Product Review – Philips Airfryer Viva Turbostar. (3 of 4 reviews.)

airfryer-from-philips-site

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 so this will be the third one published to both my own blog, as well as to the Mouths of Mums 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 is 3 out of 5.

Okay… so this week I did more ‘from scratch’ cooking with this device and wasn’t as displeased with how it handled as I thought I would be… that’s me giving it a compliment by the way. 😉

Basically, what I did was chat to foodie friends who already own an airfryer of some sort and ask them what they liked cooking in it. Whole food suggestions only, no snip and serve rubbish. They told me pork belly, chicken, bacon (we know that one), veggies and so on.

So this week I tried a few things. Firstly – some marinated pork belly ribs from Barossa Fine Foods – they marinated them, not me. I love their marinated spare ribs, been a fan for years and usually grill them for half an hour 45 minutes and then have a lot of messy grease and oil to clean up afterwards. Sooo yummy… but very messy too.

But doing them in the airfryer? Done to absolute perfection within 15 minutes. Still moist and juicy (not dried out and burnt like what sometimes happens in the grill), crispy crackling rind and I have to say the best way I’ve cooked them in all the time I’ve been eating them. Better still, cleaning up! Once the airfryer had cooled down, just wiped it out with some kitchen paper – that then went in the compost – and into the dishwasher with the airfryer parts– came out clean first time. No excess grease, mess, oil, etc. Far easier way to clean – so win win on the round airfryer!

airfryer-pork-belly-ribs

Marinated pork belly ribs.

 

I will, however, add that I cooked five small ribs in it in that time… as my kids don’t like them and they were just for hubby and myself. My kids had sausages and I would have probably had to spend an hour cooking those in batches in the tiny fryer basket so they were put in the oven. So yes it won pork belly ribs… but lost as a way to easily cook the whole family a meal.

The second recipe to try was my Asian style fried chicken… This is chicken breasts (or thighs for a budget) cut up and rolled in cornflour that has been seasoned with “pink” salt, freshly ground pepper and Chinese five spice. I usually deep fry it in coconut oil… which is yummy, but another messy experience and quite time consuming to do.

airfryer-chicken

Asian style fried chicken.

Airfryer version? Well, I had to cook in batches – but have to when deep frying too so no biggie there – and tried cooking the first batch without oil… Super dry and a bit dull… but still tasty. The remaining batches I sprinkled with some local extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and then cooked –much better. Just had to come and remove and shake the basket every few minutes rather than spending an hour standing over a pot of boiling oil. Nice change. The chicken still came out a bit dry, but not so bad and the kids and hubby yummed it up with some rice. I added some sweet chilli and tamari soy sauce to mine. Yum.

airfryer-chicken-with-sauce

Asian style chicken in sweet chilli sauce and wheat free Tamari soy sauce.

So, it took about as long to cook as if I deep fried it, but I didn’t have to be there and be on my feet (which is great with my current bad back) for that whole time.

Cleaning was a breeze too. Another wipe out with kitchen paper – then composted – and into the dishwasher. Not pan of used coconut oil to dispose of, no oily splatters all over the place – nice, simple and easy.

My goodness? Two things from scratch the airfryer is doing amazingly well… who would have thought it?!

I feel I have proved to myself I was wrong about the Philips airfryer to some extent. Yes it is still best suited to do snip and serve reheat pre-made foods… but it CAN be used for from scratch and it does it in a less time consuming, cleaner fashion. Just too small to do a decent family sized meal using just the airfryer to cook the meat.

Though, I will add, the recipe app for Android is STILL BROKEN since their update. I’ve reported it half a dozen times and even left a poor review on the apps page (and I am not alone with my complaint either from all the other people reporting it). It’s been three weeks now and the app has not worked since that update. So that has helped keep my score low as, quite frankly, a product with next to no decent customer support – which this shows – is a poor product indeed.

Next week I will be trying to cook asparagus in it, as well as see how it goes making another household favourite – tamari almonds. The whole roasting of nuts side of things has so much potential it is almost exciting to see what it can do!

Would I recommend this device to others?

If I am honest, the jury is still out on this as I have had such a hit and miss reaction to using it. I, personally, still feel it is better suited to those wanted to cook (reheat) pre-made foods from the frozen food sections at the shops… but do have to admit it cooks pork products – from scratch – pretty well. I would list the pros and cons and let the person decide if it’s for them. As it is an item that takes up a lot of space while not actually being able to cook a lot at once… and if you already have a cluttered kitchen and a large family to feed… you might still want to think twice about it.

I would also strongly advise the check what it is they are purchasing so they don’t end up with the one like me that lists all the fantastic things it can make… but then comes without any of the accessories, and so all you get is something that fries… I’m still frustrated over that, as it really does come across as false advertising!

Would I buy this device for myself?

I really don’t know… I am still undecided. It has been suggested I try buying the baking tin accessory and taking it for a spin. But as that is money I can’t afford right now, and I am perfectly happy with all the cake tins and my fan-forced Smeg oven right now, I don’t have a huge desire to go buy it. The airfryer is honestly just too small to bake something for my whole family anyhow. Though, one day, I would like to try bread.

In summary – it’s starting to show some promise, and I can see us using it to cook small batches of things in it, but still not a device I can easily cook a whole family meal in. Too small, too time consuming.

Until next time,

Janis.

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