By Laura Rancie.
Priding myself as the home cook of my household, I have always loved and appreciated learning new ways to cook, discovering tips and kitchen hacks and experimenting with new kitchen tools.
How it is that as a Mum to three children, two of whom are teenagers, I had never tried an air fryer until this Summer – I don’t have the answer for you but it is for these reasons that I was thrilled to test drive the latest Philips 7000 Series Air Fryer XXXL.
Yes – size does matter. It certainly does! Feeding a family of five, the XXXL tray insert proved large enough for the entire tribe in multiple dinner experiments, leaving me surprisingly thrilled from start to finish.
What I loved:
The standout for me? I didn’t have to heat an oven and let it warm up for 15 minutes before cooking my meals. The air fryer heats up instantly, meaning I can reduce my dinner-to-table time by at least that. Plus the bonus of not guessing if I needed extra (or less) time in the oven or the need to rotate my food because of a hot spot in my oven, where one side always cooks faster than the other.
My first time:
Doing it the first time was much easier than I had built up in my head. Philips has taken the worry out for first-time users and left me coming back for more with that same ease, a second and third time. A lot of that had to do with the intuitive NutriU app, I downloaded on my phone.
How it went:
Keen for a quick dinner at the end of a workday and not yet knowing what I was going to cook for dinner around 5.30 pm on a weeknight I turned to the NutriU app for inspiration wondering if tonight was going to be the night. I noticed the menu at the bottom featured 5 symbols including a ‘recipes’ symbol, which I clicked on.
It led me to an online recipe archive where I could search for any keyword or ingredient. I had potatoes on hand, so typed that in the keyword search. I could just as easily have tapped the pre-programmed ‘easy’ button, pressed the ‘under 30 minutes’ option or even clicked ‘vegetarian’ which were all keywords I had favourited earlier that day.
One moment later, 20 potato recipes appeared and as I scrolled through those options I found the one I wanted to make – simple herby hasselback potatoes! Done!
What I really, truly loved:
What I loved besides the step-by-step on-app instructions (and photographs), ingredients list and recipes – is that the app sent all cooking instructions directly to the air fryer, so I didn’t need to touch any buttons other than on/off. It set the heat, instructions and alarm to the air fryer via Bluetooth.
I also made crispy sweet potato, goats' cheese and veggie patties one night based on leftovers I had. I wasn’t sure if I could make them in the air fryer. I experimented with the knob and found that under ‘other veggie dishes’, is a setting for veggie patties. I told it how many portions I was putting in, and the air fryer automatically cooked them for 17 minutes at 200 C. No guesswork. The result was light and fluffy patties with a crispy crumb, that the whole family loved.
A teenager's perspective:
My third experiment wasn’t exactly mine – it was my 15-year-old son’s. His text message came through while I was at work last week. Too cute to not share it with you, here is his message:
"Mum, I cooked wedges in the air fryer today and it was so easy to use. I had no idea how to do without you here, but I put the wedges into the machine and the instructions were really clear, efficient and fast. It was just very good”.
The Philips 7000 Series XXXL Air fryer is priced at RRP $749 and available now at selected retailers.