I own a single basket air fryer - here's why I want an air fryer oven

Ninja 12-in-1 Smart Double Oven Air Fryer cooking casserole
(Image credit: Future)

The single-basket air fryer was one of the first air fryers that I reviewed. In fact, this single-basket air fryer - the Swan Retro 6ltr Manual Air Fryer (UK) - was the very first air fryer that I owned. Now it's time for an upgrade.

A single-basket air fryer has one pull-out basket, making it easy to shake small quantities of food, such as fries and vegetables. They generally come up a lot smaller than dual-drawer and air fryer ovens, making them a suitable countertop appliance for the more compact apartment. Their space-saving design, though, means that they can have a tiny capacity of just 2qts / 2ltrs, which can be super limiting to the types of food that you can cook. While the single-basket air fryer that I had in my kitchen had a capacity of 6.3 qt / 6ltrs, I struggled to cook enough fries for two, let alone anything else. There was no way that I could fit a 14-inch pizza into the drawer either unless I was to cook half of it, which, let's face it, I wasn't going to do.

So, I've landed at the conclusion that now is the time for an air fryer upgrade, and below are my top picks for how to get more bang for your air fryer buck.

air fryer on worktop

Ninja Foodi FlexBasket (Image credit: Future)

Dual basket air fryers

The dual-basket air fryer is the same design as the single-basket air fryer, but instead of one drawer, it has two. This functionality of a dual drawer means that you can cook two different food types at the same time or for different temperatures and durations.

Instant VersaZone 8-in-1 Air Fryer| $199.99 at Amazon

Instant VersaZone 8-in-1 Air Fryer| $199.99 at Amazon

This air fryer has the option for dual baskets, each with its own separate controls and settings, but you can remove the divider whenever you need to utilize the total 9 qt capacity. This is the ideal air fryer design, in our view, helping you avoid back-to-back cooking without sacrificing the full basket for larger foods.

Alternative pick: Instant Pot Duo Plus

Ninja DZ071 Foodi 6-in-1 FlexBasket Air Fryer | $179.99 at Amazon

Ninja DZ071 Foodi 6-in-1 FlexBasket Air Fryer | $179.99 at Amazon

In our review, we felt that the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket is a remarkable machine with enough space to cater to six normal appetites. Our reviewer loved the option that you can cook two food types at once or have a large portion of fries.

Alternative pick: Ninja DZ401 Foodi 10 Quart 6-in-1 DualZone XL 2-Basket Air Fryer

Testing the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer at home

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer (Image credit: Future)

Air fryer ovens

This type of air fryer is a similar size to a microwave and is one that can comfortably cook a pizza or roast a chicken. It retains all the healthy and cost-saving benefits of an air fryer whilst saving money on the running costs of your convection oven.

The design of the air fryer oven is a single door instead of a drawer and comes with shelving rather than a basket. 

Cuisinart TOA-95 Air Fryer & Toaster Oven | $238.95 at Amazon

Cuisinart TOA-95 Air Fryer & Toaster Oven | $238.95 at Amazon

Cuisinart is well known for the air fryer and toaster oven combo, and the TOA-95 features an extra large 0.95 cu ft capacity. It's pretty versatile, able to air fry, bake, broil, toast, bagel, pizza, roast, dehydrate, proof, low, slow cook - and more. It'd make a handy appliance to have in your kitchen if you like to mix up what you're cooking with ease.

Alternative Pick: Cuisinart TOA-26 Compact Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Instant Pot Vortex Pro Air Fryer | $159.95 at Amazon

Instant Pot Vortex Pro Air Fryer | $159.95 at Amazon

This oven-style air fryer gets its 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon because it's easy to use and easy to clean. It also has nine functions, including rotisserie and fast preheating.

Alternative pick: Philips 3000 Series Air Fryer

Air fryer upgrade: my verdict

I'd say that the air fryer oven is the one that appeals to me the most due to its design. I have a growing family and like to cook from one appliance (where I can) whilst saving money, so it'll suit my lifestyle perfectly.

It is for the more confident air fryer enthusiast who has the countertop space, though. They do tend to cost a bit more money than the dual drawer air fryer, too, averaging between $200 - 250. 

The dual drawer air fryer is a good step up from the single air fryer basket, which will give you a larger capacity whilst retaining the design features you are more familiar with. These will set you back between $150 - 200.

Jennifer Oksien

Jennifer Oksien is the Editor of Top Ten Reviews. Jennifer (Jen) has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UKs leading retailers and magazine titles such as TechRadar, Real Homes and Ideal Home. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or making a cake.