Why The Philips Air Fryer?

For those new to the Philips air fryer and the concept of hot air fryers, then you are in for a treat! Low fat air fryers suggest that you can have the taste of deep fat frying but without the fat and the resulting calories. Excessive consumption of saturated fats in particular are not good for your health, as you probably already know given the high profile importance of eating healthier over the past few years. So whether you wish to cut down on the fats in your diet for health reasons or because you want to lose weight (or both), then this type of cooking is something you may want to think about so read on.

For many, the biggest miss when switching to healthier cooking is chips or fries. This is where the Philips Air Fryer (or the similar Tefal Actifry) comes in as they claim produce deep fat fried tasting chips but with a maximum of one tablespoon of oil per kilo of fries. Although the jury may still be out on just how similar the taste is, there is no doubt from reports that they come the closest to the real thing that you can produce. However, chips are not the only thing you can cook in these and they also have other advantages over the standard deep fryers.

Firstly, a quick word on how air fryers work which is really quite simple. Basically, food is placed in a receptacle and hot air is constantly blown around the food from a heat source within the machine. While the Tefal Actifry stirs the food using a paddle, the Philips Air Fryer just requires a shake of the basket half way through cooking. This is why what you can cook in the machines differs but I’ll leave that to your imagination the cookbooks and other pages on this site such as these air fryer recipes such as the one below for jacket potato. I will say however, that transference of food flavours is avoided in the Philips given you can use a food divider in the basket.

You hear most days of someone leaving their deep fat fryer unattended and it catching fire. At worst, this can lead to a home fire and a possible loss of your home, at best, a nasty mess in your kitchen with a bad smell that lingers for some time. As you are not using boiling oils in an air fryer, this simply can’t happen. If you have an elderly relative who is a little forgetful but inserts on frying, then a Philips Air Fryer would make a good gift. As we age, our wrists naturally get weaker and dealing with hot deep fat fryers for cleaning, or simply moving them around with the oil inside or to empty it is dangerous. Children are also an obvious reason for caution with deep fat fryers. Although the air fryers do get quite hot on the outside, you would never have to deal with the catastrophic consequences of being burnt by boiling oil.

Emptying and cleaning these types of deep fryer is also a messy and more expensive business. Most people leave the oil in their fryer until it starts to taste bad on the food. Disposing of the oil (or solid fat) is not nice, neither is cleaning the machine. With an air fryer, most parts are machine washable and without the layer of grease, simple to wash by hand as well.

Space can be an issue with the Tefal Actifry as it has a large footprint and you would need a large cupboard to store it in! The Philips Air Fryer has a similar sized footprint to a traditional deep fryer, but is a little taller. If you are cooking for more than two however, go for the Tefal Actifry which has a larger capacity than the Philips and can be found for £95.

For more on the Philips Air Fryer or to purchase, follow the link to the <Philips AirFryer Healthier Oil-Free Fryer where you just might find it with over 50% off at just £84.

The New Kid On The Block – Duronic AF1 /B Oil Free Jet Fryer

One of the new kids on the block is the Duronic AF1 Oil Free Jet Fryer. The Duronic claims to make cooking quick, convenient and most importantly, healthy! This unique product makes crisp, succulent fried food with little to no oil. Using Air Circulating Technology, the Duronic Jet Fryer reaches an internal temperature of up to 200C and evenly circulates hot air to cook Chicken Wings, French Fries, or onion rings with the same crunchy exterior and moist interior produced by conventional deep fryers. The Duronic Jet Fryer has the ability to fry, roast, bake or grill. All this with up to 80% less fat in food cooked in traditional fryers. An inspirational recipe book has been included to get you started with Frying with hot air. It’s so simple to use, you can easily try out new ingredients, which will give excellent results.

We haven’t personally used it and as it’s new, there are not that many reviews. However, those that have reviewed it have given it 5/5 so may be worth considering.

Looks and feels like the Philips Airfryer, the Duronic AF1 and has a similar pricing structure at £65. One big bonus it seems though is the recipe book that comes with it, something the Tefal and Philips versions sadly lack.

Specs include:

  • The Duronic AF1 uses air circulating technology to fry/roast/bake/grill your food with little or no oil making food healthier without compromising on the taste.
  • Adjustable temperature control ensures food is cooked to the appropriate temperature
  • Closed cooking system provides a safe odor and splatter free cooking experience with a cool touch exterior
  • Dishwasher safe fry bowl and basket
  • Compact size – easily fits on a kitchen counter and blends in with existing appliances. 2.2L Cooking capacity

 

Low Fat Air Fryers Compared

When comparing low fat air fryers you will notice that the appearance of the units are quite different and of course, which you prefer will be down to personal preference. However, my preference is for the Philips Air Fryer with it’s clean cut lines and pod shape. While everything is hidden away when cooking, this is likely to mean that children will be less inclined to try and watch their tea go round and round. On the opposite side, you have to pull the basket out to check on the contents and shake when cooking some items and the basket can need a good pull to get it out.

The Philips appears to be faster than the Tefal, but both take longer with chips than any other food which maybe fresh or frozen. Given the way these machines work, you are going to get splatter from both of them. With the Tefal this will be on the clear lid (which has been known to discolour and crack), with the Philips this will be mostly on the splash guard below the grill element, but the obvious parts of both machines are dishwasher safe.

As indicated, the Tefal has come in for a battering because of the need for replacement parts. Given the price, one would hope everything would work for longer, but that’s the price you pay for the new technology.  That said,  I think that Tefal have improved the stirring paddle that seems to have been at the root of the problems. The newer FZ7000 series no longer has a clip on paddle that was prone to break, instead it has a click and lock one that is far better. The Philips is far to new to have a history to draw on, so we will have to wait and see.

While both machines will cook chips, french fries, wedges, meat and poultry, there are a couple of differences.  For example, in the Tefal Actifry you can produce stir fries and currys because of the paddle and a hidden heat element. The Philips Air Fryer can’t do stir fries but will make you a nice sausage roll, bake a muffin, cake or quiche cook stuffed vegetables and brown off pre-baked bread. Basically, you need to decide where you tastes lie – do you prefer mostly savoury foods or would you like the convenience of baking in a worktop sized mini oven? If the latter, you may find that the baking tray you require is an additional add-on for some models. I believe it’s around £18 to buy separately.

The other major difference is that the Philips has a smaller capacity than the Tefal of around 20%. So if you are looking for a family sized model go for either the standard Tefal or the larger family sized model.

Taking a quick look at the De’Longhi Roto Fry, you can only cook foods that are suitable for deep fat frying as there are no more options. De’Longhi do have a good reputation though so if you just want it for chips with a bit less fat, go for this one as it’s cheaper.

The price of course is a major concern. The Philips Air Fryer can retail at £85+ but will more likely be £99+ . Some wholesale companies can offer a better deal, so try here for the Philips model. However, in monetary terms, the Tefal ActiFry is usually similar depending on the model.  There is also the Duronic AF1 /B Healthy Oil Free Jet Fryer Multicooker that is new to the market and can be found  priced around £65. Not quite the same, but if you are interested in the De’Longhi Roto Fry, the cheapest I have found it is around £65, but it is more limited in terms of what you can cook and will use more oil to do so.

For me, I’m still unsure. I like the look of the Philips, the size and it’s versatility, the price of the De’Longhi is the best but not the fact it only cooks deep fried food albeit in less oil than normal. The Tefal Actifry is more tried and tested, but comes with a questionable reliability record for some of the parts, namely the paddle and lid. No doubt these components have improved in the later models and you can purchase these parts separately should they break outside the guarantee period.

If you are searching for air fryers from the USA, please try here as most of the links on this site are for the UK.