“I’m delivering loads of these at the moment,” the postwoman told me, placing the XXL Airfryer that Philips had sent me to review on the porch. “Everyone is buying them.”

Fresh to the concept of an air fryer, I needed to challenge it literally straight out of the box, and opted to roast a whole chicken. I’d never tried cooking a whole one before and while I don’t eat meat, I knew the family would love it.

Directions were refreshingly uncomplicated: note the weight of the chicken, brush with olive oil and rub two teaspoons of paprika powder into the skin, pull out the draw and drop in the chook. There’s a Smart Chef program for a whole chicken built-in, so after setting the weight, I pressed start and waited for the alarm an hour later.

Roast chook

After pulling the chicken out of the drawer and fighting with the dog, who was trying to rip it out of the tongs en route to the chopping board, my wife cut it up and served it. The verdict? According to my wife and the children, all of whom are exceptionally fussy about how chicken is cooked, it was the most perfectly cooked home chook they have ever tasted. That’s some endorsement!

Its functionality doesn’t stop at rapid roasting, though. The XXL can air fry your favourite munchies like chips or tofu, and with the right accessories it’s possible to bake cakes and even cook pizza; the list is endless and only limited by your ambition. We’ve whipped up baked spuds, mozzarella sticks, crumbed mushrooms, chocolate chip cookies, and even salmon.

The XXL is a premium product and as the size suggests, has been designed to cater for a large family, so it’s a perfect fit in our home. A powerful yet quiet machine, it features five settings for simple one-button operation, a temperature dial which reaches 200°c, and a handy keep warm button if you’re preparing other food. To top it all off, cleaning couldn’t be easier. While the technology has been around for some time now, the convenience and complete flexibility of air frying has been a revelation in our house; we haven’t used the oven since.

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