We were suitably impressed with the Tefal Actifry that we took at look at recently, and today we’re going to take a look at another “healthy” fryer, the Philips AirFryer. Philips promise that the AirFryer produces food with 80% less fat than a conventional fryer; a portion of chips just needs a tablespoon of oil. Let’s see how it compares to the Actifry.
instead of using all that fat to cook your food, it’s the Rapid Air technology in this machine that does all the work. This technology cooks your food with both a grill and blasts of hot air. You can make chips with just a spoonful of oil, but that’s not all; the AirFryer can cook anything from fried foods, and frozen foods to chicken, meat and more.
There are several advantages to this approach. The most obvious benefit is that it’s a lot healthier. Most foods can be cooked without any fat at all!
Secondly, the machine takes just 3 minutes to heat up. If you get tired of waiting for your oven to warm up then this machine could be the answer to your prayers!
Finally, with an incorporated air filter and no hot fat, the machine produces far less odour than an ordinary fryer. There are no greasy lingering chip shop smells to put up with when you’re using the AirFryer.
Included in the box is a food separator which slots into the pan. This allows you to split the inside of the machine into two, and cook different types of food in each compartment. You could have chips cooking away in one compartment, and throw some chicken nuggets into the other.
The temperature is fully adjustable on this machine, and it has a built-in timer too which turns off the heat when it has finished. There’s also an alarm which alerts you when your food is ready. Frozen chips should take just 12 minutes from start to finish, so don’t wander off too far!
The bits and pieces are all dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
We found that most deep fat fryers were cheapest at Amazon.co.uk, including the Philips AirFryer which is currently available for 30% off.
Philips AirFryer HD9220/20 Features and Specifications
- Oil-free cooking – 80% less fat than an ordinary fryer
- Make chips with just a tablespoon of oil (for taste)
- Cook chips, frozen food, fried food, meats and more
- Warms up in just 3 minutes – far quicker than a normal oven
- Adjustable temperature control and timer
- Auto-off function – turns itself off automatically when finished
- Built-in air filter – no greasy chip shop odours lingering in your kitchen
- Recipe book included
Customer Feedback and Reviews
It’s time to take a look at how well the AirFryer performs in the real world, and to do that we’re going to turn to the people who have been using it. This machine is quite the best seller, so we’ve been able to collect together plenty of customer reviews and opinions. We found that 80% of customers would recommend it, rating it with 4 or 5 stars.
People were impressed with how solid and well made the machine is. Whilst it’s not the best looking device in the kitchen, it’s certainly more attractive than the Tefal Actifry. There are downsides to the design though.
It’s a heavy old thing – weighing in at something like 7kg. It’s going to need its own spot on your kitchen worktop, as it’s a bit too heavy to be lifting in and out of a cupboard. It’s also fairly large, measuring 30cm wide and 40cm high so make sure you have the space before ordering.
A nice bonus on top of the standard warranty, is the 60 day money back guarantee that Philips provides. If for any reason you decide that you don’t want the device, simply package it up and send it back to Philips within 60 days of purchase, and you can have all your money back!
I don’t know about you but I’m feeling hungry, so let’s get onto the food! The vast majority of customers were really happy with how well the ActiFry cooks.
First up, the machine excels at cooking frozen foods. Lots of customers said that frozen food cooked in this machine comes out far better than from a standard oven. Chips, chicken nuggets, drumsticks, fish fingers (any frozen food you care to think of, really) all come out lovely and crispy.
When it comes to homemade foods, the majority of customers still had great results, but some experimentation may be required. The 20% of customers who wouldn’t recommend the machine were disappointed with the results, reporting uneven cooking, burnt edges and even uncooked chips.
We wanted to know why the majority of people were happy, but quite a few seemed to get bad results, and it seems to be down to the recipe book. Whilst the book states that you need to shake to pan in order to mix up the chips once during cooking, almost everyone who’d mastered chip-making in the ActiFry said that once is simply not enough.
In fact, you’ll need to shake the chips multiple times while cooking to get those crispy chips you want. Other people said that the recipe book gets the timings wrong too, with cooking time being quite a bit longer.
After experimenting, and shaking the pan several times during cooking, the majority of people said that they got really good results: delicious chips that were crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside.
As you can see, the process isn’t particularly hands off. As well as being around to shake the pan, you’ll need to coat your chips in oil first before adding them to the machine. In contrast, with the Tefal ActiFry you simply throw the oil into the machine. There’s no need to shake the chips around with the ActiFry either, as it stirs them automatically whilst cooking. All in all, the AirFryer does need more attention than the ActiFry unless you’re cooking frozen foods.
The food separator is handy, allowing you to keep different foods apart. However, the overall capacity of the machine isn’t particularly great. You can cook enough chips for 4 people, however if you want to use the separator and cook a whole meal in the device, you’ll only have space for 2 people. Something else to bear in mind.
Overall, we’re a little underwhelmed by the Philips AirFryer. It’s very good with frozen food, and you can get great results with homemade food too, but it is more of a hands-on process than with the Tefal ActiFry. It’s a pretty good fryer, but personally we’d recommend going for the ActiFry instead. You can get the massive 1.5kg model for just a few pounds more, or you can go for the 1kg model and save yourself £20!