Van life has had a massive surge in popularity in the past few years, with more and more people enjoying the freedom that living in a van brings! But living in a van doesn’t necessarily mean the world of air frying is closed to you! If you are a van lifer who is looking for the best air fryer to buy to enjoy air fried food on the road, look no further 🙂 Read on…
Can you put an air fyer in your van? [VANLIFE 101]
When thinking about buying an air fryer for a van, you need to make sure you have the power and electrical system to run such a high-powered kitchen appliance. Otherwise you will simply end up frazzling your electrical system, running your batteries dry in 30 minutes or both!! So although putting an air fryer in a van is possible (and getting more and more possible as battery and solar panel tech improves), care is needed. So yes, you can put an air fryer in a van with some caveats 🙂
The air fryers I have on this list are all within the 1000 watt range, as these are the lowest wattages you will find among air fryers. At the time of writing, this is the most realistic option for most people living in a van. In order to run these air fryers, you will need at least a 1200 watt invertor, as your van’s batteries only produce DC power, but an air fryer needs AC. And don’t make the mistake of buying a 1000 watt invertor to match your 1000 watt air fryer, as any power surges or power variations will fry your invertor.
The better quality invertor you buy, the better it will be at coping with any power variations. I recommend the model below from Amazon (click the image to view over there yourself).
And make sure your batteries can power an air fryer for a decent amount of time. For most meals, it will only require a 10-15 minute runtime, but you may occasionally want to go up to 30 minutes. So make sure to have batteries that can cope with this. And factor in any other electrical devices you have, so you have enough juice left to charge that phone or power that laptop 🙂 I highly recommend reading this article on battery sizing and carefully calculate for any appliances you are using.
And if you are running all of this with solar panels, you are golden 🙂 Free electricity from Mother Nature!
Anything else to Consider when Buying an Air Fryer for a Van?
A van is small, so you won’t have much space to store an air fryer. Therefore, most people living in a van would want a small and ultra compact air fryer that is easier to store.
An air fryer that is easy to clean is vital, as most people living in a van wont exactly have a big sink to wash an air fryer basket in!
My Top Picks for an Air Fryer for a Live in Van
Simply click on the product images to view each air fryer for yourself over at Amazon.
Elite Gourmet EAF-3218BL Personal Air Fryer
This really is the perfect air fryer for van life, especially for the typical van lifer that doesn’t have alot of power to spare. Believe it or not, this air fryer only has a rating of 700 watts, one of the lowest wattages you will find for this type of appliance.
It does this by having a simplistic design. No fancy digital displays here, only simple rotary knobs! One for the temperature and another for the time… thats it!
Just be aware that this is a one quart air fryer, so it is pretty small. Yes, this will make it easy to store in a van, but don’t expect to be cooking up massive portions of air fried french fries or anything. Batch cooking will be your friend (if you have the battery power, that is!).
As this air fryer has a flat bottom to its cooking compartment (with a grill that sits on top), it will make it very easy to wipe clean. From my experience of air fryers, this design is the easiest to clean. Philips like to have a fancy vortex swirl on the bottom of their air fryers’ cooking compartment, which I know from experience is much harder to clean! Simplicity is king here!
Copper Chef 2 QT Air Fryer
If you think your van can handle a little more power, then this air fryer would give you a little more cooking space in return. Coming in at 2 quarts, it’s double the size of the Elite air fryer above, meaning you won’t have to batch cook as much. It’s not exactly big by air fryer standards, but it is as big as you can expect when living in a van.
Although you get 2 whole quarts of cooking space, this air fryer still only clocks in at a rating of 1000 watts. This is even with a basic digital display! This thing must be efficient!
And another plus point for this air fryer is the fact it comes from Copper Chef, a pretty well-known brand in America when it comes to copper kitchen utensils and now appliances. I am actually surprised the air fryer basket isn’t coated in something copper looking, to be honest! But at least this tells you they aren’t going for gimmicks!
The downside to the Copper Chef branding for me is the copper coloring. I actually don’t like it that much, but maybe you do. Although when used in a van, this air fryer won’t exactly be sitting on a countertop all its life, so maybe it’s not so important 🙂 I just find the copper plastic look a bit tacky!
iRUNTEK Small Mini Air Fryer- 1.3Qt
If you are weighing up the two options above and can’t decide whether to go for size or power draw (i.e. wattage), I have someone else to confuse you even more 🙂 This air fryer sits somewhere in the middle. The only downside here is it is from an unheard brand iRuntek (and I am around the air fryer world a lot!). Although, to be fair, at the time of writing, the user reviews on Amazon point to a well put together unit!
This air fryer would sit in a sweet spot for many van life enthusiasts. It has 1.3 quarts of space, so it can cook slightly more than the ultra compact Elite above. And you get this extra cooking space in an air fryer that only has a rating of 800 watts. This is impressive stuff for anyone that is not exactly power rich!
I also see that this air fryer has my favorite cleaning friendly design of a flat bottom with a grill pan that sits on top. And, for me at least, this is the best looking air fryer in my list so far. It has a simple yet sleek design that I really like!
So if you can forgive the random sounding brand iRuntek, you could find this is the air fryer for you. Although be aware that I couldn’t find an official website for iRuntek and they have only said they follow the Amazon 30 day money-back guarantee. No word on further warranty, so you are taking a slight risk here. If the Amazon reviews weren’t so good, I would run a mile 🙂