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Philips Airfryer XXL review

Air fryers generally aren’t compact. While not as large as full-blown toaster ovens, they tend to occupy lots of counter space. The Philips Airfryer XXL is big even for these monstrous machines.

At £300, the XXL costs a bundle too (the price converts to GBP211, £386 AU). What the XXL supplies for its sizeable investment though is plenty of room for food. This hefty cooker can fry up 3-pound batches of potatoes, french fries or frozen snacks.

It’s even spacious enough to tackle whole chickens — though small ones. Decked out with a robust 1,725-watt heating system, the Airfryer XXL is powerful as well. And as any air fryer worth its salt, the XXL cooks with little or no oil.

Still there are drawbacks to the Philips Airfryer XXL. First is its steep price tag. Secondly, the XXL lacks an automatic stirring arm. DeLonghi’s £230 Multifry 1363 has one yet costs less.

I also find the Airfryer XXL’s temperature controls confusing. And while the fryer’s removable parts are dishwasher safe, it has more pieces to care for. All that adds up to a expensive novelty few will appreciate.

Instead, I’d suggest buying this £70 Simple Chef air fryer instead if the cooking method interests you. It does practically the same job for a more sensible price.

Confusing controls, complex parts

From the outside, the Philips Airfryer XXL looks like any number of kitchen air fryers crowding the market. It’s an egg-shaped bucket with a flat top and bottom.

Its black body is built from plastic and steel as well. Both the £100 Black and Decker Purifry and £230 DeLonghi Multifry 1363 are constructed from similar materials. Unlike another Philips model, the £300 Advance Collection, the XXL’s controls are pretty basic.

There are just two dials. A knob on top of the cooker controls its internal temperature. A large timer dial (0 to 60 minutes) sits on the air fryer’s front face.

The timer also serves as the fryer’s power switch. Directly underneath the timer is a large handle. Pulling it towards you opens a drawer that holds the fryer’s food basket.

The basket’s bottom is metal, mesh and removable. You can take the basket out too. Below that are two more parts.

There’s a big pan with a scalloped bottom and deep sides. A thin plate with a star-shaped cutout rests freely inside the pan. According to Philips, both pieces function to trap any grease and fat that may drip down from food in the basket.

The company also says the pan’s raised, scalloped bottom acts to focus hot air onto items inside. That’s a lot of parts to fuss with. And while they are all dishwasher safe, they’re a pain to wash by hand.

Constructed from thin metal with hard edges, you’ll need to wash them carefully. Otherwise you run the risk of pinching or scraping your skin.

Easy, not a breeze to use

Using this air fryer isn’t difficult, but it could be easier. You put food you’d like to fry inside the basket and button it up.

Thanks to a sturdy rail, the XXL’s basket glides open and closes easily. Next, select the temperature and the cook time. The temperature dial though is less than straightforward.

It’s labelled in increments of 75 degrees (175 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit). A pair of tiny dots flank some (not all) of the number labels. That can make it hard to tell what temperature you’ve chosen exactly.

As the dial rotates, only one number is fully visible above the fryer’s top surface. I also found the indicator light on the front of the fryer useless. Philips calls it the, “heating-up light.” It’s supposed to glow when the fryer has reached its set temperature.

Unfortunately, the light is on just as much as it’s off, no matter how long you cook. The manual also states you don’t need to preheat the fryer either, so a light just causes confusion.

Performance and taste

This air fryer holds up to 3 pounds of frozen french fries.

Brian Bennett/CNET

The big draw of the Philips Airfryer XXL is its large capacity. In that regard it doesn’t disappoint.

The machine can cook off massive 3-pound batches of french fries, chicken nuggets and other frozen treats.

It also accepts big loads of fresh chicken wings, drumsticks, potatoes, sausages, meatballs and veggies.

There’s even room for a smaller whole chicken.

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