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Can You Use An Air Fryer Without A Basket? (Discussion)

air frying potato wedges
Air frying potato wedges

An air fryer is an amazing invention in the world of kitchen appliances and has many advantages.

As it is a new thing in the market, people are still getting knowledge about how it works and what are the limitations.

It also happens that people buy air fryers but their basket is nowhere to be found which leads to confusion if the air fryer would still work without a basket.

Short answer: Yes, you can cook food in an air fryer without a basket but the food will take longer to cook because of the airflow being compressed.

The air fryer basket has small holes in it through which hot air is passed and cooks food evenly and if you take out the air fryer basket and put your food in the bottom of the air fryer, hot air flow will be interrupted which increases the cooking time of food.

However, for cooking large portions of food by making sure that the air fryer remains in the same position its airflow is not disturbed. You can directly place your food on the cooking surface by covering it with a baking sheet or oven-safe dish.

There are several accessories available in the market for the air fryer to cook multiple dishes which are usually impossible to cook without a tray. Parchment paper can also be used to cook food with less oil and grease.

With this article, I’ll help to let you know everything that needs to be known to make you decide if your air fryer would still work efficiently without a basket.

So let’s start!

Does every air fryer come with a basket?

Yes, every air fryer comes with a basket but some air fryers also have additional features and accessories such as shelves to make cooking a lot easier.

Some air fryers such as Philips Avance Air fryer allow you to cook multiple dishes, all at once! However, if you’re looking for an air fryer with a basket to cook fish and chips in it so, make sure to look at that feature.

It is important to realize that the air fryer basket is the major and important part of an air fryer to cook food efficiently. Hence, it shouldn’t be overlooked.

An air fryer basket is best for making food in small portions.
An air fryer basket is best for making food in small portions.

Air fryers use hot air to cook food while deep fryer uses fat-based oils to cook, and that’s why air fryer food is not identical to deep-fried food, either in taste or in calories. Air fryers are also referred to as small but powerful ovens that can cook vegetables, chicken wings, and even cake.

Is it okay to use an Air fryer without a basket?

Yes, it is okay to use an air fryer without a basket. Some people want to use it with other accessories if they’re oven safe.

So don’t worry, the air fryer is completely oven safe and you can put any pan or tray in it as long as it is also oven safe.

But to make the air fryer work perfectly, try not to put anything in the air fryer which interrupts its airflow as it will damage its functions.

The standard position of the air fryer basket is to place it a little above the bottom to ensure the path of hot air. So, anything which is placed near the food other than the basket can affect the performance of the air fryer.

Why would you want to use the air fryer without a basket??

When you want to cook food that is larger than the size of the basket then it’s time to use an air fryer without a basket.

People often complain about the capacity of the basket when they try to cook something different which doesn’t fit in the basket which leads to the burning and cooking of food from inside.

An air fryer without a basket would be a great option for people who don’t want oil and greasy food as the air fryer basket is designed to circulate the heat around the food to make it crispy and juicy.

Philips Air fryer would be the perfect fit for you if you want to cook something large in the air fryer basket to make it turn out delicious and nutritious.

When do you need to Air fry without a basket?

There are two main reasons to cook food without a basket.

Cooking larger portions

As air fryers are small conventional ovens, their basket capacity is typically small which doesn’t allow an entire chicken in it.

To make space for more food, it is normal to replace the basket with a grill rod or with other accessories because with a small basket you can cook only a small portion.

To cook larger portions of food, you can try Instant Vortex Pro 10 Quart which is good for air frying food without a basket.

Check out the following video to know how can you remove the basket from the air fryer.

How to remove the basket from the air fryer?

Foods that require more than one utensil

At times, you need additional utensils to cook food to perfection. For instance, if you’re going to cook cupcakes in an air fryer you won’t be needing the basket but some molds which come inside the air fryer.

The reason for making cupcakes without oil is because they need oil so a basket wouldn’t be the best option for it. As of now, you must have known that air fryers are versatile and doesn’t limited to frying food only and can also be used in making pizzas and cakes.

What alternatives can be used as an air fryer basket?

Check out the following chart to get to know the things which are alternatives to air fryer baskets.

Oven proof tinsCommercial accessories
GlassStainless steel racks
MetalBaking pan
SiliconeSilicone molds
Alternatives of Air fryer basket.

The cooking size of your food also suggests which tin or accessory to use from the above list.

Can you use an air fryer without a basket?

Many people are intimidated by the idea of using an air fryer without a basket, but it isn’t.

  • If you know how to use your air fryer correctly, you can do more than just fry chicken. If your basket replacement obstructs the airflow, your food will not cook evenly. The only thing worse than unevenly cooked food is charred food. So, if you forget to check the airflow, you might end up with some burnt food.
  • Your food will not cook evenly if your basket replacement obstructs the airflow. Burnt food is the only thing worse than unevenly cooked food. If you forget to check the airflow, you may end up with burnt food. I also advise users to use alternatives such as the metal rack.
  • You can easily bake some cakes by replacing the basket with an elevated pan (which allows airflow through the bottom).
  • If you want to make cupcakes, use silicone molds instead of the pan. Examine the instruction manual for your machine to get an idea of what to set the timer to.
  • If you’re a home cook like the rest of us, chances are you’ve already misplaced that instruction manual. There’s no need to be concerned because you can always look up the time on the internet.

How to clean an air fryer?

Unplug the air fryer and remove the basket to clean the heating element.

Soak the heating element for 30 minutes in a vinegar and water solution. Allow the heating element to air dry after rinsing it with water. Unplug the air fryer and remove the basket to clean the interior. Fill the air fryer halfway with warm water.

Wipe away any grease or food particles with a sponge. Allow the air fryer to air dry before reusing it. Wipe away any dirt and grime on the outside of the air fryer with a damp cloth.


Air fryer food is crispy and moist.
Air fryer food is crispy and moist.
  • The air fryer can safely work without a basket but somewhat it affects the cooking time of the food.
  • For cooking large portions of food, a grilling rod or tray is a better option than an air fryer basket.
  • At times, the food needs more utensils to cook than an air fryer basket.
  • The air fryer basket is necessary to cook food perfectly and by removing it, the functions of the air fryer get interrupted.

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