April 2022 Food Challenge : Air Fryer Ovens . The good ,the bad and the ugly

First coming to prominence on late night tele info commercials and then Philips hosting regular sessions on the TVSN network we had this product A listed as a must have .

I was gifted one , see picture , 3 years ago . This is not a review but a snapshot into my experience with it …It is a Miracle Chef Model .

The Good : No longer use wall mounted gas oven . Gas bill dropped by half . Elec bill rose marginally . Great for roasting vegies . Chips are tasty and crisp . Temp setting very accurate .

The Bad : Food capacity . No where as big as that shown on TV . Fiddly to clean . Lots of accessories , rotisserie , no stick food basket insert but no instructions in supplied book how to use .

The Ugly : Noisy . Sounds like an AirBus 380 taking off 66 db measured at 2 metres. Watch the info commercial and you see them putting food in ,switching on , the unit beeps and they take food out . You never hear the unit actually cooking . Quite weighty .The unit weighs nearly 7 KG .

Would I buy another one when this one wears out . ( I use it every day ) A BIG yes . My gas bill has halved since using the Air Fryer . Marginal increase in Elec Bill .

For this months Challenge let us know of your experiences , both good and bad , and would you buy an Air Fryer oven .

The Challenge for March had some excellent posts . Short bread seems to be a favourite of many . The following were awarded Food Challenge Badges @Flutterby @longinthetooth
@pamelanorth4 for their posts . Thanks to all who contributed .

@Gaby @phb @vax2000


My understanding is an air fryer oven is essentially a miniature oven with ‘fan forced’ heating elements. Being smaller than a full scale oven it uses less electricity with a smaller cavity to heat. Whether it cooks better or differently to a fan forced oven seems dependent on the oven it is compared to.

Advantages: less electricity, faster heating time.

Disadvantages: Another countertop appliance to purchase/countertop space used.

Cleaning? Pyrolytic wins if it is a feature.

Am I missing something?


It does not have Pyrolytic cleaning . Missing what ? I think the challenge is quite clear in its requirements .


In a two bedroom unit with a small kitchen I just don’t have the bench space.


We purchased a Phillips. Equivalent to the current HD9742/93 in the latest Choice reviews.

We’ve found it’s a quick option instead of heating up the gas oven for just one or two. It’s 800gm capacity is it’s greatest handicap. It’s adequate for a modest meal of F&C for two. Cooking products and setting aside the 15-20 minutes cook time or mucking around reheating and crisping makes the oven an easier solution for larger meals and guests. A larger air frier would likely be a waste for our more usual needs.

It does a great job of delivering crisp oven fried frozen products. Cooking fresh veg or home prepared protein takes a little longer. Although one can microwave many products efficiently before finishing in the oven.

One to look out for at 1500W or more for the larger capacity units is cooking in the evening at peak times. Compared to gas, but not a full electric oven, there is a noticeable blip in the household electrical energy use (monitored smart meter). Something to consider if on a TOU or worse peak demand tariff option, YMMV. Solar PV and a midday main meal might be the alternative.

We found cleaning relatively straight forward, but tend not to fill the basket to the top. There is an Guide line on the inside of the basket that suggests full is approx only half height.

We store ours on a convenient shelf in the pantry and place on a board on the cooktop to allow the stove extractor fan to vent the exhaust outdoors.


I meant am I missing something special about air fryer ovens as compared to ovens with fan forced elements. eg some ‘bad or ugly’ in that context, especially if one has a fan forced oven would an air fryer essentially be a replication although offer energy savings (depending on use/time of use and a PV system?)


We have a small Philips model.

I echo the comments re heating/cooking frozen foods. Results are great, but sometimes need to check the centre of the food and let it run for a few extra minutes if not hot.

Ours has a rack that can sit in the basket, but what’s on the rack and what’s on the bottom of the basket don’t cook at the same rate, so you have to switch things around half-way through the cooking time.

A bit fiddly to clean, although everything can go into the dishwasher. The basket never comes out dry though, and is a pain to dry with a tea towel due to sharp edges and fiddly nooks and crannies and extrusions.

Would definitely buy another, but it’s not the miracle worker some make it out to be, and it does take up considerable benchtop space ( which is why we didn’t buy the larger model ).

And, yes, it’s noisy !


I think it would be a replication.
As I have two combination convection-microwave ovens, both with fan-forced capability and quick heat up times due to cavity volume being smaller than fan-forced wall oven, they are my go to appliance for cooking as well as reheating.


Unfortunately don’t have one. Some of the neighbours (elderly singles) do, and they swear by them. One even bought a spare when on sale, just in case the used one breaks.


I have had a small Philips Air Fryer for 4 or 5 years and find it very useful. The fact it doesn’t need to be pre-heated makes it useful for small amounts of food. We mainly use it to cook lamb chops, chicken wings and sausages (it keeps them moist) as well as re-heating pizza or quiche. I have occasionally had left over batter when cooking a cake and put that in a small tin in the air fryer. They have had a better texture than the ones in the oven which surprises me. I love my benchtop steam oven more though.


I have tried normal oven on fan forced setting, MW/convection such as you own, and airfryer. For small meals or crisp finishes (e.g. pork belly) the airfryer wins hand down. Roast chook great skin. Roast lamb yummy - maybe because it cooks faster you get the lamb lovely and brown outside and yet juicier on the inside. Technically yes, it heats and is fanforced, just like a FF oven, but produces far better results with anything that has to be crisp in particular.
I am no physicist so I am not going to try to explain why it differs from ff ovens, but it does.
Being able to clean in the dishwasher is also great.
I also have a short-term rental and I vividly recall a chef bringing his own because for many jobs he says he can’t go past it, and he could not assume the hhost would provide one. Presumably he knows what he is doing!


Impressed with you drying with a tea towel after dishwasher! Can you come and clean my place when you get a minute???


After first having a Kmart one in which the drawer kept jamming after heating till it finally kept blowing the house circuit breaker so we had to throw it out. Now have a Ninja which has 2 independent baskets and timers and can be set with different times for each but both finish together with its automatic delayed start. Use it most days, so pleased with this feature.


I should probably clarify that I rarely do this ! But all the parts of the basket need to be dry before we put it back together and close it up until next use. It just occurred to me that if one wasn’t concerned about electricity use, they could presumably just run the air fryer for a few minutes and dry it that way…


Agreed @PhilT For a couple of hundred dollars extra, you can get a reasonably-priced convection microwave oven that is essentially an air-fryer, only bigger and better. MTW :slight_smile:


we put the basket back in and turn it on for 2-3 minutes and everything is dry, easier, faster and dries better than a tea towel


We have a Smith and Nobel 12L air fryer. Since getting it we have used it several times a week. We cook lamb chops, steak, sausages, in fact all smaller cuts of meat as well as a variety of potatoes, carrots and pumpkin. There’s only two of us and it is more than adequate. It is fast and we can see progress through the glass door. We have a small enamelled tray which keeps things cleaner, bought as an extra from anywhere. We also have an EasyCook glass oven which we use for bigger meals, eg roasts. The smaller air fryer has been terrific, fast, efficient and works well.


You sure are.
Bought mine from Amazon around 1 year ago and have used it every day since. It’s smaller than my microwave.
Living alone, the fact that I can put a piece of salmon in it and have it beautifully cooked in 7 minutes is fantastic.
I have also a convection microwave and it would take me at least 20 minutes for the same meal. :slightly_smiling_face:


We are two who love cooking with the oven, pressure cooker and charcoal and gas BBQs. We were gifted a large Kogan air fryer which was way too big for our small townhouse. We don’t have the bench space to keep an air fryer (I’d have to move my kitchenaid mixer!) but as keen cooks wanted to see what it could do. We used every accessory, and tried everything we could think of and it did a fine job of most things. It was definitely faster than other cooking methods, but I include cleaning time, which it was not great for. Trying to get into all the crevices inside the air fryer to wipe eveything out, washing the modular components and drying them so they don’t go mouldy in storage easily doubled and tripled the active cooking time.

Overall, the effort versus food quality scale didn’t tip in the balance, with the added handicap of sacrificing limited bench space.

Would I get one some time in the future? I don’t know, maybe. I heard it is the best method for reheating the 5 star chef at home meals from the big fancy restaurants. That is very tempting.