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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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Mark

Sunday 11th of April 2021

Thanks for your review, just bought a instant pot Vortex pro model, has a tumbling basket havent made frys yet but wings look great @ 25 min per their recipe. Thanks again

Pat

Thursday 25th of March 2021

That is very helpful. One of the things I didn’t do is preheat which I think is a great idea. Thanks

Joy Boda

Monday 15th of March 2021

This air fryer comparison was totally helpful. I have a Phillips basket and wish I had purchased an oven because of the difficulty loading and removing food from the basket. I am a family of one so amount being cooked isn't usually a problem. I also wish I had purchased one with digital settings as at 85 my vision isn't as good as it once was and setting the time with a black on black fryer is very difficult. BUT I don't want to go back to no air fryer ever again. I use mine every day!

Nancy

Sunday 7th of February 2021

Hi Tanya, LOVE your site! Gonna' make some tsao's chicken this week.

Your comparison caught my eye, especially when you described yourself as an air fryer collector. Me too! 3 years ago I HAD to try an air fryer and got a very basic Power AF. I experimented and really made good use of it. I took it camping this past spring and it did very good with ribs, wings, burgers, everything. But I wanted more! We camp in a windy area and it's not great grilling many days. So, the hunt was on - and with a sale and a 30% off coupon, I got the ninja that grills. And it went camping...great for all of the above mentioned meats, bacon, fish, etc. Also used it to bake in, corn bread, focaccia, brownies, a box cake mix...pizza (my dough and frozen single mini pizza's. So was pretty happy with it, but it is heavy (20lbs), takes up a lot of space (had to get small wire shelving to hold it) and it heats up the small space. Used it outside on really hot days. But an air fryer is a definite asset when glamping at a full service campground. And while we had no problem with the capacity, the interior height is low. Not good for big pieces of bone in chicken, never mind a whole one (I spatch cocked it). So I found this post very interesting. I have a hankering for one of the af ovens...but not sure if I should spend the money on another AF. So thank you for the information, it gives me more to think about!

Keep up the good work, I'm so happy I found your site.

Nancy

Rachel

Sunday 7th of February 2021

Which would you rather clean by hand if you had to? (No dishwasher here)

Tanya

Tuesday 9th of February 2021

Hi Rachel, yes, I clean my air fryer basket by hand. The air fryer oven parts I stick in the dishwasher from time to time.