When it comes to the kitchen you’ve probably already got too many gadgets as it is, so should you be getting the Philips AirFryer? We’ve lived with one for just under a month to find out.
Forgetting all the marketing hype, the Philips AirFryer is basically a convection oven for your counter. The unit consists of a large egg-shaped device that has a pull out tray for your food. The tray-come-basket is enough to provide a portion of chips for around three people at once and the good news is that the basket dismantles and is fully dishwasher friendly.
Above the tray is a heating element like you’ll find in your electric oven and above that a big fan (which is hidden from sight) that blows air onto the heating element and therefore the food below. Turn on the AirFryer to your chosen temperature (up to 200 degrees), set the timer (up to 30 minutes) and you’re cooking.
Because of the way the system works, it’s not only faster cooking chips in the AirFryer than an oven, but it also produces crispier results because of the way the heat is forced into the cooking chamber. That speed in real terms is about 15 minutes (slightly longer for fatter chips) beating an oven alternative by about 15 minutes.
So what can you cook? Well chips mainly, although the accompanying cookbook suggests everything from brownies to quiche.
Over the course of the month we cooked chips, chips, chips, and more chips. We did cook other things - sausage rolls with crispy tops and soft centres, bananas (they didn’t really work), and cookies (not moist enough), roast potatoes (good), stuffing (crispy on top), parsnips (very yummy), and even mushrooms in garlic butter (maybe not), but over and over again found ourselves reverting back to chips, fries and crisps.
On the chip front, the AirFryer is very good, although a “chip fan” and ex-chef we know told us they didn’t match up to a decent chip that had been deep fried (we would have to agree). Of course the AirFryer version uses considerably less and is safer as there is no large vat of boiling fat to contend with.
The Philips AirFryer works and works well, but is expensive (£200) and takes up a lot of room on your kitchen counter, especially considering it’s something that basically lets you cook chips quicker. While we enjoyed our time with the Philips AirFryer, we have to say we aren’t completely convinced. Since it’s gone back we haven’t missed it and neither has our waist line.
Really only for those who like chips and are disappointed with their current chip cooking offerings.