Philips Airfryer XL Vs. Stove Oven: Hot Chips Blind Taste Test

So just how successful is Philips' new extra-large Airfryer at "frying" hot chips? In a bid to find out, we conducted a blind taste test of four brands of oven chip cooked in both the fryer and a regular oven. Here are the results...

Like its regular-sized predecessor, the Philips Airfryer XL uses hot air and a grill plate to heat food through in a manner similar to a fan-forced oven. It's essentially a bigger and more versatile version of the original Philips Airfryer which we reviewed back in 2011.

The XL model boasts a 1.2 kilogram capacity which is enough room to fry a whole chicken (stay tuned for a possible taste test coming soon.) The device is also suitable for grilling, roasting and baking -- but today's article is all about the hot chippy.

When Angus reviewed the original Philips Airfryer he wasn't terribly impressed by the results which he likened to a normal oven chip. To make things more interesting this time around, I cooked four varieties of chip in both the Philips Airfryer XL and a regular oven. I then invited five family members to partake in a blind taste-test, including a six-year old chippy connoisseur. (In all photos, the 'air-fried' chip is the one on the left.)

McCain Super Quick Fries

Our first batch of air-fried McCain Super Quick Fries tasted terrible due to overcooking. However, as this was the first time we'd used the device we gave it a second chance and fried up a second batch. Our second attempt was much tastier and was declared superior to the oven version by all five taste-testers.

Winner: Airfryer

Birdseye Super Crunch Wedges

This was another clear winner for the Airfryer, with 100 per cent of our taste-test group picking the air-fried chip as their favourite. That said, we had to check on the frying process a few times prior to serving as they took longer to cook than anticipated.

Winner: Airfryer

McCain Sweet Potato Superfries

This was the least successful of the four brands we tried -- the Airfryer burnt the outer ridge of each chip, yet they were still a soft and mushy on the inside. Despite this, 3/5 of our blind taste-testers still preferred the air-fried chip.

Winner: Airfryer (just)

Birdseye Crinkle Cut Fries

Again, the air-fried chip was preferred by all of our judges.

Winner: Airfryer

Closing thoughts

If you prefer a crispier chip with a fluffier inside, the Philips Airfryer XL is pretty hard to beat; especially when compared to a regular oven. The results are also a lot more consistent, with all chips cooked through at roughly the same time.

One thing we noticed during the testing process is that the Airfryer XL forces you to fly blind the first time you attempt to cook a particular brand of chip. Because it heats chips faster, the recommended cooking times on the packaging don't apply. You're therefore forced to learn by trial-and-error. (The included cook book offers some general hints but they're not particularly useful.) However, this is only an issue if you regularly buy different chip styles and brands.

All in all, we'd have no qualms recommending the Philips Airfryer XL to any serious chip lover. The only downside is that you'll likely end up eating a lot more chips due to the faster cooking process and tastier results.


    Just wondering if everybody has forgotten that one can actually cut up real potatoes and make chips (fries). Why were home-made items (fries and wedges) not used in this test? Weird.

      All the moisture in home made chips greatly increases the cooking time in both the air fryer and the oven. Also leads to pretty soggy results.

        This all depends on the preparation of the potato. Cut the potato, soak it to get rid of the starch, wait til all the starch has left the potato, easily seen as it will be floating on top of the water. It's as simple as that. Then, change the water and repeat until there's no more starch coming out. Then, lay your fries out on a tea towel and cover them with another tea towel or paper towel. This allows the excess water to dry up.

        Once they have dried off, go ahead and fry them up. You won't have wet soggy chips any more :)

          And in the 37 hours this process takes, it won't matter if they taste good because you'll already have eaten something else.

            25 - 30 minutes personally it takes me max, but some people like myself take pride in preparation of food. Some alternatively, just settle for quick, packaged stuff. If you want to make food fresh, instead of using packaged stuff, that's a sacrifice you make. If you really can't hold off 30 minutes, use packaged chips, if you want something that tastes infinitely better, go this method.

            Last edited 30/11/13 2:04 pm

      Yes, very weird. I make wedges and chips for the Air Fryer. I have the Philips XL. Simply cut unpeeled potatoes into wedges or chips, soak in cold water for about an hour (to reduce starch levels). Place in a bag with a good sprinkling of home made all purpose seasoning and a tablespoon of oil. Mush the bag around with hands to distribute seasoning and oil.
      Place into air fryer and cook for around 10 minutes on 200, shaking basket occasionally.

    For a site that gives so much advice on photography, you sure take some horrid photos. at least make the lighting and colour consistent so I can tell the difference between chips!

    Anyway, thank you, I'm going to go buy this now!

      Martha Stewart school of food photography?

        They didn't lacquer the chips or *anything*. Most disappointing.

        I hope when they do the chicken test that they remember to lacquer and blowtorch the chicken properly.

    for $400+ it would want to be better than your average fish n chippery or oven!

      I'm curious as to how it would stack up against a $49 deep fryer.

        Kind of besides the point. Deepfryers are delicious because they're so bad for you :P

          If you use it often enough then the sames on Oil could start to stack up. Plus does anyone know how much energy a deep fryer uses compared to one of these? Combine those 2 and it might work out better after a year or so.

      not the XL but

    More native advertising. You really should say that philips sponsored this ad.

      Thank you, I thought no-one else could see how blatant this was

    I find it irrelevant to "health" to airfry something that has already been deep fried. It doesn't make a difference in terms of health whether you cook them in an oven or the air fryer.

    If you want to actually be healthy about it, you should be making your own chips from scratch. But again, cooking them in an oven or here would yield the same healths results. (And basically just be roasted potato).

    The latter is far healthier than purchasing packets of already frozen made deep fried treats.


      I agree. We have an air fryer (but it's the kind that looks like a big donut and the 'chips' circulate around it when cooking) and the reason we use it is to make healthier chips - generally just sliced sweet potato.

    Air fryers are very popular in Europe and Australia. They are becomeing more and more popular in the U.S, as people seek alternatives to deep fried foods.
    Air fryer in many houses use more often than deep fryer, convection oven

    Air Fryers are something in Asian countries, but its popularity is seems increase day by day in European countries, why so?

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