We have to admit we have a tough job. All those gadgets to check out and tell you whether they are any good or not? Well imagine our surprise when the only real way to test the new Philips AirFryer is to eat chocolate brownies and chips. I hope, dear reader, you feel our pain.
So what is it and what's it like? Well our time was brief - one brownie and a portion of chips - but both tasted good, real good.
If you're completely baffled as to what the heck we are talking about, the Philips Airfryer is a new £200 kitchen gadget due out in November that - without oil - gives you healthy "fried" chips or anything else you are brave enough to chuck in it, without all the hassle of a big vat of chip oil.
All that's achievable says Philips, thanks to the Airfryer’s secret. What's that secret? Basically it's a big heating element combined with a fast-circulating hot air fan that together create delicious chips with up to 80 per cent less fat. It is, essentially, a worktop oven.
While chips are going to be your main cooking fare, the Airfryer cooks a variety of foods and snacks from the best-tasting chips to chicken nuggets, meat and even tempura prawns. The "frying" draw slides into the main unit. It's not massive, but big enough, says Philips, to hold around four portions of chips - enough for the family.
Philips claims that the Airfryer requires just 3 minutes to heat up and then just 12 minutes to cook your chips. It also claims that because it uses hot air rather than hot oil to "fry" food, it emits fewer vapours, while the Integrated Air Filter diffuses any smells. We walked in on the demo of the fryer in full action and didn't noticeably smell a chip shop smell.
Afterwards everything can be thrown in the dishwater and then plonked in a cupboard.
The airfryer features a timer which lets you pre-set cooking times of up to 30 minutes and there is an adjustable temperature control that allows you pre-set temperatures of up to 200 degrees. There's even a food separator accessory, which allows you to "fry" different foods at once without mixing any flavours together.
So, to the taste test. The chips taste good. In fact very much like In and Out Burger chips from the west coast of America. If you're not sure what that tastes like, think fish and chip shop chips but without the grease.
As with all kitchen gadgets it comes down to how much you're going to use it, and will determine whether or not that warrants spending £200 on a quick and healthy way to make chips - you might have an oven already that will do the job. Of course the Airfryer does cook other things like quiches, crisps, potato wedges, and anything else you can think of - there is a recipe book included in the box.
From our quick taste test it works, and works well, the question is: will it work in the home? This will only be determined by more testing (Philips are you reading this?).
At the moment it all sounds promising, but we are still holding out as this could just be another fad on your counter.
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