Ever since I started sharing on social media about my new kitchen wonder-tool, I’ve been getting quite a number of questions from friends, relatives and readers of this blog if the food that’s been cooked by my Philips Avance XL Airfryer tasted as good as they looked. And ever since my user experience post of the Philips Airfryer went live last month, I’ve gotten even more questions about the functions and specs of this versatile cooking machine, and if it’s really as good as I wrote it to be. Most of the people that’s approached me mainly have one huge doubt looming above their heads:
“Will it be worth my money? Does the air-frying really work?”
I am still very amazed by how technology has progressed to the point Rapid Air can be used to fry food similar to deep frying (but way much healthier), and how a kitchen gadget like this can achieve so much with so little effort that I’ve decided it’s time to answer all your questions in this post.
So here it is: ten reasons why you absolutely need to go get the Philips Airfryer for your kitchen and experience Rapid Air Technology for yourself.
1. The Philips Airfryer lets you INDULGE in fried treats guilt-free
Yes, it really cooks WITHOUT the oil. I don’t know how many incredulous gasps I’ve heard whenever I talk about the Airfryer and tell people you don’t need to add oil. Nobody seems to be able to come to terms with the fact that you can fry food without using profuse amount of it. And have the food still taste crispy. And cooked tenderly on the inside.
Let me share with you how it’s done. The Airfryer emits hot air from the top which is circulated rapidly and evenly within the device to cook the food and this is what goes into its unique design:
And so the secret is this: it’s the temperature you select that helps make the food crunchy and crispy à la deep fried style. At a temperature of up to 200°C, the air moves quickly and forcefully within the Airfryer to add that perfect crisp to the exterior of the food that’s being cooked.
How’s that for technology. It doesn’t just remove the need to put an excessive amount of oil to eat things fried, it takes away every single drop of guilt too, especially for fried food lovers like me.
2. It’s a solid helper you can count on especially when you need to host
We host friends for dinner quite often and I am so, so glad for a kitchen tool that can help me cook food fast! Although I have to cook in batches with the Airfryer, I can now make different things in a shorter amount of time compared to using just only my stove and oven. Just last month, we had Fatherkao’s wine buddies come over for dinner, and thanks to the Airfryer, I could make Cajun fried wings in it (something spicy for the adults!) which would otherwise be impossible, while grilling honey wings that’s non-spicy for the kids in the oven and preparing aglio-olio and chowder on the stove. And because the wings can be airfried really fast (8 minutes at 200°C, and only 16 minutes if you have 2 batches), I was able to airfry two batches of shrimp toast with caviar for the guests as appetisers while we wait for the rest of the food to be prepped.
Takes awesome and healthy cooking to a whole new level, and increases the number of dishes you can place on the table for your guests too! Needless to say, our guests enjoyed all the food, including the airfried ones!
3. The Airfryer lets you grill, roast and gratinate too
Besides airfrying, the Philips Airfryer lets you grill, roast and gratinate. Once again, it’s knowing how to set specific temperatures and timing with your preferred recipes of glazed, marinated, or dipped-in-batter food that helps you do that.
Philips gives you a collection of Airfryer Recipes with every purchase of their Airfryer to start off your culinary adventures and the recipes come with recommended timings and temperatures. Once you get the hang of it, you are basically set to create on your own and cook up a storm!
4. Yes, air-baking is also possible
The type of heat transfer used in the Airfryer is that of convection, and this appliance allows you to leverage prolonged dry heat by this method of heat transfer to bake too.
To be honest, I was sceptical when I learned about this. Make that very sceptical. I bake a lot and it really makes me uncomfortable to know that Rapid Air Technology can be used to bake my desserts. Huh, like how is it possible?
So I had to try it, see it and taste it for myself.
I recently put a batch of Red Velvet cupcakes in both my Airfryer and my Ariston oven. My main gripe about using the Airfryer is that the space is tight and if I’ve got lots of batter, it’s gonna take me forever. But having said that, I could always use my oven to bake my stuff and let the Airfryer handle the leftover batter (which I often have) – and that would work perfect too!
Anyway. Here’s the Red Velvet baked in the Airfryer (on the left) and in the oven (on the right). This was before they were frosted.
As you can see, the one that’s airbaked is more fluffed and uneven. My mum-in-law, whom I was baking this batch of cupcakes for, thought I was making huat kueh (chinese fortune cakes)!
I wasn’t able to use the normal paper liners in the Airfryer. I had to use the more sturdy muffin cases, hence, the larger size for the airbaked ones. Before I frosted the airbaked ones, I also had to trim away the fluffed up bits to level each one for the cream cheese frosting (read: MORE work).
Taste-wise, I was surprised to find that the airbaked cupcake wasn’t cakey at all but instead tasted softer and fluffier than the oven-baked ones! I must say, I didn’t expect myself to prefer the taste of the ones baked in the Airfryer, but I did. I’m definitely sceptical no more.
It’s gonna be perfect for churning out small chiffon cakes and I’m thinking of making some for Christmas with my Airfryer already!
5. It’s got super size benefits, yea, the XL kind
The Avance Collection Airfryer XL is 2100W and has a a larger cooking capacity at 1.2kg compared to its 0.8kg, 1400W Viva Collection counterparts. This means that if you’ve got a large family to feed, you get more capacity and enhanced performance in terms of power and speed. I LIKE! I have three tiny mouths to feed and three adults to cook for, and this big black mama is just perfect for its size and volume for the amount of food that needs to be prepped for the family.
6. It cooks your food with precision and is designed to look futuristic cool
The digital touch screen on the Philips Avance XL Airfryer allows you to control the time and temperature of your cooking in a more precise way, which is a huge improvement from its Viva (HD9220) with its turn timer and temperature control (but Philips has also recently launched the digital version of the Viva). It also has a unique starfish-grooved pan which is designed such that you don’t need to turn your food at all while it’s cooking in the fryer, plus a cool sleek exterior that shouts futuristic sophistication which makes all the other kitchen gadgets (at least the ones I have, some of them) look terribly ancient.
The future is already here.
7. No more running, scrambling or toiling
Three of the best things that’s ever happened when the Airfryer came into my life are:
(1) I no longer need to make a 1-metre dash whenever I fry something (think sliding a pomfret into a pool of hot oil – you run too, like me, don’t you?),
(2) I no longer need to scramble to take the laundry out when the frying begins, and
(3) I no longer need scrub the kitchen after the frying is over
My kitchen is a pathetically small space which means that oily deep-fried cooking smells get trapped in the confines for a long time whenever we attempt to fry our food. Before the airfryer came, one of the reasons why we hardly deep fry food is the ridiculous amount of cleaning that needs to be done just to have a plate of fried fish. There’s the stainless steel backing to wipe, the floor to clean and the oil stains on the wall to scrub. And every time we want to fry something, it has to be on a sunny day where the laundry can be hung out. I once tried to pan fry some salmon fillets with marmite on a wet day and our freshly done laundry hanging indoors ended up smelling so stinky we had to wash everything again when the meal was over.
Which explains why I never allow any frying to take place on a rainy day (I can’t hang the clothes out!). And why we would pay for deep fried almost anything from calamari to grouper to pork ribs when we eat at zi char stalls. And why we’ve been mostly slow-cooking and steaming our food.
The Airfryer comes with an integrated air filter to dissipate unwanted cooking smells. As the air inside the Airfryer takes only a short time to heat up, you can even open up the device even in the midst of cooking to check on the food / add seasoning / remove items, something impossible if you’re deep frying anything in hot oil.
I’ve placed my Airfryer close enough to the kitchen windows so that the hot steam can find its way out of my house (you’re advised by the user manual to leave at least a 10-cm free space at the back, sides and top of the appliance). Even then, that’s usually minimal and lasts a short while.
The last I checked, my kitchen floor is not greasy and there is no smell on my wall. My domestic helper is forever grateful.
8. No assembly required, just open and use
There are only three items that make this device: the cooking basket (with a basket handle) where you put your food (this is the 1st piece), the pan that collects the excess oil and food remnants (this is the second), and the main fryer unit complete with a control panel in front, air outlet openings and air inlet on top, and a drawer that holds the pan and basket which glides out to stop at a maximum distance like a sturdy tray table (this is the third).
Yea, that’s pretty much it. Completely uncomplicated.
9. It’s easy peasy to wash and clean
You know how deep-fryers are, they are notoriously difficult to wash and clean. But not the Airfryer. There’s basically only the frying basket that needs a little scrubbing, and the non-stick starfish-grooved pan to clean. Some hot water, washing liquid and a non-abrasive sponge would do the job.
What’s more, you can place aluminium foil paper or baking parchment in it so the scrubbing is really minimal. Just make sure you give enough room for the air to circulate and not foil the sheets all around too tightly. If you’re worried about having to scrub off skins that stick to the basket, lightly brush the basket with a little olive oil and you pretty much would have an easy life cleaning up.
10. Fret not, you’ve got support
So even if the day comes and you’ve exhausted all the possibilities of creating food with the Airfryer, don’t throw the Airfryer out or banish it to some deserted shelf space yet! You can find hundreds of recipes to push your creative boundaries with the Airfryer by joining the ‘I Love Philips Airfryer’ social media community on Facebook, which is followed by 10,000 over fans from all around the world.
It’s really fascinating, the things that have been created and cooked by the Airfryer. You will definitely get some inspiration yourself, as have I. You can also ask questions and connect with people who are using the Philips Airfryer from all over the world.
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Chef Dable Kwan, the founder and owner of the ‘I Love Philips Airfryer’ community and pick up tips on how to develop unique recipes with the Airfryer at the Philips Airfryer Launch last month. She AIR grilled, baked, fried, gratinated and roasted five dishes for us to sample, and I was totally blown away. That woman is now officially my cooking inspiration! Do check out the recipes on the page to see what Dable and other fans of the Airfryer have created.
I totally love the idea that it’s now possible to get so much “support” from people who are so willing to share their experience using just one kitchen appliance with social media, and being able to maximise that one versatile appliance to its fullest!
There you have it. I hope the huge doubt looming above your head is gone. Yes, the Airfryer really works. Really.
Cook with Air today! And here’s a discount code for you!
Cook with Air today! Quote [MotherKao] and buy the Philips Viva Digital Airfryer at $399(Usual price: $459 | FREE $50 SHOPPING VOUCHER) and Philips Avance XL Airfryer at $479 (Usual price: $539 | FREE $50 SHOPPING VOUCHER) at the PHILIPS EXPERIENCE SHOWROOM*.
This promotion is valid from 1st December till 31st January 2014.
*Limited to 1 Airfryer per person. IC must be produced.
The PHILIPS EXPERIENCE SHOWROOM is at 620A Lorong 1 Toa Payoh Building TP4 Level 1 S(319762) | Tel: 6882 5800
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9.00 am – 7.00 pm | Saturday: 9.00 am – 1.00 pm | Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
The Philips Viva Digital Airfryer and Philips Avance XL Airfryer are also available at regular prices in leading electronics stores, department stores and supermarkets island-wide.
Disclosure: This post is the part of a series of sponsored conversations with Philips Singapore. I was given the Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XL for the purpose of this review and paid to cook and eat 100% guilt-free by the good people at Philips but all opinions here are my own.