Can Air Fryer Replace Microwave

Can Air Fryer Replace Microwave Completely?

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend and we stumbled upon a fascinating topic. Is it possible for an air fryer to fully take the place of a microwave? Essentially, a lot of us find ourselves using the air fryer much more often for preparing meals that we’d typically warm up in the microwave. Therefore, the question arises: is it feasible to completely eliminate the microwave from our kitchens?

This question stuck with me all day, so I decided to do some research. This post will share with you all I’ve learned squeeze her. Here’s what I’ve learned.

How Does An Air Fryer And A Microwave Oven Work?

Both the air fryer and microwave operate with different technologies. As such, the results of both would be different. The air fryer often results in food having a crispy exterior with little to no oil. While the microwave is mostly used to reheat food in a few minutes. As you can see, both have their pros. But how do they work?

A Closer Look At Air Fryers

Air fryers uses an installed fan and heating coil to heat the device. The coil is generally at the top or bottom of the fryer. While the fan is generally at the back or top the fryer (depending on your model). When you power on the air fryer the coil gets hot and heats the air the surrounds it. The fan then continues to blow the hot air circulating it around the cooking chamber.

The super-hot air being circulated allows your food to get a crispy exterior with very little oil. This is due to a ‘Maillard Reaction’. If you are unfamiliar with this term, its essentially a chemical reaction between reducing sugars and amino acids.

The air fryer may not cook as fast as a microwave, but it is two and sometimes three times as fast as an oven.

A Closer Look At Microwaves

Your microwave oven heats food using an entirely different technology. It uses electromagnetic radiation waves, instead of hot air circulation.  These electromagnetic waves creates heat by causing the tiny particles of your food to vibrate. So, it heats the food directly and not so much the container or the actual device. This is why you are able to put plastic containers into your microwave without them melting to the surface or having the plate burn your fingers to remove it.

It was intended to be a simple and quick helper for reheating leftovers. It cannot, however, fry foods to create a crispy exterior as you would in an air fryer.

Can An Air Fryer Be Used To Do The Same As A Microwave?

As discussed above the main reason that most people have microwaves is for reheating food. Its ability to quickly reheat food as has already been made is its unique selling point. Your air fryer can also reheat foods, however, it will take longer time to do so. This is because your air fryer cooks from the exterior inwards. As a result, there may also be issues with your food not heating it all the way through. When cooked for the same time as a microwave would.

The foods that will excel in reheating in the air fryer will be the ones that you typically fried anyways. Foods that would generally get a crispy texture. If you are only looking for heat, however, without the crisp the microwave would be far better.

Another major benefit of the microwave is its ability to reheat liquid. Unfortunately, your air fryer does not do well with what cooking methods. So, there will be no reheating stews or soups in the air fryer. That would have to be left for the microwave or stove top.

What Is The Best Way To Reheat Food In An Air Fryer?

When you are reheating an air Fryer appropriate food, such as pizza or chicken wings, there is a specific technique that you will need to use. The steps to reheat food in an air fryer are as follows:

  1. Because your air fryer gets hot quickly you will need a low heat is just reheating food. So, the first step would be to set your temperature at about 350°F.
  2. Next, comes deciding how long to air fry your food for. Determining the time will be a bit difficult. You will need to consider the thickness and size of the food item you want to reheat. Then play around with the times to find your sweet spot. The only thing I have tried to reheat in my air fryer so far is leftover pizza. For this, I generally reheat at 350°F for about 3 minutes to get it back hot and crispy. I used to do it the microwave for the same time but that tended to go soggy.

So, Can The Air Fryer Really Replace The Microwave?

In my honest opinion I would say it’s not fair to try to pick these two devices against each other. Both appliances were invented for different reasons and as such carry out their own unique tasks.

People typically use their microwave to reheat TV dinners or soups, for example. Getting these food items reheated well in an air fryer would be much harder and unconventional. So, the microwave takes the win when it comes to most reheating. For cooking fresh or frozen foods in hopes of a crispy finish you would then turn to the air fryer. Where the microwave would not be able to heat oil to a high enough temperature to fry anything.

Bottom Line

To me, it’s a draw. Neither the air fryer or microwave are better than the other. I stand by what I said earlier. Both appliances were invented for different reasons and as such carry out their own unique tasks. So, owning one won’t necessarily guarantee that you will not need the other. Sure, the air fryer can, indeed, carry out some of the functions of a microwave there are still some things it can not do. You also wouldn’t be able to cook any liquids in your air fryer. That means a microwave oven or stove top would still be needed to reheat soups and stews.

For these reasons, I do not believe that an air fryer could completely replace your microwave.

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