Can I Use An Air Fryer Without Basket? Kitchen Tips And Tricks

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Many of you have asked us, “Can I use an air fryer without basket?”. The straight forward answer is yes, you can, as long as you are ensuring that the airflow within the air fryer remains the same.

Many people choose to replace the basket with other accessories to alter or enhance the output of their air fryer. Looking forward to maximizing the output by manifold?

Here’s everything you need to know for air frying without a basket.

When Do You Need To Air Fry Without Basket?

Luckily, there are only a few specific reasons why you might need to do this. Since the reasons are more or less the same across all kitchens in the US, we were able to draw a rough outline around it. And this is what it looks like:

For Frying Large Portioned Foods

Technically air fryers are just convection cookers on a smaller scale. Due to this characteristic, their baskets are often quite small as well. Even then they take up a lot of internal due to the ventilated design.

Now, an air fryer’s size is optimized for frying chicken tender sized foods and not whole chickens. But that shouldn’t stop you from going big.

A simple kitchen hack is to replace the basket with mesh or grilling rod (as they occupy lesser space). This comes in handy when frying large portions of food.

For Cooking Specific Foods That Require Additional Utensils

Many users are unaware of the fact that they can use their air fryers for more than just frying. Yes, you heard it right. Your air fryer can also whip up pizzas and cupcakes.

Unfortunately, the basket isn’t the perfect utensil for dishes such as these.

To make the perfect cupcakes for everyone at home, you’re going to need to place the mold inside the fryer.

If you own an air fryer you already know that the basket already occupies a lot of space leaving only a little for the molds.

So what can you do about it? Simply take the basket out and replace it with molds (ensuring proper airflow) and you’re good to go. Not just molds, small pizza pans also fit perfectly when the basket goes out.

If you’re yet to buy an air fryer, what are you waiting for? Check out our best air fryer reviews to get the best deals on air fryers.

Can I Use Air Fryer Without Basket?

We cannot stress enough on the fact that airflow is key. A basket-less fry is completely safe as long as you treat this advice like a gospel. In other words, the only time things can get risky is when the airflow faces obstruction. Here are three of the most common complications faced by users who ignored airflow:

  • Uneven cooking
  • Burnt after-taste
  • Malfunction of the device itself

Again other accidents include using non-thermal plastic bodies in the air fryer. Once these incompatible plastics melt to the bottom-surface, your fryer is done for good.

Luckily, none of these problems will lead your air fryer to cause an explosion or something. So that’s quite a relief.

The bottom line, whether air frying without the basket is safe or not will entirely depend on your actions.

So it’s only risky if you don’t pay enough attention while using the air fryer. Keep reading till the end to learn all about the proper and safest use.

The Best Alternatives To Air Fryer Basket

The rule of thumb is to judge the alternatives by their air permeability. Does air pass through the utensil? If yes, then you may select it as an alternative for your basket. If no, steer clear of it. As simple as that.

This brings us to our next big question. What exactly are those utensils that we can use instead of a basket?

  • Small aluminum pan (without handle)
  • Circular pie pan or cake pan
  • Air fryer exclusive baking pans
  • Air fryer exclusive pots
  • Baking tin
  • Microwavable metal plates
  • Cooking rack
  • Small silicone molds

How To Use An Air Fryer Without Basket?

We know that using the air fryer without a basket might sound intimidating to a lot of people, but it actually isn’t.

If you are well aware of the proper ways to utilize your air fryer, then you are going to be able to do more than just fry chicken in your fryer.

Ensure Proper Airflow

In the previous section, we discussed the importance of airflow in utilities. If you’re wondering why this is so important then you’re not the only one.

If your basket replacement obstructs the airflow then your food is not going to cook evenly.

The only thing worse than unevenly cooked food is burnt food. So if you forget to ensure the airflow, then you might end up with some burnt pieces of food as well.

This is also the main reason why we encourage users to opt for replacements such as the metal rack.

Get Yourself A Metal Rack

Why metal rack of all things? Because metal racks have a bare minimum surface area. Since lesser surface area equals more air permeability, that makes metal racks a good investment.

Remember to brush the rack with a little butter or vegetable oil before placing your food in it for frying.

When using metal racks, consider preheating the air fryer along with the metal rack to bring in the grill vibe.

Lastly, never touch a heated rack with your bare hands. Always use oven mitts to grab that metal.

Bake Some Cakes

Feel free to use your air fryer for more than frying. Just by replacing the basket with an elevated pan (that allows airflow through the bottom), you can easily get some cakes baking.

If you’re interested in baking cupcakes, use the silicone molds instead of the pan. Skim through your machine’s instruction manual to get an idea about what to set the timer to.

If you’re a hobbyist chef like most of us, then chances are that you’ve already lost that manual. No need to worry because you can always look up the time on the internet.

Regulate The Oil Levels

Putting too much or too little oil can make a big difference in the end product. Try to learn your way around the food for the best results.

When cooking meat, use moderate oil. But if you’re sizzling up some fresh veggies, a little oil will do just fine.

Since we are focusing on frying our food without a basket, therefore oil levels are quite crucial. For instance, when baking a pizza on a handle-less pan, too much oil can essentially ruin the texture of the dough, making it soggy.

On the other hand, too little oil means that the pizza might turn out to be dry and hard underneath.

If you’re taking care of all of the pointers mentioned above, you’re all set to fry up some tasty items in no time. The best part is that you don’t even need a basket for it.

When you take the basket out of the air fryer, you’re not limiting yourself. Rather, you’re actually unleashing the true potential of the frying machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is absolutely no scientific evidence for an air fryer being harmful to health. It doesn’t create any chemical compound in food that may be injurious to health. But you have to avoid burning the food to avoid producing hetero-cyclic amines.

You can put all the removable parts in a dishwasher and you can clean the rest of it by a damp paper towel. Or you can wash the basket by hand with dish soap.

You can put a paper towel in an air fryer but we strongly recommend putting parchment paper to prevent sticking the food to the basket.

You can put a paper towel in an air fryer but we strongly recommend putting parchment paper to prevent sticking the food to the basket.

An air fryer is definitely healthy since you’re using only a little amount of oil for deep frying. Also, it doesn’t produce any harmful chemical compound in the food to make it unhealthy.

You can definitely reheat food in an air fryer, for that, place the food in the basket and heat it up at a low temperature until they heat through.

So that’s pretty much everything for the answer to can I use air fryer without basket. It’s time for you to whip up your culinary skills and feed your guests the best meal of their lives, air frying without a basket starts today!

If you have any question regarding air fryer, do ask them through our comment section. We will check them and get back with the answers as soon as possible. Until then, happy cooking!

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2 Responses

  1. I have a Brentwood Select 3.4 qt air fryer. SO… Beef Stew ???
    can I put ingred. in and let it cook w/out basket ?????
    If so, how long based on ingred fully cooked ?
    How deep can I fill ?

    1. Cooking beef stew in an air fryer doesn’t seem to be a good idea. We suggest using your slow cooker for cooking your beef stew that way it turns out even more wholesome & flavorful!

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