What Size Air Fryer Do You Need to Cook a Whole Chicken?

The Air Fryer is a fantastic device that makes your culinary endeavors smoother and more effective. The only drawback of an air fryer is its limited cooking space. Most air fryers come with a smaller capacity, often too small even to make a meal that suffices for an entire family. Consequently, which air fryer size should you choose to roast a whole chicken?

Although most of the air fryers arrive with a smaller capacity, there are also a lot of them that brings you enough space to cook a lot of food. Keep reading the article if you want to cook whole chicken in the air fryer but don’t know what size will be perfect.

So, What’s the Right Size of Air Fryer for a Whole Chicken?

Typically, an air fryer that arrives with 6 to 10 quarts is enough to roast or cook a whole chicken. That means you will need to go for a bigger air fryer compared to the average size. Air fryers with 6-to-10-quart size allow you to stuck a whole chicken inside it for cooking. That means you can use air fryers with such capacity to cook an average size of the chicken.

You should also go for such a capacity if you want to prepare a lot of food for a family or party. You can cook around 1 pound of the smaller/finger foods in such air fryers. You can also consider an air fryer oven to prepare a lot of food. Note that this is the minimum size for preparing family serves. There are bigger capacity air fryers out there and you can also consider them if needed.

Air Fryer Sizing Guide

Air fryer allows in different sizes. Below, we will let you know about the different sizes of the air fryer. Check out more details about the air fryer.

Smaller Air Fryers

The smaller air fryers are more common and they arrive with around 1 to 2 QT capacity. Such a capacity of the device allows you to cook a maximum of two chicken breasts at once. Such a size of the air fryer is suitable for a single person. It may be also suitable for preparing snacks for two persons.

Some of the smaller air fryers may also arrive with 2 to 3QT capacity which can cook up to 5 to 7 chicken wings at once. An air fryer with a 3QT capacity is suitable for couples or two people. However, it would be better to go for an air fryer that arrives with a bit bigger capacity for regular uses.

Medium Capacity Air Fryers

The medium capacity air fryers typically arrive with a range of 3 to 5QT capacity.  They are not suitable for cooking a whole chicken but you can easily cook it by cutting down into smaller pieces. Moreover, you can cook enough of the French fries for 3 to 4 persons in an air fryer with such capacity. Air fryers that arrive with slightly above 5 quarts allow you to cook 4 to 5 chicken breasts or fries for around 4 persons.

The most common size of the air fryers is 3 to 5 QT as they are very suitable for small families. It has adequate space for cooking things at once without any issues. You may also cook two types of food at once. However, there will be some limitations. Such as you can’t roast a whole chicken.

To solve the issue, you may consider selecting an air fryer that arrives with 5 to 6 QT capacity. They can fit enough food for 5 or more family members while also allowing you to cook almost anything you want. Some of these even equip two or more trays to stack food without blocking the air circulation inside the device.

Large Air Fryers

Air fryers that arrive with a capacity above 6QT can be considered large. Although they allow you to cook more food, they also arrive with some limitations. Such as these air fryers are not that portable and take a lot of space. However, if you have a big family and want to cook larger items at once, these air fryers will be the best choice for you. You can easily cook a whole chicken, whole turkeys, etc. on it.

The air fryer size can go from 6 QT to 10 QT without any issues. Some of these air fryers equips racks inside that allows you to cook a lot of food at once. You can add multiple layers to the lack without blocking the airflow. They also arrive with some additional features. Such as, you can dehydrate foods in these air fryers.

You will find some 16-quart air fryers in the market which can be labeled as extra-large. They will be an excellent pick for bigger gatherings, backyard festivities, parties, and other events. These will not be a great option for the kitchen due to the massive size, weight, and energy uses. However, you can pick them for occasional use to cook all the foods at once.

How to Know the Air Fryer’s Capacity?

Well, you simply cannot decide how much food the air fryer can cook simply by looking into it. To know the exact capacity of the air fryer, you need to check its specification. Most of the air fryer’s capacity is mentioned in the quart. In case you don’t know about the quart, it’s 0.94L in the US and 1.13L in the UK. You will find the capacity of the air fryer in its packaging. If you are purchasing online, check the product description to find the size.

Note that you cannot fill the same amount of food in the air fryer. As the recommendation of cooking food is only single layer. So, consider this factor before purchasing the air fryer.


The air fryer is something that makes your cooking bizarrely easy. If you are planning to purchase an air fryer for preparing whole chickens, you should be aware of its size. We hope that the above writeup will help you to pick the right size of the air fryer easily for your preferred recipes.

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