Air fryer vs broiler (All You Need To Know)

Cooking in an air fryer or broiler has become increasingly popular. However, it’s first and foremost to know which one is more beneficial and effective as well.

Both the devices use hot air to cook your food by circulating it around, making it crisp from the outside while staying moist on the inside.

Despite their similarities, both the appliances are not entirely the same and share several differences which are essential to know.

One of the key differences to consider is that the broiler takes comparatively more time to cook than the air fryer. An air fryer cooks food by circulating hot air around the food without any added oil. Whereas, the broiler requires additional oil to cook the food properly.

An air fryer is present with a small width rack for cooking. On the other hand, a wide rack is present in the broiler for cooking.

However, more key differences need to be taken into account when deciding to buy either of these appliances. To know more facts and differences between air fryer and broiler, stick with me till the end as I’ll be going through it all.

Air fryer: All You Need To Know

Air fryer is counter top convention oven designed to stimulate deep frying without submerging the food in oil.

The air fryer uses an air stream of hot air to cook food which makes it much different from a traditional oven.

It uses the conduction of heat from all sides making your food much juicier and giving delighting flavor. An air fryer is designed to cook healthier fried foods by the use of hot steam instead of oil.

The air fryer produces a crisp layer via browning reactions such as the Maillard reaction, through its fans which circulate hot air at a high speed.

The air fryer requires no or little oil while cooking. The air fryer’s chamber emits heat from a heating element near the food and a fan circulates the air.

Most air fryers have time and temperature adjustments that allow more precise cooking. Food in the Air fryer is typically cooked in a basket that sits on a drip tray.

Baskets used for cooking in an air fryer must be periodically agitated either manually or by the fryer mechanism.

What Can You Make In The Air Fryer?

The air fryer cooks fried foods more healthily with no or very less oil. By using an air fryer, one can reduce oil consumption while cooking and can remain safe from health problems caused by oil.

The air fryer can be used to cook several dishes. I won’t make the article lengthy by mentioning all of them. So, some of the popular ones are listed here:

  • French Fries
  • Frozen Chicken Goujons
  • Air-fryer Garlic Bread
  • Air-Fryer Meatballs
  • Crispy Roast Potatoes
  • Air-Fryer Chicken Legs
  • Popcorn Shrimp Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
  • Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders
French Fries
French Fries can be made with an air fryer

Is an Air Fryer Just a Convection Oven?

Even though the Convention oven and Air fryer share many similarities between them. Both are not entirely the same.


Both of the appliances mainly differ in terms of their sizes. In other words, a convection oven can cook a larger amount of food at once. Whereas, an air fryer can only handle smaller portions and often require cooking in batches.


An air fryer comes with a removable cooking basket and is a cylindrical-shaped kitchen appliance. Whereas Convention oven is a rectangular box-shaped appliance with a door in front typically made of glass, so you could see the inside.

Air circulation

Air circulation in the air fryer is comparatively more than the air circulation in a convection oven. This is because the cooking area in the air fryer is smaller in which air circulates.

Location of fan

The convection oven has a fan located at the back of the oven. Whereas, the fan in the air fryer is located at the top of the appliance, with the food in the tray below it.

To know more about the differences between an air fryer and a Convention oven, have a look at this video as it covers all:

Video about the differences between Air fryer & Convention Oven

Broiler: What is It?

Broiler is a form of cooking as well as oven element that provides high direct heat on the food much like a grill. However, heat in this form is emitted from above the food.

In other words, the broiler places food closer to your oven so that it can quickly get cooked. This eventually gives a complex flavor and achieves a certain texture.

When you cook your food in an oven, the heating elements in it warm the air inside. Cooking your food through hot dry air. However, the broiler exposes one side of your food to direct high heat.

Broiling allows you to cook food by giving it a crust and crispy finish. Broiler- special oven setting is a great way to add flavor to your favorite food and to give it a finishing touch.

Air Fryer VS Broiler: What Are the Differences?

The air fryer and broiler both cook food by the heating element which is present at the top of the food. Despite their similarities, several distinctions between them are essential to know before making any decision.

PropertiesAir FryerBroiler
Cooking CapacitySmall Width RackLarger Width Rack
Cooking MethodAir circulation around the food.Direct, high heat on the food in a single direction much like grilling.
Time Taken Comparatively more than broiler.Less time is taken due to the larger width rack.
HealthyHealthier due to less or no usage of oil while cooking.Comparatively less healthy.
The table represents distinctions between Air fryers and Broiler

Can you broil in an air fryer?

This is doable; you simply need to increase the cooking time.

You can also position the food near the heat source. This will cause the top of your food to boil, then char and turn brown. This is an excellent method for creating crispy top layers while retaining the best flavors of your favorite foods.

Is air frying better for you than broiling?

It all comes down to the amount of fat or oil in your food.

When air frying, a small amount of oil is used to coat the pan. And the main consideration is the fat or oil content of the food, not the process. Charring or browning, the chemical change caused by these processes, has also been linked to bowel cancer.

Men who do not smoke have a higher mortality rate. As a result, one cannot be prioritized over the other because their health risks are roughly proportional.

Does my Oven Have Broiler?

To know whether your oven has a broiler, do consider the information below.

There are mainly two types of broiler, you would find in home ovens.

  • One broiler is located inside a drawer underneath the oven
  • The other one is located inside an oven

In the electrical oven, your broiler will typically be inside of your oven. If heating coils are present on the top and bottom of the oven, then you have an in-oven broiler.

Oven heated with natural gas usually has a broiler in the drawer under the oven. To confirm, pull up the drawer below the oven.

A metal pan with slits on the top will be present in the drawer. In some cases, gas ovens have broilers inside instead, so look up the ceiling if you can’t find it.

An image of oven.
Oven heated with natural gas usually has a broiler in the drawer under the oven


  • Air fryer and broiler are two ways of cooking with the use of heat; however, both share several differences between them.
  • Food cooked in the air fryer is by the circulation of hot air around the food. However, in broiler high, heat is applied in a specific direction to cook food. The broiler is much similar to grilling.
  • An air fryer is comparatively smaller and takes more time than a broiler to cook food. However, food cooked in an air fryer requires less or no oil; which makes it healthier to consume with fewer health risks.

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