So, first product review!
Let me just jump right into it. The stuff I reviewed was the Philips Airfryer. It’s been around for about a year now, but yours truly got to lay her hands on it just a few weeks back. I have friends who have bought it and are using it, many friends, and I really wanted to know whether it was worth it. Philips sent me a sample, and what better time than now? I made frozen French fries in it, and a batch of fried chicken, and I’ll be using my observations from both to explain the pros and cons.
Firstly, the pros. It’s shaped like a huge black egg with a handle. The handle is for the frying basket. It has a dial for the cooking temperature, and a rotating knob for the time. So how this works is through hot air. Yep, it’s that easy. It’s just hot air, much like in our convection ovens. Because the bottom of the basket is a mesh, the hot air circulates easily.
It’s actually super simple to use. Preheat, clean the basket, place your food item in it, in certain cases drizzle with a smidge of oil, toss, close, turn up the heat, set your time and take out when the Airfryer goes ding! It is also a breeze to clean; a button releases the inner basket and that can washed, dried and set right back.
Honestly, at first I really wasn't buying the no/less oil point. Because how is that supposed to work? But it definitely did. I cooked an entire bag of frozen French Fries with about 1 tsp oil. I mean that’s crazy, and that’s awesome! (And I made my homemade BangBang sauce to go with it!)
Now for the cons.
Because of the shape, it takes up a lot of space and leads to a lot of space wastage. A rectangular appliance would use space much more judiciously. In today’s scene of reducing home spaces, it doesn't quite make sense to have an appliance that wastes space.
The basket size. The basket size was way too small. It holds too little in one batch. When I combine this with the average time it takes to cook anything in it, it becomes impractical to wait for 20 minutes for a batch of French Fries.
I firmly believe some things are to be had with oil. Going with the French Fry example, they came out well-cooked, but extremely dry, almost dehydrated. The fried chicken too came out cooked, but the outer layer was dehydrated to the point of cracking open. This was a major disadvantage in my book.
Most homes today have a combination oven, with a microwave and convection built right in. It is, in my personal opinion, quite redundant to have something that does the same job as a convection oven. Which brings me to my next point…
The price. Right now, at INR 10690 on Flipkart.com, it is too expensive to justify a second appliance doing the same job as most ovens already do.
So all in all, I would recommend purchasing an Airfryer for those people who would like to have a new, healthy gadget in their kitchen. It has its issues, but it definitely promotes healthy eating!