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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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biscuits in an air fryer basket
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Jim Frazer

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

@Tanya, I love my oven with 3 racks. The racks do not stick if you preheat them. Steak cooks better in oven rather than Basket because it doesn't have to be turned or flipped. Also you can cook a whole meal instead of cooking one thing at a time. So it cooks faster than a basket. With a 9 inch pizza stone it cooks much better than a basket as well. There really is no comparison since the 2 or 3 minute longer cooking is the only draw back to the oven. I feel cleaning is easier as well. I can take the door off mine for cleaning.

Linda

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

@Tanya, Ihave the Ultrean which is fabulous! EASY, EASY CLEAN!! I cook real chicken fried steak fingers. Fish fillets come out perfect every time. Did Gortons Fish Fillets and they were perfect as well. Add in some Ore Ida hand cut fries on the bottom tray and you have fish and chips. Cannot say enough good things about this particular Fryer - it's the 12 qt one on Amazon for about $100. best buy I've ever made.

Tanya

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Love it! Which brand do you have?

Britt

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Thank you!!! I’ve been considering switching over to an oven but I think my basket is just fine for now. I like the faster cook times.

Julie

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Thanks! Our toaster oven was on the way out so that's how we ended up with an air fryer/oven. Ours is a Cuisinart, it seems to run hotter than most recipes recommend. We haven't gotten used to it, yet. It does make pretty good toast.

Teres

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Good information. Thank you. I have another question. What about cleaning. I heard the toaster over was much harder to clean.

Linda

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

@Tanya, The Ultrean 12 qt is a snap to clean, rinse off and throw in Dish washer for perfect clean. I lightly spritz the trays with non-stick and they simply wipe off too. I do wipe the interior out each time with a sponge so as to not have build up but it is easy and fast.

Tanya

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Hi Teres, ours is pretty easy to clean. it does have 3 separate parts that I wash by hand in soapy water. I also wipe the inside down with a wet cloth. Everything comes up fine.

Amanda

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Thank you so much for this comparison! I have the 3 tray power pro XL and love. Learning more everyday. Keep doing what you do!