If you are fan of healthy eating and oil less cooking air fryers might be something worth experimenting with. These small kitchen gadgets combine healthy cooking with convenience and a slick design.
What can the Philips Viva AirFryer do?
An air fryer is an alternative to the usual immersion fryer and uses hot air to cook the food. Getting rid of the oil bath makes fried food healthier but if you choose so you can add a bit of oil to the mix for added taste. Itâ€™s actually recommended in some of the recipes.
Be sure to check out my list of top air fryers for more options. I also called this fryer the best air fryer overall but if it doesn’t fit your needs you can find alternatives in that list.
Besides frying stuff, you can also bake and grill. The included recipe book gives you options for french fries, potato croquettes, spring rolls, chicken wings, meatballs, pizzas, shrimp, various deserts and more.
Right from the get go you have quite a few options in terms of recipes to play with. And if that is not enough you can also get other recipe book specifically for air fryers.
Philips Viva HD9220/26 controls and features
The device is 15.1 in tall, 11.2 in wide, 12.4 in deep and weighs 15.4 lb. The basket can hold 28 oz (~800g ) of food.
Itâ€™s a simple device that anyone should have an easy time getting the hang of.
In terms of controls you have a temperature setting (176F â€“ 390F) and a 30 min timer. When the timer reaches 0 the device shuts off so you donâ€™t risk overcooking.
On the back of the device there is an air vent which should not be covered for obvious reasons and on the bottom there is a power cord storage compartment.
The food drawer is a two-piece element, an outer shell and a basket that goes inside. This makes things easy when itâ€™s time for cleaning.
The drawer components are dishwasher safe and the rest of the device can be cleaned with a cloth.
Cooking with the Viva AirFryer
You canâ€™t take the infomercials word for word. This is not really a set and forget machine and you need a bit of oil if you want to get the â€œfriedâ€ effect.
Obviously, itâ€™s not going to make French fries that would be exactly like the ones made with an immersion fryer. You get a decent frying effect with a bit of preâ€”heating and a bit of oil but like I said itâ€™s not going to be the exact same thing.
And that is to be expected because you change the way you fry so the outcome will have some differences. Mostly in the form of taste.
If you are used to cooking with a lot of oil, there is nothing that will realistically reproduce that without oil and without any change to taste.
However, if you like fried stuff but what to reduce the oil itâ€™s a very good option and the results are indeed tasty, itâ€™s just not the exact same taste.
Like I said earlier, itâ€™s not a set and forget machine and if you want to fry stuff you will need to shake things around from time to time to get the evenly fried.
If you are making chicken wings, for example, you would want to turn them around about half way through the cooking process. Similar with French fries.
One thing I donâ€™t like is that compared to some multi-cookers you donâ€™t get to see inside, so you will need to open the basket to check on things. Not really a catastrophe but rather a small annoyance.
Other than the frying aspect, which is important for a machine labeled as a fryer, the device is basically an oven. It can also bake and grill and if you follow the recipes in the book you will get the described results.
Having a small basket of 28oz, itâ€™s not ideal for more than two people meals. You can make multiple batches but is much easier to get a higher capacity fryer if you have a large family.
The basket also has notches to add a separator and divide it in half but since various foods have various cooking times and temperatures the feature may not prove all that useful. Especially considering that the tray is already on the small side.
Might be worth mentioning that you can cook frozen food right out of the freezer if you so desire.
There are quite a few options in terms of air fryers and one popular alternative to the one reviewed here is the GoWISE USA GW22621 which is cheaper that the Philips. Similar in design except it has touch controls.
If you want something with a larger capacity Philips has its own HD9240 XL with a capacity of 42oz which should be enough for four people meals. You can also get a grill to cook multiple layers of food.
GoWISE USA has its own GW22631 that would be a larger and also cheaper alternative.
To summarize, the pros are:
- considerably less oil on fried foods which makes devices like these healthier alternatives to traditional frying
- less mess overall, given that everything happens within the unit and with considerable less â€“ to no oil
- easy to clean. Once you are done cooking, you can throw the basket into the dishwasher and the rest of the device can be cleaned with a damp cloth
- you can fry, bake and grill with it so it has some versatility
- itâ€™s portable. You can take it anywhere if you have a power source.
- you canâ€™t see inside without opening the device. It would be nice to be able to just take a look at what is going on inside without opening it.
- a bit expensive compared to its competitors
Other things to consider (these are things that are not really cons of the device but you might want to consider):
- the capacity is suitable for only one or two people. You can, of course, repeat cooking for multiple people but itâ€™s not ideal.
- you are not going to get the exact same taste as with oil immersed frying. But nothing other than oil immersed frying is going to give you the exact same taste. Itâ€™s best to set your expectations accordingly.
Is it worth buying?
If what you read thus far is appealing, then definitely yes. Iâ€™m also a big fan of simplicity and a two button device is as simple as it can get.
I can give this to my grandma and sheâ€™ll be able to use it no problems. Other air fryers seem more intimidating with a bunch more options packed into a small touch screen.