What Size Air Fryer Do I Need?

If you make any purchases through the links on this site, please know that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This costs you nothing extra.

Get free email updates with every new post or recipe! Sign up here.

If you’re asking yourself, “what size air fryer do I need“, we promise that figuring this out is a simple process. Here, we will help you figure that out as well as show you a few models in each size so you can get an idea of what to look for.

Whether you are cooking for yourself or a large family, there is an air fryer for you! Lets get started.

Table Of Contents:

At A Glance – Best Air Fryers By Size

Best Small Air Fryer
Best Large Air Fryer
Best Medium Air Fryer
Best Extra Large Air Fryer

More air fryers by size at the very bottom.

Air Fryer Sizes

  • Small air fryers are not often recommended, but they do have their place. These small air fryers are great for those who just want to cook a small amount of snack food or heat up a sandwich for lunch. They are quite light-weight and portable (most around 5 lbs.) and can easily be used in a work break room. They are also good for those moments when you just want a little “somethin’ somethin'” but don’t want the heat up an entire oven for a small amount of food.
  • Medium air fryers cannot be transported as easily as a small air fryer, but still cook just enough food for one person. You can cook for two people in this size, but you’ll more than likely have to cook a couple of batches to get it done, depending on what you are cooking.
  • Large air fryers Are great for cooking for more people, but here again, you may have to cook in batches, depending on what you are cooking. Most air fryers in this size range will handle cooking a whole chicken.
  • Extra large air fryers are wonderful for cooking for a larger group. You can’t necessarily cook for an entire party, but your air fryer will certainly be your ally in the kitchen.
  • Commercial size air fryers are not for home use.

Small Air Fryer Sizes:

  • 1.0 to 2.8 quart – 1 person making small meals or snacks

Medium Air Fryer Sizes

  • 3 to 5 quarts – 1-2 people for main meals

Large Air Fryer Sizes:

• 5-10 quarts – 3-5 people for snacks or main meals
(At the 5.8 quart mark, an air fryer will cook a 4 lb. whole chicken.)

Extra Large Air Fryers

• 10 – 19 quarts – 8-6 people for snacks, meal prep, bulk cooking or main meals

Commercial Air Fryers

20 – 31.7 quarts – for commercial kitchens only

How are Air Fryers Sized?

In the description of any air fryer sales page, you most often find a measurement in quarts. This is how much food an air fryer can hold in one batch. (Note that some will list capacity in pounds or liters). That being said, not all food is created equal when it comes to how much you can cook in one batch. Remember that the key to air frying is air circulation. A quart of onions rings will cook very differently than a quart of chicken breasts. So use these measurements as a guide for getting the largest air fryer you can instead of focusing on how much food you can cook at once.

How Much Food Do Air Fryers Hold?

According to America’s Test Kitchen”

Most standard air fryers can fit enough food for 2 to 4 servings, depending on the food. It’s important not to overcrowd the basket. If you choose to make multiple batches of an air frying recipe, start checking the second batch for doneness a few minutes early, as the air fryer will already be hot and may cook the second batch more quickly. (source)

  • 1-2.8 quarts will hold a few chicken nuggets and a small side of cut veggies (or 1 small sandwich).
  • 3-5 quarts will hold enough french fries for 3-4 people or 2-3 medium chicken breasts.
  • 6-10 quarts will hold a whole chicken, pizza or a few pounds of french fries.
  • 11-16 quarts will cook a whole turkey

What Size Air Fryer Should I Buy if I Have Limited Counter Space?

This will depend solely on exactly how much space you have to spare. Measure your available space and shop accordingly, making sure to give yourself a little wiggle room (at least a 5 inches) to move the appliance in and out of it’s space and give it some “breathing room” as well. The extra space is important because the appliance needs some room to smoke and circulate air.

What Size Air Fryer will Cook a Whole Chicken?

As we mentioned previously, a 5.8 quart air fryer will cook a 4 lb. chicken. Several air fryers work well for this. Remember, you can go larger than 5.8, but not smaller. And if you are cooking for more than 1 or 2 people (or you prefer to cook larger meals instead of just snack foods) we recommend you buy the largest air fryer you can afford and have space for anyway. The larger the air fryer, the more capability it has to function as a regularly used appliance in your kitchen. A 5.8 quart air fryer is about the smallest air fryer we would suggest for most households.

How to Pick an Air Fryer

There are some main points to consider when making your final decision.

  1. How much countertop space do you have?
  2. How many people are you cooking for?
  3. What types of foods do you hope to cook in your air fryer? Simple snacks or main meals?
  4. Are you okay with either shaking a basket or flipping your food occasionally during cooking?
  5. Do you need your air fryer to do more than just air fry? (Think: bake, rotisserie, roast, etc)
  6. Do you need this air fryer to travel with you?

All of these questions are vital in picking our the right air fryer for you. Based on your answers, here are some air fryer suggestions.

And if you need help choosing a type of air fryer (basket, paddle or toaster oven style), read What Is An Air Fryer to help you make that decision.


No matter how large or small your kitchen is, there is probably an air fryer that will suit your needs. The size of your available countertop space will determine the size air fryer you can buy, and the air fryer you can buy will determine what foods you can cook. But air fryers are versatile appliances that serve multiple uses. Anything from heating up a small bowl of soup (in oven-safe glass, of course) to cooking a whole turkey. So with a little forethought, choosing the right size and type should be pretty simply.

Recommended Reading

What Is An Air Fryer?

Here we cover what they are, how they work, why you want one and the different types you can purchase.

Air Fryer Guide For Beginners

Here we talk you through the beginning basics of air frying. Everything from types of air fryers to some recipes you can try to get you started.

What Are The Best Air Fryer Accessories And Why You Might Want Them

Accessories can make your air frying experience a breeze. These are the accessories we’ve found to be most helpful with air frying.













Similar Posts