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Larger air fryers are quickly becoming one of the most popular cooking devices to add to your kitchen counter space. With their ability to consistently fry food to perfection without the need for fatty oils, it is easy to see why… Whether it’s your first time buying an air fryer or you are looking to upgrade to a new air fryer, take a look below to find out which air fryer size is right for cooking a variety of foods!
Make sure to bookmark my list of 45+ air fryer meal prep recipes!
- What Are the Different Air Fryer Sizes Available?
- How to Choose the Right Size Air Fryer for You?
- Air Fryer Features Worth Considering
- Tips on Using an Air Fryer
- What Air Fryer Size Do I Need for a Family of 4?
- What Air Fryer Size Do I Need for a Family of 6?
- What Air Fryer Size Do I Need for a Whole Chicken?
- Which of the Common Air Fryer Sizes Is Best?
- Should I Get an Air Fryer Sized for One Person?
- I Have a Very Big Family. Should I Look for an Air Fryer Commercial Size Instead?
- Final Thoughts
What Are the Different Air Fryer Sizes Available?
Finding the right air fryer size for cooking space can be challenging, especially when you’re not sure what air fryer sizes are on the market.
When excluding commercial air fryer units, there are four main types of air fryer sizes you may come across, these are:
- Small air fryer (air fryer sized between 1 and 2 quarts)
- Medium air fryer (Between 2 and 4.5 quarts air fryer)
- Larger air fryer (Between 4.5 and 6 quarts air fryer)
- Extra Large air fryer (Greater than 6 quarts).
Small Air Fryers
If you live by yourself or you are just looking to cook a few small snacks with your air fryer basket, then a small air fryer model is the best option for your cooking. Most small-sized air fryers are around 1.5 to 2.5 quarts and are the right air fryer size for small kitchens.
A compact air fryer is typically far cheaper than a larger air fryer model, offering you a budget way to access air-fried foods. A small air fryer is also a great choice if you are unsure how much use you will get out of your air fryer.
Overall, a small size air fryer is a decent option for snack use or frying for a single person with a limited counter space.
Small Air Fryer Example – Copper Chef 2 Quart Turbo Cyclonic Air Fryer
An excellent example of a well-designed small-size air fryer is the Copper Chef 2 air fryer. This powerful yet compact air fryer is perfect for cooking or reheating leftovers or frying snacks and other small foods such as french fries, chicken wings or vegetables.
In terms of aesthetics, this Copper Chef 2 air fryer comes in a selection of 3 unique color designs, so if you are looking for small-sized air fryers to complement your kitchen’s decor, you won’t need to look far.
Whether this is your very first and basic air fryer basket or you are just looking for a new model for air frying, the Copper Chef 2 air fryer is a fantastic single-serving device!
If you don’t have much counter space, here’s a full list of the best air fryers for one person!
Medium-Sized Air Fryers
Balancing cooking capacity with affordability, medium air fryer sized are some of the top fryers on the market. A medium air fryer basket is best suited to couples as opposed to large families, but they can also be used for air frying foods like french fries, and whole chicken, parties and other snack-packed gatherings.
As a medium air fryer is smaller than a large air fryer, it is generally far more affordable and ideal for those with limited kitchen space. This means if you are a bargain shopper, you should be able to find medium-sized air fryers to cover your needs.
Medium Air Fryer Example – Ultrean 4.2 Air Fryer
With multiple frying features and a 4.2-quart cooking basket, this Ulrean air fryer is designed with couples in mind. This air fryer is extremely easy to use and won’t require much effort to clean, thanks to a detachable and dishwasher-safe air fryer basket.
On top of this, the Ultrean air fryer offers a selection of modern features for your convenience. Perhaps the most prominent stand-out feature of this air fryer is the informative LCD display, which lets you easily adjust temperature settings.
Larger Air Fryers
Perfect for families and regular large meals, a larger air fryer basket is an excellent investment for cooking foods or reheating leftovers. This kind of air fryer offer just enough space to cook a selection of multi-person meals without taking up your entire kitchen counter space.
Large sized air fryers are best suited to families or air frying a big meal like a chicken whole or a large number of snacks, such as at parties. If you are seeking a large air fryer but you don’t want to splash out on the biggest air fryer size out there, then consider investing in a large size air fryer as the right air fryer size for a family!
Larger Air Fryer Example – Gowise USA 5.8qt Air Fryer
Although it takes up some space, my pick for one of the best large-sized air fryers with a basket on the market is the GoWISE air fryer. It offers a unique 3D hot air circulation heating method that ensures your food is cooked evenly and any meat is crisped to perfection.
The right air fryer usually features extra safety features for cooking a variety of foods. Thankfully, this new air fryer features a collection of safety features, such as the temperature protection design, to offer you a safe but effective cooking product.
Extra-large-sized air fryers with a basket are fantastic options if you need enough room to quickly multiple food items at once. Larger air fryer options are most commonly used for cooking in the restaurant industry, but if you have a large home, then they may be worth investing in a extra larger air fryer.
Most air fryers greater than 6 quarts are classed as extra-large options, making them consume a lot of space. However, due to their bigger air fryer size, an extra larger air fryer is also the most expensive air fryers available on the market. So although it may be tempting to buy an extra-large fryer, you may not need such a larger air fryer.
XL Air Fryer Example – Gowise USA 7 Quart Air Fryer
One of the best XL air fryers available is the GoWISE 7 Quart air fryer. This gigantic model is the perfect air fryer size for a restaurant or large family kitchen and won’t cost you a fortune!
The GoWISE air fryer offers a fantastic selection of 8 different cooking methods. From your traditional air fryer function to an impressive baking function with a basket, you can cook a whole host of meals with this superb device.
How to Choose the Right Size Air Fryer for You?
The best way to choose the right air fryer for your cooking needs is to consider the type of food you are frying and for how many people. For example, smaller fryers won’t offer you enough space to cook multiple chicken wings or chicken breast recipes for a family of 6.
Best Air Fryer Options for 1 Person
If you are looking for an air fryer oven to predominantly only cook for yourself predominantly, then you will want to check out the range of small fryer models. These offer a food capacity between 1 to 2 quarts, which should be suitable for air frying solo meals.
Although you won’t be able to cook a whole chicken breast in a small-sized air fryer oven, you will be able to cook a range of snacks. Some smaller fryers will even offer extra cooking functions such as grill racks, a dehydrating or toaster oven function.
Air fryer sizes designed for a single person tend to be the cheapest options on the market. So even if you are just looking to trial an air fryer with a toaster oven and you want to upgrade to a larger one in the future, a 2-quart air fryer with a basket is still a worthy investment for cooked food!
Best Air Fryer Options for 2-3 People
There are many fantastic fryers on the market for 2-3 people, so finding one shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. A majority of small to medium air fryer models will be suitable for preparing foods for 2-3 people.
As you are only looking to cook for 2-3 people, an air fryer with a 2 to 4 quarts capacity should be perfectly fine. What’s more, the majority of fryers that offer this food capacity are reasonably affordable – so bargain shoppers should be pleased!
Best Air Fryer Options for Families of 4
Families of 4 are in luck, as most top-end air fryer models are designed with 4 people in mind. Of all the different air fryer sizes available, this has to be one of the most popular for cooking. A majority of manufacturers will offer a 4-person model in their range, so you won’t need to look far to find the perfect fryer for you.
When choosing a fryer for 4 people, try to find an air fryer that offers a basket capacity of between 4 to 5.5 quarts. This will offer you enough space to cook food for the whole family and will save you from splashing out on a bigger air fryer model.
Best Air Fryers for Families of 5-6
When cooking using an air fryer for families of 5 or 6, you will want to check out the largest air fryers on the market. Your average air fryer will be designed for between 2 to 4 people, so it can be hard to find one for large families.
In terms of measurement, you will want your air fryer to offer at least an 8-quart cooking capacity. This should be enough to cook food for a family of 5-6 without the need to purchase a commercial air fryer for cooked food.
Best Air Fryers for Large Groups
Trying to find the best air fryer for cooking foods for large groups can be challenging, especially when space is a concern. This is especially true when you consider that most non-commercial air fryer designs will cap out at around 8 to 9 quarts.
If you are struggling to find an air fryer for large families or groups, then consider checking out commercial options. Commercial air fryers focus on offering restaurants a way for cooking large amounts of food in a single batch.
Air Fryer Features Worth Considering
While size is the most crucial consideration when selecting your air fryer, there are other essential features that you should look at before carrying that air fryer home.
- The temperature range varies between air fryers to allow for cooking various meals at different temperatures. A good bet would be to find something that reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If you plan on reheating or rehydrating foods you may also want to get a model that reaches lower temperatures.
- Accessories like stackable racks, skewers, baking pans, and other tools range between air fryer models. Determine beforehand what accessories you need and ensure they are included in the purchase or readily available.
- Cooking presets: An air fryer has pre-programmed cooking settings for fish, chicken, or veggies. These pre-settings effortlessly select your preferred cooking mode and achieve delicious results quickly.
- Helpful alerts: An air fryer is designed to ping when the timer ends, but models remind you to turn the food over while cooking. A rotating-type basket air fryer alerts you to shake the basket to get evenly prepared meals.
Air Fryer Size and Shape
When making a purchasing decision regarding an air fryer, the size and shape should be considered. Air fryers come primarily in two shapes: round and square or rectangular for air fryers with baskets and air fryer ovens, respectively.
If you have difficulty deciding which of the two fryers to pick, think about how much counter space you have available in the kitchen and how you plan to store the appliance when it’s not in use. You’ll need more room for the air fryer oven than the basket-style fryer.
Tips on Using an Air Fryer
Here are some handy hacks to get the most out of your air fryer:
- Don’t use cooking spray excessively to avoid damaging your air fryer tray or basket. Cooking spray contains ingredients that may chip away at your basket’s coating.
- Skip the preheat for crumbed foods and fries. You’ll get a better texture on meats if you pre-heat your fryer for 5 minutes before adding them.
- Place your basket or tray at the center racks to maintain air circulation.
- If you use a non-air fryer recipe, shorten the cooking time as food cooked in air fryers prepares faster than a standard oven or deep fryer.
- Don’t overfill your fryer above its capacity to get the best results.
- Avoid the dishwasher when cleaning your fryer to avoid damaging the non-stick surface. Handwashing is recommended.
- When cooking, use the perforated basket that comes with your appliance. This gives your food crispiness along its entire surface.
What Air Fryer Size Do I Need for a Family of 4?
An air fryer with a 4-5.8 quart capacity is perfect for a family of 4. This is great news, because most of the most popular air fryer brands have models in this air fryer size.
What Air Fryer Size Do I Need for a Family of 6?
Families of 6 should choose a six quart air fryer at the very least. Depending on the type of food you’re likely to cook in it, you might want to choose a large air fryer so you don’t have to cook in batches.
What Air Fryer Size Do I Need for a Whole Chicken?
For cooking a whole chicken, you’ll need an air fryer between 6-10 quarts in capacity. A smaller air fryer will need to portion the whole chicken up into smaller pieces or just cook a chicken breast.
Which of the Common Air Fryer Sizes Is Best?
The best air fryer size will depend on your personal needs. For example, if you are cooking for large families, then large air fryers or medium air fryers will be the best size for you. When comparing common sizes of air fryers, consider the size you need. Be sure to use my handy guide above to determine what air fryer size is right for you!
Should I Get an Air Fryer Sized for One Person?
If you are only planning on cooking foods for yourself, whether that’s snacks or small meals, then smaller compact air fryers are more than suitable. A smaller air fryer may not be suitable for large families, but if you live alone, air fryers can be an excellent purchase!
I Have a Very Big Family. Should I Look for an Air Fryer Commercial Size Instead?
If you have a very large family, then you may be tempted to purchase a commercial-size air fryer. However, these air fryers cost you a fortune, especially if you don’t have business links. Your typical extra larger fryer will make an excellent fryer for a family, so consider checking out an XL air fryer before splashing out on a commercial design.
- The small air fryers size/2-3 quart is right for you if you don’t have much kitchen space and cooking for 1 or 2 people.
- The medium size/4-5 quart is great if you’re cooking for 4 or fewer people or you want to air fry enough for a family.
- The large size/5-6 quart will work for you if you have a larger family or hosting a small gathering.
- The extra large size/6-8 quart works best if you are cooking for very large groups or if you plan to air fry chickens or other larger meats.
When it comes to choosing between the different air fryer sizes for preparing foods, there is enough choice on the market for families of all sizes. From 2-quart solo fryers to hefty commercial models, there is an air fryer for everyone!
Become an air fryer expert with our guides after you choose the right air fryer and bring it home; check our air-fryer cooking guides that will teach you everything you need to know.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.