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Air Fryer vs Oven Cooking Times (How to Convert)

Air fryer vs oven cooking times can be the single point that affects your decision of how to cook a meal. But there are so many other things to consider. 

air fryer sitting on a countertop

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I’ve had the Instant Vortex air fryer made by the Instant company for several years, and I highly recommend it. I’ve found it to be reliable and consistent. The link above is for one of the newer models of the same brand.

Another air fryer that a lot of people enjoy is the Cosori Pro II. One of my close friends has this one, and she’s really happy with it.

Air Fryer vs. Oven

Air fryers are a popular kitchen countertop appliance and many people use them to cook entire meals, or at least a portion of their meals. However, there is some debate over whether or not air fryers are actually faster than ovens. Below, you’ll see the cooking times for both air fryers and ovens to determine which is faster. 

What is an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is a small appliance that uses hot air to cook food. The food is cooked in a basket inside the air fryer. Air fryers are similar to convection ovens, but they typically cook food faster than a standard oven because the hot air circulates more quickly around the food. 

Some toaster ovens offer an air frying option. I have a toaster oven that does, but I still prefer the basket style much more. It’s easier to clean, and the food cooks faster.

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

Air fryers work by circulating hot air around food to cook it. The hot air is generated by a heating element, and it circulates around the food in the basket using a fan. Air frying is a very efficient way of cooking food quickly and evenly.

Advantages of Using an Air Fryer

The main advantage of using an air fryer is that it can be faster than cooking in an oven. Additionally, air fryers can be healthier than deep frying food because they use less oil than a deep fryer. 

You also won’t have to worry about what to do with the hot oil after cooking. I always struggled with how to dispose of it.

The shorter cook time of your air fryer will free you up to do other things. You’ll love how quickly you can put a meal on the table.

Disadvantages of Using an Air Fryer

One disadvantage of air fryers is that they can be more expensive than other kitchen appliances, such as countertop ovens or toaster ovens. Additionally, air fryers can be noisy, and they require regular cleaning to prevent the build-up of grease and debris. 

Cooking Times – Air Fryer vs. Oven

When it comes to overall cooking time, air fryers are typically faster than ovens. For example, chicken nuggets will cook in about 15 minutes in an air fryer, while they would take 20-25 minutes in an oven. Similarly, french fries will cook in about 15-20 minutes in an air fryer versus 25-30 minutes in an oven. 

Air fryers also have the advantage of preheating much faster than ovens. While an oven can take 10-15 minutes to preheat, an air fryer will only take about 1-3 minutes to preheat. This means that you can start cooking your food sooner with an air fryer. 

So you won’t have to preheat as long, and the food will take less time to cook. That’s a win-win in my book!

Advantages of Ovens 

While air fryers may be faster overall, there are some advantages that ovens have over air fryers. For one, ovens can typically cook more food at once than air fryers. This is because most air fryers have a smaller capacity than ovens. However, you can purchase air fryers in a variety of sizes, so take that into consideration when choosing one.

Are Air Fryers Healthy?

Air fryers are generally considered to be healthy because they require less oil than deep-fried foods. However, it is important to note that air fryers can still add calories and fat to your food if you use too much oil. 

What Can You Cook in an Air Fryer?

You can cook a variety of foods in an air fryer, including chicken, fish, vegetables, and even desserts. Many people also use air fryers to reheat leftovers.  

I’ve made such a wide variety of foods in my air fryer that I think it’s always worth it to give it a try. The only issue might be the size of the food, such as a large turkey that simply won’t fit.

How to Cook in an Air Fryer

Every food is different. However, there are some similarities among most air fryer recipes. For example, it’s generally best to place the food in a single layer in your air fryer basket.

Then you push the basket into the air fryer oven. It’s a very simple process that takes very little time or know-how.

Some people don’t recommend air frying anything with a wet batter. However, I disagree. The key is to have the proper tools. When I make anything with batter that might drip, I use a silicone pan that fits into the bottom of the air fryer.

I also have a variety of silicone mats as well as some parchment paper that has been precut to the size of my air fryer basket.

And you can get the best results from muffins when you use silicone muffin cups. Air frying is my favorite cooking method for making any kind of muffin.

muffins batter in air fryer

If you’re not sure if something is done, you can pull out the basket and take the temperature of the food. My air fryer doesn’t even have a pause button. But I think that some do, so always read your manual before stopping the cooking process.

The good news if the food isn’t done when you test it, you can continue to cook it until it is. All I have to do with my air fryer is push the basket back into the air fryer, reset the time, and cook it until the food is ready.

The first time you use your air fryer, you might be a little nervous. But that nervousness will quickly fade as you realize how much easier it is to cook with this handy little gadget. Try to remember how you first felt when you got your slow cooker or your pressure cooker. This is just as easy.


When it comes to overall cooking time, air fryers are typically faster than ovens. For example, chicken nuggets will cook in about 15 minutes in an air fryer, while they would take 20-25 minutes in an air fryer.

I prefer using my air fryer when possible because I like the speed of cooking, the health benefits, and the easy cleanup.

Don’t be afraid to try new recipes in your air fryer. As you grow more comfortable using it, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Food in an Air Fryer vs. Oven?

I’ve listed some general rule of thumb air fryer cook times below. However, air fryer times can vary based on the size of the food and power of your air fryer. 

Your air fryer setting can vary according to the brand. There are so many different air fryers out there, but it won’t take long to get to know how your air fryer cooks foods.

Mine doesn’t have presets, but many of them do. However, even if you have presets, you might want to control your temperature settings manually. It’s completely up to you.

In order to be safe and serve meat that is properly cooked, I recommend using a meat thermometer. They’re inexpensive and can be found at most stores that sell kitchen products.

Test the temperature by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. I’ve listed the minimum temperatures below.

Here’s a handy little cheat sheet for some of the most popular foods:

slicing chicken breast on a plate

Chicken Breasts

Air fryer – 20 minutes

Oven – 40 minutes

Temperature – 165 degrees F

Fish Fillets

Air fryer – 10 minutes

Oven – 20 minutes

Temperature – 145 degrees F


Air fryer – 15 minutes (for medium cooked steak)

Oven – 30 minutes

Temperature – 145 degrees F

Hamburger Patties

Air fryer – 10 minutes

Oven – 20 minutes

Temperature – 145 degrees F

Pork Chop

Air fryer – 15 minutes

Oven – 30 minutes

Temperature – 145 degrees F

Roast Beef

Air fryer – 20 minutes

Oven – 40 minutes

Temperature – 145 degrees F

Ham Slice

Air fryer – 8 minutes

Oven – 15 minutes

Temperature – 145 degrees F

Pork Roast

Air fryer – 30 minutes

Oven – 60 minutes

Temperature – 145 degrees F

Small Baked Potatoes

Air fryer – 20 minutes

Oven – 40 minutes

Large Baked Potatoes

Air fryer – 30 minutes

Oven – 45-60 minutes

french fries in air fryer

French Fries

Air fryer – 15 minutes

Oven – 30 minutes


Air fryer – 10 minutes

Oven – 20 minutes

As you can see, air fryers are generally faster than ovens when it comes to cooking times. This is because air fryers use hot air to cook food, while ovens use radiant heat. So, if you’re looking to save time in the kitchen, an air fryer may be the way to go.

Air Fryer vs. Oven – You Decide

Almost anything that you cook in your oven can be cooked in your air fryer. Before you make a decision about which you prefer, try cooking some of your favorite recipes in both and compare.

You might be surprised by how easy it is to make the switch. However, if you like how the food turns out in the oven more than your air fryer, at least you’ll know.

Delicious Air Fryer Recipes

We use our air fryer quite a bit around here for so many different foods. Here are some we enjoy:

sliced pork tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin – The air fryer cooks food so efficiently that you can cook a juicy, flavorful pork tenderloin in less than 15 minutes.

Country Style Ribs – If you can’t use your outdoor grill for whatever reason, try cooking these ribs in your air fryer. It might wind up being your favorite method!

Boneless Chicken Breast – I love to cook boneless chicken breasts in my air fryer and use the prepared meat later in salads, soups, casseroles, and other dishes.

Barbecued Chicken Drumsticks – Barbecued chicken is one of my favorite foods, and it’s so easy to make in the air fryer!

Blueberry Muffins – After cooking blueberry muffins in my air fryer, that’s the only way I do it now! They come out delicious every single time!

grilled cheese sandwich on a plate with pickle slices
Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Cheese Sandwich – You can’t find an easier way to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich than to air fry it!

Onion Rings – These onion rings from Spend with Pennies are absolutely delicious. You’ll love the crunch as you bite into this tasty treat.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders – Make these delicious chicken tenders and put them on the appetizer table. Then watch how quickly they disappear!

air fryer on a counter

Oven and Grilled Recipes That are Good in an Air Fryer

Before I had my air fryer, I “fried” almost everything in my oven. I’m not a fan of splatters, too much soaked-in grease, and the messy cleanup of frying on top of the stove.

When converting from oven times to air fryer times, I typically cut by one-third. However, I like to check at the halfway point to see how close the food is to being done.

Here are some delicious oven-fried foods that are also good in an air fryer:

Buffalo Wings – These chicken wings are super easy to make, either in your oven or your air fryer. In fact, I usually pop them into the air fryer basket while they’re still frozen. However, when I cook them in the oven, I thaw them first.

Salmon Cakes – Also known as salmon patties or salmon croquettes, you’ll love these in either your oven or your air fryer.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts – I used to make these in the regular oven, but now I use my air fryer. They’re crispy on the outside and tender in the middle!

Pork Chops – Rub a little bit of oil and some seasoning on these pork chops before putting them in the air fryer. You’ll be amazed by how delicious they turn out!

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