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Love deep fried food, but hate the mess that it makes? Many who have a similar mindset have made the switch to air fryers, and most are not going back. Air fryers not only provide a healthier and quicker alternative to deep fried foods, they also manage to pretty much recreate the experience, with much less oil.
But for large families, a typical air fryer makes it really difficult to prepare a meal for the whole family. Because of their limited capacity, cooking would have to be done in many small batches, which makes the process tedious.
For this reason, we recommend that large families look into air fryer ovens instead. Not only are they bigger, they often offer more functionalities than just air frying.
Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, by large families we mean families of at least 4. Our typical image of a large family sits more closely around 5 or 6 family members.
With that being said, let’s dive in.
If you’re looking for the overall best air fryer for large families, we recommend the Cuisinart TOA-60BKS as our top pick.
For a smaller one with some extra space-saving design, the Ninja SP101 Foodi is a great choice as well.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for a low-barrier entry into the world of air fryer ovens and would like to settle on something affordable, we recommend looking into the GoWISE USA GW77722.
Table of Contents
Why Not the Cylindrical Ones?
The most popular air fryers, the ones you normally see, are shaped like a pod. Sitting on your countertop, a well-designed unit can look really futuristic. But because of its shape construct, it is difficult to circulate heat evenly if the unit gets too big. Manufacturers avoid doing this, and the biggest one we’ve come across while maintaining this shape is one of 8.5 quart.
Does this mean large families are doomed to never be able to enjoy the convenience of air fryers, then? Fortunately, that isn’t the case.
We’ve outlined this in another article of ours, but essentially, air fryers are just really compact convection ovens. What this means is, if you want to size up the air fryer while not losing its efficiency, the best option is to take inspiration from an actual oven. This is exactly what manufacturers do for their larger models of air fryers.
For this reason, large-capacity air fryers look more like countertop toaster ovens. In some sense, they actually are. Since it is already taking up so much space, manufacturers are also able to fit more elements into the unit. This makes them more versatile than the cylindrical ones, offering additional functionalities e.g. bake, broil, toast.
Because you’re getting an air fryer, presumably mainly for convenience, you want to avoid having to make many batches of your food, because this is the exact opposite of convenience. For this reason, we highly recommend an air fryer oven combination model for large families.
Air Fryer vs Deep Fryer Taste
If you’ve had experience with air fryers before, feel free to just skip this section. But if you’re new to the world of magical oilless frying, the one thing holding you back might be the doubt. You must be doubting, how good can something air fried taste? Equally as important, how close does it get to the actual deep fried taste?
While the exterior and crispiness of air fried foods are generally comparable to their deep fried counterparts, it’s still not the exact same. Partly due to using less oil, air fried foods are generally a little drier than deep fried ones. That being said, it’s more of a different texture than being comparatively worse. Some people, including us, do prefer the less greasy crunch of air fried foods as a healthier alternative.
Other than that, air fried and deep fried foods are largely the same. Generally speaking, unless you’re a die-hard fan of greasy deep fried foods, an air fryer is going to more than satisfy you!
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look For in Air Fryers For Large Families
We are mainly focusing on air fryer ovens in our list, as we believe it to be the best choice for large families. Because these appliances are pretty much standardized nowadays, it is very easy to shop for one. Just look out for these few points below.
Perhaps even more important than the capacity itself, is the range of functionalities that the unit comes with. While a smaller capacity would require you to cook in multiple batches and sacrifice convenience, if you bought a model missing a specific functionality you want, there’s no way to fix that.
When we’re talking about functionalities in air fryer ovens, it’s about the cooking styles that the unit is able to perform. Functionalities like roasting, baking, and air frying are pretty much in every model, even the most affordable ones. However, capabilities to properly toast, broil, dehydrate etc. are usually reserved for the higher-end.
How much a particular air fryer oven model is able to cook for is largely dependent on its dimensions and shape construction. As a general rule of thumb though, look for air fryers sized bigger than 12 to 13 quarts for a family of 6, and anything below should cook pretty well for a family of up to 4.
For large families, we generally don’t recommend going below 9 or 10 quarts of capacity. That being said, one of our recommendations is a 8.5-qt capacity model just in case if you’re looking for a more compact one. Just be clear of what you’re getting yourself into!
As air fryer ovens are not standard-sized, different manufacturers will produce models that differ drastically in dimensions.
For this reason, it is usually difficult to find accessories e.g. racks, rotisserie kits etc. that fit perfectly for your particular model. It goes without saying that it is much better if the unit came included with accessories. This way, you’ll be sure that they fit the model perfectly. This saves a lot of hassle and kitchen-hacking you’d have to do down the road!
Our Picks of Best Air Fryers for Large Families
Apart from our own favorites, we’ve also taken the time to try out some recommendations from other sources. The most popular ones are the Philips Twin TurboStar AirFryer XXL and the COSORI Air Fryer Max XL, to name a few.
Although they were really high-quality and provide a lot of value, the sizes just really don’t cut it for a large family. For this reason, most of our picks are air fryer oven models, which we feel are much more suitable for large families.
If you’re looking for the all-around best large capacity air fryer for a large family, this is it.
Marketed as a convection toaster oven with air frying capabilities, the experience it offers exceeded our expectations. Generally speaking, our experience with air frying in it has never been short of fantastic.
Although this is not crazy on functionalities like some other models are, it offers a really solid and robust experience. The capacity is also a plus, being able to fit 3lbs of chicken wings or a 4lbs chicken.
Apart from how it just nailed the basics, we also like the color quite a lot. A dark metallic finish like this is not common among kitchen appliances, which looks really modern and sleek on the countertop. The quiet operation is also an added benefit, beating its competitors by leagues.
For all these reasons, this is in our opinion, the best air fryer oven for a large family.
- Quiet operation
- Includes 7 functions: air fry, bake, broil, warm, toast, and convection versions of baking and broiling
- Interior lighting
- 60-minute timer with auto shut-off
- Selector knob specifically for toast level
- Includes oven rack, baking pan, and air fryer rack/basket
- Pricey option
- Interior lights only turn on when the door is closed with the unit turned on, which means the absence of lights when putting food in or taking it out
A very close runner-up, this model from Ninja also has perks of its own that are not found in Cuisinart’s offering.
Being a digital appliance, it’s important that the user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. This unit checks that box. The design is also very good overall. There is a hinge on the bottom which allows you to easily flip it over to lean on the wall after using, so it doesn’t take up the countertop space. There is also a removable crumb tray underneath, and the back opens up when flipped over. These two features helped tremendously in cleaning the unit.
All in all, we were pretty impressed by the convenience and ease-of-use that the unit offers. However, when it comes to the design, particularly of the height, we’re not a fan.
Even though the unit was designed to be short, and allow itself to be flipped to take up less space when not being used, it suffers a little in real-world usage. Because of the low ceiling, we had trouble comfortably fitting some taller food in. However, it is wider than the Cuisinart, so it all depends on your typical use cases.
If you’re fine with the limited height, definitely consider this. The experience and quality of cooking it offers is on par with the Cuisinart, with the added benefit of being easier to clean and store.
- Includes 8 functions: air fry, air roast, air broil, bake, bagel, toast, dehydrate and keep warm
- Short design allows you to flip it up to store, taking up less countertop space
- Removable crumb tray
- Back panel easily accessible for deep cleaning
- Includes toast darkness level selector
- Includes wire rack, dishwasher-safe sheet pan, and dishwasher-safe air fry basket
- Pricey option
- Limited height presents some constraints in real-world usage
If you’re looking for the best large air fryer that is more on the affordable side of things, this model from GoWISE USA is worth considering.
It comes with a large digital touchscreen on the top, which doesn’t get very hot when in use. The screen has controls that allow you to choose from the 8 pre-set programs, control cook time or dehydration functionalities, adjust the temperature, as well as activate functions like rotisserie or the oven light.
Apart from the unit itself, the purchase also comes with 8 other accessories. These include a rotisserie tong & rod, a drip pan, a skewer rotisserie as well as a rotisserie cage, and 3 mesh trays.
All in all, it’s a pretty basic unit that gets the job done. It doesn’t come feature-packed, and the capacity also requires some compromises for a large family. If you’re fine with these though, this is a worthy pick at a really acceptable price level.
One thing to note though, even though the name includes a big and bold USA label, it is not in fact made in the US.
- Comes with dehydration functionality
- Door and mesh heating element cover are removable for easy cleaning
- Includes an air fryer recipe book as well as 8 accessories, which some we find very useful, e.g. the rotisserie cage for fries to cook evenly, and the skewers for kebabs
- A little small for a family of 6, but fits a family of 4 perfectly fine
- Quality control issues, with the fan in the unit, in particular, giving people most of the problems
A note of warning – when you’re looking for the best family size air fryers, the word ‘compact’ doesn’t play well with it! What you’re gaining in space-saving for a compact air fryer, you’re losing out in convenience. This is even more true when cooking for a large family. With that being out of the way, let’s look into what this unit actually offers.
The only model with the typical pod-shaped design that we have on the list, this is also the smallest out of the bunch. It’s advertised to be able to cook for up to 6 to 8 people. Realistically, you can pretty comfortably cook for 4, but 6 or even 8 is a stretch. That being said, it is one of the more spacious ones for a pod-shaped air fryer, fitting a 5lbs chicken with some space left.
If you look past the limited capacity though, this is a really good unit. Offering an ergonomic display tilted for a regular standing position, the touchscreen controls are easy to use. The basket is also dishwasher-safe, which makes cleaning up that much easier.
As for the actual functionalities, it performs really well from our usage. It heats up fast, operates rather quietly, and produces really juicy and tender results. Although it doesn’t offer additional cooking methods e.g. broil, toast, or dehydrate that the more expensive models do, it nails the basics really well.
- Has 7 pre-set programs and able to air fry, roast, grill, and bake
- Includes a recipe book and an oven mitt
- Auto shut-off and overheat protection
- Air fryer basket is dishwasher-safe
- Limited capacity
- Doesn’t come with any accessories that would, for example, allow you layer in the basket
If you’re looking for a model packed with functionalities that would allow you to cook a wide variety of foods, having specific settings for each one of them, this one’s for you.
It comes with 100 pre-programmed presets (yes, a hundred!) for specific types of foods. If you need more though, you can even add your own presets. With the ability to also air-pop some popcorns, this unit is no short of functionalities. It even beats out some of the higher-priced ones in terms of its offerings!
The interior has a multi-level design. This allows it to hold several racks at once, and with the inclusion of mesh racks, would allow the heat to pass through each level evenly. For this reason, each level of your racks receive about the same amount of heat, resulting in evenly-cooked foods.
Although it is packed with presets and is very versatile, our experience with using it is not as good as with other well-built units. The door is a little flimsy and comes off too easily, and makes the unit feel less premium. Cooking takes just a tad longer than its competitors from our experience.
That being said, it is still a worthy option, offering a wide range of settings while doing the basics pretty well. Else it wouldn’t be on our list!
- 100 pre-programmed presets with the ability to add your own!
- Variable wattage of three settings allows you to fit to your use case
- Comes with air frying, broiling, roasting, grilling, searing, baking, reheating and dehydrating functionalities
- Detachable door for easy cleaning
- Includes accessories e.g. mesh racks, a grill plate, a drip tray, a rotisserie kit, a roasting drum, a baking pan, as well as a recipe book
- All included accessories are dishwasher-safe
- Door is a little lacking in sturdiness and comes off rather easily
- Cooking takes a little longer than competitors
- Temperature comes in Celsius, which may be a drawback for some and requires extra steps of manual unit conversion
Featured in ‘Oprah’s Favorite Things’ among a few other publications, this air fryer model is not to be taken lightly. While the other models that we’ve looked at did not mention being PFOA- or BPA-free, this one does. Turns out it is also quite a solid option on its own, checking the boxes of a basic air fryer oven really well, at a relatively affordable price too.
It has a built-in rotisserie and dehydrator, so you’re able to prepare whole roasts and kebabs, as well as dehydrated snacks like dried mangos. Apart from the unit itself, it also comes with a recipe book alongside 11 accessories, including a rotisserie tong & rod, a rack, drip pan, rotisserie skewer & cage, a mesh basket and two mesh trays, and even an oven mitt (only one side, not a pair).
The interior has three shelves for racks and accessories, with each shelf being able to accommodate a max weight of around 5lbs. Unfortunately though, all accessories are not dishwasher-safe.
In terms of its real-world usage, we haven’t found any problems with it. On the contrary, we’ve found it pretty pleasant to work with. Heating is generally quick and produces evenly-heated results. Although the manufacturer doesn’t have a lot of unique features to shout about this unit, it gets the basic air frying and roasting done really well.
- PFOA- and BPA-free interior and accessories
- Includes rotisserie and dehydrator among its many other functionalities
- Comes with 11 accessories and a recipe book
- Has an auto shut-off feature for protection against overheating
- Rotisserie functionalities seem to suffer from some issues, where the rod isn’t able to properly turn when cooking a 5lbs chicken
How to Pick for Your Use Case?
If you’re still confused after reading through our reviews, we’re here to help you narrow down the perfect pick for your use case.
For most home cooks that prepare for a large family, the Cuisinart TOA-60BKS is our pick as the best air fryer for a large family of 6. Even if you have a smaller family, it is still our top recommendation if you have the countertop space for it, for maximum versatility.
As for the best air fryer for a family of 4, we would recommend the Ninja SP101 Foodi as having struck the right balance between cooking capacity and the space it takes up (or saves, in this case). One thing to note though is that while it does fold up when not in use to save space, the height is quite short, so there’s the biggest compromise there.
If you’re running even lower on kitchen space, we would recommend looking into the Ultrean air fryer. Having only 8.5 quarts of capacity, this is the smallest model we have on our list, which definitely would require some sacrifices in convenience in terms of cooking for a bigger family.
If features don’t appeal to you and you’re only looking for a basic solution that isn’t too pricey, the GoWISE USA GW77722 is a good entry into the world of air fryer ovens. Being priced at an affordable range, it offers a lot of value especially for its price tag.
Using An Air Fryer Oven
If you find yourself burning things way too often in these air fryer oven units, one tip is to actually lower the temperature (duh). While obvious, it is the cause of many of these issues, as people tend to treat these as full-size ovens. While putting out a lot of power, keep in mind that these have much smaller footprints, which also means the heat gets more intense inside.
When following recipes for ovens, pull the duration down a little. For example, the instructions on a one-person frozen pizza might ask you to bake in the oven for 10 minutes. If you do that in a countertop air fryer oven though, it will mostly likely burn. With our experimentation, around 5 to 6 minutes seem to produce great results.
Having an air fryer in the kitchen can really speed up the cooking process. Especially with an air fryer oven combination model, you’re able to do much more than just air frying, including baking, roasting, even dehydrating and broiling in higher-end models.
If you’re set on getting one but not sure which to pick, be sure to check out our short guide, and click through the links to check the latest prices. Once you get a quality one for yourself, you’ll never want to go back!
Since you’re probably all about convenience, you might also be interested in getting an electric skillet as the ultimate all-in-one appliance for your kitchen, or a pressure cooker. Maybe even a carbon steel pan or a carbon steel wok to handle everything from low-heat cooking to high-heat searing?
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