Can An Air Fryer Replace A Microwave?

It is no secret that the microwave oven has been an indispensable part of our kitchens for decades. In fact, the microwave oven has become so popular that many people’s first reaction to anything even remotely related to the kitchen is “oh, good, I’ll be able to use my microwave!”.

But soon enough those same households find themselves in a dead end with their appliances; microwaves are not only bulky but they tend to clog up with grease and they are generally inefficient at cooking items evenly.

Luckily there is an alternative on the market these days: air fryers. Air fryers can be used as a replacement for conventional ovens and microwaves, so we decided to tell you about the advantages of air fryers and why we think your household can be just as happy with them.

Also see: Air Fryer Vs Microwave Oven

The Advantages Of Air Fryers

These kitchen appliances have an attractive retro design that immediately draws the eye. The trend with air fryers is to make them resemble old-fashioned toasters. The one thing air fryers have that their microwave oven counterparts do not is a push-button control panel; this way of controlling an appliance is becoming increasingly popular nowadays.

Related: Best Air Fryers Reviews & Buying Guide

Another advantage of these devices is that they don’t require any electricity to function, so you can take them with you camping or a picnic, just like a regular toaster. And being that energy consumption is almost non-existent (most air fryers use no more than 100 watts per hour), you can leave it running for hours with no consequences. This makes them perfect for people who are vegans or vegetarians because they do not require any oil while cooking.

Can An Air Fryer Replace A Microwave? Today we are talking all about the air fryer vs microwave and whether you need both, which one is better than the other and what we have in the Milner kitchen.

This microwave and air fryer guide is also featured in the Magic With Gadgets Podcast. Simply search for Magic With Gadgets on your preferred podcast player, then scroll to episode 11 of season 2 to access this awesome episode.

Air Fryer Vs Microwave

Did you know that I have been air frying for 10 years now? But have only owned a microwave in my kitchen for the last six weeks.

I had a microwave at the beginning of the 00’s and grew up with them. Yet when we got our first air fryer 10 years ago, I didn’t feel the need for a microwave.

Well, until now that is.

You see back then in 2003 when we placed a microwave on our wedding gift list, we had a toddler with bottles to warm up and a bottle steriliser until to use. And a microwave was essential to make this happen.

But beyond that and baked beans we rarely used it.

So, when we moved house in September 2004, we never took our microwave with us and didn’t use it again until 2021.

But what we have found a better kitchen gadget is our air fryer. We can make air fryer bread rolls, air fryer baked potatoes with crispy skin, and the air fryer bacon is certainly a lot better than the microwave alternative.

But of course they both have their advantages and disadvantages and its certainly an interesting idea to compare the air fryer with the microwave.

Today on the podcast we will be discussing:

Air fryer vs microwave

Can you use an air fryer as a microwave?

Is an air fryer better than a microwave?

Then you can decide if a microwave or an air fryer is better for you or should you have both!

Plus, as well as our free newsletter, we also have a free air fryer mini course. It is ideal for air fryer beginners or those that want to get more confident with their air fryer. The free course runs for 5 days with a new lesson delivered each day to your inbox.

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Can You Use An Air Fryer As A Microwave

Yes, you can and that is exactly what I have been doing for the last 10 years.

Whilst many people would melt butter or chocolate in a microwave or defrost in a microwave, I have achieved all of these in an air fryer.

Check out our air fryer brownies with melted butter, air fryer mugcakes with melted chocolate and our cooking air fryer frozen chicken breasts.

BUT and it’s a big BUT these tasks can be achieved quicker with a microwave rather than with an air fryer.

But if you wanted to be free of an extra kitchen gadget you can use the air fryer as your microwave replacement.

However, if you would just use a gadget for melting things and defrosting then you would be better with sticking with a microwave.

Can An Air Fryer Replace A Toaster Oven

Yes, it can. I have made air fryer toast and I have used a toast oven and found that the air fryer did the same job, and it made less mess. I just couldn’t believe how many crumbs a toaster oven generates or how much slower it is compared to this air fryer that I use every day.

Also, an air fryer is capable of a lot more things and I couldn’t fit a lot of my favourite air fryer recipes in a toaster oven.

I used a toaster oven instead of the air fryer this summer and it just never really thrilled me, in the way a classic air fryer does.

Can You Reheat Food In An Air Fryer

Yes, you can. The air fryer does an amazing job of reheating food, just check out some of our examples of doing so:

Reheat Bread In Air Fryer

Reheat Steak In Air Fryer

Reheat Meatloaf In Air Fryer

Reheat Fries In Air Fryer

Reheat Chicken Wings In Air Fryer

Plus, we find it does a better job of reheating in the air fryer to the microwave because of the air circulation and the fact it makes it crispy again. For example, the fries are like just cooked ones again and never soggy.

Though, you do of course have a slightly longer reheat time compared to the microwave.

Is An Air Fryer Like A Microwave

Yes, it is. You place food in the air fryer basket or the shelves of an air fryer oven, just like you would use the plate of the microwave to cook or reheat food.

Overall, the air fryer and the microwave are very similar.

You may be wondering why we have an air fryer and microwave, and it’s because I like the shortcuts of something quicker in the microwave and being able to use the air fryer and the microwave together at dinner table to achieve both at once.

What Is Better Air Fryer Or Microwave

This of course, depends on you and your circumstances. An air fryer could be your perfect microwave substitute if you don’t use the microwave much and see air fryer recipes filling the gap.

Or if you reheat a LOT of food and eat a lot of TV dinners, then the microwave may well still need to be in your kitchen.

My advice is to get an air fryer (we recommend this one) and then see if you use your microwave less and less and if you could live without a microwave.

Did You Know We Have A Podcast

We started the Magic With Gadgets podcast in the January of 2021 as a way to offer a different way to enjoy Recipe This. It focuses on cooking with kitchen gadgets. You can find out more about our podcast here.

With twice weekly episodes through September to December. This is episode 11 of the second season and you have the choice between reading this post, listening to the podcast or both.

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Do I need a microwave if I have air fryer?

We have a microwave in our kitchen and we use it quite a lot.

Most of the time I will defrost food in the microwave to avoid sitting around with nothing to do, as well as for convenience sake.

And I use it for when I am making bread rolls. Then it also comes very handy when reheat left over food such as pizza or other stews etc. But then we don’t eat a lot of microwave leftovers that are larger than chips – so it fits well into our routine.

The microwave has done a great job when we have had to make our own steaks.

It did very well for us at defrosting frozen chicken pieces overnight and then for making a nice steak sandwich the next morning.

My advice is to pick one of these two options and see if you use it less and less over time. If you can live without one, then do. They are both very good gadgets so don’t worry about having more than one in your kitchen!

Can you use an air fryer to reheat food?

Yes, you can. There is no doubt that an air fryer is a very convenient device and it will defrost, cook and reheat food very well.

However, we have air fried garlic cloves and the clove was a little bit limp after air frying them. This may be because the garlic is not cooked properly or it could be due to the high heat used in this microwave cooking method.

So, if you are looking to reheat food with an air fryer then make sure you do so on medium/low heat settings rather than high like shown in our video above.

Can I put aluminum foil in an air fryer?

Yes, and if you do then you will have to remember to remove the aluminum foil first before using the basket or shelf.

We did this when we made air fryer french fries and you can see how well it works in our video above.

If you can’t wait for the full set of instructions, then we will tell you now to wrap with a couple of layers of foil and place on a lower shelf and cook for 8-10 minutes at 370f/188c degrees.

If you want to know the science behind why this works so well then read our detailed post about it here.

Can I put my air fryer in the oven?

Yes you can. You can put the air fryer in the oven for cooking or reheating food and it will work very well. Just make sure you follow our instructions and cooking times on this page to get the best results.

Using an air fryer for reheating food

We have a microwave in our home but we still use an air fryer for reheating food from time to time. It’s very convenient, as long as you know how to use it properly of course! We have found one method that works exceptionally well and we think it’s worth sharing with all of you.

We often use our air fryer for reheating food, usually as an alternative to using the oven. This is because it takes much less time to prep and cook food in the air fryer than it does on top of the stove or in a conventional oven.

It’s also quick to put together a meal and doesn’t require babysitting which makes it perfect for when you want to save time.

The best way of reheating food in an air fryer is by doing so on your lower shelf. This is where our air fryer gets warmest and thus, the food will be cooked at its optimum temperatures when eaten.

Which is better air fryer or microwave?

In choosing between an air fryer and microwave oven, we would recommend an air fryer or microwave combination. This means you get the best of both worlds.

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1. The convenience of the microwave

2. The great tasting food of the air fryer

Cooking times for reheating food in an air fryer

There is no set cooking time for reheating food in an air fryer, but you will need to experiment a little on your own to find how long it takes your food to be ready. This may be affected by factors such as how big or small your meal is, how many of them and at what temperature you have set the machine on too.

Decide on the size of your fries and use this as your guide. If it takes half an hour to be ready, then that is what you should aim for. You will have to keep checking on them and see how long it is taking for them to be ready.

Some food may need a bit more time than others and there really is no best or wrong way of doing this. But we have found the best way to reheat food in an air fryer is by doing so on your lower shelf. This is where our air fryer gets warmest and thus, the food will be cooked at its optimum temperatures when eaten.

What can I use instead of a microwave?

A microwave is a very convenient device and it will defrost, cook and reheat food very well.

However, we have air fried garlic cloves and the clove was a little bit limp after air frying them. This may be because the garlic is not cooked properly or it could be due to the high heat used in this microwave cooking method.

So, if you are looking to reheat food with an air fryer then make sure you do so on medium/low heat settings rather than high like shown in our video above.

Can you use an air fryer to reheat food?

Yes, you can. There is no doubt that an air fryer is a very convenient device and it will defrost, cook and reheat food very well.

However, we have air fried garlic cloves and the clove was a little bit limp after air frying them. This may be because the garlic is not cooked properly or it could be due to the high heat used in this microwave cooking method.

So, if you are looking to reheat food with an air fryer then make sure you do so on medium/low heat settings rather than high like shown in our video above.

What are the disadvantages of an air fryer?

There are a couple of downsides to having an air fryer. Here they are:

You can’t use them to make certain foods, like popcorn and you might not be able to do other things like boil eggs or cook rice. The amount of oil that needs to be used in some dishes may turn off those who dislike the taste of eating food cooked in this way.

For recipes that call for potatoes to be shoved into the basket with no oil at all, it can be a little bit messy and make the air fryer smell really bad too.

However, there are some air fryer recipes that do not need oil to cook them at all and these are often very tasty and fattening too! Try this one for example: Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading this guide and learned something new. If you have any comments, questions or concerns then please leave us a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for taking the time!

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