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The art of cooking goes hand in hand with the science of cookware and in today’s times, both amateurs and experienced cook can rely on a diverse array of appliances to prepare recipes that aren’t just tasty, but healthy as well.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at two appliances that are slowly but surely making their presences felt across kitchens in the USA and indeed, around the world; the NuWave Oven and the Air Fryer.
So sit back and scroll on, as we dive deep into the unique features of both appliances and see how they compare. Along with the features, our comparison will highlight both pros and cons associated with the NuWave Oven and the Air Fryer, so that you, the buyer, can make an informed choice when buying either or both appliances.
What’s an Air Fryer? How does an Air Fryer Work?
The Air Fryer is a fairly recent addition to the long list of kitchen appliances that are used for cooking. As the name suggests, it is typically used to fry foods. So, if you’re a potato chip lover or like your meats fried, the Air Fryer is certainly an appliance you can use. But how does it work and what does it do differently than traditional frying methods?
An Air Fryer cooks food based on the circulation of hot air. As the appliance circulates super hot air around food (convection), it gradually crisps the food and adds a certain bit of crunchiness to its exterior. What follows is, in scientific terms, the Maillard effect; a chemical reaction. The reaction is the result of a reducing sugar and an amino acid within a hot environment, and it results in foods’ flavors and colors being significantly altered.
In recent times, the Air Fryer has been embraced by health-conscious eaters around the globe because of its ability to fry foods without a ton of oil. In fact, all you need to fry your favorite veggies and meats in an Air Fryer is a tablespoon of oil. This is in stark contrast to deep-frying; a traditional frying method that is criticized for making food excessively oily.
What’s a Nuwave Oven? How Does a Nuwave Oven Work?
In terms of preparing healthy recipes, the NuWave Oven is quite similar to the Air Fryer. However, under the hood, it works on totally different principles. Instead of relying on convection, a NuWave Oven employs two other physical phenomena simultaneously; conduction and infrared.
Conduction is the process that has been used conventionally to cook food, and involves the transfer of heat to the food (the tried and tested gas stove and fry pan combination). In a NuWave Oven, the parts responsible for transferring heat to food are the dish and/or the grill. The oven also boasts of a patented infrared technology, which heats food by subjecting it to infrared rays, which guarantee cooking both on the food’s exterior and interior.
A NuWave Oven guarantees healthy and relatively oil-free food as the fats and oils released by the food settle in the oven’s bottom portion. Cooking food in a NuWave oven is rapid as well and apart from cooking fresh meats and veggies, it can also handle frozen food without any need for defrosting.
Nuwave oven pros and cons
The NuWave Oven has its advantages, but it has certain disadvantages as well. Read this section to know all about its multiple pros and cons.
Cooking in a NuWave Oven gives users the option to broil, roast, grill, bake, steam, sear, air-fry, or barbecue food.
It’s also an incredibly energy-efficient appliance, as it cooks food a whopping 70% faster than most standard household kitchen appliances, and as a result, it keeps electricity bills from skyrocketing.
Its quality of cooking is also quite high, as its employment of 3 simultaneous processes results in food that’s thoroughly cooked both inside and outside.
Maintenance is also a piece of cake when it comes to the NuWave Oven. It’s a dishwasher-safe appliance as well. Just be careful with regards to the instructions provided in the owner’s manual, and you’re good to go.
If you want to, you can even cook a variety of foods simultaneously using the NuWave Oven, all thanks to its triple cooking feature.
Utensil-compatibility is also a big positive, as you can use all the utensils that you use in your conventional oven in a NuWave Oven as well.
The biggest con of the NuWave Oven is that after each and every use, you’d need to clean it. While it is dishwasher-safe and can be cleaned rapidly, it becomes a hassle especially if you want to cook a lot of food in it.
Some owners have also criticized the durability of the NuWave Oven. If you use the appliance regularly, cracks, scratches, and technical issues are bound to crop up in the matter of a few months.
While baking is definitely something that the NuWave Oven can do, we’d still recommend baking in a conventional oven. Foods baked in the NuWave Oven rarely look good after they’re done and they don’t taste particularly amazing either.
Air fryer pros and cons
Just like the NuWave Oven, the Air Fryer too has its pros and cons, which we’ll explore in detail in this section.
Read more: Air Fryer vs. Oven
Undoubtedly, the most standout feature of an Air Fryer is its ability to cook without any oil or butter. Of course, users can add a little bit of either if they want, but even if they don’t use it, the appliance doesn’t disappoint as far as the quality of food is concerned.
Just like the NuWave Oven, an Air Fryer can cook meals within minutes, which makes them incredibly energy-efficient.
An Air Fryer, apart from air frying, can also reheat, stir fry, roast, bake, broil, steam, grill, and rotisserie. Bigger models allow entire turkeys and chickens to be cooked at one go.
Using an Air Fryer is incredibly easy. Once the cooking temperature is set and the food is in the basket, you can let the appliance take care of the cooking.
Small air fryers are available as purchase and accommodating one of these isn’t difficult at all, as they take up very little space in an average household kitchen.
Read also: Top 21 Best Air Fryer Under 100 Review 2021
The biggest complaint that owners have regarding an Air Fryer is that its construction and design features cheap and inexpensive plastics and metals that aren’t durable. This is especially true for cheaper brands. However, there are well-known brands that manufacture air fryers as well and they offer significantly better quality parts.
If you want to buy a feature-loaded Air Fryer, you’d have to settle for one of the big ones. Apart from the fact that they are quite expensive, bigger air fryers are very difficult to accommodate in tight kitchen spaces. Even if you do buy one of the bigger models, you’ll have to put in some effort to rearrange the existing setup and arrangement of your kitchen to accommodate it.
The average Air Fryer is also not an appliance that families with more than 4 – 5 members can rely on. For such large families, cooking in an Air Fryer will be more cumbersome than convenient, as meals will have to be prepared in batches, which will ultimately take a long time.
While learning to use the Air Fryer is definitely easy, it still may take you some time before you can explore the wide range of cooking options. Sure, you can start air frying in next to no time, but if you want to broil, roast, or do something else, be prepared to experiment, and of course, with experimentations comes the risks of failure.
The average Air Fryer is also quite difficult to clean. The fact that it’s not dishwasher-safe means that you’ll have to clear out all the grease manually, which can be time-consuming.
The Differences Between Air Fryer and Nuwave Oven
After going through the pros and cons of both air fryers and NuWave ovens, you must’ve surely spotted several similarities between the two appliances, but what are the key differences between the two?
Well, for starters, the cooking principles that the appliances employ are different. While an Air Fryer is limited only to convection, a NuWave Oven makes use of conduction and infrared heating technology as well.
The time taken by the appliances to cook food is also not the same. While both appliances do cook far more rapidly than any conventional appliance, a NuWave Oven tends to take more time because it can only reach a maximum temperature of 350°F. On the other hand, air fryers can reach up to 400°F and deliver food that’s cooked faster.
In terms of space available for cooking, the NuWave Oven is the undisputed winner, as users can cook entire chickens and turkeys without a worry. However, the average Air Fryer doesn’t offer the same kind of space, which means most of the cooking has to be done in batches, especially if you’re cooking for a lot of people. Of course, you can buy a bigger model of Air Fryer to cook those whole turkeys and chickens in one go, but it will cost you a lot of money.
Read more: Top 24 Best Air Fryer Reviews of 2021
So, we’ve come to the end of this comparison guide and we hope we could educate you about how air fryers and NuWave ovens work and what their pros and cons are. Ultimately, we have to say that while both appliances offer certain advantages, they are still held back by certain limitations that prevent them from becoming more widely used.
However, as more advancements are made in terms of technologies and features, we can certainly expect both air fryers and NuWave ovens to improve in the near future. But still, if you want efficient cooking and fried foods without consuming gallons of oil, purchasing either a NuWave Oven or an Air Fryer isn’t really a bad idea. Just make sure that you don’t rely on the appliance(s) for cooking every meal, and you can expect both of them to last you a long time.