CHOICE membership

Air fryer review

Crisp up those chips or make your nuggets with an air fryer, which only uses a small amount of oil to fry up your food. You can find the best air fryers with our review (member content), or see our air fryer buying guide to find out more about this kitchen appliance.

Do you have experience using an air fryer? Share it with the CHOICE Community below.

3 Likes

It’s just my opinion but if you have a fan forced oven, I have a wall mounted Westinghouse gas , you can get the same results as an air fryer with chips , nuggets etc . I have used air fryers in the past and found most of them rather bulky and hard to store therefore they take up kitchen top space . For fan forced oven owners think twice your money maybe better spent elsewhere . Just saying .

5 Likes

You’re not alone in that sentiment. The prevailing wisdom seems to indicate they could be useful for small apartments without an oven, a caravan or those who are cooking small batches. Otherwise, it seems the regular oven will do the job nicely. However, if anyone is using them and getting a particularly good result, be sure to let us know :slight_smile:

5 Likes

Up until 2 years ago when I shifted to this home I had a floor standing electric range that was not fan forced in the oven department . I used an Easy Cook 727 and an Easy Cook 757 regularly . Took the 757 , which sadly no longer seems available . away to use in the caravan and at the campsite where we had a generator ./

One of the advantages I did find was that they used considerably less power , as measured on the smart/ dumb meter , compared to the standard oven . /

Over 10 years old and if I unpacked them , which I will do with the 757 , I’m heading off camping , bit of fishing and shooting , know doubt it will work as well as when first purchased .

Easy Cook Australia have a new model out called the Connoisseur 777 .It seems to have all the bells and whistles with it . Are Choice planning a test regarding it Brendan ?

6 Likes

I’ve got a Tefal Actifry Express XL, also “SERIE 025” on the label underneath. Power listed as 1400-1700W and I’ve been using it for a year or 2 now, it doesn’t appear to be a Choice-tested model. I acquired it with FF points accumulated on my VISA.
I’m very happy with it so far, but hope it lasts longer than the previous smaller Actifry model I had (also from FF points), in which the plastic gears that move the stirrer around eventually stripped.
It makes great chips- usually potato, pumpkin and sweet potato, all home made, not frozen.
It cooks chips much more evenly than our fan-forced Panasonic microwave/oven/grill can bake the same veg. It also uses less energy to do so- something to keep in mind when operating off the electricity grid.

5 Likes

@vax2000 We have one Easy Cook model, but not the Connoisseur 777 - no doubt it will be considered for the next test. There’s also this Tefal Actifry Express @gordon , but I’m not 100% sure that it’s the same model as yours.

4 Likes

It is similar, but definitely a different model.

4 Likes

Looks like another one to add for next time then :slight_smile:

2 Likes

If you think about energy use the Air Fryer is a no brainer. Heating (and pre-) a family sized takes quite a bit of energy and is overuse in many cases. The Air Fryer is smaller heats up faster and usually cooks faster than a conventional oven. Perhaps Choice could compare energy use in both systems? We also use a Breville work top oven and that’s replaced the toaster amongst other things and its ideal for a couple to prepare and keep food warm.

pH

6 Likes

Good point @tmar5954 and I agree, that would make for an interesting comparison. I’ll be sure to pass on the suggestion.

4 Likes

Have a small one I bought from Kogan a couple of years ago. Great for home made fish and chips. Have roasted vegetables in it if cooking a roast on the barbecue. Ideal for the two of us.

3 Likes

I have a large oven 90cm wide which works very well but since the kids have moved out I use an air fryer instead when cooking for only two people. It’s faster and does a great job of cooking smaller portions and I wouldn’t be without it.

2 Likes

Similar reasons why we moved to using a Convection Microwave, it suits a smaller household, is able to cook many dishes faster, and if needed can be called into action for larger meals if needed and time is available (ours is a 40 litre one). The airfryer though does a much better fish and chips :slight_smile:

1 Like

There is nothing like getting the Xmas shopping done early. We added a Phillips HD9742/93 to our short list. To be sure, we gave it a road test last night.

On unboxing, the good news is the absence of polystyrene packing. One small step, thanks Philips.

And to be fair to Choice theIr review does a good job. There is one exception that we would emphasis for future reviews.

If the following seems slightly comic, laugh away.

If you have never used an air frier before or had experience around one the provided user instructions are a big fail. We are halfway there.

The packaging contained a single multilingual sheet with miniature pictograms and fine print we both struggled with, glasses engaged. We gave up trying to decipher it. I find the pictograms on Japanese appliances in Tokyo easier to follow. The difficult observation in this example is absolutely everyone who knows air friers may not see any of this as a problem.

Sample from user instructions.

And,
A quad lingual short recipe guide. The guide directs you to download an app, but there are two in the store. The other cook initially refused to download the recipe labelled NutriU/Airfryer App. It was nothing to do with user instructions. Downloading the other App says it has been superseded and suggests you go to the NutriU app. What a ‘sh.t’ slogan! Raw carrots vs baked or fried. Only one is genuinely nutritious. But the others taste so good. :yum:

Observations.
First product criticism, there is no contents or packing list. Philips confound this by showing additional items mixed into the illustration of the boxed content. On looking at other sources these appear to be accessories for purchase. Our frier included a Crome baking rack but no silicon muffin moulds (bonus or missing something). There is a diagram showing a silicon heat resistant mat, no part number, not in package? The for sale box was fully sealed with heat shrink plastic, which also carried the product stock labelling. And there is no diagram on the box to clarify either. We did play with the display model enough to see what was included, but that can be incorrect. Still one step more informed than buying online untouched.

The second surprise was the instructions. With our model all digital, it is a cryptic guess as to what each button does, there are some useful details towards the back of the short recipe book. They indicate some features, but lack explanation. I guess the enabled 25 year olds find this amusing. We come from a generation beaten if in touching the wrong button or getting the control wrong things broke. It was always someone’s fault. At least the booklet shows that the knob in the handle actually does have a purpose. Perhaps if the knob was backlit with arrows the intent would be more obvious.

We managed to bake some potatoes. Average result. They sat in the top of the drawer on the Crome tray. I now believe that was not necessary. It is for baking, but not needed for veges etc. Removal doubled the capacity too. The one page guide and other guides provide simple time and temperature settings. Not much else.

Two mystery buttons on the control panel were unidentifiable. The clue is with the included or optional baking and grilling accessories page near the back of the short recipe book. Similar pictograms next to each accessory suggest one is for baking cakes and things, and the other is for grilling!

Still to tempt the product self destruction code and get it to display the cooking preset options. Logic says frying is neither baking or grilling, hence there may be another secret control somewhere for those presets? :wink:

Of the two apps in the App Store, the older one includes a good starters guide including the controls, but not correct or that useful for our model. The newer app presents purely as a recipe book. There is no ‘dummies’ guide for each current model in the newer App. There is only a section further down the menu on user tips. Oh, for a ten minute video Philips. Yes, there is also YouTube.

I don’t know if Choice could step up a little. It seems setting up a race between 5 contestants who have no experience of such culinary excellence might prove great TV. Start with a packet of frozen chips, a boxed and sealed air frier, and stand back. Penalties for burnt or under cooked product. Add a 30 minute time limit. Might even push two other cooking shows into the late night slots. :rofl:

Where to find 5 contestants who are tolerant of public exposure of their lack of modern connected aptitude? It could be a long wait! :wink:

P.S.
The baked (half potatoes) were ok, and took 40 minutes. About the same overall as nuke plus finishing in the oven, but longer than finishing shallow fried in a pan. Zero oven heat, but enough steam venting to suggest the frier needs to sit under the exhaust hood. So we can use the air frier or the stovetop, but not both at once?

Now for chips, although the local stores only have red potatoes, white potatoes and occasionally the rarer dutch cream varieties. I take it the big stores want you to go to the freezer section for your chips. Off to find one of the three Phillips recommended varieties I’ve never heard of.

Heston Blumenthal apparently narrowed it down to only two out of 100 varieties for the best chips. Jamie Oliver never fails with baked potatoes, so guess it does not matter for them.

Have removed Crome rack from frier and hidden as a reminder it is not required to fry.

The GoodGuys took $50 of the rrp and there is currently a $50 cash back from Philips. It pays to ask. $100 off is also demonstrating just how cheap on the boat the imported products must be, before our wholesale and retailers get to make their profits.

Is the product really not a frier at all and just a mini forced air radiant heat high temperature oven?

Other wisdom.

and

The latter feeds 6-8 easily.

3 Likes