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Basket Air Fryer Size Comparison: The Ultimate Guide

If you’ve had your sights set on adding an air fryer to your kitchen, you know that there are many options out there. But when it comes to basket air fryers, deciding which air fryer size is right for you can be tricky – especially if you don’t have any prior experience with this type of appliance.

So, we have created a guide with an air fryer size comparison and some handy tips! For all the newbies to air fryers, read on to find out what the air fryer’s size and capacity mean for you.


Here is a breakdown of the different sizes of air fryers:

air fryer size

What is a Basket Air Fryer?

Firstly, let’s clarify what a basket air fryer is. There are two types of air fryers, the basket air fryer and the air fryer oven. In this article, we will be discussing air fryer sizes for basket air fryers. As the name implies, a basket air fryer has a basket-shaped cooking chamber. The basket is designed to hold the food while it is air fried, and it usually has a non-stick coating to prevent the food from sticking. Most basket air fryers come with adjustable temperature and timer settings, allowing you to customize your cooking.

Understanding Air fryer Sizes and Capacities

Don’t let the actual size of the air fryer trick you. The important metric to look at is the air fryer’s capacity when it comes to how much food an air fryer can cook. This is because the cooking compartment on the inside is a lot smaller than its outer casing.

Quart Vs. Liter Measurement

Air fryer capacity can be measured in either quarts or liters, depending on the region you live in. In the United States, we typically measure air fryer capacities in quarts, while other countries may use liters as their primary measurement.

One quart equals approximately 0.95 liters, so a 2-quart air fryer would be roughly 1.9 liters in size. We recommend using a conversion tool if needed for accurate comparisons.

Different Air Fryer Sizes

There are several common air fryer sizes available, catering to various cooking needs. Here is a breakdown of the different sizes of air fryers:

Mini Air Fryer

The Mini Air Fryer is perfect for single people or couples who are too busy to cook but still want the taste of freshly made food. With a capacity of 1 to 2 quarts (0.95 to 1.89 liters), you can fit one steak or up to 0.5 pounds (0.2 kilograms) of French fries – enough for two small portions or one generous serving.

Those who only need an appliance to reheat food or make quick snacks should also consider this air fryer size. The food will come out with a crispy texture, so say goodbye to soggy, reheated food.

One of the most significant advantages of a Mini air fryer is its size. These air fryers are the smallest ones on the market which make them ideal for small kitchens. Their small size makes them portable, so many users take them on camping trips.

One popular mini air fryer model is the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer, with a light weight of 7.28 pounds (3.3 kilograms) and a capacity of 2 quarts (1.89 liters). This compact air fryer’s dimensions are 9 x 11 x 12 inches (22.86 x 27.94 x 30.48 centimeters), making it easy to fit into small kitchens or tight storage spaces.

Small Air Fryer

Moving one size up, the small air fryers range between 2 to 4 quarts (1.89 to 3.8 liters) in capacity. This allows you to cook two small steaks or up to 1 pound (0.5 kilograms) of French fries. Therefore these compact air fryers are best suited for individuals or couples with limited counter space.

Small air fryers can also cater to small families where the air fryer is used to cook one meal ingredient (for example, some fries) or to make quick snacks and reheat food. However, if you are stressed about time to get dinner on the table, I recommend getting a bigger air fryer as you can cook in one batch.

Our favorite small air fryer is the 4-quart Ninja Air Fryer. Its weight of 10.58 pounds (4.8 kilograms) is still light enough to be portable. The design is sleek and stylish and will only need a small space in the kitchen.

Medium Air Fryer and Large Air Fryer

Medium and Large air fryers are what I would classify as family-sized air fryers. These air fryers would comfortably cook for three to four people, which makes them the ideal size for families. Medium air fryers range between 4 to 5 quarts (3.8 to 4.7 liters) in capacity allowing you to cook up to three small steaks or up to 1.5 pounds (0.7 kilograms) of French fries. Whereas the Large air fryers can be between 5 to 6 quarts (4.7 liters to 5.7 liters) in capacity, you can fit four small steaks or up to 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms) of French fries.

The Consori Air Fryer Pro Gen 2 is a great choice for a family-sized air fryer. With its one-touch presets you can easily cook your meals while doing other things. It has a 5.8 quarts (5.5 liters) capacity with dimensions of 11.7 x 14.2 x 12.6 inches (29.7 x 36 x 32 centimeters), which means it will take up some space on your countertop, but it’s worth it if you use it frequently.

Extra Large Air Fryer

Extra-large air fryers are designed to cater to the needs of larger households of more than five people or a family with big appetites.  It’s also handy for entertaining guests. These air fryers typically range from 6 quarts (5.7 liters) and above, allowing you to cook more food in one go.

As these air fryers are bigger, they are more versatile when it comes to the types of food the air fryer can cook. They can cook a whole chicken intact. Plus, they will have many more cooking functions available in one appliance. 

Its biggest advantage is undoubtedly the ability to cook multiple dishes simultaneously, thanks to its spacious interiors. However, they also have a large footprint which means you will need to have enough countertop space. And because you need to leave some space around the appliance as the air around it can get heated while cooking, you would most likely need a designated spot in the kitchen.

Our top pick is the Ninja 2-basket air fryer for this category because of its unique ability to cook two different ingredients in different settings simultaneously. This saves time in cooking different ingredients in batches, and with some planning, you can have your whole meal cooked in one cooking session. This Ninja air fryer has a total capacity of 8 quarts (7.6 liters) which is made up of two 4 quarts (3.78 Liters) baskets. Each of these zones has settings that you can select. This Ninja air fryer’s dimensions are 13.86 x 15.63 x 12.4 inches (35 x 39.7 x 31.5 centimeters), so it will take up space in the kitchen in return for efficiency.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Air Fryer Size

Now that we know the different air fryer sizes let’s look at some of the questions we need to answer when choosing an air fryer size.

How much space does an air fryer take up?

A basket air fryer has a heating chamber to cook the food and a basket that pulls in and out to put the food inside. An outer casing, which is well insulated, surrounds this cooking chamber. For basket air fryers, the heating element and the fan are usually located in the top half of the air fryer above the cooking chamber and the air fryer basket. Therefore the basket air fryer is bigger than a kettle.

The best metric to look at is the air fryer dimensions. The smallest dimensions I could find is the Elite Gourmet Mini Air Fryer measuring 8.5 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches (21.59 x 16.51 x 4.89 centimeters). This is a great option if you have a very small kitchen and would like to use the air fryer to cook snacks and reheat food. On the other hand, one of the biggest dimensions I have come across is the Ninja DZ401 which measures 13.9 x 17.1 x 12.8 inches (35.3 x 43.4 x 32.5 centimeters). This does take up a fair bit of countertop real estate, and remember to factor in some extra space for hot air circulation.

They come in two shapes, the oval egg shape, and the square shape. These shapes take up about the same amount of space on the kitchen counter. However, the square-shaped air fryer may be easier to accommodate as it is more uniform.

best air fryer

How many people do I cook for regularly?

Alright, you are a couple, and you decide to go and get a small air fryer that will do the job. But, a few weeks in, you notice that the air fryer is just standing in the kitchen because you need to cook in a few batches to get your meals on the table. This can happen if you discover, after the purchase, that you cook for regular dinner guests and did not factor that in when buying the air fryer. Or that the household appetite is greater than the standard two-person portion. This is why it would be wise to map out the number of people you will be cooking for and, even more so, the portions of food that you are required to cook regularly.

Here is a guide on the average number of people each basket air fryer category can cook for:

Mini air fryer: 1 to 2 people

Small air fryer: 2 to 3 people

Family-sized air fryer (Medium and Large air fryer) : 3 to 4 people

Extra large air fryer: 5 to 6 people

How long do air fryers last?

What types of food do I want to cook with the air fryer?

One attractive feature of the air fryer is its versatility when cooking different types of food. However, it stands to reason that bigger air fryers will accommodate more versatility. This is because bigger air fryers will have more space to fit bulkier types of food, like a whole chicken. Therefore, if your meal plans include meat on the bone, you may want to consider getting a bigger air fryer so that you are not stuck with cooking two chicking drumsticks at a time or that you can at least cook a small whole chicken without having to cut it up in pieces first.

What is my budget?

Lastly, the budget is something I would always consider. Basket air fryers can range in price from $37 to $160 and more. The price variance is attributable to many factors ranging from the Brand, the size, and the cooking functions. This is a wide gap, but if you start by selecting the air fryer size first, it will narrow down your search substantially.

There are so many brands of air fryers on the market, but let’s have a look at the top four most popular air fryer brands to see the different sizes of air fryers they offer.

Ninja Air Fryers

The Ninja Air Fryer brand has a wide range of air fryer sizes. For single and couples, their mini air fryer offers a 2 quarts (1.9 liters) capacity, and their small air fryer comes in a 4 quarts (3.8 liters) capacity. Their family-sized air fryers offer capacities of 5.5 quarts (5.2 liters), and 6 quarts (5.7 liters). While their extra-large air fryers hold capacities of 8 quarts (7.6 liters) and 10 quarts (9.5 liters).

Consori Air Fryers

Consori Air Fryers has a few options as well with their air fryer sizes. Individuals and couples can look at their mini air fryers with a 2.1 quarts (2 liters) capacity, and their small air fryer capacity is 4 quarts (3.8 liters). There are two sizes they offer in the family-sized range, which are 5 quarts (4.7 liters) and 5.8 quarts (5.5 liters) capacity. Their extra large air fryer has a 6.8 quarts (6.4 liters) capacity.

Instant Vortex Air Fryers

The Instant Vortex brand offers air fryers in each air fryer size category, and in some categories, there are even a few models to choose from. One to two people households can explore their mini air fryer with a 2 quarts (1.9 liters) capacity or their small air fryer of 4 quarts (3.8 liters) capacity. Family-sized air fryers come in a few different models for the 5.7 quarts (5.4 liters) capacity and 6 quarts (5.7 liters) capacity air fryers. As for their extra large air fryers, you can get them in 8 quarts (7.6 liters) or 9 quarts (8.5 liters) capacity.

Philips Air Fryers

Philips offers a large range of air fryer sizes. Small households of one to two people can discover their mini air fryers and small air fryers ranges with capacities ranging from 1.9 quarts (1.8 liters) to 3 quarts (2.8 liters). Their family-sized air fryer comes in 4.3 quarts (4.1 liters) capacity which is on the smaller end compared to the other three top brands. Philips extra large air fryers come in 6.5 quarts (6.2 liters) or 7 quarts (6.6 liters).

How to find the best basket air fryer size for you?

Basket air fryers have a basket to hold the food while it air fries. The food is placed inside the basket and pushed into the air fryer, and pulled out when the food is cooked. There are different sizes of air fryers. Each size will hold a different amount of food which is referred to as the capacity.

The different air fryer sizes and capacities are:

Mini air fryer: 1 to 2 quarts (0.95 to 1.89 liters) capacity ideal for 1 to 2 people

Small air fryer: 2 to 4 quarts (1.89 to 3.8 liters) capacity ideal for 2 to 3 people

Medium air fryer: 4 to 5 quarts (3.8 to 4.7 liters) capacity ideal for 3 to 4 people

Large air fryer: 5 to 6 quarts (4.7 liters to 5.7 liters) capacity ideal for 3 to 4 people

Extra large air fryer: bigger than 6 quarts (5.7 liters) capacity ideal for 5 to 6 people

A few main factors can help you shortlist the right size air fryer, including the available countertop space, the number of people you cook for regularly, the types of food being cooked, and your budget.

Once you have the shortlist, then the next step would be looking at what brands you would like to buy. This will depend on your individual preferences because there are many reasons why you would choose one brand over another. Factors like design preferences, quality of the appliance, and price could affect your decision. To try and keep things simple, we have provided a comparison of the four popular brands of the different sizes they have to offer.

This air fryer size comparison guide should give you a good start on selecting the best basket air fryer size. Happy shopping.

compact air fryer

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the smallest basket air fryer?

The smallest basket air fryer size I know of is the Elite Gourmet Air Fryer, with a capacity of 1.1 quarts (1.04 liters).

What is the best air fryer for 2 people?

The best air fryer for 2 people would be the Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer with 2 quarts (1.89 liters) of capacity.

What size air fryer for a family of 4?

A family-sized air fryer between 4 to 6 quarts (3.8 to 5.7 liters) of capacity will accommodate the needs of a family of 4.

What's the largest basket air fryer size?

The largest basket air fryer size that I have come across is the Ninja Air Fryer, with a capacity of 10 quarts (9.5 liters).

Should I get a bigger size air fryer?

If the only factor you are considering is the amount of food the air fryer can cook, I would recommend getting one size up, as this will allow you a lot more flexibility with catering for additional guests and the types of food you can cook.

What size air fryer do you need to cook a whole chicken?

A family-sized air fryer with 5.8 quarts (5.5 liters) could cook a small chicken whole.

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