Imagine deep-frying your favourite fish and chips without oil. Yes, really. This rice cooker-sized appliance fries and roasts using hot air (from 80 to 200 deg C), which circulates around the food. No oil is needed for most foods, such as chicken wings and frozen French fries, while less oily ingredients like fish fillets or home-made fries need just a brush of oil.
The Philips Air Fryer
The fryer provides a healthier option to fried food that's soaked in oil but does the food that it cooks taste as good? We tested the magic of an air-fryer by frying up frozen food, tempura and some marinated chicken winglets; with crispy and non-greasy results.
1. Place the food into the basket, then slotted it into the machine.
2. Set the temperature dial and the timer by using the heat and timer guide on the air-fryer. Most foods took 10 to 20 minutes to cook. A strong greasy smell filled the kitchen during the cooking process.
3. Washing up was easy – just soap and rinse the wire basket and the pot that the excess oil dripped into.
- Frozen french fries, fried chicken and shrimp wanton: These turned out as crispy as if they were deep fried in oil. We liked how non-greasy everything was. The fried chicken was wonderfully crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Frozen battered fish fillets: The crusts were dry and crumbly, but the second batch was crispier and more browned after I brushed them with oil.
- Marinated chicken winglets: Both battered and non-battered versions came out well-grilled, like oven-roasted chicken. The edges of the skin were crispy and the flesh, moist and juicy.
- Hand-cut potatoes: The thickly cut strips were crisp at the ends and chewy in the middle. Not as crunchy as deep-fried chips, but less oily.
- Vegetable tempura: Stick to a regular oil deepfryer for this; the batter did not fluff up.
VERDICT: It’s a splatter and grease-free gadget to fry frozen food to absolute crispiness. Fresh foods turned out well-roasted, not deep-fried.
Philips Air Fryer retails at $349* at major department and electrical stores.
*All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine's publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information.
This article was originally published in SimplyHer May 2011.