Welcome back to Air Fryer Bro! Today, we are looking at Air Fryer Sizes. A lot of new users are wondering what size of air fryer to purchase, and we aim to help with this decision with a basic guide. To put it simply, we aim to give you a simple air fryer size guide! Whether you are single or a family of 5, we have the answer for you! At the very least, this should be a good starting point for anyone in the market for an air fryer! Should you go XL to the max? Let’s find out about the best air fryer for your situation together 🙂
How is air fryer size measured?
It doesn’t matter if your air fryer is a Ninja, a Cosori air fryer or even weird brands like Ultrean, they are all measured in the same way! Air fryers are typically measured in quarts in the USA (referred to as the ‘qt’ abbreviation) or liters (or the ‘l’ abbreviation) in other parts of the world. Throughout this article, they are the measurements I will be referring to. So you better know your l from your qt 🙂
What are the typical air fryer sizes?
Unfortunately, this is not a simple thing to answer! As there are many different brands of air fryers, there are no standardized sizes used by the industry. When air fryers first arrived on the market, they were all of similar sizes due to the state of the technology. With the current increases in power, air fryers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. So this will be my opinion of Air fryer sizes. The Air Fryer Bro size guide, if you will!
I will be showing recommended air fryers throughout this size guide. Simply click on an air fryer image to go check out the product on Amazon.
The Micro Sized Air Fryer
It has been amazing how much this sector of air fryers has grown, something that I have found quite surprising. This is the smallest size of air fryer available on the market, what I like to refer to as the micro-air fryers! These are any air fryers around the 2 liter or 2 quart mark (yes, they are roughly about the same). Until quite recently, this section didn’t even exist. However, I have seen new micro air fryers popping up all over more recently.
I would like to say right off the bat, though, that I do not recommend these air fryers for use in the home. If you have a huge squeeze on your kitchen space, you may want to look at them, but they really do offer a very limited range of cooking. Even a single person will struggle to cook a whole meal in one of these air fryers.
The Small Air Fryer
When Philips first introduced the air fryer to the consumer market (thanks Philips!!), they typically went with a size of around 3 quarts. At the time, this was the limit of the air fryer technology, as it required a very intense type of heat to work as designed. In the modern world of air fryers, this size fits more into the small or ‘regular’ category of air fryers on the market.
I would rate this category officially as being any size around the 3-5 quarts/liter mark. I personally wouldn’t bother with anything under 3 quarts/liters in this category.
The Large Size Air Fryer
In more recent years, as the air fryer technology has advanced, we have started seeing more and more outlandish sizes becoming available. This is great, as it opens up the world of air frying to a much larger group of people. No more worries or air fryer size anxiety!
For me, I would say a large air fryer is anything from 5 to 10 quarts/ liters. I still have to kick myself when I say 10 quarts and air fryer is the same sentence!
Most of these air fryers are still only taking up the same amount of counter top space as a toaster oven, so they are still compact enough to fit in most kitchens.
The Supersized Air Fryer
Believe it or not, there are air fryers over 10 quarts/ liters! And this segment is growing, so in the future only expect air fryers to get bigger!! As well as having a few traditional bucket style air fryers in this section, most of the models here are oven style air fryers. These are a relatively new style of air fryers, that combine the air fryer technology with the form factor of a counter top oven.
What size air fryer should I buy?
In this section, we aim to give you a simple air fryer size comparison, linking the sizes mentioned above to their ideal use case. Please bear in mind that this is a general air fryer size guide, and please make sure to read the section after this to see if there are any other considerations when selecting your air fryer size.
This air fryer size guide should be looked at as the bare minimum you would need for your situation. Of course, some people like to ‘go big’ just because they like the luxury and added versatility of more space. Just make sure that you buy at least the minimum size recommended below.
As a general rule, I would say that if you are buying an air fryer, you should always go a little bit bigger than you expect. This is because most people are used to traditional fixed ovens, which offer a lot of space. Even for me with a 3 quart size air fryer, I sometimes find the space not enough even if I am just cooking for myself. Especially if most of the meal is cooked in the air fryer.
And you can’t stack food in an air fryer or fill it up to the max, as you need to leave space for the hot air to flow around your food and cook it. This also limits how you can use the space in an air fryer and may require you to size up!
You don’t want to be stuck with an air fryer that you think is too small, so better to go a little bit bigger right out of the gate. Find out about the cooking capacity you may need below…
Air Fryer size for Use Outside the House
If you are intending to use your air fryer outside of the house to cook a quick snack, maybe on a camping trip or something similar, there is a more compact air fryer for you. I have even heard of truckers using air fryers in their trucks to cook full meals on the road. Check the rating of the electrical system you are plugging your air fryer into, though, to make sure it can withstand the wattage of an air fryer. Even a micro air fryer is often a 1000 watt machine!
The type of air fryer I recommend for this use case is a micro-sized air fryer. These days, there are several options for you to choose from. I would personally recommend the Fereol micro air fryer, as it is one of the larger examples weighing in at 2.2 quarts/liters. Also, it only needs a minuscule 800 watts to power it. A quick check of Amazon reviews shows it in a very positive light. It has an overall 4.4 stars out of 5 with over 200 reviews.
Air Fryer size for a Single Person or Couple
When buying an air fryer for a single person or a couple, I would recommend going for an air fryer that is inline with the very first models that came out on the market. What I refer to above as the ‘small air fryer.’ It still amazes me that this size is considered small in today’s air fryer market! What that means, in practical terms, is any air fryer that is in the 3-5 quart/ liter range. This should air fry enough food for the average 1-2 person household!
I am a perfect example of this use case, as I live in a family household of two. I have a traditional style Philips air fryer, that weighs in at only 3 quarts. For most uses, this is a perfect size for us. It is only when I am trying to air fry an entire meal in the air fryer, that I need to do it in batches. It doesn’t happen that often. If you think your household will be cooking a lot of whole meals in the air fryer, simply opt for something as close to 5 quarts as you can.
For this size, I would recommend the Ninja Air Fryer, as it offers excellent quality and sits plum in the middle of this category at 4 quarts.
Air Fryer size for a Small Family (up to 4 family members)
When buying an air fryer for a small family (with up to 4 members in it), you should be looking at the large air fryers as described above. This is any air fryer in the 5-10 quart/ liter range. This is easier than ever, as it is currently the largest section of air fryers available. If you look at top selling air fryers, you will see a lot of large air fryers on that list right now!
The only exception to this is if you are planning to cook whole meals for the whole family in your air fryer. Then you should look into the super-sized air fryer category. This would reduce the amount of times you would need to cook in batches.
My recommendation for an air fryer in this category would be the Omorc 6 quart model. It offers an excellent combination of quality and price!
Air Fryer size for a Large Family (5 family members or more)
It is great that air fryers are now available that have the versatility to cater for such large families. You may still have to batch cook, as you do have a lot of people to feed. But with some of the largest air fryers, this is much more manageable than before. When air fryers were first on the market, big families like this could only cook one element of their meal in an air fryer.
The supersize air fryer is categorized by us as an air fryer above 10 quarts/ liters in size. At this size, you will probably be looking at an oven style air fryer. Unbelievably, AAOBOSI has a 21 quart/ liter air fryer oven available, and it is reviewing well on Amazon at the time of writing. Getting 4.3 out of 5 stars is no easy feat! So even the most demanding families should be able to find a suitable air fryer these days and air fry to their hearts’ content 🙂
However, if you don’t want or need something this big, I would opt for the Caynel 12.5 quart air fryer oven. It has a neat rotating air fryer basket, and is currently reviewing very highly on Amazon.
Any other considerations?
Above are the Air Fryer Bro’s basic recommendations for our air fryer size guide. However, there are some unique situations where you may need to scale up from this. We will detail these situations here.
Main cooking appliance?
You need to carefully consider whether you will be using the air fryer as a main cooking appliance or just something on the side to whip up a quick snack. If you have a traditional oven as your main appliance, you would be fine with the recommendations above. However, if your air fryer is your sole or main method of cooking, you may want to size up.
Also, are you cooking whole meals or just using it to cook batches of chicken wings or french fries? If your answer is whole meals, then you should look into sizing up too. When I say sizing up, I mean you should go one size above what I recommended earlier in the article!
Do you want to use your air fryer as a dehydrator?
A lot of air fryers are good for dehydrating food, something which is becoming increasingly popular. If you are doing this, I would recommend making sure you buy an oven style air fryer, as this will have multiple racks (which is very suitable for dehydrating). The smallest air fryer oven on the market is around 10 quarts/ liters, so that would be the minimum you would need. If you plan on doing a lot of dehydrating, I would say simply buy the biggest air fryer you can stand having in your kitchen!
Do you intend to do baking?
There is nothing more annoying than having to batch cook your cookies or cake creations! So, if you intend to do baking in your air fryer, I would recommend you size up one level. If you weren’t aware that you can bake in an air fryer, you should go read my review of an excellent air fryer baking cookbook to find out more!
Do you intend to do grilling?
An air fryer can also act as a great appliance for grilling, but if you want to take advantage of this, you will also need a decent amount of space. If you intend to grill often, then you should also go for something on the larger air fryer end.
Do you often cook whole chickens?
Finally, if you intend on cooking whole chickens, you will need an air fryer with at least 5 quarts/ liters available. This is because you need to be careful not to hamper your air fryers’ air flow during the roasting process. To be honest, if you want to roast a whole chicken often, I highly recommend buying an air fryer oven with a rotisserie function. You will find the results much better and simpler to achieve this way. I found this out recently with my use and review of the CalmDo air fryer oven!
Accessories to the rescue
If you have looked at the air fryer sizing guide above and find out you should have a bigger qt appliance but don’t have the counter space for it, you can counter this by using accessories. For example, you can buy a wire rack that lets you add an additional level of cooking space to your air fryer’s cooking compartment. I have an example of a wire rack in my recommended products section (as well as other essential accessories). This is a great way to add cooking capacity to a smaller air fryer appliance.
Thanks for your time!!
Thank you for reading our article about air fryer sizes, and hopefully our comparisons will help you choose the ideal air fryer for your next purchase.
If you have any differing views to ours regarding air fryer sizes, please feel free to let us know all about it in the comments section below. We always love to hear from the air fryer community. The Air Fryer Bro is simply someone with a passion for air fryers, and is always looking for insights from others!!