Air fryers have taken over the market in the last few years. Although the name may be misleading, air frying doesn’t involve submerging food into oil. Instead, air fryers use hot air, thus representing a much healthier cooking method. Unfortunately, many people hesitate to purchase air fryers due to a lack of kitchen space. These days, this isn’t a problem because many manufacturers offer small air fryers that are just as efficient as their larger counterparts.
Here, we’ll discuss the best compact air fryer and help you make the right decision.
- Best Compact Air Fryer: Reviews
- Buyer’s Guide
- Final Verdict
Dreo Air Fryer – 100℉ to 450℉, 4 Quart Hot Oven Cooker with 50 Recipes, 9 Cooking Functions on Easy Touch Screen, Preheat, Shake Reminder, 9-in-1 Digital Airfryer, Black, 4L (DR-KAF002)
CHEFMAN Small, Compact Air Fryer Healthy Cooking, 2 Qt, Nonstick, User Friendly and Adjustable Temperature Control w/ 60 Minute Timer & Auto Shutoff, Dishwasher Safe Basket, BPA – Free, Black
Best Compact Air Fryer: Reviews
iRUNTEK Mini Small Air Fryer Oven Cooker
Holding up to 1.3 quarts, the iRUNTEK Mini Small Air Fryer Oven Cooker is ideal for preparing food for one or two people. It’s compact, powerful, and features a design that complements every kitchen.
iRUNTEK Mini Small Air Fryer Oven Cooker is the perfect appliance for preparing healthy meals. The air fryer has rapid air circulation technology to make delicious meals without adding oil. Since there’s no oil involved, you don’t have to worry about splatter burns.
Another reason many love this cooker is its bowl. The manufacturer picked the best materials to create a non-stick bowl that doesn’t contain toxic ingredients like PFOA/PTFE. Plus, the bowl is straightforward to clean and maintain. It can last for years and look as good as new. Finally, if you don’t like washing the dishes, you’ll be happy to know the basket is dishwasher-safe.
What I Like
Although small, the iRUNTEK Mini Small Air Fryer Oven Cooker has everything one needs for preparing food. In addition, it has a timer that ranges between one and 30 minutes, perfect for those who have a busy schedule or tend to forget about their food.
The fryer is rated for 500° Fahrenheit and powered by 800 watts. Although not impressive, these specifications are more than enough for preparing all kinds of foods.
I also like the fact that this cooker is straightforward to use. It has only the timer knob, which you need to spin to turn on the unit. Then, once your food is done, set the timer back to zero, and the cooker will turn off automatically.
What I Don’t Like
While many like that this air fryer doesn’t have a lot of buttons, others aren’t happy that there’s no temperature control. If you haven’t used air fryers before, not having temperature control could make cooking more of a challenge.
The manufacturer offers a cookbook, but it doesn’t come with the product. Instead, you need to reach out to the after-sales staff to obtain the e-book of recipes.
- Ideal for one or two people
- Easy to use
- Non-stick bowl
No temperature control
Dreo Air Fryer – 100°F to 450°F, 4 Quart Hot Oven Cooker
If you want an elegant air fryer with numerous presets, Dreo Air Fryer – 100°F to 450°F, 4 Quart Hot Oven Cooker is excellent. This air fryer allows you to cook healthier food much faster, using 95% less oil.
When we look at this air fryer, we notice its impeccable design blends perfectly into any interior. The unit looks elegant and sophisticated and doesn’t have a plastic look many air fryers have.
A smart control panel is located at the air fryer’s top. Although the many buttons may seem intimidating at first, setting up and controlling the air fryer is extremely easy, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy. The unit has presets that help you defrost, bake, cook, dehydrate, and much more with only one click. This is a valuable option if you’re new to the air frying world and aren’t sure what temperatures are required for different foods.
Of course, you don’t have to use presets. If you want to set the temperature and cooking time for your recipes, all you need to do is use the arrows on the sides. The unit comes with a recipe book that contains 50 recipes curated by chefs. All recipes are detailed and offer step-by-step instructions, ensuring you never run out of ideas.
What I Like
Dreo Air Fryer – 100°F to 450°F, 4 Quart Hot Oven Cooker has a four-quart capacity, which gives you enough space to prepare food for three or four people. The unit weighs only seven pounds and fits perfectly in small areas. This air fryer can be an ideal companion if you’re often traveling.
We love how easy it is to set the temperature and cooking time. The smart control panel is clear, user-friendly, and detailed. It provides insight into how long you need to wait until your food is cooked.
The eight preset options include Reheat, Dehydrate, Bread, Steak, Fish, Vegetable, and French Fries. All options are carefully designed to provide the best results. Since they cover the most common foods, you may never have to manually set the temperature and cooking time.
Another reason this unit might be the best compact air fryer is its high-quality construction. The manufacturer uses ETL-certified and FDA-approved materials. None of the parts contain PFOA or BPA. Thanks to the dual-layer non-stick coating, the bowl and plate are durable, easy to clean, and dishwasher-safe.
What I Don’t Like
Many customers said they don’t like this air fryer’s glossy finish. However, considering what this unit offers, the exterior isn’t a deal-breaker for most people.
- Elegant design
- Preset options
- High-quality construction
- Detailed digital screen
CHEFMAN Small, Compact Air Fryer
CHEFMAN Small, Compact Air Fryer features a two-quart capacity, which is more than enough to prepare food for two people. It’s an excellent option for anyone worried about the extra calories and fat from oil but who doesn’t want to give up delicious food.
CHEFMAN Small, Compact Air Fryer is extremely lightweight; this unit weighs only three pounds and has a space-saving design. This means you can keep it on your kitchen counter without cluttering.
The manufacturer did its best to create an easy-to-use product with valuable features. Thanks to the rubber handle, you don’t have to worry about getting in contact with the heated elements and suffering from burns. For maximum safety, the unit features power and heat indicator lights. In addition, the air fryer has temperature and cooking time limits, so overheating is not a concern.
With this unit, you can prepare your favorite food using little to no oil. According to the manufacturer, this air fryer allows you to use up to 98% less oil and achieve excellent results. Of course, you don’t have to use oil, but the results may not be as good.
What I Like
CHEFMAN Small, Compact Air Fryer is user-friendly, especially for the elderly or those who don’t like modern touch-sensitive buttons. This unit features two knobs: one controls the temperature, and the other controls the cooking time. The temperature ranges from zero to 400° Fahrenheit, while the cooking time ranges from zero to 60 minutes.
The cooking tray and the basket are made of quality, dishwasher-safe materials. So after you’re done using the air fryer, the clean-up is quick and easy.
Thanks to simple and precise controls, this air fryer is perfect for preparing fries, steak, seafood, vegetables, bread, desserts, etc.
The product comes with a limited one-year warranty, so you can purchase worry-free.
What I Don’t Like
One potential flaw of this air fryer is the removable plastic pieces on the tray that keep it stable. Unfortunately, these pieces can fall off easily, and when they do, the tray won’t stay put.
Another drawback is the unit doesn’t come with a cookbook. Although recipes can be found online, a cookbook would have been a nice touch, especially for air frying novices.
- Two knobs for controlling temperature and cooking time
- Two-quart capacity
- Indicator lights
- Plastic pieces on the tray are easily removed
- No cookbook
Ninja AF101 Air Fryer
Ninja AF101 Air Fryer enables you to enjoy guilt-free meals without compromising flavor. You can prepare your favorite food using the preset options or manually set the temperature and cooking time in only a few minutes.
The Ninja AF101 Air Fryer offers a four-quart capacity and allows you to prepare healthy, delicious meals for three or four people. While it may seem heavy, the air fryer weighs only ten pounds, which is reasonable considering its capacity.
The unit is built of premium materials and doesn’t contain cheap, flimsy plastic like many other air fryer models. Instead, its hands-on, multifunctional display gives the air fryer a modern look while maximizing efficiency. This unit has four preset options besides the usual power and start or stop buttons: air fry, roast, reheat and dehydrate. You can set up the fryer with just one click, thanks to these presets. More importantly, you can say goodbye to dozens of different pans and pots that take up space. With this air fryer, you can prepare anything from casseroles to dried fruits and jerky. Many find the reheat option particularly useful because it turns soggy leftovers into tasty treats and gives them back their crispiness.
Of course, you can always set the cooking time and temperature manually with the arrows on each side. However, the LED display will clearly show the selected numbers and minimize the risk of mistakes.
What I Like
Although the unit is compact and lightweight, it’s noticeable the manufacturer put a lot of effort into building a high-quality product. All parts are durable and sturdy to ensure years of use. The accessories are dishwasher-safe. If you don’t have a dishwasher, you’ll be happy to know the accessories are very easy to clean with soap and water. So you can forget about scrubbing greasy leftovers and damaging your pots and pans.
The preset options are ideal for beginners, lazy cooks, and anyone with a busy schedule. Setting up the air fryer is incredibly simple and requires only a few steps. However, keep in mind that the unit needs about three minutes to preheat.
If you already know your way around air fryers, you can manually set the temperature and cooking time. The temperature range is 105-400° Fahrenheit.
What I Don’t Like
The powerful fan does a great job of preventing the unit from overheating. Unfortunately, this comes at a price because it makes a lot of noise. Most people can tolerate the sound, but if you’re looking for a quiet unit, this may not be the right choice.
- Preset options
- Easy-to-use controls
- Superior construction
- Simple to clean
DASH Tasti-Crisp™ Electric Air Fryer
DASH Tasti-Crisp™ Electric Air Fryer is powerful, efficient, and versatile. It has a simple design and provides excellent results, allowing you to use up to 80% less oil without sacrificing the flavor.
DASH Tasti-Crisp™ Electric Air Fryer has a 2.6-quart capacity, providing enough space to prepare food for three people. In addition, the air fryer’s basket has a large surface area, so you’ll be able to get your food crispy in no time.
The unit is lightweight and has a cheerful aqua color that catches the eye. Since the air fryer is only 11 inches tall, you can easily store it in your pantry or kitchen cabinet.
Numerous features make DASH Tasti-Crisp™ Electric Air Fryer easy to use, and many people think it’s the best compact air fryer on the market. For example, the 30-minute auto-shutoff timer guarantees no overheating and prevents damage to the device if you forget to turn it off. Another convenient addition is the cool-touch handle that makes the appliance easy to use and prevents injuries.
What I Like
DASH Tasti-Crisp™ Electric Air Fryer is all about simplicity. Instead of touch-sensitive controls, this unit features two easy-to-use knobs that control the temperature and cooking time. While some may find the knobs outdated, others love them because of the enhanced sense of reliability and no risk of pushing a button by accident. The timer goes from zero to 30 minutes, while the temperature goes up to 400° Fahrenheit. With 1000 watts, the air fryer has more than enough power to help you prepare food quickly and evenly.
Because the fryer is lightweight and compact, you can easily take it when you travel and use it in dorms, small kitchens, and other limited spaces. In addition, the basket is non-stick and dishwasher-safe, making the cleaning process a breeze.
What I Don’t Like
One of the main disadvantages of this air fryer is that the numbers around the knobs tend to fade away after some time. Many customers reported this even when they were very gentle when cleaning the area. Although this isn’t a big problem, it’s worth mentioning.
- Simple, easy-to-use design
- Can fit almost anywhere
- Auto-shutoff timer
Numbers on dials fade away
As more and more people want to avoid consuming too much oil, the interest in air fryers grows. As a result, the market is filled with air fryers that offer various features, and selecting one may seem impossible. However, it’s essential to understand that not all people have the same needs. Hence, no air fryer will suit everyone’s taste. Still, some factors are crucial for selecting an air fryer, such as:
Capacity is one of the essential features every person buying an air fryer should consider. Generally, compact air fryers have a capacity ranging from 1.3 to 4 quarts. The larger the capacity, the more food you can cook at once.
When it comes to capacity, there’s no wrong answer. How big of an air fryer you need depends on several factors. For example, if you’re preparing food only for yourself, you don’t need a four-quart air fryer because that would waste money and space. A 1.3-quart unit is more than enough for one person. On the other hand, if you want a compact air fryer and prepare meals for three or four people, you’ll need a four-quart unit.
Another factor you need to consider here is what you’ll use the air fryer for. For example, if you want to prepare snacks, fries, or dried fruits, you probably don’t need a large unit. But, if you’re cooking proper meals, bigger units will be more practical.
While cooking presets aren’t an essential function, they are certainly convenient. These valuable options have preset temperature and cooking times. This means you can prepare particular food with just one click, without worrying about overcooking or undercooking. In addition, cooking presets are incredibly convenient for those buying an air fryer for the first time.
An air fryer’s weight is another factor you should keep in mind. Lightweight units are easier to carry and store. Of course, “lightweight” is relative. Compact air fryers are called “compact” because they are small and light. However, this doesn’t mean all of them weigh the same.
Generally, an air fryer’s weight is related to its capacity. The more capacity, the heavier the unit, and vice versa. Some compact models weigh about five pounds, while others can weigh up to 15.
If you don’t plan on moving your air fryer a lot, weight isn’t something you should be concerned about.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is essential, but it’s relative. Some people find touch-sensitive controls much easier to use, while others are more comfortable with dials. Which one you’ll choose is solely up to you and your personal preference.
Ease of Cleaning
Many air fryers feature dishwasher-safe components, meaning you don’t have to waste time scrubbing oily leftovers from the bowl or tray. However, check whether the parts require hand washing before purchasing a unit, as this could be a deal-breaker.
What Can You Cook In a Small Air Fryer?
Small air fryers are suitable for almost all foods prepared in an oven or on the stovetop. This includes classics like chicken tenders, French fries, bacon, steak, salmon, brussels sprouts, fish, bread, etc.
You can use your air fryer to make donuts, dehydrated fruit chips, and other delicious treats.
Air fryers are excellent for reheating leftovers or preparing frozen food.
Are Small Air Fryers Worth It?
Small air fryers are worth it if you often prepare smaller amounts of food. They are just as efficient as their larger counterparts and benefit from being easy to carry around and store.
Can You Put Aluminum Foil In an Air Fryer?
Yes, you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer. As long as you use it properly, there’s no risk of damage. Remember that you shouldn’t cover critical components that could jeopardize the airflow or cause overheating. It’s best to use a small amount of foil to cover the basket’s bottom or wrap around the food.
Can You Cook Sausages In an Air Fryer?
Absolutely! Air fryer sausages are delicious and juicy. It may take some time for you to hit the right spot with temperature and cooking time, but we promise the result is worth it. Most people air fry sausages at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they get their distinctive golden-brown color.
Do I Need to Clean My Air Fryer After Every Use?
Ideally, you should clean your air fryer after each use. Fortunately, most air fryers have non-stick, easy-to-clean components, so the process shouldn’t take much time. The parts you need to clean every time are the tray and basket.
Buying a compact air fryer isn’t as simple as you thought. Although small air fryers usually aren’t too expensive, you don’t want to waste money on a unit that doesn’t match your requirements. Our recommendation is Dreo Air Fryer – 100°F to 450°F, 4 Quart Hot Oven Cooker. It has numerous cooking presets and an elegant design. Because the unit is easy to use, it’s ideal for anyone.
If you want a smaller unit with simple controls, DASH Tasti-Crisp™ Electric Air Fryer is excellent. It has everything you need to prepare delicious meals. In addition, the air fryer weighs only a few pounds, making it easy to take with you.
We hope this article helped you discover the best compact air fryer for your needs and that you’re enjoying healthier meals without compromising the flavor.