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.
The Overall Best: 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 got this on the recommendation of a coworker and it is pretty amazing. Just drop things in the basket, set the timer and temp, and let it do its thing. Food comes out crispy, with no oil! I know some things might come out better with a spoonful of oil, but I havent had to do that. Very little external "smells", but there is some, which if you are cooking you really cant avoid. The basket and bin are all non-stick, so its literally a rinse and quick cleaning and its ready to cook the next thing."
The Smallest Air Fryer: 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. This model comes in five shades if you want to match your other appliances or add a vibrant pop of color to your decor. It also comes with a recipe book so you can get started cooking right when you open it. Glowing Review: "I love this air fryer! Being a single person, this fryer works wonderfully on scaled down meals and cooks my food perfectly! This saves me from heating up my oven for small portions and reduces my cost with my electric bill. A complete win!"
Great For Narrow Spaces: A Taller Air Fryer With A Larger Capacity
Dimensions: 11.2 x 11.2 x 14.2 inches (length by width by height)
If you want an air fryer that has a small footprint but can fit a bit more food,
this 2.2-quart option from Fereol is a good choice. With a tall, narrow design, it still fits under cabinets but takes up minimal countertop space. The 180 to 400 degree Fahrenheit temperature gauge is controlled with a dial on the top of the air fryer, and the rounded design features give it a unique look. The timer only goes up to 30 minutes, so if you plan to prepare items with a longer cook time it will need to be reset. With that said, many air fry recipes can be prepared in less time. Weighing in at a modest 6.6 pounds, the Fereol is a lightweight option that can be lifted and moved with ease. Glowing Review: "This is a SMALL air fryer, but if you only need to cook sides for 2 people, this does WONDERS for tater tots, frozen brusselsprouts, broccoli, texas toast, leftover restaurant fries, and more I'm sure!"
The Largest Capacity Air Fryer: A Larger Model That Can Cook 2 Pounds Of Food
Dimensions: 10.3 x 12.2 x 13 inches (length by width by height) This air fryer from Comfee is still relatively small, but offers the largest capacity on this list. With a slightly wider 2.6-quart cooking basket that holds up to 2 pounds of food, you can prepare a wide range of recipes, including a small chicken. Additionally, it features a temperature range of roughly 175 to 392 degrees Fahrenheit, and the 60-minute timer is a bonus if you'll be making larger or in-bone cuts of meat that need more time to cook to temperature. The wider cooking surface of the Comfee’s basket gives you more options for meal-making and larger batch cooking. And since food is less likely to be crowded, it can brown and crisp evenly and even cook faster. To take the guesswork out of cooking times and temperatures, some common recipes with images are stamped directly on the top of the machine for quick reference. Glowing Review: "This is a truly amazing little appliance. Im having so much fun using it to cook EVERYTHING! Chicken, shrimp, salmon are just some of the things I’ve tried already. Sweet potatoes in under 10 minutes? Yes please! The dishwasher safe basket is ingenious. I am so happy I took a chance on this.8 people found this helpful" Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.