Best Air Fryer for a Family of 4 in 2020: Complete Reviews with Comparisons

best air fryer for family of 4

When it comes to cooking for your family, you’ve got a lot of appliances that you can use. Most people love fried food but hate to eat it often because of the fat content and calories. If that sounds like you and your family, it might be time to buy an air fryer.

There are so many on the market, and you want to make sure it will be large enough to feed the whole family. We focused on finding the best air fryer for family of 4, so it will fit plenty of food. Plus, you can learn more through the FAQs and the buyer’s guide.

Best Air Fryer for Family of 4: A Review

1. Philips Avance XXL Airfryer

Royal Philips is the maker of this air fryer and sells a variety of other products, as well. It is primarily a health-technology company focusing on offering items to healthcare professionals to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness. It’s a popular brand and can be found at retail locations and on e-commerce websites.

Product Highlights

For those who want something sleek that can sit out on the counter, the Philips Avance XXL Airfryer is ideal. The larger capacity can take on a whole chicken or even two bags of your favorite frozen fries.

With its Twin TurboStar technology, it will capture and remove any excess fat from the food. Therefore, it is healthier than traditional fried food.

What We Like

While most people prefer digital products, we liked that this was simplistic with its analog dial. It’s easy to set the temperature, and the timer goes to a full 60 minutes.

What We Don’t Like

The tray at the bottom will catch all of the food residues. You will need to clean it after each use, and it can be tough to do, even with an abrasive product, which should not be used.

Pros:

  • Large enough for a family of four
  • No preheating needed
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Tray at bottom is hard to clean
  • No automatic shut-off feature
  • Analog dial; some trial and error involved for settings

2. COSORI Max XL Air Fryer

COSORI has only been around since 2016, but it has taken the world by storm. It manufactures kitchen appliances that focus on healthy eating on a busy schedule. Currently, you can find its products on its website and through third-party e-commerce sites.

Product Highlights

Those who want something with a touchscreen will like this product. It’s a 5.8-quart air fryer that fits a six-pound chicken. It also comes with 11 functions, such as seafood, bacon, and vegetables.

What We Like

With so many buttons on the screen, you could get overwhelmed. What we liked, though, is that it was so easy to push a button and have the preset settings come on.

What We Don’t Like

The one caveat is that it’s a big air fryer that sits tall. It might not work on your kitchen counter, depending on your spacing.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Quick preheating
  • Cooks quickly

Cons:

  • Excessively tall
  • Challenging to release basket with food inside
  • Steam residue possible on counter

3. Ninja Air Fryer

The Ninja brand is part of the SharkNinja Operating LLC company and features a variety of household appliances. It’s been around since 1998. Currently, you can find the brand in many retail locations, as well as on third-party e-commerce sites.

Product Highlights

The Ninja Air Fryer cooks with 75% less fat than it would take to fry the food traditionally. It features a broader temperature range from 105 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. With a capacity of four quarts, it’s enough for your family of four.

What We Like

Though it’s an air fryer, it can also dehydrate food, creating "chips" out of almost anything. It can also roast and reheat previously cooked food.

What We Don’t Like

The one thing we weren't happy with was that it emitted a strong plastic or rubber smell when used. While the manufacturer claims this is normal, it doesn’t appear ever to go away.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Variety of functions
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Bad smell of plastic when using the product
  • Could be slightly larger
  • Quite noisy while in use

4. GoWISE USA Programmable Air Fryer

GoWISE USA is part of the Ming’s Mark Brand, located in Phoenix, AZ. It focuses on offering products to make people healthier and lead easier lives. You can find its products on its website and third-party e-commerce sites.

Product Highlights

If you want something fancy that is still easy to use, this air fryer is right for you. You’ll get seven programmed settings, which include things like warm-up, steak, and chips.

With its digital screen, you can set the temperature between 170 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook up to 30 minutes. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors and two sizes, including 3.7 and 5 quarts.

What We Like

We were quite impressed with the preset buttons. It’s so easy just to hit a button and go. You also can set your own temperatures and time for other food items.

What We Don’t Like

Though the digital display is nice, we weren't altogether thrilled with the timer. We hoped that it would go up to 60 minutes. However, if you do need more time, it is easy to reset the timer.

Pros:

  • Seven presets
  • Wide temperature range
  • Indication light for the end of cooking time

Cons:

  • Only 30-minute timer
  • Quite large; consider storage options first
  • 1500 watts; might have to unplug other appliances before use

5. Ultrean Air Fryer

If you haven’t heard of Ultrean, you aren’t alone because it just came on the market in 2018. Even so, it features affordable prices and high-quality products. You can find the brand on select third-party e-commerce sites.

Product Highlights

Those who want something simple with analog and digital together will like this product. The buttons are easy to understand. Just press the power button, and then you set the time and temperature by pressing the plus or minus buttons.

You’ll also find that it is easy to clean. You can detach the basket and be put in the dishwasher. Plus, it’s a contemporary design that will look sleek in your home.

What We Like

We were quite impressed with the design of the appliance. Its rounded form works well, but the push buttons with the digital display make it easy for anyone to use.

What We Don’t Like

While the handle is heat-resistant, that doesn’t mean it is cool to the touch. Thus, you will want to use an oven mitt to open the drawer.

Pros:

  • 360-degree heat circulation
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Detachable pot for cooking

Cons:

  • Grill not durable
  • Might need to tweak current recipes

Buyer’s Guide

We understand that you want to get the best product, which means understanding more about how it works. If it’s not easy to use or it doesn’t fit all the food you need, you would be unhappy with the purchase. Though the products we talked about are designed to feed four people, we thought it would be good to know how we chose them.

1. Cooking Ability

Cooking ability is, by far, the hardest thing to judge because there are many variables. It will depend on how much food you use and what it is. You also have to factor in temperature and time settings, the amount of oil used, and more.

Primarily, we focused on whether it cooked evenly or not. For the most part, air fryers use a manual rotation feature, which means you must rotate or shake the food to ensure you get even heat distribution.

Therefore, you may need to use tongs or shake the entire basket for a second. All the models we reviewed follow the manual rotation design. This means much of the cooking ability is placed on the user.

While you can use a recipe designed for air fryers (and should), that won’t guarantee the best results. You’ll have a little trial and error with any model before deciding on the best way to cook with your new appliance.

2. Functionality

Every air fryer will come with a variety of functions. These are utilized through the controls.

  • Timer

The timer is shown either as an analog knob or a digital interface. Some food items will cook faster in an air fryer, so most products have a timer that can go for up to 30 minutes. If you will need to cook food longer, consider investing in one with a timer that goes up to 60 minutes.

Most air fryers range in temperature from 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is plenty of variation for cooking many food items. If yours can’t reach a specific temperature for a recipe, just cook the food a little longer.

  • Preset Cooking Programs

Most digital air fryers come with preset programs, allowing you to set the temperature and time automatically by pushing a button. Sometimes, this happens with an analog approach where the settings are printed directly on the body or lid.

  • Other Features

Some air fryers also have additional features. These can include warm mode, preheating, and pause. They’re not essential, but they can be nice to have.

Since we talked a few times about analog and digital features, it can be helpful to learn more about them. Analog dials are straightforward but come with drawbacks. These include:

  • Some analog timers might keep ticking once you’ve removed the food drawer. Consider setting the timer a bit longer so that you don’t use your cooking time for rotating or shaking.
  • Accuracy can be a problem. Dials can be off by a few degrees or minutes. They may also be hard to read or have significant increment jumps.
  • You might accidentally hit the dials when inserting or removing food. This can cause your times and temperatures to be off.

The question then becomes, should you choose a digital display? The answer is both yes and no. Digital displays can be more accurate and may have more features, but they’re not as robust or intuitive.

You can’t go wrong with choosing either option. Therefore, it primarily comes down to your personal preferences. Also, you may consider one with both analog controls and a digital display to combine the best from both worlds.

3. Cleaning

When it comes to air frying, cleaning is the one, most important thing to consider. If you plan to use it frequently, you won’t want to if it is a hassle to get it ready for the next use. The components, such as the drawer and basket, should be non-stick and dishwasher safe; luckily, most air fryers offer these features.

Sometimes, though, you have a grated grill or a mesh basket. Even if they are non-stick, food items can get stuck on them. Hence, you may still need to clean them manually, depending on what food you cook.

4. Capacity

You can find a variety of sizes for air fryers, which often correlates with capacity. Just note that the capacity inside doesn’t increase because the size is bigger. Therefore, smaller appliances might be a more efficient option.

Smaller models can also be easier to carry and store and can produce better results. You cook less food in them, so airflow is better. This ensures crispiness and even browning.

You’ll find two build styles for air fryers, both influencing the size and capacity:

  • Pull-Out Drawer: This model comes in a vertical style and works just the way it sounds. You grasp the handle, unhook the basket, and pull it out. These are often easier and safer to use because its heating element isn’t exposed; capacity is usually less with this one.
  • Flip-Top: You’ll find that this type of air fryer often has a larger capacity. It can also be cumbersome to use because you have to give it enough space above so that you can open the lid. Plus, the heating element could be exposed, so you have to be quite careful when removing or adding food.

Many air fryers refer to the capacity in pounds or quarts, depending on who manufacturers it.

  • A capacity of about 2.2 quarts or 1.8 pounds is ideal for one or two people.
  • Bigger air fryers often have a capacity of about four to six quarts or 2.65 pounds and are best for four people.
  • Then, you’ve got extra-large units that can fit 16 quarts or over three pounds of food; they’re best for five or more people.

To determine the best capacity, you’ll have to ask yourself if you need the bigger size. Do you plan to cook for four people frequently? If you have that family size, you are going to.

In this case, the four-quart version is best. If you prefer to use the oven most often and the fryer will be secondary, you might get away with a smaller model.

5. Ease of Use

No one wants an appliance that’s hard to use. You’re less likely to utilize it frequently and get your money’s worth from it. Plus, an air fryer that’s easy to use will provide better results and is safer.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Make sure the markings on the appliance are easy to see. If it’s analog, you want the timer and temperature markings on the dial to be visible and have even increments to avoid confusion. Digital displays must also be easy to read and understand.
  • Cleaning is also part of using the appliance. Any parts that need cleaning should be easy to remove and dishwasher-safe.
  • It should also be easy to remove and add food. Larger appliances can suffer because the baskets and lids are more cumbersome and heavier.
  • The operation of the machine should be intuitive. Its buttons should do what you want. Plus, there may be other useful features that can make it easier with which to cook.

6. Safety

Most air fryers available come with many safety features, including:

  • Cool-touch handles
  • Safety buttons to prevent your basket from falling
  • Automatic shut-off when the timer ends

Also, these products will not allow smoke to build up in them. There will be vents to let out the steam. Often, there is some form of protection for the internal parts so that they don’t get damaged or dirty.

7. Durability

Durability can be a hard factor to judge. How well it works can really only be determined after you’ve used it for a few months. Unfortunately, it’s hard for anyone to test something that strenuously.

That said, we have come across some durability issues, such as the non-stick coating or paint peeling from the machine. This might happen because you clean it with a strong detergent.

Also, the mesh drawer or basket could become flimsy or get warped from the high temperatures. If it becomes warped, it will be harder to get the basket into the appliance or remove it.

There may also be times when there’s unexplained smoking from the machine, or it stops working. You may want to buy a product with a warranty of at least a year. This gives you plenty of time to use it regularly and make sure it works properly.

8. Cost

In most cases, the price you’ll pay is the ultimate factor of whether or not you will buy the product. You’ll find that most models can range in price from about $100 to $400.

To ensure that you get the most from the money you pay, consider how often you plan to use the air fryer. If it’s not going to be very often, you might choose a cheaper model.

You can also offset the price by choosing an air fryer that includes more accessories, such as pans and grill racks. That way, you don’t have to spend more to get everything you need.

F.A.Q.

1. What Size Air Fryer Do I Need for Family of 4?

In general, we recommend an air fryer that is 2.65 pounds or four to six quarts. Nonetheless, you should also consider how often you’ll use it and whether all four people will be there for dinner each time. Some families can get away with a smaller unit and cook mainly on the stove.

2. What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of an Air Fryer?

The advantages of using an air fryer are plentiful, such as:

  • Easy cleanup
  • Little to no oil necessary
  • Low-fat meals, even if you’re frying food
  • Hot-air circulation; it cooks from all angles
  • Typically produces healthier meals
  • No fried-food smell in the home

There are a few disadvantages of using an air fryer, including:

  • Longer cooking times
  • Crowding issues
  • Food dries out faster
  • Can’t fit large meats and foods
  • Higher risk of burning the food

3. Are Air Fryers Healthy?

Yes, air fryers are healthier in terms of a traditional fryer. If you prefer fried food, such as French fries and fried chicken, you can cut the fat content and calories by almost half because the air fryer doesn’t require oil.

You should use a non-stick cooking spray or brush a tiny bit of oil on the food, though, to keep it from sticking. This is almost nil for calories, so it is still considered a healthy alternative to traditionally fried food.

4. How Many Wings Can Fit in an Air Fryer?

Primarily, the number of wings you can fit in your air fryer depends on its size. It’s ideal to put them in a single layer on the bottom of the basket or drawer. We found that a four-quart air fryer can fit about nine wings.

You can stack your chicken wings in the air fryer, but this will require more manual turning to ensure that the ones on the bottom come to the top and vice versa. The wings should also be on the small side for it to work effectively.

5. How Many Watts Should an Air Fryer Be?

Standard air fryers are usually between 800 and 1500 watts. The more watts it has, the higher the temperature it can reach.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a way to feed your family with healthier food that you can cook quickly, an air fryer is the best choice. We reviewed five different products to help you learn more about them.

With so many good choices, it was hard to pick a winner. However, we feel that the best air fryer for family of 4 would be the Ultrean Air Fryer. We were very impressed with the easy-to-use buttons and digital temperature display.