Air Fryer Sizes - How to Choose
Most of us have an air fryer or are thinking of buying one; That’s how popular this versatile kitchen appliance has become.
What started as a simple countertop appliance has evolved into a multi-purpose cooking machine available in various types and sizes.
An air fryer is an indispensable tool to have in your kitchen. However, if you are new to the air fryer market, you may be overwhelmed by the plethora of options available to you.
So how do you choose the best air fryer size?
When choosing the size of the air fryer that best suits your cooking needs, you must take into account the type of food you want to prepare in it, the size of your family, the shape and type of air fryer. you need and the space you have in your kitchen.
What is an air fryer?
Contrary to its name, an air fryer is not really a deep fryer. Instead, it works similar to a convection oven, circulating the hot air inside it using a fan.
The main difference between an air fryer and a convection oven is that an air fryer circulates the air faster and the compartment where the food is cooked is usually smaller.
Due to these two things, and the perforated rack or basket that it usually has, an air fryer does not lose much heat and the hot air reaches the food more quickly on all sides.
Air-fried foods brown quickly on the outside, without overcooking on the inside, which is much like deep-frying works, hence the name “air fryer” and the comparison to deep-frying.
Depending on what you’re cooking in an air fryer, it’s almost always healthier than deep-frying or pan-frying, due to less oil use and fewer calories.
As for the type of food you can cook in it, you can use it for a myriad of options, from crispy bacon to sweet potato fries, and everything in between.
An air fryer is not only used for fried foods like chicken wings, French fries, and mozzarella sticks, but also for heating food and reheating leftovers.
Types of air fryers
There are two main types of air fryers available on the market: cylindrical basket air fryers (classic air fryers) and air fryers. Both are essentially tabletop convection ovens, but they differ in their features.
Cylindrical basket air fryers are what you normally picture when you think of air fryers.
Equipped with drawers and removable baskets, similar to those of deep fryers, the air inside is heated and circulated evenly by a fan.
Air fryers work on the same principle, but instead of a drawer and pull-out basket, they have racks inside, similar to those in a toaster oven, that serve to hold the crisping and cooking trays.
Also, unlike basket air fryers, air ovens have added functions like baking, broiling, and broiling.
Here are their pros and cons to help you choose:
|Air Fryer Type||Pros||cons|
|Cylindrical Basket Air Fryer||Requires less counter space Preheats faster Does not heat up the kitchen Easy to add food to the basket Available in various designs and colors||Noisier than an oven Cannot see food during cooking Limited capacity Requires batch cooking Single function|
|air fryer oven||Larger capacity Multiple cooking functions Quieter fan You can see food through the glass door You can move food closer to or further from the resistance Most parts are dishwasher safe||Takes up more counter space Can’t stir food for even cooking Takes longer to preheat Makes cooking hotter Usually more expensive Limited designs and colors|
Air Fryer Size Guide
Due to its increasing popularity, air fryer manufacturers are bringing out different types of air fryers in various sizes, suitable for all types of kitchens.
On the one hand, there are compact air fryers suitable for individuals, and on the other, you have the large ones, capable of cooking a whole chicken or turkey in one go. And, of course, there are various sizes in between.
When buying an air fryer, its size is one of the most important things to consider, as it will determine the capacity of the appliance and the space it will occupy in your kitchen.
Here are some of the most common air fryer sizes, along with their capacities and the number of people they are ideal for.
small air fryers
Small air fryers have a capacity of between 1 and 3 liters and are ideal for an individual or a small family of 2 people.
Your basket is large enough to hold two chicken breasts side by side, or one chicken breast and a couple of fries in the other.
The slightly larger ones, with a 3-quart capacity, can cook 4 to 7 chicken wings at a time and are perfect for two people who plan to use the air fryer regularly.
Medium Air Fryers
Medium air fryers have a capacity of about 3-5 quarts and are best suited for a family of 3 or more.
They provide more options and allow users to experiment with cooking larger items.
Although you won’t be able to cook a whole chicken in them, you can cut and cook it with no problem.
You can easily prepare appetizers or side dishes, such as French fries, for 3-4 people, and they are also large enough to cook two things simultaneously.
large air fryers
Large air fryers are quite large, with a 5-6 quart capacity, and can easily cook 4-5 chicken breasts at a time . They are extremely versatile and can accommodate different sized foods in large batches.
Ideal for a family of 5-7 people, they come with additional compartments to accommodate different trays and allow you to fill them with the food of your choice and cook them at the same time.
Air fryers of this size also often come with additional accessories to enhance their functionality.
Extra Large Air Fryers
Extra large air fryers are the answer to your culinary needs if you have a large number of people to feed.
With a capacity of between 6 and 16 litres, they are more versatile and incredibly practical for cooking different types of food, such as whole chickens, turkeys and pizzas.
Some Extra Large Air Fryers can have enough space to accommodate two pans and up to three grill racks, and have a spacious chamber to create space for baking, dehydrating, roasting, grilling, and more.
Air Fryer Sizing: Overview
At the most basic level, there are four different sizes of air fryers available on the market, suitable for individuals as well as large parties and gatherings.
Here’s a rundown of air fryer sizes and the number of people they’re best suited for:
|air fryer size||air fryer capacity||Suitable for|
|small fryer||1-3 quarts||1-2 people|
|Medium Air Fryer||3-5 quarts||3-4 people|
|large fryer||5-6 rooms||5-7 people|
|Extra Large Air Fryer||6-16 rooms||Large families and reunions|
What size air fryer is best for you?
Cooking in an air fryer is a method that requires less time than other ways of cooking. This is partly due to its small size and its powerful heating element, which can start the cooking process in less than 2 minutes.
That said, it’s important to consider the size of your air fryer when shopping, as well as how much you can cook at one time.
It can be said that the size of an air fryer can make or break the experience, so choose wisely.
There is no right or wrong size when it comes to an air fryer, as it all depends on what works best for you and your family, and fits well in your kitchen.
When choosing the right size of air fryer, you should consider the following aspects:
The type of food you plan to cook
One of the most basic criteria for choosing the right size air fryer is the type of food you plan to cook in it.
For example, if you need it to make bite-size snacks like French fries and mini egg rolls, a small to medium size air fryer should be perfect for you.
However, if you plan to grill whole vegetables, such as carrots or asparagus, whole chickens or roast beef, you’ll need an air fryer with a basket large enough to accommodate them.
Therefore, pay close attention to how you plan to use your air fryer, and whether you need it only for small snacks or for proper family meals.
The number of people you are cooking for
The number of people you are cooking for is an important factor when choosing the right size air fryer , as it will help you determine how much you need to cook in one go.
Whether you’re a single person or a small family of two, a small air fryer should do the trick for you.
However, if you have more people to feed, you should look for larger-sized options that are better suited for large families, parties, and gatherings, so you have plenty of room to make large meals at once.
The type and shape of the air fryer
As stated above, air fryers come in a variety of types, shapes, and sizes, and you have to choose the right one depending on what you are going to use the appliance for.
You’ll find many air fryers with a circular basket, while others have a square or rectangular one.
The latter usually have racks that allow pans to be placed inside, while the circular ones are more suitable for appetizers and smaller foods that can be cooked quickly and evenly.
air fryer capacity
The capacity of the air fryer refers to the amount of food that it can hold at one time. It is usually measured in quarts, which is a measure for the capacity of liquids.
You can find small air fryers with a capacity of 1 to 2 quarts and extra large ones with a maximum capacity of 16 quarts.
When deciding on the size of your air fryer, think about the size of your typical meals and the number of people you’ll be cooking for.
The cooking capacity of an air fryer will have a direct impact on its size. If you cook for one person, a small air fryer should be ideal for you. But if you need to cook for several people, it would be wise to look for air fryers with a larger capacity.
Available counter space
Lastly, since an air fryer sits on top of your kitchen counter, you need to consider the available space in your kitchen so that it doesn’t become a hassle when it comes to using and storing it.
The best air fryers are large enough to cook food to your needs and compact enough to fit easily in your kitchen.
Also, keep in mind that larger air fryers and ovens will need a permanent spot on your kitchen counter, while smaller ones can be stored in a cupboard or cupboard once you’re done using them.
Now that you know all about the different sizes of air fryers and how to choose the best one for your needs, here are some additional questions we thought you might have!
What is a double or dual air fryer?
A double air fryer comes with two separate cooking baskets, side by side, and allows you to cook two different types of food at the same time, using different cooking functions and temperature settings.
You can also set it up so that both baskets finish cooking at the same time.
The basic idea is to allow you to prepare a meal in one go, although there is a restriction on the size of portions you can prepare.
If you cook for a large number of people, you will find that you will often need both baskets to cook the same type of food. If that’s the case, we suggest investing in a single basket air fryer with a larger cooking capacity.
If you think a double air fryer is the right option for you, this is hands down our favorite!
How do you clean an air fryer?
Start by unplugging the air fryer and allowing it to cool completely. Remove the basket, tray, and pan, and wash them in warm, soapy water.
You can also put them in the dishwasher, although be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if these parts for your particular model are dishwasher safe.
Clean the main unit of the air fryer with a damp cloth and wipe it down to remove any grease or food splatters. Never immerse it in water.
For food stuck to the heating coil, use a soft brush to clean it. Once all this is done, dry with a towel or air dry the parts that you have washed before reassembling them.