Summary – Yes, you can use an air fryer without the basket. However, you need to recognize that your air fryer will not work efficiently, nor cook your food consistently. Your food will also take much longer to cook. The reason for this is the need for unobscured air flow within you air fryer for it to work properly.
Can I use my air fryer without the basket?
Air fryers have seen a huge rise in popularity recently, and that’s not surprising. Healthier, more environmentally-friendly, and much faster than traditional cooking methods, air fryer enthusiasts are loving all the new recipes they can create with these handy appliances.
The air fryer has become a staple in kitchens around the world. However, there are still a lot of people who don’t know exactly how it works. As a result, there is some confusion about how they should be used.
Fortunately, the explanation for how it works is simple. In short, the air fryer uses a combination of hot air and oil to cook food. This combination is the secret to their effectiveness in cooking food quickly, while using much less oil than other cooking methods.
An air fryer works by heating air using a fan. This hot air is then circulated around a metal mesh basket. The outside of the food gets hot and the inside of the food is left moist and tender. The important aspect is the air flow. It surrounds and envelopes the food to deliver results quickly.
In essence, your air fryer is a small, yet powerful convection oven.
Do I really need to put the basket in?
No, your air fryer will still work without it but it won’t perform well without the air flow principle being compromised.
If the air flow is not compromised…air can move freely all around, as well as below, then your air fryer can work just as well.
Your fried food will cook just as well without a basket if you follow the advice below.
As for the clean up, you can still take the steps you would normally take to make life easier…water in the base, parchment paper or foil in the base. The same principles still apply.
Below, we will consider how you can do this, giving you some realistic options.
Is it safe to use an air fryer without the basket?
Many people have been asking about whether it’s safe to cook food without using the basket provided with their air fryer.
This is an interesting question, since many of the food manufacturers who make air fryers advise against cooking without the basket.
However, there is nothing to stop you using your air fryer without the basket. You can air fry without a basket…but it does not mean that you will get the results you hoped for.
What scenario would I need to remove the basket?
In most cases, people will use their basket provided as there are few circumstances that would warrant its removal. However, there are a few cases where removing the basket in your air fryer is necessary.
One of the major reasons is space. You may for example want to air fry a whole chicken but can’t close the air fryer lid. Getting a whole chicken into the basket may prove problematic, and therefore removing the basket may be the only option.
You may also have other scenarios where the basket removal is necessary. For example, you are baking a cake and you need room to allow it to rise…or indeed, your baking mold is to bog for the basket.
As we have already discussed, removing the air fryer basket is not problematic in itself as long as the principles of air flow are maintained. We will give you a few options on how to use an air fryer without the basket below.
What if your air fryer doesn’t have a basket?
Your air fryer oven will always come with a basket, in most cases they are removable. They work on the principle of air flow so are fundamental. There may be a scenario where you may no longer have the basket…it might have got lost or broken.
In this case, we would recommend that you get a replacement basket. Most air fryer brands offer replacement parts as standard.
If you don’t want to pay for a replacement air fryer basket, there are some options available to you which we will run through further down.
How to use the air fryer efficiently without the basket
As we discussed above, air flow is the major aspect that you have to achieve, if you want your air fryer to cook thoroughly and efficiently.
The important thing that you need to do is to ensure you have adequate airflow around the internal space.
There are a few ways that you can achieve this.
If we go back to the chicken example above where it cannot fit into the cooking basket, consider using this option. Roll up some aluminum foil into a ball and place them into the base. The chicken then sits on top of the foil balls. This effectively replaces the function of the basket…it is allowing the air to flow without any blockages.
Other solutions include trivets or small racks. As long as they are able to handle the heat generated while air frying…they most likely will, they are an excellent and readily available option. Again, they allow the air to flow around them so cooking is not compromised.
If you do use some of these options, it opens your air fryer up to the possibility of using steel bowls, cake tins, ceramics and a whole host of other container types.
The air fryer really becomes quite flexible when used correctly.
Accessories you can use instead of your air fryer basket
There are plenty of commercially available options out there for you that are available cheaply that apply both to air fryers and air fryer ovens. Stainless steel racks, trivets, baking pans and silicone molds are just some of the great options available to you.
If you also look up your air fryer brand, whether its Instant Pot, Philips, Cosori, Tefal etc. the manufacturer will also offer a range of accessories that are purposely designed for your air fryer.
It’s worth taking a look to see what is out there, although they may have a premium price attached to them. Consider looking at a marketplace like eBay to see if you can pick them up cheaper.
Can I use my air fryer without the basket? Simply…yes. As long as you follow the principles I have explained above, it should not compromise the performance, air fried results and safety of this wonderful kitchen appliance.
Let this community know what you think. Do you use air fryer without basket? What was your experience? Any tips and tricks you want to share? Leave a comment here or on one of our social media platforms. Don’t forget to share this post on your social media and please pin the image below on Pinterest!
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