Tower air fryer reviews

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10 best air fryers for a healthier alternative to cooking chips, meat, fish and more

By combining hot air and a small amount of oil, air fryers are a much healthier alternative to deep fat fryers. But with some machines producing bland results, or being tricky to operate or not lasting well, it’s important to get the right one.

Air fryers come in a range of sizes, so make sure you get the right capacity for your household. And think about storage too – some of these cookers are clunky and even the smaller ones can be an awkward shape that won’t fit neatly into a cupboard.

Consider if you want your machine to be a multi-tasker – some also roast, grill, bake and reheat, and often more besides. Do you want nifty features like rotating baskets and stirring paddles? And if you want something low maintenance, check the parts are dishwasher friendly.

We tested a range of fryers on criteria including ease of setting up, use and storage as well as cleaning. But above all, we were interested in the culinary results, especially – but not exclusively – how they made chips.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Tefal actifry genius XL 2in1 healthy air fryer: £229.99, Ideal World

This beast of a machine is the latest version of the extremely popular Tefal actifry which, in our opinion, makes the best chips ever with cloud-like fluffiness and a golden brown crispy casing. As you’d expect with a machine this size (1.7kg capacity), there’s easily enough room to feed the masses – five for dinner and chips for up to eight.

With nine pre-set cooking programs including chips, chicken, breaded snacks and deserts – and two compartments – you can experiment to your heart’s content, including at the same time, when cooking fish and chips or meat and veg for example. And thanks to the stirring paddle, you get even cooking, with other handy features including the digital timer and see-through lid. But good luck fitting in a kitchen cupboard and be warned the machine itself can get hot.

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Ninja foodi max multi-cooker: £199.99, Ninja Kitchen

This enormous machine initially won us over with its sheer speed, cooking chips in just over 10 minutes. It’s also exceptionally easy to use – no mean feat given how much it does, including air frying, pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, baking, roasting and grilling. The digital display shows you how long is left and the huge six-litre cooking pot can even fit a large whole chicken.

It’s easy to clean, with all the extras going in the dishwasher (except the pressure-cooking lid). But as with the Tefal actifry, it’s no good for anyone short on storage space and we were also disappointed that there are no pre-set functions to automate temperature and time, depending on what you’re cooking.

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Lakeland touchscreen air fryer: £79.99, Lakeland

This sleek looking, surprisingly compact machine with 2.6L capacity heats up in no time and the intuitive digital LED touch screen makes it very simple to work. Our chips did not disappoint – beautifully crispy on the outside, light and soft within – but you will need to stir them frequently when cooking. Fish and chicken came out well too.

The handle is cool to the touch at all times, while the machine doesn’t get too hot, and everything is dishwasher friendly. It’s energy efficient and makes enough chips for one to three people, depending on hunger levels. It’s quieter than some machines and it stores away easily but it doesn’t like greasier foods like pork chops and sausages.

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Tefal easy fry compact: £79, AO

We rate this mini air fryer both for ease of use and cleaning, with everything coming out gleaming from the dishwasher time after time. And because it really is mini by air fryer standards, it’s ideal for smaller households and is a doddle to store away after use. You could even leave it out in the corner of your kitchen work surface if you have no cupboard space left.

It’s relatively quick – chips are ready in just under half an hour and they are tasty enough, albeit not on par with the larger Tefal machine reviewed above. There are six pre-set programs, making it versatile, but don’t expect bells and whistles – there is no paddle to keep things moving, for example, meaning that you’ll need to keep stirring fried foods and shake your chips regularly.

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Swan 5 litre manual air fryer: £69.99, Swan

Available in black, cream and red, this machine will look smart in your kitchen and is good for those who want to stay in control, with a timer that works up to 30 minutes, a temperature range from 80 to 200C and a light coming on to show you when it’s ready to use. The rapid air circulate system means it works nice and fast (chips are ready in under half an hour), while also being energy saving.

The results are delicious – although, as with many other machines, you will need to stir your chips frequently and they didn’t come out quite as crispy as some. Everything (even the pan) can go in the dishwasher. It uses less oil than most air fryers and it’s quiet. But the instructions could be clearer, which for us meant a bit of trial and error, especially with timings. Best for smaller families.

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Philips viva collection air fryer XXL HD9650/99: £235, Amazon

This large machine – which can air-fry, grill, roast and bake – impressed us with the succulent meat and seafood it produced, although the chips were average. It will easily feed large families (six to eight portions of chips), and it does so healthily thanks to the minute amount of oil needed. As with other expensive machines, there is patented technology – in this case, named “turbostar”, which makes for consistent circulatory heat, meaning you don’t have to stir the food every few minutes.

The controls, which set the timer up to an hour and temperature between 40C and 200C, are manual and everything can go in the dishwasher. The (downloadable) instructions are clear and the recipe booklet has 200 recipes, but we suggest cooking for a bit less time than the brand suggests for most foods.

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Tower air fryer with rapid air circulation system: £34.99, Argos

If chips are the sole reason for your air fryer purchase, we think there are better machines. But for meat – from chicken wings to sausages to lamb chops – this is a winner and you can use it for heating up food too, from pies to croissants, with no need to even bother with your oven. It’s a manual machine, controlled via the usual two knobs for temperature and timing, comes with clear instructions and is easy to clean and use from the front loading drawer. It doesn’t feel quite as well engineered as some of the more expensive machines we tested and you’ll need to get stirring while cooking, but for a budget buy suited to two to three people we think it’s a worthy purchase.

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Vonshef 1.5L air fryer: £29.99, Vonshef

At just 1.5L capacity, this isn’t a machine for those with a lot of hungry mouths to feed, but for a small air fryer for one or two people, it’s great value – particularly as you can roast, bake, grill and fry. There are two knobs – one for temperature (which goes up to 200C) and one for the timer (up to 30 minutes) and there’s a reassuring operational light to let you know when it’s ready to go.

We tried chicken, steak and fish – all came out just as well, if not better than cooked in an oven, although we would have liked the chips to have crisped up a lot more on the outside. Instructions couldn’t be easier to follow and cleaning is easy, but the machine doesn’t feel as robust as some and we found it required a lot of stirring.

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Salter EK2559 XL: £58.95, Amazon

Our potato wedges and sweet potato chips turned out better than regular chips when using this, but the latter were still decent enough, with a nice golden hue. Roasted veg also stood out, showing off the versatility of this air fryer, which is very easy to get going straight out of the box thanks to the intuitive LCD display, while the automatic switch-off which makes it relatively low-maintenance too.

The 4.5L capacity is about average – feeding three to four people – and everything comes out of the dishwasher as good as new. But the non-stick coating on the cooking basket showed signs of wear and tear even early on and it’s not the best machine for even, consistent cooking even with frequent moving around of food during cooking.

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Lidl silvercrest digital air fryer: £49.99, Lidl

You’ll need to do lots of stirring for best results, but it’s worth the faff. The alarm helps – it sends reminders every five, 10 or 15 minutes. The machine fries, grills or bakes using one of eight pre-set programs which covers fresh chips (enough for four people – all ready within 20 minutes), frozen chips, chicken, ribs, steak, fish, shrimp and cake.

And it’s easy to use with the touchscreen digital controls, where you can set the temperature between 80C and 200C and the timer up to 60 minutes. We’re giving it extra bonus points for the non stick pan which stays no stick even after going in the dishwasher and the fact that the machine itself doesn’t get hot. It’s quite bulky, though, and some foods, especially fish, can come out a bit dry.

Available in store

The verdict: Air fryers

If you’ve got enough room for it, the Tefal actifry genius XL 2in1 healthy air fryer will prove an excellent and versatile culinary companion, making particularly good chips. But it’s big, so for something smaller you might prefer the Lakeland touchscreen air fryer which is quiet, efficient and easier to store away.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

2019 Air Fryer Buying Guide (What 735 Air Fryer Reviews Tell Us)

As we look for healthier eating alternatives, air fryers have emerged as a great way to decrease the fat we eat. One of the faster-growing appliance categories on ProductReview.com.au with 735 reviews, we have learned a lot about what makes a good air fryer.

Our goal with this buying guide is to help you “know better, choose better” as you shop for an air fryer. Using the knowledge from 735 reviews, we’ll help you understand what questions to ask, what features to look for, and what are the best air fryers.

Contents

  1. Is an air fryer healthy?
  2. Should I buy an air fryer or deep fryer?
  3. What features should I look for in an air fryer?
  4. What are the best air fryers in Australia?
  5. What are the best places to buy an air fryer in Australia?

Is an air fryer healthy?

An air fryer uses a lot less oil than a deep fryer, providing a more healthy frying alternative. Using a small amount of oil and then frying your food with only hot air, an air fryer cuts the fat and calories that normal frying produces. Studies have shown that an air fryer uses up to 80% less oil than traditional frying methods.

So in comparison, an air fryer is healthier than say, deep frying. It’s worth noting that a vital component of a healthy diet is what you are eating. So when you cook french fries with an air fryer, think of them as being less “unhealthy” than “healthy”.

Should I buy an air fryer or deep fryer?

Before buying an air fryer, you first need to understand what are you looking at in a fryer. If your focus is on food, taste, texture, and getting your recipes right, then skip the air fryer and buy a deep fryer. It uses a lot of oil and is unhealthy, but you won’t get the exact taste and texture from an air fryer, and you risk drying out some foods.

Looking for a Deep Fryer? Check out all of the Deep Fryers reviewed on ProductReview.com.au.

If healthy eating is your goal, then an air fryer is a better bet. As mentioned, it’s much healthier than a deep fryer while it comes close to the cooking experience of a deep fryer.

Still not sure? If you are sitting on the fence, our call is that you go with the air fryer. It’s cooking performance is almost that of a deep fryer, and you will feel good about the health benefits. Many consumers give feedback that it’s more versatile in the kitchen and you can use it for other tasks.

What features should I look for in an air fryer?

When you are evaluating a new air fryer, you need to look at many features to determine which is right for you. Your needs will drive which features are most important. We have gone through the 735 reviews of the 29 air fryers on ProductReview.com.au to identify six key features to evaluate.

Feature #1: Is An Air Fryer High-Quality?

The reviews on air fryers focused on the quality of the appliance more than what we see in other appliance categories. We know most reviews are about features, usage, and results, but for air fryers we saw more reviews about defects, breakage, parts not working, etc.

Pro Tip: Our best tip for evaluating quality is to read the reviews as they go in-depth into the issues that customers faced with individual products. Each air fryer model has similar quality issues discussed in the reviews. This feedback will help identify which air fryers have quality issues, what the problems are, and how this might affect your choice.

Feature #2: How Easy Is It To Clean An Air Fryer?

From the reviews, we noticed many consumers were not using their air fryers on a regular basis. Even though it’s an air fryer, it creates grease during the cooking process. People would get a messy surprise when opening their air fryer after not using it for some time. This often happened due to the difficulty of cleaning the areas where grease accumulates.

Pro Tip: When buying an air fryer, look at how easy it is to clean and read anything about cleaning that the manufacturer provides. After purchasing, don’t forget to clean your air fryer well so you don’t get surprised by its condition after it has been sitting for a couple of weeks.

Feature #3: How Much Can An Air Fryer Cook?

Due to how they work, air fryers have a defined capacity for food. It’s typically less than a deep fryer, which was a cause for complaint from users.

Pro Tip: Before buying, research the amount of food that an air fryer can cook compared to what your family needs. Understanding this will help you choose the right sized air fryer and also set your expectations up front for how much it can cook.

Feature #4: How Fast Will An Air Fryer Cook?

One advantage of a deep fryer is they cook very fast. Hot oil can cook french fries or chicken in mere minutes. An air fryer works differently, and the trade-off for more healthy cooking is that it will take longer to cook your food. Having only a deep fryer as a reference point for the speed of cooking, some consumers felt that an air fryer took too long to cook their food.

Pro Tip: Air is always going to take longer to cook than oil, so our tip is to set your expectations. Research how long it takes to prepare types of food, differences among models, as well as how this will potentially impact your satisfaction.

Feature #5: Will An Air Fryer Smoke?

Any frying, even with air, is going to cause some smoke to occur. Several customers complained about the level of smoke that their air fryers created in their kitchens. High levels of smoke drove dissatisfaction as using their air fryers became more difficult.

Pro Tip: Before buying, think about the ventilation in your kitchen and where you will put your air fryer to minimise smoke. Also, think about what foods you would cook in your air fryer as fattier foods create more smoke than others.

Feature #6: What Are The Baskets & Drawers In My Air Fryer?

Air fryers use baskets or drawers to hold food while cooking. This design increases the complexity of using an air fryer over a deep fryer. Consumers commented on the quality of the baskets, ease of inserting them, cleaning after cooking, as well as the condition of the baskets after many uses.

Pro Tip: If you are not familiar with using an Air Fryer, this is where buying in-store can provide a benefit. You can better see how an Air Fryer works, the set up of the baskets or drawers, how easy it is to insert them, as well as their overall size.

The above features are the ones that we saw the most complaints from the reviews on ProductReview.com.au. So what were the areas where we did not see issues?

Price

Reviewers often will comment and complain about the price of appliances, even in positive reviews. We did not see this in our Air Fryer reviews, with references to price usually only present together with quality issues.

Quality of the Food

Consumers by and large were happy with the quality of how their Air Fryers cooked their food. There was some feedback about speed and the amount they could prepare, but the overall cooking results were positive. The reviews mentioned ease of cooking, temperature, and even heating of food.

What are the best air fryers in Australia?

As of January 2018, out of 29 air fryers with reviews, the top five rated by consumers on ProductReview.com.au were:

#1: Philips Viva Collection Airfryer

Overall:

  • 87% of reviews were positive (4 or 5 Stars)
  • 13% of reviews were negative (3 Stars or less)
  • Customers use it extensively for their cooking.
  • It cooks very quickly and thoroughly.
  • Food comes out crunchy.
  • The Philips app and air fryer website are very helpful.
  • It’s small and can’t cook enough food.
  • It tends to have a shorter life span as well as having issues with the plastic knobs.
  • It creates too much smoke.

#2: Philips Digital Turbostar HD9643/17

  • 100% of reviews were positive (4 or 5 Stars)
  • It’s easy to clean and maintain.
  • Food comes out crispy.
  • The Philips app and air fryer website are very helpful.
  • It’s expensive.
  • The basket is on the smaller size.

#3: Tefal Fry Delight FX1000

Overall

  • 91% of reviews were positive (4 or 5 Stars)
  • 9% of reviews were negative (3 Stars or less)
  • It’s easy to clean.
  • It works very effectively and it’s quite intuitive to use.
  • The basket can get very dirty if it is not well cleaned after every use.
  • Food tastes more baked than fried.

#4: Kmart Air Fryer

  • 87% of reviews were positive (4 or 5 Stars)
  • 13% of reviews were negative (3 Stars or less)
  • Value for money.
  • Simple to use.
  • It’s easy to clean.
  • Could be larger.
  • Some find the food dry.

#5: Bellini Air Fryer BTDF950

  • 65% of reviews were positive (4 or 5 Stars)
  • 35% of reviews were negative (3 Stars or less)
  • Multiple reviews referenced its value for money.
  • It’s easy to clean and simple to use.
  • Multiple reviews about the paint peeling off.
  • A lack of durability with the baskets and plastic pieces.

What are the best places to buy an air fryer in Australia?

Air fryers are available online and through Australia’s larger retail stores. While many consumers still buy their air fryers in-store, increasingly they are buying online. Analysing the reviews, we did not see any issues faced by consumers when purchasing online.

You can buy an air fryer from the following stores in Australia:

  • Appliances Online (4.0 out of 5 Stars on ProductReview)
  • Kogan (4.0 out of 5 Stars on ProductReview)
  • Target (3.0 out of 5 Stars on ProductReview)
  • Kmart (2.4 out of 5 Stars on ProductReview)
  • JB Hi-Fi (2.4 out of 5 Stars on ProductReview)
  • Harvey Norman (2.3 out of 5 Stars on ProductReview)
  • The Good Guys (2.3 out of 5 Stars on ProductReview)
  • Myer (2.1 out of 5 Stars on ProductReview)
  • Big W (2.1 out of 5 Stars on ProductReview)

If buying in-store, our tip is to research online first as some stores only carry one or two brands. Philips dominates the air fryer market, and most stores sell their models. If you are looking for another brand, it is worth an online check to ensure that store carries it.

And there you have it – everything you need to make a better buying decision on your new air fryer. For more in-depth research, go to ProductReview.com.au’s Air Fryers category to read all the ratings and reviews for 29 models of air fryers available in Australia.

Note: some “Check Prices” buttons in this article are affiliate links, which means we will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. Please note that our editorial team is not influenced by our affiliate partnerships.

I’ve tested more than a dozen air fryers and this Philips version is the only one that cooks large dishes with ease — here’s why I’m a convert

Amazon

  • The Philips Twin TurboStar XXL Airfryer has a spacious interior that holds up to 3 pounds of food, cooks quickly, and is dishwasher safe.
  • Though it’s one of the more expensive air fryers on the market (regularly $350, but currently on sale for $250 at Amazon), it comes with a booklet and an app with hundreds of recipes so you can get the most out of the appliance.
  • Read more: The best air fryers

In 2010, Philips introduced the first air fryer at a consumer electronics fair in Berlin, Germany. Since then, the appliance has taken off with dozens of brands introducing different styles.

I was hesitant to try the Philips Twin TurboStar XXL for several reasons, including that it regularly costs $350 — it’s one of the most expensive options. It’s currently on sale for $250 at Amazon, so note that prices may fluctuate constantly. But after using it dozens of times over the past six months, I can say unequivocally that it’s the best air fryer on the market.

Below, I will explore what makes it better than the competition.

Specs

The Twin TurboStar XXL lives up to the XXL in its name with a footprint of 12 inches wide, 17 inches deep, and 12 inches tall. It has an impressive temperature range of 175 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can adjust the temp in 25-degree increments using the dial on the front.

The dial lets you set the timer (between 1 and 60 minutes) and choose among presets, including defrost, chicken, steak, fish, and cake. The large, LCD screen display shows you the temp and time remaining in the cooking process.

The air fryer comes with a beautiful recipe book complete with full-color photos. There are more than 30 recipes and you can access over 200 more by downloading the app.

Philips backs this air fryer with a one-year limited warranty.

Set-up process

The set-up process was effortless.

After removing the packaging, I washed the basket and pan with soap and water. I then let the air fryer run for a few minutes to warm up. Within 10 minutes of opening the box, I had potstickers baking. They came out pretty good, but I think I’ll stick with the stovetop method. Despite being healthier, they were missing the steamed goodness. However, there were several other plates the air fryer knocked out of the park.

What makes the Philips air fryer stand out

What impresses me most about the Philips Twin TurboStar XXL Airfryer is that it combines size with fast cooking. The stated capacity of the air fryer is 3 pounds or 4 quarts of food, and in my experience, this is conservative. I had no problem fitting three pounds of chicken breasts in the basket without crowding.

There are three food items I test in all air fryers: toast, french fries, and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The chicken breasts just needed 25 minutes, and they tasted juicy and delicious.

To test the french fry capabilities, I cut up 2 pounds of yellow potatoes, tossed them with a tablespoon of olive oil and some seasoning, and put them in the air fryer. Every 10 minutes, I’d shake the basket up and see if they were done. The fries took a little less than 30 minutes, which is impressive compared to other models I’ve tested.

The toast was also quite fast by air fryer standards. In less than 4 minutes, the Twin TurboStar XXL evenly toasted a giant slice of my homemade bread, which I’d made in the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker.

You can also tell how well an air fryer bakes by how much heat it puts off. If the air fryer is emitting a lot of heat around the exterior, then it’s heating your house and not cooking efficiently. The Philips air fryer stays cool to the touch everywhere except the back of the appliance, where it’s incredibly hot.

Target

I’ve tested a dozen air fryers in the last year, and the recipe books always underestimate how long the dishes will take to cook. This is not the case with the Philips recipe book. I tried recipes for fries, drumsticks, and fish, and they were all accurate and scrumptious.

I love that the parts of the air fryer that get the dirtiest — like the basket, mesh bottom, “fat reducer” tray, and pan — are dishwasher safe. They were easy to clean in my dishwasher, and I haven’t noticed any wear from using this cleaning method.

Cons to consider

I did have a little issue with the Twin TurboStar XXL releasing a fair amount of smoke while cooking. This likely had to do with me going a little overboard with the amount of olive oil I used for a recipe. After thoroughly cleaning the unit and testing again, the smoke problem went away. So, the moral of the story is to go light on the oil. I recommend picking up an inexpensive oil mister.

Unlike most air fryers, the Philips air fryer doesn’t come with accessories, such as a rack or skewers. The company sells these separately. I didn’t miss having accessories, but if you’re paying $250 for a small appliance, you’d expect it to come with plenty of extras so it seemed like an oversight here.

The bottom line

From being able to cook family-size meals efficiently to cleaning up easily, the Philips Twin TurboStar XXL Airfryer hits all the right notes. But should you buy it? Are there more affordable and perfectly serviceable alternatives? Let’s explore your options.

Should you buy the Philips air fryer?

Even though it’s the best I’ve tested, $250 is a lot to spend on an air fryer. However, if you have the money and want the best, the Twin TurboStar XXL is the model to buy, especially if you want a unit that can cook larger quantities of food quickly.

Due to its size, it may not be ideal for individuals with smaller kitchens, but it could be a good alternative if you don’t have room for an oven.

Which model should you get?

You can save $50 off the price of the digital XXL by choosing the analog model. The only difference is you don’t get the convenient digital interface. Instead, you set the appliance by manually adjusting the time and temperature dials.

Philips makes a few other air fryer models, including its XL Collection and compact solutions, but we don’t feel they provide as strong of a balance of price and cooking abilities as the XXL air fryers. However, if you really want a Philips air fryer but want to limit your spending, consider the compact Philips Starfish Technology Airfryer, which only costs $150 and has a smaller footprint than the XXL.

What are your alternatives?

If the Philips air fryer doesn’t appeal to you, I’ve found the following to be excellent alternatives:

  • Secura Extra Large Capacity Air Fryer ($62.61): At less than a third of the price of the Twin TurboStar XXL, the Secura air fryer is a workhorse that can hold 4.2-quarts of food. The oven is 1,500 watts and cooks quickly. The controls are basic analog. Still, this is a terrific alternative if you want to see what air frying is all about but aren’t ready to commit to a more expensive unit. You can read my full review here.
  • Chefman 6.3 Quart Digital Air Fryer+ Rotisserie ($140.99): One of the best-tasting and healthiest foods you can make in an air fryer is chicken. And the Chefman Roaster evenly roasts a whole chicken on a rotisserie spit. While this unit has an impressive capacity, digital controls, and a helpful window for tracking the progress of your food, it heats slowly and inefficiently.
  • Tobox Electric 1500W Digital Air Fryer ($149.99): The Tobox air fryer stands out because it has digital controls, preprogrammed settings, and can hold 3.8 quarts of food. Also, thanks to the well-ventilated design of the basket, the hot air flows freely to efficiently air fry your meal. Unfortunately, the vents make the basket hard to clean.

Overall, there are several outstanding alternatives available, but if you have it in your budget, we strongly recommend picking up the Philips Twin TurboStar XXL Airfryer. You will appreciate how quickly it cooks large meals and how effortless it is to clean up.

Pros: 4-quart capacity, TurboStar design facilitates faster cooking, dishwasher safe, digital interface, full-color recipe book

Cons: Expensive, doesn’t come with accessories, smoking may occur if too much oil is used

Air Fryer Reviews

Philips cooks the competition in air fryer ratings

Maintaining a healthy diet isn’t easy when you also enjoy snack foods like chips, which are generally high in saturated fat. For whatever reason, most of our favourite foods also happen to be bad for us, so wouldn’t it be great if there was a way of cooking our most-loved foods without having to worry about how unhealthy they are? Step forward the humble air fryer. It’s not a miracle appliance that suddenly makes all those fatty foods good for you, but it will help you eat healthier versions of your favourite guilty-pleasures – and you’ll know exactly what’s gone into them.

So, to find out who serves up the best finger lickin’ chips, veggies, or anything else you can put in an air fryer, Canstar Blue has surveyed more than 300 Aussie consumers to learn about the air fryers they’ve recently bought and used. The idea is to give you as much information as possible about the compared brands, to help you make a better-informed purchase decision.

Brands were rated on a number of factors, including performance, value for money, design, ease of use and cleaning, plus functions and features. In our inaugural air fryer review, Philips took out top spot with a five-star rating for overall satisfaction, as well as most other variables.

Best-Rated Air Fryers

The four brands in our 2019 air fryers review were rated in the following order for customer satisfaction:

  • 1st Philips
  • 2nd Kmart
  • 3rd Tefal
  • 4th Kambrook

Kmart and Tefal received four stars for overall satisfaction, while Kambrook was left with three stars overall. Kmart was certainly the ‘best of the rest’ after scoring five stars for value, as well as ease of cleaning – the only brand to do so.

Read on as we explore what each of the four brands in our air fryers review has to offer.

Top-Rated Air Fryers

Philips

When people think air fryers, they tend to think of Philips, and it’s easy to see why. Its designs are all sleek looking with easy to use displays. One of the more expensive Philips air fryers in the range is the HD9240-90 (pictured), which will set you back $469 RRP. The main advantage of this model is its large 1.2kg cooking capacity, allowing you to feed up to five people in one go. It also has a digital screen for easier control of time and temperature.

The cheapest air fryer from Philips is the HD99218-51 Daily Collection model, which costs much less at $229 RRP. It still has a larger-than average-capacity of 0.8kg, albeit smaller than the one above, despite having larger dimensions. It’s a high-powered machine that allows you to fry, grill, roast and bake all in one.

The rest of the Philips range comes within the price range of $229 to $499. They all have in common a generally large capacity size, dishwasher safe parts, multiple different options for cooking, and easy to use controls.

Phillips’ air fryer range includes these models:

  • Philips HD9861-99 Premium Airfryer XXL: $599 RRP*
  • Philips HD9651-91 Avance Collection Airfryer XXL: $499 RRP*
  • Philips HD9630-21 Viva Collection Airfryer XXL: $399 RRP*
  • Philips HD9721-21 Premium Airfryer: $299 RRP*
  • Philips HD9218-51 Daily Collection Airfryer: $229 RRP*

This year’s winner, Philips got five stars in most research categories, including overall satisfaction. It received three stars on ease of cleaning.

Check Latest Prices at Appliances Online^

Kmart

Budget-orientated retail chain Kmart offers just one air fryer model for a low $69. Kmart’s 1500W air fryer offers 3.2L capacity to prepare delicious and crispy fries and nuggets for the whole family. With seven pre-set functions and adjustable temperatures up to 200 degrees, it’s versatile enough to prepare even scones and scrambled eggs, perfect for your morning brekky.

Its design features an LED control panel, a removable drying basket, and operation light indicator. For safety, you’ll find this model equipped with overheat protection and 30-minute automatic shut off. It also comes with a trendy black finish. It’s stated to be tested to applicable Australian electrical safety standards, being certified as compliant.

  • Kmart 3.2L Air Fryer: $69 RRP*
  • Kmart 5.3L Air Fryer: $89 RRP*

Kmart got four stars overall, as well as for cooking performance, design, ease of use, plus functions & features. It got an outstanding five stars on value for money and ease of cleaning.

Check Air Fryer Prices at Appliances Online^

Tefal

Tefal is known as a premium brand of household appliances, such as clothes irons, and also has an air fryer on offer. Its air fryer is the Tefal FX1000 Fry Delight, which will cost you $230 RRP. It features Air pulse technology stated to cook crispy fried food with little to no oil. It’s boasted to not only fry but also grill, roast and bake your favourite treats.

It has a trendy design, with dishwasher safe parts for easy cleaning. It has a 0.8kg capacity to serve up approximately four servings of chips, and like with other brands, it has a handy timer for convenience. Expect a temperature range from 150 to 200 degrees and a cool to touch system for safety.

  • Tefal FX1000 Fry Delight Air Fryer
  • Tefal Ultimate Fry Deluxe FX202D
  • Tefal Easy Fry Classic Air Fryer EY2018

Tefal got four stars for overall satisfaction, as well as all other categories, making it a solid performer in 2019.

Check Latest Prices at Appliances Online^

Kambrook

Kambrook has just one air fryer available at the time of writing, the KAF200WHT Air Chef. The Air Chef costs $179.95 RRP, making it considerably cheaper than most other brands. The most notable aspect of the Air Chef is the massive capacity – it can cook up to 2.5 kilos worth of food in just one session. This is despite having very similar dimensions to most other models.

However, it’s less powerful than some. It also doesn’t specify if it comes with a food separator, which allows you to cook different things at once. However, if money is an issue for you and space isn’t, and you want to cook larger quantities of food in one go, then the Kambrook Air Chef could be an option for you.

  • Kambrook Air Chef Air Frying Oven KAF200BLK: $189.95 RRP*

Kambrook received three stars for overall customer satisfaction and for all other variables.

Check Latest Prices at Appliances Online^

Other Brands

ALDI

ALDI has also featured an air fryer amongst its Special Buys. ALDI’s air fryer comes with 10L of cooking capacity and 1300W of heating power. It features an LED display with a digital control panel, plus a double layer viewing window. It’s claimed to have a Halogen infrared heating system and a 360 degree rotation system to cook food evenly. It also has a 60 minutes adjustable timer and adjustable temperature control of up to 230 degrees. You can choose from six different cooking programs.

Accessories include a grill pan, rolling cage, tongs, dual rack, skewer rack, rotisserie spindle and forks. In addition, there’s a lid lock for safety. It comes with a three year warranty and has two colour variants – black or white.

  • ALDI 10L Air Fryer: $129 RRP*

What are air fryers?

Air fryers are kitchen appliances that cook food by circulating hot air around it. They’re a relatively new appliance in the kitchen world that provide healthy and tasty foods cooked with less oil. Essentially, they look like tiny ovens or large rice cookers, and they have a chunky tray which can be removed, filled with food, and put back inside.

Air fryers were first launched here in Australia in 2010, and are fast becoming a staple of the modern kitchen. They can cook a variety of different foods in small quantities, which makes them perfect for preparing snacks rather than full family meals. One of the main benefits of air fryers is that they use significantly less oil than other appliances such as deep fryers (about 70-80% less in fact), which makes the results much healthier for you. According to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay: “The air fryer doesn’t quite replace that deep fried taste, but with just a tablespoon of oil, the chips (and other foods) come out crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. They’re healthier and taste great.”

We asked respondents to our survey why they bought an air fryer, and found:

  • To become healthier: 39%
  • Convenience: 32%
  • To try something new: 13%
  • Less mess: 8%
  • Safer to use: 5%

How do air fryers work?

The basic principle of air fryers is that they use circulated hot hair to heat up your food. They use rapid air technology to cook any type of food that you would otherwise cook in deep fat, such as chips and chicken. This rapid air technology circulates the air to temperatures up to 200 degrees, and the cooking chamber (where you store the food) keeps the food close to the heating elements, allowing your food to be cooked in 10 to 20 minutes without the need to be ore-heated.

Above the cooking chamber is an exhaust fan, which helps provide the necessary airflow to ensure that every part of the food receives the same heating temperature required to make it nice and crispy brown. In addition, the air fryer comes with an internal cooling system that keeps the inside of the machine clean. This cooling system includes a fan mounted on the motor axis that controls the internal temperature and make sure that fresh air passes through the filters.

Basically, the air fryer is extremely easy to use, and requires little to no maintenance on your part. In addition to making the process of frying easier, it also results in healthier and (arguably) tastier results due to the lower oil count.

What can you cook in an air fryer?

Frozen foods

Pretty much any frozen food that you would put in an oven can be cooked in the hot air of an air fryer. The most common one is chips – this is what a lot of people basically assume they are made for – but you can also do snacks such as chicken nuggets, fish sticks and potato gems, all of which are staples of households in Australia, particularly if you’ve got children.

Cooking times vary depending on the food, but they tend to take around 10 minutes a lot of the time, and in some cases, can even be done in as little as six minutes with appropriate pre-heating! This is very impressive, and much faster than what an oven would take.

Raw meats

Certain air fryers come with accessories such as a baking cage or grill pan that enable you to prepare meats in your air fryer. A whole roast chicken can be done in about 30 minutes, and roast pork and BBQ ribs can apparently be done in as little as 10 minutes. Other popular meats that can be cooked in an air fryer include burger patties, steaks and lamb chops.

Vegetables

You can also roast certain types of vegetables in an air fryer, if they are the kind you would normally grill. Common meal veggies like capsicum and cauliflower can be grilled in the machine. Certain models come with a round ceramic bowl with a stir paddle that allows you to fry green vegetables just like you would in a skillet. Other veggies you can cook in an air fryer include peppers, corn, zucchini, kale and asparagus.

Baked foods

You also have the option to cook non-stick baking dishes in your air fryer, which can be very useful for baking small items like cupcakes, bread, muffins and lasagnes. Essentially, you can cook anything in an air fryer that comes with a liquid or sauce, such as casseroles and curries. Muffins and cupcakes can be made in as little as 10 minutes. If you plan on doing baking with your air fryer, then be sure to get one that comes with a baking dish.

Nuts

If you’re a nut kind of person, then you’ll be glad to know that roasting peanuts, almonds and any other type of nut can be done very easily with your air fryer. Peanuts and almonds can be done in 10 minutes, whereas walnuts will be ready to go in less than 8 minutes.

What can’t you cook in air fryers?

Despite their many uses, there are still a lot of foods and snacks that you shouldn’t put in an air fryer.

Wet batter-coated foods

Batter-coated food is generally not suited for air frying, since the fast-moving air can push away the wet batter from the food and spray it all over the place. So, if you want to make battered fish or chicken, it is probably best to stick to the traditional methods of cooking. However, some have had success by frying the batter-coated pieces in a pan first and then frying them in the hot air fryer, but this takes longer and is really quite unnecessary.

Certain kinds of vegetables

As mentioned before, vegetables that can be roasted or grilled can be cooked in an air fryer. However, you should avoid any kinds of vegetables that are usually steamed, such as carrots and beans.

Pasta and rice

Since their primary function is frying, it goes without saying that foods you generally boil – mainly pasta and rice – are not suitable for use in an air fryer. For these, the old-fashioned way of boiling water is still best. Alternatively, you can get a rice cooker.

Really, you can cook the majority of common foods in an air fryer if the quantity is not too big. Most air fryers come with a 500g capacity, but there are options out there with larger capacities. Air fryers open the door to innovation in cooking, and with a bit of experimentation, you can cook pretty much anything in less than half an hour.

What to consider when buying an air fryer?

Aside from finding out the brands Aussies love, our research also identified the following drivers of customer satisfaction when it comes to air fryers:

  • Cooking performance: 50%
  • Value for money: 19%
  • Design: 13%
  • Ease of use: 11%
  • Ease of cleaning: 7%
  • Functions & features: 1%

Cooking performance is key, followed by value for money. It’s important that an air fryer does what it says it can, otherwise it will just be a waste of time. In addition, our survey found that Aussie households spend an average of $162 on new air fryers, which steers towards the middle of the price spectrum.

Which air fryer should I buy?

Philips is the more experienced and established brand when it comes to air fryers, emphasised by the sheer number of models and additional features its units come with. Philips’ air fryers might be more expensive on average, but if you want proven frying quality, then our ratings suggest you’ll be in good hands. On the other hand, Kambrook and Tefal also have some quality air fryers. The Tefal Fry Delight sits towards the higher end of the price spectrum, while the Kambrook Air Chef is the cheapest after Kmart, which offers a budget-friendly option.

Making healthy, low-fat and tasty food in a matter of minutes sounds like a dream, but try to do a little research before diving into the deep end with a new air fryer. Consider how often you’ll use it, and what you’ll actually use it for. The last thing you want to do is spend $200 on a new kitchen appliance that just ends up gathering dust.

Microwave Oven Reviews

*Prices taken from retailer websites, correct as of January 2020

Verdict

Affordable air fryers can be a mixed bag – if they’re too compact, they can’t handle the demands of family meals, while if they’re hard to programme, they’re likely to gather dust in a cupboard. The Tower 4.3L Manual Air Fryer is neither of these things, making its few flaws fairly forgivable. In an ideal world, it’d cook large amounts more evenly and be dishwasher-safe, but for your money, you get a decently robust fryer with the guarantee to back it up, and enough capacity to be able to feed plenty of hungry mouths.

Pros

  • Family sized capacity
  • 60-minute timer
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No presets
  • Cooking can be uneven
  • Not dishwasher-safe

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £54.99
  • 1500W
  • 3.2-litre non-stick basket
  • H32.6 x W35 x D28.7cm

Larger capacity appliances can command a bump in the price. Fortunately, the generously sized Tower 4.3L Manual Air Fryer proves that a family-sized model doesn’t have to mean extra cost. Not only does its frying basket contain enough space for several portions of chips, veggies or frozen food, cooked with little to no oil, but it could also feasibly be used for speedily baking a cake. However, it’s not just capacity and cost that this air fryer has going for it – it’s also fantastically easy to use. Anyone who finds touchscreens frustrating, or digital displays confusing, will love its simple functionality – just turn the manual dials and you’re ready to cook.

Tower 4.3L Manual Air Fryer – What you need to know

  • Homemade chips test: Pieces were unevenly cooked, with crisper, browner pieces on top and firm, partially cooked chips on the bottom.
  • Meat/poultry test: Chicken legs had golden brown bubbly skin and were cooked through without being dry.
  • Reheat test: Pizza slices emerged crisp and warmed through after only 5mins.

Tower 4.3L Manual Air Fryer design – Delivers plenty for the price but the heat distribution lacks the even flow required for large amounts.

In a world full of digital displays and different coloured lights, there’s something quite pleasing about an appliance with manual controls that simply gets the job done. There are only two dials on this air fryer – one for temperature, which ranges from 80-200C, and one for time, up to 1hr. The only pitfall is that you’ll need to remember to set a temperature as the timer will run without it being turned up, potentially leaving food gently wafted with warm air but not cooked. There isn’t even an on/off button – you can either wait until the timer bell sounds, after which it switches off automatically, or turn the timer dial to finish.

The controls are very simple

The rest of the design is suitably functional. There are hand-hold recesses in the base to move it around the kitchen, a sliding plastic cover to prevent the basket-release button being accidentally pressed (a more practical solution to the potentially flimsy flip-up covers on similar models) and a guide to cooking times and temperatures for different foods on its metal fascia. Two lights show you when it’s on and when the heating element is working. Another big plus is a free three-year guarantee when it’s registered online, which gives more peace of mind than the standard year offered by comparable manufacturers.

Inevitably at this price point, there are a few downsides. One is that parts aren’t dishwasher-safe, which is always a drawback for an appliance that becomes covered in hot greasy splatters. In testing, it was also noticeably noisy: I had to raise my voice to be heard over the whooshing of the fan.

The large capacity of the non-stick basket also threw up the issue of uneven cooking. A batch of fresh potato chips, drizzled with a spoon of oil, cooked more thoroughly on top than underneath despite being shaken a few times to redistribute the contents. While the instructions advise the optimum amount for crispy fries is 500g, realistically for an appliance of this size, it will usually need to exceed that.

Our chips didn’t cook as evenly as we’d hoped

Condensation also gathered at the base of the machine and under the button cover while cooking the chips, so the venting at the back could use a boost.

Tower 4.3L Manual Air Fryer features – You can do more with this air fryer than with the average budget model

There’s lots of room inside this air fryer

The air fryer’s large 3.2-litre basket is one of its most appealing features, but it’s also one that needs a little working around, as evidenced by the unevenly cooked fresh chips. For example, it performed far better with food that didn’t cover the holes in the base or slits at the side of the basket and restrict hot air circulation. Three roast chicken legs cooked quickly and thoroughly after 22mins at 200C, while two pizza slices reheated evenly with a crisp base and crust in a rapid 5mins at 150C. It may be that smaller batches of chips work better but that’s not an especially efficient way to cater for a family.

There’s plenty of room to cook multiple chicken legs

This air fryer has other advantages over competing models, including its compatible accessories – such as a divider, baking pan and grill rack – which give it extra functionality. It’s a shame the divider (used for splitting the basket to help prevent flavour transfer) isn’t included in the box, but being able to make your appliance bespoke so that it provides the optimum performance for you will help it to earn its place on the worktop. A final plus is the effort to include cooking guidance beyond a basic table – three recipes hidden at the back of the instructions are another sign that Tower want its air fryer to do more than occasionally reheat meals.

Should I buy the Tower 4.3L Manual Air Fryer?

While heat doesn’t manage to circulate around the filled basket as evenly as we’d hope, this is still a great-value buy for a family thanks to its price tag, flexibility and ease of use. It’d even suit a small or solo household who might want a small portion of chips one day, and a few grilled sandwiches the next. Compared to similarly priced air fryers, such as the Haden Lorraine Pascale 3.6-litre air fryer models, it arguably delivers more – both in terms of capacity and ability to accessorise.

Trusted Score

Rachel covers kitchen and lifestyle tech for Trusted Reviews. She has written extensively about interiors for over 19 years, covering everything from kitchen worktops to flooring and storage for title…

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think – send your emails to the Editor.

Tower provide a booklet of instructions and recipes to induct you into various means of using the Tower. Essentially, the quantity of oil you add will dictate the styling of flavour you receive. More oil, more crunch. But don’t overdo it. The air circulation will cook in a drier way if not given some oil to work with.

The T17024 is one of the numerous air fryers Tower make, it is quite large in comparison to many of their other closed case models. With 4.3 litres of cooking volume. But it pales in comparison to their 12 litre models, which can extend up to 17 litres.

Being covered in shiny black plastic gives the T17024 the look of a kitchen appliance, not a catering bit of kit. Standing 35cm tall it can disguise itself amongst your toasters, your coffee makers and your kettles quite easily.

What’s great about Tower is that they’ve got a good, and by good I mean rapid, air circulation system know to them as VORTX. Yes, it makes a vortex around your chicken drumsticks. No we don’t think the name is necessary either.

What pushes the T17024 model further than its little brothers and sisters is its timer. You get a beefy 60 minutes to run down. This is only for the largest of joints of meat, and it still doesn’t give you enough time to properly dehydrate some root vegetables into crisps.

There is also no shake timer, which features on the higher end air fryers, the presets are non-existent. All you have is your wits and a timer. Like a game show with oil. The consequence of heating oil and blowing it around quickly is that it can let off a bit of a smell. This isn’t anything above and beyond cooking smells in general, nowhere near as stench-inducing as a deep fat fryer, but I still prefer to air fry with an extraction fan running, as the filters aren’t 100% filtering the air as it comes out.

What is pleasant in cleanliness terms is the basket. It is plastic on the outside, coated with Teflon or some non-brand, non-stick on the inside and dishwasher safe. The circular shape prevents crusts from forming if you happen to overdo the meat.

The power fitted, 1500W is great for nailing smaller portions in the Tower. It can handle a full basket of chips too, but the best recipes involve double-frying. Something irate reviewers sometimes struggle to understand.

The Tower T17024 comes with a one year warranty, this can be increased to two years if you happen to register your product within 28 days of purchase. On the Tower website are a host of digital manuals replacements, instructional guides and recipes to get your cooking juices flowing.

What’s not great about the Tower T17024

The digital interface seems rather superfluous as it doesn’t connect to any greater cooking modes or presets. You only set the time and the temperature. Speaking of heat, the range runs from 80°C to 200°C. Nothing is overtly mentioned about the dehydration or defrosting capacity, though this is possible in an air fryer.

I don’t think in terms of build quality or features it stands up to the Phillips or Salter models of air fryer. These include a range of preset options for cooking foods and reminders to shake or baste your food with oil. But then cooking can’t all be mediated by our robot friends, can it?

Tower Air Fryer with Rapid Air Circulation System, VORTX Frying Technology, 60 Minute Timer and Adjustable Temperature Control for Healthy Oil Free or Low Fat Cooking, 1500 W, 4.3 Litre, Black

  • Healthier cooking: With the use of rapid air circulation technology and a low calorie cooking spray, you can fry without the excess fat associated with traditional frying and in a reduced time
  • Digital display: The easy to read LCD display gives you a clear view of how long is left on the timer and the current cooking temperature
  • Temperature control: The adjustable dial ranges between 80 – 200 Degree so you can easily cook a variety of meals, including vegetables, chips, chicken and cake
  • 4.3 Litre capacity: The large cooking basket provides ample space for baking, grilling and frying a wide range of ingredients
  • 60 minute timer: Conveniently schedule the cooking cycle and the air fryer will automatically switch off once completed

£34.99 CHECK THE PRICE HERE

The Tower T17023 Features

  • The ‘VORTX’ whips air around your food for an even coating
  • Looks like a small spaceship filled with chips
  • Weighs 4.7kg
  • Has a cooking capacity of 4.3 litres
  • 1500W of power
  • 35.4cm by 32.5cm by 32.5cm in width, depth and height
  • Runs temperatures between 80°C and 200°C
  • Has an hour long cook timer with an automatic shut off feature
  • The basket is detachable, non-stick and dishwasher safe
  • Comes with a 1 year guarantee as standard, and can be extended to 2 years on registration

Conclusions on the Tower T17023 Air Fryer

The Tower T17023 is big enough to feed a family of young children and adults. Although it would fall short of feeding hungry teenagers by some distance. The digital side of the air fryer is confined to the timer, don’t get fooled thinking you’ve got a robotic assistant. You are in charge of remembering to shake those fries and remove the basket for cleaning.

While the timer is longer, Tower could easily increase it to allow for easier baking and dehydrating processes. For the price and for the capacity, this is a decent air fryer, but not one to make it into our pick of the 2018-19 litter. The health benefits of buying any air fryer are well known, nothing specifically healthy comes from the Tower. But if you’re inclined towards making a purchase, and have a budget to meet, the Tower T17023 is a wise choice.

Tower Air Fryer with Rapid Air Circulation System, VORTX Frying Technology, 60 Minute Timer and Adjustable Temperature Control for Healthy Oil Free or Low Fat Cooking, 1500 W, 4.3 Litre, Black

  • Healthier cooking: With the use of rapid air circulation technology and a low calorie cooking spray, you can fry without the excess fat associated with traditional frying and in a reduced time
  • Digital display: The easy to read LCD display gives you a clear view of how long is left on the timer and the current cooking temperature
  • Temperature control: The adjustable dial ranges between 80 – 200 Degree so you can easily cook a variety of meals, including vegetables, chips, chicken and cake
  • 4.3 Litre capacity: The large cooking basket provides ample space for baking, grilling and frying a wide range of ingredients
  • 60 minute timer: Conveniently schedule the cooking cycle and the air fryer will automatically switch off once completed

£34.99 CHECK THE PRICE HERE