Air fryers are smart and effective kitchen appliances not only because they can cook healthy food but because they yield quick results like microwaves as well. Since air fryers can also reheat food, many users often wonder if you can use an air fryer as a microwave.
Yes, you can use an air fryer as a microwave most of the time. However, there will be some differences in the results. Air fryers give a bit crispier result and cannot reheat liquids.
Some users have already been using air fryers instead of microwaves and have mastered the art of preparing delicious meals. However, using an air fryer will give different results. If you want something to come out crispy or crunchy, you should use an air fryer.
So, let’s discuss this further and see how using an air fryer as a microwave may be a smart decision.
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What to expect when using an air fryer as a microwave
To understand whether an air fryer can be used as a microwave, you will first need to understand its purpose. While a microwave uses rays/waves to heat the food, an air fryer uses hot air. Hence, the difference in results.
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When talking about reheating food, keep in mind that an air fryer will be a better option if you want a crispy texture. On the other hand, if you simply want to warm up the food without changing its texture, then you should use a microwave.
This does end up being a benefit because microwaves usually turn reheated food soggy when in fact, we want to keep the crispiness intact.
Cannot reheat liquids
At the same time, air fryers also face some limitations that microwaves don’t. For instance, microwaves can also warm up liquids like milk and water. Furthermore, some meals are particularly made for microwaves and cannot be prepared using any other kitchen appliance.
So, preparing soups or delicacies might not be possible using an air fryer.
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Issues you may face when using an air fryer as a microwave
One of the major issues people face while using an air fryer as a microwave is not knowing how to shift from one appliance to the other. Since both kitchen appliances are completely different and serve different purposes, finding the right technique can be difficult.
Cooking time changes
You will have to adjust the cooking times accordingly because both appliances have completely different cooking mechanisms. This means that where an air fryer takes 3 minutes to cook food, a microwave might take 6 minutes.
Types of food to be cooked
Another challenge is knowing what foods can and cannot be cooked in an air fryer. That said, you can cook both chicken and fish in an air fryer, but not rice. And since air fryers usually do not use oil, sometimes you’d have to adjust the microwave recipes when using an air fryer to get the same results.
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Tips on using an air fryer as a microwave
As mentioned earlier, using an air fryer as a microwave requires utilizing the right technique. Here are a couple of tips to help you!
Go for low heat
Use low heat to reheat in the air fryer to prevent food from burning. The air fryer’s heating element directly heats up the food. In a microwave, burning isn’t much of a concern because of the waves.
Set the right temperature
Next, choose the right temperature. For this, you will need to consult the user manual or search the internet. Usually, food items cooked or prepared in air fryers are adjusted to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
One cannot determine the temperature when cooking in a microwave.
Time and temperature relation
In addition to the above point, timing is extremely important. Most users ignore the temperature and timing relation. The more time food items spend inside an air fryer, the more the chances of overcooking.
If you are reheating something like a pizza, you should reheat it for about 2 to 3 minutes at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the end, using an air fryer as a microwave shouldn’t be a problem as long as you are aware of the limitations and the right technique. Before cooking or reheating unique food items, make sure that they can be prepared in an air fryer. Otherwise, you will need to use a microwave.