This air fryer is the latest product to hit the market, which takes halogen technology to a new level, incorporating new special features and benefits and conforms to all recent EEC regulations.
I brought the oven home so that I could investigate further in my own testing lab, but it never got that far as my wife, normally not interested in anything to do with cooking, nabbed it for our kitchen. She is a halogen convert (it was hard work getting her there but worth the effort!) and when I showed her how this one worked, she was hooked. Not only is it pleasing to the eye with a modern look, it is lighter for moving about (under 6kg, amazing!).
However,what really impressed us both was the pre-set cooking setting facility, completely takes the guessing out of halogen cooking timings. There is also a delay timer so you can set the oven to cook even if you're not in. Add to this the fact that the whole unit has a stay- cool feature and easy clean too, by just taking the light non stick easy clean bowl to the sink for washing.
I wanted to really put this machine through its paces so the first test I always do is to see if it can toast a slice of bread which it passed perfectly. The second test was to cook 3 pieces of steak, 1 inch thick. I laid the pieces of steak on the high rack setting, added 3 pumps of olive oil spray, salt and pepper, closed the lid and pressed the preset "guide" button to "Rapid", then the start button - and the machine sprang to life.
My objective was to cook each steak, rare, medium and well done, so after 7 minutes, I lifted the lid, which immediately switched off the power. Turning the steak over, I was impressed to see seared lines on each steak, showing the air circulation and hence all round cooking was very efficient. Lowering the lid again, it immediately carried on the cooking process, without having to reset which can be problem in other digital versions.
I took the first steak out after 3 minutes, the second steak, after 12 minutes and allowed the Airchef to complete its preset time setting (15 minutes) before taking out the third steak. I allowed the steaks to rest, lightly wrapped in foil. I had three perfectly cooked steaks - one medium rare, one medium and the last well done. They were cooked to perfection and even the well done steak was still juicy. I did several further tests followed to assess each different setting option - no problems across the board.
This machine comes with several accessories, and one which I think will be used time and again is the Rotisserie. This fits into a purpose build slot inside the non stick bowl. Great for a whole chicken and kebabs.
If you like chips, you will need to use the Rotorfry - or the hamster wheel as its been nicknamed in our house! This is a fine mesh cylindrical basket that is suspended inside the oven and rotates during the cooking process. To really test its' performance, I put a large quantity of oven chips into a large bowl, added a teaspoon of oil and a sprinkle of salt, then mixed it all together. I then tossed them all into the Rotorfry cooking basket, placed this in the oven and pushed the preset button followed by the start button, and the Airchef quietly sprung into action.
I was very impressed with the capacity of the basket but with so many chips being packed in, thought they may stick together but no........... I got perfect chips, crispy on the outside all round, fluffy in the middle. Healthy chips for all the family.
Unlike other halogen ovens or airfyers, you get an excellent selection of accessories, all with their own unique uses and will allow you to really make the most of this impressive machine and its functions.
* The Rotorfryer basket for cooking perfect chips, sausages, nuggets, breaded fish such as scampi etc
* A rotisserie spindle, complete with forks, great for chicken, a small joint of meat and kebabs.
* A combi rack, one side high, one side low, to ensure that the hot air always circulates around your food.
* A set of tongs to lift food out easily and safely when cooked
* A double wall construction which enables a true 230°C degrees even temperature inside the oven which gives you perfect results
* The lid incorporates an inner glass window and an outer see through plastic so you can still see your food being cooked.
* The construction also means that the oven is always cool to the touch, an excellent safety aspect particularly where the elderly or children are concerned.
* Very easy intuitive button controls with preset menus that take the guessing out of cooking times
* The combination of halogen oven, RotorFrying plus the rotisserie functions makes this a fantastic 3-in-1 machine.
* So easy to clean, just take the light non stick bowl to the sink and wash in hot soapy water
* Extremely quiet when cooking.
* Cuts the cooking time down by a third against conventional oven or grill.
* Saves up to 60% off your energy bill compared to a conventional oven and doesn't require preheating.
* The hot air technology means that the food is cooked evenly, uses a fraction of oils and fats and self-bastes foods.
For more information and stockists, including Argos, please contact Visicook or phone their Customer Service dept on 0121 693 9221
MY VERDICT? One of the best Air Fryers that I have tested and although you will be paying a premium price for this model over the conventional halogen oven, in my opinion, it's so worth digging deeper into your pocket for that extra cash as you will not regret it!