All About Large Capacity Air Fryers (And Which Ones To Buy)

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There’s nothing like fried food. It’s crispy, it’s decadent, and it has that cozy, down-home feel that tends to be a real crowd-pleaser (especially during the holidays). There are two problems with preparing fried food, though. 

First, it’s unhealthy. All that greasy oil is loaded with calories and dunking your food in oil is pretty awful for your body.

The second problem is that deep frying is messy and takes up a lot of space. Most of us don’t have room in our kitchen for a dedicated deep fryer, and deep frying something in a pan full of oil usually results in drops of oil popping out of the pan and onto the counter or floor. And trust us, cleaning up oil is no fun.

Luckily, there is a device that can capture that fried food goodness without either of the two problems we’ve mentioned: the air fryer.

About Air Fryers

Air fryers are a compact, clean, and healthy alternative to deep frying food. Let’s take a look at how exactly they work.

What is Air Frying?

An air fryer is a bit like a small convection oven. When the air fryer is turned on, hot air from a heat source is blown on the food via a fan, bathing the food in intensely high temperatures and recreating the “doused in hot oil” effect. Air fryers also allow you to pour in a tablespoon or two of oil before cooking, and they can use that oil on the food to make it a bit crispier than an oven. The result is food that tastes like it’s been deep fried.

What Air Fryer Has the Largest Capacity?

The largest we’ve found is the Kalorik Maxx Countertop Air Fryer, which is 26 quarts.

How Large of an Air Fryer Do I Need?

For a family of four, a 7-quart air fryer is probably more than enough. It’s always best to be prepared, though, so we advise any chef who likes preparing fried foods to buy an extra large air fryer.

Best Large Capacity Air Fryers

Let’s look at some of the best large air fryers out there.

1. Best Overall Air Fryer: Phillips Avance XXL Air Fryer

by Sur La Table

Philips Avance XXL Air Fryer

Simply put, this air fryer makes the most delicious fried food I’ve ever had. It’s crispy and flavorful, even when you pack the frying basket full.

The fryer is also easier to use than any other model we’ve seen. Popping the top open, inserting your food, and setting the temperature and time using the touch display will be simple even for the least tech-savvy cooks. As a cherry on top, the air fryer is well-designed and looks good on your countertop.

Unfortunately, the fryer’s high performance requires more resources than most fryers. The machine is bulkier than most competitors, and it’s also noisier while frying. The removable parts are easy to clean, but there are more of them than in most other air fryer models. Plus, the price tag is a bit high – $199.96 when on sale.

2. Best Dual-Basket Air Fryer: Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 10 qt. XL 2-Basket Air Fryer with Dual-Zone

by Ninja

Ninja DZ401 Foodi 10 Quart 6-in-1 DualZone XL 2-Basket Air Fryer

This air fryer has two completely separate compartments, each with a 5 quart capacity, meaning you can air fry two different foods at the same time.

Air frying is not the only setting, though. The device also lets you air broil, bake, roast, dehydrate, or reheat food, and it can perform two of its cooking settings at once. It even has the technology to figure out how long each basket of food will take to cook using the cooking styles you’ve selected, so both baskets finish at the same time. It’s awesome if you plan to cook multiple foods in the fryer at once.

Unfortunately, this model is really big and unruly. Unless you have the counter space to keep it up there all of the time, you may want to look elsewhere. With such a big fryer, it’s a shame you can’t even fit large foods like big slabs of meat into the fryer. That’s the cost of having two cooking baskets.

3. Best Toaster Oven Air Fryer: Instant Omni Pro 18L Toaster Oven and Air Fryer

by Instant Pot

Instant Omni Pro 14-in-1 Air Fryer Convection Toaster Oven Combo

The best part about this option is how much it can do. In addition to air frying, it can:

  • Broil
  • Bake
  • Roast
  • Dehydrate
  • Reheat
  • Rotisserie
  • Toast
  • Warm
  • Convection bake
  • Slow cook
  • Split cook
  • Proof
  • Temperature probe

And believe it or not, it performs nearly all of these functions quite well. You might expect a machine that can do so much to be huge, but it’s not. It isn’t exactly compact, but other options like Ninja Foodi will take up more counter space.

The biggest downside of the Instant Omni Pro is that it gets very hot during use. If you have children or pets that might touch the fryer accidentally while in use, look elsewhere. Of course, a ton of features also means it is not the most intuitive air fryer on the market.

4. Best Budget Air Fryer: Ultrean 8.5 Quart Air Fryer

by Ultrean

8.5 Quart Air Fryer

For an air fryer that costs under $100, Ultrean delivers a really solid product. It’s not exactly feature-rich and the cooking performance is not on-par with high-end fryers, but it definitely gets the job done and doesn’t look half-bad with its glossy exterior and LCD touch screen.

When you look more closely, though, you’ll see that the fryer is made with cheap materials. Not only that, but the units often ship with loose screws or other defects.

Luckily, Ultrean has absolutely amazing customer service. It was a breeze to exchange for a new unit when my first one overheated and started to smoke while a tester was using it. From the Amazon review page, it seems many others have had this same experience with easy returns.

5. Best Splurge Air Fryer: Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro

by Breville

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro

This option is certainly not the cheapest one – $400 minimum. You get what you pay for, though. Foods that go in come out perfect, tasting to me exactly like deep fried foods.

The device has toaster oven and baking functionalities in addition to air frying too, so it can replace the need for an oven. Lastly, it looks beautiful. The exterior is made from brushed stainless steel, and a bright oven light inside the fryer provides an attractive glow while it’s in use.

Other than the price, the only real downside of the Breville Smart Oven is that its parts are not machine washable.

6. Best Oversized Air Fryer: Kalorik 26-Quart Digital Maxx Air Fryer Oven

by Kalorik

Kalorik® MAXX® Digital Air Fryer Oven

Most people do not need a 26-quart air fryer, which can provide more than enough food for fifteen people. For those who do, though, this option is the way to go.

It has nine functions in addition to air frying, one of which is a pizza oven setting that actually works very well. It also has a state-of-the-art heat dispersion system that ensures both the top and bottom of the comparably huge fryer are heated equally and the food inside is cooked evenly.

The only issue might be that the materials aren’t high-end. They get hot during cooking, and they aren’t too aesthetically pleasing. But that can easily be overlooked when you compare the size to the price.

Air Fryer FAQ

You may still have some questions about air fryers, such as:

What are some of the best uses for a larger air fryer?

First, you’ll need a large air fryer to fry larger foods like chicken or steak. And if you’ve never had a deep fried steak, take my word for it: you will not regret it.

Second, a large air fryer is an important tool when you’re cooking for more than a few people at a time. In fact, some large air fryer models like the Ninja Foodi 6-in-1 have two cooking compartments so you can cook two foods at once.

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

For a small chicken, you’ll need an air fryer with a capacity of at least 5 quarts. For a Larger chicken that can feed an entire family, you’ll need a larger air fryer of 9-10 quarts.

How big of an air fryer do I need for a family of 6?

A good rule of thumb for the capacity of air fryer you need is 1.5-2 quarts per person. That means that you should get an air fryer of 9-12 quarts to feed 6 people.

Is air frying healthier?

Yes, air frying is much healthier than deep frying. Oils used for cooking (even the healthier ones like avocado oil and olive oil) contain a lot of calories and most types have a good amount of trans fats. As long as you put healthy foods in an air fryer, the results are almost free of oil and taste great.

Cook Anything and Air-vrything!

Air fryers may very well be one of the most underrated kitchen appliances out there, partly because they are a newer invention than most cooking tools. Especially over the past few years, they’ve gone through a lot of innovation.

Nowadays, not only is the “fried” food they produce better than ever, but it’s healthier. Manufacturers have also incorporated a lot of other functions into the fryers, so they can now replace many other appliances like the toaster oven, the regular oven, and the microwave. Stick to the top models of large air fryer recommended in this post, and you can’t go wrong.

Last update on 2022-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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