I have decided to cut down the dining costs due to the rise in food bills in restaurants.
I am looking at the appliances that can give me restaurant-like results.
Two appliances that have caught my eye are the air fryer and the halogen oven. I wonder which one will be perfect for my family’s gastronomic needs.
Halogen Oven vs. Air Fryer- What is the Difference?
A halogen oven is a game changer in terms of a traditional oven.
It is a small and compact device that does what an oven does at lower energy consumption and without bending, right on the countertop.
It consists of a glass bowl and a top lid. The food is exposed to infrared rays through a halogen bulb.
The heat of the infrared rays is circulated inside the sealed glass chamber with the help of a fan.
Both the bulb as well as the fan is housed inside the lid. The bulb pulses on and off to maintain the temperature inside the glass chamber.
The halogen ovens are reputed to cook 50% faster than conventional ovens, saving up to 75% energy compared to standard ovens.
An air fryer is a compact version of a convection oven. It has a sealed chamber with a heating element and a high-speed rotating fan. The air fryer also has a drawer with a perforated basket on top.
The temperature of the heating element is controlled by a digital or manual analog.
The heat emitted by the heating element on top is then circulated evenly with the help of a high-speed fan. The basket, along with the drawer, is easily removable.
You get the same results as deep-fried food minus the oil. An air fryer needs only a spoon or dash of oil to cook food.
Difference in Working
A halogen oven cooks food using infrared radiation. A bright halogen bulb present in the lid of the oven emits heat by releasing infrared radiation.
This heat is circulated inside the glass bowl with the help of a fan.
As infrared radiation passes inside the food, the molecules start vibrating, releasing heat.
A thermostat inside regulates the temperature in the chamber, switching the bulb on and off at intervals.
The glass chamber acts as a heat conductor and is sealed with the help of a hinged lid.
The food is cooked on high or low racks. The food needing more heat and crispiness is placed on top, while salads and sides are placed on the bottom rack.
Depending on the design, the lid can have manual rotary dials or digital controls for temperature and time.
An air fryer works on the principle of convection. As the heating element heats up, a high-speed rotating fan helps to circulate the heat inside the closed chamber.
After placing food inside the basket, the temperature and time duration needs to be set. This is done by rotary dials or digital analog, depending on the air fryer design.
The small space of the chamber helps to expose the food to hot air effectively. The perforations in the basket ensure even circulation of hot air inside out, including the bottom.
The hot air produced goes out through a vent at the back. Once the food is ready, the air fryer stops cooking automatically.
The key difference is that a halogen oven uses radiation energy to heat food directly while the food gets heated up in the air fryer from moving hot air.
Difference in Appearance
A halogen oven consists of a lid that contains the halogen bulb and a halogen ring along with a fan.
The outside of the lid has a manual or digital analog (depending on the model) for temperature and time.
Inside the oven, there are two racks, usually made of metal known as the high and low cooking racks.
The rack units can be removed or left inside while cooking. You can use one or both racks at the same time for cooking.
The entire chamber is a glass bowl that gets sealed with the help of a hinged lid on top.
You can view the inside cooking through the glass. The appearance gets more beautiful as the food is lit up by the halogen bulb present inside the glass chamber.
A standard air fryer is a compact device that has a heating element and a fan inside the air fryer.
Beneath the heating element, there is a removable drawer with a handle. The drawer has a perforated basket on which the food is placed.
The outer body of the air fryer has a digital/manual analog that has a preset menu, temperature, and time options.
It is usually present on the top. The lower body contains a removable drawer with a perforated basket.
While a standard air fryer usually takes up very little countertop space and is a compact device, a halogen oven is bulky and large and takes up more countertop space.
Difference in Running Costs
The running cost is calculated by multiplying the wattage by the time duration and then by the cost of electricity in your area.
A halogen oven needs about 1200-1300 watts. A standard halogen oven with 1300 watts running one hour a day would cost around 65 dollars per year (with an average US rate of 13 cents per Kwh).
A small air fryer can use about 1200 watts of energy. A large air fryer may use 1700 watts.
A standard air fryer with 1400 watts running one hour a day would cost around 66.48 per year (with an average US rate of 13 cents per Kwh).
When it comes to running costs, it is a close call. The halogen oven wins by costing 1.48 dollars less than an air fryer
It is important to remember that the running cost depends on your frequency of cooking, the duration of time spent cooking, and the electric energy tariffs in your area.
Also read: Low Wattage Air Fryer
The Difference in Purchase Cost
When comparing both the appliances in the market today, halogen ovens are cheaper than air fryers and can cost between 30-50 dollars.
However, larger models with additional functions like rotisserie may be expensive.
Good quality air fryers start anywhere from 60 dollars.
You can also find cheaper models, but they don’t last very long. However, if you are in luck, you might find good air fryers in discount sales, and special deal offers.
If you are looking for top-quality air fryers under budget, I would highly recommend the Ultrean air fryer, which costs less than $70 and is one of the good ones.
If you have the budget, then the Philips air fryer is one of the best air fryers.
I have been using it for the past two years, and it gives me fantastic results.
Difference in Speed
When it comes to speed, an air fryer delivers faster results compared to a halogen oven.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t disregard the halogen oven in terms of time efficiency. This is because, unlike an air fryer, a halogen oven does not require any preheating.
According to consumers who have tried both appliances, foods like broccoli took double the time in the halogen oven than in an air fryer.
A whole chicken took 25% longer to cook in the halogen oven compared to an air fryer.
The Difference in Size
A Halogen Oven is a large appliance having a wide range of capacities from 6 to 18 quarts. An average standard capacity would be around 10- 12 quarts. Some models have extender rings to increase the capacity by 5-6 quartz.
A standard air fryer has a limited capacity of 4 quarts.
Nowadays, there are air fryers available in different sizes and capacities, but they don’t beat the capacity of a large halogen oven. The largest capacity of a stand-alone air fryer is limited to 13 quarts.
A halogen oven can take up a large volume of food (anywhere from six to eighteen liters) compared to an air fryer (from one to thirteen liters).
If you are a small family, a standard air fryer will suit you. For a large family, it is better to opt for a halogen oven.
The Difference in Food Texture
While both appliances can cook food with minimal oil, the air fryer food was more crispy.
The halogen oven food is not that crispy but retains some of the moistness on the surface.
The food does not completely dry up in the halogen oven.
In the air fryer, the results are crisp and flaky, just like deep fried. If left for a long time, food in the air fryer tends to become overly dry.
For a crisp and crunchy texture, opt for the air fryer. For a little soggy or moist, juicy chicken, opt for a halogen oven.
The Difference in Care and Maintenance
Both a halogen oven and an air fryer are easy to care for and maintain.
Most of the time, halogen ovens are bulky and require a lot of countertop space. A standard air fryer is a compact device that needs very little space.
The halogen oven has a glass bowl and racks inside that can be cleaned manually or in the dishwasher.
Depending on the model, some halogen ovens come with a self-cleaning function.
All you have to do is add water and soap and select the self-cleaning function. In the end, you have to drain the water away and allow the parts to air dry naturally.
The removable part of the air fryer consists of a drawer and a basket that is mostly dishwasher safe.
You can also wash it with warm soapy water and allow it to air dry naturally.
A halogen oven has glass, so it does not have the problem of the non-stick layer peeling out from the basket, like an air fryer.
Over time, an air fryer loses the non-stick layer.
Another good part about the halogen oven is that the food does not come in contact with a plastic body. There is no plastic smell problem either, which is common in new air fryers.
Here is a summary of the above
|Infrared radiation- halogen bulb and fan
|Convection- heating element and high-speed fan
|Bulky, glass bowl with a lid
|Compact, plastic with a removable drawer and basket
|Lower running cost per hour
|Higher running cost per hour compared to the halogen oven
|Cheaper than an air fryer
|Slightly more expensive than a halogen oven
|Takes more time compared to the air fryer
|Cooks faster compared to the halogen oven
|Bigger with large capacity
|Smaller with limited capacity
|Crispy but not crunchy
|Crispy and crunchy
I have written in detail regarding the differences between the two. You are now well informed to make a smart decision depending on your choice and lifestyle.
Halogen ovens are comparatively cheaper and offer low running costs. However, an air fryer will give you quicker results.
If you don’t want to clean, go for a halogen oven with a self-cleaning feature or an air fryer that has a dishwasher-safe basket.
A halogen oven gives you the same results that an oven can give. An air fryer can also give the results along with a ‘deep fried’ texture.
Although it can crisp up food to an extent, a halogen oven does retain some sogginess. Only an air fryer can give you a crunchy and crispy texture.
Personally, I would opt for an air fryer. It is a one-time investment, but it gives quick results with a crispy and crunchy texture and can also dehydrate food.
If you are looking for the best of both worlds, you can go for a halogen oven that has an air fryer option. All the best!
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