Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to air fryers. Some are too large, which can consume a lot of space on the countertop while also being tricky to clean. If you want something small, the best 3 quart air fryer can be a great addition to the kitchen.
- Comparing the best 3 quart air fryers
- Best 3 Quart Air Fryer: Ninja AF101 Air Fryer
- DASH Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer
- Bella 2.9-quart Air Fryer
- Crux 3-quart Air Fryer
- Picking the Best 3-Quart Air Fryer: Essential Factors to Consider
- Benefits of a 3-Quart Air Fryer
- Final Verdict
At 3 quarts, you can cook for one to three people. It might be small for a family, but if you live alone, it is enough. More than being space-efficient, it can also heat food quickly because of its size.
If you are looking for the best 3 quart air fryer, I got you! Read on as I share some of the top products and their most impressive features!
Ninja AF101 Air Fryer: The overall winner, it is the highest-rated product with most reviews on Amazon. It has a visually appealing design that does not compromise its performance.
Dash Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer: At just 1,000 watts, this is a low-wattage air fryer recommended for people who want energy efficiency.
Bella 2.9-quart Air Fryer: Available in attractive colors, this model has five cooking functions and can cook food for two to four people despite being compact for a very competitive price.
Crux 3-quart Air Fryer: With a digital control panel, this user-friendly air fryer preheats quickly and allows users to enjoy multiple cooking functions at a good price.
Comparing the best 3 quart air fryers
Best 3 Quart Air Fryer: Ninja AF101 Air Fryer
What I Like:
- Includes four preset cooking functions
- Has an elegant touch-control panel
- Has cool accessories
- The crisper plate ensures consistent results
- The fan can be quite loud
First, let me get one thing straight – the Ninja AF101 Air Fryer does not have a 3-quart capacity. It is slightly larger with a maximum capacity of 4 quarts. Nonetheless, it is a best-seller in the air fryer product category, so it deserves a spot on this list! A 2-quart version is also available.
In terms of performance, it has the highest wattage of the four air fryers in this review. It has a power rating of 1,550 watts and a temperature range of 105 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It preheats before reaching the set temperature. For best results, I recommend preheating the air fryer at least three minutes before you put food in the basket.
I love air fryers with multiple functionalities as they can replace several appliances in the kitchen. It is one of the reasons why this air fryer is at the top of the list. Aside from air frying, it has roast, dehydrate, and reheat functions while maintaining a compact footprint.
The Ninja AF101 is inclusive of functional accessories. I love the included multi-layer rack, which increases its capacity. Meanwhile, the crisper plate is also a nice add-on. Heat quickly gets under the food, so I get crispier results every time.
The main air-frying basket is also commendable. It has a non-stick ceramic coating that prevents food from sticking. Plus, it is large enough to cook up to two pounds of fries.
Best of all, it looks elegant in the kitchen. It perfectly complements my countertop and cabinets, making it visually appealing without compromising performance. The black high-gloss finish is a head-turner. Plus, it has a modern touchscreen display, making its operation a breeze. I prefer this kind of display over those with a manual knob.
Nonetheless, it isn’t perfect. One of the shortcomings is the noisy fan, which some people might find loud, although it is personally tolerable for me.
Why we like it:
- Makes food crispy without losing its flavor
- The handle stays cool to the touch
- Shuts down automatically
- Cool colors
- There are cheaper models in the manual air fryer category
- Does not include presets
Are you looking for the best air fryer for one person? With a capacity of 2.6 quarts, the DASH Tasti-Crisp is one option I can recommend.It is cheaper than the NInja AF101, so I can suggest it to people on a budget.
It might be small, but that does not mean the performance is underwhelming. At 1,000 watts, it is one of my favorite low-wattage air fryers. More than being energy-efficient, it is a good thing that it makes food crispy without losing flavor. DASH ensures such through the Air Crisp Technology.
The simplicity of the air fryer is one of its best assets, although it can also be a limitation, especially for those looking for versatility. On the top, you will find a simple knob for setting the desired temperature, which ranges from 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, set the timer, which can reach a maximum of 30 minutes. This makes the operation intuitive.
Some air fryers can get extremely hot, so even the handle will become hot. The DASH Tasti-Crisp, on the other hand, comes with a stay-cool handle so that I can touch it at any point without worries.
The automatic shut-off is also excellent. I can leave it on its own, and it will automatically turn off when done. It prevents food from being overcooked.
However, for a manual air fryer, some people might have an issue in its price. While it is cheaper than the Ninja AF101, our top pick in this review, it is still quite expensive for a manual air fryer. In addition, it does not have presets, which limits its functions.
Why we like it:
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Great price
- Weak connection between the handle and the basket
Those who want to improve the aesthetic of their kitchen might want to look at the Bella 2.9-quart air fryer.
Even at less than 3 quarts, it has impressive capacity. I can cook up to 2.5 pounds in the air frying basket, which can be good for two to four people.
Aside from the visually striking design, another thing I love in this product is its multiple cooking functions. Aside from air frying, it also has dedicated broil, bake, roast, and dehydrate functions.
Ease of use is another reason I like this air fryer. No wonder, it also made it to my list of the best air fryers for beginners. I find the design very similar to that of DASH Tasti-Crisp. In front of the unit is a knob that sets the desired cooking temperature from 175 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, on the top is another knob wherein you can select the timer for up to 60 minutes.
Like other models I featured in the Bella air fryer review, this product is easy to clean. The plastic bowl and metal tray are a breeze to maintain. Many users shared that they did not need to scrub hard. Plus, it does not contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which allows a safe cooking experience.
Performance-wise, this Bella air fryer is notable because it has a 1,400-watt power rating, so it heats up quickly. Not to mention, it does not require preheating, although this highly depends on what a specific recipe requires.
However, I read many reviews noting that the connector between the handle and basket is quite flimsy, indicating a potential durability issue.
Why we like it:
- Works as a multicooker
- Automatically shuts off after 30 minutes
- Beautiful industrial-looking stainless steel body
- Can be quite loud
Previously, I wrote a Crux air fryer review, and this specific model is one I have looked at. It stands out among others because it is more affordable than other Crux air fryers, which is probably because of its minimal capacity.
What I love the most about this compact air fryer is its versatility. It is not only for air frying, but it can be equally great when used for baking, roasting, dehydrating, and broiling. As such, I find it easy to become creative when preparing food.
To deliver optimal performance, this Crux 3 quart air fryer has Circular Heat Technology. It has a power rating of 1,200 watts, which helps to heat up quickly.
At its price, I was expecting manual buttons, such as knobs and dials. Nonetheless, I was surprised that it has a touch control panel like Ninja AF101, which makes its operation a breeze.
One thing that differentiates this model from the others on the list is its design. The body is primarily stainless steel, which gives it a beautiful aesthetic. I recommend this to people who want an industrial design for their kitchens.
It comes with a timer and automatic shut-off function. The latter is convenient because I do not have to keep an eye throughout its operation.
I have been an avid user of air fryers and most of them make noise but are tolerable. This model, however, is quite louder than the others, as pointed out in some reviews.
Picking the Best 3 Quart Air Fryer: Essential Factors to Consider
The options abound, but it does not mean they are all the same. Below are the most important considerations to help you narrow down the possibilities.
Small does not necessarily mean inferior. This is true even in the case of air fryers. So, make sure that you look at the power rating, which is expressed in watts. The models I reviewed above vary in wattage, which ranges from 1,000 to 1,550 watts. Some people might prefer a lower wattage because it means lower electricity consumption. These energy-efficient appliances are ideal for those who use their air fryers a lot.
You will find two types of controls in the best 3 quart air fryers. Most modern ones will have a digital touchscreen display, which is an excellent pick for a modern kitchen. On the other hand, older and more affordable models will have a dial or knob, one for setting the temperature and another one for setting the timer.
3. Cooking Functions
For versatility, choose one that offers multiple functions. Many will provide several cooking functions, including broil, bake, roast, and dehydrate. At such a small size, it does not mean that you are limited in terms of what you can do with a 3-quart air fryer.
Several features can help ensure the safe operation of an air fryer. For instance, some have an automatic shut-off, so they will power off on their own to prevent overheating. Others will also have stay-cool handles, so that you can touch them without worry. Another good feature is a PFOA or BPA-free construction, which is essential for food safety.
If possible, look for an air fryer that combines form and function, but do not compromise performance only to pick something that looks good. Consider the design of the countertop or kitchen to find an air fryer that matches the overall look of the space. For an industrial design, I suggest stainless steel air fryers. Meanwhile, if you want something quirky, choose those with lively colors instead of the usual white, black, or silver.
Benefits of a 3 Quart Air Fryer
Small air fryers are not for everyone, especially for large families. Nonetheless, it has a couple of benefits, including the following:
- Compact: If you live in a dormitory, small apartment, or any other place where space is an issue, a 3-quart air fryer is perfect. Stowing in a cabinet is easy and will not eat up too much space on your countertop.
- Affordable: Because 3-quart air fryers are usually small, you can expect that many of them are budget-friendly.
- Easy to Clean: If you are looking for the easiest-to-clean air fryers, those with a 3-quart capacity can be great choices. Because they are small, cleaning can be a breeze, especially those with dishwasher-safe baskets or pans.
- Energy-efficient: As mentioned earlier, many air fryers have low wattage. This means that they do not consume a lot of electricity, making it ideal for those who want an energy-efficient appliance.
In sum, the best 3 quart air fryer is an excellent choice for people who live alone or those with small kitchens. I recommend it to those looking for an energy-efficient appliance while enjoying multiple cooking functions.
The choices may be plenty, but if you are looking for the best, I suggest you go for the Ninja AF101 air fryer. It is a top-rated air fryer that also roasts, dehydrates, and reheats. The wide temperature range is also a plus, so you can cook a wide array of dishes.