How to use multi-layer rack in air fryer?

An air fryer in your kitchen is ideal for ditching unhealthy cooking methods. The gadgets are more versatile, less messy, and deliver delicious, crunchy meals. You can also do away with stand-alone appliances such as microwaves, ovens, grills, and toasters. Thanks to this miniature oven!

The air fryer rack is one of the extra applicable features. You can stack ingredients and cook enough food in a single batch with multiple racks. The more rack layers, the greater the air frying capacity. Learn here how to use this essential accessory of your air fryer.

Air Fryers With Racks

Not all air fryer models have racks! At least, you are lucky to have one with racks. It is either a basket-style air fryer with racks or an oven-style with racks.

All two types of air fryers are perfect, but the one with racks delivers a better outcome. The racks ensure proper airflow and more food items if you optimize the racks. 

If you use your air fryer racks properly, ventilation will be sufficient. Also, your food will be close-packed and will cook evenly. And your outcome will be yummy!

However, not all time that you will need the rack. Small and uneven pieces may take up more space in the unit. Spread your pieces and cook without a rack to allow airflow around every item. Midway, you can toss the basket to facilitate consistent cooking.

Back to using a multilayer air fryer rack! First, we begin with tips.


  1. Before setting the racks in your air fryer, preheat your oven. The preheat circulates super-hot temperatures so that your food begins to cook immediately.

2. Use a nonstick zero-calorie spray to coat your rack before placing your food. Although manufacturers claim that the racks are nonstick, they might disappoint. Food may stick and tear when you are emptying.  

3. Never overfill your air fryer rack. Overfilling blocks ventilation. The fill line guides you, so you shouldn’t stack beyond. 

4. Do not stack large portions of animal proteins, e.g., chicken and lamb. Chop into smaller pieces to facilitate the correct doneness.

  1. Place heavier ingredients on the first rack. That includes beef and chicken. On the second rack, you can add your veggies as they are lighter.
  1. The rack level is crucial. Ensure the second and third layers are level and stable. That way, they don’t hang inappropriately in your air fryer.
  1. Be keen on cross-contamination! Place juicier items on the first rack.
  1. A multilayer rack is ideal for a large air fryer basket. For instance, a 5.5-quart air fryer is perfect for a double-layer rack. It will allow more airflow, thus, a perfect outcome. For a smaller air fryer basket, do a single layer, that way, you cook enough food with a crunchy outcome.  
  1. Take note of smaller food pieces that take less time to cook. When done, empty the rack and leave the food not ready to cook to the correct doneness. You can readjust the cooking time for perfect crunchy and juicy results.
  1. Switch your racks mid-cooking to facilitate cooking. While switching, take note of your food items to avoid cross-contamination. This step applies if you are cooking the same type of food.
  1. When using multilayer air fryer racks, keep your eye on the food items. Some will cook faster than others. For every rack, flip your dish halfway to ensure your food is well done.
  1. You could purchase separately if your air fryer doesn’t have a multi-layer rack!
  1. Air fryer racks are oven hot and can burn your hands. Use tongs to unstack. 
  1. Always clean your racks after use to avoid sticky stains.

Read more: Best Air Fryer With Multiple Rack

With over a dozen tips above, you can use a multilayer air fryer!


Preheat your air fryer, depending on your model and your desired temperature. Your model may have a preheat setting or an automatic preheat. But it may also need a manual setting. Follow the brand’s user directions.

Spray your rack with a nonstick zero-calorie oil spray. As I said earlier, this process is crucial,as the oil layer creates a nonstick surface. Do it even if the brand claims to be nonstick.  

Arrange your food on the first rack. Then, portion large pieces for fast and correct doneness. Also, larger chunks occupy rack space unevenly. You can begin with marinated meat and then stack the rest on the upper rack to prevent juices from dripping on other food. The process also ensures that there is no cross-contamination.

Position the first rack into the preheated air fryer, then the second one, depending on the food items. Follow the user’s instructions but remember to place lighter items in the last layer. For example, our Brussels sprouts can come over zucchini. Below the zucchini, you can place your chicken nuggets.  

Lock your air fryer by ensuring a clicking sound. Set the timer and temperature but start with a low setting if you are cooking two different foods. An example is when you are air-frying potato chips and chicken.

Your potato chips will cook more quickly than the chicken. You will remove and empty the rack with the potatoes and add more time for your chicken to cook. If necessary, add the temperature.

When your last food pieces are ready, remove the bottom rack. Empty the food and clean the mess when all the accessories are at room temperature. Remember to clean your air fryer to keep off stubborn stains.

Here Are The Benefits Of Multiple Air Fryer Racks;

  • Versatility

You will appreciate a multilayer air fryer rack if you need to serve different foods at a go. With the racks, you can have your beef on the lower rack, zucchini on the middle, and tater tots on the top layer. Incredible!

  • Power And Time-Saving

 Though your food pieces may cook at different temperatures and times, the stacks still save you power and time. You cook food from a single unit.  

  • Crunchier Outcome

The rack is meshy, so it allows sufficient airflow. That’s opposed to stacking food in your basket. Some portions may not come out crunchy, especially those on the surface. The rack allows air to blow under, on the sides, and on top of your food pieces.

Picking The Right Multilayer Rack For Your Air Fryer

Some air fryer models come without a multilayer rack. If yours doesn’t have, you may wonder how you can benefit from racks. You can indeed shop for multilevel racks for your air fryer. Here’s an informative guide on picking the right rack for your oven;


What is the size of your air fryer? You need a smaller rack that fits in your oven. A larger one will scratch your basket’s surface and destroy its nonstick qualities. Also, if the rack is too small, it lures you to overfill it so you can cook more food. A small-capacity air fryer will require a single rack instead of a large one.


Your air fryer’s basket shape dictates the kind of rack you will buy. A round multilayer rack is ideal if it is a round basket. A square or oblong shape may leave more space on some portions.

The perfect rack should offer equal space all around the basket. That will ensure complete interior surface protection from scratches and sufficient space for airflow.  

Nonstick Properties

Although you must coat your air fryer rack with a zero-calorie spray, a nonstick property is essential. It enhances the nonstick surface and ensures that your food does not stick or tear. Also, be sure that the nonstick material is toxin-free. Below are some of the toxic nonstick materials to watch out for in multilayer racks;

  1. PTFE (Teflon)
  2. PFOA
  3. BPA

The safest nonstick racks are made of stainless steel and ceramic. While shopping in California, you can look out for the Prop 65 warning on the units. Do not buy the racks if any of the above chemicals are present.

Type of rack

There are different types of multilayer air fryer racks. You will find the simple ones you stack, and you are good to go. But there are also the metal-skewer ones. These are fantastic if you want more crispy outcomes.

They come in handy when cooking large foods like meat chunks and drumsticks. A simple rack will not be a good option. Grilling chicken drumsticks, kabobs, and kebabs will require consistent heat throughout the air fryer.

The perfect rack will fork your food from the bottom and allow hot air to circulate. So, to hold your food, a metal skewer rack will come in handy. The rack is easy to use and removable.


The more stacks, the better the rack. A double rack is good, but you will find a triple one better. Besides, you can make the triple one double or single. When comparing the prices, count the benefits of getting a multilayer air fryer rack. It will help you to hold more food. Good luck.

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