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Size matters: Exploring the Air Fryer Capacity

So, you’ve heard about how amazing an air fryer is, and you may be planning on buying one. As you begin searching the internet for information about air fryers, you repeatedly encounter the word “capacity”. This term seems foreign and to tell you the truth, I was a bit lost too when I first heard about it! Yet, it’s actually quite simple.

In this article, we will be exploring the world of the air fryer’s capacity, what it is, and why you should consider it before buying one.

Air fryer capacity

Understanding the Air Fryer Capacity

What is an air fryer capacity?

Air fryer capacity refers to how much food can fit inside an air fryer at once.

How do you measure air fryer capacity?

You might be wondering how the air fryer capacity is measured. Well, it’s measured in quarts or liters – which are units of measurement for liquid capacity. Both quarts and liters are ways to measure how much liquid or food you can fit in a container. In the US, quarts are usually used, while liters are the preferred unit of measurement in other countries. So that you can get an idea of the differences, one quart is equal to 0.946352946 liters when converted.

To help you visualize how much food can fit in an air fryer basket, let me give you an example. For instance, if you try cooking a whole chicken in a small air fryer, you will struggle! That’s because the chicken will likely be too big for the air fryer basket, preventing it from cooking evenly and producing the desired crispy texture. Therefore, it’s essential to choose the right air fryer capacity for the types of food you plan to cook. Also, knowing and understanding the air fryer capacity in liters or quarts can help you determine how much food it can hold and how many meals you can prepare at once.

Air Fryer Capacity Comparison

What I find helpful in understanding the air fryer capacity is to compare it to the types of food we usually cook in our kitchen or even your favorite dishes! By doing this, you can better gauge or estimate the capacity of an air fryer.

Mini-size capacity air fryer

A 1 to 2 quarts (0.95 to 1.89 liters) capacity air fryer actually exists! These Mini Air Fryers are perfect for singles and couples. It’s also great for preparing smaller meals when you’re not in the mood for extensive cooking. This air fryer generally fits one small chicken breast with some fries on the side in one cooking session. 

Small-capacity air fryer

This small but powerful air fryer’s capacity ranges between 2 to 3 quarts (between 1.89 to 2.8 liters). You will be amazed at how much food can actually fit in this compact air fryer. The average small-capacity air fryer can fit six chicken wings, two medium-sized chicken breasts, or even one large pork chop! And because of that, this is the perfect air fryer for couples or small families.

Air fryer capacity in liters

Family-size capacity Air Fryer

This family-sized air fryer is the most popular one in the market. The average capacity can hold around 4 to 6 quarts of food, (which is about 3.8 to 5.7 liters). That makes it perfect for families with 3 to 4 members! It’s not very big, but you can still enjoy your favorite fried foods, like about 2 pounds (0.91 kilograms) of fries or four servings of chicken with vegetables on the side.

Extra-Large capacity Air Fryers

These super-sized air fryers can hold between 7 to 8 quarts, (which is around 6.6 to 7.6 liters). Yes, you heard it right! It’s the perfect pick if you have a big family of up to 5 to 6 members or love to entertain guests. These Extra-Large capacity air fryers are worth the investment because you can cook a ton of food in there, like a whole 6-pound (2.72 kilograms) of chicken or up to 10 chicken wings at once!

If you’re only planning on using it occasionally or cooking smaller portions like fries or vegetables, then purchase a smaller model that fits well within your kitchen’s available counter space and budget range.

However, if you plan on using it frequently or cooking larger items like whole chicken or fish regularly; go for a bigger model which offers increased capacity and features suited to those needs.

With these tips in mind, finding the right-sized air fryers should no longer be frustrating!

Multifunctional Air Fryers

Finally, there are multifunctional air fryers that range from 9 to 30 quarts (that’s 8.5 to 28.4 liters!). They are mostly used for big households of 7 to 9 people or for people who love to host parties frequently. Air fryers are not just limited to home kitchens, they can also be used in commercial settings thanks to their ample cooking space and extra cooking functionalities. The average multifunctional air fryer can comfortably fit a turkey in it. They combine different cooking functions into one appliance. Some examples are the rotisserie, toaster oven, and pressure cooker functions.

After having explored the various capacities of air fryers, let’s now shift our focus to the other important factors you’ll need to consider if you are going to buy an air fryer

Points to consider when selecting an air fryer capacity

How many people will the air fryer cook for?

When choosing the capacity of your air fryer, the number of people you plan to cook for should be the first thing to consider. Small and medium-sized air fryers are usually sufficient for individuals or couples. However, for a big family or people who love having guests, I recommend a larger air fryer capacity. This is because you can cook your meals in one go as opposed to smaller batches.

How much space does an air fryer take up on your countertop?

Another thing you want to consider is to make sure the air fryer fits on your countertop comfortably without taking up too much space. So before you start shopping, grab a measuring tape and size up your counter! This will ensure that you avoid purchasing an air fryer that is too large for your kitchen, which can limit your space.

Air fryer capacity comparison

Air Fryer dimension measurements

Mini Air Fryers– These adorable air fryers are made to save your countertop space. The average dimensions are 6.5 inch x 6.5 inch, and 9.8 inch (16.51 x 16.51 x 24.89 cm), making them perfect for tiny kitchens and apartments.

Small Air Fryers– You can easily find a space in your countertop for this compact but powerful air fryer. It measures around 10.7 inch x 8.7 inch x 11.3 inch (or 27.18 x 22 x 09 x 28.70 cm on average).

Family-size Air Fryers– For those cooking for larger groups, this air fryer may be the way to go. These come in dimensions around 13.3 inch x 10 inch x 12.5 inch (33.78 x 25.4 x 31.75 cm), providing more cooking space.

Extra-Large Air Fryers– Consider opting for an extra-large air fryer that measures around 12 inch x 16 inch x 13 inch (30.48 x 40.64 x 33.02 cm). It’ll give you lots of space on your countertop to cook various types of meals without any difficulty.

Multifunctional Air Fryers If you have even more countertop space or you’re planning to use it for a commercial kitchen, then have a look at these amazing multifunctional air fryers. It’s a perfect size that stands roughly 15.4 inch x 14.6 inch x 13.4 inch (that’s around 39.11 by 37.08 by 24.03 cm).

How much is your budget?

The prices of air fryers can differ based on various factors, such as brand, quality, function, and capacity. You can find air fryers starting as low as $37, while on the higher end, some models can cost up to $160. However, it’s important to note that air fryers with additional functions and advanced features, especially multifunctional air fryers, can go beyond this price point.


Air fryer capacity is important for determining how much food you can cook at once. The air fryer capacity is mostly measured in quarts or liters. The different air fryer capacities can range from fitting 1 small chicken breast (in a Mini air fryer) to a whole turkey (in a Multifunctional air fryer).

The family-sized air fryer may be a good choice if you are short on time in doing further research. This air fryer is budget friendly and has a sufficient cooking capacity, while also being space-efficient. In case you have more room available, need to prepare food for a bigger number of people, and are willing to invest more money, you may want to consider the multifunctional air fryer as a suitable alternative. Just remember, the ideal air fryer capacity for you depends on your family size, counter space, and budget, so make sure to consider those factors carefully before making a purchase.

Finally, if you are interested to know more, we have this handy article What Capacity Air Fryer Do I Need? that can give you an idea on what each size air fryer can do.

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