How to air fry in your convection oven

How to air fry in your convection oven

Air fryers are an exciting new countertop appliance that functions much like a convection oven. If you own a convection oven, you may not need a standalone air fryer to achieve the crispy results that air fryers are known for.

This guide will help you discover the differences between an air fryer and a convection oven so you can get “fried” results using your convection oven.

Choose a link to learn about how to air fry in a convection oven

The Difference Between an Air Fryer and a Convection Oven

A countertop air fryer and a convection oven are different sizes but work similarly. Both appliances have fans designed to circulate heat to achieve crispy, air-fried food.

The compartment in a countertop air fryer tends to be significantly smaller than convection ovens, resulting in faster cooking times. However, convection ovens offer more capacity than air fryers, which typically cap out at two servings.

Can My Convection Oven Act as an Air Fryer?

Air frying in your convection oven is possible, and can even offer greater convenience since you have more capacity to cook with. To make sure you get the crispy results you desire, you can buy an air fryer basket or tray.

Select Whirlpool® Ranges with Air Fry Mode has a dishwasher-safe air fry basket, allowing it to be easily cleaned.

Someone loading an air fry basket into a Whirlpool dishwasher. On the lower rack are plates, a bowl and a cutlery tray.

There are several other benefits of using your convection oven to air fry:

  • Greater convenience - A convection oven or an oven with an air frying function removes the need for another appliance and, subsequently, saves valuable counter space.
  • Crispy results - Especially when using a perforated basket or dark cookware, air frying in your convection oven delivers unmistakably crispy food.
  • Cook larger quantities at once - Most air fryers don’t offer the same capacity as a traditional convection oven. This means that you’ll be able to cook more food at the same time than with a countertop air fryer, which often requires you to cook in batches.
  • Easy to clean - Air fryers often require cleaning the basket in addition to the pullout compartment after every use whereas with a convection oven you can use a sheet pan to mitigate any messes.

What Is an Air Fryer Oven?

Simply put, an air fryer oven is a convection oven with a built-in air frying feature. They work via the use of convection fans that quickly circulate hot air around the surface of the food to crisp it up and deliver a golden crust. Certain brands, including Whirlpool, have a line of air-frying capable ovens, so you can enjoy some of your favourite foods, like wings or fries, without having to deal with an extra appliance.

Inside an oven, Brussels sprouts cook in an air fry basket.
On each oven rack, a tray of cookies bake.

Whirlpool® Ranges With Air Fry Mode

If you want the convenience of air frying food without the hassle of storing and using an additional appliance, Whirlpool® has a selection of ranges with Air Fry Mode. Select models let you skip preheating and can air fry everything from vegetables and chicken tenders to French fries and more.

A Whirlpool oven's control panel. Buttons include, "Bake", "Broil", "Convect Bake", "Air Fry", "Warm Zone", "Lasagna" and "Pizza" under "Frozen Bake", "Start", "Cancel", Temp up and down, "Timer On/Off", "Cook Time", "Clock", "Light", "Delay Start" and "Control Lock".

No Air Fryer Mode? You Can Still Air Fry in Your Convection Oven

If you have a convection oven that doesn’t feature an air fry option, you can still get similar results to an air fryer by making a few adaptations.

Step 1: Prep food for air frying

Based on what you’re attempting to air fry, you need to prepare the ingredients to ensure a crispy exterior. Vegetables and potatoes, for instance, should be cut into bite-sized pieces. To achieve that crunchy exterior, we recommend cutting them into cubes, spears or medallions and then lightly coating them in oil as this will help them brown.

Someone slicing Brussels sprouts on a cutting board. Next to the cutting board is a small bowl of sauce.

If cooking fish or meat, you want to ensure that the skin can crisp up, meaning it needs to be as dry as possible. Before cooking pat the surface and then lightly coat it with oil or cooking spray.

PRO TIP

If breading food, air frying can deliver better results with a drier exterior (think of adding toppings like panko, shredded cheese or breadcrumbs) instead of a wet batter.

Step 2: Use the right air frying cookware

One element that makes countertop air fryers adept at crisping food is the perforated basket specifically made for air frying.

A perforated tray or basket allows hot air to circulate on the surface of the food. Another option is to use a dark or nonstick tray with low sides or an oven-safe cooling rack. A cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper on the lower rack to catch any drippings should also suffice.

On a pulled out oven rack, chicken wings cook in an air fry basket.

Step 3: Give your food space

A good tip is to avoid overcrowding at all times. This allows the hot air to thoroughly and evenly cook and crisp your food. The circulating hot air must be able to reach the entire surface of your food to turn a crust golden. Overcrowding may result in a soggy exterior.

Step 4: Be mindful of air frying times and temperatures

Convection ovens usually don’t cook as fast as countertop air fryers. This means that you may have to adjust the cooking times. Additionally, countertop air fryers often use higher temperatures, so you’ll have to account for this when determining the right cooking times. If following a recipe that provides the time for a conventional oven, it’s recommended to refer to your oven manufacturer’s instructions for temperatures and cook times. If you don’t have your instruction manual, then you should use the times listed on the package or in the recipe and monitor the food as it cooks.

Step 5: Flip food halfway through cooking

Similar to using a countertop air fryer, you need to flip or shake your food during the cooking process to improve air distribution to food surfaces.

PRO TIP

Spray or rub food with a little extra oil or cooking spray to promote crisping.

Now you should be all set to cook your favourite air fry recipes in your convection oven, so your family can enjoy a healthier alternative.

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