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Can You Stack Food In An Air Fryer? The Answer is Here!

You happen to have friends over but discover that your air fryers are too small to cook a large meal for two people. So, can you stack food in an air fryer? The answer is a resounding yes. Using racks and ensuring appropriate ventilation, you can stack most items in this appliance. You can stack a few foods in this appliance without requiring a rack. But the food pieces must be tough, tiny, or irregular in the form to allow for optimal airflow. You can become a master of stacking if you immerse yourself a bit further in the subject. With one appliance, you can cook for up to four or five people at a time. This article will show you how to layer foods properly. Let's take a closer look at what you need to keep in mind while stacking food in an air fryer.

Can You Layer Food In Air Fryers?

Layer food in an air fryer

Layer food in an air fryer

Absolutely! The good news is yes. The essential thing to remember is to let hot air circulate freely between the components in the basket.

When you stack small, solid, or oddly shaped bits of food in the basket, this works flawlessly, and you don't even need to use racks.

When stacking soft foods, such as meat, they block the airflow between parts, resulting in unevenly cooked food. Using racks is best to layer any food.

In a nutshell, you can't stack food in a convection oven until you figure out how to keep the air flowing. It cooks your food by pumping scorching air around it. If you disrupt the airflow, the food will be undercooked or somewhat raw.

How Do You Arrange Food In Air Fryers?

Each type of food is suitable for different stacking methods. Here are two examples:


Arranging potatoes

It's no accident that potatoes are the finest choice for stacking food in a basket without racks. It would help if you sliced potatoes into tiny, tough, and irregularly shaped pieces.

There will be enough room between the little chunks of potatoes with varied shapes to ensure that the hot air flow reaches all sections of the potatoes. Potatoes will be crispy on both sides as a result of this.

Cooking French fries is the same. Start frying after loosely filling the basket. To guarantee crispy fries, shake the basket and toss the fries once or twice throughout the frying process.


Arranging the chicken

Arranging the chicken

You need racks if you wish to stack larger pieces of food, such as meat. It is vital to allow space between the heat elements while cooking.

It is not suggested to stack meats on top of each other while frying many ribs or steak. Piling pieces of meat together would result in well-fried upper and lower portions, while the central ones would be overcooked or even raw on the inside.

Racks are an excellent method to go about it. You can adequately separate food if you utilize racks. It is pretty convenient and straightforward to use them, and they are very inexpensive.

The video below instructs you how to place chicken wings in an air fryer:

How To Use Stacking Racks?

Stacking racks

Before utilizing the basket, place racks in the bottom, and after that, place the rack in the basket, stack the next layer of food, and begin cooking.

You can add more layers if you have more racks. A big basket might be helpful in this situation.

The heating element is located on the top. Pieces on the top rack cook a little faster than those on the middle or bottom racks. 

As a result, halfway through the frying time, gently remove the rack and replace the slices with the ones below when turning the meat. It ensures that all bottom and top tiers are uniformly cooked.

Using this approach, you may cook ribs in significant amounts of meat, even steak. Make sure the slices you're putting in the basket are around the same size. 

Of course, there is no problem if there is a minor difference between them. However, the larger the slices are, the more uniformly they will cook.

To be sure, we tried stacking and frying chicken breasts in our appliance, shaking the basket, and rotating the breasts around with tongs every few minutes. Because the sides of the chicken breasts stick together, they were unevenly cooked, mushy, and nearly inedible.

Stacks of chicken thighs and nuggets also turned out to be a disaster. Their flat sides fit together securely, similar to chicken breasts, restricting air circulation.

You will need a silver lining if you insist on stacking. Chicken wings and drumettes were the only outliers we found.

When stacking them in layers, pockets of air remain between them since they're more irregularly shaped than chicken nuggets.

We could stack them in two layers, but never more than two, and shake them every few minutes to guarantee equal cooking.


How full can I fill my air fryer?

Keep in mind that filling your appliance more than halfway is not advised. Cook your food in batches, just like you would if frying it in hot oil.

Can you cook chicken and fries together in an air fryer?

You can cook many items at the same time in an appliance. Some of them have a divider that separates the ingredients in the basket or pan and cooks both ingredients contemporaneously.

What can you not put in an air fryer?

There are five things to avoid cooking with an appliance:

  • Foods fried in batter: You should not place wet batter in this gadget unless you pre-fried the foods and frozen them.

  • Fresh greens: Because of the high-speed air, leafy greens like spinach may cook unevenly.

  • Whole roasts: The roast will not cook evenly, with the section closest to the heat source likely burning before the part farthest from the heat source is even edible.

  • Cheese: There won't be any fried cheese coming out of the convection oven unless you scour the freezer section for some frozen mozzarella sticks.

  • Raw grains: Rice and pasta may crisp up nicely in a convection oven, but you must cook them first.

Do you have to flip food in an air fryer?

Always turn, rotate, flip, or shake the contents of the air-fryer basket to make the food crispy.


So, Can you layer food in an air fryer? Yes, you can. This appliance allows you to layer foods. This method works perfectly when you're arranging potatoes to make French fries.

You may stack soft foods on racks, which is the most practical and effective manner to do so. You may also stack foods straight in the basket; however, not all foods are ideal for this method.

Given the difficulty of stacking chicken and most meat in the convection oven, we recommend that anybody looking for an appliance, get one with a big basket.

Thank you for reading!

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Laura Gray
Laura Gray
My name is Laura, and I am a blogger. I review products, write reviews, and help people find the best products. I also love to fish and write stories.