After some twenty years of testing kitchen gadgets and gizmos, I’m pretty wary of giving up precious counter-top real estate in my small-space kitchen. I don’t even have a food processor because I find that by the time I take it out, dig out the attachments, set it up, use it, wash it and put it back, I could have just shredded the damn cabbage, onion, potatoes, etc – with my favourite Zwilling knife.
So when I partnered with Philips to review their new Airfryer, I was not convinced that as kitchen minimalist I’d love it. As it turns out, the machine has not left the counter since I took it out of the box two weeks ago. And I’ve used it just about every day for something or other.
Here’s the elevator pitch for the Philips Airfryer A healthy alternative to deep frying, it uses the circulation of hot air within a chamber to fry, bake, roast or grill — all using little or no oil. That means it’s useful for fast meals and for making healthy snacks (a bonus for me, as I am on a quest to drop some stubborn weight.) It doesn’t need to be pre-heated, and there’s a timer that clocks up to 60 minutes. An “EasyClick” handle makes taking the basket out for cleaning fast and simple.
My first test, of course, was to make French fries, using just a tablespoon of oil for enough fries to feed four. I found the taste a touch more like baked than full-on fried, but I actually prefer that. It does an excellent job on frozen fries – especially frozen sweet potato fries, which I’ve never had much luck doing in a conventional oven. I’ve roasted asparagus and eggplant with terrific results, and used it several nights to quickly grill extra veggies for a pasta sauce or omelette. What has really endeared me to it is how well it cooks fish. I did a salmon steak the other night using a rub made from garlic, a teensy-weensy, itty-bitty amount of oil and some coriander chutney. After five minutes, I had the most perfectly cooked salmon I think I have ever made: slightly crusty on the outside and wonderfully moist and buttery on the inside. Glorious! Ditto for grilled shrimp, which I dressed simply with a little lemon and clarified butter (alright already, it was a just a BIT of butter!) Tonight I’m going to try and do grilled tofu, guys!!! (I’ll report back.)
I really appreciated having the machine on the few hot days we’ve had so far, as you can cook a quick meal without heating up the kitchen. It’s also useful in that if I’m cooking something in the oven on a bake setting — let’s say a roast — I can simultaneously grill veg in the machine. Or I could “fry” spring rolls as an app. Now that the Man of the House (MOTH) and I are often on our own for dinner, it’s also great for doing empty-nest size cooking. (MOTH loves, btw, when I make spicy ketchup to go with the fries — a dollop of regular ketchup with a squirt of hot sauce. For fun, switch out hot sauce for pomegranate molasses).
You can also bake in the machine, but — truth be told — I have not yet tried. It did occur to me it might be a good way to cook just a few cookies at a time using frozen dough. That might be helpful in my weight loss journey, as I could make a small batch on cheat day that wouldn’t do too much damage.
There’s an app for the fryer too, which means I can look up recipes, set times and get tips and tricks from my phone or tablet.
Want me to try and replicate a healthy version of your fave fried recipe? Drop me a line and let me see what I can do. I expect the Philips Airfryer will be on my shelf for a while yet.
This post is sponsored by Philips. All opinions are my own. Naturally.