I think you would struggle to get a chicken in a 3.5 but this size is fine for joints of beef etc. I originally got a 6.5 but found it was far too large - stuf I was cooking for 3 of us barely covered the base of the cooker. I then bought a 3.5 and found it much better. It is ample for most recipes for us. I now only use the 6.5 for whole chickens otherwise its a waste of space. Given the choice I would have the 3.5 anytime and just cook the odd chicken in the oven.