Can You Run An Air Fryer As A Microwave?

Yes, you can run an air fryer as a microwave. However, the result will be a bit different because the two are various appliances. Their ways of cooking also vary. One of the most interesting things about the two appliances is the possibility of cooking meals with little or no oil.

If you intend to reheat food without added texture, a microwave is a better option. However, if you want food to come out crispy or crunchy, the utilization of an air fryer will help achieve this perfectly. 

Some people use microwaves for reheating TV dinners. Microwave is specifically designed to be used for these TV dinners and other microwave meals. It won’t be easy to utilize an air fryer for this same purpose equally. It can only be possible by removing the food from the plastic tray and putting it into safe cookware designed for the air fryer.

By doing this, then the main reason why TV dinners are used by people, which is convenience, is being taken out.

On one hand, the method of heating applied by an air fryer is the conventional method that cooks food perfectly. On the other hand, the microwave cooking method involves the production of microwaves that cook foods within a very short time compared to the longer time usually taken by an air fryer.

There are heating coils inside every air fryer, but the fan component helps to blow the heat generated, which helps cook food evenly.

How to Use an Air Fryer as a Microwave

Notably, air fryers and microwave ovens are two very distinct kitchen appliances with entirely different cooking styles. This means that it depends on your particular case of use for one to replace the other successfully.

For instance, it is easy to use a microwave to heat a liquid such as milky coffee. To do this, insert one cup of milk into the microwave device and heat it for about 1 minute.  Then, coffee granules are added, and your milky coffee becomes ready.

Unfortunately, the cooking method that air fryers use is not perfect for the reheating process of any liquid in this particular quick and simple way. Hence, stews and soups cannot even be reheated in an air fryer. 

One indisputable fact about the two appliances, as mentioned earlier, is the ability to cook meals with a requirement for little or no amount of oil.

When cooking with air fryers, a perfect dish is even made without the pressing need for any oil presence, and this cooking method ensures the food nutrients are retained in a substantial quantity simultaneously.

In case you feel it is appropriate to reheat your food, such as fried chicken or leftover pizza, to make it crunchy, you must know the techniques to follow.

What Do You Need to Do

You have to ensure only low heat is supplied while reheating the food to prevent it from getting burnt.

What Setting to Use

It is often preferable to utilize about 3500F or 1750C as the temperature range for your device. 

Timing to Use

Every food item’s thickness and size make it difficult to provide an exact timing for using the air fryer as a microwave. 

To reheat pizza, you can reheat it for about 2 to 3  mins and at about 3500F or 1750C temperature. It will come out crispy, and you would like it. This is one of the advantages that air fryer utilization has over that of the microwave as it does not make the food go soggy during the reheating process.

Does an Air Fryer Create the Same Results as a Microwave?

It is vital to ask this question before deciding to basically use the air fryer in place of a microwave as if they are the same thing.

An air fryer, when assessed, appears not to have a superior or inferior functionality than a microwave particularly. Interestingly, both are different appliances used in the kitchen, and they possess different (but equally useful) features.

For example, if your microwave is used to heat liquid or TV dinners, you cannot conveniently use a conventional air fryer for this function.

Even though both the appliances may serve the purpose of cooking, there are few more things to consider before choosing which one to use.

Difference in Flavour

As stated above, the cooking time for each is different. The microwave cooks super faster – in just a matter of minutes.

The method applied in the microwave for cooking makes it cook or heat food a lot faster than other methods in the kitchen. Because of this, it has become an extremely convenient appliance to be used for various kitchens, which are primarily for quick reheating of food. However, due to excessive heat, the taste and flavor of the food may be reduced.

On the other hand, cooking with an air fryer ensures a perfect dish is prepared, but more time is consumed in the process. 

Difference in Texture

In terms of food reheating, an air fryer cooks a meal into a form that would meet your taste if a crispy texture is what you desire.

Most people have microwaves in their kitchens to perform the function of quickly reheating leftover or pre-made food. This will just take some minutes, compared to your air fryer device that often takes a longer time.

This cooking method gets to heat up food, but it adds no form of crispy texture to it. However, as long as you ensure carefulness in thoroughly reheating the food, an air fryer serves as a better option if most of your microwave usage involves foods that need to come out crispy. 

Considering an air fryer’s cooking pattern, it basically applies hot air across the food. This will make the food have a different style of cooking which will be crispier, and it is perfect for foods that you want to add more texture and a bite to it, usually fried foods and chicken wings.

Difference in Nutrients

An air fryer is capable of cooking dishes without requiring the compulsory utilization of oil. In this cooking method, the necessary nutrients are retained simultaneously. Contrarily, utilization of the microwave to get food items heated mostly leads to the loss of essential nutrients during the cooking activity.

The use of microwaves has the advantage in that it functionally kills varieties of pathogens contained in the food just within some minutes as a result of the high heat to which the food is subjected.


Conclusively, in case you feel like getting an appliance that will be perfect for your cooking activities, we advise you to consider the advantages and disadvantages. You should also consider the result you want to achieve.

Both appliances are just slightly different, but when your desired food quality happens to be the one with a reduced-calorie or one that appears crispy or crunchy, the perfect choice to use is an air fryer.

In a situation where you are the type fond of fries, fritter, and sumptuous snacks but worried about calories, choosing a healthy way of cooking is of great importance, which has to do with air fryer utilization. However, if you want an appliance having multiple functionalities for running your daily cooking, then using a microwave is a great idea.