Air Fryer VS Steamer

Are you a fan of fried foods but want a healthier option? Air fryers and steamers are two appliances that can help you enjoy your favorite fried treats without the extra calories and oil.

But when it comes down to choosing one of these, which one should you opt for? What are the differences when it comes to air fryer vs steamer?

The main difference between an air fryer and a steamer is how both the appliances generate heat and circulate it around the food. Air fryers use a heating element and a fan to circulate hot air, while steamers use steam for cooking food.

What is an Air Fryer and how does it work?

An air fryer is a compact appliance that works on a similar mechanism as an oven. It uses hot air, which is then circulated around the food using a fan to heat and cook it. This air cooks the food evenly and gives it a tender texture.

What is a Steamer and how does it work?

A steamer uses hot steam to cook food. It works by generating steam that is then circulated in the fryer. The steam helps to cook the food evenly and can help to preserve its moisture and flavor.

Differences between Air Fryer and Steamer

There are several differences between air fryers and steamers, here’s a comparison chart to make things easier for you!

 Air FryerSteamer
Working mechanismCirculates hot air to cook foodUses hot steam to cook food
Use of oilUses a small amount of oil to cook and brown the foodDoesn’t use oil
Cooking timeCooks food faster than steamer because it uses hot air, which is more effective in transferring heat to the foodUses steam which can reach a maximum temperature of only 212 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore taking a longer time to cook
SafetySafe to use if the manual is followedSafer than an air fryer because it operates at a lower temperature
UsesBake, grill, fry, dry, defrost, reheat, broil foodsSteam cook food only
Caloric countDue to usage of oil, caloric count is higher than a steamerUses no oil to cook therefore caloric count is very low
CleaningDifficult to clean compared to a steamer because of all the greaseEasier to clean
Resulting food crustCrispy crust with browningSoft texture due to steaming

Air Fryer VS Steamer: Which one should you buy?

There are several factors to keep in mind when deciding between an air fryer and a steamer; you should try to consider the following when making your decision:

Health factor

If health is a major concern, a steamer is better for you because it does not use any oil and only steam cooks. On the other hand, air fryers use some oil to fry food, which can add to your caloric count.

Taste and texture

Foods cooked in an air fryer have a crispier exterior and a tender inside. Moreover, oil gives food an enhanced flavor which is loved by many. On the other hand, cooking in a steamer results in foods that have a delicate inside and a boiled taste.

Cost factor

Steamers are usually cheaper than air fryers. However, there are some new steamers in the market that are pricier than air fryers, as they offer many new features. So, this depends on which steamer you’re comparing the air fryer to.

Maintenance and cleaning

It is important to clean both appliances regularly so that they do not malfunction.

Cleaning an air fryer is more challenging as it sometimes requires disassembling the appliance to clean grease from the fan or the heating element, apart from cleaning the parts too. On the other hand, steamers are generally easier to clean as they do not have any hard-to-reach parts that need to be thoroughly cleaned.

Versatility in cooking

Air fryers are more versatile than steamers as they can be used for many purposes other than just frying food. These include reheating, baking, broiling, defrosting, dehydrating, grilling, etc. While steamers can only steam cook food.

Ease of use

Air and steamers are easy to use as most models have present controls. However, this depends on your specific model as some brands offer more features than others.


In conclusion, both air fryers and steamers are useful appliances that are used to prepare different kind of foods. Air fryers are better if you do not want to compromise on taste and variety. However, steamers are better if you are looking for a cheaper and healthier option.

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Amna Muqeem
Hi! I'm Amna and I love cooking and eating different cuisines. My fiance, Immad, and I started this website to share our knowledge of food and kitchen appliances, and to learn more along the way! Here, we try different foods, learn about them through extensive research, and share our experiences with you. Same goes for kitchen appliances and the reviews we craft for you. I hope you enjoy our articles and get to learn from them. Do share your thoughts in the comments, we always read them! You can contact me through

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