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What Size Air Fryer Do I Need?

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Air fryers are easy-to-use cooking appliances that help people make healthier meals with less oil. Many models have been released during the last several years, allowing users to pick an air fryer that meets their needs. However, since the market has become oversaturated, selecting the perfect size can be challenging.

If you're wondering, 'What size air fryer do I need?' you've come to the right place. This article will break down the different air fryer size options and help you make an informed decision. Keep reading to learn more.

Size Guide

Let's look at the most popular size options.

Small Air Fryers

Small air fryers take the hassle out of cooking for people with busy lifestyles. Most models have a capacity from one to two quarts and are easy to store in small kitchens.

These appliances are more budget-friendly than larger fryers, and people don't have to break their budget to prepare delicious air-fried food. Also, they're an excellent choice if you've never used an air fryer before and don't know how frequently you'll reach for it.

Although small air fryers are perfect for making tasty snacks, you can whip up other dishes, from crispy French fries to roasted vegetables.

While the limited cooking capacity seems like it may restrict your ability to cook hearty dinners, that's not the case. For example, a one-quart fryer can hold one chicken breast and some sweet potatoes and fries without difficulty. A two or three-quart model should fit two or three chicken breasts and about four chicken wings in one cooking cycle.

Small air fryers shine when cooking light meals without messing up your countertop. Moreover, if you're looking for a compact multipurpose appliance, you can use your fryer as a microwave and reheat food. It will prevent you from wasting food while keeping the leftovers crisp and juicy.

A smaller model will work best for those who live alone and occasionally cook for two or three people. If you have a cramped kitchen, a small fryer will sit comfortably on your countertop without taking up too much space.

Medium Air Fryers

Air fryers with a cooking capacity of three to four quarts fall into the medium category. A three or four-quart model will hold four or five chicken breasts and a side of frozen vegetables without difficulty. This is a decent serving size that should satisfy the appetites of two to three people.

Its size perfectly balances affordability and cooking capacity, and medium models offer more versatility. For example, thanks to their size, you can fit whole carrots and asparagus inside them and have a roasted snack in under ten minutes. Or, you may want to air fry some fish fillets or reheat leftovers.

Although you'll need more time to cook for more than four people, a medium air fryer can rise to the occasion. You'll need to divide the food into several batches, but each one will be tasty and crispy.

Large Air Fryers

Large air fryers are the way to go for families. Their capacity usually goes from five to six quarts. Five-quart models have a larger basket and help you make dinner and dessert when you're on a time crunch.

These fryers are incredibly versatile, so you can get out of your comfort zone and try different types of cooking. This is handy if you have young children who are picky eaters since you can find meals and cooking styles they like best in half the time.

Those who prefer to cook bigger potions should consider investing in a model with a six-quart basket. Sizing up ensures that your food is evenly cooked because putting too much in the basket will leave it raw on the inside.

Households with three or four members would benefit from using a six-quart fryer. You can quickly prepare one chicken and a bag of frozen fries without worrying about the meat being undercooked. Models of this size sometimes have more advanced features and allow you to experiment with different recipes.

Extra-Large Air Fryers

Families with five or six members need an appliance that can keep up with their lifestyle and incorporate into their daily routine. These models generally have a basket from seven to eight quarts. You'll have no problem cooking two dozen chicken wings and a whole chicken in one session.

Another reason why many people buy extra-large air fryers is the built-in functions. Small appliances only air fry and reheat food, but larger models may have more advanced functions, including roasting, baking, dehydrating, grilling, and toasting.

They're more expensive than other solutions, but they're a high-return investment if you use them frequently. In addition, they're made from durable materials and will be an invaluable kitchen upgrade for years.

Multifunctional Air Fryers

Those who regularly cook for large groups of people need an appliance that guarantees stress-free cooking. Fortunately, many devices combine the essential air fryer functions with other cooking styles. The cooking capacity of these multipurpose appliances typically ranges from six to twenty quarts.

Newer models have a rotisserie function, ideal for preparing soft and juicy meats. For example, you can place a whole chicken inside a rotating basket or on a cooking rod. These rotating elements ensure that the hot air penetrates every inch of the meat, making each bite succulent.

Another innovative device is the air fryer and toaster oven combination. You can use the basic frying and reheating options, but the appliance also lets you make baked goods. Toaster ovens with a built-in frying feature usually have two cooking racks, and you can make pizzas, brownies, bread, and cakes.

If being in the kitchen awakens your adventurous side, you might want to invest in the air fryer and pressure cooker combination. At first glance, these devices resemble standard pressure cookers. But you can insert different lids, baskets, and pots to combine the two cooking methods.

These appliances are more powerful than traditional air fryers and require more countertop space. While they're not the best option for a four-member household, they'll help you cook for more than seven people easily. Size is one difference between an air fryer and a convection oven.

Make Cooking a Breeze With the Right Size

Those looking for a way to hone their cooking skills probably wonder what size air fryer they need. These gadgets are convenient, easy to use, and reduce time spent in the kitchen. However, the models come in different shapes and sizes, so making a final decision can be tricky.

A small fryer with a two-quart capacity will get the job done if you usually cook for two people. Households with three or four members should purchase a medium or large fryer. 

When you regularly cook for more than five people, you should consider investing in an extra-large or multifunctional model for more versatility. Before committing to an air fryer, make sure it matches your budget, kitchen size, and personal preference.