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What is the Best Small Air Fryer to Buy?

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Tips and advice on how to select the best small air fryer to feed one to two people.   

Air Fryer on Countertop

You’ve finally decided it’s time to add a small air fryer to your kitchen. That’s great!

These countertop appliances are hugely popular, and it is no wonder. Air fryers save time, cut calories and conserve energy. The real biggie, though, is how they give foods that irresistible crunchiness that used to be achieved only by deep fat frying.

When purchasing a small air fryer to feed one or two people consider size and wattage as primary attributes. A minimum size of 2 quarts will ensure you have enough space in the basket for the appropriate amount of food.  Wattage in these small appliances is also important as a higher wattage will preheat the air fryer and cook the food faster and more consistently.  1,000 watts is the minimum recommendation for a compact air fryer.

Mini air fryers use the same circulatory convection technology as their larger counterparts and therefore the appropriate ratio of scale with size and wattage is important

Small air fryers are great for small spaces like dorms, RVs, small apartments, or small kitchens in general.

As you begin to explore, you may be surprised by how many different styles and models are available. Air fryers come in a lot of shapes and sizes. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. 

You want to get the best small air fryer for your needs. So how is someone supposed to know which one to buy? 

Looking for a larger air fryer? Check out this list of the best large air fryers for families!

Tips to Pick the Best Small Air Fryer

  • Consider how many people you are cooking for and the quart size you will need.
  • Look for the wattage to quart-size ratio and ensure the air fryer will heat up fast and cook efficiently.
  • Check reviews for safety features.
  • Decide on your budget.

Since you’re ready to invest in a small air fryer, it’s important to make sure you get one that fits your space, your budget, and your needs as a cook. 

The Best Small Air Fryers and Their Features

Bella Electric Hot Air Fryer

The Bella Electric still wins my vote as the best small air fryer. It was my first air fryer and I still haven’t had the heart to get rid of it because it works so well!

With a 2.6 quart-sized basket with 1500 watts of power, it is realistic to cook for 1 to 2 people in record time. The product dimensions are 14.17 inches in height, so it’s a little taller than the other mini air fryers, but it is still compact enough to fit in small spaces. 

It has an automatic shut-off feature for safety. So it’s a great option for small spaces and places like dorms or RVs. 

The Bella comes in black, navy, red, and stainless steel. It’s cute, lightweight, and dishwasher safe. You’ll be able to snag this air fryer for 50-60 dollars.

Chefman Turbo Fry

With a 3.6 quart-sized basket, 1200 watts, and weighing in at 9 pounds, the Chefman Turbo is a great option. It doesn’t have as much power as the Bella Electric, but it is shorter at 8X8X9.5 inches. Like the Bella, it has all of the safety features and is dishwasher safe.

The Chefman comes in black only and will cost around 60-80 dollars.

Cosori Air Fryer

I absolutely love the Cosori air fryer brand and its customer service. Their small air fryer basket comes in at 3.7 quarts.

Its square basket makes cooking longer foods easier than the typical circular basket you see with smaller air fryers.

Their air fryers even come with a long warranty that they hold up their end of.

The price is a little higher than others listed on this page and if you can, I would opt for the 5.8-quart option if you have space as it often goes on sale for the same price as this smaller version.

Interested in learning more about the Cosori? Take a look at my in-depth review of the 5.8-quart Cosori Air Fryer.

GoWISE USA Electric Mini Air Fryer

The GoWise Electric Mini Air Fryer is one of the best all-around mini air fryers. It has a 2-quart basket and 1000 watts of power but is still only 11 inches in height and a light 8 pounds. What I like about this one is that it has enough wattage to cook faster and hotter with a range of 180 to 400 degrees. 

The aesthetic of the GoWISE is fantastic. It comes in black with copper trim (my personal favorite), and black, teal, and red with stainless steel. You can move up in size with the GoWISE to 3.7 or 5 quarts if the mini is too mini for you. 

The GoWise also comes with a mini air fryer cookbook, which is great because it will help with figuring out portion size for the smaller air fryer.

This mini is a bit more expensive, coming in at 60-70 dollars retail. 

A drawback to this air fryer is that it does not have an automatic shut-off. So if you intend to send this to a dorm, keep in mind the type of chef you may be sending it with.      

iRUNTEK Mini Compact Air Fryer

If you’re looking for an air fryer that won’t take up space, this is the one. At only 11.4 inches in total  height, the iRUNTEK Mini is just that- “mini.” This air fryer has only a 1.3-quart basket and 800 watts of power. They claim you can cook for two people, but I would argue that this air fryer is best for a single person.

Otherwise, you’ll end up cooking in batches. However, if you have very little space in your kitchen, and are mainly cooking or just reheating for yourself, this mini air fryer may be a good option. 

It comes in three colors, teal, red, and black. As mentioned, it’s tiny and will fit into any cupboard space. What I like about it is that it has an auto-shut-off function that makes it safer to use. So if you’re sending off a college student, this could be a great dorm option. 

It’s also inexpensive. For under forty dollars, it’s a mini fryer with a mini price tag.

This air fryer is comparable to the Dash Compact Air Fryer. The Dash has higher wattage and fairly high ratings, but there are a few reports of it catching on fire. I am unable to confirm if those were from user error (such as keeping the air fryer on the stove) or an electric issue, so I am unable to recommend this air fryer at this time.

Carrots inside Air Fryer

Is An Air Fryer Worth It For a Single Person?

Small air fryers are a perfect fit for single people. They make meal prep a snap! A mini air fryer or compact air fryer usually holds just enough for one person and takes out the wait of heating up an entire oven for just one serving.

Check out the GoWISE USA Electric Mini Air Fryer for a great mini air fryer option.

What is the Smallest Air Fryer Size?

The mini air fryer capacity is usually 1.6 quart to 2.2 quarts. A mini air fryer or compact air fryer fits in tight spaces and suits well for people who don’t cook large portions and have limited room for countertop appliances.

The smallest is the iRUNTEK Mini Compact Air Fryer with a basket that is no bigger than a pop can. 

Small air fryer filled with carrots and potatoes

What Size Air Fryer Do I Need For a Family of Two?

I wouldn’t recommend getting an air fryer that’s under 2.2 quarts for a family of two. If you have room, above 3 quarts will be best.

My favorites are the Bella Electric Hot Air Fryer and Cosori Air Fryer.

What Is The Best Small Air Fryer To Buy?

The best small air fryer to buy is the one that suits YOU best. Only you can evaluate your budget, kitchen space, family size, cooking preferences, and desired features.

Our favorites are:

Are Air Fryers a Waste of Money?

Air fryers can be a waste of money if you don’t use your air fry to its full potential. Many people make the mistake of buying an air fryer but then not learning enough about it to really get value out of it.

Here’s an article about the mistakes to avoid with your air fryer.

What Are The Best Budget-Friendly Air Fryer Options?

Here are a few that I recommend to check out on Amazon!

Eggs Inside Air Fryer on Rack

What Can You Not Cook in an Air Fryer?

There are several foods you should stay away from when choosing an air fryer or an air fryer mini. Among those are foods with batter, most cheeses, rice, and more.

However, you may be surprised at all the foods you can cook in an air fryer, which would include eggs, veggies, cookies and so much more as well.

When purchasing an air fryer, figure out what you cook the most first, do a little research, and you’ll find you’ll have tons of options!

Summing it Up!

The small air fryer can be a great investment for a small space or just 1-2 people.

When searching for a small air fryer, check out the features, including quart-size, wattage, and safety features.

Consider how you intend to use your device and where you intend to store it before making your purchase. Mini air fryers are worth the investment if you know how to use them and know what to look for. 

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