Can An Air Fryer Replace A Microwave? Important Things You Should Know

Here is a question that we get asked a lot – can an air fryer replace a microwave?

Perhaps you are looking to have just one appliance in the kitchen, and you have to choose between buying just an air fryer or a microwave. If so, then you would want to make sure if it will even work for your recipes.

Air fryers are useful for cooking food with hot air. This makes the quality evenly cooked and crispy. But with a microwave, this requires microwaves for cooking food in the most efficient and quickest way possible.

There are unique advantages and purposes for each appliance, this is why you need to make sure that it is absolutely possible to replace one with the other. So in this post, we will discuss whether you can replace a microwave with an air fryer and other points to consider.

Let’s jump right into it. 

Can An Air Fryer Replace A Microwave

First of all, let us consider the cooking method applied in either appliance. This makes a huge difference and can impact your decision when you choose to buy one instead of the other. With an air fryer, the outcome of your food is always crispy and evenly-cooked. You do not need to use oil to cook your meals, which is best for cutting back on the grease and fat.

can an air fryer replace a microwave

If you want to fry your fish, meats, or french fries, then using an air fryer is a better choice since this does not require adding oil to your ingredients.

As for a microwave, it needs microwaves for heating and cooking meals. But you can only use this for reheating meals or preparing very quick meals. It does not make your dishes crispy unlike with an air fryer. 

It is also worth noting that the cooking time varies between these two appliances. Typically, you should be able to complete the cooking time in under 10 minutes with a microwave, although this depends on the ingredient you have. 

When it comes to an air fryer, it typically takes longer to cook your food. The hot air needs to circulate around your food for an even cook, which is why it can take several minutes. Plus, if you want your dishes to turn out crispy, then this adds to the cooking time for sure.

For example, cooking potatoes in an air fryer could take half an hour or so to make sure they turn out nice and crispy. Cooking potatoes in a microwave is quicker, yet it is never going to be crispy at all. 

When you want a versatile kitchen appliance, both are good in that department. However, we highly recommend an air fryer since you can use it not just to fry meals but also to roast, bake, and in some cases, to dehydrate foods. This is definitely an excellent alternative to traditional deep-frying methods, since you do not have to add oil, yet the outcome of your meals is crispy. 

But with a microwave, you can only use this for reheating or cooking frozen meals. Steaming vegetables may also be possible to do in a microwave. However, that’s about it – you can certainly do more if you have an air fryer at home.

Pros And Cons Of Using A Microwave Instead Of An Air Fryer

If you decide to get a microwave and not an air fryer, then there are some things you can expect. The number one benefit is the speed of cooking or reheating foods. As we have mentioned earlier, it takes only less than 10 minutes with a microwave, but it is much longer with an air fryer.

reheat pizza in the microwave

Moreover, a microwave is much cheaper to buy than an air fryer. You can get a good brand for just a few hundred dollars but an air fryer is more expensive. 

Yet, if what you want is to be able to fry, bake, roast, and dehydrate foods, then you cannot achieve these with a microwave. You would need an air fryer to do all these. A microwave has limited capabilities, so you may want to invest in a good quality air fryer to get more cooking done and in a healthier manner.

With an air fryer, you can perform a healthier cooking method. The hot air is great for crisping your meals, in addition to baking or roasting. There is also the benefit of having just one appliance to do so much – and this can also be used in reheating your leftover meals.

But then again, you should consider the price point since it is definitely more pricey than a microwave. Which is why you need to factor in your budget before you decide to buy one instead of the other. 

We also would like to add the fact that with microwave cooking, the nutrients of your ingredients may be lost along the way. This is due to the method applied in cooking, since the high heat reduces the minerals and vitamins, causing your food to be less nutritious than what it is.

Furthermore, cooking food in an air fryer makes the flavor quite good – not to mention a great texture… But without the oil. The exterior is crispy, yet the inside is juicy and moist. Now, that is a good combination you want for a healthy meal.

On the other hand, microwaves tend to make your food dry and even rubbery. So, it is not as appealing to eat your meals when the texture has ended up this way.

Cleaning an air fryer, however, takes a bit more work than what you normally do with a microwave. So, if you want efficiency, an air fryer is not always your best option. This is something to consider if you do not plan on doing a lot of cooking but simply more on reheating food items.


Overall, an air fryer cannot replace a microwave. There are only limited things that a microwave can do that air fryers can do even better. So, it is good to take note of these differences between the two appliances and determine which one you need more in your home. 

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