Air Fryer Baskets vs Trays: The Guide You Should Know

Look no further! In this post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about air fryer baskets and trays – from their pros and cons to which foods are best cooked in each. 

So grab your favorite snack (air-fried, of course!), and let’s dive into the world of air-frying.

What is an Air Fryer Basket?

An air fryer basket is a removable, perforated metal pan that sits inside the air fryer unit. The basket holds the food that is being cooked and allows hot air to circulate around it, cooking the food evenly. 

Some air fryers have a removable basket that can be placed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Others have a non-stick coating on the basket that makes cleanup a breeze.

Air fryer baskets come in a variety of sizes, depending on the size of the air fryer unit. They can be round or square, and some even have a divider in the middle so that you can cook multiple items at once. 

Some baskets are also designed to be used as a serving trays, so they have raised sides to prevent food from falling off.

Whether you choose an air fryer basket or an air fryer tray, both will get the job done. It really comes down to personal preference and what will work best for your needs.

What is an Air Fryer Tray?

An air fryer tray is a flat, perforated metal sheet that goes inside the air fryer basket. It allows hot air to circulate around food more evenly, resulting in better-cooked food. Most air fryers come with a tray, but you can also buy them separately.

Benefits of Using an Air Fryer Basket

If you’re debating whether to get an air fryer basket or an air fryer tray, there are a few things to consider. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to decide what’s most important to you in a kitchen appliance. 

Air fryer baskets have a number of advantages over air fryer trays. First, baskets allow for better circulation of air around the food, which results in evenly cooked food. 

Second, baskets are more durable than trays and are less likely to warp or melt over time.

Benefits of Using an Air Fryer Tray

Here, we’ll go over the benefits of using an air fryer tray so you can make the best decision for your needs.

One of the main benefits of using an air fryer tray is that it cooks food more evenly. This is because the hot air can circulate around all sides of the food, rather than just from the top like in a basket. This is ideal if you’re looking to evenly cook large pieces of chicken or fish.

Another benefit of using an air fryer tray is that it’s easier to clean. Baskets can be difficult to clean because food gets stuck in all the nooks and crannies. With a tray, however, all you need to do is wipe it down with a damp cloth – no scrubbing required!

Lastly, trays are typically cheaper than baskets. If price is a major factor in your decision-making process, then a tray may be the way to go.

So, there you have it – some of the benefits of using an air fryer tray! Be sure to weigh these pros and cons before making your final decision so you can choose the option that’s best for you and your kitchen.


When it comes to air fryers, one of the most common questions is whether baskets or trays are better. There are pros and cons to both options, and ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

Baskets are great for smaller items like french fries or chicken nuggets. They allow the hot air to circulate around the food for even cooking. However, baskets can be difficult to clean and are not ideal for larger items.

Trays are perfect for larger items like fish or vegetables. They provide more surface area so that the food can cook evenly. However, trays can be tricky to remove from the air fryer.


Can I use oil in the air fryer? 

Oil can be used in the air fryer, yes. Although the air fryer’s marketing claims that it requires little to no oil to cook food, this is not always the case. To achieve the crispy edges we adore with deep-fried potatoes, some recipes, such as air fryer potato slices or homemade French fries, will require some oil.

Depending on the outcome you want, recipes like steak or chicken may be air-fried without the need for oil. A light mist of oil won’t hurt if your goal is to make air-fried chicken that rivals the fried chicken at your favorite restaurant while being lower in calories.

Can I put raw meat in the air fryer? 

The air fryer makes some of the best meats. From steak to chicken. Yes, you can cook these fresh or frozen in the air fryer.

Why does my air fryer smell like plastic? How to fix it? 

This happens because of the plastic materials the interior of the air fryer baskets are made of. Heating up the air fryer is what releases the new air fryer odor.

Most of the time washing the basket with washing up liquid and water then running the air fryer at 400°F / 200°C for 5 mins then washing it again before use usually takes care of this odor.

However, to be on the safe side, you can run repeat the test run step and then cook some eggs in there (eggs are less likely to absorb the odor than fries) this way just in case the odor is still there, your first food won’t be tasting weird.


Overall, air fryer baskets and trays can both be great tools for achieving delicious fried food. Choosing between the two will depend on what you are aiming to achieve in terms of cooking times, crispiness, or ease of use. 

The best option is to try a few different types out before committing to one or the other. With the right frying tool in hand, your meals will be sure to come out perfectly cooked every time!