I have to admit I’ve been sitting on the fence when it comes to the air fryer debate. A sucker for hot chips, I’ve tried oven baked to ‘be more health conscious’ but I just didn’t think you could beat the crisp and crunch of the deep fryer.
So when Philips approached us to road test their Air Fryer XL, I couldn’t resist. I mean I get to satisfy my curiosity and put one through it’s paces all in the name of research! 😉
I was armed and ready. This was going to be interesting…
Firstly, hands up those of you who are as sceptical as I was because you can’t quite fathom how can hot air give you the same result as deep frying and UP TO 80% LESS FAT? #waveshand
I wasn’t quite sure how you could get the same results in reportedly a LOT less time than traditional oven cooking so here’s exactly what happened over a couple of weeks using the Philips Air Fryer XL in our household!
Firstly, for the curious, and to explain just how this machine can work so efficiently and effectively, the air fryer uses a hot air combination with high-speed air circulation and a top grill to prepare a variety of tasty dishes (per below) in a healthy, fast and easy way. Best of all, your food is heated from all sides at once and there’s no need to add oil to most of the recipes.
So here we go – I tried quite a few dishes I’d traditionally use the deep fryer or oven for and here’s what happened along the way!
Testing the Philips Air Fryer XL
TEST 1: HOT CHIPS, POTATO GEMS & CHICKEN NUGGETS
I couldn’t wait to unpack this baby and put her through her paces. A quick reference to the cooking guide and I was off. 6 minutes? Are you serious? This can’t be right!
I popped my son’s favourite shoestring fries in the basket and popped her on for 3 minutes, as you need to stop halfway through to give them a shake and a shuffle. 3 minutes in the jury was still out but I could see the crispness starting to form. By the end of 6 minutes I was convinced. They were cooked JUST as well as if I’d thrown them in the oil! #winning!
Following on from that, I popped some Potato Gems in another day to see how they cooked up. Ordinarily done in the oven, they come out soft and don’t get that crisp you get in the fryer. Well let’s just set the record straight here, JUST as perfect as the deep fryer but only 6 minutes and NO OIL NEEDED! #bravo
Finally on another occasion I threw some fries and chicken nuggets into the basket, popped it on for a total of 6 minutes and they were cooked like they’d just come out the deep fryer! Seriously awesome result – with 80% less oil!
TEST 2: CUPCAKES
I thought I’d be a bit tricky and try cooking some cupcakes in the air fryer. Now let’s make it very clear I don’t bake often. I’m more a savoury kind of girl so this was going to be prove interesting. We mixed up the packet mix (yes!) in the bowl, divided them into patty pans and took a guess to pop them in the air fryer for 10 mins (saving me an additional 15 minutes on cooking in a traditional oven). Let’s just say my instinct was right and in 10 minutes I had perfectly cooked cupcakes and a 4 year-old with a deliciously looking chocolate face! They were delicious, light and fluffy and went down a treat in our house!
Result: 10 minutes from start to finish (again no waiting for oven to heat up!)
TEST 3: BBQ RIBS
To be a little different, I had bought some marinated BBQ ribs from my local butcher and thought rather than cook them on the BBQ, I’d pop them in the air fryer to see how they fared. Again I guessed the time and had to keep adding a few minutes at a time to get the end result I wanted but WOW, it was only 10 minutes at 200 degrees AND they didn’t dry out at all. Sweet, succulent and really delicious, the kids gobbled them down and were a real hit!
TEST 4: FROZEN PIES & PASTIES
By now I had the hang of this and knew I’d slice some much needed time off heating up some frozen pies and pasties from two very hangry boys. Instead of waiting 20 minutes ONCE the oven had heated up, I popped these babies into the air fryer and BOOM, ready in 10! (Saving me 25 minutes on my traditional oven and a whole lot of whining from the kids!)
TEST 5: CHICKEN KIEV
We chose to have Chicken Kievs one evening and to be honest while I love them, I tend to avoid them as they often break open while cooking (and turning). I thought this’d be a great test so popped some into the oven and they cooked perfectly – and tasted amazing too!
Essentially the Philips Air Fryer will cook anything you’d generally cook in your own oven in MUCH less time. Best of all, and seriously one of the best features, is that you DON’T have to wait for the oven to warm up (and that can save you some serious meal prepping time!) It gets to temperature pretty much straight away so your cooking time can reduce significantly and means you can get dinner on the table so much faster!
Because of the unique rapid air technology, it’ll cook the food crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside.
So how does an air fryer work? Here’s my super quick rundown!
- Patented technology provides fast and precise circulating hot air mimics what oil does when frying so you get the crispy taste on the outside of the food
- Patented starfish design means you don’t need to turn your food and it cooks faster and more evenly
- Grill element gives you extra crispiness and browning
- Optimal heating profile means you’ll get the nice fluffy inside because you get optimum balance between heating power and temperature
So what’s the verdict?
In all honesty I was sceptical. REALLY sceptical. It didn’t take long for me to be won over by the efficiency and quality of food the Philips Air Fryer turned out. PLUS, it saved me a LOAD of time in the kitchen for snack and meal prepping which really made a big impact overall for us. Hands down it’s going to be one of my most loved kitchen appliances now!