Air Fryer vs Food Steamer : Which is Better?

A food steamer and air fryer are two kitchen appliances that come in handy in most kitchens.

People who use the food steamer love it because they can cook a meal without adding any oil or fat.

Those who use an air fryer say that it is better for their health since it doesn’t require any cooking oils.

The goal of this article is to compare and contrast a food steamer vs an air fryer.

This way, you can determine which appliance would be the best for your lifestyle and cooking needs.

We hope to help you in making a well-informed decision about these two appliances.

Air Fryer Vs Food Steamer: The Differences

To determine how these appliances work, we’ll mention the key differences in their use and operation.

This way, it’ll be easier to determine which one is better for your specific needs.

1. Mode of Cooking

Preparing healthier meals is easier with a food steamer. The process of making any dish using this appliance does not require the use of oil or fat.

You can cut out unnecessary fats making you avoid eating unhealthy meals easily.

To prepare your meal, add water to the reservoir, and place your food i.e vegetables, and meat into the steamer compartments.

The final step is to set your time, power the machine, and wait until it is done cooking.

Read: What Does a Food Steamer Do?

An air fryer works like a convection oven.

It works by circulating hot air around your food so that you can enjoy dishes like fried chicken without any frying oil or grease.

You may need to use a little bit of oil on your meat before putting it in the appliance, but this should be much healthier than deep frying in oil.

2. Speed of Cooking

An air fryer cooks faster compared to a food steamer.

An Air Fryer works by circulating hot air at higher temperatures making it able to cook food faster.

A food steamer cooks using the steam generated from water at the lower level of the appliance. The maximum temperature of boiling water is 100°C.

The heat produced can’t be compared to that produced by an air fryer.

An air fryer is better for individuals who want to cut down on their cooking time.

A food steamer works best if you don’t mind spending a bit of time preparing healthier meals.

Both the air fryer and food steamer have benefits that can help people achieve a healthier lifestyle.

The only difference is that the air fryer will cook your meal faster than a food steamer.

3. The Taste of Food

The food tastes better with an air fryer since the final result is crispy and crunchy. You can also add a bit of oil while cooking to intensify the flavor.

With a food steamer, you’re basically boiling food.

The cooking process only requires water. An alternative to enhance the taste is to use herbs or stock in the water.

However, when compared to an air fryer the taste might be a bit flat. 

4. Cost

Food steamers are more affordable than air fryers, but both products have a good price range.

A food steamer costs between $30 and $100, depending on the brand.

On the other hand, a good air fryer is typically priced around $100 to $300.

5. Features

The number of features that you can expect from food steamers varies by price range as well as product type.

Basic models do not offer any special features; However, more expensive models come with a variety.

For example, some steamers have digital panels and preset cooking functions to provide convenience when you cook your food in them.

On the other hand, air fryers have more features than food steamers.

Most air fryers come with pre-set cooking functions and digital panels to make it easy for you when operating the machine.

For a great air fryer with multiple features, we recommend the COSORI Smart WiFi Air Fryer with 13 cooking functions.

6. Performance

Food steamers can become hot enough for steaming vegetables or fish, but they generally cannot get as hot as air fryers do.

Therefore, the only way to cook food in a steamer is to use steam, which can sometimes take longer than convection air movement.

On the other hand, you do not have this problem when cooking with an air fryer.

It can reach high temperatures that are suitable for searing or frying your favorite foods. This also saves time and money on electricity bills.

As you can see, there are various factors that affect the performance of food steamers and air fryers.

You need to consider how much time it takes for your device to cook your food and the related costs before making a purchase.

Check out: Why Does An Air Fryer Smoke?

7. Convenience

Food steamers are simpler than air fryers in terms of ease of use and movement.

This is because they are generally smaller, lightweight, and have minimal functionality.

You can easily operate and transport them from one place to another or store them away after use.

Air fryers are large appliances with numerous functions. You may need time to get used to using it.

You’re required to use the right temperature and timing when cooking depending on the food you’re preparing to avoid under or over-cooking.

When it comes to movement, it may be harder to maneuver around the kitchen countertop.

An air fryer also has many sections that require cleaning between uses, which may also take some getting used to.

8. Safety

Food steamers are safer than air fryer models because they operate at lower temperatures.

If you want to cook food using steaming methods, then a steamer is the safest option for your needs.

Note that it’s important that you adhere to all the safety precautions when operating both kitchen appliances.

For instance, follow the recommendations on the user guide and do not leave the appliance unattended when in use.

9. Space

If you have a small kitchen, then you may consider getting a food steamer because it’s smaller than most air fryers.

Even if your countertops are crowded with appliances, this device should fit comfortably into one of the corners to give you much-needed space.

In addition, a good food steamer is lightweight and compact so that it’s easy to move from one place to another or store away after use.

But this also depends on the product model, whether it has handles for ease of transportation, etc.

The food steamer can also be easily disassembled and stored separately to take up less space.

As far as air fryers go, they are considered large appliances that may require more effort to store away or transport.

You need to consider how much space you have available in your kitchen before buying one of these appliances for home use.

10. Power Consumption

Food steamers have a lower power consumption than air fryers.

This is because, as mentioned earlier, even though they take longer, they get to lower temperatures than air fryers.

A food steamer uses between 100 and 400 watts of energy while an air fryer consumes between 1200 to 1500 watts of energy.

Do you think food steamers are worth it?

11. Cleaning

Cleaning a food steamer is generally easier than cleaning an air fryer.

Most steamers don’t have many crevices or nooks where dirt and grime can accumulate during cooking time.

For an air fryer, you must clean the device to remove oil and grease build-up.

You may also need a specific type of brush or cloth for air fryers in order to scrub away any dirt that has settled into hard-to-reach places.

Both appliances need cleaning after every use to ensure you attain a sufficient level of cleanliness and not affect your subsequent cooking session.

Read this article on how to clean your food steamer

12. Food Quantity

Food steamers cook more food than most air fryer models.

Food steamers have bigger capacities and larger cooking spaces, so you’ll be able to prepare your favorite foods in no time.

When cooking for a larger family, you may need to use the air fryer severally to prepare enough food.

Can You Steam in An Air Fryer?

No. You can’t use an air fryer to steam food. An air fryer works by circulating hot air around the food. The heat is similar to a convection oven, but it’s much faster and more efficient since there are no moving parts which means less energy is used.

You can use your air fryer to make a variety of dishes but not to steam. An air fryer makes the food crisp as opposed to boiled.

Any liquid added to an air fryer is not sufficient to steam.

The liquid present in an air fryer is from the food. You can add bits of oil or water to the food and not the kitchen appliance.

Quick update:

Turns out you can steam using a new model air fryer.

There is an air fryer and steam combination that allow you to steam food. This is the PowerXL Air Fryer Steamer.

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You can use the air fryer steamer combo to steam vegetables and meat such as chicken and fish, etc. Watch out for a full review.

Can You Put Water in an Air Fryer?

No, you can’t add water to an air fryer as it will damage it. You can only add oil or water to the food to facilitate cooking.

The recommended amount of vegetable or olive oil is about two tablespoons for one pound of vegetables.

Air fryer advanced course

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One Comment

  1. Great comparison! Thank you very much.

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