Testing an idea: Pumpkin seeds in the air fryer vs. the oven -- which reigned supreme?

Which method is better? We tried both

Pumpkin seeds in the air fryer are the way to go. (Jack Roskopp)

A great fall tradition is roasting all the pumpkin seeds that you scoop out of your soon-to-be jack-o’-lantern -- and you’ve more than likely done it in the oven.

But with the emergence of the air fryer in the past few years, I couldn’t help but wonder if pumpkin seeds would be better made in the air fryer as opposed to the oven.

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There was only one way to find out: Pick a pumpkin and roast up some pumpkin seeds.

After scooping the pumpkin guts and cleaning the seeds, I was ready to get them ready for the oven and air fryer.

If you want to get fancy, I’d totally recommend making a spice blend for your pumpkin seeds. You obviously want to season them with salt and pepper, but you can get adventurous with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, or a little bit of cayenne pepper. It’s totally up to you, so make it like a choose your own adventure.

Because I was experimenting on texture and crunchiness of the pumpkin seeds, I kept is basic with olive oil, salt and pepper. Besides, you can’t go wrong with classic pumpkin seed flavor, right?

I went into this assuming the pumpkin seeds in the air fryer were going to turn out better -- because anything I’ve made in my air fryer turns out better than in the oven; well, except for when it comes to baking.

Turns out, I was correct.

Not only do the pumpkin seeds get just a little bit crunchier, but they also crisp up way faster than in the oven. It took maybe 10 minutes in the air fryer at 350 degrees, where as in the oven it took almost 25 minutes for them to finish at the same temperature.

The only way that you can get the pumpkin seeds done quickly in the oven is if you use a broiler, but you’re prone to burning the seeds if you look away from the broiler for too long.

At the end of the day, you’re going to have delicious, crunchy and salty pumpkin seeds no matter what way you make them, but if you’re in a rush and don’t want to wait for your oven to preheat, use the air fryer. Your tastebuds will thank you later.

This article was initially published in 2021. It has since been updated.

About the Author

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.

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