Air Fryer Sizes: How to Choose The Best For You & Family

Are you confused about air fryer sizes?

One of the main components people look out for when buying the right air fryer is the cooking capacity and the size.

To make the most out of your air fryer, you want it to be small enough so that it will fit comfortably in your kitchen space, yet big enough to feed a whole household.

Compared to other methods of cooking, air frying is by far the least time-consuming.

This is due to the fact that air fryers contain powerful, yet small heating elements; which allow food to be cooked in less than a few minutes. 

Before purchasing an air fryer, it's important to understand its cooking capacity, as well as its size, which will ultimately help you determine the best air fryer for you.

Having to correct the air fryer that suits your requirements can either make or break your air frying experience. 

When it comes to air fryers, there are no wrong or right sizes; it is all determined by your requirements such as whether or not it’s suitable for individual cooking or family cooking. 

However, there are a few factors that you should consider before purchasing an air fryer in regards to the size.

As there are hundreds of different models available on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to narrow this down.

Therefore, this guide aims to help you filter down these results, to find the best-sized air fryer that suits all your needs and preferences. 

Air Fryer Size Guide

The is a range of different-sized air fryers. Some small and compact air fryers are perfect for individual use, recreational vehicles, or dorm rooms.

While there are also much larger ones that are capable of cooking a whole turkey or chicken in a singular session. There is also every size in between.

Small Air Fryers

Some great air fryers found in this category include:

Small air fryers between the sizes of 1-2QT can cook a maximum of two chicken breasts at the same time.

This is perfect for individual uses, as the basket is capable of holding fries or a couple of potatoes on one side and a whole chicken breast on the other.

If you’re looking to make snacks, then a small air fryer is perfectly able to make snacks enough for two persons.

The small air fryers that are slightly larger in size, measuring at 2-3QT, can cook 4-6 chicken wings in the same tray, in some cases 7 chicken wings.

Air fryers smaller than 3-QTs  ensure enough capacity for a couple or two people.

However, if you plan on using an air fryer regularly, you may find one above 3-QTs to be more comfortable, especially; if you’re in a couple.

Likewise, if you’re an individual who cooks large batches of food for meal prep, then it would also be a great air fryer for you. 

To Sum Up

  • 1.0 qt - 2.0 qt sized air fryers provide smaller cooking capabilities; therefore, if you want the best results, they should only be used for singular people. Likewise, it is most suitable for baked goods, small foods, and snacks. 
  • 2.2 qt - 3.0 qt sized air fryers are large enough to comfortably cook for two people. It has the capacity to fry smaller snacks such as potato chips and nuts comfortably for 3-4 people.

Medium To Large Air Fryers

Some great air fryers found in this category include:

Medium to large air fryers are perfect for families containing 3 or more people. In the lower end of this category, at 3-4 qt, you won’t be able to cook a whole chicken, rather you’ll have to cut it up into smaller pieces to accommodate the air fryer tray.

On the other hand, this size is perfect for cooking french fries enough to comfortably feed 3-4 people.

Slightly larger air fryers at 5 qt and above are large enough to cook 4 to 5 chicken breasts at the same time while cooking fries enough for 5-7 people. 

To Sum Up

  • 3.0 qt - 5.0 qt are the most popular sizes of air fryers. The reasons for this may be because they have the capacity to cook for a family containing 3-5 people. These medium-large air fryers provide enough space for more options and the ability to experiment with different kinds of foods, whether this is small or large. Another factor is that it is large enough to cook two different things at the same time, making it much more convenient. 
  • 5.0 qt - 6.0 qt air fryers are on the larger side. Without any problems, they are able to feed a family of 5 people, cook different meals at the same time, and contain more than one tray. This allows you to fill the trays with vegetables, french fries, or nuts, at the same time. Additionally, large air fryers typically contain an array of different accessories that sets them apart from smaller air fryers.

Large Air Fryers

Some great air fryers found in this category include:

Any air fryer that is above 6 qt may contain some restrictions as a result of its size.

On the other hand, some larger air fryers have enough capacity to allow up to thrill grill racks and two pants. 

These larger models are more versatile compared to smaller air fryers and provide you with everything you need to cook whatever you want. 

  • 6.0 qt - 10.0 qt air fryers fall within the larger range of models. Not only are they suitable for large families, but they can even cook larger foods such as whole turkeys, pizzas, and chickens. Likewise, due to their larger chambers, they can accommodate baked goods. Depending on the model, you may even be able to dehydrate foods due to included trays. 
  • 16 qt - air fryers are extremely large and are perfect for any large families, social gatherings, festive occasions, and more.

How To Know The Size Of An Air Fryer

Generally, it’s hard to determine the size of a particular air fryer from just a visible image or description alone.

This is where ‘quarts’ come in. A quart is a form of measurement that is used to evaluate liquid capacity.

For instance, one unit of water is equivalent to a quarter of a gallon. In simple terms, a single quart can be converted to 0.94L in the US, and 1.13L in the UK. 

However, you should keep in mind that air fryers aren’t always measured using Quarts.

For instance, information pertaining to the size is also in liters and pounds additionally. Although when referred to liters or pounds, you will often find the accompanying quarts as well. 

For example, the Philips HD9240 air fryer contains a capacity of 2.65 pounds, when converted into quarts, which is equivalent to 3.5 qt, as noted in the product description.

Likewise, the larger model containing 4 qt is able to hold up to 3 pounds of food within one air frying session. 

However, you should take into consideration that these size guidelines are only recommendations for the general capacity of that specific air fryer.

Whether the size is suitable or not typically depends on what kinds of foods you are trying to cook.

For instance, some foods require more space than others; a chicken breast, for example, is much larger than potatoes, vegetables, or french fries. 

If you were to overfill the air frying basket, it may result in unevenly cooked foods and sometimes ruined meals. 

What Size Air Fryer Best Suits A Family?

Once you have understood all the different sizes of air fryers, it will now be much easier to find the perfect one for you and your requirements. 

With an air fryer, cooking for your family has never been easier.

Not only does it require less effort, but it also requires less time. Allowing you to spend more time with the people you love.

However, this is only available for larger models of air fryers that can withstand cooking entire dinners in one sitting. If not, you may need to cook a meal in batches. 

To prevent your vegetables or fries from going cold while you’re waiting for the rest of your meal to be air fried, then it may be in your best interest to purchase a larger air fryer that can accommodate your whole family.

Below, you will find some recommendations based on your family size

  • Family of 2 – 2.0 qt - 3.0qt air fryer
  • Family of 3 – 3.0 qt - 5.0 qt air fryer
  • Family of 4 – 5.0 qt - 5.8 qt air fryer
  • Family of 5 or above – 5.8 qt and over.

In addition to being able to cook more foods, large air fryers also contain a range of features, accessories, and functions that are just not available on smaller air fryers.

This allows you to experiment with different foods and functions. 

Although, one thing you should keep in mind is whether or not you have the required counter-top space to accommodate such a large air fryer.

Due to their bulkiness and weight, large air fryers will need a designated space, as they can be hard to store and are too heavy to constantly move around. 

Make sure to always check the dimensions of your air fryer (these can be found in the product description) to the space available on your countertop.

There should be enough space to allow your air fryer to ventilate adequately when cooking. 

What Size Air Fryer Best Suits Individual Use?

If you’re looking to purchase an air fryer for individual use, then you may find a large too big. Instead, you should consider a more compact air fryer that is able to cook meals for one or two people. 

In the lower range, you will find some models containing a capacity of 1.0 qt, while larger models can go up to 3 qt. 

In these models, you will be able to cook 2-3 chicken breasts, 2-3 servings of french fries, chicken tenders, chicken biggest, or a couple of egg rolls. 

In some ways, smaller and more compact air fryers can be much more convenient.

For instance, they are much easier to clean when compared with large air fryers, requiring no more than 2 minutes to look as good as new.

Then, once everything is clean, you can easily store it in a cupboard for when you need it next. This keeps your countertop free from any clutter. 

In addition, due to its smaller chamber, it will also heat up faster than larger air fryers as there is less air for the heater to heat. 

However, one thing to take into consideration is that smaller air fryers tend to not include some of the features that are found on larger air fryers.

On the other hand, they will perform just as well as larger air fryers. Just like large ones, small air fryers can produce deliciously crispy foods. 

What Size Air Fryer Best Suits A Smaller Kitchen?

Whether you are living in a small apartment, recreational vehicle, or even a dorm room, the one thing all these places have in common is a lack of space.

Therefore, if you’re looking for an air fryer, you may want to avoid larger models. 

In such instances, you could benefit from investing in an air fryer that is not only portable but compact and lightweight.

Smaller models can easily be stored in storage boxes or kitchen cupboards, providing you with the necessary extra space on your kitchen countertops.

In addition to this, they are also perfect for vacations or camping trips due to their size. 

When looking for the best air fryer to suit a smaller space, any model below 3 qt would be the most suitable. 

One thing to make sure, whether your air fryer is small or large, is that it is large enough to accommodate the number of people you’re planning to cook for.

Smaller air fryers lose their convenience if they aren’t able to feed enough people within one cooking session. 

Therefore, just keep in mind that air fryers are designed to be time-saving, comfortable assistants. 

What Size Air Fryer Is Able To Cook A Small Turkey Or Whole Chicken?

Smaller models of air fryers are excellent for cooking nuggets, chicken breasts, wings, and tenders.

Although, if you’re looking to cook a whole chicken, models below 5 qt simply do not have the capabilities to cook a whole chicken.

As a result, some people even try to break the chicken into smaller pieces in order to make it fit into a small air fryer, which isn’t always practical or easy. 

Therefore, the best thing to do would be to consider purchasing a larger air fryer if you cook with whole chickens regularly.

Typically, a whole chicken can weigh approximately 4-7 pounds, thus, requiring a larger air frying that withstands this capacity. 

The best air fryers to cook a whole chicken contain a capacity of 5.3 qt - 5.8 qt or more. Anything below 5 qt will struggle cooking a whole chicken.

Likewise, anything just slightly above 5qt will have trouble cooking larger quantities of chicken. Therefore, 5.3 qt - 5.8 qt air fryers are the perfect options for small turkeys or whole chickens. 

Additionally, as mentioned previously, larger models of air fryers contain improved features, accessories, and functions that are suitable for grilling, frying, roasting, and much more.

The extra space that these air fryers make it even possible to cook pizza, small cakes, and even bake bread. 

Some great air fryers found in this category include:

Final Thoughts

When choosing the best air frying for you, it is all dependent on the number of people you are trying to feed.

For instance, if you have a large family then you will need a larger air fryer, while if you’re only cooking for yourself, then a small air fryer should be efficient.

Then, there is everything in between these options to suit whatever preferences and requirements you may have.

Whether you are looking for an air fryer to accommodate your space or to cook large amounts of food, you will find all this within our guide. 

Just remember, no matter what size air fryer you purchase, you are guaranteed great taste and performance.

Whether you are looking to cook whole chickens, vegetables, or baked goods, most air fryers will cook all these to the same high standard.

Hopefully, this guide has provided you with everything you need to choose the best air fryer for you. 

About the author 

Nate Lau

Nate is an aspiring chef, and father of two. He is always on the lookout to try new healthy recipes and kitchen gadgets. He has a passion for cooking delicious miso black cod and enjoys a nice sip of pinot on occasion.

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