovens. Microwave ovens, on the other hand, emit electromagnetic radiation that can put your food and health at risk.

Does an air fryer emit radiation?

No, an air fryer does not emit radiation. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around food, similar to how a convection oven works. There is no need for radiation in order to cook food with an air fryer. Additionally, air fryers are safe to use and pose no health risks.


So can an air fryer replace a microwave? In most of the time it can but there are some instances when the microwave is more effective. Let’s explore these instances more.

For those who believe that the air fryer can replace the microwave oven, they cite its ability to also act as a convection oven. They note that while the air fryer may not heat liquids unlike a microwave, it can still reheat solid foods quickly and efficiently.

On the other hand, those who don’t believe that the air fryer could ever replace the microwave argue that the microwave is simply more convenient. They contend that the extended time it takes to reheat food in an air fryer cancels out any benefits it may have over the microwave.

So, what’s the verdict? Can the air fryer replace the microwave? It really depends on who you ask. If you’re still on the fence on whether to choose a microwave or an air fryer, you’ll be glad to know that there’s also an appliance called a microwave-air fryer combo. It combines the functionalities of both of these appliances and thus offers increased value.

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Thomas S.

Hey there! I've been cooking for myself and loved ones since the age of 18. In our busy world I've always looked for ways to be more time efficient when it comes to preparing food but also creating tasty and healthy dishes. That's when I came accross air fryers a few years ago and eversince I am trying to spread the word of the benefits of these wonderful machines.