Air Fryer vs. Baking: A Detailed Guide

air fryer vs. baking

When it comes to comparing between an air fryer vs. baking, there are so many questions involved.

Do you wonder which is better between air frying vs. baking foods?

Do air fryers bake foods differently from the oven?

Whatever your questions are regarding air fryer vs. baking, this article will provide the answers you need to get more knowledge and perhaps, make a buying decision you won’t regret.

Air Fryer vs. Baking: The Difference Between Air frying and Baking

A major similarity between baking and air frying is the little or no use of oil used in both cooking processes. Both cooking processes also require the use of heat to make foods in a convection-like manner. Traditional ovens heat food from top to bottom in a conduction manner, but with convection ovens, there is also a fan feature to increase heat circulation during baking.

However, in spite of these similarities, it cannot be said that baking and air frying are the same because of these existing differences:

 Air FryingBaking
Cooking ApplianceAir frying is done in an air fryerBaking is generally done in the oven. Although most air fryers now come with a baking option
Heat GenerationAir frying is achieved by generating and cooking food in heat through rapid air technologyBaking is done with heat generated with an element to heat foods from top to bottom
CapacityAir fryers generally come in small capacitiesOvens have more cooking space than the air fryer
Food AppearanceAir fried foods are crispy on the outside but will retain moisture and tenderness on the insideOvens generally offer a gentler heat that will not let your foods get crispy on the outside
Cooking SpeedAir frying is a fast process because it uses rapid air technology to cook foodBaking is a slower cooking process than air frying

Baking with the Air Fryer

You have probably heard that most air fryers, if not all, come with baking functions and will give you deliciously baked foods as well. This is true because the air fryer uses a convection process that is similar to convection ovens, but if you will be baking with an air fryer you should take note of the following:

  • Depending on the quantity of food you are baking and the capacity of your air fryer, you may need to do your baking in small batches compared to when you are using the oven.
  • Hot air circulates faster in the air fryer, so your food is likely to get done before the regular cooking settings for baking in an oven
  • It is not all foods you can bake in the oven, that is suitable for the air fryer

How to Bake Effectively in the Air Fryer

If you are using an air fryer to bake, you should consider using the following tips for better results:

Preheat your air fryer before use

You should preheat your air fryer before putting your food inside to bake to prevent getting undercooked foods, especially if the manufacturer recommends that you should do so in the user manual.

Do not overfill your basket with food

The air fryer cooks effectively by heating your food through a rapid circulation of hot air. You need to give room for the circulation of air if you do not want to end up with unevenly cooked foods, and also if you want every batch to finish cooking at once.

Adjust your cooking times and temperatures

This is necessary if you are making a recipe designed for oven cooking. But even if you are using a recipe that has come with your air fryer, air fryers can cook very fast. Therefore, it is best you reduce the temperature and cooking time to avoid burning your food, especially if you are baking with the air fryer for the first time.

Monitor your food regularly

Unless you are sure of the cooking time and temperature, you should monitor your food properly to prevent it from burning or overcooking. Some air fryers also require you to flip or turn your food while cooking to ensure even and thorough cooking.

Use Parchment Liners or coat frying basket with oil

This is to minimize food sticking onto the frying basket during the cooking process. Using parchment liners or coating your frying basket with oil will not only improve your baking, but it will also make the air fryer easy to clean up after use.

Clean your air fryer after every use

Cleaning you air fryer very often is necessary to get properly baked foods regularly and also to avoid complication while cooking. Food residue is not removed from the air fryer can cause your air fryer to smoke and smell, reducing the quality of your food in the process.

Further Reading:

Recommended Accessories

Cooking accessories

Accessories you will need to enjoy baking with your air fryer include:

  • Oven mitts
  • Baking trays
  • Cooking molds
  • Parchment liners

Your air fryer may come with some of these accessories, especially when such products have been equally designed to carry out baking functions. But you can also order these accessories online along with your air fryer.

If you are buying accessories for your air fryer to bake with, you should make sure you get accessories that match the size of your product. Examples of accessories you can buy are:

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Air Fryer for Baking

While you are likely to be able to bake with any air fryer of your choice, if you plan on doing a lot of baking with your air fryer then you should choose your product more carefully by putting the following factors into consideration:

Functionality

Baking in an air fryer will be easier if your air fryer is specifically designed to perform baking functions. There are many convection ovens with built-in air fryers, like the Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Air fryer, the same way there are air fryers with baking preset functions like the Instant Vortex Pro Air Fryer. If you want an air fryer that can also bake effectively then you should consider getting one of these.

Capacity

Getting a large-capacity air fryer and oven combo will let you do your baking in larger batches, which means the process will be faster and less cumbersome for you. But if you think you do not need to make food in large batches then you can opt for a smaller air fryer.

Further Reading:

Cleaning and Maintenance

Get a product that is easy to clean and maintain. You will not only enjoy your cooking experience but will also prolong the shelf life of your appliance when you are able to clean and maintain it properly.

User Friendliness

Appliances that are easy to use will make your cooking process a breeze. You will also get better results when the cooking settings and temperatures are easy to set and cook right. And this is why user-friendliness is a relevant factor to consider when choosing an air fryer for baking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is air frying better than baking?

Both air-frying and baking involve a heating process. Although air frying takes a shorter time than baking, both processes require a very minimum use of oil. And as a matter of fact, it has been said that air frying is actually a type of convection baking. Therefore, both processes are healthy cooking methods with low calories, and your choice will ultimately depend on your cooking preference.

Can I use aluminum foil or baking paper when baking with my air fryer?

You can use aluminum foil or baking paper in your air fryer when baking with it, depending on your recipe requirements. What more important is that you use it properly and leave space between your foods for proper air circulation.

Conclusion

While air frying is a faster process than baking in an oven, both cooking processes are healthy ways of enjoying your favorite meals.

Fortunately, the air fryer can effectively perform the baking function when you get the right product.

This means you can get an air fryer and still enjoy baking benefits alongside air frying with the same appliance.

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