Why spend your money on the best small air fryer when a deep fryer would do? Start with the preservation of your health. Air fryers take care of your well-being by keeping your daily oil intake at a bare minimum. This also allows them to cut the fat content in your foods.
These devices also help you lose weight. Science tells us that people who prefer deep-fried foods are more likely to be obese than their peers who consume air-fried recipes. That is to say that you can trim your waistline by cooking all your meals in air fryers.
What is more, air fryers retain the taste and texture out of your favorite dishes. They also take less space on your kitchen cabinet due to their small footprint. Most of their inner parts are dishwasher-safe and these models are also backed with extended warranties.
Want to know more about the best small air fryers? Read on.
- 1 What Is a Small Air Fryer?
- 2 Why You Need a Small Air Fryer?
- 3 To save counter space
- 4 To prepare small servings
- 5 To make healthy foods
- 6 How to choose the best small air fryer?
- 7 What to consider when buying a small air fryer?
- 8 1.What is the type of air fryer?
- 9 Air fryers with a pull-out tray
- 10 Air fryers with a bowl
- 11 2.What type of controls does the air fryer offer?
- 12 Simple dials
- 13 Digital touchpads
- 14 3.How small is your household?
- 15 1 to 2 persons
- 16 3 to 4 persons
- 17 4.What can you cook in the air fryer?
- 18 5.How long is the warranty on the air fryer?
- 19 Features and Specs
- 20 FAQs and Answers
- 21 Q: What are the best foods to cook in an air fryer?
- 22 Q: How to make the most of your air fryer?
- 23 Top 5 Best Small Air Fryers for 2021 Reviews
- 24 1. Dash DCAF150GBBK02 Compact Air Fryer
- 25 Pros
- 26 Cons
- 27 2. BLACK+DECKER Purify 2-Liter Air Fryer
- 28 Pros
- 29 Cons
- 30 3. Philips Viva Collection Digital Airfryer
- 31 Pros
- 32 Cons
- 33 4. Elite Platinum EAF-1506D Electric Digital Hot Air Fryer
- 34 Pros
- 35 Cons
- 36 5. Fereol Compact 2.2-Quart Electric Air Fryer
- 37 Pros
- 38 Cons
- 39 Our Picks for Small Air Fryers
- 40 Conclusion
What Is a Small Air Fryer?
Small air fryers are models that can fry, roast, and bake food. These units have a built-in heating, fan and a perforated basket, among other parts. The circulation of heat through their interior induces a convection effect to prepare crispy food.
Their small size decreases their footprint and allows small air fryers to take up less space on the counter. But it doesn’t stop them from doing an excellent job of cooking frozen foods, French Fries, nuggets, vegetables, chicken breasts and other food items.
Why You Need a Small Air Fryer?
Here’s why you need a small air fryer:
To save counter space
Due to their compact dimensions and incredibly small footprint, small air fryers don’t take up much counter space. This allows you to use them in a kitchen crowded with the presence of other devices.
To prepare small servings
These units have a relatively small capacity – less than 4-quarts – that you can exploit to prepare all your favorite meals in small portions. This is what makes them a must-have for small-sized households.
To make healthy foods
Experts are quite vocal about the various health benefits that you can get by eating air-fried foods. Some of them include lower calorie consumption, less build-up of fats in your belly, and a trimmer waistline.
How to choose the best small air fryer?
One of two types of foodies will consult this article. The first are those who know everything about small air fryers. They are only here to find the unit with the best ratings and reviews. Once they have found such a model, they’d buy it.
Such seasoned pros are in the minority. Most of our readers might not know much about the various features of air fryers at the beginning of their search for a new unit. They need to learn more about the characteristics that separate the high-end air fryers from the ordinary ones.
It is for the second type of food-lovers that this buying guide will come in handy.
What to consider when buying a small air fryer?
Following are the questions you need to ask yourself before purchasing an air fryer:
1.What is the type of air fryer?
Two types of air fryers are available on the market these days:
Air fryers with a pull-out tray
Such units require you to manually shake the tray once every five minutes to get even cooking. They don’t normally let you check the progress of your recipe unless you pull out the tray.
These air fryers are best for dishes you’d normally grill or shallow fry. Examples of such foods include chicken, grilled fish, meatballs and crumbed foods.
Air fryers with a bowl
These models are incredibly easy to use. They have a viewing window that lets you check the progress of food without interfering with the cooking process.
Some of these units also offer the facility of a rotating bowl which automatically rotates the dish inside. They provide bigger capacity than pull-out trays and let you prepare a whole chicken in one go.
2.What type of controls does the air fryer offer?
Small air fryers offer one of the following two controls:
Models having simple dials don’t let you do much apart from adjusting time and temperature. They are easy to use and let you set a time limit between 5 and 60 minutes.
On the flip side, air fryers with simple dials don’t offer much in terms of functionality. They don’t have LED display or preset cooking functions – features that you get in units with digital touchpads.
Almost all air fryers that we recommend in this review come with digital touchpads. They have a touchscreen control panel, an LED display and lots of other useful icons to help you with the cooking.
Such models also have a list of pre-programmed cooking functions. They offer multiple modes as well, including shake, preheat, and keep warm. Some of them may even connect with your smartphone.
3.How small is your household?
Here’s how this question may influence your selection:
1 to 2 persons
Are there rarely more than two people at your dining table? Then an air fryer with a capacity of up to 1.2-quart may be more than enough to meet your needs. Here’s why.
Models with such a diminutive capacity will let you prepare French Fries – or any other dish for that matter – in modest servings. They will also have a small footprint and take up less space on your counter.
3 to 4 persons
Do you regularly prepare meals for 3 to 4 persons? In that case you may need a model that can hold onto – and prepare – up to 3.4-quarts of food. Here’s the reason why we’re giving this advice.
Such air fryers would let you prepare medium-sized servings in one go – thereby saving your time. You can use them to air fry fish and pieces of chicken breast. But bear in mind that they won’t be compact.
4.What can you cook in the air fryer?
Almost all top rated air fryers let you prepare French Fries, nuggets and onion rings. They also let you roast hard vegetables, bake cakes and grill meat. Some of them go as far as to allow you to experiment with making sweet potato crisps and crunch-worthy kale.
Having said that, models that allow grilling and roasting might will require you to use separate accessories. A few generous manufacturers may include the attachments in the fryer’s package. But the majority will tell you to purchase them separately.
5.How long is the warranty on the air fryer?
Most models you see in this review come with a 2-year warranty. Some of them sweeten the deal further by throwing a moneyback guarantee on top. But that’s only true for the best small air fryers – as we have seen cheap models offering only one to two months’ warranty periods.
Features and Specs
Here are some of the features that almost all top-rated air fryers possess:
- Easy to use: Easy to use air fryers offer one-touch cooking and an LED display. They have clearly delineated icons of the dishes that you can prepare in them. This saves you from guesswork while using these units.
- Multi-use: Such models have at least two levels to let you prepare two types of dishes at once. They also have a built-in toaster oven or microwave to let you roast, grill and even bake.
- Front drawer: Some air fryers have flip-top lids for loading and unloading the food. Others have front drawers. We recommend drawer-style models because they are much more convenient and safe to use.
- Different cooking presets: The greater the number of cooking presets, the easier the cooking process – as you only have to press a single button to cook your favorite food, with the air fryer setting time and temperature on its own.
- Dishwasher-safe parts: Do you like the idea of having to manually clean the air fryer’s interior after it has churned out your favorite food? Neither do we. That’s why your model must have dishwasher-safe parts.
- Compact dimensions: Small air fryers, due to their diminutive cooking capacity, have no excuse to have a big footprint. Yet there are models that are big and bulky and consume huge space on your counter. It would help if you avoided them.
FAQs and Answers
Q: What are the best foods to cook in an air fryer?
A: Most people turn to air fryers to cook the following foods:
- French Fries
- Tater rots
- Chicken nuggets
- Burgers and steak
- Chicken breasts and lamb chops
Q: How to make the most of your air fryer?
A: Follow these tips to make the most of your air fryer
- Preheat it before adding your food.
- Regularly grease its basket with oil to prevent anything from sticking.
- Shake the basket during cooking to ensure even browning
- Use as little oil as possible (1tablespoon per 1kg food) to achieve the crispiest dishes
- Always cook food in batches or else air won’t circulate properly and food won’t get crispy
Top 5 Best Small Air Fryers for 2021 Reviews
Following are the top five small air fryers that are currently available on the market:
1. Dash DCAF150GBBK02 Compact Air Fryer
The DCAF150GBBK02 is a space-saving air fryer that won’t weigh heavily on your pocket. Dash has provided this model with AirCrisp technology that reduces added fat by as much as 80% without sacrificing your food’s taste and texture. And that too without giving off any residual smells.
This model also features a powerful dial. You can use it to decide how much time you want your food to cook inside this air fryer. Its range between 0 and 30 minutes means that you can easily air fry frozen foods, pizza, veggies and even mozzarella sticks inside this model.
Overcooking isn’t a problem you’d face with this model. That’s because it comes with an auto-shutoff function which automatically turns off the fryer once the timer is up. And the fact that it comes with a 1-year warranty means that you can purchase this air fryer worry free.
Also on offer is a temperature dial. It doesn’t specify the exact range but clearly gets the job done with its ‘min’ and ‘max’ ratings. Dash has also equipped this air fryer with anti-rubber feet to protect its integrity as well as the finish of your countertops.
- Competitively priced
- Auto shutoff function
- Anti-rubber feet
- Only one-year warranty
2. BLACK+DECKER Purify 2-Liter Air Fryer
The Black and Decker air fryer offers many outstanding features. Foremost among them is its user-friendly control panel. It lets you set time and temperature and turn the unit on/off. The best thing about the panel is that all its controls are simple dials, making them easy to use for the elderly.
Equally helpful is this model’s 60-minute timer. It gives you total control over the entire cooking procedure by letting you prepare a wide range of foods. The air fryer also has an auto-shutoff timer that will turn it off once the cooking time is up.
This device is safe to use as well. Black and Decker has provided it with a cool-to-touch handle that makes retrieving hot food extremely safe. That means that you won’t have to worry about your hands getting burnt while using this device.
On top of everything else, this air fryer is a cinch to clean. You can effortlessly clean its basket from remnants of whatever dish you may have prepared on it. All you have to do is take it out from inside the air fryer and put it inside a dishwasher. No manual cleaning work will be required.
- 60-minute timer
- Detachable nonstick basket
- Auto shutoff function
- Might give a plastic smell at first
3. Philips Viva Collection Digital Airfryer
Most air fryers that you see in this review offer a single rack for cooking food. The Philips Viva Collection air fryer is different. This model provides two racks in its package and lets you stack both of them at once to prepare two meals at the same time.
Assembling this model is incredibly easy. All you have to do is to attach a grate into the bottom of its cooking basket, snap the basket into the pan and then slide the pan into its designated place. The entire process won’t take more than a few minutes.
You can remove the basket by clicking a button on the top and use the handle on the front to lift and move the whole air fryer. The former function will prove itself pretty handy when you’re reading to unload a fresh basket of French Fries onto a family member’s plate.
The icons decorating its control panel are pretty straightforward. You can use them to set time and temperature, turn the machine on/off, and pause it for a moment. More useful is the accompanying app that will help you in preparing more advanced recipes in this unit.
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy to use and clean
- Quick cooking time
- Doesn’t offer multiple cooking modes
4. Elite Platinum EAF-1506D Electric Digital Hot Air Fryer
Here is an air fryer that is perfect for preparing modest-sized meals. Elite Platinum has provided it with a basket that can cook up to 3.5-quarts of food. The basket itself is nonstick and free of dangerous materials like PTFE or PFOA. You can therefore count on it to keep your dishes healthy.
This model’s control panel is laden with features. It includes six different options to help you cook all your favorite foods, including French Fries, crunchy veggies, and seafood. Also there are icons that help you in roasting chicken pieces, baking cake and melting cheese.
The ergonomically-designed handle of this model is cool-to-touch. That means you can safely use it to take it sizzling hot foods without burning your hands. The food basket of this model, meanwhile, is removable and dishwasher safe, thereby making its cleaning a cinch.
Elite Platinum further sweetens the deal by throwing in extras. It backs this model with a 1-year warranty and provides a handy recipe booklet in its package. The recipe book contains 26 delicious recipes for those who might not know where to start this product.
- Dishwasher-safe basket
- Six quick-menu functions
- ETL approved and cool-to-touch handle
5. Fereol Compact 2.2-Quart Electric Air Fryer
The Fereol compact air fryer is great for narrow spaces. It is a taller unit that has shunned a wide basket in favor of larger capacity. This has allowed this model to keep a small footprint while providing a respectable capacity of 2.2-quarts.
A dial on top of this air fryer lets you control its 180 to 400*F temperature range. Also there is a gauge that lets you know of the temperature inside the unit at all times. Together with the rounded design features, the gauge provides this model with a modernistic look.
The fact that its timer won’t go longer than 30 minutes places some limitations on the items this model can cook. Dishes with a longer cooking time will require you to take them out of the air fryer when the 30 minutes are up, reset it and then insert them again.
Fereol has made up for this shortcoming by providing this model with an auto shutoff function and a cool-to-touch handle. It has also equipped it with nonstick removable basket that is dishwasher safe and is therefore a cinch to clean. You get a 60-day moneyback guarantee on this unit as well.
- Comes with a moneyback guarantee
- Auto shutoff function and cool-to-touch handle
- Time and temperature dials
- Timer won’t go longer than 30 minutes
Our Picks for Small Air Fryers
Following are our picks for small air fryers:
Dash DCAF150GBBK02 Compact Air Fryer – Best for 1-2 person households
Elite Platinum EAF-1506D Electric Digital Hot Air Fryer– Best for 3-4 person households
Philips Viva Collection – Best Digital Air Fryer
Due to the way they take care of your health, air fryers have become a must-have item for every modern-day kitchen. Their amazing ability to prepare scrumptious foods – while also keeping the fat and oil content low – has made these devices a darling for people who care about their health.
With the best small air fryer in your kitchen, you can be baking cake one day and roasting chicken pieces the next. Their multi-purpose use is yet another reason why air fryers’ popularity has gone through the roof in recent years.
Having said that, not every small air fryer on the market will meet your needs. There are features which would make some of them more suitable for you than others. That’s why you need to go through our small air fryer reviews and identify the model that best fulfills your requirements.