Technology has changed the way traditional cooking occurs in any Indian household today, with smarter machines that help save time, energy, and money- the process has become much more convenient and seamless. Especially when it comes to fried dishes, which are a staple in Indian kitchens, traditional cooking methods have been quickly replaced by modern methods.
Alternatives such as air fryers are gaining popularity in the same way that microwave ovens once did. So in today’s time where there are a plethora of options to choose from- which is better, an air fryer vs a microwave? Below we discuss the microwave and air fryer benefits, as well as the air fryer and microwave, uses in an attempt to understand the difference between air fryer and microwave and help you choose better options for your kitchen and home.
What is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer is a compact cooking gadget that uses very little oil to cook and fry food. It’s a countertop convection oven that’s been customized, with a top-mounted heating system and a fan to distribute heat evenly throughout the appliance.
How do Air Fryers work?
Convection heating is used to heat food in an air fryer. A heating element generates heat, which is then circulated throughout the meal by a fan. It resembles a little convection oven. An air fryer softly covers the food in oil as air circulates it, rather than drowning it in oil like a deep fryer.
The heating coil and the fan are the two most important parts of an air fryer. The coil is usually placed above the food basket and may reach temperatures of 400°F. The heated air is circulated by the fan, while unwanted hot air is vented through one or more vents.
Benefits and Uses of Air Fryers
1. Using Air Fryers Promotes Weight Loss
Fried food consumption is directly linked to an increased risk of obesity. This is due to the high fat and calorie content of deep-fried dishes. Weight reduction can be aided by switching from deep-fried to air-fried dishes and eliminating the regular intake of unhealthy oils.
2. Air Fryers Can be Safer than Deep Fryers
Deep-frying dishes necessitates the use of a big container filled with scorching hot oil. This might be dangerous. While air fryers do become hot, there is no danger of spilling, splashing, or contacting the boiling oil by accident.
3. Cutting Down on Deep-Fried Foods Reduces Risk
Cooking with oil and eating traditional fried dishes daily has been linked to a variety of health problems. Deep frying can be replaced with other cooking methods to lessen the risk of these consequences.
4. Air Fryers Reduce Risk of Toxic Acrylamide Formation
Frying food in oil can result in the formation of hazardous chemicals like acrylamide. During high-heat cooking methods, such as deep-frying, this chemical develops in some meals. People can reduce their risk of acrylamide contamination in their meals by switching to air frying.
Summary: Air fryers are good healthier and safer than the traditional frying process. This is because recipes such as Varutha Meen / Eera, Ulli Vada, Kadi Pakoda etc., that are usually deep fried in a sea of oil, now require very little oil to get cooked while tasting almost the same. The best air fryers you can find in India are usually also a lot faster than a deep frying stove. Therefore, if you are health conscious, but love eating deep fried food, you should consider buying an air fryer and lead a healthier life.
What is a Microwave Oven?
Microwave ovens employ convection heating, whereas air fryers use microwaves. A microwave (solo or convection) is a device that, despite its contemporary appearance, has been around for a long time.
In simple terms, a microwave oven produces microwave radiation and directs it at your meal. These microwaves then quickly heat little pockets of water in the outer 3 centimeters or so of your food- quickly heating up your food.
How Does Microwave Oven Work?
Microwaves are generated in a microwave oven, which vibrates the water molecules in the meal. Heat is produced when molecules vibrate. The meal heats up once the water molecules begin to heat up.
Microwaves often contain rotating turntables in the center that are timed to spin a certain number of times per minute to assure equal cooking. As the turntable revolves, a plate of food placed in the middle of the microwave will be exposed to microwave radiation from all sides.
Microwave Oven Uses and Functions
1. Microwaves are Energy Efficient
Microwaves are low-energy appliances. Microwaves need the energy to manufacture, yet they function quickly. You don’t have to wait for the appliance to warm, which helps to save energy overall.
2. Microwaves Heat Food Quickly
Instead of heating air, a microwave warms tiny pockets of water at the surface of food, enabling the remainder of the meal to heat by conduction. When compared to any other heating technology, microwaves deliver the quickest cooking times.
3. Microwaves Are Faster than Air Fryers
In comparison to a regular oven, a microwave can cook meat six times quicker. Heating a couple of plates of chicken may just take a few minutes, however, cooking the same chicken in an air fryer may take 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Microwaves Provide Precise Cooking
Microwaves may be used for a lot more things than an air fryer. You may use it to warm meals or even coffee, defrost meat, and melt butter in addition to making food. It’s a multi-functional device and has many advantages. Microwaves are also quite handy.
Summary: A lot of people have the misconception that microwaves are only used to reheat food, but what they don’t know is that microwaves can also be used for cooking and baking dishes. Don’t believe me? Here are a few recipes that I have cooked using only a microwave: Moong Dal, Kale Chips & Khichdi.
The Best Microwaves in India are also faster and more energy efficient than air fryers, but more oil is required to cook food in a microwave. You might also not receive the best output if you use a microwave or an air fryer for the sole purpose of baking. For baking, we suggest you read our article on the best baking oven in India.
Air Fryer vs Microwave Oven: Which One is Better for Cooking?
The microwave oven vs air fryer battle continues below.
|Microwave Oven||Air Fryer|
|Technology||It uses electromagnetic waves as the primary source for cooking food.||It uses rapid air technology to cook food from all sides uniformly.|
|Cooking Capacity||They are bigger than air fryers so they can cook more food.||They are tiny in size as compared to microwaves.|
|Health||The food cooked in microwaves requires more oil.||The food cooked in an air fryer is healthier as it requires minimal to no oil.|
|Power Consumption and Efficiency||The power usage of a microwave is more when compared to the air fryers.||They consume less power in comparison to a microwave.|
|Ease of cleaning||The microwave needs to be cleaned every few days.||An air fryer ideally must be cleaned after every use.|
|Price||The average price of a microwave is INR 8000||The average price of an air fryer is around INR 4500|
|Maintenance||They are easier to maintain as compared to other appliances in the kitchen.||As it is a small appliance, it doesn’t take much time to clean or maintain.|
Convection heating is used in air fryers, where the heating coils are heated first, and then the fan blows the hot air uniformly throughout the vessel to produce consistent heating throughout the food. However, this procedure takes a reasonable length of time. Microwave ovens, on the other hand, employ electromagnetic radiation to heat water molecules that are already present inside the meal.
As a result, when the water molecules are heated, they begin to vibrate and generate heat, which allows the food to be properly cooked. Despite being quicker than an air fryer, this method does not result in crispier food.
2. Cooking Capacity
Capacity and size are two of the most crucial factors to consider when purchasing a piece of kitchen equipment. Because air fryers are so tiny in comparison to microwaves, they have a much lower cooking capacity.
Because air fryers are small and compact, they cook a smaller amount of food. Microwaves have a capacity of 45 liters on average, but an air fryer has a maximum capacity of 5 liters. “The larger the size, the better the cooking ability,” as the saying goes in the kitchen.
Food cooked in a microwave requires a little quantity of oil, but food cooked in an air fryer requires very little oil and is therefore highly nutritious. The less oil in the food, the healthier it is. Choose an air fryer if you wish to eat healthily.
In comparison to deep-fried items, both appliances deliver healthier meals. You can control the temperature with air fryers, and you don’t need any extra oil to keep the food wet. In microwaves, however, at least a tablespoon of oil is required, and considerably more when cooking meat-related meals.
4. Ease of cleaning
Because air fryers use very little oil, there isn’t as much greasy residue left behind after each usage, so you don’t need to clean the appliance’s exterior as often as the interior. Microwaves do not require cleaning after each usage. They should be cleaned after a few days or if the vessel appears unclean or if food has become lodged within.
Microwaves are more expensive than air fryers in terms of pricing. Microwave ovens, on the other hand, have a higher capacity and cook food more completely. Air fryers, on the other hand, are tiny and cook a smaller amount of food. An air fryer costs roughly INR 5000 and can go as high as 20,000 INR, whereas a microwave with a lot of features costs around INR 8000 and may cost up to INR 50,000. If you are searching for a simple microwave, you can find those in our article listing the best microwaves under 5000 INR.
Microwaves are simple to maintain since they are simple to operate and clean. They only need to be cleaned down regularly. Food can get attached to the surface, and if you don’t clear it, it will absorb heat when another dish is cooking, making that meal less efficient.
They only use microwave containers since regular plastic vessels may melt and harm the food. The air fryer should also be cleaned after each use, but no separate vessel is necessary because it already contains a heating vessel.
Air Fryer vs Microwave Oven: Which appliance is better for you?
After assessing all the positives, negatives, benefits, and uses of both pieces of equipment, it’s now up to you to determine which appliance is the right one for your home. If you are a single-member household or a couple, the air fryer is a great choice because it will not only save you money but also supply you with nutritious prepared meals.
If your household is larger, you may need to purchase a microwave because it will cater to the various needs of all family members without using excessive electricity like in the case of an air fryer. It is imperative to choose a model that fits your tastes, references, and culinary needs perfectly!