Can You Stack Food in an Air Fryer? [What to Stack & How]

Do you know that hot air is used in air fryers to prepare meals and good airflow is important for this? That’s why airflow must never be blocked because doing so will result in unevenly cooked food. Here the question is “can you stack food in an air fryer”? 

If the food is sliced into tiny chunks, it is feasible to stack items on top of one another in the basket. When larger pieces are stacked, the air fryer will be unable to circulate the heated air to properly prepare the food. In this case, you can stack food in an air fryer according to the air fryer’s size! 

Well, this guide will be helpful to you if you’re considering stacking foodstuff in your air fryer. So, buckle up your shoes and come up with me! 

Can you Stack food in an Air Fryer?

Can you stack foodstuff in the air fryer?

If you have an air fryer in your kitchen, you will want to use it to prepare a variety of foods. Right? Can you stack food in an air fryer? It is a common question to ask and how will you respond to this?

If you don’t know the answer, I can assist you in this matter to answer. Yes, you can stack meals in air fryers! But you should be aware that some types of food cannot be correctly stacked in air fryers.

For example, air fryers make it simple to layer/stack foods like fries, chicken wings, chopped vegetables, sliced potatoes, etc. You will have to take extra caution while stacking foods like beef, fish, poultry, etc.

Moreover, stacking foodstuff in an air fryer is not advised unless the food is flat and compact. If not, hot air won’t evenly flow around the foods, which is essential when stacking meals for an air fryer. Also, you should keep in mind that frying heavy foods in the air fryer will result in inconsistent cooking, longer cooking times, or uncooked meal.

Can you stack foodstuff in the air fryer?

How I can evenly prepare food in the air fryer?

As you are aware, hot air circulates the food to let it cook in an air fryer. Thus, there must be enough room for this to happen. Some foods can be easily and properly stacked in air fryers whereas some others cannot place properly. It is simply because of the movement of air.
You will have to take a close look at the container that comes with your air fryers. You will notice that the bottom and border of the basket have enough room for appropriate airflow.

For example, you can completely stuff the basket with hefty foods like meat or chicken and don’t leave any room. As a result of this, your meal will not cook properly and remain uncooked. It is because overfilling will prevent the meal from getting enough airflow.

On the other side, air fryers make it very simple to stack small meals like potato slices, vegetable slices, etc. for air frying. Because they are smaller and thinner, the hot air can adequately circulate the meal.

I am sure that now you have learned that stacking is possible with an air fryer but that there are some restrictions. It only takes a few minutes to stack food in an air fryer if you are aware of the restriction.

How I can evenly prepare food in the air fryer?

Stacking Food in an Air Fryer:

Always keep in mind that the air fryer will obstruct circulating air when you intend to prepare heavy and bulky food inside the air fryer stack. Your stacked food ends up being overcooked at the bottom and undercooked at the top as a response.

However, when the food is little in amount, it receives adequate airflow and you will have the ideal stack. So, you must take care of the amount of meal that you are going to cook in the air fryer.

take care of how much you can cook

How to use an air fryer Rack?

While cooking your meal in the air fryer, you will not need to move or stir the food in the mid of cooking. In the air fryers, there is more space for the heated air to circulate and allow the meal to cook evenly. So, it will give you a properly cooked meal with a delicious taste and aroma.
You can follow the steps given below to use the air fryer racks properly and accurately;

  • First of all, you will have to place the meal on the racks
  • You have to ensure that the chunks of food are small. The racks can become unsteady and hold up due to large food items
  • After that put the racks inside the air fryers
  • Start cooking
  • Then you will have to detach them one after one
  • In the end, wash them properly

I have discussed in detail how to use an air fryer rack in a separate article. You can go through that if you need more details.

How much food can you cook in an Air Fryer?

Air fryers are available in many sizes and shapes as large and small according to your preferences. Some air fryers are small and preferable for small groups and families. Further, you can check the detailed information written about the various sizes and their capabilities on the label.

An air fryer’s cooking output is displayed in quarts and one quart is equal to a quarter gallon. The most typical size of a standard air fryer is between 3 and 5 quarts. On the other hand, the smaller air fryer is a reasonable option when frying for one person and comes in 1-2qt sizes.

A maximum capacity line is present on the container on the majority of the air fryer types. This border line is designed to provide a guideline. It will indicate how much foodstuff the baskets can accommodate without affecting the final dish.
I’ll describe what you can cook in an air fryer based on its size;

  • A meal for one person or a bunch of snacks for two people can be prepared in a small 1-2 qt air fryer.
  • Around 6–8 chicken wings or enough vegetables/fries for two-three people can fit in a moderate (3–4 qt) air fryer.
  • Fries, chicken, or vegetables can be cooked for a family of four or more in bigger air fryers that have a capacity of at least 5 quarts.

I have also discovered that air-frying frozen items in smaller amounts are a good idea. If an item is frozen, it should be prepared by the directions given on the basket or the packing. For me, this was a very good experience and has resulted in the best outcomes.

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

Below I am going to provide you with some methods to air fry your food without affecting the airflow of your air fryer. So, let’s have a look at them;

 Air Fryer Racks  

Most of the air fryers come with air fryer racks as accessories. If your air fryer does not contain the racks, you can purchase them separately.

In comparison to flat pans that can obstruct ventilation, racks are excellent for stacking food in limited spaces. These trays are dishwasher-safe and available in stainless steel.

 Buying a Large Air Fryer  

You won’t be able to easily prepare meals using a little air fryer. But if you purchase a large storage air fryer, you can stack a lot of food easily. For this, you can also bring a rack as an attachment. This method is more costly but it will make it simpler to stack chicken thighs, wings, or even a full chicken.

There will be extra preset options available to you as well as additional options for roasting, baking, defrosting, reheating, and dehydrating, among other things.

 Batch Cooking  

This strategy can be used quickly and cost-free if you’re unsatisfied with the first two ways mentioned above. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you can choose to prepare the food in portions or chunks rather than all at once.

The optimum and delicious meal will be achieved by air frying in a tiny portion without restricting circulation. Yes, it takes a lot of time, but preparing fish and meat will be simpler and you will like it too.

What I can stack in the air fryer?

Any soft, light item that won’t obstruct the air fryer’s heated airflow can be stacked on it. You can stack the following food items in the air fryer with more ease and comfort;

  • Fries
  • Donuts
  • Vegetables
  • Small sliced potatoes
  • Chicken wings

What I should not stack in the air fryer?

Not all the food varieties you want can be stacked in an air fryer. There are several foods that you shouldn’t layer/stack in an air fryer to preserve adequate air circulation within the appliance.

Below are some items that you should not stack cook in the air fryer;

  • Steak
  • Fish (doable, but needs small pieces with thin slices)
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Burgers
  • Pork Chops
  • Ribs


Yes, foods like fries, cut potatoes, chicken wings, and sliced vegetables can all be stacked in the air fryer. You must ensure to choose a rack to enhance circulation when stacking items like fish, steak, etc. Otherwise, you don’t need to place the rack in the air fryer with other items.

You will consider overfilling your air fryer if you want to try it for the first time. If you extra fill up your air fryer, your meal will be fried incorrectly. Also, the air fryer will stop performing as a result of poor air circulation.

Yes, you can stack fish in an air fryer as it will not obstruct the air circulation but you cannot overflow your air fryer. It will block the circulation of the air and will not allow your meal to cook properly.

Of course, you can cook more than one or two items in an air fryer depending upon the capacity of your basket. For this, you will also require a frying pan to divide the space into more space for cooking more than one item.


There are some items that you can stack in an air fryer and some meals that you cannot. More food can be placed in the air fryer’s basket than you can imagine. But this could prevent the heat to distribute evenly and will result in unevenly cooked food.

Although it is preferable to give each item of food its area in the basket, food can also be stacked. This article has provided enough information about food stacking in an air fryer. I am sure, you won’t ask if can you stack food in an air fryer after reading this article.

Have you learned the stacking of food in the air fryer or still confused? Do share your opinions!

Mery kitchen aims

Mery Webber

Mery Webber, the founder of Kitchen Aims, is a passionate home cook with extensive experience in the kitchen appliance industry. Through her blog, she aims to share her knowledge and help readers create the perfect kitchen.

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