Can I use my air fryer without the basket?

Welcome back to another article over here at Air Fryer Bro. We are always striving to try and answer as many common questions about air fryers as we can. Air fryers are relatively new kitchen appliances, and a lot of people are still learning about the ins and outs of this product. Today, we are clearing up another question I have seen a lot “can I use my air fryer without the basket?”

The short answer to this questions is yes. You can use air fryers without the cooking basket, if you need to. However, be careful not to block the air flow around your air fryer. If the air flow is blocked, your air flow won’t be able to perform well and you will be left with uneven cooking. Also, this advice is related to the bucket style air fryers. If you are unsure about your own specific brand of air fryer, please do your own research.

Why would someone want to use their air fryer without the basket?

My main experience of this question comes from people asking it within the air fryer Facebook group that I am a member of. Actually, you would be surprised how common an issue this is!

Most of the people asking want to cook something larger, that would not fit in the basket.  Space is often an issue for air fryer users, as traditionally they are quite small.

Sometimes, people also want to use another cooking pan or accessory to better cook a particular type of food.  If you want to do this, just make sure that the cookware is oven safe. You don’t want your food ruined by cookware that cracks or breaks in the process!

Below you can see the air fryer basket from my air fryer at the time of writing, a Philips model (in case you don’t know exactly what I am talking about!!).

this is the basket from my current philips air fryer

Is it safe to use an air fryer without the basket?

Please bear in mind that this advice is for the bucket style air fryers. These are the air fryers that typically have a basket (as seen above) as standard to hold your food in.

As stated above, it is safe to use your air fryer without it’s standard cooking basket, but for your food to still cook well, you should be aware of one important thing.

That important thing is air flow. The whole reason an air fryer works and cooks food well, is because of the way it can circulate hot air around the air fryer’s compartment. If you stop or hinder that air flow, you will find that your air fryer’s performance will be greatly reduced, probably to the point of being unusable.

This is why the standard air fryer cooking basket is elevated off of the bottom of the air fryer. In fact, if you look at the basket when it is positioned inside the air fryer, you will see that there is still space on every side of the basket.

So, whatever you use instead of the basket, you need to keep the air flow of your air fryer in mind.

What are the best ways to use a basket-less air fryer?

As stated above, air flow is the life blood of any air fryer. Whatever way you choose to cook in your basket-less air fryer, you need to be make sure the air flow is still there, and not blocked.

For example, if you just put a cake pan directly onto the bottom of your air fryer there would be zero air flow beneath the pan and you would find that the cake mix at the bottom would take longer to cook. It would be tough to cook your cake well, as the lack of air flow underneath what you were cooking would make the cooking process uneven. Some part of the cake would probably end up over cooked or under cooked. Nobody wants cake door stops or book ends!!

The best thing to do is to invest in a series of wire racks that would fit inside your air fryer. These wire racks would allow you to put any pan or other cooking accessory onto the rack, rather than directly onto the bottom of your air fryer. By using wire racks, you will be able to ensure that their is still air flow all around whatever you want to cook.

Your best bet would be to measure up your air fryer compartment well, and head over to a place such as Amazon to get wire racks that would fit your needs. Some big air fryer manufacturers even offer their own official wire racks (or similar), to help people cook a wider range of food in their product. We do have one example of a good accessory pack for air fryers on our recommended products page.

Below is one of the accessories I use a lot with my air fryer, a grill pan! If you have one too it would make a good substitute for a wire rack.

this grill pan is one of my favourite air fryer accessories

Enjoy basket-less air frying!

Well, that was a quick one! Indeed, this question is a pretty simple one to answer. I suppose a lot of people are worried that the air fryer is only designed to work with the basket accessory that comes with it. But, don’t worry, your air fryer won’t explode if you use other things. Just make sure they are “oven safe” things!

Also, it is impossible for me to answer this question for every single bucket style air fryer out there. This is an answer and advice for air fryers in general.

For example, you may want to take a look at the way that your air fryer accommodates its cooking basket. Does the lid still close when the cooking basket is not placed inside the air fryer? Is there a big gap or hole when you do this, where the handle of the basket would usually be (which may lead to inefficient cooking). These are things specific to your air fryers design, and you will have to work out these small details for your self.

If you are unsure about your air fryer, and whether it’s design allows for basket-less cooking, you should contact your air fryer’s manufacturer directly. In this day and age, the quickest and easiest way to do this is through social media (such as Twitter and Facebook).

In fact, I only currently have access to a Philips air fryer. If you have another air fryer, I would love to hear about your experiences trying to cook without the basket. Did it work out? Were there any problems or issues? Please leave a comment below telling us all about it!!

2 thoughts on “Can I use my air fryer without the basket?”

    1. Hi Beth. My Philips airfryer allows you to take off the handle and attach to different philips accessories (such as the grill pan). Other brands may vary.

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Who is behind Air Fryer Bro you may ask? After many years owning air fryers, I had learned many things about this up and coming kitchen appliance. After seeing a number of people struggling online, the Air Fryer Bro was born! I am just a normal person who loves air fryers!!