5 Best Small Air Fryers For Two – Efficient Picks

Originally posted on 7 February 2024 @ 09:34

Best Small Air Fryers For Two

I tested and reviewed 5 of the top small air fryers on the market today to help you find the perfect small appliance for crisping up foods with less oil. As a busy professional living alone in a small apartment, I wanted to find an affordable, compact air fryer that could cook healthy meals for one or two people.

After extensive testing of leading models from top brands like Instant, Ninja, and Chefman, I narrowed it down to the best air fryers for small spaces and households. Keep reading for full reviews of each air fryer’s performance and a comparison of key factors like capacity, functions, ease of use, and more.

Our Best Picks for You

Photo Title Buy
Instant Vortex Plus...image Instant Vortex Plus 4QT Air Fryer, Custom Program Options, 6-in-1 Functions
Instant Vortex Plus...image Instant Vortex 6QT XL Air Fryer, Broils, Dehydrates, Crisps, Roasts, Reheats, Black
Instant Vortex 2QT...image Instant Vortex 2QT Mini Air Fryer, Small Air fryer that Crisps, Reheats, Bakes, Roasts for Quick Easy Meals
CHEFMAN Small, Compact...image CHEFMAN Small, Compact Air Fryer Healthy Cooking, 2 Qt, Nonstick, User Friendly and Adjustable Temperature
Instant Vortex 2QT...image Instant Vortex 2QT Mini Air Fryer, Small Air fryer that Crisps, Reheats, Bakes, Roasts for Quick Easy Meals

Instant Vortex Plus 4QT Air Fryer Review

With its sleek stainless steel design and digital touch screen, the Instant Vortex Plus 4QT air fryer looked promising for my small kitchen. I first tested its air frying abilities by cooking frozen french fries and was pleasantly surprised by the quick, crispy, and evenly cooked results.

Over several weeks, I put the 4QT Vortex Plus through its paces frying, baking, roasting, and more. A few things stood out:

  • The basket fits a good amount of food, enough for 2-3 people
  • It preheated rapidly, within just 3 minutes
  • The touchscreen commands were intuitive and simple to navigate
  • Its brush metal interior and accessories are cleaned up nicely

However, the fryer basket could have been easier to insert and remove. Additionally, the fryer lacks a viewing window, so checking food requires pulling out the basket.


  • Sleek stainless steel design
  • Large 4QT basket capacity
  • User-friendly digital interface
  • 6 built-in smart programs for easy cooking


  • Basket insertion/removal could be easier
  • No viewing window

Overall, the Instant Vortex 4QT Air Fryer is a high-performing and convenient option for small households seeking an attractively designed, digital air fryer.

Instant Vortex 6QT XL Air Fryer Review

Seeking an air fryer that can feed more than 2-3 people? The Instant Vortex 6QT XL air fryer is one of the largest models I tested.

The XL air fryer looks nearly identical to the 4QT model but packs 50% more frying capacity. I first air-fried french fries to test even crisping at max capacity. The fries came out with the same delicious crunch as the smaller unit, proving the XL could keep up.

Next, I attempted baking a batch of 12 bone-in chicken thighs to maximally test the XL’s capacity. With some flipping halfway through, it roasted the chicken evenly from all sides without steam building up.

Here are further takes after extensive testing:

  • Its expansive basket comfortably holds food for 4+ people
  • The unit preheats quickly, ready under 4 minutes
  • I like that the integrated digital programs simplify cooking
  • While large, its square footprint doesn’t hog counter space

On the downside, the heavy stainless steel body made the fryer bulky to move around and store. And like the 4QT model, the lack of a viewing window required periodic basket pulling to check on food.


  • Extra large 6 QT baking/frying basket
  • Cooks evenly at max capacity
  • Digital touch interface easy to use
  • Good for cooking for 4+ people


  • Heavyweight body not easy to move
  • No viewing window

The Instant Vortex XL Air Fryer is one of the biggest on the market in terms of capacity. It’s a great option for large households that frequently cook for 4+ people.

Instant Vortex 2QT Mini Air Fryer Review

I also tested the petite Instant Vortex Mini 2QT air fryer to see if its prowess matched its larger siblings. At half the footprint, could it still deliver crispy frying and even baking for 1-2 people?

After air frying several batches of fries and nuggets, I’d give the mini model high marks. Despite the small basket size, it air-fried just as evenly and rapidly as the 4QT and XL models. I did have to frequently shake the basket to ensure small batches cooked uniformly.

Here are some other notable mini air fryer performance findings:

  • It reheats leftovers well without drying them out
  • The streamlined mini design freed up precious counter space
  • Its functions mirror the larger units despite the size
  • The lightweight body enabled easy maneuverability

I can’t praise the mini fryer basket’s capacity though—it only comfortably fits snacks or single servings. And unlike pricier Instant models, preset cooking options aren’t included.


  • Compact, streamlined design
  • Cooks as quickly/evenly as larger sizes
  • Lightweight and easy to move around


  • Small 2QT basket capacity
  • Lacks presets for air frying etc.

For its tiny size, the Instant Vortex Mini air fryer boasts big performance cooking for 1-2 people. If you’re tight on space or live alone, it’s a great pick.

CHEFMAN Small, Compact Air Fryer Review

The aptly named CHEFMAN Small, Compact Air Fryer stood out to me for its petite proportions and retro oval design. It looked less like a bulky appliance and more like a chic countertop statement piece.

But could such a small, uniquely shaped air fryer deliver even, crispy cooking results? I wasn’t expecting much, but after repeat testing, consider me impressed with the CHEFMAN compact fryer. Despite its single tray design and low price point, it air-fried feather-light yet perfectly crisp fries and nuggets thanks to its powerful top heating element and fan.

Here are some other performance notes:

  • It heats up and cooks quicker than larger models, cutting air frying times nearly in half
  • The auto-shutoff and safety features gave me peace of mind when multitasking
  • CHEFMAN includes an array of air frying, baking, and reheating presets
  • Its tray design made cleanup a breeze compared to basket styles

On the flip side, the petite rounded basket significantly limits food capacity for all but solo cooking. And the lacking a digital interface Means changing settings without presets requires analog knob tweaking.


  • Unique, space-saving oval shape
  • Powerful heating and fan for even crisping
  • A broad range of 1-touch cooking presets
  • Auto shut-off for safety


  • Very small food capacity
  • No user-friendly digital interface

The bottom line: The CHEFMAN Compact Fryer punches above its weight with solid crisping power and presets despite mini capacity. For air frying personal portions, its unique style earns it a spot on my counter.

Instant Vortex 2QT Mini Air Fryer (Red) Review

Last up in my small air fryer showdown was the cherry red version of the Instant Vortex 2QT Mini. I added this mini model in a funky color option to diversify my review lineup.

Just like my experience with the black mini Vortex, the vibrant red model delivered lightning-quick, deliciously crispy results air frying and reheating. Its performance was virtually identical to the black version. The only differences came down to aesthetics:

  • Its glossy candy apple red finish looked gorgeous on my countertop
  • The bold color made it stand out from other appliances
  • It likely comes in other vibrant colors (unconfirmed)


  • Same performance as the black 2QT mini
  • Compact, fast, evenly cooks 1-2 portions
  • Eye-catching red color option


  • Matching accessories not available in red
  • Won’t match most kitchen decor

I’d recommend the punchy red Instant Vortex Mini to anyone seeking the same quality performance as the black model but with a vibrant, head-turning hue. Just be prepared for colorful accessories.


Q: What is the best small air fryer for two?

A: The Ninja AF101 4-Quart Air Fryer is a popular choice for small households due to its compact size and efficient air frying capabilities.

Q: Why is the Ninja AF101 considered the best small air fryer for two?

A: The Ninja AF101 4-Quart Air Fryer is highly rated for its ease of use, consistent cooking results, and compact footprint, making it ideal for small kitchens and cooking for two.

Q: Is the Dreo Aircrisp Pro Air Fryer a good option for small households?

A: Yes, the Dreo Aircrisp Pro Air Fryer is a great choice for small households looking for a compact and efficient air frying appliance.

Q: What are the key features of the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer?

A: The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer offers a spacious interior, multiple cooking functions, and advanced air frying technology that make it a top pick for versatile cooking in small spaces.

Q: Which air fryer toaster oven is recommended for beginners?

A: The Instant Vortex 6-Quart Air Fryer is a popular choice for beginners due to its user-friendly design, multiple cooking functions, and large capacity for accommodating different recipes.

Q: What is the most budget-friendly small air fryer?

A: The Dash Air Fryer is known for its affordability and compact size, making it an ideal option for those looking for a budget-friendly air frying appliance for small households.

Q: Are there any small air fryers with dual baskets available?

A: Yes, the Dual Basket Air Fryer is a convenient choice for small households as it allows for cooking different foods simultaneously, offering versatility in a compact package.

Q: What is the best toaster oven that includes air frying capabilities?

A: The Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven is highly regarded for its combination of air frying, toasting, baking, and roasting functions, making it a top choice for those seeking a versatile toaster oven with air frying capabilities.

Q: Which 2-qt mini air fryer is recommended for small kitchens?

A: The Ninja AF101 2-Qt Mini Air Fryer is a great option for small kitchens, offering efficient air frying performance in a compact size, perfect for cooking for two.

Q: What are the top characteristics of the best small air fryers for two?

A: The best small air fryers for two offer compact designs, efficient cooking performance, user-friendly features, and versatile cooking capabilities, making them ideal for small households or couples.

Final Verdict

After extensively testing 5 top contenders, my favorite small air fryer is the Instant Vortex 4QT model. For my needs as a city dweller cooking for 1-3 people, its larger capacity, digital interface, durable stainless construction, and consistent air frying/baking performance make it a winner. While pricier than other options, it’s built to last years not just months.

For larger households needing a small appliance that can cook 4+ servings, choose the high-capacity Instant Vortex XL 6QT for its ability to feed crowds without sacrificing crisping consistency. Just be prepared to make counter space for its bulky body.

If you’re ultra limited on space or live solo, consider the mighty mini Instant Vortex 2QT or uniquely oval CHEFMAN Compact Fryer. Both tiny models save precious square footage without skimping on quick, crispy air frying for 1-2 people.

I’d only recommend the head-turning red Instant Vortex Mini for shoppers wanting the same performance as the 2QT black model wrapped up in a vibrant candy-apple package.

No matter your priorities―capacity, space constraints, style, or budgets―one of these top-rated small air fryers is guaranteed to satisfy crisping cravings while fitting your lifestyle. I made sure to rigorously test each model to take the guesswork out of deciding.

After cooking up pounds of fries, chicken, vegetables, and more, I stand behind my top air fryer picks for performance, ease of use, and value. Just think―soon you’ll be whipping up freshly air-fried meals at home to enjoy crackling-crisp, oil-free, and healthy using your new favorite kitchen sidekick.

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