Comparing The Best Air-Fryers VS Halogen Ovens Which Is Better?

Which is best Halogen or Air-Fryer?

The short answer is – it depends on your cooking style and needs

Basic Halogen Ovens are roughly the same price as Air Fryers but have a larger capacity, are easier to clean, are easy to view your food cooking, and are more versatile doing frying, boiling, roasting, steaming and baking.

Air Fryers are best if you mainly fry your food. Buying an AirFryer with sufficient size to cope with all your family meals can be expensive, capacities of 4ltr are typical, whereas halogens are almost all 12 ltrs standard size. Some come with an extender ring, making them 17 ltrs allowing two levels of cooking within the bowl.

AirFryer Versus Halogen Oven
Basic Air Fryer and Basic Halogen Oven


    No More Deep Fat Fryer Cooking Smells

    Neither Air Fryer or Halogen make those awful long lingering odours that permeated the house for days on end, when using a deep fat fry method, plus they both only use a tiny proportion of the oil used in deep frying cookery.

    Speed of Cooking

    No doubt, either one will significantly reduce cooking time compared to conventional gas or electric ovens. Halogens literally need no warm-up time, and air fryers very little. Because they are both fully contained compartments, when closed, the warm up and the cooking times are very quick.

    Cooking Technology

    The Halogen uses far-infra-red lighting, the air fryer uses a more conventional heat element. Although other types of elements (FIR far-infra-red)  have appeared in some models, In practical terms, this makes very little difference.  The technology of both machines relies on :

    1. Heat lamp or element
    2. A powerful Fan

     Like a fan-assisted conventional gas oven, but on steroids. What does make a difference is the space, the capacity of your unit. The smaller it is, the more efficient and speedier the cooking. The halogen standard 12 Litre size is never going to beat the smallest 1.5Litre air fryer, for speed, but most buyers are cooking for 2 people or more, which really needs at least a 4Litre size or more.

    Cut Electricity Consumption Save Money

    Electricity use is becoming a critical issue, post covid, as I write this in July 2022, our supply company has just increased our kWh prices by a whopping 50%.

    Between the two, not a lot of difference here. In previous years I would have said the air-fryer is the most economical, but with the maturing of the two technologies, bigger wattage heaters have been used in the latest models, as you can see in the comparison tables on this website, so they are roughly on a par with each other. Most heaters have a wattage of 1200 to 1500. The smaller wattage may give a longer life, but some don’t have the 250°C max temperature, those will take a little longer to cook, but either way you will save money over cooking with a traditional gas or electric oven.

      The halogen is the more versatile and has a bigger capacity, so overall, it might well be the halogen that wins here.

    Footprint Size on your Kitchen Countertop

    Do consider the space that you’re going to work in. Measure the unit you are considering buying. If you have cupboards above your work surface, is there enough height to make using the air fryer or halogen oven possible? Plus when not in use, they do take up a big chunk of kitchen real estate.

    If the halogen has the extender ring, it will take up even more height. So do check if you have cupboards above the worktop, that you have enough space for the appliance work. Note they usually have short cables, so the space must have a power point nearby.

    Air Fryers are big, much bigger than they look in the ads and on Amazon pages. The  XXL Philips for example will need a space of 40 x 40 x 40cm and it weighs 8kg, so get some practice with the kettlebells first!

    Halogen Safety Point

    My main ‘beef’ about the halogen, is that lid. The lid contains a heating element, so it gets very hot. When it’s finished cooking and it’s time to take out the contents, is the time you’re going to be at risk, handling the hot lid, trying to place it on a wire lid rack, which may go skidding across your work surface! Plus it’s possible to forget that it has a power cable attached, which will suddenly limit the distance you can move the lid, so watch out.

    All of these issues are amplified if the cook is elderly or has mobility problems.

    The design problems were perfectly solved with the “hinged lid” design, when you raise it, it stays up, no worrying about placing it down on a slippery wire rack, leaving both hands free to unload the food from the glass bowl.

    The handles are not exposed to the full heat of the fryer - so are cool to touch


    This is the excellent brand new product from Joyoung, a make relatively unknown up to this season. 

    It combines all the great features and advantages of the Hinged lid Halogen oven layout with its viewing window and has a basket with cool hand-grab handles, that you can easily take out without using any fiddly tongs

    Comparing the Prices

    You can buy a Halogen for just £39 now, on Amazon, that’s a common everyday price, not a special offer or sale price.

    I wouldn’t suggest doing that, unless perhaps you are a student on a very limited budget, I would always advise buying a good quality model, from a well-known and trusted brand.

    The lowest Halogen price is very close to the cheapest Air Fryer price. My best advice is to go with the size that you will need for the type of cooking you do on a regular basis. So for those living alone, cooking mainly fried food and chips, it will be an air fryer, for couples and families wanting more variety, probably a Halogen Oven

    BewareNon Stick Surfaces on Air Fryers

    The basket or compartment used to hold the food in an air fryer is usually non-stick covered, but with the intense heat inside an air fryer, it does have a shorter life than say a frying pan. I don’t like the thought of flaking Teflon in my food and when it’s only partially protected, washing up becomes a more difficult job, with stuck-on hard dried up food.  Here the halogen, with its big glass bowl is a clear winner. If you do go for the air-fryer, make sure the coating is the most modern ceramic type, which is the toughest wearing  coating.

    Halogen Lamp Reliability

    This has been the Achilles heel of the halogen oven, the lamp.  They just dont last. The Andrew James company made it a selling point to include a spare lamp in the bundle, along with a good selection of accessories. And they made the machine easy and obvious for the consumer to be able to take the unit apart, replace the bulb and reassemble safely.

    It has to be said though that the lamps are now, better and more robust than in earlier models.

    At one point, it looked like a new technology FIR ( Far Infra Red ) might be the way ahead. Oyama used it in one “Halogen” style cooker which I reviewed on this site. This was more robust, so much less likely to be damaged, more reliable long term, but sadly didn’t seem to catch on.

    Actually my own experience has been very positive, despite many campervan journeys, loaning the halogen to the scouts on occasions, my two units both survived many years on their original lamps. I still have and use both halogen cookers frequently today.

    Despite assurances that it does not impact health, I would tend to steer away from air-fryers with the non-stick coated cooking pots as mentioned above.  Check for a CERAMIC coating.

    Analog or Digital Controls?

    This applies to both appliances, the typical two dial heat and timer controls have their figures printed on the plastic panels. In a kitchen, things get hot and there is a lot of steam. To clean greasy surfaces, owners wipe and eventually the figures on the dials disappear. So cooking after that becomes more difficult to do, nothing is accurate. 

    Many older designs have cheap clockwork timers which cannot be reversed! So then you have no way to auto-time your cooking.

    With Digital Controls, there is no such problem, the display shows the time, temperature, and a lot more, instantly and clearly. Recipes are 100% repeatable.

    Good and Bad Brands

    This does matter. Experience shows that with good brands like Philips, Tower, and Andrew James, parts continue to be available when your guarantee is up. Since I started this blog, only a few of the original brands still have products in these same markets. I have noticed that some have now made a big effort to keep spares in stock, make things repairable and it is a bigger part of their marketing and brand advertising. Also there are now more 2 and even 3 year guarantees, instead of the usual 1 year.

    During the guarantee period, now usually 2 years, you are of course covered but do check the details, if your store has to send it back to Timbuktu for repair, you’re going to be left without a cooker for a lengthy spell.  Worse still they may not be able to replace it so offer you another crappy Non-Brand replacement.

    The value is even worse with that bargain “Never to be seen again” store model. All you get in the guarantee is a money-back or replacement offer, best of luck if you purchased on Ali Boobar Express the return cost is going to suck up all your value making it a nonstarter to repair.

    Out of guarantee, even your local repairer will have access to major brand parts, like Philips and Tower, something to think about when your “Empire” brand cooker goes up in smoke and the supplier doesn’t want to know.

    The Chicken Test!

    Chicken is a firm favourite dish.

    Many Ad campaigns for Air Fryers show a full chicken being cooked. 

    This is a bit of a marketing fib !

    There is simply no way you can fit even a medium size 1.5kg chicken in a 3,4 or even a 5 litre Air-Fryer  -AND COOK IT WELL.

    The standard 10 to 12 litre halogen will do a medium or a large 2kg chicken easily.  The models with an extender ring also have the advantage of the heat source being a little further away, so it cooks more evenly. You do have to turn it over once or twice during cooking. Chicken done in a Halogen  oven is very good indeed.

    Air Fryers are usually 3 to 6 litre size and are much better suited to PIECES of chicken, not a whole bird.

    Another popular food is Pizza – only Halogens and the biggest Airfryers of 10 Litres+ are capable of a full frozen pizza.

    Last note: Don’t overpack your airfryer or halogen oven.

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