Is There a Difference Between Air Fryer and Turbo Broiler?

Everybody loves a well-prepared meal. We all have different types of equipment that we use to make these meals. Some of these tools are so similar that we have a hard time deciding which one to get.

The air fryer and turbo broiler are good examples of cooking appliances that throw most users into a debate. We often go back and forth on if there is a difference between air fryer and turbo broiler.

Let’s try to shed some light on the topic. 

difference between air fryer and turbo broiler

What Is an Air Fryer and How Does It Work? 

To pinpoint the difference between air fryers and turbo broilers, we need to know what they are.

An air fryer is a device that uses hot air for frying. It consists of a heating element located at the top of the fryer, a frying chamber, a basket or tray, and a fan circulating the hot air.

When the power is turned on, the heating element immediately kicks into action and the heat produced is circulated at high speed around the frying chamber. The fan is located within the chamber, behind the mesh. 

Air fryers don’t require oil to perform their function, and there is a limit to what they can cook. The food cooked in these fryers usually comes out browned and crispy. 

difference between air fryer and turbo broiler

What Is a Turbo Broiler and How Does It Work?

A turbo broiler is often referred to as a convection oven because it employs a similar method of operation, but a turbo broiler also just uses hot air to cook food. The turbo broiler has a halogen source at the top, and it is connected to a fan that circulates the hot air around.

Heat is produced from the halogen light source and is then transported by a fan located at the top of the broiler. 

Cooking with a turbo broiler is similar to cooking with an air fryer, except the food cooked in turbo broilers is more similar to food cooked in a conventional oven. 

So what is the difference between these two pieces of equipment?

Comparing the Air Fryer and the Turbo Broiler 

You will see some similarities if you look at the air fryer and turbo broiler. Let’s see some of these similarities so we can also better understand the differences.

Similarities Between the Air Fryer and the Turbo Broiler 

Hot Air

The first and most obvious similarity is their method of operation. What does this mean? Both the air fryer and turbo broiler use hot air for cooking. Unlike the other ovens, these two don’t require a lot of oil to fry different types of food. 

So if you’re trying to eat healthily or cut back on your calories, both are great choices. You can fry a wide range of dishes without the need for oil.

Presence of Fans

Another similarity is the method of heat circulation. Both devices are equipped with fans responsible for carrying the heat generated from the heat source as hot air. It is this hot air that does the cooking. 

Position of the Heat Source

Both the air fryer and the turbo broiler have their heat source located at the top. The heat source is intentionally positioned here to bring it closer to the food and ensure that the heat gets well circulated by the fans.

Now that we’ve looked at some of the similarities, you’re probably wondering if there is any difference at all.

Let’s see what can be said about that.

What is the Difference Between Air Fryers and Turbo Broilers  

Although it might not be glaring, slight differences do exist between these two devices. 


The size is still the more obvious difference between the air fryer and the turbo broiler. Most people report that the air fryer is much smaller and can only take so much food at a time.

The air fryer is convenient if you want to fry small pieces of food like chicken nuggets, slices of potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and more. You can’t really cook an entire chicken with an air fryer.

The turbo broiler has a lot more space in the basket chamber than the air fryer, so you can cook larger dishes or a larger quantity of food at a time. For example, you can cook a whole chicken with a turbo broiler. 

So for those that regularly cook for a large family or group of friends, a turbo broiler will suit you better.

Preheating Effect 

This is an important factor when comparing the air fryer and the turbo broiler. 

One advantage of air fryers is that you can throw in your frozen food immediately without waiting for it to thaw. This is because the fryer gets hot immediately and doesn’t require preheating.

The air fryer is a great choice when you want to make something fast or if you’re in a rush.

For the turbo broiler or halogen oven, you will need to give it a few minutes to get preheated. 

Heat Source

Finally, both devices differ with the source of their heat.

While the position of the heat source is similar in both devices, the type of mechanism is still different.

Air fryers use heating elements similar to the ones you find in your electric kettle. The heating element is one of the reasons why you don’t need to preheat your air fryer.

Turbo broilers use halogen light to produce heat. This is why you need to wait for some time before you can cook with them.

Cooking Temperature 

The turbo broiler needs some time to heat up, but it can reach a higher temperature compared to the air fryer. The turbo broiler is a better choice for cooking methods that require a higher temperature.

The Ultimate Descision

Picking between the air fryer and the turbo broiler doesn’t have to be a hard choice. For those asking which is better, they are both good devices. The one you choose will depend on your taste and what you plan to do with it. 

We’ve covered all the major differences between air fryers and turbo broilers, so this should help make your choice easier.