There are many reasons why you might want a smaller than average air fryer. Maybe you’re trying to apply portion control. Perhaps you’re working with limited space in a studio apartment, dorm, or RV. Or, you could just be a fan of tiny appliances.
Whatever the reason, there’s a small air fryer out there to best suit your needs. Besides being a great space-saving appliance, there are some other reasons why a small air fryer can be beneficial. First, since there are fewer materials used, you can expect to pay less for a smaller air fryer. Also, just because you’re cutting down on cooking capacity, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice functionality. Like larger air fryers, you can buy a small air fryer with as many or as few pre-programmed cooking functions as you want.
We scoured the internet for the best air fryers on the market that are fun-sized, and this is what we found.
Kicking off the list is the ultimate small air fryer perfect for portion control, the Iruntek Mini Compact Air Fryer. There is only one cooking temp for this machine, a whopping 500 degrees according to the manufacturer. It comes with a cooking timetable for different types of foods, but we also suggest closely monitoring your cooks until you get acclimated to this powerful little unit.
The Dash Tasti Crisp checks all the boxes for an excellent small air fryer. At 2.6 quarts, it’s compact enough to fit in the tightest of kitchens. The control panel, comprised of two knobs (cooking time and temperature), is easy to use. It comes in multiple colorways if matching your appliances and kitchen color scheme is important. Finally, it’s so affordable you could buy one for the main course and one for the sides.
If you need to go even smaller than the Dash 2.6-quart air fryer, this petite yet powerful unit from Instant is the ticket. The 2-quart Vortex features four preset cooking functions for air-frying, roasting, broiling, and reheating. Available in four colors, this sleek, stylish, and highly-rated air fryer is perfect for the bachelor pad.
Coming in with a few more cooking presets and a little more air-frying capacity is the Hamilton Beach 3.2-quart air fryer. This unit has six pre-set cooking functions and a timer function that goes up to 60 minutes. This is a great air fryer for beginners looking to graduate to more complex air fryers.
When it comes to air fryer ovens, most are massive with spacious cooking capacity and an onslaught of cooking functions. Cuisinart has crafted a compact, straightforward air fryer/toaster oven combo with a retro feel. This mini yet mighty air fryer oven can hold up to 2.5 pounds of food and cook at temperatures up to 450 degrees.
We rarely refer to kitchen appliances as “cute,” but just look at this little guy (or girl)! Stare at it long enough and you’ll see a face. Cuteness aside, this mini-unit is highly functional and affordable. It comes with five cooking pre-sets, an air fryer recipe book, and a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t totally satisfied.
This no-frill compact air fryer from Chefman is one of Amazon’s highest rated small units. With two simple control dials, this little air fryer is easy to use and very affordable.
If you’re cooking for two, this 3.7-quart air fryer is perfect for frying up a meal for you and that special someone. Control your own cooking times and temps with its straightforward dial-in control panel, or choose from 8 pre-set cooking functions.
“Small” is a very subjective term, especially when it comes to kitchen appliances. Whether it’s the actual dimensions of the machine or the amount of food it can cook at one time, a small air fryer really lies in the eye of the beholder. This Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 4-quart air fryer is the first of our remaining picks that have larger capacities but are still small relative to many other air fryers out there with double-digit cooking space. Despite its 4-quart capacity, this unit from Instant is compact enough for limited countertop space and storage.
What’s the Best Size for an Air Fryer?
What size air fryer you buy all depends on your cooking needs. An air fryer that’s 1 to 2-quarts is ideal for one person, and it can still be OK for 2 or 3 if you are willing to cook in batches. If you want to comfortably cook for 2 or 3, you’ll want a 2 to 4-quart air fryer.
It’s essential to remember when shopping for air fryers that the cooking volume of the frying basket doesn’t exactly equal the amount of food you can cook. There needs to be as much space as possible between the food items so air can circulate and crisp the food. By packing air fryers as tightly as you can, the food in the middle gets less heat, therefore less cooked.
What’s the Best Food to Cook in a Small Air Fryer?
As cooking space decreases in air fryers, so do your options for what you can cook. You won’t be cooking any whole chickens or roasts in a 1 to 4-quart air fryer.
Small air fryers lend themselves best to chopped veggies or bite-sized meats. French fries, brussel sprouts, chicken wings, and shrimp are all great options. You still have enough space to even air fry a chicken breast or two or bake a couple of potatoes.
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