3 out of 5 stars.
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 this is the second of the four – 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 3 out of 5 is my current response to the device.
Okay, so week two and we tried a few new things. To be honest, I’m still not a fan of this device and still see it as more of a kitchen gimmick than a useful tool… but that is just my opinion.
Oh, and no I am not anti-Philips! I love my Philips All-in-one cooker (another generous Mouths of Mums gift) and use it daily. Plus my old stove just packed it in and as I rarely use a stove, rather than replace the whole thing (which I can’t afford anyhow) I simply bought a Philips portable induction cooker hotplate – also from the Viva collection – and so far a wonderful addition. I just want people to realise I am not anti-Philips nor anti devices used in the kitchen to make life easier. I have a Thermomix, the all-in-one cooker, waffle maker, sandwich press, toaster, and microwave… the whole kit and caboodle. So – I’m not anti-devices just not a fan of this particular item. We good? 😉
What did I make with the airfryer this week? Well, I wanted to run an experiment to see how it did with reheat and serve pre-made (junk) vs cooking from scratch. We started with the pre-made and I made up these chicken tenders and oven fried chips. Still not a fan.
Basically, I don’t usually buy, cook or eat this sort of “food” – the term is used very loosely I can assure you. It is junk, full of all sorts of crap we generally don’t eat and all in all the nicest tasting thing on my plate was the salad – not made in the airfryer!
The chicken tenders came with deep fryer instructions saying to cook them in a deep fryer for 5 minutes at 180 C. I pre-heated the airfryer to that heat, cooked them in batches (one packet was three batches in this tiny basket) and it took about 12 minutes a batch to actually cook them all. I had them resting in my Thermoserve to stay hot between batches! Sad but true!) And they are pre-made, pre-cooked items I was really just reheating! It took me three batches to cook the chips – which didn’t come with deep fryer instructions so I winged it – and they took about 15 minutes a batch.
So, all up, this pre-made reheat and serve “quick” meal took me over an hour to make! If I had made it in my fan-forced over – maybe 25 mintes to half an hour to make tops.
The next night I was going to put the airfryer through its paces and try making honey soy chicken pieces, sausages and homemade root veggie chips… but I just didn’t have the time or energy to spend probably 4 hours making it all! So cooked it all in my oven in about an hour.
One of the biggest initial hurdles I had was I had no recipe on how to cook raw chicken in the airfryer. The paper cookbook that came with the device was useless and the app had recently updated and since then crashes any time you try and open a recipe. I have reported the fault… it has been over a week now and the app is still broken. So the only help I can find is by googling and looking at other people’s recipes and ideas. None of which I found that helpful. So I just stuck to cooking the meat in my oven as – especially with chicken – I like to ensure it’s cooked all the way through before serving it to my family.
So – the experiment was a failure. Yes I could cook (reheat) pre-made foods in the airfryer, but it took twice as long as expected and this sort of “food” isn’t something we usually eat, so the airfryer wasn’t a helper.
It was also too small and too slow to cook a family meal from scratch and so I just used my normal oven.
To end on a positive – it needs at least one, right? – the airfryer is excellent at cooking bacon!
I put 5 rashers of Kanmantoo (award winning, local and good quality bacon – not cheap and nasty supermarket crud) in the airfryer. Set it to 160 C and had the perfect bacon in 8 minutes. Yes we took it out and shook it several times to ensure it was all cooked… but it have out perfect. Gorgeously crispy crunchy bacon rind and cooked to the right level of yum meat.
Sadly, I do not need a device – that takes up so much space in my tony kitchen – just to make the perfect bacon in 8 minutes. So this was a little too late to make me a fan… but did aware the airfryer an extra star for this week’s review.
Would I recommend this device to others?
The answer is still a definite NO. It really does come across as nothing more than a kitchen gimmick. It’s too small to cook a decent, from scratch, meal for a family of 5, it takes a lot longer to do things than it says it should and it’s online cookbook app has been broken for over a week and so is of no help.
Would I buy this device for myself?
No, not even for 8 minute perfect bacon would I go out and buy it. I mean, it’s great that my kids can use it (with my supervision) and it might be of more use if I could bake in it as I feel it would make great bread… if it was bigger and came with the baking tray/tin… but as it is, it’s just a gimmick. I’d much rather my kids had a popcorn maker to play with as we’d get far healthier things out of it in larger quantities and faster speeds than we do the airfryer.
In summary: This device really does come across as a time wasting kitchen gimmick. I have devices that are far more helpful at making far healthier meals. Yes it makes the perfect bacon in 8 minutes… but do you really need to spend hundreds of dollars on such a one trick pony?
Until next time,