The best air fryers make cooking easier and healthier—just drop your ingredients in a basket and press a button to start cooking with little to no oil. Some of the latest air fryers are larger with two separate baskets. You can adjust the temperature and sear settings for these two individual zones. This makes it possible to cook two different dishes simultaneously while targeting different levels of doneness.
If you've used a single basket fryer as long as I have, you know that an extra basket is a game changer. As it stands, I have to cook my protein first, let it rest on a plate, and then start cooking my side in the same basket. Not only does this cost me time I don't have to waste after a busy day at work, but I'm also stuck transferring flavors between foods. Below you'll find the five advantages of a dual-basket air fryer that finally made me pull the trigger on ordering one over the holidays.
Reduce cook times
While cooking one component of a meal first and then replacing it with a second may not sound time-consuming, it adds up quick. Even if I cook a protein, plate it, and swiftly throw in a side, I'm still waiting at minimum an extra five minutes on the rest of my food to cook. With a dual-basket air-fryer, I can cook both dishes simultaneously and from one place. Not only does this make it easier to keep an eye on the food, but I can sync them up to finish together so everything is hot and fresh at the same time.
Avoid cross contamination between foods
Whether it's dietary preferences or restrictions, you can keep your ingredients separated. In a single-basket air fryer, the oils and juices can throw off the flavor of your dishes. While steak-flavored fries are considered a happy accident in my household, it can be the end of the world if any kind of fish touches a side. With a second basket, I can make salmon for myself and still have a free basket to make carrots or asparagus free from fish oil. This is also extremely helpful for serving guests with food allergies.
Larger cooking capacity
Dual-basket air fryers run larger than standard air fryers which means they can cook more food at once. With two baskets you can cook more food types as well; I can see myself using this to belt out sides like baked potatoes and other vegetables. As someone who uses a single 4-quart basket, an 8-quart dual-basket model would effectively double my output.
Keep a spare clean basket at hand
Just because you have two baskets doesn't mean you have to use both for every meal. My 4-quart air fryer currently gets the job done fine. However, it's not uncommon for me to want to cook a second dish shortly after using the air fryer. It's a pain to have to wait for the basket to cool and then wash it. If I use just a single basket I can have a clean basket on standby at all times.
Since dual-basket air fryers are newer, you'll find standout features. For example, the Instant Vortex Plus XL ($160, Amazon) has two see-through windows that let you see your food cook without opening the basket. Ninja's DZ550 ($199, Amazon) comes with a smart probe that stops cooking proteins at their target doneness. And the T-fal Actifry Genius+ features a paddle that automatically rotates throughout the cook so there's no need to flip your food over or shake the basket—you can set it and forget it with even heating and crispness.
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Hunter Fenollol is a Senior Editor for Tom’s Guide. He specializes in smart home gadgets and appliances. Prior to joining the team, Hunter reviewed computers, wearables, and mixed reality gear for publications that include CNN Underscored, Popular Mechanics, and Laptop Magazine. When he’s not testing out the latest cooking gadgets, you can likely find him playing a round of golf or out with friends feeding his paycheck to a QuickHit slot machine.
Hunter started his career as an intern at Tom’s Guide back in 2019 while in college. He graduated from Long Island University Post with a degree in Communications and minor in Advertising. He has been vlogging ever since the iPhone 4 took front-facing cameras mainstream.