Air frying is a great concept, but I’ve always wondered about 2 important factors: performance and taste. This was really my primary focus as I was unboxing the Philips AirFryer.
The AirFryer was well packaged – tight, with a heavier than usual cardboard imprint. It also has a little weight on it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it weighed a little more than I expected. It is a very counter friendly device. I say that because it looks good (good ‘curb appeal’), and it has a small footprint, taking up minimum space. It is well built and feels sturdy. Also in the box: instructions, small cookbook, and a basket screen. The fryer basically comes fully assembled. You only insert the basket screen and it is ready for use.
One reason this thing is sturdy is because of the design. You basically pull the basket and pan in and out of the front of the device. That mechanism is the only moving part on the fryer. It’s a very simple design that lends to both pros and cons (which I will mention). The instructions are pretty short and straight forward, but felt a little junky, for lack of a better word. That being said, I was up and cooking in no time. Place your food in the basket, slide it in, turn 2 dials, and action. One thing that bothered me was the size of the basket. It’s small, and that means you will have to stack your food (below the max line, of course) or cook in small batches. I decided to stack my first meal (pork chops) since they were thin. I also wanted to see how it would handle such a situation.
The AirFryer isn’t very loud, and I believe that’s because the cooking area is enclosed (design). While cooking, I didn’t notice much smoke, but the smell was great. One issue, in my opinion, was that I couldn’t see anything. This would probably be ok if I hadn’t experienced other air fryers where I could see my food without opening it. The design is that of a standard deep fryer, which is ok, but not optimal. Once the time expires, there is a nice chime to alert that the cooking time has expired. Well, my chops looked good on top, but needed additional time underneath – which I figured might be the case. The fryer was really on point from a “frying” standpoint. The food on top was very crisp, but tender. I really think this is a product of the design – that very sealed approach to the cooking area. Whenever you stack anything, you run into layers of under cooked food. You will have to open the fryer mid cooking cycle and shake, flip, or stir. This is one of the things that makes this air fryer just like all the rest.
The Philips AirFryer is a decent fryer that I would recommend to someone wanting to cook in small quantities on occasion. It really does an admirable job of delivering crisp “fried” foods, without the heavy oil. What holds is back is its small cooking area and the inability to stand out.