What Size Air Fryer Do I Need?


Last Updated: March 17th, 2023

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Every air fryer beginner (and sometime experienced ones) have asked this: what size air fryer do I need? It is an age old question and sadly there are some misleading information out there. We have already touched this topic in our How to choose an air fryer article but now we are going into the details regarding this question.

Basically it comes down to 3 things when asking what size air fryer do i need:

  • How many people are you cooking with an air fryer
  • What type of air fryer are we talking about
  • What foods are you planning to cook with your air fryer

So let’s talk about these 3 topics so you’ll have an exact answer on the question of what size air fryer do I need.

what size air fryer do i need

Basics of Air Fryer Sizes

Different types of air fryers have different sizes. A large basket-type air fryer has a totally different size than a large air fryer oven.

The sizes of air fryers vary. The size range might vary significantly depending on the model of air fryer you choose. The capacity of an air fryer is typically measured in quarts (abbreviated QT), although be aware that certain products are

We’ve seen tiny air fryers with a 1 quart capacity, but the low end for basket-style air fryers is typically about 2 quarts. The capacity of basket-style air fryers ranges from 1 to 10 quarts.

Small air fryer: Anything less than a 3 quart air fryer is considered small.

Medium air fryer: A medium basket-type air fryer size holds 3 to 6 quarts.

Large air fryer: I consider anything with a capacity more than 6 quarts to be a large air fryer.

I made a table to better understand the question of ‘what size air fryer do I need’. I utilized a pretty useful food weight to volume converter online (Source). Due to the fact that you can’t generally load the air fryer basket to 100%, I additionally subtracted 25% from the final result.

Air fryer sizeCooks forFrench friesChicken breastCauliflower
1 QT1 person0,38 pounds0,90 pounds0,75 pounds
2 QT2 people0,75 pounds1,80 pounds1,50 pounds
4 QT3-4 people1,50 pounds3,60 pounds3,00 pounds
6 QT4-5 people2,25 pounds5,40 pounds4,50 pounds
8 QT5+ people3,00 pounds7,20 pounds6,00 pounds

As you can see there can be a big difference between the amount of food you can cook solely based on its type so it is also worth thinking about the type of foods you are planning to cook when asking what what size air fryer do I need.

Just remember that these are reference numbers. The majority of the time, you can’t completely fill an air fryer basket, and it doesn’t account for the space between things either.

Additionally, some items can only be cooked in a single layer since they cannot be layered but more on that later.

Air Fryer Size Example

To better understand the air fryer size of a basket-style air fryer I’m going to show you my current air fryer’s size. So here goes our little math lesson for today:

what size air fryer do i need_example1
8,5 inch diameter
what size air fryer do i need_example2
4 inch height

So our air fryer has a 8,5 inch diameter and a 4 inch height. To calculate how many quart is that first we have to calculate the volume of a cylinder. Since elementary mathematics was a long time ago I asked for a calculators help. So my air fryer basket has a 227 cubic inch volume. Now we just need a cubic inch to quart converter. It turns out that my air fryer basket is 3.93 quarts, which sounds about right.

Since we are only a family of 2 at the moment this perfectly meets our requirement. To give an even deeper understanding of how big is 3.93 quarts I have a picture when I filled up may basket with 2 big sliced sweet potatoes (around 1 pounds):

1 pound of sweet potato in an almost 4 quart air fryer

As you can see it filled up around half of the basket. This amount was perfectly enough for the 2 of us. So if you look at the table above you can see that a 4 quart air fryer can be enough for more than 2 people if there is a lack of space in your kitchen.

Other air fryer types and their air fryer sizes

Air Fryer Oven

Air Fryer Ovens are usually come in bigger capacity but it doesn’t mean they can hold more food proportionally.

Their max capacity is around 30 quart and begin at around 10 quarts. Ideally a 26 quart air fryer oven (like the one Kalorik makes) is more than enough in my opinion.

The fact that you typically cook in air fryer ovens with racks and that some recipes don’t allow you to utilize several racks means that this large capacity can occasionally be a bit misleading. In contrast, with basket-style air fryers, you may just fill the basket to capacity and use the majority of the appliance’s quarts.

On the other hand since they have a big surface it allows you to cook certain foods more easily than with a basket type air fryer. For example pizza is the best example. It is much easier to load and unload a pizza with an air fryer oven and with a bigger air fryer oven you can cook a 12 inch pizza also.

Related article: Kalorik MAXX Vs. Ninja SP101

Air Fryer Grill Combo

Combinations of an air fryer and an indoor grill have a capacity of 6 to 10 quarts, but only if you use the grilling grate.

They’ll all have smaller air fryer baskets, for the most part. For instance, the Cosori Indoor Grill and Smart Air Fryer only includes a 4QT air fryer basket but a 6QT cooking pot with a grilling grate.

You must therefore take this into account when choosing air fryer and indoor grill combinations.

Related article: Best Air Fryer Grill Combo

Dual basket Air Fryers

Air fryers with two baskets typically hold 8 to 10 quarts, which means that each basket holds about 4-5 quarts.

The essential thing to keep in mind when it comes to dual basket air fryers is that if you want to use it for multiple items at once, it’s like having two 4-5 quart air fryers, whereas if you put the same dish in it, it becomes a large 8-10 quart air fryer.

Consequently, a twin basket air fryer will serve about 4-5 people with a main dish and a side dish.

Related article: Best Dual Basket Air Fryer

Air fryer lids

What if I tell you there are air fryer sizes that can change? Mind blowing right? Some brands have came out with an air fryer that is only a lid with the air fryer ventilator that can be put on different sized multi-cookers or even regular pots.

Kalorik is one of the brands where you can find these handy little inventions. If you are not sure what size air fryer you need or you have a multi-cooker you want to convert into an air fryer this is a great choice.

Air fryer sizes based on the type of food you want to cook

So the question of what size air fryer do I need is also important to ask when it comes the type of food you want to cook.

You’ll have a completely different need if you mainly cook French fries, dried fruits, bacon, pizza or a whole turkey in it.

If you cook mostly vegetables, French fries and simple meats (like chicken wings) you can go for a simple basket-type air fryer. In the article above you can find the perfect size based on your family size.

But things get interesting when you want to cook some special dishes.

Let’s say a pizza. Who doesn’t like pizza? Well you can use a basket-type air fryer for a pizza but it will be a mini pizza for sure and also it can get quite messy. So for a pizza typically an air fryer oven is the best choice but those come in bigger sizes remember?

Or dried fruits. If you want to make dried fruits you need a rack and you cant stack the fruits on each other. So if you use a basket type air fryer you’ll get like 10 slices max which isn’t a lot given that you have to slow cook it for 5 hours at least. So in this case you’ll need an air fryer oven again even if you are just a family of 2

Air fryer and family sizes

Air fryer for a family of 2

For 2 people I think a small air fryer is enough when it comes to basket type air fryer which is an air fryer less than 3 quarts. Based on the table above as you can see it can cook around 0,75 pounds of French fries and around 1,8 pounds of chicken breast which is usually enough for 2 people.

For other types of air fryers for a family of 2 I would say the smallest is enough of them.

So for an air fryer oven that would be around 10 quarts.

For a dual basket air fryer that would be an 8 quarts. That is still big to be honest because even if you use 1 basket it is still 4 quarts and is more than enough for the 2 of you.

Related article: Best Small Air Fryers

Air fryer for a family of 4

For a family of 4 I think you should at least buy a regular air fryer with a capacity of more than 4 QT but ideally a bit more than that. A 5-6QT air fryer will be perfectly enough for you

In case of an air fryer oven for a family of 4 I think you should go for at least 16 quarts.

For the dual basket air fryer the small 8 quarts is just enough for you so I’d say you can go for 9-10 quarst dual basket air fryer for a family of 4.

Air fryer for a family of 6

For such a big family you should get the large models obviously. An air fryer for a family of 6 should definitely be more than 8 quarts which is the biggest models for every brand. What I would do if I were you is to go for a dual basket air fryer of 10 quarts.

It has a huge capacity and you can use the 2 baskets to cook the same food which in that case will serve you as a simple 10 quart basket type air fryer. On the other hand if you want to cook 2 meals at the same time it will serve as 2pc. of 5 quart air fryers.

If you would go for an oven instead I’d say go for a 26QT air fryer oven like the Kalorik MAXX

Related article: Best Dual Basket Air Fryer

Related article: Best Kalorik Air Fryers

Air fryer for one person

If you are alone than the smallest air fryers is definitely enough for you. You can find air fryers with a 1 quart capacity for around 30 USD but I think those are way too small even for 1 person. I would say get a 2 quart air fryer which is still relatively small but you can cook everything in it in a comfortable way.


So the main question was what size air fryer do I need. It started out as a simple question but we learned that there are many layers to these question, namely the size of our family, the type of food we want to cook and the type of air fryer we need.

I hope it is clearer now for you what size air fryer you need but if not do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll help you out. Happy frying!

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Thomas S.

Hey there! I've been cooking for myself and loved ones since the age of 18. In our busy world I've always looked for ways to be more time efficient when it comes to preparing food but also creating tasty and healthy dishes. That's when I came accross air fryers a few years ago and eversince I am trying to spread the word of the benefits of these wonderful machines.