Can Air Fryers Have Multiple Racks?

June 6, 2022
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More Racks = Greater Cooking Capacity

If a family enjoys a quick and easy meal for dinner like chicken tenders, they might be tempted to get an air fryer since they're so quick and easy to make.

If someone currently owns an air fryer, they undoubtedly appreciate the ease of speedy meal preparation, the health benefits of cooking with less oil, and how little space the air fryer takes up sitting on their countertop.

Cooking for more than two people in a small-capacity air fryer, on the other hand, might be difficult. Because of the limited basket capacity, people may have to cook in batches - and some people may still waiting for their fries to crisp up by the time one person has finished eating.

Air fryers are convection ovens with numerous racks that allow people to stack things and cook more food at the same time. To optimize cooking space, customers may also purchase multiple-layer rack attachments for their air fryer.

You might think - why not just get a toaster oven? While toaster ovens generally have more cooking capacity, they also take up more counter space. A toaster oven also typically doesn't offer convection oven cooking like an air fryer does - with the exception being air fryer toaster oven combination units.

Continue reading to get air fryer facts such as:

  • Types of air fryers
  • Types of accessory racks available
  • How to stack food in an air fryer
  • Stackable air fryer foods
  • The best multiple-rack air fryers

Types of Air Fryers

There are three types of air fryers available on the market:

  • Basket-style air fryer with racks
  • Basket style air fryer without racks
  • Air fryer oven with racks

The feature all three types of air fryers have in common is the ability to ensure proper airflow around food to get it cooked properly.

Using racks and sufficient ventilation, cooks can stack most foods in an air fryer. There are a few items that can be stacked directly into an air fryer basket without using a rack. But the food needs to be firm and compact to enable proper airflow around each piece for even cooking.

How to Stack Food in an Air Fryer

Space around food is the most important thing to consider when air frying. Filling a basket loosely or leaving space between pieces on a rack helps everything cook properly.

Stacking food in an air fryer will significantly reduce the time spent in the kitchen. As long as they can ensure hot air flows between pieces, people can stack all kinds of foods in their air fryer.

Photo of fish on an air fryer rack

Multiple racks allow in your air fryer increases the overall cooking surface area

Stacking Food Without a Rack

Small, firm or unevenly shaped pieces of food can be stacked in a basket without using a rack - uneven sizes and shapes allow airflow around all of the food and cause it to cook evenly, even in a basket.

Make sure to pause midway through cooking and give the basket a good shake; so all the pieces cook more evenly. When using a basket without a rack, items don’t need to be stacked neatly. Food should be tossed randomly throughout the basket, still paying attention to the maximum capacity line.

Stacking Food With a Rack

By using racks, people can stack any kind of food, no matter if it’s hard or soft, large or small. Keeping meat separate will also help you check the internal temperature of individual pieces, ensuring everything is cooked to perfection.

Large or soft foods like meat can block airflow and cause uneven cooking. Uneven cooking may even be the unfortunate cause of food poisoning, as a stack of meat may look done on the outside, but the inside may still be raw.

Stackable Air Fryer Foods

Cooking is limited when people are cooking in an air fryer without racks, like chicken nuggets, fish fingers, chicken wings, and fries.

Ninja Multiple Rack Air Fryer

But food options will expand if cooks have a basket-style air fryer with racks or an air fryer oven with racks. Air fryer food perfect for multiple racks includes:

  • Burgers
  • Chicken breasts, wings, cutlets, legs, and drumsticks
  • Fish filets or fingers
  • Fries or tater tots
  • Pork chops
  • Steak
  • Vegetables

Accessory Racks for Air Fryers

Double the capacity and save time cooking by adding racks to an air fryer.

If the air fryer doesn’t come with stacking racks, pelple can order them easily from the air fryer manufacturer or Amazon. Keep in mind when purchasing racks that they’ll want to look for add-ons with these features:

  • Food grade high quality stainless steel
  • Non-stick for easy cleaning
  • Size compatible with the fryer

There are additional accessories available beyond racks, including mesh inserts for dehydrating and skewer sets for kabobs, to make the air fryer even more versatile. Here's a look at four of the best racks for air fryers. Photo of pork on an air fryer rack

Pork on an air fryer rack

How Do People Use the Extra Rack in an Air Fryer?

Because there is more area for the circulating hot air to move through, the air fryer rack eliminates the need to stir or shake the food midway through, ensuring that every piece of food in the air fryer is perfectly cooked.

Here is how to use the extra rack in an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to the desired temperature.
  2. Coat the racks with non-stick spray. Even if the manufacturer claims the rack is nonstick, best practice suggests using zero-calorie oil. Food is removed more easily that way.
  3. Place the food on the rack. Marinated pieces of meat need to rest on the lower rack to prevent cross-contamination.
  4. Check if the food pieces are cut small enough. Large chunks might cause the rack to become uneven and fall over.
  5. Place the first rack into the air fryer as directed in their instructions. This rack contains heavier, marinated items like chicken or beef.
  6. Place the second rack into the air fryer, on top of the first rack. This rack can hold lighter items like small vegetables or tater tots.
  7. Ensure the second rack is level and set properly in the air fryer.
  8. Close the air fryer and set the timer. When cooking more than one type of food on multiple racks, start with a low and slow approach when it comes to temperature and time. Food can cook surprisingly quickly in an air fryer, but people also want to make sure the food cooks completely, so err on the side of less time on the timer.
  9. Check the food when the timer goes off. Use a meat thermometer if necessary to make sure all of the food has reached the desired internal temperature.
  10. Remove the food from the top rack and set it aside.
  11. Use a pair of tongs or other kitchen utensils to remove the first rack.
  12. Remove the food from the bottom rack and set it aside.
  13. Use a kitchen utensil to remove the second rack.
  14. When both racks have cooled, wash them in warm, soapy water.

Can People Double-Stack in an Air Fryer?

People can double-stack in some air fryers, but they need to have a larger basket, like a 5.5-quart air fryer to double stack. Double layer rack accessories convert a standard air fryer into a double.

Or purchase an air fryer built specifically for double stacking. When using racks for double stacking, people should ensure to switch the racks halfway through the cooking process. To encourage thorough cooking take the bottom rack and switch it to the top.

Large portions of chicken, fish, or meat shouldn’t be double stacked in an air fryer. Heaping animal protein may prevent the air fryer from working properly.

It is possible to turn the pieces over halfway through cooking to ensure even heat and air permeation. But it may not be practical if the pieces are stacked in a double stack, as it’s possible to end up pulling apart racks.

A better option is to chop the food into smaller pieces and cook them in batches so you can test the temperature and doneness.

The Best Multiple Rack Air Fryers

There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the best air fryer with multiple racks, including the basket capacity, how many racks are available, and the purchase price. Keep reading to learn more about the best multiple-rack air fryers.

Instant Vortex Air Fryer

Capacity: 6 quarts

Type: Basket-style air fryer without racks

Price: $119.99

The Instant Vortex allows people to fry, bake, roast, and reheat. With a 6-quart capacity, the non-stick air fryer basket can cook 2 pounds of fries or 4 pounds of chicken at once.

Users like the touch-screen menu options. But they also make note that they wish there were replacement parts for the air fryer and the grill cooking tray in the bottom of the basket.

Power Air Fryer Pro

Capacity: 6 quarts

Type: Air fryer oven with three racks

Price: $99.99

Similar to the Instant Vortex Air Fryer, this fryer also handles 4 lbs of chicken at once. The rotating rotisserie spit cooks small chickens. It has an oil drip tray and three stainless steel racks for stacking food.

The racks also double as dehydrating trays, although users say the top racks dehydrate food much faster than the lower racks, so they might be better used for their air-frying capabilities.

They offer a six qt at 1700 watts and an eight qt at 1500 watts, so there is a big difference in the heating capacity for the different size units.

Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven

Capacity: 6 quarts

Type: Air fryer oven with one rack

Price: $239.99

This air fryer is unique because it uses two large-capacity side-by-side baskets with two separate heaters. People can cook two different foods at once at different temperatures.

The Smart Finish feature allows for both foods to complete cooking simultaneously. When it is tilted down, the air fryer can fit a 13” x 13” sheet pan or six chicken breasts.

Users like that it flips up and stores against kitchen backsplashes, so it takes up less space on kitchen countertops. They aren’t so fond of the higher price point or that it’s difficult to clean.

Bottom heating elements can’t be cleaned, and grease residue persists despite the removal of metal covers. The interior does not have any non-stick surfaces.

Instant Pot Double Crisp Air Fryer

Capacity: 8 quarts

Type: Basket Style Air Fryer with Racks

Price: $139.99

The Instant Pot Double Crisp Air Fryer is made by the same folks that make the Instant Vortex Air Fryer. The difference between the two is in the capacity size and rack number.

The Double Crisp Air Fryer has an 8-quart capacity and performs as a pressure cooker, steamer, saute pan, air fryer, roaster, mini-oven, broiler, and dehydrator.

This device comes with many accessories like a stainless-steel rack, a broiler, a multi-level basket, and a dehydrating tray.

Similar to the Power Air Fryer Pro, this 8-quart air fryer runs at only 1500 watts, while its Vortex 6-quart cousin runs at 1700 watts.

Where the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven has issues with cleanup, the Instant Pot Double Crisp Air Fryer has a dishwasher-safe lid and interior pot. Cleanup with this device should prove easier than any of the others listed here.

Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve learned about the different types of air fryers and if they have multiple racks. However, that isn't everything that people are wondering about. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about air fryer racks.

Can you use two racks in an air fryer?

Cooks can use two racks in an air fryer to cook more food. If the air fryer doesn’t already come with two racks, it’s possible to purchase racks to help expand the air fryer.

When buying two racks to go in the air fryer, be aware that the size isn’t universal. You’ll need to research what size racks will fit into the air fryer.

Can you cook multiple items in an air fryer?

Multiple items can cook in an air fryer simultaneously. But the fryer needs to have two side-by-side baskets. Or multi-level racks should be used to stack food.

Cooking different items together in one basket isn’t advisable because they’re different shapes, different sizes, and will have different cook times.

Lighter foods like French fries can be cooked together at the same time in one basket. However, people shouldn’t cook fries and chicken strips together.

Do you have to flip food in an air fryer when using racks?

Yes - most air fryer instructions suggest flipping food halfway through cooking, even when using a rack. Air fryers work using a single heating element and a fan to force air circulation.

Manufacturers suggest the heated air acts continuously around the food, providing even cooking. But people may still notice foods cook more quickly when they are closer to the heating element.

For more even cooking, flip the food pieces and ensure to rearrange them during cooking - the most well-done pieces move away from the heating element.

Check the color of the food for browning, crispiness, and sizzling. If the food lacks these doneness indicators, arrange those pieces closer to the heating element.

When flipping and rearranging food in the basket or rack, readjust the time for further cooking. Smaller pieces like fries require less time than larger food pieces like chicken wings.

Can you overload an air fryer?

It is possible to overload an air fryer. Basket-style air fryers have a maximum capacity line indicated somewhere near the top of the basket.

While people can stack food above that line, follow the manufacturer's recommendation to prevent food from sticking to the heating element and possibly starting a fire or damaging the heating element or fan.

If air fryer racks are overloaded, food won’t cook evenly, and you run the risk of serving undercooked food.

Prevent overloading an air fryer by following the maximum capacity guidelines and reading the instructions for how much each rack can hold.


Those are the best air fryers with multiple racks and some information regarding how to expand an air fryer with new rack accessories.

If people already have an air fryer or frying oven, they should consider adding specially designed racks to the appliance for enhanced usability. Just remember how to stack food properly to maximize air fryer cooking space.

The last thing anyone wants when they are cooking is to have half of their food turn out cold or undercooked. Ensuring that proper air fryer cooking guidelines are followed and multiple racks are used will allow food to cook much more evenyl during cooking.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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