With the increasing need or desire for healthier foods, airfryers hit the headlines around 5 years ago. Cutting out bad fats that cause heart disease, high cholesterol and other lifestyle diseases became the focus of attention for many health-conscious individuals and families. One of the most popular is the Philips HD9230/20 Viva Airfryer.
As an experienced chef who often entertains friends and family, I own three different airfryers and have put them to the test on numerous occasions. For the purpose of this review, we are highlighting The Philips HD9230/20, one of the newer ones on the market. It is compact, and whilst the manufacturer states ‘feeds 2-4 people’, you would be hard-pressed to gain 4 portions of chips or fries that would feed the average person. This would be an ideal and speedy machine for a couple or if you were only feeding the children.
- 8kg (1.75lb) capacity
- Electric: 1425 watts
- Weight: 7kgs (15lbs)
- Digital Display – ‘on/off button’ and temperature/timer control
- ‘Starfish’ style design, combining fast-circulating heated air and optimal heating profile
- Dishwasher safe – simple removal of the drawer and food basket and pop in the dishwasher
- Coated plastic construction throughout
- Additional features: Cool wall, removable oil container, cord storage
- Double layer accessory to maximise cooking space
- Warranty: 2 years manufacturer’s warranty.
A relatively high-powered machine, on first usage it did actually trip the electric breaker, but this never happened again, so no way of telling if this is a regular occurrence, as there could have been too many products working at the same time.
The Rapid Air Technology certainly makes a difference. Using it for the first time, I shook the basket, which I then found was not necessary with the efficiency of the circulating air. Chips for instance, cooked evenly and were crisp in around 18 minutes, but the timer lets you know instantly the food is cooked and will automatically cool down. It takes only 3 minutes to reach the desired temperature before placing the food into the basket, so you could be serving your fries in under 25 minutes. Would recommend though, that you start by giving them a shake half way through, just to ensure your first experience is not a bad one and you get your timings right.
Another added bonus is the integrated air filter – gone from the house are any lingering ‘fried’ smells that you can get with conventional chip fryers. The great advantage as well is that it can be used with or without oil. Recommendation is to try both ways, using a ‘healthy’, ‘clean’ oil such as olive oil, and then, only a small amount of it – makes chips certainly taste more authentic, and with only 3% fat maximum, it is certainly healthy.
The Philips Airfryer is good quality, sturdy and made from HDPE plastic (high density polyethelene) which is safe for most types of food. My current machine is now just over 2 years old and has stayed the lovely jet black colour on the outside and the inside still looks brand new after a fair amount of use. There is no warping of the plastic anywhere. The double tray also looks new.
The timer is certainly a bonus – many fryers do not turn themselves off to cool down after cooking has finished. With this Philips airfryer, you need never worry that if you forget that it is on, food will overcook. You could go as far as to say it is basically a small fan oven, as you can bake in it as well. Instructions say that you can grill, but this has not been tried.
Ease of Cleaning
Very easy to clean by removing the basket which can be placed in the dishwasher, but personally I prefer to clean it in hot soapy water in the sink – it does make a better job of it. The outside is also easy to clean with no protruding knobs and a quick wipe clean using a sponge or a kitchen wet-wipe does the trick. Cleaning the inside of the unit becomes a little difficult if you leave it for too long.
Ease of Use
The Philips airfryer has non-slip feet, so it can happily sit on your kitchen surface with no worries. Being compact, it also doesn’t take up much space. The fryer is easy to use, and like other airfryers, just don’t overload it. Because of the double layer accessory, you can cook two different dishes at the same time, such as a small quiche, but finding small enough dishes (7 inches diameter) is actually quite tricky. It certainly is remarkably easy to use, and comes with a thoughtful and helpful recipe book, with recipes that do actually work.
As mentioned before, this may not suit a hungry family of four as its 0.8kg (1.75lb) capacity may not be enough, but certainly 2-3 people would get a reasonable sized portion. The quality of food produced certainly makes up for it. The bigger Philips 9240/90 Avance Airfryer is listed as ‘extra large’ – having seen it, it would certainly feed 4 people easily, but it is relatively more expensive than its little brother.