Air Crisper Vs Air Fryer! What’s The Difference?

Every other day, there is a new term in air fryer technology. You will come across words like air crisper and air fryer. These two come as a whirlwind of confusion, especially for beginners. What’s more confusing is that some books and sites refer to these two as one thing. 

So, what’s the difference between an air crisper and an air fryer? Easy! An air crisper is a meshed oven tray that allows food to cook to crispness by allowing hot air circulation. On the other hand, an air fryer is a unit that cooks food through hot air circulating from all angles. For more clarity, I will expound on these and more terms you will likely encounter in your air-frying adventures. But first things first: a comparison table!

Air Crisper Vs. Air Fryer: Comparison Table

Key featuresAir crisperAir fryer
Definition An accessoryA unit
Design Tray Dedicated appliance
Versatile Limited Non-limited
Heating elementNoYes

Air Crisper

Allstar Kitchen Air Whirl Crisper Air Fryer Lid...40
  • BUILT IN THERMOMETER & TURBO FAN Circulates air, creating a swirling...
  • COMPACT SIZE Regular air fryers take up a lot of counter space, are...
  • FAST, EASY & HEALTHY enjoy making all your fried favorites with less...
  • PORTABLE & DURABLE Air Whirl is a compact size that allows you to take...

As the above comparison table reveals, an air crisper is an accessory in a conventional oven that facilitates air frying. Its design is a mesh basket or tray inserted in the oven’s slot to allow heat to circulate on your food. Typically, the crisper tray relies on the oven’s cooking technology to cook food to crispiness. However, it may not cook as a dedicated air fryer. 

One of the most significant benefits of this accessory is that you can convert your oven into an air fryer without buying a standalone air fryer. Also, a crisper tray for a convection oven is more significant than an air fryer (depending on the model), thus holding more food.

Air Fryer

COSORI Air Fryer 6 Qt, 9-in-1 Functions, 5 Fan...40
  • 9-in-1 Versatility: With a 9-in-1 functionality, it includes Air Fry,...
  • Perfectly even cooking: The 5-speed airflow system ensures that your...
  • Lightning-fast cooking: This Turbo Blaze Air Fryer with standard DC...
  • Instructions and Recipes: Step-by-step visual instructions make it...
  • 6-Quart Capacity: Cook foods of all shapes and sizes for a crowd with...

The air fryer is a unit whose primary purpose is oilless cooking. It also has several other abilities depending on the brand and model. The features include;

  • Air frying
  • Baking
  • Roasting
  • Broiling
  • Pizza, etc.

Most air fryers have a super-fast preheating time, which makes them energy efficient. With this feature, they cook faster than the conventional oven. Some have digital controls, while others have manual knobs. The functions and performance differ with each type of air fryer.

Differences Between An Air Crisper And An Air Fryer

Whereas the air fryer and the air crisper can air fry your food, there are several differences between the two;

Design and Appearance 

The air crisper has a basket or tray inserted within a conventional oven. It utilizes the oven’s existing infrastructure to circulate hot air and cook your food. Usually, the tray has holes to allow hot air to get into the food underneath. Depending on the oven shape and dimensions, an air crisper can be square or rectangular. 

The conversely air fryer is a star standalone appliance with a compact shape that fits all spaces on countertops and cabinets. The unit has a heating element enclosed on its top and a powerful fan for circulating hot air and cooking food to the perfect crispiness.

Cooking Technology 

The air crisper relies on the oven’s convection technology for heat circulation. This method may not be as powerful as a dedicated air fryer technology. The cooking process involves a high-speed, dense airflow for achieving the best crispiness.


Air has crisping and browning as the primary function. This functionality limits its versatility as it cannot bake, roast, fry, broil, and more.  

Size And Portability 

In my testing and comparison, I found the air crisper, larger, and less portable. Once you remove it from the oven, it takes up much of the countertop space. The reason is apparent. It is part of a conventional oven setup. In contrast, the air fryer is portable and compact due to its standalone nature. The unit will even fit into smaller kitchen spaces.

Preheating Time 

Depending on the oven model, the air crisper may require preheating before cooking. You must heat the entire oven before achieving the desired cooking temperature. This process is a con because it results in a longer cooking process and energy inefficiency.

The preheating process in air fryers is different. It is quick due to its smaller size and focuses on the heating element, hence faster cooking and energy efficiency.

SimilaritiesBetween An Air Crisper And An Air Fryer

  • The two items have a design for crispy cooking through hot air circulation
  • They offer reduced oil usage, thus promoting a cooking alternative.
  • The units utilize convection cooking technology that distributes hot air around the food. 
  • Both use preheating before the primary cooking process. 

What Is Air Crisp On Air Fryer?

Air crisp is a technology in air fryers that radiates hot air over the food, thus cooking it thoroughly without the need for any oil. With or without fat, your food will attain the perfect browning and crispiness. Although the feature is similar to air frying, standard air fryers do not have it, prompting you to brush your food with oil.  

Do Air Fryers Make Food Crispy?

The primary design for air fryers is to make food crispy on the exterior and juicy on the internals. So, it is perfect to say that air fryers make food crispy.

Is An Air Crisp The Same As an Air Fryer?

An air crisp is not the same as an air fryer. The air crisp is a cooking function in an air fryer or oven, while the air fryer is a gadget with several features, including the air crisp. Some air fryers do not have an air crisp function.

Is A Microwave Crisper The Same As An Air Fryer?

A microwave crisper is not the same as an air fryer. These two are distinct kitchen appliances with different technologies and cooking methods. The microwave crisper is an accessory that helps to crisp or brown food.

Conversely, the air fryer is a standalone kitchen appliance with multifunctionalities, including frying, baking, grilling, and more. It uses convection heating technology to circulate hot air around the food rapidly. 

What’s The Difference Between Max Crisp And Air Fryer?

The Max Crisp is a function on air fryers that cooks frozen food without defrosting. Once you set the feature, you can cook chicken straight from your freezer and attain a crispy and brown result. The Max Crisp setting is 450˚F and ranges from one to 10 minutes. So, Max-crisp those frozen French fries in minutes.

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