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Philips Air Fryer XXL Review: A Big Batch of Guilt-Free Indulgence

Airfryers: the often-touted solution to our sinful and decadent SG-foodie desires. The technology promising guilt-free indulgence has found favour amongst many Singaporean households, who simply want to enjoy good food without having to worry about the copious amounts of oil.

With its first airfryer launched in 2010, Philips has come a long (and remarkable) way in its innovation and continues to be recognised globally as the number  one Airfryer (with over 7 million units sold worldwide).

We managed to get my hands on the Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XXL HD9654/91. At SGD 499, Philips’ largest airfryer yet boasts a capacity that can feed a small crowd, all with the promise of extracting up to 90% of fat. We put it to the test, and here are my thoughts:  

Source: Philips. Their largest airfryer yet, the Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XXL HD9654/91 is created with larger families in mind.

 

Unboxing and First Impressions 

It’s huge, and definitely occurred to me as a family-sized airfryer compared to previous models. This might come as a concern for houses with minimal square footage – the airfryer does take up quite a bit of kitchen counter space. Nonetheless, with its build and overall shape, I do find it a rather unimposing appliance. The Philips Airfryer comes in a jet black colour, having a sleek and glossy exterior – you can’t go wrong with this look.

Capacity and Function – How Does the Airfryer Work? 

Having used previous airfryers before, the Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XXL HD9654/91 is truly a godsend when it comes to preparing larger quantities of food. Coming from a family of 4, preparing food with smaller capacity airfryers remained a challenge as I remember having to repeat most cooking processes twice. With this model, I could fit an entire (mid-sized) chicken instead of having to cook in two batches – slightly less troublesome and time consuming. In addition to whole chickens, the fryer basket can also fit 1.4kg of fresh fries at a go. That’s a huge amount of fries sure to cater to a crowd’s needs.

There’s also a Keep Warm mode, which helps the food stay warm for up to 30 minutes. This is a good option for keeping cooked foods warm for a short period of time, in case the home chef needs to focus on preparing the rest of the meal. However, I’d only recommend this function for non-fried foods (grilled meats, desserts etc) as fried foods tend to toughen up rather quickly after airfrying. 

The new Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XXL HD9654/91 features their Twin TurboStar technology, combining a powerful heater and motor (2225W) that enables hot air in the Airfryer to swirl fast like a tornado. Basically, this helps to create something called the Maillard (pronounced “my-yad) reaction where a crispy, darkened layer forms around your food. This is how the airfryer mimics the taste and texture of our favourite fried dishes. 

Putting the Airfryer to the Test – Overall Results 

One great thing about Philips has got to be their Airfryer application which makes the entire process a breeze. Within the app, you get to pick and choose your favourite dishes from a wide range of 221 recipes ranging from appetisers to desserts, from Western choices like meat loaves to more Asian dishes like Chicken Tikka or Chinese Pancakes.  

The application contains a huge repertoire of dishes one can choose from to satisfy their cravings. Image: Screen grabs from the Philips Airfryer application

 The application also bears testament to the versatility of their airfryers, being able to whip up not only fried food but day to day meals as well. Furthermore, it boasts a seamless user interface and is a helpful guide for rookie chefs who seldom enter the kitchen. You get a function to add groceries to a shopping list, a clear set of recipe instructions, as well as an in-app timer for your own convenience. This application definitely enhanced my user experience and is a great complement to the airfryer itself. Furthermore, recipes to more sophisticated dishes could also be found, again demonstrating the airfryer’s ability to whip up more complex meals.

I tried out some of the recipes, mainly the Country Chicken Tenders, the Fried Garlic Mushroom and the Spicy Drumsticks (recipes can all be found on the Airfryer application). These are quicker, lighter bites that can be easily prepared by all. Preparation aside, the airfryer settings were easy to adjust and the cooking process was kickstarted by a simple push of the dial. The in-app timer allows me to leave the airfryer and notifies me when time is up.  

Finished product of the Country Chicken Tenders. These took a mere 15 minutes to prepare. I found that it was possible to squeeze in twice the amount of tenders than shown with similar results. Image: Wong Xin En

 

Taste-wise, these air-fried bites definitely do not fall short – an impressive feat given the scant amount of oil I had rubbed over the meat. One can see that the finished product does not seem to have a uniform golden brown looking crust, but looks aside, the crunch and texture remains similar to snacks prepared in a conventional fryer.

However, these snacks quickly lose their crispness, and in fact turn tough and rubbery after 30 minutes or so. Hence, these dishes have to be consumed quickly after frying. However, non-fried goods do not suffer from the same problem. The Spicy Wings remained warm and tender on the inside (I used the Keep Warm function) even after a good 30 minutes of resting.

The tenders did not end up with a uniform golden-brown finish (a visual characteristic of conventionally fried goods), but definitely well cooked through and great tasting. Image: Wong Xin En

 

The fryer baskets and accompanying accessories are entirely dishwasher safe, so I did not have to worry about getting specific parts wet or with dish soap. I did find the cleaning process slightly challenging, as the grill had to be meticulously cleaned out of crumbs/oil. It does take a slight bit of patience to finish the cleaning process.

However, the time taken could be easily compared to washing pots, pans and other utensils used for conventional cooking – I guess they do balance each other out in the end. To me, cleaning one piece of equipment alone seems a better option.  

Image: www.philips.com.sg

 

Should I Get the Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XXL HD9654/91?

Yes, you should! Capacity wise, the Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XXL HD9654/91 is no doubt a practical choice with both powerful and versatile functions. Despite its heftier price, it serves as a good kitchen companion for housewives or those who frequently cook at home. Of course, size and storage might be a concern for smaller homes, since the airfryer does take up quite a bit of space. Nonetheless, the Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XXL HD9654/91 takes the cake for larger families considering a healthier, more versatile alternative to conventional stove cooking. 

The Philips Avance Collection Airfryer XXL HD9654/91 retails at SGD 499, and can be purchased from the Philips e-store, leading electronics stores, major department stores, hypermarkets and selected authorised dealers. For more information, please visit www.philips.com.sg.

 

TeamVR
http://www.vrzone.com
VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.

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