If you’ve hesitated to purchase an air fryer due to a lack of counter or storage space, you’re not alone. Fortunately, manufacturers now make compact air fryers that get the job done without being space-hogs. The
best small air fryers can cook up all the same delicious fried foods as their larger counterparts for a fraction of the cost and size.
When deciding how small you want your air fryer, first consider where you plan to keep it and if you'll be moving it around your kitchen often. While most small air fryers will fit under standard cabinets, as a rule you should pull them out into the open while in operation to allow for venting.
Next, think about capacity. The cooking capacity of small air fryers can vary, depending on the size of the basket insert (and usually maxes out around 2 quarts). If you’ll mostly be using your air fryer to make snacks or sides, you can probably get away with a smaller basket insert and a smaller frame as well. But if you want to make larger items or layer ingredients for meals, opt for one with a larger basket.
Keep in mind, most compact air fryers are not digital, but have simple dials to control time and temperature. Air fryers with a long timer and wide temperature range offer the most cooking versatility.
best small air fryers, below, will help you create light and crispy recipes in a matter of minutes. 1 A Small Air Fryer With A 60-Minute Timer & Large Temperature Range Dimensions: 11.5 x 11.5 x 13 inches (length by width by height)
small air fryer from Black & Decker offers a space-saving design without compromising on cooking capacity. With a temperature range of 175 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and a 60-minute timer, it offers the most versatility of the models featured here. Its 2-liter basket can fit about 8 cups of food, making it sufficient for cooking a wide range of recipes and volumes. The large basket also means that food won’t need to be crowded which leads to even crispier results. The Black & Decker also has dual convection fans that circulate hot air for faster cooking. The dual basket ensures that flavors from your recipes don’t intermingle, and the inner basket can be easily removed to turn ingredients, and to clean when you're all done. The sturdy design of this air fryer also makes it the heaviest, with a weight of 11 pounds, so it’s slightly more difficult to lift and move in and out of storage. Glowing Review: "I absolutely love this air fryer! Food takes way less time to be ready to eat. So far I made hamburger, salmon, french fries, mozzarella sticks, bacon! (bacon is my fav thing to cook bc it doesn't gets oil everywhere and doesn't make my kitchen smell for days) I also use it to reheat leftovers from the restaurant when we go out to eat.” 2 A Popular Model That's Lightweight & Has A Small Footprint Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.1 x 11.4 inches (length by width by height)
If you’re really limited on space,
the Dash Compact Air Fryer is the best option for you. Weighing in at a petite 5.7 pounds and measuring just over 11 inches high, it has the smallest weight and footprint. This means it is easy to lift and move in and out of cabinets if you’d rather not give it a permanent home on your countertop. Not surprisingly, the Dash also has the smallest basket, with a capacity of a little over 5 cups. Despite the smaller volume, it can still cook a pound of French fries and is a great size for cooking sides, snacks, or a small batch of food. The 30-minute timer is on the lower end, but sufficient for most of what can be cooked in this compact air fryer. According to reviewers, the temperature ranges from 170 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. A fan-favorite on Amazon, it has an overall 4.5-star rating from over 13,600 shoppers. Glowing Review: “This little gadget is awesome! I purchased it for my office at work, as I used to cook my sweet potato fries in a convection oven where I would have to go into the break room multiple times to flip my fries and reset the timer for additional cooking. This air fryer has made my life so much simpler and has eliminated all of that! [...] I have already encouraged several of my co-workers to purchase one, and I'll probably buy a larger one for my house down the road. This size is ideal for one or two servings” 3 A Sleek Air Fryer That’s Just $35 Dimensions: 9.75 by 9.75 by 12.5 inches (length by width by height)
2-quart air fryer is just $35, offering tons of functionality at a budget-friendly price point. The temperature ranges from 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and can be adjusted with the variable dial on the top of the air fryer. Its small size makes it a perfect choice for small apartments, dorms, or campers with an electric hookup, and the detachable basket’s exterior stays cool to the touch, so there’s less risk of burning yourself while you use it. There’s a timer dial on the front of the machine, as well as a handy auto shutoff feature, which is great if you tend to multitask in the kitchen. The basket is also BPA-free and dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. Glowing Review: “The Chefman compact air fryer is lighter weight than most and smaller: the unit holds two largish bone-in chicken thighs closely (if you want a reference) or two people's serving of fries or shrimp. If you are a small family or single and lack storage space for those big units, a good choice.” 4 The Editor’s Pick Dimensions: 19.6 by 15.6 by 16.1 inches (length by width by height)
3-quart air fryer has a slightly larger capacity, but it’s still small enough that you won’t need to give up another appliance to make space for it. It comes with a removable nonstick basket as well as a tray that allows air to fully circulate around your food while it cooks. The digital display screen is easy to use, with a pre-heat function as well as multiple presets for things like poultry, fish, and frozen fries. The temperature ranges from 100 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can adjust the wattage for greater precision. Editor’s note: “I was slow to hop on the air fryer trend, but I’m obsessed with my 3-Quart Nuwave air fryer. The first week I got it, I air fried everything from chicken wings to cookies, and it was all delicious. I have a tiny kitchen, and I love that this fits neatly on top of my refrigerator. If you’re looking for an air fryer that’s large enough to make a full meal for two-to-four people, but won’t take up tons of space, this is the one!” — Carina Finn 5 A Mini Air Fryer With A Retro Design Dimensions: 10.2 by 8.5 by 8.5 inches (length by width by height)
If you have to leave your
air fryer out on the counter, you’ll want it to look good. This compact 1-quart option comes in retro-inspired mint green and bold red colors, as well as a sleek black option. It has a temperature dial and a timer dial on the front of the unit, so it’s super easy to use. The temperature ranges from 105 to 390 degrees Fahrenheit, and it shuts off automatically once the timer is up. Glowing Review: “I wanted to wait a couple months before I wrote the review and see how it worked.... let me tell you I don't know how we lived before we had the air fryer!!! it is amazing how it works, significantly lessons our cook time & the quality of the food tastes so much better because you don't have all that extra attic Greece is easy to clean easy to operate and does not take up too much counter space we absolutely love our air fryer and we have sold several family members on purchasing their own.” 6 A 2-Quart Air Fryer With Copper Accents Dimensions: 12.4 by 9.6 by 9.6 inches (length by width by height)
2-quart air fryer has contrasting copper accents on the lid and handle, making it a useful appliance that you’ll also want to have out on display in your kitchen. The temperature ranges from 100 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and there’s a temperature guide for cooking different ingredients on the lid so you don’t have to guess. The handle on the basket also stays cool to the touch, reducing the risk of burns. Glowing Review: “I am so impressed with this little fryer! I also bought one for my mom. It's not a huge appliance that takes up too much space, it's perfect size for throwing in a few handfuls of fries, potstickers, chicken nuggets for a snack. I've also used it for roasted potatoes and some small chicken wings. It cooks quickly and evenly. I love it!!!” 7 Also Great: A Large Air Fryer That’s Truly Multifunctional Dimensions: 15.4 by 12.6 by 14.2 inches (length by width by height)
Even though this
versatile air fryer is on the larger side, it has eight separate functions, so you can probably make space for it by replacing a few other appliances with this one. It has an 11.6-quart capacity that’s large enough for a whole chicken, and it has pre-set functions for everything from french fries to cake. You can use it just like a traditional air fryer, but it also works as a rotisserie, dehydrator, and more. The temperature can range from 90 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and it also has an auto shutoff feature and a built-in timer. Glowing Review: “I honestly do not know how I did without this in my kitchen! I have had this for about 2 weeks and I use it daily. I have made kebobs, seafood stuffed portabella mushrooms, toasted cheese sandwiches, dehydrated banana chips, and right now I have the last of this season’s hot peppers dehydrating to make chili powder.”