The Kitchen workhorse- Philips Viva Collection Digital Airfryer HD9238/41

Today, Intraix’s latest intern Cliffton brings to you his up, close and personal account of how he mastered the airfryer! Not bad for someone who doesn’t cook!

Today, I am going to share my personal experience of using the airfryer. I am actually a lazy person who prefers drinking milk and cereal from the fridge. But I always find that it is not as filling and it is an expensive breakfast (Yes, milk and cereal cost quite a significant amount of money!). Once, I made use of an oven toaster to toast my bread (not a bread toaster), but it was horribly toasted as it was uneven. (You always have to toast the bread twice by flipping the bread, but this results in the bread becoming too dry)

I was given the privilege to use an Airfryer for the first time in my life.

What is the first thing that comes in mind when you hear of the term “airfryer”? “Using air to fry your food?” You’re almost correct! An Air Fryer makes use of Rapid Air Technology to cook up all kinds of food. In short, it makes use of circulating hot air to fry your food. This allows us to use less oil for the same taste.

Our in-house tester who concluded "Belly good"! read on more for yummy recipes!

Our in-house tester who concluded "Belly good"! read on more for yummy recipes!

How does it actually works? A heater element above the food radiates heat directly to the food and a fan above the heater pulls the air upwards. The air passing through the heater is heated and transported down to the bottom where a starfish-like-airguide distribute the air evenly directing airflow in a vertical direction. In simpler terms, it works somewhat like a convection or heat transfer in physics.

The Air Fryer also has a cooling system (a fan mounted on motor axis to control the internal temperature) that ensures a consistent fresh air flow in and out (gap on the top).

Enough physics? Alright onto the very important topic of food!

My very first attempt at using the airfryer was to make Grilled Cheese (Bread with melted cheese basically) and it is simple and easy to prepare, especially for those who want to have a hearty breakfast. You just need three simple ingredients and you are good to go:

Grilled Cheese Recipe
(Active: 3 MIN | Total: 10 MIN | Serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of brioche or white bread

  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese

  • ¼ cup butter,melted

Step 1: Preheat the Airfryer until an alarm sounds.

Step 2: I melted the butter into a bowl through microwaving (or you can just leave it at room temperature if you are not in a hungry rush like me in the morning!)

Step 3: Place cheese and butter in separate bowls. Brush the butter on each side of the 4 slices of bread.

Step 4: I then scattered plenty of cheese above one piece of bread and cover it with the other bread. (You can put 2 sandwiches into the airfryer)

Melted butter spreaded all over the bread with cheese toppings.

Melted butter spreaded all over the bread with cheese toppings.

Step 5: Put the grilled cheese together and add to the cooking basket.

Into the air fryer it goes!

Into the air fryer it goes!

Step 6:  Finally, I airfried it for 3 minutes at 200°C until golden brown. (Mine did not overflow with cheese though) It was done and the final product look like this:

Tada! Yummy Grilled cheese sandwich!

Tada! Yummy Grilled cheese sandwich!

In just 3 minutes, the bread was evenly toasted till golden brown and the taste was just nice - cheesy and crispy. When I opened out the airfryer holder, I managed to catch a whiff of the buttery, cheesy and toasted bread smell. I guess you can say that my first experience using the Airfryer was a success?

The second item I made was Bacon Wrapped Prawn. The portion should be just right for anyone who prefers to have small bites. (Kind of like guilty pleasure for your tummy). The process was actually easy, but I bought the wrong kind of bacon unfortunately so it was much harder for me to wrap the prawn. (Streaky bacon will make it easier to wrap.)

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
(Active: 15 MIN | Total: 35 MIN | Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ pounds tiger shrimp, peeled and deveined (16 pieces)

  • 1 pound bacon, thinly sliced, room temperature (16 slices) (Bacon has plenty of oil so you do not have to add in any)

Step 1: Wrap the prawn with the bacon. Refrigerate for 20 min.

Step 2: Preheat the Airfryer to 200°C.

Step 3: Remove from the refrigerator and place it onto the cooking basket and airfry for 3-4 mins at 200°.

Step 4: Drain on a paper towel prior to serving.

The final product will look something like this:

Besides making Grilled Cheese and Bacon Wrapped Prawn, you can look at different recipe books and make all sorts of food. Awesome right? We airfried all sorts of food - Butter mushroom, burger patty with cheese, waffle, roti prata, keropok and many more! Chicken breast can also be cooked in the AirFryer! It simply takes 10-15 minutes at 180°C with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper.


Here are some of the photos of the food we airfried:

Easy airfried mushrooms with butter, salt and black pepper

Easy airfried mushrooms with butter, salt and black pepper

Air fried Beef Hamburger!

Air fried Beef Hamburger!

Airfried chicken breast with black pepper and garlic salt

Airfried chicken breast with black pepper and garlic salt

Airfried Roti Prata!

Airfried Roti Prata!

Airfried sunny side up!

Airfried sunny side up!

Airfried Indonesian Keropok (Emping) 

Airfried Indonesian Keropok (Emping) 

Our most exciting attempt with the airfryer was to bake a cake. I mean who isn’t excited that you can bake an actual cake with in an airfryer? 

Lydia, Sai and I joined hands with Intraix’s investor Stream Global to experiment and test the difference between a cake baked by an airfryer vs a traditional convection roaster (that acts as a mini oven). To be very accurate and fair, we ensured that all ingredients used were constant and equivalently spilt . Here’s the recipe we used!

Carol’s Special Vanilla Cake (This is Carol’s own recipe so yeah thanks Carol!)

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 250g of butter
  • 250g of sugar
  • 250g of self raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence
  • ½ cup milk

Note: This is a portion enough to make 2 batches of small cakes in the airfryer. We used two 6 by 6 inch baking tins.

These are the steps i observed earnestly.

Airfryer vs Convention Roaster?

Airfryer vs Convention Roaster?

Step 1: Firstly, Carol added butter to the sugar in a bowl.

Sugar

Sugar

Step 2: Mix well with a cake mixer or handheld mixer.

Step 3: Slowly add in the eggs one by one and mix continuously.

Step 4: Once completed, sift the flour into the bowl using a sieve and mix continuously.

Step 5: Add the milk and vanilla essence for the taste and flavour of the cake and mix until a creamy texture has been achieved.

Step 6: Preheat the Airfryer to 200°C for 10 min

Step 7: Set the baking paper to the baking tin(remember to apply butter to the baking tin so you can remove the cake easily!).

Step 8: Finally, the mixture was poured in the cake container and baked in the Airfryer for 45 minutes at 180°C.

After the long awaited time, we were all ready for the taste-off. Which was the winner? While the convection roaster resulted in a more moist cake with a soft top, the cake baked by the airfryer was evenly baked, with a delicious crispy top. Everybody have their own preferences, but I certainly enjoyed biting into a crispier top. Among the 6 of us, we were left divided and it almost seemed like it was a tie! Moist cake and soft top? Evenly baked cake and crispy top? Try it for yourself and be the judge!

One plus point that the airfryer beat the convection roaster in, was that it took 10-15 min faster (convection roaster took about an hour). I will always remember the distinctive aroma of vanilla from the cake!

Convection Roaster Vanilla Cake baked the traditional way (moist and soft)

Convection Roaster Vanilla Cake baked the traditional way (moist and soft)

Airfryer Vanilla Cake (Faster and with a crispier top)

Airfryer Vanilla Cake (Faster and with a crispier top)

Hence my verdict for the taste-off is that the Airfryer win hands down as it is faster and it is able to retain the crispiness of the top layer. I personally felt that there was too much moisture using the convection roaster while the airfryer was able to deliver a balanced taste and texture.

In sum, the Philips Airfryer isn’t difficult to use. You simply just place what you want to cook into the basket and set the temperature and timer to your desired settings.

I will definitely recommend the Philips Viva Collection HD 9238 as you can make absolutely anything you want, from a “pig in a blanket” (aka bacon wrapped shrimp) to an easy grilled cheese sandwhich to an evenly baked cake for your pure enjoyment.

So after reading all these, shouldn’t you get an Air Fryer today? An Air Fryer has so much benefits than disadvantages! It is easy to use and clean up, utilises hot air circulation for healthy food, requires little oil or no oil to cook low fat meals (reduces calorie intake). You don’t even need to worry about your children getting scalded (cooking is covered inside the airfryer’s basket) or worry that your house smells of grease (exhaust system that filter the smell). Last but not least, it has the ability to bake CAKES  faster than traditional methods. (HOW CAN YOU EVEN COOK CAKES IN A FRYER?!) (For more info if you are convinced, go to Philips page to find out more!

Thank you Philips for making this possible, and thank you readers for reading! Stay tune to our next blogpost update!

Lydia Lok

Lydia is a former civil servant who worked on policies regarding social issues and Singapore small medium enterprises. After serving the nation for six years, she left to join the start-up scene with Intraix to be an energy super hero! With a major in Political Science from NUS (minor in English), and a specialisation in Singapore’s public administration/ policy, Lydia has a passion for all things pertaining to start-ups and social enterprises!