Philips Essential Air Fryer review: for small kitchens and households

Is this the ideal air fryer for small kitchens? Our small appliances editor finds out in this Philips Essential Air Fryer review
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  • The Philips Essential Air Fryer is a compact air fryer with a 4.1 litre capacity, touchscreen controls and a keep warm function. This air fryer is great for smaller kitchens because it can sit snugly on counters and be taken out of cupboards as and when it’s needed, but the price is a little high when you compare the Philips Essential Air Fryer to the other options on the market. 

    For more options take a look at the best air fryers

    In this Philips Essential Air Fryer review I found out everything you need to know by putting it to the test in my own kitchen for the best part of a month. I live in a London flat with limited kitchen space and plenty of appliances to fill it up, so the Philips Essential Air Fryer actually came in very useful when testing in my day to day life. 

    I do have some reservations about the Philips Essential Air Fryer though. For a start, the controls are not intuitive and at times a little hard to read. It also is a little small for some households. While it was a great fit for my partner and myself in our two-person home, it may struggle with family-sized meals. 

    For my full verdict, take a look at this Philips Essential Air Fryer review. 

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Reasons to buy: 

    • Compact 
    • Makes a great chip
    • Easy to use
    • Dishwasher friendly
    • Comes with an air fryer app

    Reasons to avoid:

    • There are cheaper options
    • The controls are a bit hard to use
    • A smaller capacity won’t be for everyone 

    Philips Essential Air Fryer

    Philips Essential Air Fryer

    The Philips Essential Air Fryer is a great air fryer for making crisp chips and perfectly cooked bacon. It’s small but mighty, making it a perfect choice for those with a small kitchen.

    Philips Essential Air Fryer: specs

    • Material: Plastic
    • Colour: Black
    • Capacity: 4.1 litres
    • Modes: Frozen, fish, meat, vegetables, chicken drumsticks, cake, reheat
    • Weight: 4.54kg
    • Power: 1400 watts
    • Size: 35.8 x 34.2 x 34 cm

    Philips Essential Air Fryer

    I’ve reviewed a fair few air fryers, and coming in at 4.1 litres the Philips Essential Air Fryer is one of the smallest. To put it in context it’s the equivalent of one half of the Ninja Dual Zone. 

    It comes with grooves underneath the base to carry the air fryer out of cupboards and onto counters. That’s handy, because it’s designed to slot easily into storage for those who don’t have the counter space to share. 

    Cooking in the Philips Essential Air Fryer

    Philips Essential Air Fryer

    Many of the touchscreen air fryers I’ve tested allow you to tap directly on the cooking mode to select it, but with the Philips Essential Air Fryer you press on the listing button on the side to press along until it lands on the right mode for you.

    The modes are frozen, fish, meat, vegetables, chicken drumsticks, and cake, all shown with an illustration. There is also a reheat mode. Some of these are a bit hard to identify. For a start, the control panel is on the small side and so are the illustrations. 

    Philips Essential Air Fryer

    The first on the list is the frozen setting, followed by the chip, drumstick and fish setting. These are easy enough to identify, but meat setting (illustrated by what I assume to be a steak) and the vegetable setting (which looks like a mushroom) are a little trickier. 

    You can also adjust the temperature and timings at the side panels. The power/pause button stops and starts the air fryer, but there’s no hard stop button. 

    Cooking chips in the Philips Essential Air Fryer

    Philips Essential Air Fryer

    My chips recipe is well honed by now. I put my sliced potatoes through a drizzle of oil and generous amount of dried herbs before setting the air fryer to half an hour on the chip setting and pressing go. I found that the Essential took a little longer to cook my chips than some of the other air fryers I tried, more similar in timings to an actual oven than some air fryers which cook things a lot faster. 

    Philips Essential Air Fryer

    The end result was delicious though, with crispy outsides and even cooking (after a halfway shake). The Philips Essential Air Fryer did pass the chip test, but it wasn’t quite as good as the Cosori air fryer or Ninja Dual Zone air fryer I’ve tested. 

    Philips Essential Air Fryer: How it handles meat and fish

    I insist you try cooking bacon in an air fryer. I will never go back. It renders out the fat for that crispy texture and the result is also never too oily because the fat drips out of the bottom of the air fryer basket. 

    Philips Essential Air Fryer

    The Philips Essential Air Fryer did an excellent job of cooking bacon, I give it full marks. It cooked fully in less than 10 minutes. 

    I also tried some homemade breaded salmon in the air fryer, which has one of the most realistic faux-fried consistencies to date. It cooked through the salmon in 25 minutes and the panko crumb was very crispy and delicious. I did turn half way through, which meant the top and bottom had a uniform texture. 

    Philips Essential Air Fryer

    Cleaning the Philips Essential Air Fryer

    You should clean the Philips Essential Air Fryer after every use. Of course, this is advised with all air fryers but if you’re lazy (guilty) it can be tempting to not do that.

    Moreso than other air fryers, the Philips Essential Air Fryer will punish you with a cloud of smoke if not clean. Luckily, you can just remove the basket from the drawer and place it in the dishwasher for a quick and easy solution. 

    Should you buy the Philips Essential Air Fryer? 

    Philips Essential Air Fryer

    If you live in a smaller household or you want something for a kitchen with limited space, it’s a yes from me. My Ninja Dual Zone is my current resident air fryer, but I was tempted to replace it with the Philips Essential Air Fryer for the pure convenience of having something a little smaller for my two-person house. 

    In terms of price, I find the cost of the Philips Essential Air Fryer a little high for what you get. At time of writing it retails for £149, which is not too far off some larger and more high end options. That said, it is a very capable fryer that’s easy to clean and (once you get used to the panel) use. 

    About this review, and the reviewer

    Millie Fender heads up all things small appliances at Future. There’s nothing she loves more than testing out the latest and greatest cooking gadgets, for indoor and outdoor use, from toasters to air fryers. She reviewed the Philips Essential Air Fryer from her own kitchen, testing it rigorously for a month before writing this review.

    Millie lives in South London and is constantly squeezing more appliances into her modest kitchen.  If it makes it onto the kitchen counters full time, you know an appliance is worth the hype.

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