Single or Double-basket Air Fryer: Which One Should You Buy?

Single or Double-basket Air Fryer: Which One Should You Buy?

Are you in the market for an air fryer? You’ve likely come across single and dual-basket air fryer options.

Choosing between the two can be difficult if you’re not sure what to expect.

This is what happened to me. I first bought a Ninja AF080 mini air fryer, then upgraded to the Ninja AF161 Max XL.

I now use the Ninja DZ201 Foodi dual basket. It meets my cooking needs without needing to cook in batches.

The major differences between the two types are size, capacity, cost, and design.

An air fryer with a single basket is perfect for individuals or small families, providing just the right size for their needs.

On the other hand, if you require the ability to cook larger quantities of food in less time, the double-basket air fryer is the ideal choice, offering greater capacity and efficiency.

In this article, we will discuss the intricacies of both types of air fryers, unraveling their unique benefits and potential drawbacks.

This should help you make the right decision.

Let’s dive in.

The Single-basket Air Fryer

Instant Vortex 6QT XL Air Fryer

The single-basket air fryer is the classic and most common type of air fryer available in the market.

It features a single cooking compartment.

These appliances come in various sizes, making them suitable for individuals, small families, or larger households.

Benefits of a Single-basket Air Fryer

1. Compact and Space-Saving

Single-basket air fryers are generally more compact, making them ideal for kitchens with limited counter space.

They are a great choice for small apartments or those who prefer minimalist kitchen setups.

2. Ease of Use

Operating a single-basket air fryer is straightforward.

With a user-friendly control panel and fewer compartments to manage.

The simplicity of the design makes single-basket air fryers easy to operate, perfect for beginners.

3. Affordability

Compared to double-basket air fryers, single-basket models are often more budget-friendly.

This makes them a popular choice for those looking to explore air frying without breaking the bank.

4. Energy-Efficient

With a smaller capacity, single-basket air fryers require less power to operate, contributing to energy savings.

Drawbacks of a Single-basket Air Fryer

· Cooking Capacity

The main limitation of a single-basket air fryer is its cooking capacity.

If you need to cook different types of food simultaneously, you may find it challenging to do so without mixing flavors or ingredients.

However, there are ways to cook two things at once in an air fryer.

· Cooking Time

Cooking larger quantities of food in a single-basket air fryer might take longer, as you may need to cook in batches.

Single Basket Air Fryer: When to Choose?

If you live alone, have a small family, or have limited kitchen space, a single-basket air fryer is likely the better choice.

It is easy to use, energy-efficient, and perfect for preparing smaller portions of your favorite dishes.

The Double-basket Air Fryer

Instant Vortex Plus XL 8QT Air Fryer

A double-basket air fryer, also known as a dual-basket air fryer, features two separate cooking compartments.

This design allows you to cook different dishes simultaneously, making it an attractive option for those who like to prepare multiple courses at once.

Thanks to advanced technology, you can cook two different things at different temperatures and get them done at the same time.

Benefits of a Double-basket Air Fryer

         i. Versatility

The dual compartments of a double-basket air fryer offer unparalleled versatility.

You can cook two separate dishes at different temperatures and durations, enabling you to serve complete meals quickly.

       ii. Time-Saving

With the ability to cook multiple items at once, a double-basket air fryer saves time and reduces the need for cooking in batches.

      iii. Enhanced Flavors

Cooking different foods in separate baskets prevents flavors from mixing, ensuring that each dish retains its distinct taste.

      iv. Ideal for Entertaining

If you frequently host guests or have a large family, the double-basket air fryer can handle larger quantities of food.

Drawbacks of a Double-basket Air Fryer

· Bulky Design

Double-basket air fryers are larger and require more counter space.

If you have a small kitchen, you may need to plan accordingly to accommodate this appliance.

However, there are creative places you can find to store your air fryer at home.

With the larger design, it also takes longer to clean a dual-basket air fryer.

· Price

The added features and convenience of dual compartments often come with a higher price tag compared to single-basket air fryers.

You can find a small-size air fryer for as low as $50 but a dual basket starts from $150.

Double Basket Air Fryer: When to Choose?

If you have a large family, often host gatherings, or love experimenting with various recipes simultaneously, a double-basket air fryer is the way to go.

The added convenience of dual cooking zones provides you with more flexibility in your cooking adventures.

The Differences: Single vs. double-basket Air Fryers

Let’s put single and double-basket air fryers side by side and compare their key aspects.

1. Capacity and Cooking Time

The single-basket air fryer boasts a smaller capacity, making it suitable for 1-2 servings.

Its compact cooking chamber allows for faster cooking times, making it a great option for quick meals and snacks.

On the other hand, the double-basket air fryer comes with a larger capacity, ideal for 4-6 servings.

2. Space and Storage

The single-basket air fryer takes up less counter space and is easy to store in cabinets.

Its compact size makes it suitable for smaller kitchens or places with limited storage space.

Conversely, the double-basket air fryer requires more counter space due to its larger size.

When not in use, you may need dedicated storage space.

This makes it more suitable for kitchens with ample counter space and storage availability.

3. Energy Efficiency

Due to its smaller size, the single-basket air fryer consumes less energy.

This makes it an energy-efficient option, particularly for individuals or small households concerned about their energy usage.

As the double-basket air fryer comes with a larger size and dual compartments, it consumes more energy compared to its single-basket counterpart.

However, its ability to cook more food at once makes it ideal for larger families or those who frequently host gatherings.

4. Versatility and Functionality

While the single-basket air fryer is efficient for preparing single meals, it has its limitations in cooking multiple dishes simultaneously.

It is best suited for simple meals and snacks.

For example, the 2-quart Instant Vortex mini air fryer can only accommodate half a bag of fries or 6 pieces of wings.

The double-basket air fryer offers high versatility with the ability to cook different foods separately in its dual compartments.

This makes it perfect for preparing meals with multiple components.

A great example is the 10-quart Ninja DZ401 Foodi which allows you to cook up to 8 lbs. of chicken wings at a time.

An Alternative: The Instant Vortex VersaZone Air Fryer

Instant VersaZone 9QT Air Fryer

If you don’t want to miss out on either of the experiences, get an air fryer that acts as both.

Yes, you read that right.

The Instant Vortex VersaZone can work as a single or dual-basket air fryer.

When you buy the Instant Vortex VersaZone, you get an air fryer basket that can be divided into two by a cooking tray.

When divided, you enjoy two baskets each 4.5-quart capacity.

This is a cooking capacity of 9 quarts with the option to utilize one or two baskets.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Which Air Fryer Size is Right for Me?

The right air fryer size depends on your cooking needs.

If you live alone or have a small family, a 5.5-quart single-basket air fryer should suffice.

However, if you cook for a larger group or want to prepare multiple dishes, an 8 or 10-quart double-basket air fryer offers greater convenience.

You may also want to consider an air fryer oven.

Read our comprehensive article on the differences between air fryer baskets and oven-style types.

2) Can I Cook Multiple Foods Simultaneously in Air Fryer?

Yes, an air fryer allows you to cook multiple foods at the same time.

This feature enables you to prepare a complete meal without waiting for each dish to finish separately.

3) Can I Cook Different Foods In A Double Basket Air Fryer At The Same Time?

Yes, the dual cooking zones in a dual-basket air fryer allow you to cook different foods simultaneously without mixing flavors.


Whether you should buy a single-basket air fryer or a double-basket air fryer depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Consider your cooking habits, lifestyle, and available space when making your decision.

Whichever you choose, you’ll be on your way to enjoying healthier and delicious fried dishes with the convenience of an air fryer.

Tell us your thoughts! Have you already tried using an air fryer, or are you considering getting one?

Share your experiences and questions below, and let’s engage to inspire and inform fellow food enthusiasts.


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