I love air fryers, but I have to admit: they turn my dinner timing all wonky. Air fryers cook food so much more quickly than a traditional oven that it can be tough to finish every dish at the same time, especially if there are multiple items that I’d ideally like to air fry. The Insignia Digital Air Fryer with Dual Pan dual-basket air fryer tackles that problem and solves it with grace.
Instead of offering just one basket or pan to fry, or using an oven-style hinged door design, this air fryer features two baskets that fry simultaneously for a perfectly timed finish.
What’s in the box of the Insignia Digital Air Fryer with Dual Pan?
The box of the Insignia Digital Air Fryer with Dual Pan is surprisingly simple. You’ll find the air fryer with everything already assembled and a grounded plug. There’s a left and right non-stick basket and two identical crisper trays. That means that there are no extra components to store here: everything you need tucks away in the air fryer itself.
Both the baskets and crisper plates are dishwasher-safe, but because they have a non-stick coating, they’re easy to scratch. Make sure not to use abrasive or metal cleaning products on either—I found that their nonstick coating is a little thinner than usual, so I recommend being extra careful when cleaning them.
How big is the Insignia Digital Air Fryer with Dual Pan?
One drawback about a dual pan (also known as dual basket or dual zone) air fryer is that each pan is slightly smaller than a standard-sized air fryer basket. You won’t be able to roast a whole chicken in this air fryer, though you could definitely roast the pieces of a chicken split across the two baskets. Similarly, if you use your air fryer to bake things like cinnamon rolls and sourdough bread, you’ll find the size of this product slightly limiting.
The Insignia Digital Air Fryer with Dual Pan is an 8-quart air fryer, so each basket is still a generous 4 quarts (or 16 cups). With the crisper trays installed, the air fryer’s capacity goes down to 7.6 quarts.
I’m bad at imagining sizing, so let’s talk about what you could make in this dual basket air fryer:
- Brussels sprouts and chicken strips for four (or, in my case, for two with leftovers!)
- Double-basket potato wedges for a six-person cheese fondue
- Fries for the whole family!
- Two large chicken breasts, or one basket of chicken breasts and one basket of drumsticks and drumettes
What can you do with a dual-basket air fryer?
This is the first dual-basket air fryer I’ve tried… And I loved it. One of my struggles with using a traditional air fryer is that it’s tough to time everything to finish at once, especially if you have multiple dishes that you know would cook best in an air fryer. The Insignia Digital Air Fryer with Dual Pan doesn’t just make a two-dish design possible, however—it’s designed so that you can finish them simultaneously!
This air fryer is great for families with mixed dietary needs, too. If half of the family is on the keto diet but the other half loves carbs, for instance, you can easily cook two meals to finish at the same time without any extra appliances. If one person on date night loves bacon but the other is a vegetarian, no problem: that’s why there’s two sides in this fryer.
I wouldn’t use the two sides simultaneously in cases where there’s an allergen in one of the dishes (for instance, a nut allergy or Celiac disorder), but for dietary preferences, this dual-basket design is phenomenal. It makes it so easy to simultaneously cook two different meals or two different dishes… Because who eats just one dish for dinner every night, anyways?
While filming this review, I air fried two very different items: leftover onion rings from Peter’s Drive-In (an Albertan classic) and fresh Brussels sprouts with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Brussels sprouts usually take about 40 minutes to roast in the oven at 400 degrees, but they were crisped to perfection in this air fryer in under 20 minutes—which the device timed to perfectly coincide with my onion rings’ three-minute reheat on the “fries” setting.
What I loved about this dual-basket air fryer
It might be easier to ask what I didn’t love about this dual-basket air fryer, because I genuinely can’t think of a single thing as I write this. I love that Insignia thought to include a “shake” function to tell you when to shake each basket (it’s not always at the same time, depending on what you’re making), and I love that it’s just as easy to queue up two different cooking settings as it is to hit “dual cook” and make the same thing on both sides.
The air fryer’s “sync finish” button is the stuff of dreams, and Insignia’s digital display is touch-sensitive and easy to use. There’s automatic presets for bread, pizza, fries, meat, bacon, fish, chicken, and pastries, and temp and time “+/-” buttons to customize each preset.
What do you need to know about this Insignia Digital Air Fryer?
This air fryer, like most air fryers, needs no preheating thanks to its powerful fans, intense heating coils, and small size. The preheating-free design helps me finish dinner quicker than ever. (I can quite literally finish cooking my fries in this air fryer before my oven even finishes preheating.)
One thing that I wanted to make sure to note in this review, however, is that I found that this air fryer finishes cooking dishes even more quickly than its own suggested times. For everything from fries to chicken, my dishes were cooked to perfection in about 80% of the time that the air fryer suggests. That’s a bit of a bummer for your first few dishes in this device, as they’re likely to be a little over-done. But once you get a feel for timing, it’s nothing but smooth sailing. As far as I’m concerned, the quicker I can get dinner on the table, the better!
Is a dual-basket air fryer like the Insignia Digital Air Fryer with Dual Pan right for you?
If you love the taste of fried foods but want a healthier option that requires less oil, then an air fryer is a wonderful small appliance to have in your kitchen. Similarly, if you love oven-roasting items like vegetables and potatoes but want to do it in less time, then you’ll love an air fryer. (Brussels sprouts, one of my favourite vegetables, take 18 minutes in this air fryer. That’s compared to an hour in my traditional oven with time to preheat!)
The Insignia Digital Air Fryer with Dual Pan in particular is great for anyone who wants to be able to cook multiple dishes simultaneously. It’s really easy to use and clean (as both the crisping trays and frying baskets are dishwasher-safe), and it heats up instantly without needing to preheat. Despite having two entirely separate baskets, this dual pan air fryer from Insignia isn’t much larger than other air fryers or toaster ovens I’ve tried, which makes it an easy choice for a home kitchen.
Shop the Insignia Digital Air Fryer with Dual Pan online at Best Buy today.