Looking for an air fryer that will fit in your small kitchen or make food for one person? Small air fryers are compact enough to fit and store in tight spaces while cooking just enough of your favorite dishes. However, if you've never used an air fryer, you're probably unsure of how to select one.
You can start with our 10 best list for ideas about some of the better compact air fryers. Our number one pick, the NutriChef Ro Oven, requires little to no oil to cook, and it's perfect for small spaces. And, if you need some additional guidance on what to look for in a small air fryer, our buying guide will show you.
A small air fryer should take up less space than a normal one would. But, get it too small and you might not be able to cook enough food. You should also consider what extra features you want in your air fryer. Read on to find out more.
Some kitchen environments are very small, like studio apartments, condos, and college dorm rooms. Small air fryers typically fall within a volume capacity of 1.6 to 2.2 quarts. If your kitchen is quite compact with limited counter space, you'll probably want to err on the smaller side of that range.
Besides counter space, you'll want to make there's plenty of ventilation where you use your air fryer. While it's okay to store the fryer underneath or in a cabinet, it's best to use it in an open, unobstructed area.
Consider whether you'll be moving the air fryer each time you use it. Lightweight models can be less of a hassle if you need to constantly pull the fryer out of storage or bring it out from underneath cabinets.
Air fryers can be largely divided into two categories, known as air fryer baskets or air fryer ovens. The difference relates to the cooking area of the air fryer, and it's easy to visually tell the two apart. Air fryer baskets include a basket with a handle, so you can easily pull food in and out. An air fryer oven looks like a conventional oven and usually has a wire rack that the food is placed on.
As a general rule, air fryer baskets are smaller than air fryer ovens. If space really is at a premium, then you should choose an air fryer basket as this will give you the most cooking ability in the smallest space. Air frying ovens have a larger capacity and cook more food, but they need the space to do it.
There are a few differences in how the two styles of air fryers can cook. Most ovens have a rotisserie option for cooking chicken, whereas basket-style fryers might struggle to fit something so large and won't be able to turn it. Also, basket-style fryers tend to only have their heating element at the top, but ovens can have more than one heating element for a more even result.
With air fryer baskets, you need to be careful how you stack the food in the basket. If it's piled too high or densely, then the air won't circulate around the food effectively. However, the racks usually found in ovens give you more space and room to let the air flow around the food.
One advantage air fryer baskets have over ovens is that they are easier to clean. Not only is the basket removable, but the cooking usually happens inside a solid section that can also be removed.
Will you be cooking for one, two, or a small family? Remember that smaller air fryers usually work best for one or two people. Fryers on the larger end of the capacity range will be better for couples.
Also, look at what types of foods you'll want to cook. Snack foods and side items like French fries and onion rings will work better in fryers with smaller baskets. If you prefer to cook full meals and main dish items like chicken, fryers with larger baskets will better suit you.
If you need a small air fryer because of limited counter space, but still want to cook a lot of food, you might have to cook in batches. In that case, you might want to consider fryers with shorter cycles and cooking times.
When it comes to extra features, there is a wide range of factors to consider. For example, there are fry baskets that can be cleaned in the dishwasher, while others have to be cleaned by hand. Some people like the convenience of dishwasher-safe options.
Likewise, there are baskets and separators that are coated in non-stick material. This can make clean-up easier, even by hand, and prevent some of your food from breaking apart or becoming inedible.
Displays and timers can be digital or indicated by a simple dial. A digital display and timer can offer more precision and accuracy but can be confusing to use at first. A dial is simple and easy to understand, but it might not be as precise.
Additionally, some air fryers come with racks, preset cooking options for different foods, and recipe books. If you're new to air frying or want some inspiration, these features can come in handy.
Some fryer models and brands tout that little to no oil is required for cooking. Although most air fryers will reduce the oil needed by 70 to 85 percent, your dietary restrictions and goals may make a "no oil" option attractive.
Here are our top choices for small and compact air fryers, both in basket and oven styles. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Jim Quast.
Instant Vortex Pro Air Fryer
TurboFry Air Fryer
Aircrisp Pro Compact Air Fryer
Digital Air Fryer+
Purify Air Fryer
Maxi-Matic Personal Air Fryer
Turbo Cyclonic Airfryer
Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer
Personal Air Fryer
Best for Cooking With Little to No Oil
Best for a Variety of Functions
Best Value for Quick Cooking
Best Option With Helpful Safety Features
Best for Watching Your Food Cook
Best for Air Frying 2 Different Foods At Once
Best Option for Compact Spaces
Best Basket Type With a Digital Display
Best Air Fryer and Toaster Oven Combo
Best for a Quick Clean-Up
|Dimensions||9 x 9 x 11 in.||13.75 x 14.37 x 13.23 in.||10.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 in.||11.6 x 10.2 x 8.1 in.||11 x 15 x 11 in.||11 x 9.8 x 11.5 in.||7.68 x 7.68 x 9.06 in.||11 x 9 x 9 in.||12.5 x 15.5 x 11.5 in.||11 x 8 x 9.75 in.|
|Capacity||2 qt.||10 qt.||2 qt.||2 qt.||6.3 qt.||2.11 qt.||1.1 qt.||2 qt.||2.5 lbs. of food (airfry setting)||2.1 qt.|
|Useful features||Adjustable time and temperature||Smart programs, 9 different cooking functions||Auto shutoff||Auto-shut off||5 different cooking functions, presets||Dual convection fan, auto-shutoff||30 min. timer, adjustable temp||Digital display, auto-shutoff||6 different cooking functions, 60-minute timer||30 min. timer, indicator bell, air filtration system|
|Dimensions||9 x 9 x 11 in.|
|Useful features||Adjustable time and temperature|
|Dimensions||13.75 x 14.37 x 13.23 in.|
|Useful features||Smart programs, 9 different cooking functions|
|Dimensions||10.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 in.|
|Useful features||Auto shutoff|
|Dimensions||11.6 x 10.2 x 8.1 in.|
|Useful features||Auto-shut off|
|Dimensions||11 x 15 x 11 in.|
|Useful features||5 different cooking functions, presets|
|Dimensions||11 x 9.8 x 11.5 in.|
|Useful features||Dual convection fan, auto-shutoff|
|Dimensions||7.68 x 7.68 x 9.06 in.|
|Useful features||30 min. timer, adjustable temp|
|Dimensions||11 x 9 x 9 in.|
|Useful features||Digital display, auto-shutoff|
|Dimensions||12.5 x 15.5 x 11.5 in.|
|Capacity||2.5 lbs. of food (airfry setting)|
|Useful features||6 different cooking functions, 60-minute timer|
|Dimensions||11 x 8 x 9.75 in.|
|Useful features||30 min. timer, indicator bell, air filtration system|
Whether you're new to cooking or a bona fide foodie, there are several ways to heat up your kitchen! Try these creative tips and suggestions.
If you're still looking for that perfect air fryer, then you can check out the best sellers on Amazon for some more ideas.
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
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