North America is in the grips of a war. The battle of the bulge. And any seasoned dieter (or dietitian worth their weight) will tell you one of the first things that has to go is fried food. Why? Fried foods are high in fat and calories, and, if eaten too often, can seriously increase your risk of obesity, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
“But, but... they're just so GOOD,” you say, clutching that soggy french fry. Believe us, we hear you. Green smoothies and kale salad may be staples in a healthy diet but who among you can deny the urge to indulge in a little crispy chicken every now and then?
Philips heard your cry, and answered it, with their remarkable Viva Digital AirFryer – a little machine that promises to help you eat healthier without the guilt.
What is it?
Simply, the AirFyer is a greatly updated deep fryer that fries food using super hot air, thanks to Philips' patented Rapid Air technology. Combined with a top grill (to help cook and brown food evenly), it produces results that are almost indistinguishable from the real deal. From savoury snacks to sweet treats, fried, baked, or grilled, this modern marvel can do it all.
Is it for real?
It's easy to be sceptical about fads that promise to make healthy versions of the fatty foods we love. The end result usually amounts to little flavour, terrible texture, or a combination of the two. But delightfully, the AirFryer manages, to a degree, to deliver on its main promise – to “fry” your favourite foods with a mere fraction of the oil required with a traditional deep fryer.
So, what's the catch?
And there's always a catch (or two or three), isn't there? First off, it's true that the AirFryer will do the job of a deep fryer with little to no oil, but there are still a few recipes that call for a teaspoon or less of the greasy stuff. Meats tend to turn out pretty juicy, but when you're going for crispy, keep a close eye or else your food will brown unevenly (potato chips may be soft in one spot and a little burned in another). In addition to requiring longer cook time (as opposed to the relatively short times associated with traditional deep fryers), your portion sizes are small - good for singles and couples, but not recommended if you're planning on making fast treats for the family or friends.
The verdict? Honestly, we say skip the fryer since your oven can produce similar results in larger quantities and with less oil. But, although the machine is a bit bulky and considerably time consuming, if you're watching your weight and really don't want to forsake your favourite fried foods (mmm, donuts...), at $249 the Digital AirFryer is a fun little splurge.
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