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Can an Air Fryer Replace a Microwave? (Complete Guide)

Ever wonder whether air fryers can replace microwaves and also reduce the cost without compromising on the effectiveness? Furthermore, who doesn’t want their kitchen appliance to offer dual versatility and functionality?

It is rather like a cherry on top if you can find a device that can both cook your food faster and also reheat food without making them soggy. 

Can an air fryer replace a microwave?

An air fryer cannot replace the functionality of a microwave as microwaves are very versatile in their nature. Although there are some similarities between air fryers and microwaves, air fryers cannot really beat microwaves in their speed and effectiveness.

Air fryers are great for reheating food which doesn’t temper the texture, however, it does not offer a speedier process rather cooks slowly than microwaves.

In addition, air fryers also cannot replace microwaves when it comes to heating liquids, speeding the cooking process, and so on.

Is an air fryer a microwave? 

An air fryer is not a microwave. Air fryers include a lot of the features of a microwave however, it is not the same. 

Air fryers use convection heating whereas microwaves use microwaves as the heating process. In the case of technology, features, and effectiveness, air fryers are not the same as microwaves.

Can an air fryer be used to do the same as a microwave?

An air fryer can be used to do the same things as a microwave with some exceptions here and there. An air fryer can heat, reheat frozen, leftover, and most of the food items just like a microwave.

An air fryer can also bake sweet and savory items and cook foods just like a microwave and sometimes do it even better; however, all microwave’s features cannot be substituted by air fryers.

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer, 4 Qt, Black/gray

How does a microwave & air fryer work? 

Microwaves use radio waves to cook food meaning there is a device equipped with microwaves called magnetron which radiates the microwaves.

Additionally, due to the metal compartment, the microwaves cannot get out and radiate through the food. As a result, the water molecules of food vibrate and cook the food.

Furthermore, air fryers work by including coil and fan. It also uses a convection heating process to heat the food. The fan circulates hot air throughout and penetrates the food thus cooks food.

Air fryer vs convection microwave- How are they different?

Air fryers and convection microwaves both are very effective in their department. They both come in handy in times of instant and effective cooking. However, they also differ from each other in their benefits and appliances. 


Air fryers and convection microwaves are different in terms of the technology used. In the case of a convection microwave, microwave radiation is used to heat the food. 

In addition, the water molecules from the food are heated and thus food is heated.

On the other hand, air fryers use fans and coil as heating elements and use rapid air technology which rapidly circulates air and thus reduces moisture from the food making it crispier and healthier. 


When it comes to size, convection microwaves are rectangular and have door-like apparatus. 

On the other hand, air fryers are almost in a circular shape which resembles the shape of a coffee maker. An air fryer is relatively smaller and taller and offers portability.


A convection microwave comes with multiple food-making options, trays, skewers, spits, racks, equipment, and so on. 

Moreover, it uses two modes for heating food. One features a microwave and the other includes convection technique. In the case of an air fryer, it comes with a sliding tray and a basket. 

Dash Compact Air Fryer Oven Cooker with Temperature Control, Non-stick Fry Basket, Recipe Guide + Auto Shut off Feature, 2 Quart - Aqua

Heating Process and Fan placement:

The fans in an air fryer are larger and work faster than a convection microwave. The fan is placed on the top of the air fryer and the heating process is thirty percent faster. 

In the case of a convection microwave, the fan is placed at the bottom. The heating process follows a bottom-up process whereas air fryers follow a top-down process. 

Why is an air fryer better than an oven? How does an air fryer oven replace a microwave?

Air fryers are perhaps the greatest invention when it comes to cooking food effectively without compromising on the flavor. An air fryer is a more convenient and cheaper option when it comes to replacing some of the features of a microwave. 

Healthier Option:

Nothing can beat air fryers when it comes to providing healthier options. An air fryer doesn’t require any oils to fry foods, which is impossible in the case of a microwave. 

In addition, 80% of calories are reduced when food is fried in an air fryer therefore, the food is healthier.


An air fryer is very much portable and you can easily move it around which is not possible with microwaves.

Air fryers usually sit on the countertop; however, you can relocate it by making sure there is a plug nearby to plug it in.

Effective Reheating: 

Leftovers/frozen food like pizza, chicken nuggets, fried chicken, and many more can be reheated in air fryers without making the food soggy and rubbery.

Air fryers make food crispier and more flavorful whereas a microwave does not offer this luxury.

Chefman TurboFry 3.6-Quart Air Fryer Oven w/ Dishwasher Safe Basket and Dual Control Temperature, 60 Minute Timer & 15 Cup Capacity, BPA-Free, Matte Black, Healthy Frying Cookbook Included

What can a microwave do that an air fryer can’t?

When it comes to microwaves, microwaves are known for their conventionality and time-effective cooking process. Although an air fryer can be a good substitute for a microwave nevertheless, an air fryer has some limitations that a microwave can fulfill. 

Heating Liquids:

Whenever you want your soup or coffee to be reheated for a quick snack, a microwave comes in handy.

On the other hand, you cannot use an air fryer for heating liquids, soup, coffee, tea, and so on.


Because of the microwave’s size, it offers more space whereas an air fryer offers very little space. This can hinder the cooking process and limit the cooking capacity. 

In addition, you can cook only a little portion at a time in air fryers. In the case of cooking for a bigger batch, a microwave will work effortlessly as it will include huge servings at one time.


When it comes to reheating leftovers or cooking from scratch, nothing can beat the effectiveness of a microwave.

In addition, a microwave uses microwave radiation which radiates through the food and causes vibrations in the food molecules which in turn rapidly heats the food which is not possible through air fryers. 

Moreover, the heat in microwaves radiates from inside to outside but in the case of air fryers, it is from outside to inside.        

Energy Efficient:

Microwaves are more energy efficient as the desired temperature can be reached very quickly which will contribute to saving up energy.

Air fryers don’t have this feature as it takes a lot of time to heat up and thus it is not energy effective.

COSORI Air Fryer Max XL(100 Recipes) Digital Hot Oven Cooker, One Touch Screen with 13 Cooking Functions, Preheat and Shake Reminder, 5.8 QT, Black

What is better, air fryer or microwave? Is an air fryer safer than a microwave oven? 

Both appliances have their unique characteristics that make them stand out therefore, it is rather a bit difficult to address one as the superior. 

In addition, in the case of cutting calories, nothing can beat the usefulness of air fryers and thus air fryers are safer than microwaves.

However, when it comes to cooking food in a couple of minutes, microwaves can work like wonders in the most effective manner possible.

Can air fryers bake? 

Air fryers can bake some delicious baked goods. Whether cinnamon rolls, Doughnuts, cakes, sponge cakes, or cookies, your air fryer can bake almost any recipe. 

While baking in air fryers, you have to make several changes meaning you may need to do several batches and have to make some size adjustments. 

Additionally, you may also find problems with the baking time and temperature.

Can I reheat food in the air fryer? 

Air fryer with its multipurpose functionality also offers the option of reheating foods which comes in handy. From fried chicken to pizza, with a simple press, you can very effectively reheat food in an air fryer.

Moreover, you can very effortlessly reheat the leftovers in an air fryer better than microwaves.

Reheating food in an air fryer is not time-consuming and it doesn’t ruin the flavor and texture of the food and keeps the original flavor intact.

Instead of making your food soggy, air fryers make your food crispy.

Dash DCAF200GBBK02 Tasti Crisp Electric Air Fryer Oven Cooker with Temperature Control, Non-Stick Fry Basket, Recipe Guide + Auto Shut Off Feature, 1000-Watt, 2.6Qt, Black

Do I need a microwave if I have an air fryer?

Whether you want a microwave despite having an air fryer depends highly on the functionality you desire and on your preferences. 

An air fryer offers a lot of options however, it always cannot fulfill all the facilities of a microwave. An air fryer does not offer size compatibility whereas a microwave can do that effortlessly.

Air fryers also don’t let you warm your water or any kind of liquid nevertheless, a microwave fills this limitation of an air fryer. 

However, if you don’t care for size compatibility or reheating your water and all, then air fryers will suffice. But you will need a microwave if you want to have all the options and functions available.

Contact Brand Support for Repair & Service

In case if you have any other issues with your air fryer and cannot fix them, you can contact your air fryer brand repair and service center for further assistance.

Air Fryer Brand Name Support Page For Repair & Service Contact
Power Air FryerSupport Page973-287-5197
Ninja Air FryerSupport Page866-826-6941
Chefman Air FryerSupport Page(865) 269-2433
Nuwave Air FryerSupport Page877-689-2838
Gourmia Air FryerSupport Page888-552-0033
Cosori Air FryerSupport Page888-402-1684
Dash Air FryerSupport Page800-898-6970
Cuisinart Air FryerSupport Page1-800-726-0190
Philips Air FryerSupport PageN/A
Big Boss Air FryerSupport Page212-689-9094
Crux Air FryerSupport Page866-832-4843
Gowise Air FryerSupport Page855-233-9199
Black And Decker Air FryerSupport PageN/A
Secura Air FryerSupport Page1-888-792-2360
Oster Air FryerSupport Page1-800-334-0759
Morphy Richards Air FryerSupport Page0344-871-0944

In summation, an air fryer will not duplicate all the features of the microwave nevertheless, an air fryer is a great addition to your home while considering the portable and healthy aspect that air fryers provide. Additionally, it can also be time-effective and kitchen-friendly.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do Air Fryers Damage Countertops?

Are Air Fryers Allowed in Dorms?

Do Air Fryer Liners Work?

Why Does My Air Fryer Burn Food?

Can I Use Steel, Ceramic, & Plastic Bowls in An Air Fryer?

What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?