Are you considering purchasing an air fryer for your kitchen? The selection of brands and models can feel completely overwhelming - especially if you’re just beginning your product research. Fear not! Here’s everything you need to know before purchasing your Philips Airfryer Compact, XL, or XXL.
Wondering what all the fuss is about? Most of the foodies that I know have an air fryer on their wish list. It offers a quick and easy way to enjoy the flavors of some of our favorite foods (like fried chicken wings!) in a healthier way. If you find yourself wanting to purchase one, then you’re likely feeling overwhelmed. With so many different sizes and brands to choose from, it can be challenging to know which is the right choice for your family.
For example, I found 290 different product variations in my Amazon search while looking for the perfect air fryer. 290!? While some of the results were air fryer accessories, most were different brands and models of the air fryer itself. It was overwhelming to say the least!
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In the end, I decided to purchase this air fryer. It took a lot of research to feel completely confident in my purchasing decision. There were so many slight feature variations to consider between the different models and brands. Honestly, I wish someone would have just told me that this was the right model for my family!
With this in mind, I'm going to fill you in on everything you need to consider when purchasing the best air fryer size for you. And, of course, why I recommend the Philips Airfryer line of Compact, XL and XXL models.
How does an air fryer work?
You might still be wondering how an air fryer actually works. Don't worry - I’m sure you’re not alone. It has a somewhat misleading name, so let’s unpack that for a minute.
An air fryer isn’t really a fryer at all. Not in the traditional sense anyway. Unlike a deep fryer, an air fryer relies on a fan to move hot air around its small contained food basket.
Is an air fryer a convection oven? Not quite. The small confined space in an air fryer allows it to cook food much more quickly and evenly than in a traditional convection oven.
While the end result is a beautifully crispy finish on your food, the air fryer requires far less oil than traditional deep fryers. For example, traditional deep-fried dishes require as much as 3 cups of oil (often unhealthy processed oils), while recipes intended for an air fryer typically only need about one tablespoon of oil!
And because you’re using a much smaller quantity of high-quality cooking oil, the air fryer is a fantastic option for balancing the comfort of enjoying one of your favorite deep-fried dishes and staying on track with your healthy eating.
Philips Airfryer Compact vs. XL vs. XXL
These are the top three models to consider when purchasing your air fryer.
Philips Airfryer Compact
As the name suggests, the Philips Airfryer Compact is the smallest of the three Philips models. I like this smaller size because it allows you to keep it on your countertop without taking up too much space. Holding a maximum of 1.8 lbs or 2.75-quarts, this is the perfect size if you’re cooking for one or two people. Due to its small size, it’s also a great option for dorms or anyone that’s short on cupboard space!
This compact air fryer is available with either an analog or digital control system. Both models offer the instant no-preheat setting, so it’s ready to cook at a moment’s notice. I went with the analog dial model, but the QuickControl dial on the digital version sounds like it would make cooking very quick and easy. The digital model also conveniently includes 4 cooking preset programs for some of the most popular air fryer dishes! I really like that both models shut off automatically and alert you when your food is ready.
All three of the Philips Airfryers I'm covering employ Philips’ unique TurboStar technology. In my opinion, this design feature really sets the Philips Airfryers apart from other brands. Their patented starfish basket design facilitates hot air circulation evenly throughout the cooking chamber.
This air flow provides your food with constant heat, which ensures an evenly cooked recipe as well as simultaneously draining excess fat away from your food. You can also get a double layer rack with skewers that will maximize the cooking surface area in the food basket and allow the air to flow around two layers of food at the same time instead of in batches.
Perhaps best of all is how quick and simple the Philips Airfyer Compact is to clean. The removable nonstick coated drawer, the QuickClean food basket, and even the non-stick grill pan are dishwasher-safe, so that makes after-dinner clean up a breeze!
Philips Airfryer XL
The Philips Airfryer XL is 50% larger than the compact models. At 2.65 lbs or 3.5-quarts, the large capacity is perfectly suited for feeding a family of four.
Similar to the digital compact model mentioned above, the XL offers smart presets as well as an additional function that memorizes the settings of your favorite recipes. Your go-to quick weeknight dinners just got a little easier!
It wouldn’t be a Philips Airfryer if it didn’t include the patented starfish design and TurboStar technology. Similar to the compact models, the XL uses these design features to evenly circulate air for the most even and consistent cook throughout your food.
It’s important to note that this technology really sets the Philips models apart from other brands. Without the star-shaped bottom, the overall airflow circulation in the cooking chamber is decreased. Unfortunately, this can ultimately cause your food to burn on the outside and remain undercooked food on the inside!
Philips Airfryer XXL
This is the largest and most powerful air fryer in the lineup. At 3 lbs or 4-quarts of cooking capacity, the Philips Airfryer XXL is large enough to cook six servings of food. It can easily cook a large whole chicken and, perhaps more impressively, it also offers instant no-preheat cooking. It’s ready to begin cooking as soon as you are!
As with the compact models, the XXL is also available with either an analog or digital interface. The analog controls are great if you want an appliance without the bells and whistles that suits your large family. It’s important to note that the digital controls do not allow for smart preset settings like the XL model.
Because of its larger size, the XXL model doubles up on their patented starfish basket design with Twin TurboStar Technology. The Twin TurboStar design offers a slightly larger reduction in overall fat consumption compared to the XL and Compact models. For example, Philips claims that while the XL and Compact models offer up to 75% reduction in fat compared to traditional fried foods, the XXL offers a reduction up to 90%. That said, air frying is a much healthier alternative to deep-frying no matter which model you choose.
The Philips Airfryer XXL also offers even more selection in accessories. For example, you can choose between a Party Master Kit, Baking Master Kit, or Grill Master Kit. Or you could get all three kits, the choice is yours!
Air Fryer vs. Convection Toaster Oven vs. NuWave Oven
There’s a lot of debate over which is the best option between an air fryer, a toaster oven with an air fryer function, or the NuWave Oven.
Here are a few things to consider when making your decision between an air fryer, convection oven or the NuWave Oven kitchen appliances:
While air fryers cook food using only rapid hot air circulation, convection toaster ovens like the Cuisinart air fryer toaster oven have both the traditional heating element and a fan to circulate the hot air. So they can be used to toast or broil as well.
The NuWave Oven relies on three cooking technologies - infrared, conduction, and convection cooking. Conduction heat is applied directly to your food, convection heat circulates air through the cooking dome, and infrared heat offers the same invisible radiant heat that’s used in restaurant kitchens to keep foods warm.
Ease of Use
Air fryers are a great choice if you’re looking to quickly and easily cook up a meal for your family. Even with the larger models, their compact cooking design allows you to cook your recipes more quickly than in a traditional convection oven or toaster oven. It’s as easy as putting your food in the cooking basket and letting the air fryer do the rest of the work.
On the other hand, the NuWave seems to be a little more complicated to set up. As with most appliances though, it’s easier to use once you get the hang of it! But it’s really hard to beat the almost foolproof aspect of an air fryer.
Size of Appliance
While there are larger air fryers available on the market, the NuWave cooking capacity is larger than the three Philips models mentioned above. NuWave also offers an extender ring that increases the overall capacity to accommodate a 14 lb ham or small turkeys!
The racks and baskets of both the Philips Airfryers and the NuWave oven are dishwasher safe. The Cuisinart parts are not dishwasher safe.
Which is better?
It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re planning to use your appliance to prepare really large meals, an air fryer oven might be a better option. If you prefer quick and easy meals and the simplicity of hot air cooking without the additional heat sources, I would lean towards the recommendations for the right-sized air fryer below.
What size air fryer do I actually need?
Ultimately, the number of people you’re most often cooking for will determine the size of air fryer that you need. Here’s a quick guide to help you navigate the range of sizes:
- 1.0 to 3.0-quart capacity: This compact size air fryer is perfect if you’re cooking for one to two people or looking for a small to medium-sized air fryer. It’s also a great option if you’re short on counter space or cupboard storage. It’s particularly useful if you plan on using your air fryer to only cook small snacks.
- 3.0 to 4.0-quart capacity: This air fryer XL size is well-suited to cooking meals and snacks for between three and five people in the extra large air fryer. This is a great option if you’re looking for more versatility in the ways you can prepare your meals using an air fryer.
- 4.0-quart capacity and beyond: With this XXL size air fryer, you can cook everything from a whole rotisserie chicken to pizza to two bags of french fries. This is the right size for you if you have a large family to feed or enjoy prepping bulk meals in advance.
How To Cook Healthy Air Fryer Recipes
Cooking in an air fryer couldn’t be simpler! If you’re converting a recipe intended for a deep-fryer, you typically only need to drop your cooking temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
You’ll also need to use a little bit of traditional cooking oil in your recipes. For paleo-friendly recipes, try using olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil. Of course, you could also use flavored oils or soak some spices in your paleo-friendly cooking oil. This is a creative and delicious twist to try with your favorite recipes!
Cooking with an air fryer leaves so much room for creativity. It helps you save so much time and energy, and is a great healthy alternative to deep frying. Perfect when you’re craving comfort food, but want to stick with your healthy eating plan!
Can’t wait to begin cooking with your air fryer? Try these 20 paleo air fryer recipes or 21 keto air fryer recipes to get started. I’ve gathered together some of the best healthy air fryer recipes around. You’ll find options for chicken wings, crispy fries, juicy burgers, tender flaky fish, roasting vegetables, and even a couple of fun dessert recipes!