Air Fryer vs Toaster Oven: A Comprehensive 2023 Comparison

HomeHome & GardenAir Fryer vs Toaster Oven: A Comprehensive 2023 Comparison



Edited By Clara Melton

Reviewed By Benjamin Walker

When it comes to cooking appliances, the air fryer and toaster oven are two popular options that offer versatile and efficient cooking methods. Both can be used to cook a wide range of foods, from crispy fries to perfectly toasted bread. However, there are several key differences between the two that can make one more suitable for your cooking needs than the other. In this air fryer vs toaster oven comparison, I’ll take a closer look at the features and benefits of each appliance to help you determine which is the best fit for your kitchen and lifestyle.

All You Need to Know About Air Fryers


An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses rapid hot air circulation to cook food. It works by circulating hot air around the food at high speed, creating a crispy, fried texture without the need for added oil. This makes air fryers a healthier alternative to deep-frying, as they can achieve a similar result with much less fat.

Air fryers come in different sizes and styles, from small countertop models that can cook a single serving of food to larger models that can cook a whole chicken or family-sized portions. They typically have a basket or tray where the food is placed, which sits inside the cooking chamber. The cooking time and temperature can be adjusted according to the type and quantity of food being cooked.

One of the main advantages of using an air fryer is the speed at which it can cook food. Because hot air is circulated around the food, it cooks more quickly than in a conventional oven. Air fryers are also easy to clean, as most models have a removable tray or basket that can be washed in the sink or dishwasher.

Air fryers are versatile and can be used to cook a wide range of foods, from vegetables and chicken wings to french fries and fish. They are also great for reheating leftovers, as they can quickly and evenly heat up food without drying it out.

While air fryers are generally considered a healthy cooking option, it’s important to note that some foods may still require a small amount of oil to achieve the desired texture and flavor. Additionally, some air fryers can be pretty loud during operation, so it’s a good idea to look for models with a quiet setting if noise is a concern.


  • Compact size: Air fryers take up little counter space. Because food is cooked in a basket rather than flat on a tray, even large-capacity air fryers have smaller footprints than standard toaster ovens.
  • Multifunction: Many air fryers offer other cooking functions like roasting, baking, broiling, and dehydrating, so they aren’t one-trick ponies.
  • Great convection: Air fryers truly excel at convection cooking — more so than most convection ovens — to the point where you can pile a basket full of multiple layers of fries in an air fryer, and they’ll all cook evenly, whereas convection ovens require them to be arranged in a single layer.
  • Healthier: Using an air fryer eliminates the need for oil, allowing you to prepare delicious and healthier meals.


  • Small food capacity: Due to its compact design, an air fryer has a limited food capacity. If you have a large family, this device might not always be able to cook enough meals for everyone.
  • Hard to check inside: Not only does the air fryer have a small food capacity, but it also has a sealed design. During the cooking process, you cannot see the food inside. This increases the risk of food drying out or burning without your knowledge.
  • Make Noise: Like most other appliances, an air fryer makes annoying noises when in use. But, compared to its benefits, I believe it is still acceptable.
  • Not suitable for toast: If you want to make slices of toast, an air fryer isn’t the right appliance for the job, but a toaster oven is — the clue’s in the name, after all.

Related Article: 5 Best Microwave Toaster Oven Combos of 2023

All You Need to Know About Toaster Ovens


Toaster ovens are a great way to quickly and easily cook a variety of foods. They are small, yet powerful ovens that can fit on the countertop. Toaster ovens use two heating elements – one on the top and one on the bottom – to heat food from both sides. This allows them to cook food quickly while still maintaining a crispy and golden-brown exterior. They can be used for baking, broiling, roasting, and toasting all types of food items, such as pizza, chicken wings, French fries, hamburgers, and toast. 

Toaster ovens come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some are tall, while others are wider and more compact. Depending on the size of your family or how much cooking you plan to do, you may want to opt for a larger model if space isn’t an issue. Most models come with adjustable racks that allow for different types of foods or multiple items at once. 

Unlike regular ovens, some toaster ovens include digital controls that make it easy to adjust temperatures and timers without having to worry about manually setting them each time you use them. Many also have additional features like convection cooking that helps circulate heat more evenly throughout your food for faster cooking times and better results. Many models also include a rotisserie feature for roasting meats or poultry, which provides an even crispier texture due to the rotating action of the spit rod inside the device. 

Perhaps one of the best features of these ovens is their energy efficiency; they consume less energy than traditional full-sized models because they require less time preheating before they’re ready for use – something ideal in smaller households where electricity bills can add up quickly! Since most modern models are equipped with safety features like automatic shutoff when you open the door or leave it unattended too long, they’re also safer than ordinary conventional ovens as well as being far more convenient – an ideal choice for anyone who wants fast and efficient results without compromising quality!


  • Capacity: Because toaster ovens are relatively spacious on the inside, you can cook a wider variety of foods in them, including pizzas and trays of baked goods like muffins and cookies.
  • Convection: Convection toaster ovens cook in the same way as air fryers, but food must be arranged in a single layer to cook effectively.
  • Multifunction: Broiling, baking, roasting, reheating, and warming are all common cooking functions in toaster ovens.
  • Presets: Preset programs for specific foods, such as pizzas, bagels, toast, and cookies, are available on some toaster ovens.


  • Size: Toaster ovens have larger footprints than air fryers and take up more counter space.
  • Limitations: Without a convection oven, toaster ovens do not cook food as evenly or as crisply as air fryers or convection toaster ovens.
  • Long cooking time: Because this appliance’s heat flow is not continuously circulated, the heating level is also slow, resulting in a longer cooking time. Your dish may take some time to fully cook.
  • Insulation: You must also exercise caution when using or cleaning this device because its design does not insulate well. If you are not paying attention, you run the risk of getting burned or catching fire.

Air Fryer vs Toaster Oven Comparison 

Here are some differences between an air fryer vs toaster oven:

Size and Capacity

One of the primary differences between air fryers and toaster ovens is their size and capacity. Air fryers are generally smaller than toaster ovens, and they have a smaller capacity. This can be an advantage if you have limited counter space, as air fryers take up less room than toaster ovens.

However, if you have a large family or like to cook for guests, a toaster oven may be a better choice. Toaster ovens can hold bigger pans and more food, which makes them great for cooking for a large group.

Cooking Options

When it comes to cooking options, toaster ovens tend to have more features than air fryers. Toaster ovens can be used for baking, broiling, and toasting, as well as cooking larger items like roasts or turkeys. They also often come with additional features like convection cooking, which can help cook food more quickly and evenly.

Air fryers, on the other hand, are designed primarily for frying but can also be used for baking, roasting, and grilling. They are ideal for making crispy, fried foods without the added fat, but may not be as versatile as toaster ovens.

Ease of Use

Both air fryers and toaster ovens are relatively easy to use, but there are some differences. Air fryers typically have fewer buttons and settings than toaster ovens, which can make them easier to operate. They also usually have a simple interface, which makes them more user-friendly for those who are not tech-savvy.

Toaster ovens, on the other hand, can have more complicated settings and require more maintenance. They usually have more than one heating element, which needs to be cleaned regularly to make sure the oven works well.

Health Benefits

When it comes to health benefits, air fryers are often seen as a healthier option than toaster ovens. This is because they use less oil and fat to cook food, which can help to reduce the amount of fat in your diet. However, toaster ovens can also be a healthy option, as they can be used to cook a variety of healthy foods, including vegetables and lean meats.


Both air fryers and toaster ovens have their drawbacks. Air fryers can be expensive, and their smaller size may not be ideal for larger families. Toaster ovens, on the other hand, can take up a lot of counter space and may not be as user-friendly as air fryers.

Air Fryer vs Toaster Oven Recommendations

Here are my top air fryer vs. toaster oven recommendations that I have tested and reviewed.

Air Fryers

Philips Essential Airfryer XL (Best Overall)

Philips Essential Airfryer XL

This family-friendly air fryer has a huge 2.65-pound capacity, which means it can cook up to five servings at once. All of its removable parts are dishwasher safe, and the basket itself has a nonstick interior that makes cleaning up a breeze. 

There are preset programs for everything from frozen snacks to French fries and even cake (yes, you can make dessert in your air fryer). There’s also a bright LED screen and a handy “keep warm” function that keeps your next meal at the perfect serving temperature for up to 30 minutes.

Dimensions: 15.1 x 15.1 x 14.2 Inches | Weight: 12.53 Pounds | Capacity: 2.65 Pounds

What I Like:
  • Large capacity
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
What I Don’t Like:
  • Large footprint
  • No window
  • Longer cooking time
Promising Review:

“Just the perfect size for an air fryer. Easy to use. Great results! It has pretty much replaced our oven, stovetop, and microwave for many cooking ventures.” – Amazon Customer, February 3, 2023, on Amazon

COSORI Pro II Air Fryer (Most Popular)

COSORI Pro II Air Fryer

The COSORI Pro II Air Fryer is a fan favorite—currently, it’s one of Amazon’s bestselling air fryers, with over 30,000 ratings, 84% of which are 4 or 5 stars. Its large 5.8-quart capacity can hold an entire 5-pound chicken, and there are plenty of “one-touch” presets that allow you to start cooking as soon as you put your ingredients in (options include steak, poultry, seafood, shrimp, bacon, frozen foods, French fries, vegetables, root vegetables, bread, and desserts). 

Of course, you can choose your own cooking time and temperature. The machine can operate between 170 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It also includes a 100-recipe cookbook to help you get your creative juices flowing.

Dimensions: 11.78 x 13.87 x 12 Inches | Weight: 12.3 Pounds | Capacity: 5.8 Quarts

What I Like:
  • Large capacity
  • Versatile
  • Easy to clean
What I Don’t Like:
  • Large footprint
  • No window
  • Longer cooking time
Promising Review:

“This was an excellent purchase. Very user friendly, easy to maintain and clean. The overall size of the COSORI Air Fryer 5 QT is perfect for small to large size cooking.” – M.A.E., February 15, 2023, on Amazon

DASH Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer (Best Value)

DASH Tasti Crisp Air Fryer

No counter space? No worries. This teeny-tiny, well-reviewed model is both affordable and space-saving, and despite having a basket capacity of only 2.6 quarts, it does the job. It’s also available in a variety of vibrant colors.

A simple dial on the top of the device controls the temperature, while another closer to the front controls the cooking time. Newer cooks will also appreciate the auto-shutoff feature, which turns the machine off as soon as the timer stops.

Dimensions: 12.3 x 12.1 x 9.9 Inches | Weight: 1 Pounds | Capacity: 2.6 Quarts

What I Like:
  • Compact design
  • Affordable
  • Fast cooking
What I Don’t Like:
  • Small capacity
  • Limited cooking options
  • No preset programs
Promising Review:

“This is a nice, simple air fryer. I have wanted one for a long time but don’t have a lot of counter space and wanted one that was simple to use.” – LucyLu, February 11, 2023, on Amazon

Toaster Ovens

KitchenAid KCO211BM Digital Countertop Toaster Oven (Best Overall)

KitchenAid KCO211BM Digital Countertop Toaster Oven

KitchenAid’s Digital Countertop Toaster Oven is simple and easy to use, with one easy-to-read dial and a large LCD timer. The accompanying instruction booklet delves into each of the oven’s functions and provides tips on how to use each setting. 

Cooks will also find a section in the booklet with general suggestions for choosing the right bakeware. The drip pan/crumb catcher and the nonstick interior make cleanup a breeze. This sleek and modern oven is available in steel or black matte finishes and will complement most countertops.


While it isn’t the cheapest, smallest, or most versatile toaster oven on the market, the KitchenAid Digital Countertop Toaster Oven is easily my choice for the best overall toaster oven.

Dimensions: 16 x 17 x 11.3 Inches | Weight: 23 Pounds | Capacity: 0.74 Cubic Feet

What I Like:
  • Versatile
  • Large capacity
  • Even cooking
What I Don’t Like:
  • Price
  • Large footprint
  • No auto shut-off
Promising Review:

“It has been a great addition to my kitchen. Cooks quickly and evenly! I would purchase again.” – Tiffany Huffman, February 5, 2023, on Amazon

Black+Decker 4-Slice Toaster Oven TO1313SBD (Best Value)

BlackDecker 4 Slice Toaster Oven TO1313SBD

When you hear the words “toaster oven,” the Black+Decker 4-slice Toaster Oven is probably the closest match to the image you have in your head. It can toast four slices of bread, split two bagels in half, and bake a pizza. It can maintain high heat for broiling and, once hot, maintains a temperature within five degrees of the selected temperature.

It has a curved interior that can accommodate a 9-inch round pizza and comes with a baking pan, broil rack, and removable crumb tray and drip pan. Its appearance is unremarkable, but its stripped-down utilitarian function may appeal to some users.

Despite its lack of looks, modest size, and low price, the Black+Decker 4-slice Toaster Oven toasts evenly and does a great job at all temperatures. I was surprised at how well this small toaster oven did with the basics.

The Black+Decker 4-slice Toaster Oven is simple and easy to use, with two simple dials and a 30-minute timer that allow you to bake, broil, toast, and keep food warm with little fuss.

Dimensions: 11.18 x 15.47 x 8.3 Inches | Weight: 5 Pounds | Capacity: 13 Liters

What I Like:
  • Compact size
  • Affordable
  • Even toasting
What I Don’t Like:
  • Small capacity
  • Limited cooking options
  • No auto shut-off
Promising Review:

“I would definitely recommend this toaster because it gets the job done, a little too well. The only thing I would say is that to turn it off I have to turn the knob back to the beginning if what I’m toasting gets done early. Other than that, perfect!” – Sylvester Blackwood, February 13, 2023, on Amazon

Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven (Most Versatile)

Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven

One of the standout features of the Breville BOV800XL is its large capacity. It can accommodate up to six slices of toast or a 13-inch pizza, making it perfect for larger families or for entertaining guests. This is a significant advantage over many other toaster ovens, which typically have smaller capacities. With the Breville BOV800XL, you can cook larger batches of food at once, saving you time and effort.

The toaster oven also has a range of cooking functions including bake, broil, roast, toast, and reheat, making it a versatile appliance for a variety of cooking needs. Each function is easily accessible on the digital display, and you can adjust the temperature and time settings as needed. The cooking mode and remaining time are also displayed on the screen, so you always know exactly how long your food will take to cook.

Another great feature of the Breville BOV800XL is its convection cooking function. This feature circulates hot air, ensuring that your food is cooked evenly and thoroughly. This is especially useful for baking, as it helps to prevent hot spots and ensures that your baked goods come out perfectly every time.

However, there are a few downsides to the Breville BOV800XL. It is a relatively expensive appliance, which may not be feasible for some budgets. Additionally, the toaster oven is quite large and may not fit in smaller kitchens or on smaller countertops. If you have limited space, you may need to consider a smaller appliance.

Dimensions: 15.7 x 18.5 x 11 Inches | Weight: 1 Pounds | Wattage: 1800 watts

What I Like:
  • Large capacity
  • Convection cooking
  • Digital display
What I Don’t Like:
  • Pricey
  • Large size
Promising Review:

“This is my second Breville Smart Oven. Our first one lasted 12 years. We liked it so much we replaced it with the exact model.” – Amazon Customer, February 4, 2023, on Amazon

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the air fryer vs toaster oven comparison reveals that both appliances have their unique benefits and limitations. Air fryers are best for healthier cooking and are a great alternative to deep frying. They can quickly cook frozen foods, vegetables, and meats, with a crispy and delicious result. On the other hand, toaster ovens offer a variety of cooking options, such as baking, broiling, and toasting. They also have larger capacities than air fryers, making them ideal for cooking larger meals.

When choosing between an air fryer and a toaster oven, it’s essential to consider your cooking needs, kitchen space, and budget. If you’re looking for healthier cooking, faster cooking times, and a more compact appliance, an air fryer might be the best choice. If you’re looking for versatility, a larger cooking capacity, and more cooking options, a toaster oven may be the better choice.

FAQs Related to Air Fryer vs Toaster Oven

What can a toaster oven do that an air fryer can’t?

While both toaster ovens and air fryers can be versatile appliances in the kitchen, there are a few things that a toaster oven can do that an air fryer cannot:

1. Toasting: As the name suggests, a toaster oven is designed to toast bread, bagels, and other baked goods. While an air fryer can cook breaded items to a crispy finish, it is not designed to toast or brown bread in the same way.
2. Broiling: Most toaster ovens have a broil function that allows you to cook food at high heat from above, which is useful for melting cheese on a dish or browning the top of a casserole. While some air fryers have a broil function, it is not as common as in toaster ovens.
3. Baking: Many toaster ovens have a bake function that allows you to cook small items like cookies, muffins, or small cakes. While air fryers can also bake, their size and shape may be limiting when it comes to baking larger items.
4. Reheating: Toaster ovens are great for reheating food like pizza or leftovers, as they can help crisp up the crust or reheat the food without making it soggy. While an air fryer can also be used to reheat food, it may not be as effective as a toaster oven for certain types of food.

Do I need both a toaster oven and an air fryer?

Whether or not you need both a toaster oven and an air fryer ultimately depends on your cooking needs and preferences. While there are some differences between the two appliances, they do overlap in some functions, such as baking, roasting, and broiling, as well as cooking small amounts of food.

If you have limited kitchen space or prefer to have fewer appliances, you may not need both a toaster oven and an air fryer. In this case, you can choose the appliance that best fits your cooking needs and preferences.

But having both a toaster oven and an air fryer can be helpful if you cook a lot of different things and want the flexibility of both. For example, a toaster oven can be great for toasting bread, baking small items like cookies, or broiling dishes, while an air fryer can be useful for cooking foods like chicken wings, French fries, or other breaded items to a crispy finish.

Which is better, an air fryer or a convection toaster oven?

A convection toaster oven may be a better choice if you need a cooking appliance that can do more than one thing. But if you want a device mainly for air-frying and cooking smaller portions, an air fryer may be a better choice. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your specific needs and budget.

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