Philips Airfryer: Review*

Some time ago, I was given a Philips Airfryer to review. I’ve been postponing writing the review because I was hoping that if I delayed posting, then Philips would let me keep the machine for longer 🙂 Sadly, they took it back a few weeks ago and I’ve really been missing it since.

When I heard about the invention of a machine which fries anything from chips to samoosas with air, resulting in 80% less fat compared to deep frying, I was immediately intrigued. We all know that healthy alternatives are seldom as good as the real deal, so I was sceptical about what these faux fried foods would taste like.

The secret behind the Airfryer is “rapid air technology”, which enables the machine to fry with air, resulting in food that is crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. The Airfryer not only fries, but also roasts, bakes and grills. You have the option of using a basket to fry, or a baking tin to bake or roast- both come with the machine. I enjoyed the speed at which I could prepare a meal- the preheat phase is only 2-3 minutes long, and food which usually take 20-30 minutes to cook in the oven, like chicken, was cooked in less than 15 minutes. There is an adjustable temperature control, allowing you to select temperatures ranging from 160 – 220 degrees. 

On the down side, I found the Airfryer to be a bit small for a family- although the machine itself is quite large, the basket in which food is placed is relatively small- it can fit six to eight samoosas or two chicken breasts. The results are great. After some trial and error, I got my samoosas to taste exactly the same as they would have had I deep fried them. The Airfryer does tend to dry out food, which can be remedied by placing a small amount of water in the machine. I prevented the samoosas drying out by brushing them with a thin layer of oil every 5 minutes.

I was less impressed with the results of chips made from scratch, which weren’t as crisp and golden as I would have liked, but when I used frozen chips designed for oven baking the results were excellent- I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between those and deep fried chips.

The care booklet claims that cleaning the machine is as simple as wiping it with a damp cloth, but I found it tricky to clean the crisscrossed grooves of the fry basket, so opted to pop the entire thing in the dishwasher instead.

The machine comes with a recipe book, proving its versatility. I was impressed to see recipes for chocolate brownies and quiches- all made entirely in the Airfryer. Recipes are focused on finger foods, and include garlic mushrooms topped with breadcrumbs, salmon croquettes, and ricotta balls with basil and Thai fish cakes.

In conclusion, for a health conscious individual or couple, I think the Airfryer is a great addition to the kitchen, but for families, it may be cumbersome to do numerous “rounds” of cooking – which would also result in food being ready at different times. Although the Airfryer’s capacity is 800 grams, food needs to be evenly spaced in a single layer, so one can’t really use the full capacity.   The Philips Airfryer retails at around R2000 and can be purchased from Game, Makro or Boardman’s. 

xx H