Are you a fan of fried foods but want a healthier option? Air fryers and steamers are two appliances that can help you enjoy your favorite fried treats without the extra calories and oil.
But when it comes down to choosing one of these, which one should you opt for? What are the differences when it comes to air fryer vs steamer?
The main difference between an air fryer and a steamer is how both the appliances generate heat and circulate it around the food. Air fryers use a heating element and a fan to circulate hot air, while steamers use steam for cooking food.
What is an Air Fryer and how does it work?
An air fryer is a compact appliance that works on a similar mechanism as an oven. It uses hot air, which is then circulated around the food using a fan to heat and cook it. This air cooks the food evenly and gives it a tender texture.
What is a Steamer and how does it work?
A steamer uses hot steam to cook food. It works by generating steam that is then circulated in the fryer. The steam helps to cook the food evenly and can help to preserve its moisture and flavor.
Differences between Air Fryer and Steamer
There are several differences between air fryers and steamers, here’s a comparison chart to make things easier for you!
|Circulates hot air to cook food
|Uses hot steam to cook food
|Use of oil
|Uses a small amount of oil to cook and brown the food
|Doesn’t use oil
|Cooks food faster than steamer because it uses hot air, which is more effective in transferring heat to the food
|Uses steam which can reach a maximum temperature of only 212 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore taking a longer time to cook
|Safe to use if the manual is followed
|Safer than an air fryer because it operates at a lower temperature
|Bake, grill, fry, dry, defrost, reheat, broil foods
|Steam cook food only
|Due to usage of oil, caloric count is higher than a steamer
|Uses no oil to cook therefore caloric count is very low
|Difficult to clean compared to a steamer because of all the grease
|Easier to clean
|Resulting food crust
|Crispy crust with browning
|Soft texture due to steaming
Air Fryer VS Steamer: Which one should you buy?
There are several factors to keep in mind when deciding between an air fryer and a steamer; you should try to consider the following when making your decision:
If health is a major concern, a steamer is better for you because it does not use any oil and only steam cooks. On the other hand, air fryers use some oil to fry food, which can add to your caloric count.
Taste and texture
Foods cooked in an air fryer have a crispier exterior and a tender inside. Moreover, oil gives food an enhanced flavor which is loved by many. On the other hand, cooking in a steamer results in foods that have a delicate inside and a boiled taste.
Steamers are usually cheaper than air fryers. However, there are some new steamers in the market that are pricier than air fryers, as they offer many new features. So, this depends on which steamer you’re comparing the air fryer to.
Maintenance and cleaning
It is important to clean both appliances regularly so that they do not malfunction.
Cleaning an air fryer is more challenging as it sometimes requires disassembling the appliance to clean grease from the fan or the heating element, apart from cleaning the parts too. On the other hand, steamers are generally easier to clean as they do not have any hard-to-reach parts that need to be thoroughly cleaned.
Versatility in cooking
Air fryers are more versatile than steamers as they can be used for many purposes other than just frying food. These include reheating, baking, broiling, defrosting, dehydrating, grilling, etc. While steamers can only steam cook food.
Ease of use
Air and steamers are easy to use as most models have present controls. However, this depends on your specific model as some brands offer more features than others.
In conclusion, both air fryers and steamers are useful appliances that are used to prepare different kind of foods. Air fryers are better if you do not want to compromise on taste and variety. However, steamers are better if you are looking for a cheaper and healthier option.