Best 6 Air Fryer with Shelves, Rotisserie, Or Basket Reviews
Wouldn’t it be great if you could cook all your food in one batch when using an air fryer? Well, the good news is that you can do it without having to buy a large and expensive air fryer by simply going for a model with shelves.
Air fryers with shelves are increasingly becoming popular because they provide more cooking space and allow food to cook more evenly. Also, they can give food an excellent texture, and you can use them for a rotisserie and dehydrating.
As a home cook who has been using one of these fantastic appliances for 5 years, I will explain everything you need to know about these air fryers with shelves, you can also try the racks if you already have an air fryer but without shelves.
I will explain the functions of these shelves and their advantages, show you how to choose the best air fryer with shelves, and give you a step-by-step guide on how to use these kitchen appliances.
Before all that, I will start with a review of the best air fryers with shelves to give you some fantastic recommendations.
Let’s Jump Straight In!
Best 6 Air Fryers with Shelves
(Click to see price)
|Instant Vortex Plus||Best Overall |
|Chefman Digital Air Fryer||Best For Budget |
|NUWAVE Brio Air Fryer Smart Oven||Best For Capacity|
Grill & Griddle
|GoWISE USA Deluxe Electric Air Fryer||Best For Compact|
|GoWISE USA Air Fryer Toaster Oven||Best Oven Combo|
|Emeril Lagasse Power Air Fryer||Best All-In-One|
360° Quick Cook
1. Instant Vortex Plus
- Allows for versatile cooking with multiple functions and a wide temperature range
- Easy to clean with the removable oven door
- Requires little preheating
- Comes with over 1900 recipes
- Strong plastic smell
I have used many fantastic air fryers over the years, but I can tell you without any doubt that once you try the Instant Vortex Plus, you are less likely to want any other model.
What makes the Instant Vortex Plus my best air fryer choice is that it not only has everything you can ever wish for in an air fryer with shelves but also ticks all other boxes. The overall size, cooking capacity, features, and even the price is just right for most home cooks.
The 10-quart air fryer should hold enough food to cook for the average American household with 5 or more people. Also, it has 2 trays to allow you to throw in your meat and the veggies in just one batch.
The air fryer is also a 7-in-1 model that can air fry, bake, dehydrate, broil, rotisserie, and warm your food. And with a broad cooking temperature of between 90 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, there is hardly any food type it cannot handle.
Little preheating is required when using Instant Vortex, so you can save a lot of time when cooking. But you can still be sure of getting crispy fried food thanks to Rapid Air Technology. The Rapid Air Technology ensures the dishes are adequately surrounded by super-heated air, which gives them excellent crispiness and texture.
Also, the air fryer comes with an impressive 1900 recipes, so even if you are a first-time air fryer user, you get more than enough ideas for what to cook. And when it comes to maintenance, I like that the oven door is removable as this makes it easy to access the interior, so you never miss a spot when cleaning.
However, one quirk is that this air fryer seems to have a strong plastic smell, especially when cooking for the first few times. However, the smell dissipates fast and is never transferred to the food. Also, I found that giving it a good clean-up before using it for the first time helps with the plastic smell. We have a specific article about how to get rid of the plastic smell.
2. Chefman Digital Air Fryer
- More budget-friendly
- No preheating required
- Easy-read digital temperature control
- Odor-free kitchen thanks to the integrated air filter
- Includes interior lighting
- Temperature control could be more precise
If you are on a tighter budget but do not want to compromise on the quality of the air fryer with shelves you get, the more affordable Chefman Digital Air Fryer is a perfect pick.
Despite being inexpensive, this 6.3-quart digital air fryer model still packs some fantastic features starting with 8 preset functions to simplify and speed up air frying. Also, it doubles up as an air fryer rotisserie oven that comes with all the accessories, including a rotisserie basket and rotisserie spit and forks.
The air fryer has a temperature range of 90 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit that you can easily adjust with the digital control panel and does not require any preheating.
Moreover, the full view glass on the oven door makes monitoring your food as it cooks easy. Better yet, the air fryer comes with interior lighting that ensures good food visibility even when cooking in low light conditions.
Another impressive thing about this air fryer is its integrated air filter that will help keep the kitchen odor-free when air frying. And clean-up should be easy thanks to the removable drip tray and the fact that most of the components and accessories are dishwasher-safe.
If you are looking for an air fryer with highly precise temperature control, the increments of 10 you get with this might not be the best. While 5 degrees would have been a much better increment, this does not make a significant difference for most dishes.
3. NUWAVE Brio Air Fryer Smart Oven
- Large capacity
- Lots of pre-programmed presets for easy cooking
- Adjustable rack positions
- More precise temperatures adjustments
- Includes a grill and griddle
- The oven door could be sturdier
Cooking for a large family is never easy, no matter your level of experience. However, things should be much easier with a larger capacity air fryer with shelves like the 15.5-quart NUWAVE Brio Air Fryer Smart Oven.
Besides the larger capacity, this air fryer makes air frying large batches of food easier with an adjustable 4-position oven rack, meaning you can easily fit a whole chicken in there.
Moreover, you do not need to waste time figuring out the exact temperature and cooking time for different dishes as there are more than 100 pre-programmed presets. All you need to do is choose the appropriate preset and start cooking.
Temperature control should also be precise enough, as this air fryer allows you to adjust it in increments of 5 degrees from 50 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Better still, the air fryer comes with an integrated digital temperature probe.
As a home cook, you will also love the reversible grill and griddle and the complete rotisserie kit with rotisserie spit and forks, as they give you unlimited cooking options. And most of the components are dishwasher safe for hassle-free cleaning.
While the oven door could be a little sturdier, this is not a deal-breaker as it should still hold up pretty well with a little extra care.
4. GoWISE USA Deluxe Electric Air Fryer
- Compact and space-saving
- Multiple rack positions
- Super easy to use
- Great for rotisserie
- Can be pretty loud when programming
- Warranty issues
If your kitchen counter space is at a premium, a compact and space-saving air fryer like the GoWISE USA Deluxe Electric Air Fryer is your best bet.
But despite the compact size, the air fryer still has a 12.7-quart capacity and 3-rack levels to allow you to air fry lots of food. You can easily fit enough food in there for up to 4 people.
Many home cooks will also love this air fryer for rotisserie. This model comes with everything you need to rotisserie, including the rotisserie cages and other things like tong and skewer.
Overall, this model is also straightforward to use as it includes some simple controls for time and temperature and has 15 presets to simplify cooking everyday dishes. Moreover, you also get more than 50 recipes to help start your air fry journey and create some fantastic meals.
For the drawbacks, some users find the loud beeps it makes when programming annoying, but you will hardly notice them once you get used to the air fryer. Also, there seem to be complaints about the warranty, but the company is one of the most reputable manufacturers of air fryers globally, so there is nothing to worry about.
5. GoWISE USA Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- High cooking potential with several cooking accessories
- Convenient digital control
- Takes up little counter space
- Attractive interior finish
- Easy cleaning with dishwasher-safe accessories
- Loud beeps
If you are on the market for a toaster-style air fryer, GoWISE USA has you covered with the fantastic GoWISE USA Air Fryer Toaster Oven. The air fryer offers a high cooking potential with a 12.7-quart capacity, 3-rack levels, and multiple accessories.
The toaster oven air fryer takes up little counter space and leaves enough room for the vents. Also, it looks incredible on a kitchen countertop, thanks to the sleek brushed metal exterior finish and a lovely stainless steel interior.
Cooking should also be quick and hassle-free, thanks to the 11 presets and convenient touchscreen digital control panel that is easy to see and use.
Cleaning this toaster oven air fryer hardly takes up any time as you only need to wipe it down after use since the nicely designed drip tray takes care of all the mess. Also, most of the accessories are dishwasher safe.
Loud beeps when programming also seems to be an issue for some users, which is quite common with many GoWISE air fryers. But I bet you will hardly notice the sound once you get used to the air fryer.
6. Emeril Lagasse Power Air Fryer
- An all-in-one large-capacity air fryer
- Powerful all-round cooking technology
- Convenient display and controls
- The memory function remembers your last settings
- Sleek stainless steel finish
- The drip tray could be deeper
- Internal surfaces are not the easiest to clean
The Emeril Lagasse Power Air Fryer is an excellent choice if you are looking for an all-in-one solution that eliminates the need to have several appliances on your kitchen countertop. The multipurpose appliance can easily replace your convection oven, slow cooker, dehydrator, and roaster.
With 4 powerful heating elements and 360-degree Quick Cook Technology, your dishes will get enough heat from all directions to ensure faster and more even cooking. The cooking technology also helps make the food crispier and gives it a delicious flavor.
The versatile air fryer has 12 cooking functions to take care of all your cooking needs and has enough space to rotisserie a 10-pound chicken. Its capacity is 930 cubic-inch ( around 16.1 quarts), making it perfect for larger families.
And because this air fryer has a memory function, you do not need to keep programming the everyday meals you cook as it remembers your last pre-set cooking.
The few complaints about these air fryers are that the drip trays are a bit shallow, and cleaning the internal surfaces can take quite some effort. However, both are minor issues that do not affect the overall functionality of the appliance and are hence not deal-breakers.
Functions and Advantages of Using Shelves in an Air Fryer Oven
Shelves are pretty handy in an air fryer. They are not just there for aesthetics but are a functional part of the appliance with several advantages.
1. Provide more cooking space
Air fryers with shelves give you more cooking space than basket-style air fryers. It provides more cooking room by allowing you to stack up the food on several shelves instead of just using one basket.
With the traditional basket-style air fryers, you can only cook as much as you can fit in the provided basket. However, with up to 4 rack levels on air fryers with shelves, you can cook large batches of food for the entire family in one go.
Since there is more room, you can air fry larger meat portions, such as a whole chicken or even a turkey, just like you would in a full-size conventional oven.
The larger capacity saves you time and energy as you will not need to keep the air fryer running for long periods.
2. Can cook different dishes at a go
With the distinct rack levels on these air fryers, it is also possible to cook different foods simultaneously, which further saves you more time and energy.
Shelves allow you to create different layers of food in the air fryer. Therefore, you can cook different dishes without contaminating their flavors since they never mix.
And since these air fryers have larger frying chambers, you should have a more effortless time loading and unloading the multiple shelves.
3. Ensures more even cooking
Shelves help ensures the hot air circulates around the food for a more even air frying. Unlike a basket, the food is raised, meaning it cooks from all sides simultaneously, allowing it to cook evenly.
Even air distribution means you may not have to flip the food in between cooking, unlike when using the regular base.
Using an air fryer with shelves gives you a more hands-off cooking experience as constant monitoring is unnecessary.
4. Gives food good texture
By allowing proper hot air circulation around the food, an air fryer rack ensures even cooking and gives your food a better and crispier texture.
The crispier coating makes the food more sumptuous, and the texture you get will be as close to traditional deep-fried foods, if not better.
5. Extra cooking accessories like rotisserie
Another advantage you get from many air fryers with shelves is that they will come with several other accessories to enhance your cooking experience.
Most of these appliances include accessories like a complete rotisserie kit and drip pan. A rotisserie kit increases cooking versatility, while a drip pan helps contain the mess when cooking.
6. Easy dehydration
An air fryer toaster oven with shelves makes it easier for you to dehydrate foods by allowing the supply of heat from all directions.
Dehydrating food on the racks is quicker and also provides more satisfactory results. A rack does a far much better job than when you are dehydrating with an air fryer basket.
You can quickly dry all kinds of food with one of these air fryers, from fruits and vegetables to beef jerky and poultry.
How to Choose the Best Air Fryer with Shelves
It should be obvious that to get the benefits above and many others from an air fryer with shelves, you first need to choose the best one.
But, how do you choose the best model?
Read on to find out the key things you should consider when shopping for the best air fryer with shelves.
1. Overall Dimensions
Space is always at a premium in most kitchens, which is more so for the kitchen countertop
While there are different hacks for creating extra space in your kitchen, you should make good use of what you have by choosing an air fryer that does not take up much of it.
With that in mind, no one air fryer size fits everyone as your specific needs and the space you have to spare in the kitchen are what will determine what you can buy.
The good news is that the best air fryers with shelves come in several sizes. You can get a smaller model with one shelf and larger ones with up to 4 shelves. And so there is something for everyone.
2. Cooking Capacity
Besides the overall dimensions, you also need to consider the cooking capacity of the electric air fryer you choose. For most home cooks, the best air fryer is one that has a sizeable air-fry capacity.
The capacity of these air fryers is measured in quarts. Most popular models will have a capacity of between 2 and 10 quarts. However, you can still get a larger 15 and even 20-quart air fryer if you prefer something even larger than this.
It is crucial to remember that the size of the cooking shelves also affects the cooking time. If you prefer something that cooks faster, a smaller unit with smaller shelves is your best bet.
The manufacturer significantly impacts the quality of the air fryer you get and other essential things such as the customer service and warranty.
And so you should consider the brand when deciding what air fryer to buy. It is always better to stick with reputable companies. Such brands are known for their quality and reputation for standing behind their products with good warranties and excellent customer service.
Some of the brands known to produce high-quality air fryers with shelves are Instant Pot, Chefman, and GoWISE USA.
4. Additional Features
You will also need to consider the features that matter to you when deciding on the best air fryer with shelves to buy.
Besides the essential functions necessary for the air fryer to work, the best air fryers will have some extra features to make cooking even easier and more convenient.
Additional features to watch out for include an easy-view window, interior lighting, a digital temperature probe, and a pleasant appearance such as a stainless steel finish. A digital control interface is also nice to have as it makes things easier for you.
Although things like the capacity and features will be more important when choosing an air fryer, you still cannot overlook its cost.
Any air fryer you choose must suit your needs and be within your budget. And the good news is that there is something for everyone as you can get an air fryer with shelves for anything between $30 and $200.
As you consider the cost, it is essential to note that digital air fryer models will be pricier than mechanical ones. Also, if you prefer the models made from stainless steel over the mostly plastic ones, you should be ready to spend more money.
Air fryers with preset functions are easier to use and more convenient, especially if you do not have a lot of experience using these appliances.
With the preset functions, you only need to add the food and press one button to start cooking. These air fryers have a preset function for most common cooking methods and popular dishes like french fries, chicken, and veggies.
Some air fryer models can have as many as 15 or even more cooking functions on the digital control panel to help make food prep and cooking easy.
How to use the air fryer shelves?
Air fryers with shelves are as easy to use as basket-style air fryers. Also, they come with clear directions for using and cleaning them, meaning you only need to refer to the provided manual.
Here is an overview of the main steps to follow when using one of these air fryers:
Step 1: Pre-heat
Although some air fryer models are okay to use without preheating, most will require some slight warming up before cooking.
Preheating helps ensure faster and optimal cooking and is also vital for ensuring the food does not get burnt as you air fry. Moreover, preheating can ensure you get a more even crisping.
The preheating time will largely depend on the size of your air fryer and model. However, most models typically require you to preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for around 5 minutes.
Step 2: Defrost food
Make sure you defrost the food before you can air fry it. Frozen food will often cook inconsistently and typically takes much longer to cook. Also, cooking things like french fries when frozen will not give them that nice crisp you want.
Also, ensure you follow the cooking directions and time in the cookbook that most manufacturers provide. Following the directions can help prevent under or overcooking.
Step 3: Layer the food on the shelves
Next, you should carefully layer the food on the shelves to start cooking. Remember to put different dishes in different trays to avoid flavor contamination.
Also, if you want the food to cook fast, avoid putting on a very thick layer of food to ensure that what you are cooking is in direct contact with the heat.
Step 4: Flip when cooking
Although cooking food on the shelves allows more even cooking than in an air fryer basket, as the hot air touches most of it, you will typically still need to flip it.
Flipping the food when it is halfway cooked ensures even and consistent cooking. But you still need to check the food as it cooks as sometimes you may need to adjust the time and temperature to prevent burning.
Are air fryer shelves better than a basket?
The choice between an air fryer with shelves and one with a basket is personal, and it will mostly depend on what you cook often.
If you cook smaller batches of food or hardly ever have to air fry different food types, a basket can be sufficient for you. Also, a basket should be ideal if you are looking for something that takes less effort and time to clean, as most are dishwasher safe.
However, shelves or racks are the best if you want something that allows you to cook food more evenly. Shelves are also a good choice if you cook large batches of food and want to do it within a short time.
An air fryer with shelves is just what you need to improve your air frying experience. These appliances have several advantages over the models that use baskets. They range from a larger cooking area to ensuring you end up with crispier and more evenly cooked dishes.
If you are on the market for one, my review above should give you more than enough recommendations. Whether you want something with a large capacity or a more budget-friendly model, there is something for you.
Choose and buy one to start enjoying the benefits of cooking with an air fryer with shelves. And remember to share your experiences in the comments section below.
My love for food was influenced by my brother, a chef at a 2-star Michelin restaurant, and we often exchange food knowledge together. It’s been 12 years since I first stepped into the kitchen, and with my vast experience and expertise, I will share many ideas on how to make dishes more delicious!