August 4

Air Fryer Basket | Can You Cook Without It? What Are the Alternatives?


Author: Cornelia Suehr and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

If you are a cooking enthusiast, you must have heard or come across an air fryer. Air Fryers have gained popularity for various reasons, including producing crunchy and crispy results, similar to deep frying. They are also fast and saves you a lot of time in the kitchen.

Air fryers are also an excellent choice if you want to observe healthy eating. They help you to prepare delicious and crunchy meals using little to no oil.

large bowl

There are two types of air fryers today that include a basket air fryer and air fryer ovens. Air fryer ovens have a larger capacity and can make food for several people.

On the other hand, a basket air fryer has a compact design and ideal for cooking for about two people.

But, what is the basket in the basket air fryer?

What Are Basket Air Fryers?

A basket-type air fryer is an air frying kitchen appliance in which the food is cooked in a basket. Basket air fryers come with baskets similar to deep-frying baskets that help to hold food.

The removable basket comes with a handle that helps in easy tossing and handling of the food during cooking.

During cooking with a basket air fryer, the air is heated at the top of the kitchen appliance using a heating element. The hot air is then circulated by a fan around the chamber through convection for even cooking of the food.

crispy food

A basket-type air fryer has a longer life span as it has fewer moving parts. It is also gentle on some types of foods, such as coated and battered foods like onion rings.

A basket air fryer may require intervention from you to toss the food during the cooking process.

Additionally, a basket air fryer enables you to cook and achieve a crunchy and crisp taste of food, just like in deep-fried foods. The perforated basket allows hot air to penetrate through while oils drop down to a tray.

The compact design of the air fryer helps to cook food faster. Air gets to the cooking temperature fast and also circulates faster around the food in the basket.

What Is an Air Fryer Oven?

An air fryer oven uses the same working mechanism as a basket air fryer.

You can look at a basket air fryer as a smaller version of the air fryer ovens.

An air fryer oven, also known as a convection oven, uses the convection mechanism to circulate air in the chamber and cook your food. Unlike a basket air fryer, a fryer oven doesn't come with a basket. It has a shape of a toaster oven and contains racks that hold that baking and crisper trays. They come with extra functions, including baking, broiling, rotisserie, toasting, etc.

Best Air Fryers for Chicken

Air fryer ovens have a larger capacity than basket air fryers. As such, they come with two heating elements at the top and bottom to help heat the air in the chamber. The middle rack is the most preferable for cooking, but it is quite a distance from the heating elements.

Due to their capacity, air fryer ovens are ideal for cooking for large families.

If you decide to buy an air fryer oven, ensure you have enough countertop space to accommodate the appliance. On the other hand, a basket air fryer is flexible, and you can store it on the kitchen shelves after use.

Cleaning an air fryer oven is also an effortless and straightforward process as you only require to remove the trays and clean them.

Can You Buy an Air Fryer Basket?

An air fryer basket is subject to wear and tear, just like other parts of the appliance.

If your air fryer basket is worn out and requires replacement, can you buy a replacement basket without ordering the whole unit?

If you have an air fryer, you don't have to throw it away if the basket needs replacement. You can now buy a replacement basket without replacing the whole unit.

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The replacement non-stick air fry basket replacement is dishwasher safe. As such, you can toss it in the dishwasher after use to clean it.

It is also FDA compliant making it safe for preparing food for your own consumption and that of other family members.

You can also get other accessories for your air fryer.

Can I Use an Air Fryer Without a Basket?

Do many users wonder if it is possible to use an air fryer without an oven?

The truth is that you can use this kitchen appliance without a basket and still achieve the best results. The essential thing is to ensure that you maintain the airflow within the air fryer.

You can replace the basket and other accessories in your air fryer to enhance or alter the results of the appliance.

Best Air Fryers for Chicken Wings 2

When can you use your air fryer without a basket?

You can choose to air fry without a basket if you want to prepare foods in large portions. As mentioned earlier, an air fryer is a smaller scale than a convection oven. Thus, its basket is also small. It is designed to fry tender-sized chicken foods, like chicken wings, but not whole chicken.

A simple hack you can employ is to replace the basket with a grilling rod or mesh. This helps a lot if you are dealing with large portions of food, for a family of four, for instance.

Cooking Specific Foods That Require More Utensils 

Did you know you can use your best air fryer for purposes other than frying?

Yes, you can use the kitchen appliance to whip up cupcakes and pizzas.

Unfortunately, the basket is not the best tool for such jobs. To get the best results, you need to place a mold inside the air fryer.

Since the basket takes up a lot of space, it will be best to remove it and replace it with the mold and ensure proper airflow in the appliance. If you remove the basket, you can also fit small pizza pans.


Using an air fryer without a basket is safe as long as you ensure you maintain airflow. The only time using the fryer without a basket could become risky is if there is airflow obstruction.

Some of the complications you can face include malfunctioning of the device, uneven cooking of your food, and burnt after taste.

Other accidents of using an air fryer without a basket could result from the use of non-thermal plastic bodies. If the plastic melts to the surface of the air fryer, the device will malfunction for good.

None of the issues above can cause your air fryer to explode.

The question of whether it is safe to use an air fryer with or without a basket is dependent on your actions. If you take the necessary precautions and maintain airflow, nothing will hinder you from removing the basket and use other accessories.

When selecting an alternative to the air fryer basket, ensure it has air permeability. If not, don't use it.

bigger the size, more electricity

Some of the appliances you can use in place of a basket include:

  • Circular cake pan or pie pan
  • Air fryer exclusive pots
  • Baking tin
  • Microwavable metal plates
  • Cooking rack

Final Thoughts 

An air fryer basket is the part of the air fryer that holds your food.

It also allows airflow for the best cooking results. You can replace it with other accessories as long as you maintain the airflow. If you get an air fryer under 100 USD there's plenty of money saved for accessories for a variety of applications.

About the author

Cornelia Suehr

A professional chef and a passionate writer on all topics related to cooking, baking, appliances and kitchenware. Her posts resonate with foodies, home chefs and professionals.


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