Microwave vs Air Fryer: Choosing Your Kitchen Companion


    Selecting between a microwave vs air fryer can pose quite the culinary conundrum when you’re equipping your kitchen. These two kitchen gadgets offer compactness, speed, and efficiency, serving as excellent substitutes for the conventional oven, often accompanied by a more budget-friendly price point. While air fryers represent the fresher face on the appliance scene, microwaves are experiencing a resurgence in popularity within the market.

    When faced with the task of choosing between these two options, you’ve landed in the perfect spot. We’ve delved into a detailed analysis of how air fryers stack up against top-of-the-line microwave ovens to provide you with the insights you need to reach a well-informed decision.

    When Should You Buy an Air Fryer?

    If you desire that delectable, crispy texture in your dishes with minimal oil usage, an air fryer stands out as the perfect kitchen gadget for the job. Not only are they remarkably energy-efficient compared to conventional ovens, but they also exhibit exceptional versatility in preparing a wide array of delectable meals. Many of these sleek appliances are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing, making them an ideal addition to your kitchen countertop.

    When Should You Buy a Microwave?

    For those who frequently reheat, indulge in mug cake creations, or prefer a hassle-free cooking experience, microwaves emerge as a fantastic substitute for the traditional oven. While they may occupy more space on your kitchen countertop compared to air fryers, they come with the added benefit of being kinder to your wallet. Microwaves offer a swift and effortless solution for warming plates or sterilizing jars and bottles, making them the go-to choice for these tasks.

    Can An Air Fryer Replace Your Microwave?

    When it comes to versatility, air fryers can’t truly take the place of a microwave oven and its array of functions. While you can use an air fryer as a microwave, it falls short when compared to most of the microwave’s unique capabilities. Although there might be some overlapping functions, the air fryer can’t replicate the sheer convenience and rapid heating prowess of the microwave oven.

    It’s crucial to remember that the air fryer should not be enlisted for the task of heating liquids. This limitation underscores the microwave’s utility for swiftly warming beverages and liquids. However, if you don’t find the need to heat liquids or are willing to invest a bit more time in reheating your food, then the air fryer becomes a viable and attractive choice. Remember, you can’t totally replace a microwave with an air fryer.

    Microwave vs Air Fryer – Main Distinctions

    Below are some of the main differences between a microwave and an air fryer, helping you make the right choice.


    Microwaves operate by exciting the water molecules within your food, generating friction that rapidly heats your meal. However, their effectiveness is more pronounced with foods that possess a higher water content. When it comes to drier items like bread and meat, microwaves tend to render them tougher, making them less ideal choices for such foods.

    In contrast, air fryers, a relatively new entrant to the kitchen appliance market, are often positioned as alternatives to traditional deep fat fryers. These innovative devices swiftly circulate hot air using a combination of a heating element and a fan. While this method is rapid, it doesn’t quite match the lightning speed of a standard microwave. Air fryers excel at imparting a crispy texture to vegetables, fries, and frozen foods, making them valuable kitchen assets for these applications. However, they may not perform as admirably when dealing with moist batters and certain recipes.


    Maintaining the cleanliness of both appliances is a hassle-free endeavor. Microwaves, with their neat and rectangular shape, are particularly user-friendly in this regard, allowing for easy access. A simple wipe-down of the interior with warm soapy water and a clean cloth typically suffices. Moreover, the convenience of dishwasher-safe microwave plates simplifies the cleanup process, although it’s advisable to clean them after each use, despite this practice being overlooked by many.

    When it comes to air fryers, many of their baskets can be conveniently placed in the dishwasher. However, if that option is unavailable, a gentle cleaning with warm soapy water for the interior is the way to go. It’s crucial to exercise caution with any non-stick surfaces, as they can be susceptible to scratches, which might have adverse effects in some cases. When dealing with these surfaces, opt for an extremely soft cloth. It’s worth noting that air fryers often come with crisping plates and various attachments, which might add a touch of intricacy to the cleaning process. Considering the overall ease of cleaning, the microwave holds an edge, making it the more straightforward choice in this regard.


    In the grand scheme of things, microwaves usually come with a more budget-friendly price tag compared to air fryers, although you can uncover enticing air fryer deals to mitigate the cost disparity. The debate of microwave versus air fryer costs often veers in favor of microwaves, not only in terms of initial purchase but also in terms of ongoing operational expenses.

    Generally, microwaves prove to be more cost-efficient to run than air fryers. The exact cost, however, hinges on factors such as usage duration and the power rating of the microwave model. In most cases, individuals tend to operate a microwave for shorter periods than an air fryer. Consequently, when making a direct comparison, it’s probable that your microwave will consume less energy and, as a result, demand less from your wallet.


    Air fryers not only excel in functionality but also exhibit a sleek and modern aesthetic that enhances the overall kitchen decor. Their compact design, especially in the case of models like the Instant Essentials, allows for effortless storage, making them almost imperceptible when tucked away. The ability to neatly stow away appliances in cabinets proves to be a valuable asset, as it contributes to a clutter-free kitchen environment. Overcoming the initial hesitation related to setting up your air fryer can result in a more organized and spacious kitchen, offering a chance to make the most of available space.

    Microwave vs Air Fryer – Which is Better for Your Kitchen?

    When it comes to choosing between a microwave and an air fryer, your decision should be based on your specific cooking needs and priorities. If you want to enjoy crispy, oil-free dishes with versatility, an air fryer is an excellent addition to your kitchen. However, if you prioritize quick and hassle-free reheating and a budget-friendly option, a microwave is the way to go. While there may be some overlap in their functions, they each have unique strengths. Remember that you can’t entirely replace a microwave with an air fryer, so consider which one compliments your cooking style and kitchen space best.