Home cooks everywhere are starting to learn about the benefits of cooking with Air Fry to the extent that many shoppers are looking for the feature inside their next wall oven or range. Nowadays, it’s a regular add-on several major appliance brands offer alongside other oven upgrades, including convection.
Some buyers argue the new feature and convection are nearly identical, but in fact, each setting is designed to work in a specific way, meaning one isn’t always a substitute for the other. So, what’s the difference between convection and air frying? Read on to find the answers, plus a look at some of the ways top brands are using this latest technology.
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Thanks to the popularity of cooking programs and celebrity chefs, convection ovens have become buzzworthy appliances, but the technology has been around for decades. Still, regular features on cooking segments have viewers wondering, “What is a convection oven?” Simply put, convection ovens use traditional radiant heating, plus a fan for better heat circulation. As a result, there’s no need to flip or rotate trays mid-bake or roast.
Initially, convection was used in professional restaurants and bakeries until the feature became a domestic option around the 1960s. Since then, several variations have ensued, but ultimately, there are two main options:
- Convection: The original fan and heating element combo
- True Convection: An oven fan, plus a third heating element for the best results on the market
Convection heating is definitely a worthy consideration to have in the kitchen. Overall, convection produces better heat distribution, which encourages even browning without having to give bakes rotations throughout the cooking process. What’s more, the advanced thermal cooking of convection means quicker cook times, which can protect long roasts from over-drying.
The process involves a fan that circulates heat and requires ventilation to prevent humidity build-up.
When to use convection
Before diving into the many ways you can apply convection baking into your cooking routine, let’s address one important consideration: adjusting recipes for convection. Because convection cooks faster and with more heat dispersion, recipes need to be converted to avoid burning.
How do you convert cooking times for a convection oven?
- Drop the temperature by 25 degrees.
- Cut cooking times by 25 percent and check often.
With that in mind, these baking conditions are great for:
✓ Caramelizing vegetables
✓ Producing golden pastries
✓ Baked entrées
✓ Multi-rack baking
There’s even more to discover about this innovative oven feature, which we detail in our guide to convection baking.
While Air Fryer ovens are hyped as the next best thing, the technology used for this oven setting is nearly identical to a convection oven. Like convection, a fan is used to quickly envelop food is super-hot air. As a result, you can turn out crispy, browned, and crunchy foods with deep-fried taste and texture, all without the added oil.
An Air Fry oven is considered one of the best upgrades on the market, since it typically comes with a cooktop, convection, and Air Fry setting all in a single package. And since there’s greater capacity, ovens with an Air Fry mode outperform countertop models when it comes to the amount of food you can air fry at once. To top it off, Air Fry is considered the fastest cooking method on the market, meaning crowd favorites can be whipped up in record times, just in time for the game or your get-together.
However, unlike convection, Air Fry is best when it’s used on a single rack at a time. Additionally, manufacturers recommend skipping aluminum foil since it can impede air circulation and lead to less-than-satisfying results.
When to use an Air Fryer oven
Most commonly, the Air Fry setting is used to recreate bar foods without the need for a countertop appliance. Using this oven setting, you can prepare several dishes like:
✓ Frozen foods
✓ Deep-fried favorites
✓ Quick roasted veggies (we love Brussel sprouts, zucchini, and cauliflower!)
✓ French fries
✓ Mozzarella sticks
As you can see, convection and Air Fry are versatile cooking methods that improve the quality of your meals and snacks, but there are a few items where it’s best to use conventional oven baking.
✗ Delicate foods
The market is booming with brands that now feature Air Fry cooking, including names like Electrolux, Frigidaire Gallery, GE, Café, LG, and Samsung. Even more impressive, GE family brands provide users the option to discover “the future of appliances” with updateable cooking products that make it possible to upgrade your range or oven with the latest cooking technology, including Air Fry.
To get a better idea of how each brand uses Air Fry, take a look at this playlist featuring this oven setting on the industry’s hottest cooking appliance brands. Then, take a look at all the other features GE Profile cooking appliances let users upgrade to, along with Air Fry.
Shop Convection and Air Fry Appliances at Grand Appliance & TV
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