Air Fryer Size And Capacity Comparisons (What Size Air Fryer Do You Need?)

Size and cooking capacity are crucial factors to consider when selecting an air fryer that suits your needs. It is essential to ensure that the appliance is spacious enough to prepare sufficient food for your family while also being compact enough to fit comfortably in your kitchen.

The size and powerful heating element of an air fryer are responsible for its quick cooking time, taking less than two minutes to start cooking, making it a less time-consuming method compared to others.

It is crucial to comprehend the size and capacity of an air fryer before buying one since it can significantly impact the cooking experience.

Choosing the appropriate Air Fryer Size And Capacity depends on your personal needs, preferences, and culinary requirements.

Before buying an air fryer, it is important to consider the size of the appliance. To narrow down the options from the numerous models available online, it can be helpful to follow some guidelines.

This article will provide you with information on the size of air fryer that is suitable for your needs.

Air Fryer Size Guide

There are small compact air fryers that are appropriate for individuals, dorm rooms, recreational vehicles, etc., and there are also larger ones that have the capacity to cook an entire chicken or turkey at once.

There are also various sizes and capacities available for air fryers.

Small Air Fryers

When it comes to air fryer size and capacity comparisons, my top picks are:

Smaller air fryers, typically ranging from 1-2QT, have the ability to cook a maximum of two chicken breasts simultaneously. If you are cooking for one person, the basket is spacious enough to accommodate a chicken breast on one side and a few potatoes or fries on the other. In terms of snacks, an air fryer of this size can produce adequate portions for two individuals.

Small air fryers, which are typically 2-3QT in size, can cook up to 6 chicken wings at a time, and sometimes even 7. While these air fryers provide enough space for a couple of two, opting for an air fryer larger than 3 quarts may offer more convenience for couples who use the appliance frequently. Additionally, individuals who enjoy cooking large batches and storing them for later may find a larger air fryer to be a worthwhile investment.

  • 1.0 – 2.0 Quart air fryers possess limited cooking capacities and are suitable for preparing meals for only one individual, making them ideal for frying snacks, baked goods, or other smaller food items.
  • 2.2 – 3.0 Quart air fryers have sufficient capacity to cater to the cooking needs of two individuals, and can also be used for frying small treats like nuts and potato chips for a group of 3-4 people.

Medium & Large Air Fryers

When it comes to air fryer size and capacity comparisons, my top picks are:

For families of three or more, these air fryer sizes are ideal. While the smaller end of the range (3-4QT) may require you to cut a whole chicken into smaller pieces before cooking it in the basket, they are still capable of cooking french fries for 3-4 people.

Air fryers with a capacity of around 5 quarts or more are suitable for cooking 4-5 chicken breasts simultaneously or sufficient fries to serve 5-7 individuals.

  • 3.0 – 5.0 Quart is the most frequently used air fryer size, and it appears to be popular for a good reason. With a capacity of 3.0 – 5.0 Quarts, an air fryer can easily prepare meals for a family consisting of 3-5 individuals. The medium-large cooking area offers greater flexibility and enables users to try out larger food items. Additionally, it’s spacious enough to cook two dishes simultaneously, which is highly advantageous.
  • Large air fryers with a capacity of 5.0-6.0 Quarts are spacious enough to cook food for a family of five, allow cooking multiple items simultaneously, and accommodate more than one component at once, enabling you to fill two trays with your desired food items such as french fries, nuts, or vegetables. Additionally, these air fryers come with numerous accessories to enhance their functionality.

Large Air Fryers

When it comes to air fryer size and capacity comparisons, my suggestions in this group are:

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My all-time favorite: The Cosori Air Fryer (while the Cosori falls 0.2qt short of being a 6-quart air fryer, the very affordable Cosori air fryer delivers a package that is worth more than what they’re asking for it – so far, it’s been one of the best air fryers I’ve tried)

When it comes to size, air fryers that are larger than 6 quarts have minimal limitations and can even accommodate two pans and up to three grill racks, making them highly versatile and providing ample space for cooking a wide variety of dishes.

  • Large air fryers with a capacity of 6.0 to 10.0 Quarts are ideal for big families and can cook bigger food items like whole chickens, turkeys, and pizzas. They also have enough space to bake goods, and with trays, they can be used for dehydrating food as well.
  • 16 Quart air fryers are appropriate for events, big households, outdoor celebrations, and similar occasions.

How To Know The Size Of An Air Fryer

It can be difficult to imagine the actual size of a “5 Quart Air Fryer” based solely on its product description or image. A quart is a unit of measurement for liquid capacity, equivalent to one-fourth of a gallon. In the US, a quart can be converted to 0.94L and in the UK, it can be converted to 1.13L for simplicity.

Although air fryers are commonly measured in quarts, their size can also be indicated in pounds and liters. In cases where an air fryer’s size is expressed in pounds or liters, it is usually also provided in quarts.

As per the product description of Philips, their HD9240 variant can accommodate 2.65 pounds of food, which is equivalent to 3.5QT, while the bigger model with a capacity of 4QT can contain up to 3 pounds of food at once.

Chefman, a different air fryer manufacturer, indicates the capacity of their air fryers in liters and quarts. Their 6.8-quart air fryer has the ability to accommodate up to 6.5 liters of food.

Consider that the sizes listed online are merely suggestions or guidelines for the air fryer’s capacity. The suitability of the size depends entirely on what you are cooking, as some foods require more space than others. For instance, a chicken breast requires more room than french fries, potatoes, or vegetables.

Having too much food in the basket can lead to food being fried unevenly and producing unsatisfactory outcomes.

What Air Fryer Size Is Best For A Family

Having a clear understanding of the size of an air fryer can simplify the process of selecting the appropriate one for your needs.

Using an air fryer can simplify and expedite family cooking, provided that the capacity of the air fryer is sufficient to accommodate the entire meal at once; otherwise, multiple batches will be necessary.

It is advantageous for families to buy an air fryer that is bigger than what they think they require to prevent the need to wait for certain foods like fries or vegetables while the other parts of the meal become cold.

  • Family consisting of two members can opt for an air fryer with a capacity ranging from 2.0 to 3.0QT.
  • Family consisting of three members can opt for an air fryer with a capacity ranging from 3.0 to 5.0QT.
  • Family of four individuals can opt for an air fryer with a capacity ranging from 5.0 to 5.8QT.
  • Family with five or more members should opt for an air fryer that has a capacity of 5.8QT or higher.

Moreover, air fryers with bigger size may offer a wider range of functions, features, and accessories, enabling users to explore more possibilities with their air frying experience.

When considering purchasing a large air fryer, it is important to keep in mind the amount of counter-top space available, as these appliances tend to be bulky and may be difficult to store after use.

It is important to check the product dimensions online and ensure that there is sufficient space on your kitchen counter for the air fryer to ventilate effectively during cooking.

What Air Fryer Size Is Best For A Single Individual

If you are an individual, it is unnecessary to buy a big air fryer; instead, you should choose a smaller air fryer that can cook for one or two people.

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Typically, air fryers falling under this category possess a capacity of 1.0 quart, but they can extend up to a maximum of 3.0 quart.

The capacity of these air fryers is suitable for cooking 2-3 servings of fries, chicken breasts, egg rolls, chicken nuggets, or chicken tenders.

Compact, smaller air fryers offer convenience in various ways. One of the benefits is that they can be cleaned in just 2 minutes and will look as good as new. Additionally, these air fryers can be stored under your kitchen counter like a pan after cleaning.

Due to the smaller chamber size, the air fryer will heat up more quickly as there is a reduced amount of air for the heating element to warm.

It is important to consider that air fryers with smaller size usually have less features compared to bigger ones, but they are still capable of producing a crispy outer layer just like their larger counterparts.

What Air Fryer Size Is Best For Small Kitchens

If you reside in a dorm room, a tiny apartment or a recreational vehicle, you may have limited space for bulky appliances, making it unsuitable to opt for a big air fryer.

If you have limited living space, it may be advantageous to own an air fryer that is portable; however, it’s important to note that while all air fryers are portable, not all of them are lightweight.

Smaller air fryers are convenient to store in a kitchen drawer or storage box, and they are also ideal for camping trips and vacations.

An air fryer that is sized at a maximum of 3 quart would be appropriate for smaller kitchens or living spaces.

Ensure that the air fryer, regardless of its size, has enough capacity to prepare food for the desired number of individuals. If the appliance cannot cook your meals in one go, then having a small air fryer is not convenient.

Keep in mind that air fryers are designed to be convenient and efficient kitchen assistants.

What Air Fryer Can Cook A Whole Chicken Or Small Turkey

Smaller air fryers are great for preparing chicken breasts, tenders, nuggets, and wings. Nevertheless, if you want to cook a whole chicken, air fryers under 5-quart in size lack the necessary cooking capacity to accommodate the entire bird.

When confronted with this problem, certain users may apply some pressure to fracture the chicken’s spine into smaller sections in order to accommodate it.

It is advisable to search for a larger air fryer that can cook an entire chicken at once, as this may weigh between 4-7 pounds and require a significantly larger air fryer than just a few wings or nuggets.

When it comes to cooking a whole chicken in an air fryer, it is recommended to opt for an air fryer with a capacity of 5.3 – 5.8 quarts or higher, as anything below 5 quarts may not be spacious enough to accommodate the entire chicken, while air fryers slightly above 5 quarts might encounter difficulties with larger chickens.

Thus, it is recommended to opt for an air fryer with a capacity of 5.3 – 5.8 quarts or more if you plan to cook a whole chicken or small turkey.

Moreover, air fryers with bigger size offer improved capabilities, characteristics, and accessories suitable for baking, roasting, grilling, frying, and other cooking methods. The additional room in these air fryers enables the preparation of bread, pizzas, and smaller cakes.

Here are three models with sufficient capacity to prepare an entire chicken.

What’s The Largest Air Fryer

The Big Boss is the biggest air fryer on the market, with a capacity of 16 quarts and the ability to cook an entire turkey in one go; it weighs almost 15 pounds and can prepare a full three-course meal for two people simultaneously.

Check it out on Amazon

The Benefits Of Large Air Fryers

Having a big air fryer not only provides extra capacity but also offers other advantages.


If you opt for an air fryer that can accommodate a family of five, you’ll have the added benefit of being able to prepare baked goods such as cakes and pizzas, as well as cook large quantities of lasagna and cookies.

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More components

Large air fryers have the advantage of accommodating a wider range of accessories, including grill racks, cake pans, pyrex pans, silicone cups, and various other accessories. On the other hand, small air fryers may only be compatible with accessories designed specifically for them, making it difficult to use anything else. However, in larger air fryers, one can utilize any accessory that is appropriate for an air fryer.

If you already have some accessories at home, it may be more cost-effective to opt for a larger air fryer instead of buying additional ones along with a smaller air fryer.


Air fryers with bigger size usually come with the option to layer food, allowing for more cooking capacity. This means you can prepare chicken and french fries simultaneously without worrying about their different cooking times.

Instead of taking out all the contents of the air fryer and collecting the fries separately before returning the chicken to the air fryer, you can simply take out the tray containing the french fries and proceed with cooking the chicken.

Conclusion: How Big Do I Need My Air Fryer To Be?

When it comes to air fryer size and capacity comparisons, a small 1 or 2-quart air fryer may suffice for single individuals, while larger air fryers are necessary for large families; however, there are also options in between. If someone plans to use the air fryer for all their cooking needs, it may be beneficial to consider a bigger alternative.

As you rely more on your air fryer, it may be worth considering investing in a larger size for added convenience.

When it comes to big events or celebrations, relying on an air fryer can be problematic as the typical air fryer sizes fall between 3.0 to 5.0 quart, which is insufficient for cooking for a large group of people. To cater to such occasions, it is necessary to opt for a bigger air fryer, preferably above 6.0 quart.

For individuals residing in small apartments, dorm rooms, recreational vehicles, campers, and renting rooms, smaller air fryers are highly convenient.

Regardless of the size of the air fryer, you can rely on it to produce the delectable and enjoyable consistency that we all adore.

Related Questions

What is the cost of big air fryers? The cost of big air fryers can differ based on the brand and model, but they typically range from $100 to $300. A $100 air fryer will come with a few components, while a $300 one will have more features and functions, as well as other attractive elements.

When it comes to cooking food, the $100 air fryer is likely to meet your needs, while the other model offers additional features. However, it’s important to note that both models utilize the same cooking principle regardless of their price.

Having more solutions doesn’t always mean better, but flashier often does.

Are big air fryers suitable for small families or individuals? It might be a wise decision for a small family to invest in a larger air fryer. Once you become familiar with the air fryer and its capabilities, you will begin to explore other foods, and the additional space will be beneficial.

If you are living alone, it is unnecessary to have a large air fryer with a capacity of 5 quarts or more. It would be more practical to opt for an air fryer that has a size of 3 quarts.

What is the method to measure an air fryer’s size? The capacity of an air fryer can be measured in quarts, liters, or pounds. If an air fryer has a 1-quart capacity, it can hold approximately 0.94 US liters or 2 pounds.

If you want to cook a steak in an air fryer, the minimum size of the appliance should be 2.5-3.0 quarts to ensure that the steak fits inside the chamber.

Check out our reviews for Air Fryers and Accesories!

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