How to Use a Convection Oven as an Air Fryer: Easy Tips!

How to Use a Convection Oven as an Air Fryer

If you like the idea of air-fried food but don’t want to buy another appliance, your convection oven can totally do the trick. If you want to learn how to use a convection oven as an air fryer, keep reading! It’s the same basic idea, hot air circulating around your food makes it crispy without needing a ton of oil. We’re going to get into exactly how to make it work, plus some tips for getting that perfect golden-brown crunch. Because everyone loves crispy food, and if there’s a way to do it without deep-frying, I’m all about it!

Key differences between convection ovens and air fryers

Key differences between convection ovens and air fryers

Your convection oven isn’t going to work exactly like one of those little air fryer machines. Air fryers get way hotter and are smaller, which helps them get food super crispy and super fast. Plus, they have those baskets with holes, so the hot air blasts your food from all sides. Regular ovens just don’t have that same setup.

That means you can still absolutely make awesome air-fried food in your convection oven! You might need to know a bit about the temperature and timing perfectly, but the results can be surprisingly good. After all, the whole idea behind both appliances is using that fan to cook with hot air.

If you’re thinking about buying an air fryer, consider how much you crave that extra-crispy texture vs. whether you have the counter space to spare. If you want that for a lot of your meals, an air fryer might be worth it. But if you already have a convection oven, give it a try first! You might save yourself a bit of money and still get that crispy goodness.

Tips for using a convection oven as an air fryer

Tips for using a convection oven as an air fryer

If you want to DIY the air fryer thing in your oven, here’s what you need to keep in mind. The biggest difference is that air fryers have baskets with holes for the air to get to your food from all sides. Ovens usually just have baking sheets, which, honestly, aren’t the best for getting stuff super crispy. So, it might take a few tries to figure out the perfect settings for that air fryer effect.

But don’t get discouraged! Here’s the key thing:

  • Space it out: Don’t overcrowd the pan. You want the air to be able to actually get around your food.
  • Flip halfway: Just like in an air fryer, flipping your food halfway through cooking helps it brown evenly.
  • You might need a temp boost: Sometimes, bumping the heat up a bit from what the recipe says can help things get crispier.

A lot of it is just trial and error until you get a feel for how your oven works for this. But once you do, you can make all sorts of crispy fried stuff without needing another gadget!

Recommended cooking times and temperatures

The annoying thing about air frying in your convection oven is that recipes don’t always translate perfectly. So, here are some ideas to get you started, but don’t be afraid to make adjustments:

Crispy Chicken Wings: Try around 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. But honestly, start checking them towards the end of that time.

Homemade Fries: 425 degrees F seems to be the magic number for a lot of people. Cook them for 20-25 minutes, and definitely flip them halfway through so they get crispy on all sides.

Salmon: This one’s lower heat, so maybe 375 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. Again, keep an eye on it – you don’t want to overcook your fish!

The big thing is it might take a few times to get the hang of cooking stuff this way. Once you get a feel for how your oven works, it’ll be way easier.

Cleaning and maintenance of your convection oven

Cleaning and maintenance of your convection oven

Cleaning the oven is never fun. But if you want to keep using it to make air-fried food, it’s gotta get done sometimes. First off, unplug it and let it cool down completely – nobody needs accidental burns. Take out the racks and those baking sheet things, and wash them in the sink like normal dishes.

A damp cloth usually works for most of the inside of the oven. If there are some stuck-on bits, a little bit of baking soda mixed with water can be a miracle worker. Pay attention around the fan because that’s where grease likes to hide. Wipe down the outside of the oven, too, mostly so it doesn’t look totally gross.

Also, give that rubber seal around the door a look every now and then. You know, the part that gets kinda grimy, If it’s got cracks or it’s coming loose, your oven’s basically got a leak. That means your food takes forever to cook, or it comes out weird.

Honestly, most of the time, if you just clean it once in a while and don’t see anything that looks broken, your oven will probably keep on working just fine.

Honestly, the best way to avoid your oven breaking down is to do some basic cleaning and make sure nothing looks seriously wrong.

Recipes to try in your air-fryer convection oven

Recipes to try in your air-fryer convection oven

You can make all those crispy, delicious foods you love but with way less guilt. Chicken wings, sweet potato fries, and even stuff like onion rings totally work! Because that hot air gets everything nice and brown without you having to drown your food in oil.

If you’re trying to eat a little healthier, try making veggie chips in your oven. Kale and zucchini get so crispy and awesome! Perfect when you just need something to munch on. Oh, and dessert! Stuff like apple chips, even those cinnamon sugar donut things – you can totally make them in your convection oven, and they’re not nearly as bad for you as the deep-fried kind.


If you’re into that whole air-fried food thing but don’t want your kitchen to look like an appliance store, your convection oven can totally do the same basic thing. It might not be exactly like using a real air fryer, at least not at first. You might have to play around with the temperature and timing a bit to get that perfect crispy but not burnt result. But the good news is, once you figure out what works, you can ditch the extra oil and still get that satisfying crunch. Honestly, it’s definitely worth trying if you want crispy snacks without buying another gadget.


What types of food can I cook using my convection oven as an air fryer?

Basically, the typical greasy stuff – wings, fries, frozen snacks. It’s all about getting things crispy without having to actually fry them.

Are there any limitations to using a convection oven as an air fryer?

Yeah, it’s not gonna be the same as one of those little countertop air fryers. Those get way hotter, so sometimes your food gets a bit crispier. Your oven will work, but it might take a few tries to get the perfect settings.

Can I use accessories like air fryer baskets or racks in my convection oven?

Sure, if it fits and is oven-safe. It might help the air circulate around the food better, which is kinda the whole point.

What are the benefits of using a convection oven as an air fryer?

Using a convection oven as an air fryer can give you crispy and evenly cooked food without the need for excess oil.

What temperature should I set my convection oven to when using it as an air fryer?

Most of the recipes I’ve seen say around 400-450 degrees F. Seems like a decent place to start, but your oven might be different.

How do I convert cooking times from a traditional recipe to using a convection oven as an air fryer?

Ignore what the recipe says. Stuff cooks faster in a convection oven, so start with less time and check on your food early, or you’ll end up with a burnt mess.

Can I cook frozen foods in my convection oven when using it as an air fryer?

Totally. It might need a little longer than the instructions say, but it’s a lifesaver when you don’t feel like cooking for real.

Are there any foods that cannot be prepared in a convection oven used as an air fryer?

Skip anything with really wet batter – it won’t turn out well. And giant pieces of meat probably won’t cook evenly, either.

How do I prevent food from sticking to the basket or tray when using a convection oven as an air fryer?

Coat the basket or tray with a thin layer of oil or use parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Can I achieve crispy results when using a convection oven as an air fryer?

Yeah, you can get things pretty crispy. Make sure stuff isn’t crowded together, and flip it halfway through for even cooking.

Can I use my convection oven for other things while “air frying”?

Technically, yes, but it’s not always ideal. The whole point of air frying is that hot air moving all around your food. If you’ve got a bunch of other stuff in the oven, it might not work as well.

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