Air Fryers and Halogen Ovens are some of the leading kitchen appliances meant to make our food healthier, cooking time quicker and more nutritious. They are quite similar and so you might be wondering which is right for you.
The difference between an air fryer and halogen oven is halogen ovens tend to be bigger, use more energy and tend to be more expensive. Air Fryers are more popular as they provide more cooking options and compartments to cook a variety of foods compared to Halogen Ovens.
In this article, I am going to talk about what each appliance is, what they do and the differences along with which is better. So you can decide which is better for you and your cooking needs.
What Is An Air Fryer?
An air fryer is basically an amped-up version of the countertop convection oven (with a few differences between the two). Both units retail with heating elements and fans that will blow hot air around inside the cooking chamber for fast, even cooking.
With the air fryer, however, the hot air is whirled way faster in a circular manner, which means it will do a much better job of equally reaching every surface of the food to create crispy crusts.
Add to that the fact meals in air fryers sit in perforated baskets that increase their (meals) contact with the hot moving air and you will understand the cooking industry’s obsession with the appliances.
Another thing about air fryers worth noting is the fact that there isn’t much space between the perforated basket and the walls of the chamber.
They have been designed this way to further intensify the heat, explaining why most of them do not need to preheat.
What Are Air Fryers Used For?
Instead of simply using your air fryer to prepare convenience meals, you can also use it to make your own meal items from scratch.
Anything you could’ve baked in a convection oven you can effortlessly make in an air fryer, including, but not limited to lamb chops, steak, burgers, chicken breasts, and pizza.
As you can see, the meals do not need to be breaded. An air fryer will cook the meals at the perfect temperature levels as well, to ensure that they are tender and juicy when they’re ready to consume.
What’s more? Air fryers are perfect for cooking vegetables. A small spritz of avocado or olive oil will get your veggies to crisp and brown up – and the cooking appliance can ensure this is done in less than 10 minutes.
I’m personally a big fan of mushrooms, broccoli, green beans, baked potatoes, and asparagus. All these look great when cooked using an air fryer.
Another thing I like about air fryers is the fact they can perfectly cook meals that benefit from partial crisping and partial dehydrating.
Take an eggplant and okra, for instance. When cooked with an air fryer, these delicacies will get soft but not gooey on the inside and crunchy on the outside.
To prepare such meals (like onion rings) in an air fryer, a simple trick you can use is freezing them for approximately 10 minutes. This ensures that the batter does not drip inside your air fryer.
What Is A Halogen Oven?
Straight out of the box, Halogen Ovens look like something out of the most realistic science fiction movies, even though the appliances operate in a fairly straightforward manner.
These units boast a glass bowl with a lid that’s fitted with halogen bulbs and a fan.
Once the appliance is turned on, the halogen bulbs release beams of infrared radiation (or far-infrared, to be more specific) to create heat, whereas the fan instantly starts circulating the hot air over and around your meal to cook.
What’s more? Standard cooking methods that use convection and conduction to cook require heat transfer, which always results in heat loss.
With a halogen oven’s radiation heating method, however, this problem is eliminated because infrared energy passes directly through your food to cause the meal molecules to vibrate and generate heat.
This ultimately means that with a halogen oven, you’ll need less energy to cook the same amount of food that you would’ve cooked using a convection oven.
The clear glass bowl I mentioned that the unit retails with will act as a fast and easy heating conductor, while at the same time allowing you, the operator, to watch and track the cooking progress of your meals.
To use one of these appliances, all you need to do is place your food on either the high or low cooking rack, then put it into the appliance’s huge glass bowl. You can use the unit with any cooking dish, plate, bowl, or cooking tin inside your kitchen.
With all that in mind, if you’re looking for a unit that cooks just as evenly as a conventional oven and just as quickly as a microwave oven, then a Halogen Oven was designed with your exact needs in mind.
What Is The Difference Between An Air Fryer & A Halogen Oven?
Now that you understand what air fryers and halogen ovens are and also know what the two different appliances can be used for, it’s time to skip to the most interesting section of the blog post.
In this section, we’re going to look at the different ways the two appliances differ from each other.
Even though halogen ovens tend to be more expensive (on average), some air fryer models may cost a little more.
The price of the halogen oven or air fryer you get will highly depend on the unity’s design, programs, capacity, volume, and even the manufacturing brand.
That said, the average starting price for halogen ovens is $50 and that for air fryers is $17.
Speaking of the volume, you must consider the approximate size required to accommodate your family’s needs before making a final purchase decision. So, if you think 1 to 4 litres can handle the needs of your home, then pick an air fryer.
If your family is bigger, however, and needs a bigger version, then one of the best halogen ovens should be able to meet all your cooking needs and requirements. Some even have a capacity of up to 17 litres.
3. Energy Consumption
The difference in volume we just looked at made it clear that halogen ovens are slightly bigger than air fryers, which means that they’ll need more power to carry out a specific function.
State of the art air fryers are 80%+ more energy efficient compared to halogen ovens. Therefore, if you’re the kind to worry about energy bills, then I recommend that you pick a compact air fryer model. The smaller, the better.
Both air fryers and halogen ovens retail with a timer – either digital or mechanical. If like me, you value the accuracy of seconds, then I urge you to acquire a unit with a digital timer.
If, however, you are going to mostly work with hours and minutes instead of seconds, then a mechanical timer should suffice.
4. Moving Shelves
Unlike modern halogen oven versions, older models do not retail with rotating paddles. This makes them hard to use when you want to cook fries and chips. Air fryers (old and new), on the other hand, retail with rotating paddles that ensure automatic uniform cooking.
That said, I have come across a few air fryer models that do not come with rotating paddles, so you need to be a little attentive to ensure the one you’re settling on has the feature.
5. Default Programs
Both air fryers and halogen ovens boast a wide array of programs you can use to cook various meals. The number of these features a unit retails with will depend on the price and brand of the unit you’re acquiring.
Expect the most expensive models to retail with more programs and clear instructions.
That said, this isn’t to say that affordable brands aren’t worth the buck. Budget-friendly units have sets of options sufficient for handling the needs of an entire family.
Unless you’re looking for a commercial unit, affordable air fryer and halogen models should do the trick.
Another thing I ought to mention while on the subject of programs and features is that, depending on the model you finally settle for, pay attention to the cookbook and instruction guide the product retails with.
Most complicated programs will need proper step by step instructions to execute.
Unlike air fryers, halogen ovens retail with transparent glass bowls that allow you to monitor the entire cooking process.
Air fryers also retail with smaller bowls and most of the time, you will need to open their lids if you want to check the progress (that’s if the air fryer you acquire came with a lid.)
Which One is Better?
After hours of research and testing sessions, I pick an Air Fryer as the better cooking appliance.
Remember the first time halogen ovens hit the realm of kitchen appliances? They were a miracle for both cooking enthusiasts and foodies.
Thanks to their versatility, speed, and economical nature, these masterpieces allowed us to tackle some of our toughest recipes with little to no effort.
That said, the latest air frying trend among kitchen appliances has made most of us rethink our relationships with halogen ovens – and for good reason.
Air fryers have become gradually popular among health-conscious eaters as well, thanks to their ability to prepare crunchy and crispy meals without unhealthy oils.