Air Fryer vs. Turbo Broiler: What's The Difference?

These two appliances have more in common than you think.

IMAGE Ansons

The pandemic saw the space-age looking air fryer becoming the kitchen appliance to have. It's an easy-to-use appliance that promises to perfectly "air fry" your food to delicious deep-fried levels using little to no oil.  

However, did you know before the air fryer, the technology of its fan-propelled cooking abilities already existed and is used in at least two other kitchen appliances? One is the convection oven where a fan placed inside the chamber of the oven helps air circulate. The other is the kitchen appliance that was popular back in the 1980s and into the 1990s. Growing up, you may have encountered this small kitchen appliance that was frequently used to roast a whole chicken: the turbo broiler.        

What are the differences and similarities between the air fryer and turbo broiler? 

While there are obvious similarities and differences between the two popular small kitchen appliances, it's the similarities that make these two familiar to use. This is how the air fryer and the turbo broiler compare with each other:   

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1 Both have the heating element located on top.

Take out the basket of the air fryer, and you'll see that the basket contains nothing more than the basket and the basket holder. What cooks your food is located behind the mesh that's located above the basket when it's inserted into the machine. 

On the turbo broiler, it's the same thing. The turbo broiler was made of glass with a metal frame that surrounded it and a heat-resistant plastic base. The main machine on this appliance that heats the food is located on the lid which held the heating element and the control panel.

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2 Both have air-circulating fans. 

If you take a look inside the air fryer above the basket, you'll see a fan inside the protective wire mesh. The mesh actually hides the fan and the heating element. It also protects you from ever accidentally touching it. It's this fan that "air fry" the food. Super-heated air, which can reach up to over 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C is circulated around the basket.  

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The turbo broiler lid where the fan is located is also where the heating element is located. This is easy to remove but since it's removable, you need to be careful when handling it since it can become hot.  

Photo by Riell Santos

3 Both use a wire basket or elevated rack. 

The elevated wire rack in the turbo broiler is how the super-heated air flows around the food you're cooking, ensuring the heat is consistent throughout the chamber. This efficient air circulation is also featured in the air fryer. The air fryer's basket also allows the air to move freely through the food. 

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The ability of the air to freely circulate within the appliance is the reason why food placed in either appliance is best when given lots of room. Any part that doesn't get touched by the hot air will not crisp up and "air fry."  

Do you need more reasons to understand that both appliances from two different eras are quite similar? Whether you prefer the old school look of the turbo broiler or appreciate the ease-of-use of the trendy air fryer, you can cook your food in either small kitchen appliance and the resulting dish will be very similar, too.    

Imarflex CVO-750GF 12 Liters Turbo Broiler, P3,699, and Russell Hobbs RHAF3C 3.5 Liters Manual Air Fryer, P5,995, Anson's 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.


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