Product Review – Philips Airfryer Viva Turbostar. (1 of 4 reviews.)

4(1 ofphilips-airfryer

2 out of 5

I would like to thank Mouths of Mums for giving me the opportunity to review this device. I was sent a free Philips Airfryer in exchange for at least four reviews and so this will be the first of four over the next few weeks published to both my own blog, as well as to the Mouths of Mum’s site.

Please note that my rating for this product may change in each review as I get to know the device more, learn the tips and tricks and so on. For now, the current rating of 2 out of 5 is my initial response to the device.

Another please note – this review is long, even for me. I would like to think my next few won’t be as long so, sorry about that! I had a lot to cover.

Okay, so where to begin? I did my damnedest to qualify to review this airfryer as I’ve wanted to see what one is like for a long time. The videos shown had women not just frying, but grilling meat, cooking multiple items with a rack, BAKING cakes in it and all sorts. So, yes I was VERY excited when I was picked for the review!

I was also very excited with the airfryer arrived… but as I unpacked the device my excitement and enthusiasm waned as, well, the device wasn’t everything it promised to be, sadly.

Now I knew I was only getting the little Viva version – the 0.8kg basket capacity and not the XL version that holds over a kilo… I could live with that, yes it wasn’t suitable for my family of five – too small – but I was getting it for free so no grumbles there!

However, when the airfryer arrived and all over the box was advertising it could fry, bake, grill and all that… until you open the box up and find: An airfryer, and a colourful sign listing all the accessories that come with the airfryer – none of which I got.

Yes, the grill tray, double layer frying rack and baking tin are ALL ACCESSORIES and NONE of them came with my fryer. What got me really upset was the cute little pictorial sign advising me that not all these accessories came with this device was hidden UNDER the first lot of flaps at the top of the box. So, in other words, you didn’t know your device didn’t come with the accessories advertised on the box until you actually opened the box, saw how empty it was and noticed the hidden sign. VERY disappointed and if I had actually paid to buy this item I would have returned it and sent a rather grumpy letter of complaint to Philips about false advertising. That is seriously a BUYER BEWARE! moment there and then!

So question the sales assistant where you are buying it from and, if you want these accessories, ensure you check your airfryer comes with them. I mean, yes you CAN buy some of them from the official Philips website – but not all as the device I am reviewing is an older model and so the accessories are no longer available. And the ones I could go and buy… well, that would be adding another $100 give or take to the price of the airfryer. So if you really want one – research it first! Ensure the model and type is large enough to suit your family’s needs, ensure everything it says it comes with – it actually comes with – and ensure it’s not a model that has accessories already no longer sold by Philips if you DON’T buy one with accessories. Seriously, if I had bought this device I would be extremely annoyed right now. I wouldn’t have used it; I would have taken it back, demanded a full refund and looked around for something better.

But, I didn’t buy and was instead sent it to review – so I took it out of the box and took it for a spin.

Before using my Philips airfryer I looked through all the paperwork. It is the usual hard to read, poorly translated into English and formatted to be read like an ordinance map rather than a booklet sort of thing. But I am used to that with Philips devices, the paper work isn’t their best strength.

The cookbook was okay… though most of the recipes in it require you to use the accessories that didn’t come with the device, and so not that helpful. There is, however, an app – available on iPhone and Android – that you can install and have a play with. The app has a better range of recipes that only use the fryer option – as well as the accessories I didn’t get – but the English is of the same poorly translated level as the cookbook and other paperwork. Yes I know I am not perfect with my spelling and grammar… but I am not a huge globally recognised company that should at least make an effort to check their recipes make sense and use correct English.

You can stumble through the recipes – if you know what you’re doing – but I do wonder why you are asked to choose the model of airfryer you have before you can look at recipes as the airfryer I have isn’t the one shown in the pics, I couldn’t find a preheat setting – no where am I taught HOW to preheat my airfryer – and that whole “Away” section is just confusing and seriously not needed. If the recipes were better written and clearer to understand, novice cooks will have a better chance of enjoying the app. Right now, it is a nightmare to use as a lot of guess work as to what it actually means is required… Or maybe that was just me?

Here’s a cheat – there is a light on the front of your airfryer. When it goes out, it is my assumption the airfryer is preheated… judging on the fact ovens and other devices have lights that indicated it. You’re welcome.

All the same, we put the airfryer through its paces. On the first day my eldest made hot potato chips in it. I feel we should have preheated the airfryer first, but the recipe didn’t say to so we didn’t. They were nice… but a little undercooked. We followed the recipe on the app for this… it helped but I would need to tinker with it to make the chips the way we prefer.

We then went rogue and made something there was no recipe for. Apple chips. I mean, I did some googling and looked at other people’s recipe ideas  – not the Philips ones as the app is near impossible to search on unless you use the exact name it has. Don’t search for apple and expect all the recipes on apples, it found nothing – and in the end tried some ideas for myself. Again, it was nice… but nothing I couldn’t do easier in my fan forced oven.

philips-airfryer-apple-chips

Apple chips… Nice, but I make them nicer in fan forced oven.

A few days later we bought some locally pre-made then frozen dim sims. Not having any instructions on how to cook them nor any idea from the app, I just went with my 30+ years of cooking experience and had a go. 10 minutes at 200C, then 10 minutes on 160C – perfect. Could not have made them any better in the oven. The only way they would have been as yummy as they were was if we had actually deep fried them. So the airfryer was good at, well air frying the dim sims. And we weren’t all greasy afterwards.

Maybe I am asking too much of it? Maybe I SHOULD just let it be a fryer and go back to making chips and other things in the oven?

During my google research on this device many people raved about how awesome it is at making popcorn… yeah, don’t. The corn pops and shoots up into the heating element and burns, or makes it through the element to the fan… which promptly turns it into popcorn confetti it then spews out its vents. Oh, and the popcorn KEEP POPPING when you pull the basket out when you smell burning. So, yeah, we got popcorn all over the kitchen… and I do mean ALL OVER. I cracked up laughing and was glad I saw the funny side. But, seriously DON’T make popcorn in the airfryer! That is, unless they make a popcorn accessory… that they then leave out of your model, making you have to buy it online. Catty, me? A little. 😉

Would I recommend this item to others?

From my first week with it? No, not really. What can I say? Do I think this device is worth it? Well, so far… not really. Yes it make simply amazing dim sims… but I’ve have to spend about an hour using the airfryer to make enough to feed my family or to feed friends if entertaining. My oven might not do as good a job, but it holds a lot more and is just as hot (and fast) in cooking.

Would I buy this item for myself?

Not from my first impressions I wouldn’t. Maybe if I had the accessories too, but from my initial play, no I wouldn’t.

In summary: There are some amazing devices out there that are great time savers in the kitchen… for me; the airfryer isn’t one of them. So far it has come across as a cooking gimmick and not something I can see myself keeping. Maybe week two will fare better… once we get all the popcorn out of it. 😉

Until next time,

Janis.

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