Can You Stack Food In An Air Fryer? 

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Written By Eshe

Hello, I’m Eshé the lady behind the blog. That’s me cooking on the set of The Hairy Bikers. I LOVE food and I don’t mean I really like it. I mean my whole world revolves around it.

An air fryer is an excellent cooking appliance that circulates hot air. It is a great addition to your kitchen. An air fryer ensures fast & even cooking of foods within a few minutes. 

Multiple designs and ranges of air fryers are available in the market, so you can buy the one that suits your family. 

Due to the compact design of air fryers, many people think stacking foods is impossible. However, that is false because you can stack the foods in the air fryer using racks. 

While stacking the foods, ensure the pieces of food are small, lightweight, firm, and uneven in shape because it will ensure proper airflow. Moreover, do not overcrowd the basket of an air fryer. 

If you are in a great hurry and want to cook two batches of food at once in the air fryer, you can do it without hesitation. 

Apart from this, several foods are not allowed to stack in the air fryer because they can block the airflow and leave the food undercooked or uncooked. Therefore, you should be very careful while selecting the food item for stacking. 

Can you stack food in an air fryer? 

Yes, you can stack the food in an air fryer. It is a perfect appliance for cooking healthy meals quickly at home. However, the food should be in tiny pieces because when you pile up the large amounts, they disturb the airflow of the air fryer, and the food remains uncooked. 

That’s why while stacking the pieces of food, check if they are uneven in shape and are at a proper distance. It will help to cook food faster and evenly. 

Moreover, when you fill the basket of the air fryer with food, the hot air will be blocked and slow down the cooking process. Therefore, be careful while filling the basket of the air fryer. 

How to stack food in an air fryer? 

Stacking food in an air fryer is a straightforward process. The only thing you should be very careful about is the airflow because an air fryer works mainly by circulating hot air; if this flow is compromised, the food will remain raw. 

For stacking, all you have to do is; 

  • Arrange the pieces on racks. 
  • Place the shelves in the air fryer. 
  • Set the timer. 
  • Once the food is done, remove the parts one by one. 
  • Remove the racks. 
  • Wash and dry them after cooking. 

To enjoy a healthy, evenly cooked meal in no time, make sure the pieces of food are uneven in shape, lightweight, firm, and small so that they do not block the airflow. In addition, you can use air fryer racks to make the cooking process quicker and easier. 

If the pieces of food are significant, even, and soft, cook the food in 2-3 batches or use racks for proper gap among the elements. 

For instance, cooking vegetables or french fries, you don’t need racks. You can stack them easily on each other. The uneven potato pieces will have gaps that allow hot air to move correctly. 

Whereas for meat pieces and steak, place racks in the air fryer. Arrange the slices on shelves to maintain the airflow. Check the food once or twice to ensure if the food is cooking evenly or not. 

What is the best way to stack food in an air fryer?

The best ways to stack the food in an air fryer are written below; 

Using racks 

Stacking the food using racks in an air fryer is a great way to maintain the airflow. The tiny pores in the stands and the gap between the pieces allow the hot air to flow and cook the food properly. 

These stainless steel racks usually come along the air fryers as an accessory. You can also buy them from the local stores. These racks are easy and safe to use. You can wash them with cleaning agents or in the dishwasher. 

Cook food in batches

Instead of cooking large pieces of food in the fryer, divide the food into 2 or 3 batches to ensure evenly and faster cooking. 

Undoubtedly, batch cooking is time-consuming, especially if you have a large family. However, to enjoy the best quality and taste of food, you have to make this sacrifice. 

Buy a large air fryer. 

An oversized air fryer is an excellent option because it has more capacity and cooking functions that allow you to cook food more efficiently and nicely. 

You can stack more food in a large air fryer than in ordinary ones. Besides, you can cook two foods at once due to the stainless steel racks. 

How to use stacking racks? 

Using air fryer racks makes the cooking process much easier and more convenient. If you are cooking meat or any other frozen food item, it is better to use air fryer racks to ensure even cooking. 

To use air fryer rack; 

  • First, place the veggies or pieces of meat on the stand. Make sure they are small and firm. 
  • Place the rack in the fryer. 
  • Start cooking the food. 
  • Once you are done, remove the food pieces and racks. 
  • Wash the racks and dry them before storage. 

Air fryer racks cook the food faster and evenly and allow you to cook two types of food at once. It saves your time and effort. 

While using these racks, make sure you don’t pile up large pieces of meat on each other because piling food can block the circulation of the hot air, which in turn can damage your expensive appliance. 

How much food should you put in an air fryer? 

Usually, the air fryers come with a line on the basket indicating the fryer’s maximum limit. By keeping the line in consideration, you can fill the basket of the air fryer with food. 

Air fryers are available in different sizes and ranges. For example, some fryers are for small families like 2-3 people, and some are for large families with large meal capacities. 

Most cooking experts recommend stacking food in batches no matter if you have a large fryer or a small one because when you toss large pieces of food together in the fryer, the heating element will start wearing off and burn the food quickly. 

Moreover, if you are air frying frozen meat or french fries, fry in batches. It will allow the hot air to move properly and make the outer layer crispy. 

How can you fill your air fryer? 

People who use an air fryer for cooking every day are familiar with the line present on the basket of the fryer that indicates the limit. 

Instead of filling the basket up to the marked line, it is recommended to fill only half of it as it will prevent undercooking and burning food. 

If you have a compact air fryer, prefer cooking food in small batches. For instance, if you are cooking vegetables, divide them into 2-3 sets, and if meat, you can cook it in two batches. It will ensure even and faster cooking of food. 

Besides that, if you are in a hurry and stack food in the basket of the air fryer more than its limit, there is no need to worry because it will not cause any damage. However, you should not do this too often because it can be dangerous. 

Can you overload an air fryer? 

Overloading the air fryer with food is not a great idea because every machine has its limit, and when you exceed that limit, it doesn’t work properly. 

When you fill the bucket of the air fryer with food, it blocks the airflow and starts damaging the appliance. 

Moreover, if you stack too much food in the air fryer, the hot air will be unable to circulate in the bucket and keep the food raw. In some cases, the hot air burns the surface of food and makes it tasteless. 

You should avoid overcrowding the air fryer if you want to enjoy an evenly cooked, delectable meal. 

Can you stack chicken wings in an air fryer? 

Yes, you can stack the chicken wings in the air fryer. Chicken wings are a delicious treat to satiate the cravings and serve the guest as a starter before the main course. In addition, it is easy to make and consumes significantly less time. 

Preparation of golden crispy fried chicken wings with a soft interior becomes even easier with the help of an air fryer. You can prepare it within a few minutes with little or no effort. 

Like conventional ovens, air fryers work by circulating hot air inside. All you have to do is; oil the fryer lightly and stack the chicken wings. Make sure the wings are uneven in shape and firm to avoid airflow disruption. 

Start cooking the wings. Do not forget to flip the sides at least 2-3 times to ensure even cooking and good texture. 

Apart from this, many cooking experts recommend cooking the chicken wings in two batches. The reason is the air fryer cooks by moving hot air, which makes the wings crispier quickly. 

Which thing can you stack in an air fryer?

Generally, the ingredients you can stir, shake, turn & separate easily, and don’t block the airflow inside the air fryer are allowed to stack in layers. 

The most common foods that you can stack in an air fryer are as follows; 

  • French fries
  • Fruit slices
  • Vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Chicken wings
  • Donuts
  • Mozzarella sticks
  • Spring rolls 
  • Croquettes 
  • Baking goods
  • Fruits 

Which things cannot be stacked in an air fryer? 

The foods that are not suitable for stacking in the air fryer are as follows;

  • Steak 
  • Fish 
  • Burgers
  • Pork chops
  • Ribs 
  • Chicken breasts 
  • Large pieces of beef 

Frequently Asked Questions 


An air fryer is a handy kitchen appliance that enhances the interior of your kitchen because of its simple and unique appearance. 

Unlike conventional ovens, you can cook foods in the air fryer quickly and nicely. If you are in a hurry and want to cook food faster, you can stack the food in an air fryer. However, make sure that the pieces of food are tiny, firm, and uneven in shape. 

You can use air fryer racks for stacking the food efficiently. While arranging the pieces of food on the racks, keep a proper gap between them, so they do not block the airflow. 

Besides that, do not overload the air fryer because the heating element will burn the food, and improper airflow will damage the appliance. 

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