Air fryers have become incredibly popular in recent years as a convenient way to make crispy fried foods like french fries, chicken wings, and more using little to no oil. Many ovens now come with air fryer functions and accessories like oven air fryer baskets to deliver air fried results. But do these oven air fryer baskets actually work?
What is an oven air fryer basket?
An oven air fryer basket is a special basket designed to sit inside your oven and mimic air frying. It has a perforated or mesh design that allows for maximum airflow around the food to promote browning and crisping the exterior while keeping the interior moist.
Oven air fryer baskets are made of materials like stainless steel or porcelain-coated steel. They often have a nonstick coating for easy food release. The basket may come with a tray or pan that sits underneath to catch any drippings from the food.
How do oven air fryer baskets work?
Oven air fryer baskets work by allowing hot air to circulate completely around the food for quick, even cooking and crisping. The perforations in the basket increase airflow and prevent the hot air from becoming trapped. This allows the high heat to rapidly cook the exterior of foods.
To use an oven air fryer basket, you simply place it on a baking sheet or directly on your oven rack. Add your food like chicken wings, fries, or veggies to the basket in a single layer, brush or spray oil if desired, and cook at a high temperature like 400-450°F. The constant high heat from all sides crisps up the exterior.
The basket design also allows any excess fat or grease to drip away from the food through the perforations, keeping it crispy instead of soggy. Some models have a slanted design to further promote drainage.
Benefits of using an oven air fryer basket
There are a few advantages to using an oven air fryer basket:
- Requires little to no oil for crispy results – The hot circulating air crisps up foods with just a light brush or spritz of oil, reducing fat and calories.
- Even browning and crisping – The perforated basket promotes complete air circulation for consistent results all over.
- Quick cooking times – The high heat of the oven coupled with the basket design means faster cooking compared to a traditional oven.
- Easy cleanup – Food drippings fall through the basket holes into a pan below for fast cleanup. The baskets are also often dishwasher safe.
- Versatility – Oven air fryer baskets can accommodate everything from fries and veggies to meats, fish, and more.
- Convenient – Uses your existing oven so no need for buying and storing another appliance.
What foods work best with oven air fryer baskets?
Oven air fryer baskets work great for crisping up many foods with a crunchy exterior and tender interior. Some of the most popular items to make are:
- French fries
- Chicken wings and drumsticks
- Chicken nuggets and tenders
- Breaded shrimp
- Vegetables like carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower
- Fish like salmon, cod, tilapia
- Onion rings
- Pizza rolls
The key is choosing foods that you want to get extra crispy and golden brown on the outside. Wet batter-coated items like fried chicken may not get as crispy in an oven air fryer basket as they would in a deep fryer.
Tips for using an oven air fryer basket
Follow these tips to get the best results when using your oven air fryer basket:
- Use the right temperature – Cook at 400°F or higher for crispiest results.
- Don’t overload – Leave space between food pieces to allow air flow.
- Toss/flip halfway – Rotate or shake basket to ensure even cooking.
- Brush/spray with oil – A small amount of oil will help food get extra crispy.
- Use parchment if needed – Line the basket with parchment to prevent sticking.
- Check for doneness – Cook times will be shorter than a full oven.
- Let rest before eating – Allow crispy items to rest a minute or two before serving.
Are there any downsides to oven air fryer baskets?
Oven air fryer baskets have some disadvantages to consider:
- Smaller capacity than full size air fryers – You can only fit a limited amount of food in a basket.
- Requires preheating oven – It takes extra time for the oven to preheat first.
- No temperature controls – You can’t adjust temp like you can on a standalone air fryer.
- Food needs occasional tossing – You have to open the oven and toss food for even cooking.
- Uses more energy than an air fryer – Ovens use more electricity.
- Takes up oven space – The basket has to sit in the oven, limiting other uses.
Should you get an oven air fryer basket or air fryer appliance?
When deciding between purchasing an oven air fryer basket or a separate air fryer appliance, consider the following:
|Oven Air Fryer Basket||Air Fryer Appliance|
An air fryer appliance has some advantages with programmable settings, bigger capacity, and faster preheating. But an oven air fryer basket can be a good budget-friendly option if counter space is limited and you plan to air fry smaller batches.
Oven air fryer baskets utilize the hot circulating air of your oven to crisp up foods with minimal oil for healthier frying results. They can quickly make foods crispy and browned without deep frying. The perforated basket design allows for maximum airflow.
While they have slightly less capacity and controls compared to standalone air fryers, oven air fryer baskets provide an inexpensive way to start air frying a variety of foods. Following proper techniques like preheating, using enough oil, and tossing halfway will provide the best results. Oven air fryer baskets offer a great alternative to deep frying for crispy wings, fries, veggies and more.