Who doesn’t like saving time in the kitchen? We all must cook food at some time or another, and our appliances can make a huge impact on how long or difficult the process becomes. There are so many useful kitchen appliances available today to make cooking easier. But if your kitchen is like ours, you will soon run out of counter space. What if you could use your toaster oven as an air fryer? That could save a lot of time, expense, and space. Is it possible to use a toaster oven as air fryer?
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Is it possible to use a toaster oven as air fryer?
Yes! It is absolutely possible that a toaster oven can replace the air fryer. If you have a convection toaster oven, it works like an air fryer. They work by moving warm air around the food until its outside is cooked to crispy perfection. A regular toaster oven also circulates hot air to cook food evenly. It can also be used to reheat already cooked foods.
How are air fryers and toaster ovens different?
You can use an oven air fryer or a toaster oven to cook many of your favorites from frozen French fries to chicken wings. They perform the same tasks but do it in different ways. The air fryer heats and cooks using convection. Traditional toaster ovens have heating elements that heat using radiation. They can both be used for frying, boiling, baking, and tons more. They are as versatile as the popular instant pot!
Air Fryers use a powerful convection fan to circulate very hot air to fry foods rapidly. The appliance uses very little oil, but still gives foods a deep fried, crunchy texture. They do not need preheating which saves you 10 to 20 minutes over using a conventional oven for cooking.
Toaster Ovens are basically a small version of your conventional oven. It has front doors and heating elements on the top and bottom. A baking pan is placed on the oven racks and the heating elements heat it up. The conduction from the baking dish is the main source of heat.
Tips for Using a Toaster Oven as an Air Fryer
You’ll find that some of the latest toaster ovens now include an air fryer setting. This toaster oven air fryer has heating elements on the top and bottom, but also includes a powerful fan to circulate the air. Make more counter space by using a single appliance to toast bake and get the chicken wings and crispy French fries you crave. Here are a few tips for using air fryers toaster ovens.
Tip 1. Use the Right Cookware – A perforated pan or “crisper tray” allows air to circulate so your food is evenly crispy. You can use a cooling rack that is safe for oven use instead. Aluminum foil can be used to line the bottom of the oven to catch drips and crumbs.
Tip 2. Cut Food Carefully – Why are French fries cut in long strips? Because that maximizes the surface and gives plenty of room for browning. Food should be cut into long strips or bite-size pieces before placing in air fryers toaster ovens.
Tip 3. Prepare Food Properly – If you want crispier foods, make sure it’s dry before placing it in the oven. You may want to spray or brush it with a neutral oil like grapeseed or vegetable oil. This encourages browning and crispiness. Plus, it adds a hint of the deep-fried flavor you love.
Tip 4. Flip Food Half-Way – Most air fryer recipes recommend flipping foods about halfway through the cooking process. This is to help it cook and brown evenly. This step is just as important if you are using a toaster oven or a convection oven as an air fryer. Once you flip the food, spritz the other side with a little more oil or cooking spray. This helps ensure both sides are crispy.
Tip 5. Spread the Food Out – When placed on the oven pan, your food should not be touching. If it is piled up or touching, then it won’t brown as well. It will steam cook instead of air frying. Spread it out evenly in a single layer and leave room between each piece. This allows air to circulate freely.
Tips For Using a Toaster Oven
You can use a toaster oven for almost anything you can cook in a regular oven. It will grill, broil, bake, reheat, and roast foods. That includes a lot more than just making toast! It can be used along with your main oven when making large meals. Other than reheating leftover pizza, it works well for foods like:
- Chicken thighs
- Chicken tenders
- Macaroni and cheese
- Sweet potato fries
It won’t heat up your whole house like a traditional oven tends to do. When baking, the toaster oven will use both heating elements, so you may need to set it at a lower temperature. You can also cook foods for less time than what is recommended.
If you are broiling foods in a toaster oven, your food is going to be close to the top heating element. Make sure to watch it more closely to make sure you don’t burn your foods.
You may also want to purchase bakeware made for the toaster oven. It’s a lot smaller than a conventional oven so some of your baking dishes may not fit.
Advantages of a Toaster Oven
Since the two appliances do the same things, are there any advantages to using a toaster oven? For one, they are handier for reheating foods. They are also great when you have a larger amount of food. Putting too much food in an air fryer can cause lots of smoke. Here are a couple more advantages of using a toaster oven.
- It’s easier to watch your food when it’s in a toaster oven.
- A 13-inch pizza, 9-inch cake, or a six-pound chicken can fit in a toaster oven.
- Toaster ovens are easier to clean.
- They don’t make as much noise as an air fryer.
Can a toaster oven replace an air fryer?
You can use a toaster oven for almost anything you use an air fryer to cook. They are somewhat different in operation, but the result is the same. Having one appliance that can perform a variety of tasks can save you a lot of time and give you more counter space.