Testing: Airfryer low-fat cooker by Philips

Low-fat fryers (also known as the guilt-free chip makers) came into their own as a category a few years ago. Unlike some products (the lidded toaster springs to mind), fryers have found their own niche and place in the hearts of many a fried food lover. Myself included.

Part of this is their versatility – and most now go far beyond potato frying to earn their place on your worktop. I first tried the Philips Airfryer a few years ago but sadly, as one of only a small bunch of samples, it had to be passed on. I’d only had it a few weeks but it’d been in regular use. The concept was deliciously simple – toss some sliced, peeled potato in a tiny amount oil, pop it in the basket and let the hot air do its work for about 20 minutes. Then feast on chips and call it health food.

However, now the Airfryer is back in my life – bigger (a cooking capacity of 1.2kg), better (the list of possible recipe ideas is fantastic) and smarter, too.

The Philips  Avance Collection Airfryer XL in black

The Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XL in black

Gone is the previous rotary dial to set the time and in its place is an easy-to-use touch screen with a precise timer and temperature setting. There’s a function for saving a preset and the new machine even boasts the ability to make a variety of dishes, from roasted vegetables and burgers to cake, quiche and muffins. The basket inside can even be cleaned in the dishwasher.

Dishwasher-proof cooking basket

Dishwasher-proof cooking basket

Erring on the side of caution, the first time I used it I allowed 20 minutes for raw potato plus three minutes to preheat. Pressing the start button, it vigorously whirred into life and the timer counted down so I could see at a glance how long I had left until certain carb heaven.

However, it’s clear that the new machine has even more power than previous models as my chips were perfectly cooked in about 16 minutes, with just the tiniest amount of olive oil – about half a tablespoon.

Now that chips are a doddle and anything but demonic, they can become a staple part of my diet again. Clearly, I have to give steak, chicken and a muffin recipe a go too, if only so I can challenge the neighbours to figure out how I’ve cooked them. I suspect low-fat fryer won’t be their first guess.

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