Can mini air fryers revolutionise ‘on the go’ cooking? Meet the next big appliance trend

Air fryer lunch in the break room, anyone?

Air fryer on counter at test centre
(Image credit: Future/Phillip Sowels)

Have you heard of this thing called an air fryer? You’re probably not familiar with them because they’re so under-the-radar, and nobody is talking about them… ok, ok, I’m just kidding! But in all seriousness, have you ever wondered about whether there are any seriously mini air fryers on the market? And just how small do they get?

After the news that 8 out of the 10 best-selling kitchen appliances of 2023 were air fryers, it seems as though the world and his dog have one of these genius inventions in their kitchens. And I don’t blame them. The best air fryers have made cooking easier and healthier than ever, thanks to their ability to cook everything from perfectly crispy chips to a whole roast dinner. 

But a new air fryer trend is currently taking TikTok by storm, and they loosely revolve around the best small air fryers. However, these air fryers aren’t just small. These air fryers are mini air fryers, and they’re perfect for ‘on the go’ cooking outside of the house.

The mini air fryer trend 

From college students in the US using mini air fryers in their dorms to empty nesters plugging air fryers into their campervans and office workers upgrading their lunches, mini air fryers have become an ambassador for portable cooking on social media, and we’re very much here for it. 

Wendy Miranda, Customer Ambassador at Lakeland, happens to agree, ‘Over the last few years, air frying has been a topic that has taken the nation by storm. A product once loved for its low-calorie cooking is now a household staple for quick, easy and low-energy meals.’

‘We have now seen a trend of people either upgrading their models or also maybe more interestingly, buying more compact models for ‘on the go’; either at work or for the likes of campervans.’

‘Compact models are brilliant for smaller portion sizes, for example, if it’s just you at work wanting something a little more exciting than a sandwich, much better for storage and so, so easy to clean. And with their low wattage usage, they’re brilliant for the likes of campervans etc.’

Image of Cosori Lite air fryer on countertop in promo image

(Image credit: Cosori)

And while no official definition of the mini air fryer exists, the Ideal Home team agrees that anything with a capacity of 2L and under can definitely fall under that category as they’re small enough to be portable and used outside of the kitchen but still large enough to efficiently cook for 1-2 people. 

The biggest bonus of them all? As they're generally smaller than their full-size counterparts, mini air fryers all fall under the category of the best air fryers under £100

Our star buy

But will this new air fryer trend catch on? Well, it seems as though it’s already having a ripple effect.  In fact, my husband’s co-worker shocked the whole team recently when he grabbed a mini air fryer from his locker, fired it up in the canteen, and proceeded to cook himself chicken nuggets and pizza bites for his lunch. 

After waiting just a few minutes for the food to cook, he poured the contents of the air fryer next to the salad on his plate and ate his lunch as though it was the most normal thing in the world. Naturally, those eating sandwiches from their Tupperware boxes or canteen-bought hot food watched in bemusement and questioned his bizarre decision.

‘Well, I don’t want to keep spending money on hot food, but I can cook something hot AND healthy in this thing!’ he told them. 

Of course, we do have to question the healthiness of chicken nuggets and pizza bites, but what we won’t question is the method to his madness. After all, who says that air fryers have to be used exclusively in the kitchen?

The smallest air fryers you can buy

What do you think about mini air fryers? Are they fab, or are they just a fad?

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.