BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Kitchen

5 tips for using an air fryer during Thanksgiving

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

Turkey dinner is a snap

An air fryer makes it easy to prepare delicious, crispy foods while simultaneously cutting back on oil and calories. These are good reasons to power on your air fryer when you make this year's Thanksgiving meal.

It’s easy to make appetizers, side dishes and desserts in an air fryer. Additionally,  a large model can be used to make a turkey breast or an entire turkey.

Amazon is already rolling out early deals for October Prime Day

Shop this article: Ninja 4-quart Air Fryer, Nuwave Brio Air Fryer Smart Oven and Cosori Six-piece Air Fryer Accessory Set.

In this video, we’re comparing three popular air fryers: the Ninja Max XL, Instant Vortex Plus, and Breville Joule to see which air fryer is best.

Shop for an air fryer 

Whether you are looking for your first air fryer or want another model for preparing different dishes during Thanksgiving, you’ll need to consider various features to find a model that will fit your needs. Air fryers are available in various sizes, from compact 2-quart models that are suitable for small portions to large fryers with a capacity of 20 quarts or more for large quantities of food. Multipurpose models that work as an air fryer, toaster oven, rotisserie, steamer and more are also available.

Air fryer controls also vary from model to model. While some air fryers have simple dial controls, others have digital control panels with preset functions that simplify preparing specific types of food.

Don’t forget air fryer accessories

Not all air fryers include accessories. Air fryer accessory sets are available that include items such as cake pans, bread racks, molds, skewers and more. These items come in handy when experimenting with different air fryer recipes.

Choose Thanksgiving recipes to make in an air fryer 

Because it requires minimal oil, cooks fast and produces a crispy exterior texture, an air fryer is ideal for preparing many types of foods. While your options are almost limitless, some of the most popular recipes for Thanksgiving include roasted vegetables, green beans, crispy Brussels sprouts, stuffing, cornbread, biscuits, sweet potatoes, apple crisps, pumpkin bread and more. A larger air fryer can be used to prepare turkey breasts and small- to medium-sized turkeys.

Make air fryer turkey

Thaw frozen turkey in the fridge before preparing it for the air fryer. Rub it with butter or olive oil and your favorite herbs and spices to lock in juices and flavor during cooking. The proper cook times and temperature and position of the turkey will depend on the air fryer model. To ensure that your turkey is thoroughly cooked, check it periodically with a meat thermometer. Cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Gather key ingredients

Regardless of the recipes you decide to make in your air fryer, you'll need a few ingredients for excellent results. A little olive oil or butter will help make foods crispy while preventing them from sticking to the air fryer basket. Herbs and spices will make the flavors of your favorite recipes pop. Salt and pepper can be added based on taste preference.

October Prime Day: Here are the best early deals


Q. How large does an air fryer need to be to prepare a turkey?

A. The most important consideration for preparing turkey in an air fryer is to make sure the model you choose is large enough to accommodate it. A turkey breast can be prepared in most air fryers with a capacity of 4 quarts or larger. However, you’ll need a model with a capacity of 12 quarts or larger for a full-sized bird.

Best air fryers and accessories for Thanksgiving

Ninja 4-quart Air Fryer

This Ninja air fryer cooks fast and efficiently, thanks to the 1,550-watt motor. The 4-quart capacity is perfect for preparing main courses as well as large portions of sides and desserts.

Philips Premium Digital Air Fryer

The sleek digital control panel offered by this Philips air fryer takes the guesswork out of air frying numerous types of food. Its proprietary fat removal technology reduces fat and calories. 

Cosori Six-piece Air Fryer Accessory Set

Cosori's accessory set includes popular tools and gadgets that will come in handy while cooking with your new air fryer. They work for models with a capacity of up to 5.8 quarts.

Nuwave Brio Air Fryer Smart Oven 

With a 15.5-quart capacity, the Brio by Nuwave is ideal for preparing large meals. This versatile model also features convection technology and is capable of roasting, baking, dehydrating, defrosting and broiling.

Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 XL Pro Air Fryer Digital Countertop Convection Toaster Oven 

This large air fryer doubles as a convection toaster oven and boasts 10 functions in one sleek appliance. It can accommodate turkeys weighing up to 12 pounds.

Nutrichef 13-quart Air Fryer

Not only does this easy-to-use model offer a 13-quart capacity, but it also delivers numerous functions. It steams, bakes, grills, broils defrosts and more.

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews. 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: