When in the market for a new air fryer, it’s hard to dispute that Phillips Electronics have paved the way in the market for rapid air cooking.
Thousands of home chefs are “in love” with their air fryer. Air fryers have introduced a new way to cook – faster, healthier, and smaller portions. Smaller is not necessarily a feature, but for the times when the heat generated to cook a meal is about the size of the meal, fans are showing off reduced power bills (opposed to using a conventional oven), shift your thinking, and smaller is a feature.
If you’re here because you’re researching Phillips Air Fryers, here’s the basic differences between the models. The Viva is the first Air Fryer Phillips produced. Now compared to the XL model, it’s the smaller and “more basic” with two manual dials to set the temperature and timer. The XL Air Fryer finds itself and in “Advance”Collection of Air Fryers. When you see the Advance collection, this means a step up from the two dials to a digital screen with precision timing and temperature adjustment, as well as setting your favorite preset for easy use.
In my opinion, the digital screen is not a feature I’d consider paying more money for. It’s is convenient in it’s own way, but no extra love from me. So what are the comparable difference which will help you make a decision? Simple..
Price and cooking capacity.
No one needs to be spoken to about what you can and can’t afford, so let’s move on to capacity. The Viva Air Fryer is a spectacular appliance which has changed the cooking practice in many homes, but, where a family of air fried food lovers gather, it’s proven to be too small. So, are you one or two? Or are you three or more? Your answer will determine what you need, and as a rule of thumb, bigger is better.
|Info||Phillips Viva||Phillips XL|
|Price (official RRP)||$329.95||$449.00|
|Digital Touch-Screen Interface||No||Yes|
|Min temperature||60ºC /140ºF||60ºC / 140ºF|
|Max Temperature||200ºC / 390ºF||200ºC / 390ºF|
|Max Mins on Timer||30 mins||60 mins|
|Color(s)||White, Black, Red||White, Black|
|Product dimensions (W x H x D)||287 x 315 x 384 mm||315 x 302 x 423 mm|
|Max size of baking tins (round)||Maximum diameter of 6.3″ (16cm) and height of 2.95″ (7.5cm)||–|
|Max size of baking tins (square)||–||Maximum size of 6×6″ (15x15cm) (L x W) on the outer edges and height of 2.95″ (7.5cm)|
|Weight appliance||7.0 kg||7.0kg|
|On Amazon.com||View ($199)||View ($351)|
While we’re here, let me get something of my chest. Air fryers are not the “thermomix” of the baking world. It’s is not an appliance that can do everything an oven can do and more. An oven can cook large dishes (think turkeys), desserts pavlovas (AF fanatics, now is not the time to post a link to mini pavlovas you’ve made in your AF), large batches of cookies/muffins/tarts, etc, and more.
So, what place does an air fryer have in your kitchen if it’s not replacing your oven?
Air fryers have their place when you don’t need to use your oven. We might be getting hung up on technicalities here, but bare with me. Air frying is a new/adjusted way of cooking portions of food which fit into the air fryer basket. Rapid heat circulates around the food making the AF more energy efficient, reducing cooking time, and cooks food which conventionally has been deep fried to a similar if not better state.
In simple terms, air fryers have a heating element and a super strong fan. The almost instant hot air circulates around all surface areas of the food – cooking it very quickly. This my friends is all it is. I mention this so simply because it pains me to read of someone purchasing an air fryer and unhappy with the results, and every time I’m left scratching my head wondering what they thought they were buying?
Like all new things, practice makes perfect. If you’re willing to follow some air fryer specific recipes, do some trial and error, adjust cooking times, quantities, temperature, then you’re on your way to a successful air fryer journey – in all honestly, why would people love air fryers so much if there wasn’t something to love. (True story: my mother has a Phillips Viva and a Phillips XL sat next to each other on her kitchen benchtop, and she’s not the only one I know.)
Air frying is fast becoming a more convenient way to cook, and brands know this. You’ll find known brands and lesser known brand producing their version of air fryers. In my humble opinion, it must be pretty hard to stuff up an appliance with a heating element and a fan. So if you’re on a tight budget, I wouldn’t hesitate buying another brand air fryer. But if you want the leader in the pack, and access to model specific accessories, a good warranty and quite frankly, a large fan base, Phillips Air Fryers are my top pick. Now, Viva or XL – is first question you will ask, and the second? What’s the first thing I’ll cook in my new air fryer?