Yes, you can use an air fryer to cook food without a basket, but there are some requirements to fulfill.
The air fryer basket design ensures the food gets proper heat from all sides and gets cooked evenly.
But many people want to know if they can replace the basket with other accessories like a pot, pan, etc., to cook food in the air fryer.
Below is everything you need to know.
Can I Cook Food In Air Fryer Without Basket?
Yes, you can use an air fryer without a basket. However, you need to prevent blockage of airflow to get good cooking results. Using an accessory in the air fryer with poor airflow will result in uneven cooking or can malfunction the unit.
How To Use An Air Fryer Without A Basket
There are a few things you must make sure of for adequately using an air fryer without a basket are:
- Ensuring Proper Airflow: Use accessories that don’t impede the airflow. If the placement and size of the air fryer accessories block airflow, food will cook unevenly with some burnt and other undercooked spots.
- Using A Metal Rack: Buy yourself a metal rack to ensure proper airflow. Metal racks are superior to other options because they have a small surface area and more air permeable, so they don’t block airflow.
- Using Oil: Lubricating the metal rack with some oil before placing food in it. You can also put any pan or cupcake cases on the rack for cooking more variety of food.
When Using Basket-Less Air Fryer Is Safe
A few situations allow you to skip using a basket in the air fryer. Consider the following instances.
Cooking Food In Large Quantity
Many people remove the air fryer basket when they cook larger food items such as whole chicken or bigger portions.
Air fryer baskets are generally small and not very spacious from the inside. Therefore, they don’t allow you to cook large portions of food in one go.
Cooking A Particular Food
You might be tempted to skip using an air fryer basket when cooking a particular food.
For instance, you need cupcake cases when cooking cupcakes.
In that case, you might think using the basket is redundant and directly place the cases in the drawer.
The same goes for lasagna dishes when making lasagna.
However, ensure the accessories and dishes you use are food-grade and oven-safe.
Also, use only utensils and accessories that don’t block the airflow.
Why You Should Not Air Fry Without Basket
Airflow is a key to cook food in the air fryer.
If you have decided to prepare meal in your cooking appliance without basket, here are some issues that you must keep in mind:
Blocked Airflow Uneven Cooking
The perforations on the basket help circulate the air through the food, which cooks it thoroughly and from all sides.
If there is no basket, air won’t find a way to circulate under the food. Hence, you won’t get the desired results.
Safety Lock Feature
Skipping a basket in some air fryers is impossible because they come with a basket safety lock feature.
This feature does not let the air fryer work until the basket correctly sits inside the drawer.
Removing the basket will be considered equal to improper placement, and the unit won’t work.
Alternate Of Using Basket In The Air Fryer
Even if you don’t use a basket in the air fryer, you will still use a dish such as cake mold or something similar.
The suitability of a material for substituting an air fryer basket depends on how truly it allows the air to pass through it or let the heat flow through it.
If it completely blocks the air, steer clear of it; otherwise, consider it an option.
Some things to use in an air fryer instead of an air fryer basket include:
- Aluminum pan
- Instant Pot for air fryer
- Baking pan
- Grilling rack
- Silicon molds
- Baking tin
- Grill pan
- Glass/ceramic bowl
Furthermore, when using a pan, ensure it does not have a handle.
In that case, it will take up more space, and the purpose of removing the basket will cancel out.
Can I use the air fryer basket in the pressure cooker?
Yes, you can use an air fryer basket in a pressure cooker, but only if there is a pot to hold the water or broth for making steam.
A pressure cooker cooks food with the help of steam.
If you use a perforated air fryer basket, you will have nothing to put water in for the steaming function.
Can I use the instant pot air fryer lid without the basket?
Yes, you can use the instant pot air fryer lid without the basket.
However, using a basket gives you better results.
Using an elevated basket raises your food and lets the blowing and swirling air pass through and under it, cooking it evenly and crisping it from all sides.
Using an air fryer without a basket is okay, but it is not recommended. There is a high chance that skipping the basket will block the airflow underneath the food.
Skip using the air fryer basket only when necessary, such as making pizzas and cakes. Also, In these situations, ensure it does not compromise the quality of cooked food or harm your appliance.
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