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Air Fryer Basket vs Air Fryer Toaster Oven, Side by Side

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Many people have either an air fryer basket or an air fryer toaster oven and wonder how they can convert recipes created for the basket to the oven. This blog post will provide you with a step by step breakdown of cooking in the basket vs the air fryer toaster oven. 

french fries in air fryer basket on left, french fries in air fryer oven tray on right

As a collector of air fryers…really, I couldn’t stop myself from buying shiny new models, I found myself wondering what the difference was between the air fryer basket and the air fryer oven. The obvious difference is that one is larger than the other (the ovens typically provide more cooking space). Another difference was that baskets provided a nice little handle that allowed me to shake my food. But what about the actual food? Did they produce different results?

I took some time to take notes on how 3 of my popular recipes did in each machine. I chose to make and take note of the following recipes:

  1. Frozen French Fries  
  2. Air Fryer Apple Chips
  3. Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Things you should know beforehand:

All air fryer brands are not created the same, so the two I used could have different results than the ones you may have at home. However, your cook times shouldn’t be much different than mine. 

For the basket, I used the Cosori 5.8qt and for the oven, I used the Instant Omni Plus Air Fryer Toaster Oven. 

For the first round of the air fryer basket vs air fryer toaster oven, let’s start with frozen french fries…

Air Fryer French Fries

fries in air fryer basket on left and fries in air fryer tray for oven on right

These air fryer french fries are the reason I bought an air fryer in the first place. I used frozen french fries for this side by side comparison. I typically air fry french fries anywhere from 8-12 minutes depending on the type of fries and how thick cut they are. 

Amount: .75 lbs of frozen shoestring french fries.

Preheat:  Both the basket and the oven were preheated at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. Then each was cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until desired crispiness. 

  • Basket: The basket took 8 minutes to cook until desired crispiness. 
  • Oven: The oven took 13 minutes to cook until the desired crispiness.
cooked french fries on 2 white plates, with the text basket on left, the text oven on right
 
  • Winner: The basket, by a little…as it cooked a few minutes faster. 

Air Fryer Apple Chips

cooked apple slices in air fryer basket on left and apple slices in air fryer tray for oven on right

These Air Fryer Apple Chips are another quick favorite snack for me and my girls. It’s just one way I can make them get that apple a day to keep the doctor away. I used 1 Gala apple for this recipe.  

Amount: 1 large Gala apple sliced into 2.5mm slices.

Preheat: None. I start apple chips from a cold basket. My air fryer oven does an automatic preheat time, so I adjusted the oven cook time to accommodate that. 

  • Basket: Cooked for 16 minutes to reach desired crispiness. 
  • Oven: Cooked for 17 minutes to reach the desired crispiness.
2 white plates with cooked apple chips, text that says basket on left and text that says oven on right

Winner: The oven, by a little. My husband said the ones in the oven tasted crispier. I thought they were the same. I’d say it’s a tie and with only a one-minute difference, I’d prefer to do these in the oven since there is more space.

Air Fryer Chicken Wings

These Air Fryer Chicken Wings are one of my all-time favorite things to make in the air fryer. So easy, crispy, and delicious. I cooked these wings with no added seasonings to show the comparisons.  

cooked chicken wings in air freyr basket on left, cooked chicken wings in air fryer oven tray on right

Amount: 1.83 lbs of chicken wings placed in each device. 

Preheat: I preheated each machine to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes before adding wings.

  • Basket: Took 27 minutes to get the desired color and crispiness on these wings.
  • Oven: Took 38 minutes to get the desired color and crispiness on these wings. Please note that the wings in the photo above, on the right, shows the oven wings pulled at 27 minutes. They were much lighter than the wings in the basket, so I added them back in until they were browner.  
2 white plates with cooked chicken wings, text that says basket on left, text that says oven on right.

Winner: The basket. The wings were done much faster. However, once I increased the time on the oven wings, I could not tell a difference.

Conclusions:

  • Whether it’s the air fryer basket or the air fryer oven, both will cook faster than a conventional oven. An air fryer basket and oven typically take 5 minutes to preheat.  
  • The air fryer basket tends to cook foods a little faster than the air fryer oven, and the amount of time will differentiate between machines and kinds of food cooked. 
  • The air fryer oven can hold more food. Although not pictured here, we use our air fryer oven to make pizza in the air fryer. We’re only able to fit one small size pizza in the air fryer basket. With the oven, we can fit two pan size pizzas side by side. 
  • When converting recipes created for an air fryer basket to an air fryer oven, plan to cook the recipes for a little longer. As each air fryer is different, keep a close eye on the foods. You can actually watch the foods in the oven as they cook, as to not overcook them.

I hope you found this side by side comparison helpful. If you’re looking for more helpful articles about air frying, check out these articles:

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Ahigail fry

Monday 29th of August 2022

Thank you, this was really helpful as I was getting confused about what the difference was. Appreciate you taking the time.

Jacques

Monday 8th of August 2022

I have both, a 6qt basket and an oven. The best thing about the basket is the ease of cleaning it, usually I just rinse the basket and pan with some hot water, even when I do something like wings drenched in sauce the cleanup is still pretty quick. For pizzas I use the oven one because I have a small metal plate that I use (like a pizza stone) and it comes out with super crispy crust. I couldn't live without both of them anymore.

Dean Urevig

Sunday 7th of August 2022

I have a Bella pro series air fryer with trays. I believe Best buy is the only place it can be purchased. My chicken wings take 17 minutes. They are always perfect. I make bacon and eggs at same time, putting bacon on the top level and eggs in a small pan below it. It's also fantastic for making pancakes.

Pam

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

I have a Cosori 3.5qt air fryer and a Cuisinart toaster oven with no air fryer. I have a small kitchen and wanted to get a toaster oven with air fryer so I can get rid of the Cosori. I ended up getting Cosori toaster oven air fryer. I cook a cup of small frozen diced hash browns every morning for breakfast, easy to do in basket air fryer, just dump them out. I tried in toaster oven air fryer tray - made a huge mess trying to get them out. I finally decided to get a fine mesh fry basket that fits inside the oven to use for small items that I normally just dump out of a basket and use the large air fryer tray for items I can easily remove. I do notice it does take much longer to cook my hash browns for sure - 15 minutes in basket air fryer with no preheating - I cooked for 20 minutes today in toaster oven air fryer after preheating and they still weren't as crispy as the basket ones. I will keep trying. This toaster oven has a interior light which I LOVE....

Diane

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

This is the best, very well detailed description for basket vs. oven i have found! Thank you for making your point so clear and simple. I have an air fryer oven with a rotisserie and I love it. Thanks to you I have a better understanding how to adapt basket recipes for my oven.

Tanya

Wednesday 13th of April 2022

Thank you Diane! Glad you found it helpful.