I'm a huge fan of deep-fried foods, but have loads of friends who avoid this age-old cooking method because well... it is a hot mess. When I was given the opportunity to review the Philips Airfryer, a small appliance that's about the size of a bread machine, I thought of those fearful fryers. This new gadget offers fried-food lovers a new way to cook and indulge in fried food - one that ditches the mess and as much as 75 percent of the oil, for a cleaner, healthier fry. Best of all, the food that I put to the test turned out so, so crispy good.
So obvs, right? And so darned good. I made two batches, both from frozen products, though the Airfryer comes with a short cookbook that includes a recipe for hand-cut fries. The trick is to preheat the Airfryer for a few minutes and cook a few minutes beyond the recommended cook time, shaking the basket in between. That makes for even cooking in this mini convection oven. Both batches of fries tasted as if they'd been deep-fried, golden and crispy, yet not dried out, which can sometimes happen when baked in a conventional oven. The second batch got the poutine treatment, with curds piled on top of the fries in the final 5 minutes of cooking. Brilliant!
Seasoned wings with a barbecue dry rub and left them to marinate overnight. Loaded the wings into the basket and 18 minutes later, the hot chicken emerged with a mahogany hue. The poultry was very juicy, the skin perfectly crisped and flavorful. The only downside is that it's challenging to fit more than half a dozen wings at a time in the fryer. Unlike the taters, chicken must be cooked in a single layer. That makes it just about right for one or two, but not so much for a crowd. I had better luck making drummies, coating the chicken with panko breadcrumbs seasoned with salt and pepper and coated with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. The Airfryer works best when there's some kind of oil on the surface of the food.
A nod to some healthy fare, this chopped cauliflower creation was a smash hit. Tossed in olive oil and simply seasoned with salt and pepper, the cruciferous vegetable caramelized, turning slightly crunchy on the outer edges. Hit it with some hot pepper sauce and blue cheese and it's now Buffalo style. Can't wait to play around with more vegetables.
- It was surprisingly easy to clean, as the basket lifts out and even stubborn bits of chicken coating can be removed with the scrubbing side of a sponge.
- Bet if this became my go-to cooking method, it would cut my power bill.
- I still want more of this good thing. If there was an XXL version, I would go for that.
- It's not cheap at around $250, but if you use it a bunch, you can easily rationalize the expenditure. Like those designer shoes... you figure in the cost per wear. Sold!
Nearly 200 Deep-Fried Main Dish Recipes