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The two main perks of air frying are enjoying the fried foods you love with only a fraction of the fat and fast, even cooking. However, as I’ve said before, not all air fryers are created equal. While there are pros and cons to each air fryer brand and model, I was, admittedly, disappointed with the Power Air Fryer XL.
Like many people, I fell victim to late-night marketing ploys designed to sell this “As Seen On TV!” air fryer. It looked sleek, easy-to-use and appeared to be a great size for cooking meals for my family. At almost $150, I had expected a higher quality, more durable product than the one I received. Overall, I feel that this machine did not deliver.
Specifications of the Power Air Fryer XL
- 15.5 x 14 x 13.7 inches
- 16.05 lbs
- 5.3 Quart capacity (serves 4-6 people)
- Rapid Air Technology
- Digital timer and automatic shutoff
- 7 pre-set programs
- Digital controls
- Dishwasher Safe
As far as cooking goes, I will say that this is one area in which the Power Air Fryer XL does a great job. I have no complaints about the efficiency or evenness of the cooking. From two pounds of chicken wings to a head of broccoli, this machine delivers accurate cooking times and temperatures, preparing food cooks quickly and evenly. This machine’s larger capacity allows users to cook more food than smaller units while still delivering a perfect, crisp finish.
I have owned the Power Air Fryer XL for a little over two months. Before I criticize, I will preface my opinion by pointing out that I often travel with my air fryers. I place them in a box and then inside the hatch of my SUV or the trunk of my husband’s car and travel to visit relatives. We do a lot of cooking, and I bring my air fryer as an extra “oven” for large meals.
While my other air fryers have proven to be durable, the Power Air Fryer XL proved to be sub par. I haven’t had any trouble with the digital screens, buttons, or cooking process, but the sleek black plastic panel on the machine broke after the basket slid from my hand. It landed hard on the counter, sending the front panel flying. At first, I thought it had simply popped off, but I soon discovered that the plastic latches that held it in place had broken in the fall.
To give an idea of how it stacks up against the competition, I will say that I have found other brands to be made with higher quality, more durable products. For example, the basket of my FrenchMay fryer slid out of place while I was getting it out of my car at my mother’s house. It fell from approximately three feet, clattered to the concrete driveway and rolled down the steep driveway. The FrenchMay product didn’t even have a scratch on it and still slides in and out of the unit flawlessly. In comparison, I found the Power Air Fryer XL to be disappointing where quality is concerned.
With that said, most people don’t travel with their air fryers like I do. Most people don’t have an air frying website to maintain that requires them to take their air fryers with them wherever they go. However, the Power Air Fryer XL panel broke not in transport but while stable on a counter top during normal use.
Ease of Cleaning
Like other brands, the basket and cradle for the Power Air Fryer XL is dishwasher safe, which makes clean up a breeze. The basket is made of non-stick material, so food rarely sticks to the basket. Even without using the dishwasher, cleaning the basket and cradle of the air fryer is as simple as wiping it down with a cloth and warm soapy water.
Ease of Use
My biggest pet peeves with any small kitchen appliance are the overlooked details that could have made my life easier. As a recovering perfectionist, nothing irritates me more than a small, unnecessary struggle that frustrates me. Such is the case with the basket and cradle of the Power Air Fryer XL. In order to slide the basket into the unit, you must lift the basket and find the perfect angle, or the basket simply will not lock into place. Though this may seem like a minor issue, having to try three or four times to slide the basket into place while also managing side dishes on the stove or in the oven can make a small-scale issue a large-scale frustration when the potatoes boil over on the stove top.
In addition, I found the digital touchscreen overly sensitive and more difficult to use than similar features on other brands. While the digital screen may seem sleek and modern at first, it took me several uses to finally get the hang of how to adjust the temperature and times.
One strong feature of the Power Air Fryer XL is its cooking capacity. We opted for the larger basket size, which holds 5.3 quarts of food, and I am not sorry. While smaller units are okay for one or two servings, the larger capacity finishes off 3-6 servings with even cooking. In my opinion, one of the most difficult foods to cook in the air fryer is chicken wings. Because they are bulky and still contain bones, smaller units simply can’t handle enough to feed my family, and if you’re not careful, you’ll spend an hour trying to cook them. However, with the Power Air Fryer XL, you can cook a full 2-pound bag of wings in about 25-30 minutes. As long as you turn the chicken a couple of times, they cook evenly without needed extra time.
While the Power Air Fryer XL does a great job cooking 4-6 servings of food quickly and evenly, I found the quality and ease of use to fall short of the competition. For a larger-capacity air fryer, AirFrying.net recommends the Phillips brand, and for a smaller capacity unit, we recommend the Chefman. With that said, the Phillips brand will cost twice as much as the Power Air Fryer XL, so for the price, the Power Air Fryer brand is not a bad choice.
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The Power Air Fryer XL does a great job cooking meals for 4-6 people. It’s easy to clean, and cooks as thoroughly and efficiently as competing brands like Phillips, T-fal, and FrenchMay. Unfortunately, this brand doesn’t deliver when it comes to quality and ease of use.