What Size Air Fryer Do I Need?

Air fryers for a nuclear or extended family, here's the guide on how to choose the size of an air fryer.
Bella is a skilled copywriter who holds a degree in English studies. Her lifelong passion for decor and interior design is evident in her work, which is inspired by the beau read more
Reviewed By
Expert Consultant
Tommy is an expert consultant at HouseAndBeyond, with extensive experience in home improvement. A master of all trades, he offers invaluable expertise in areas such as carpe read more
Last updated: August 13, 2023
HouseAndBeyond is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

The prevalence of air fryers has grown these past few years. With its diversity in the kitchen, most people are either considering purchasing one or possessing one.

An air fryer is a straightforward appliance that is useful in preparing food and has developed into a cooking utensil with multiple uses having different shapes and sizes. A kitchen without an air fryer lacks completion. However, there are options for air fryers in different sizes, and one could get overwhelmed if unfamiliar with the air fryer market.

So, the question you might have is, “what size air fryer do I need?” and “how do I decide which one is best?” The size of your family must be considered, the type and form of air fryer you need, how large your kitchen is, and the food you intend to prepare in it must be considered when choosing the air fryer size that meets your needs for cooking. There are a few recommendations regarding air fryer sizes before purchasing to know the best one you need.

Types of Air Fryers

A household of two would benefit from a 2.0 to 3.0 QT air fryer. Small air fryers have a capacity of around 1-3 quarts and are ideal for an individual or a small family of 2 people. Their basket is large enough to hold two chicken breasts side-by-side, one chicken breast and a couple of fries on the other.

Cylindrical Basket Air Fryer

The widely used cylindrical basket air fryers include storing drawers for food with detachable baskets that resemble deep fryer baskets. A fan distributes the sweltering air uniformly, encompassing the food in the basket once the air within the appliance’s top has been heated.

Air Fryer Oven

An air fryer oven has the same heating system and air pump technology as toaster ovens. However, rather than a drawer, basket racks are used within it to store crisper and baking trays. In contrast to basket air fryers, air fryer ovens offer extra cooking options like a “rotisserie,” “broil,” “toast,” and “bake.”

A basket-style air fryer model is the most basic type. A solid basket is used in conjunction with an even crispier platter, or a perforated basket is used as a cooking surface. Hot air is circulated inside and outside the basket to cook the food. These air fryers’ superior air circulation and food drying characteristics enable the crispiest texture. It is the best air fryer for low-calorie cooking because of the design’s ability to wick fat away.

The basket, as well as the tray or crisper plate, must be cleaned after each use. These kinds of air fryers work best with foods that already come in or can be introduced into them.

How to Choose the Right Air Fryers

Large air fryers exist, and they can finish cooking a whole chicken or turkey in a single session; smaller ones exist suitable for single individuals, dorms, and outings.

You might want to think about a few aspects if you’re looking for a good air fryer. In order to be of assistance, we invested countless hours investigating manufacturers and their goods, examining the characteristics each one has to offer, and reading countless client testimonials.

The capacity is the first thing we looked at because it indicates how much food you can cook at once. Additionally, an advantage is an adjustable temperature range, which enables you to prepare a greater variety of items.

Small Air Fryers

A maximum of two chicken breasts can be cooked at once in smaller air fryers (approximately 1-2QT). The basket can fit a chicken breast and a few potatoes or fries for one person on either side. This sized air fryer can provide enough snacks for two people.

Only two chicken breasts can be fried at once in tiny air fryers, which are around 1-2QT. One person can fill the basket with a few potatoes or fries on one side and a chicken breast on the other. For two individuals, this air fryer’s capacity is plenty to make snacks.

The largest of the small air fryers, which are roughly 2-3QT in size, can cook up to 4-6 chicken wings at once and, under certain conditions, as many as 7. A couple can sit comfortably in an air fryer that is less than 3 quarts, but we believe that a couple that plans to use the air fryer frequently will find better comfort in an air fryer that is larger than 3 quarts. For a single person who enjoys preparing large quantities of food and storing it for later use, buying it can also be a wise decision.

The only food that should be cooked in 1.0-2.0 quart air fryers is for one person due to their small capacity for cooking. This little air fryer is ideal for quickly cooking snacks, baked goods, and other little things.

Cooking for two individuals is possible in this 2.2 – 3.0 quart-sized air fryer. This amount will fry nut products and potato chips in tiny snacks for three to four persons.

Medium Air Fryers

What Size Air Fryer Do I Need?

Families with three or more members should use an air fryer in one of these sizes before putting a whole chicken in the basket; you might need to cut it down into smaller pieces if the temperature is at the lower end of the range (3-4QT). However, they ought to be big enough to boil three to four people’s worth of potatoes. The Ninja AF 101 model is the most durable alternative available here, thanks to its unique features and size, according to most reviews.

Fries for 5-7 people or 4-5 chicken breasts can be cooked at once in air fryers with a capacity of 5 quarts or slightly higher. 3.0 to 5.0-quart air fryers are the most common size, and there seems to be a solid reason for this. An air fryer with a 3.0 to 5.0-quart capacity can prepare food for a household of 3–5 persons. The user has additional possibilities and can play with bigger objects thanks to the medium-sized space.

It can also cook two items simultaneously and is large enough, which is very beneficial.

Large Air Fryers

Large air fryers range from 5.0 to 6.0 quarts. They can easily contain sufficient food to feed a family of five, cook for a family of five, prepare multiple dishes simultaneously, and host several components, so you can load up two trays at once with whatever you like—fries, almonds, produce, or anything else.

Larger air fryers, such as those in the 6.0 to 10.0 Quart range, can handle big groups and cook heavier foods like pizza, whole turkeys, and chicken. The large chamber makes them appropriate for baking as well. When fitted with trays, an air fryer of this size can also be used to dehydrate foods.

For events like gatherings, large families, outdoor barbecues, and so on, 16 Quarts Air fryers are suitable.

What Air Fryer size Is Best for 1

You do not need to buy a big air fryer if you’re only cooking for one or two people. Choose a mini air fryer instead. These air fryers typically have a 1.0-quart capacity, though they can go up to 3.0 quarts. These air fryers can cook several portions of fries, chicken tenders, or chicken nuggets. Smaller, more portable air fryers have a lot of purposes. For example, a relatively small fryer may be made to seem brand-new with a simple 2-minute cleaning regimen. This sized air fryer may be cleaned and kept underneath your kitchen counter like a pan.

It will also heat up more quickly because the chamber is smaller, and there is less air for the heating element to heat. The air fryer сirculates hot air around the food to produce a crunchy, crispy exterior. One thing to keep in mind is that smaller air fryers typically have fewer functions than larger ones. They perform just as well as anyone else does, though. Smaller air fryers can create a deliciously crispy exterior just like larger ones.

What Air Fryer Size Is Best for a Family

Knowing the specific measurements of an air fryer will make it easier to find the model that fits you the best. Cooking for a family in an air fryer is easier and takes less time and effort. This is only true if the air fryer has enough room to cook the entire dinner at once; otherwise, you will need to make many batches.

We don’t want to have to wait while the other food on the platter cools before getting the vegetables or fries. Therefore, it would benefit your family if you purchased an air fryer that was a little larger than you anticipated. Most reviews indicate that the GoWISE USA GW44800-O is the most durable model and is the most dependable choice available due to its strengthened structure and large capacity.

When Cooking for a Family of 2 or 3

A 2.0 to 3.0 QT air fryer might be useful for a two-person home. Small air fryers are perfect for a single person or a family of two people because they have a small capacity of about 1-3 quarts. Their basket is big enough to fit one chicken breast with a few fries on one side, and two chicken breasts placed side by side on the other.

The slightly bigger ones, with a 3-quart capacity, are ideal for two individuals who want to use the air fryer frequently and can cook 4–7 chicken wings at once. For a household of three, a 3.0 to 5.0 QT air fryer would indeed be appropriate.

When Cooking for a family of 4

A family of three or more people would benefit more from using a medium-sized air fryer, which has a capacity of about 3-5 quarts. They give users more options and give them the freedom to experiment with preparing bigger foods. Although a whole chicken won’t fit in them, you may reduce its size and prepare it without having any problems.

Finding the best size air fryer for a family of 4 undoubtedly involves taking a lot of aspects into account. When looking for the models for our list, we started by looking at their capacity because this will show you how much food you can produce at once. We then looked at each device’s total dimensions because they will decide where you may store your fryer. We looked at the temperature range last because it can restrict the kinds of meals you can cook with your fryer.

You can do well to check our list, which will make it much simpler for you to choose the best size air fryer for a family of 4.

When Cooking for Families of up to 6

Large air fryers have a 5–6 quart capacity and can actually cook 4-5 chicken breasts simultaneously. They can accommodate a wide range of meal sizes in large batches and are incredibly adaptable.

They have multiple compartments to match different trays and are perfect for families of 5-7 people. You may fill them with your preferred dishes and cook them all at once. These-sized air fryers also frequently have extra accessories to increase their functionality.

When Cooking for Parties of 8 or More

What Size Air Fryer Do I Need?

Extra-large air fryers are indeed the solution to your culinary demands if you need to feed a large group of people, such as parties of eight or more. They are more adaptable and highly practical for cooking a variety of dishes, including whole chicken, turkey, and pizzas, and range in size from 6 to 16 quarts.

Although the popularity of air fryers has significantly expanded recently, it may still be challenging to select the correct model for you. In order to help you, we have developed a list of the best air fryers currently available while taking into account certain important details like capacity, temperature range, and size.

The temperature range controls how hot it becomes. In contrast, capacity determines how much you can put in the appliance at once. The dimensions must also be considered because you want to ensure they will fit in your space.

What Else to Consider

If you are in the market to purchase an air fryer or you are planning to buy one soon, you definitely need to consider many factors when you want to choose the right air fryer size; you need to consider the following;

Size of The Kitchen

An air fryer stands atop your kitchen counter; you must consider the space in your kitchen to ensure that it isn’t difficult to operate and store. The best air fryers are both spacious enough to prepare meals to your specifications and small enough to fit conveniently in your kitchen.

Also, you should be aware that larger air fryers and air fryer ovens require a permanent location on your kitchen counter. In contrast, smaller ones may be put away in a closet or cabinet after use.

Food You Plan To Cook

The type of food you intend to cook in the air fryer is one of the most fundamental factors to consider while selecting the proper size.

For instance, a small to medium-sized air fryer should be ideal for you if you need it to prepare bite-sized appetizers like tater tots and micro egg rolls. But you’ll need an air fryer with a large enough basket if you want to roast whole veggies like carrots or asparagus, whole chicken, or roast beef. So, consider if you’ll be utilizing your air fryer primarily for modest snacks or complete family meals.

The Capacity Of The Air Fryer

The amount of food the air fryer can contain at one time is referred to as its capacity. The standard unit of measurement for liquid capacity is the quart. There are extra-large air fryers with a maximum capacity of 16 quarts as well as little ones with a capacity of 1-2 quarts.

Therefore, consider the size of your normal meals and the number of people you will be cooking for when choosing the size of the air fryer. A tiny air fryer ought to be perfect for you if you are cooking for one person. However, it would be good to consider air fryers with a larger capacity if you need to prepare food for large gatherings.

What Air Fryer Can Cook A Whole Chicken Or Small Turkey

Chicken breasts, tenders, nuggets, and wings cook quickly and evenly in smaller air fryers. A full chicken, on the other hand, cannot fit in an air fryer smaller than 5 quarts due to lack of cooking space.

The best choice would be to look for a larger air fryer that can cook an entire chicken in a single batch. A full chicken can weigh anywhere between 4 and 7 pounds, necessitating a significantly larger air fryer than that would be necessary for a few wings or nuggets.

An air fryer with a capacity of at least 5.3 to 5.8 quarts can cook an entire chicken. Air fryers under 5 quarts cannot accommodate the entire chicken, and air fryers just above 5 quarts may struggle with larger chickens. In order to cook a full chicken or small turkey, the finest air fryer to use is one that is at least 5.3 to 5.8 quarts in size.

What Size Air Fryer Do I Need?

What’s The Largest Air Fryer

The huge 16-quart air fryer known as Big Boss is the largest model on the market. It is equipped to prepare a whole turkey in a single sitting. A three-course meal for two people can be prepared in the Big Boss air fryer, which is close to 15 pounds in weight.

Benefits of Large Air Fryers

Absolutely, having more capacity is a benefit of owning a huge air fryer. But a large air fryer has other advantages besides just having a large capacity.


You can bake cakes, enormous batches of cookies, and pizzas with an air fryer big enough to feed a family of 5.

More Components

Large air fryers can actually accommodate additional accessories, like silicone cups, cake pans, pyrex pans, and many other items. Small air fryers will be difficult to utilize attachments other than those designed for them, while larger air fryers allow the use of anything that can be used in an air fryer.


The choice of layering is frequently included in large air fryers, meaning more food is available. On one layer, you can fry chicken, and on the other, french fries. Though chicken and fries may not cook simultaneously, this is quite practical.


How much do air fryers cost?

While the cost varies based on the brand and model, large air fryers can be obtained for anything between $100 and $300. Most likely, neither the cheapest air fryer nor the best air fryer under $100  on our list has adequate area to cook substantial foods. You will definitely progress to the next level with the more pricey models with far more room. Remember that cooking your food follows the same basic principles in both models, regardless of how expensive or inexpensive they are.

What can you cook in an air fryer?

An air fryer can be used to prepare a wide range of dishes, including everything from sweet potato fries to crispy bacon. An air fryer is also used for warming food and reheating leftovers.

How to clean an air fryer?

What Size Air Fryer Do I Need?

The air fryer must first be unplugged and given time to cool completely. Remove the pan, tray, and basket, then wash each one in warm water and soap.

The air fryer’s main unit can be cleaned with a moist towel, but not by submerging it in water. Use a gentle brush to remove any food that has become attached to the heating coil. After everything is finished, towel-dry or let the parts air-dry before putting them back together.

Final Thoughts

When buying an air fryer, you have to ask yourself a very important question, “what size of air fryer do I need?”

Large families need larger air fryers. Single individuals can get a small 1- or 2-quart air fryer. Some people may cook everything in the air fryer. In that case, looking for a bigger alternative might be lucrative. One should consider spending a little extra for comfort in as much as you use it continually; you depend on it more.

No matter the size of the air fryer, you can trust it to deliver the tasty texture that we all love.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *