Product Review – Kitchen

Product Review – LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven. (4 of 4 reviews)

lg-neochef-smart-inverter-convection-oven

4 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 LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven in exchange for at least four reviews. This will be my fourth and final review – 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. My final rating is 4 out of 5.

Again I find myself having to apologise for the delay in this review. I had wanted to try out a few more things to really put the NeoChef through its paces, but just didn’t really get around to it due to so many other commitments as the summer school holidays started to wrap up here. I really learnt an important thing – never again will I offer to review major appliances over school holidays! 😀

Okay, onto the actual review. Well, I am still absolutely loving the LG Neochef and all the things it can do… well, except for its griller function. Of that, I really am not a fan… even when you preheat it first. The griller in my oven is faster and therefore the more favoured device to use when making grilled cheese sandwiches.

But what the Neochef is good at is…

  • Defrosting
  • Reheating
  • Baking
  • Sensor cooking
  • Steaming
  • Airfrying
  • Proving

These are all things I have done with mine and am simply amazed at how good it is and how easy it has made my life!

Let’s go through them all…

Defrosting – I took 2 kilos of frozen chicken legs, followed the defrosting settings, allowed the “sitting” time afterwards and had a load of perfectly, evenly defrosted chicken legs I could then marinate and cook for dinner. Sadly I couldn’t fit them all in (there were almost two dozen) into the NeoChef so roasted them “old style” in my oven.

Reheating – The whole family is amazed at the reheating capability the LG Neochef has. It takes far less time and heats so evenly you really don’t need to take it out, move the food around and reheat yet again. And reheated chips come out crispy – not soggy! Score!

Baking – Okay, we readily admit that all we’ve really tried here has been the odd mug cake or minute pudding. But, again, it does it evenly, faster than the regular oven and, most importantly at this time of the year, without heating the whole house up. Another win!

Sensor Cooking – Three words for you: Perfect baked potatoes. I have become addicted to them since discovering how easy they are to make in the LG NeoChef. We’re having some for dinner tonight topped with a chorizo and beef chilli bolognaise creation of ours. Yum yum.

Steaming – steams veggies to perfection and makes the most amazing scrambled eggs. Really not much more I can say to that, except that I need to make some Chinese buns and steam them to see how it goes!

Airfrying – My kids loved the potato gems I’ve airfried in The Beast. I keep meaning to try homemade veggie wedges and will one day soon. Actually, what I feel would be perfect is make baked potatoes, quarter them lengthways, scoop out a lot of the middle to use in a cake or something and then airfry the rest…. Mmmmm, homemade potato skins with savoury yeast and sumac… MUST try that!

Proving – from yeast dough (spelt or wheat) to dairy free yoghurt. It can do it! I still prefer my slow cooker for the yoghurt side of things but am just SO in love with the yeast dough proving the LG NeChef does that I can see our bread costs going down as I make more at home. So easy to get the perfect rise now!

Okay, so that is all I’ve done… I have a pork loin in the fridge to be roasted in The Best tomorrow night and so if you follow me on Instagram, look out for the pics! Also look out for tonight’s baked potatoes. 😉

Would I recommend this product to others?

Yes I would. Ten times over I would. Especially those with a tiny kitchen and a dodgy normal oven. The LG Neochef is an oven, a microwave, a steamer and them some… it is just so useful I can’t recommend it high enough. I just don’t like how it grills. But hey!

Would I buy this product for myself?

Yes I would. I can’t see myself going back to a standard microwave oven after this. Yes it costs a LOT more than a standard microwave, but it also does a whole heck of a lot more so you can’t really complain!

In summary: The LG NeoChef Smart Inverter Convection Oven is indeed one of the best kitchen helpers I’ve come across in a long time. Easy to use, so many functions, so many possibilities to make your own food from scratch! Highly recommend.

Until next time,

Janis.

Product Review – LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven. (3 of 4 reviews)

lg-neochef-proving-dough-2

4 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 LG NeoChef Smart Inverter Convection Oven in exchange for at least four reviews. This will be my third of the four 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 rating is 4 out of 5.

Hoooo Nelly! Remind me to never try and review something this awesome at one of the busiest times of the year! Christmas, New Year, my Eldest’s birthday, head colds, school holidays! Wow. I am a week behind on my reviews for The Beast and I do apologise now.

I have been using it though and, yup, still loving that baby!

So, what did I try and do with it for week three? Well, I proved some more bread and made monkey bread – though I didn’t bake the bread in it as I cooked it at my folks as part of a family get together. I will try that another day… soon!

lg-neochef-monkey-bread

Nut encrusted monkey bread – yum yum.

When it comes to proving dough, the LG NeoChef is AMAZING! Perfect every time! Even with my dodgy past its ‘best before’ date yeast works in it. When it comes to proving yeast dough it was always hit and miss for me, even with my Thermo mat (from Thermomix). As the weather here in the Adelaide hills can be temperamental at the best of times and, over the past twelve months, has often been referred to as bi-polar… and that’s not far off. We have boiling hot and dry days, followed by freezing cold dry days that build back up into hot, humid days, followed by rain for a week… Crazy weather! And for those who prove dough on a regular basis, you know how you need just the right level of heat and humidity to prove bread to its best. And, well, I’d given up trying to be honest as the weather just didn’t play fair.

In steps The Beast with its Proving setting and ta da! My troubles are over, I can go back to making bread for my family daily and know I will get the perfect prove each time. I can then make giant focaccia, pizza pocket buns, savoury or sweet scrolls – it’s all on offer. Both wheat and wheat free as, well the LG NeoChef is just SO GOOD at proving!

Better yet, if you then go on to bake the bread in the LG NeoChef – the whole house doesn’t heat up! Huge win!

In the summer time, when we hit the high 35° C to mid-40° C we tend to eat a lot of cold meals… which, can be boring. But we do it as it’s just so hot and cooking things just heats the place up more.

That is, until we started using the LG NeoChef! We have been baking, steaming, reheating, all sorts in The Beast and loving it as the house doesn’t heat up at all! Such a bonus at this time of the year.

Now, I just mentioned steaming right? Want to know what I steamed? Scrambled eggs. Yup, I couldn’t find a recipe for it anywhere but followed the Steamer instructions in the manual for eggs and just changed it a little. I found a bowl that fit under the steam, made up my egg and cream corned mixture and away I went.

lg-neochef-scrambled-eggs

I’m not going to say it came out perfect first time, as it didn’t. I had to cook it on the egg setting twice and stir well in between… but it still turned out really nice. A little over cooked – but not to the rubber yuck texture microwaved scrambled eggs usually get. They were nice… just need tweaking. The only other thing I will say about using the steamer function in this way was that I found it difficult to get the steamer lid off when it was hot, without knocking over the bowl of eggs. I couldn’t take the whole steamer tray out that easily either.

However, I put these issues down more to where my LG NeoChef is, more than it being a fault with The Beast itself. Mine is located in the corner of a kitchen bench that is too low for me to easily use at the best of times… and so bending, around a corner, and trying to get things in and out is tough… but totally the fault of the user. 😉

Another function I took for a whirl in The Beast is the sensor heating function and made jacket potatoes. Wow! Cooks so quickly, evenly and doesn’t dry it out and make it taste like a microwaved potato… which is weird, as it IS a microwaved potato… instead it just tastes like a baked potato and I am thrilled it was so easy as it’s one of the easiest ways to feed my family in a hurry. Our version of “home takeaway” is bake some potatoes, reheat some homemade bolognaise, and dinner is there. Now I can bake enough potatoes for all of us in under 20 minutes and have them taste like they were baked in my oven for an hour. Yum.

So, as you can see – still loving the LG NeoChef.

lg-neochef-baked-potato

LG NeoChef jacket potato served with cold BBQ chicken and an “ancient grain” salad from my local Klose’s Foodland.

Would you recommend this product to others?

Yes I would. But I would keep emphasising it isn’t “just a microwave” it is an… well, it’s an everything! It really does help you cook from scratch for a large family without taking away the nutrients or creativity. Easy to use, so many functions and amazing things – go buy one! 😉

Would I buy this product for myself?

If my LG NeoChef was to pack it in (touch wood it never does) then yes I would see myself seeking to replace it with the latest version. I don’t see it as owning a microwave anymore, I see it as owning an extremely useful tool that cooks, steams, proves, grills, bakes and reheats. Love, love, LOVE it!

In summary: NOT a Kitchen Gadget! This truly is an amazing appliance those looking to cook more from scratch for large families should buy. So helpful, so versatile, so easy to use!

Until next time,

Janis.

Product Review – LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven. (2 of 4 reviews)

LG NeoChef Pizza.jpg

4 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 LG NeoChef Smart Inverter Convection Oven in exchange for at least four reviews. This will be my second of the four 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 rating is 4 out of 5.

Apologies for my second review being late, these things called Christmas and the New Year got in the road. 😉

So what have I been up to? Well, a few things actually and I am simply LOVING what my new ‘Beast’ (my pet name for my new kitchen baby) can do.

Firstly I tried to make yoghurt and was originally rather disappointed. Proving yoghurt takes at least 8 hours and I usually make it overnight in my All in One device. But as the Smart Inverter AKA Beast said it could make it too, I gave it a go. As I don’t like leaving ovens and similar devices running all night alone – a quirk of mine no doubt – I made it during the day and so was not only inconvenienced by not having the Beast to use for other things, but the noise it made did get on my nerves rather quickly. I will say here and now that the noise level isn’t too loud, just persistent. Very similar to when using a dehydrator.

lg-neochef-yoghurt

All the essential ingredients I use to make dairy free yoghurt.

And speaking of dehydrators… the Smart Invertor can be used to dehydrate too! And that’s where I went wrong with my yoghurt. After proving it for 8 hours I then put it in the fridge for 24 hours to cool – like I always do when making yoghurt. Annnd… after 24 hours it was still very runny and watery, but tasted like a yummy dairy free yoghurt all the same.

A failure? I had thought so, until I went to prove some pizza dough in the Beast the following day and realised, when making the yoghurt, I’d had it on Slow Cook setting 2 – dehydrate! Not Slow Cook setting 3 – Prove! It will mean I have to spend another day making my dairy free yoghurt in the Smart Inverter, just to ensure it was my at fault, but I can honestly say I do find using my All in One easier for yoghurt making.

I will say, however, that the runny and watery yoghurt tasted really nice and we simply couldn’t waste it. So put it, some over-ripe bananas, frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries and tinned lychees into my Thermomix and blitzed up some gorgeously purple breakfast smoothies. Tasted amazing! No dairy, no gluten/wheat, no added sugar (just the fruit) and all gone in a matter of minutes!

So I see that as a win win personally!

Due to my hordes nagging me, I also bought some potato gems and cooked them in the Beast. I am not a fan of this sort of pre-made thing, but it was part of putting the Smart Inverter through its paces and so I did. I cooked them following the instructions in the manual (the cook book that comes with the Smart Inverter is near useless) and did it twice in one week. Both times came out perfectly cooked, evenly cooked and just as easy – maybe even easier – than doing it in the wall over. Also not as noisy or hit and miss in its cooking (or time consuming) as in my airfryer. Didn’t heat up the house and kids were super happy. I really must try it now with homemade chips and see if just as successful!

lg-neochef-potato-gems

Potato Gems for Hungry Hordes.

The only other thing I’ve had a chance to try in my Smart Inverter was pizza. At first I just wanted to prove some yeasty dough and was then going to make it into an old style Lardy cake… but lunch time was approaching, I had a house full of hungry hordes and not much else on offer. So I checked my giant pizza dish fitted in the Beast (that’s a 13 inch diameter pizza pan) and it did! So I put the dough on it (gorgeously fluffy from its proving), smeared on extra virgin olive oil, herbs and some salami and mozzarella cheese. Put it in on the pizza cooking setting and left it do its thing.

Yes the dough used was probably two thirds more than the recipe that comes with the Smart Inverter, but it cooked through, puffing up more like a giant focaccia than a pizza. But it was cooked all the way through, cooked evenly and my kids, hubby and visiting family members loved it and want me to it again – often!

So another win to the Smart Inverter.

Pizza montage.jpeg

Dough proving, proved, baked into a giant pizza, eaten. Yum.

Other than these minor experiments, I have been trying to find if there is a way to cook popcorn in the Smart Inverter using the Crisp Tray and Steam dome… I even asked Mouths of Mums via Facebook message but couldn’t find the recipe anywhere and got no reply (but it was Christmas and the New Year after all). So that is the downside I have to the Smart Inverter… I don’t feel that confident just yet to experiment with it like I do other devices as I am terribly worried about breaking it – I love my beast too much!

Though I have gained some confidence after both the yoghurt and pizza so can see myself just going for it one of these days. It can’t be any worse that popcorn in an airfryer, right? And that is still a laugh!

For now I can honestly say I am LOVING the Smart Inverter and have hardly used any of my other cooking devices since then. Making pizza in it didn’t heat up the whole house like my wall oven would have – a huge bonus when summer gets so hot – and it reheats food faster and more evenly than my old microwave… which is now looking for a new home as the Beast is here to stay! 🙂

Would I recommend this device to others?

 Yes I would, I have already been making friends and family jealous when listing all the things it can do and all the things I have made – and plan on making with it. I do feel, thanks to the lack of recipes and support that come with the Smart Inverter that it is better suited to someone who has had a similar device before. This is not a Beast for a new cook or someone who needs their handheld throughout the cooking process. The Smart Inverter is definitely not for the inexperienced.

Would I buy this device for myself?

The price still daunts me… but so far it is worth it as the Smart Inverter is so many different devices in one you really are saving money when buying one as it replaces pretty much everything else!

In summary – A heavenly helper sent to help those into whole food cooking make food faster, easier and for more people. Loving it!

Until next time,

Janis.

 

Product Review – LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven. (1 of 4 reviews)

lg-neochef-smart-inverter-convection-oven

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 LG NeoChef 39L Smart Inverter Convection Oven in exchange for at least four reviews. This will be my first of the four 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 rating is 3 out of 5.

I can see the rating will most likely go higher, I just simply haven’t had the time to try my new kitchen baby that much as it only arrived late Tuesday, it is the last week of school for the year for my kids and, well, things have been a bit crazy. My review today will be more a ‘first impressions’ opinion, and my next review will be where I start putting the NeoChef through its paces.

And so, what are my first impressions? Gosh it’s big! 😀 It is not only a little bigger on the outside to my old microwave, but inside it is HUGE! You honestly could roast a decent chunk of meat for a large family in there. We don’t do roast turkey at Christmas time as way too hot, but if we did I can see the LG NeoChef 30L being able to do it. The back of the device also sticks out a lot more than my old microwave and we need to actually pull it into the middle of our bench and away from the wall to use it so we ensure it has the required 20cm space around it when cooking.  Then there is the fact the door swings down, rather than out to the side and this just adds to the amount of space it takes up. So yes, the size it in some ways a bit of a negative… but I have seen it as an excuse to re-arrange my kitchen and maybe install a new cupboard! Win win! 😉

lgneochef-arrival

It is here! And JUST fits on my ugly avocado bench top.

We took it out of the packaging, loved that it actually came with both racks and the crisp tray and steamer you need – unlike the Philips Airfryer that said you needed these items but didn’t include them – so another big positive right there.

I went through the instructions and did the ‘warm water test’ it asks you to do to ensure the microwave wasn’t damaged in transportation. All works well and what a groovy little tune it sings when it’s done. Much better than that monotonous BEEEEP most microwaves do. I will have to try and record it to share if I can. Too cute.

The microwave did have that “new item” smell and there were no instructions on whether we needed to give it a wipe out, heat it for a while first, etc. before use and so didn’t. I do feel we should have as, the first thing made in it was using it as a griller and the whole house filled with a chemically smell and we were uncertain if the food cooked should be eaten after the odour. In most heating devices – like a wall oven, toaster or kettle, they do advise you to heat it up first before use. Nothing of the sort – besides the ‘warm water test’ of 20 seconds – was mentioned in the manual. Oh, and there is a big spelling error/typo in that warm water test. We assumed we were to FILL a cup with water, not FILE it with water as said in the manual. But I am yet to see a manual these days that isn’t riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. I know a lot of my work includes such clangers too, but I’m a reviewer and not a major company. You would think a major company could spend more money getting their written documents up to scratch.

But perhaps I am being a bit picky as user manuals and documentation is what I used to do for a living!

However, speaking of bad documentation, the cook book that comes with the LG NeoChef is horrible! You can clearly tell it was either written by someone where English is not their first language or, more likely, some sort of translator software was used. It is not pretty and I don’t think I will be able to use it to make anything. Which is a shame as I am yet to find any recipes online for this device either. I would have at least expected something at the LG website, but zip!

Okay, that is enough of being a negative nelly as, quite frankly, no modern device has a decent cook book or easy to read manual no matter the brand. And, more importantly, I don’t want to say anything too mean about my new kitchen baby as I love it too much! 😉

I’ve only used it to reheat meals, melt some honey and coconut oil for some honey roasted cashews I was making, and grill a cheese sandwich. But it is early days people! I still have a piece of pork to roast in it, a stew to slow cook, yoghurt to make and, according to my children, popcorn to pop. I also want to see how it goes as an airfryer as it has such a marvellously LARGE capacity.

For now, all I can tell you is this:

Melting coconut and honey – took 35 seconds, heated it evenly and quickly, easy to figure out how to use it and to raise or lower the time as needed. Loved it, worked a treat.

Reheating food in it – again it evenly first time and that makes SUCH a different to other microwaves where there is always one part that is piping hot while another is stone cold. Again it also took less time to do and the cooking time and heating level was super easy to change (I had read the manual you see). No complaints, big thumbs up.

Grilled cheese sandwich? Divine. My eldest daughter (11) made it with me driving the NeoChef.  She complained it took too long as she normally makes toast, slaps some cheese between it and zaps it for 30 seconds. Where with the NeoChef it was like using the griller in our oven – only easier! Took about 4 minutes a side to grill, it did it evenly so no burnt patch next to an underdone patch and definitely less fuss and bother than doing it in our wall oven. So, for me, a win. All my daughter could say was “It’s alright, and not as soggy as the old microwave”. Still, can’t please everyone!

lg-neochef-as-a-griller

Making a grilled cheese sandwich. Just four minutes per side for even toasty goodness!

I will say though that in grilling the sandwich in such a smooth, even manner I see GREAT potential for making pizza in this oven. Either using a homemade base or even just a tortilla, pizza in this baby looks like it’s going to be A-MAZ-ING! I can’t emphasise enough how amazed I am at the even cooking/ heating/ reheating it has done. Have NEVER seen that in a microwave before!

All in all though, for the limited interaction I have had with the LG NeoChef Smart Converter Oven, no complaints from me! I simply cannot wait to try a few more things and report back to you all next week. I just need to decide with I want to bake, roast, grill, slow cook or make candy! I feel I will need to pace myself and that this is going to be the start of a long and very happy relationship!

Would I recommend this device to others?

 To be honest, I feel it is too early in my reviewing to make that sort of comment. I mean, yes I am loving it and can see a lot of potential in it as it is meant to be able to do so many different things… But it is quite a lot of money to invest into a device – average retail price is $700 – and so I want to put it through a few more paces before I would truly recommend it.

Would I buy this device for myself?

To be honest, due to its price, if I was looking for a new microwave right now I wouldn’t. BUT! That is also because I know nothing about it and would assume I have enough devices already with my slow cooker, thermomix, etc. The thing to realise though is this is more than just a microwave and if it ever does go to appliance heaven I feel there would be a big enough hole in my heart left for all it does that I now WOULD seek to buy a new one. But that is only because I’ve gotten to try one first.

In summary – so far so good, amazing how to heats/reheats/cooks evenly and I really can’t wait to see what else it can do!

Until next time,

Janis.

 

Product Review – Philips Airfryer Viva Turbostar. (4 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 my fourth and final review 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 final rating is 3 out of 5.

The last week reviewing the Philips Airfryer, have I changed my opinion of it? Not a heck of a lot really. I tried a few things out and have come to the conclusion it does meat items well… veggie items – not so well.

Earlier in the week I made veggie chips for dinner. It was really a “let’s clear out the root vegetables” meal and consisted of potato and sweet potato chips. I first seasoned some oil with salt, pepper, sumac and savoury yeast, I then rolled the chipped veg in this oil and airfried them.

It took…. Sooooo long! About two hours to do all the batches of veg. So the rest of the meal was stone cold when the last lot of chips was done. And, no matter how much I let them sit on paper towel, they did not crisp up and stayed soggy. So not so much chips as, well, cooked soggy veg. And the constant loud, droning noise of the airfryer for the two hours it took? Headache making and just added to the misery. Seriously this wasn’t a good meal no matter how photogenic it looks here.

airfryer-chips

Airfryer potato and sweet potato chips.

This morning I did two final meals with the Philips Airfryer, just to see if it could do them and, well, it could.

Firstly I made Tamari almonds – which is just a cup of almonds tossed in a couple of teaspoons of wheat free tamari soy sauce and then roasted. This went well, took me half the time it usually would and the airfryer is definitely easier to clean out after making them than the tray for the oven would be.

airfryer-tamari-almonds

Airfryer Tamari Almonds.

I then did a fry up as, what else should an airfryer be cook at than frying food? It took me 20 minutes to fry up 5 long rashers of Kanmantoo Bacon, half a Torunska (a Polish like Kabana) and 2 large mushrooms. And at the same time I was able to make toast, scramble some eggs and make a cup of tea – and not burn or ruin any of it! So, unsurprisingly, the airfryer was good at a fry up. But as fry ups are an occasional meal in my house – not a daily or weekly occurrence – I can’t say whether this is a bonus or not. I mean, it was faster, easier and much easier to clean up after… but as it’s not something I do daily or weekly, was the airfryer a lifesaving kitchen device? No, not really.

airfryer-fry-up

Airfryer Fry Up – bacon, torunska and mushrooms.

But we do eat Tamari almonds weekly – if I bothered making them – and I will admit the airfryer did make them quickly and easily… so maybe my family will start getting Tamari almonds more often now?

I also do still wish the airfryer came with all the accessories it was advertised at having as, quite frankly, I would have loved to have tried making my granola in it, as well as bake bread and cakes… none of which I can do when all you get is just the basket.

Would I recommend this device to others?

After the four weeks? No, I really don’t think I would. It really does still come across more as a kitchen gimmick than something that would be a time saver in the kitchen. For a family my size and for the sorts of whole foods – no pre-made rubbish – that we eat, there are far better cooking appliances out there. An example would be – a decent sized fan forced oven with some cook cooking racks and trays.

Would I buy this device for myself?

No I wouldn’t. I am still in two minds as to whether I will keep this one given to be as a freebie or give it away to someone more into the types of foods it seems more designed for – reheating pre-made stuff.

I will admit it was great at cooking certain types of meat, and much easier to clean… but the size of the basket versus the size of my family meant I needed to cook multiple small batches of food over a long period of time. And, to feed my family on time, I would much rather just use my oven and have the not so perfect pork belly ribs or similar… just so we all got to eat at the same time and eat a hot meal at that. I don’t want to spend hours waiting while cooking so many batches – which is exactly what I had to do with this airfryer. It is noisy too and after having it on for so long the silence of it switching off it about the only nice thing I can say about it. And, I will add, I’m an owner of a Thermomix and I am saying this is loud… that says a LOT!

In summary: The airfryer is great at cooking some things, not so good at cooking others. The basket size is too small to cook large enough portions for a family of 5 and it takes way too long to cook all the small portions to feed us. I feel far more suited to people wanted to reheat pre-made foods for snacks and parties than someone looking for a useful kitchen device to help them cook wholefood meals for their entire family.

Until next time,

Janis.

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.

Product Review – Philips Airfryer Viva Turbostar. (2 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 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!

airfryer-premades

The pre-made (reheated) chicken tender and chips.

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.

airfryer-bacon

Mmmmm, Kanmantoo Bacon…

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,

Janis.

burger

What I put the bacon in – hamburger where I cooked patties in a fry pan as faster and fit more in!