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Air Fryer?

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Hi! I just saw this in my Williams Sonoma catalog: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

It's an "air fryer" that supposedly makes fried food with a VERY small amount of oil. A healthier alternative to deep frying?

I'm curious about it... Any thoughts?

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  1. I haven't read about it, but my first initial reaction is that it definitely cannot live up to the "yielding results that are virtually indistinguishable from traditional deep-fried foods"

    The results probably will taste like "convection baking", not "deep frying"

    1. Hi, jb:

      Maybe... Lord knows I'm no fan of W-S, but they don't tend to put abject failures on their shelves.

      If you look at the second photo from the site ( http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc... ) It looks to me like some fuzzy logic convection oven that will also heat oil in the pull-out pan.

      I've implemented an embargo on any more countertop appliances, but if something like this fits into someone's life, great.

      Here's Philips' sales video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngCALP...

      Aloha,
      Kaleo

      2 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu

        All I can figure is that somehow the air circulates the minimal amount of oil around the food?

        Looks like some kind of older/less expensive model gets fairly good reviews on amazon.

        My concern is that this will be another of those electronic gizmos (like my rice cooker, fondue maker, food processor to some extent, ...) that will be used once and never again.

        1. re: kaleokahu

          The pull-out pan is just a drip-tray, you don't add oil to the appliance at all.I keep mine on a shelf and pull it out as needed. It's very portable - lots of people use it in campervans and caravans. See my reply to the OP

        2. Just got the catalog today, and saw that as well. Curious how well it works. Maybe they'll demo it at our local store.

          1. I bought the non-digital model of the Philips Airfryer yesterday and I love it. It basically uses a fan and a grill. it's also not just a 'fryer' - it roasts and bakes as well.

            I'm in New Zealand and since the product has been for sale on Australia since 2011 I read loads of (mostly positive) reviews on Australian websites before I bought it. There are also lots of reviews on Amazon US and UK. It really does what it says it will.
            Yesterday I cooked a sirloin steak and roasted capsicum and carrots all at the same time. No oil added AT ALL! It all came out beautifully. I heated the Airfryer for 4 minutes while I was seasoning my steak and hacking up my veges (I used ready-peeled baby carrots because that's what I had in my fridge). Chucked it all into the cooking basket and it was all cooked in 8 minutes. No cooking spatter, minimal dishes, minimal cooking smells (I'm in a small flat with no rangehood so cooking smells tend to linger). Also, all the fat from the steak had drained into the pan below the basket.
            I was then still hungry and really wanted to try it with homemade chips. The instruction book recommends soaking the cut potatoes in water for 30 minutes and then coating them with a bit of oil. I couldn't be bothered doing this so, as per a blog I read, I just cut a potato in half and then sliced the halves into 3mm slices and put them directly into the Airfryer. They came out crisp and golden and delicious. No oil added at all. It was literally like magic.

            It wasn't cheap but it addressed ALL the issues I have with my tiny kitchen, using my oven to cook small amounts of food, and the health issues associated with deep-frying. I adore deep-fried food and although I can do oven baked versions of a lot of deep-fried dishes, I found I was resorting more and more to deep-frying them because it was quicker and easier. I was a really bad habit to get into. I would say that I am very nutritionally savvy and know how to eat healthily, but deep fried food is my Achilles heel.

            The only negative is that it might not be practical for family of more than 4 people. However, I read a few Australian reviews where people with large families bought multiple Airfryers to use! I also see that there is an XL version newly available in Australia. There are some great ideas on what to make with it on various blogs and I'm really excited to try them out.

            I've just used it to bake some frozen pastizzi which normally require the oven to be preheated to 250 degrees Celsius (which takes AGES) and then 20 minutes of baking. I pre-heated my Airfryer for 4 minutes and then cooked the pastizzi from frozen for 15 minutes. Perfect.

            If you're still skeptical, have a look at various blogs that test it out:
            http://motherkao.com/ten-reasons-why-...
            http://sanses.com/2013/12/7-things-co...
            http://wayfaringchocolate.com/2011/07...
            http://blogs.food24.com/sous-chef/201...

            A lot of the blogs are from Singapore and in my mind Singaporeans are the ultimate foodie authorities.