Most of my content is about PC and mobile hardware, but I am also a keen fitness and health enthusiast.
As an ex-fatty, I made a lot of lifestyle changes to improve my physical and mental health, this includes eating more healthily, cutting back on the booze, sleeping better and then of course, fitness.
I have tried many of the diet/nutrition trends over the years, including the keto and its variations, but the old fashioned low fat, high protein and carb is the one I find suits me. My very high level of activity benefits from the increased carbs, and I generally find it easy to limit fats rather than carbs. I still eat healthy fats, and I am more lenient with my macros now I am relatively lean and fit, but I do avoid unnecessary fats whenever possible.
One easy healthy way to cut fats is to stop frying anything, either shallow or deep. Avoid frozen oven chips is both healthier and saves you money. Oven cooked (potato & sweet potato) chips and roasted butternut squash have long been a staple in my lower-fat diet. I have always used an oven for this, and while it does a good job, roasting can be uneven, my cheap oven takes ages to warm up and even then is irregular with its timing.
In the past, I have tried the rotating Actifryers, which are good, but tend to mash up things like chips. Recently I have been using a Habor XL Air Fryer which is enormous and fries things in a large basket, which has proven to be superb.
Shortly after buying my Air Fryer, Cosori sent me one of their 3.5L units to review, priced at £59.99 it is an affordable solution for a couple, single person, or even a small family that eats moderate-sized portions.
If the air fryer trend has passed you, then these are a kitchen appliance that cooks by circulating hot air around the food using the convection mechanism. So it is basically just a tiny fan-assisted convection oven.
Most full-sized ovens can hit temperatures of 250-degrees, but these countertop air fryers hit around 200-degrees, the Cosori actually goes up to 205-degrees. However their smaller nature means they heat up extremely fast, and the two reactions that cause browning in frying or roasting only require 140-165°C for the Mallard reaction or 110-180°C for sugar caramelisation.
To achieve the Mallard reaction with most foods, you will need a small amount of oil, you can do this using the low cal sprays such as Frylight.
The Cosori can be used for much more than just making chips (even if that’s what I mainly use it for). It has pre-sets for steak, chicken, seafood, shrimp, bacon, frozen foods, veg, root veg, desserts, bread and then of course chips.
The specs of the Cosori include:
11 Original Presets
A Cosori Air Fryer means so much more than fries. Serve up egg bakes, impressive sides, desserts, roasted veggies, and just about any protein, expertly cooked.
One-Touch LED Panel
You make the selection, and the machine takes care of the calculations. The LED panel helps you make excellent choices—no matter what food you decide to make.
Shake & Keep Warm Functions
Unique to the Cosori Air Fryer: a helpful Shake reminder, letting you know when to shake the contents for an even fry. Try the Keep Warm function if you need your food well kept for a while.
Frying foods doesn’t have to mean making a mess. Remove the baskets and separate them, then let your dishwasher take care of cleaning them up! Basket materials are PFOA-free.
A removable inner basket means it’s easy to separate and clean the part that gets up close and personal with your food. You can also bring it to where you’re preparing food for extra convenience.
Foods are as easy to take out as they were to put in. The nonstick surface of the basket results in less residue left behind. In turn, clean-up won’t be so rough.
In use and performance
Using the Cosori is extremely easy if you use the pre-sets, it is just a press of a button. Most of the time I set the timer myself.
Ideally, you should pre-heat the fryer for 3-4 minutes, though it is not uncommon for me to forget this, and the results are still good.
If doing things manually, you will want to press the temp/time button to select the temperature first then the time. The front panel with the buttons feels a bit cheap, but it works accurately enough, and not much different than many microwaves.
With the fryer pre-heated you can place your food inside. Most meals will benefit from a spray of frylight so you can get that lovely browning colour. Then just leave it to do its thing.
I have found it to be considerably faster than my oven. Pre-heating that takes about 20 mins whereas you can almost finish cooking a batch of chips in that time with the Cosori.
I generally prefer my chips and things like chicken a little darker, so for chips, it usually is done start to finish in about 30 mins.
I have not been overly adventurous with it, probably 75% of the things I have cooked in it are chips. I have also done roasted butternut squash, sweet potato, baked potato. Roasted veg including carrots, parsnips and sprouts.
For proteins so far I have tried fake-away KFC using egg whites, cornflour and spices to get a crispy coating, then also bacon wraps chicken to get a lovely crispy bacon on the outside.
Overall, I love it. I prefer the larger 5.5L option as I eat a lot, and that can handle enough food for a family. The 3.5L capacity of this is probably just about Ok for my partner and me, and I imagine fine for most small families.
For the price, I think these are a great purchase. Their smaller size should mean they use a lot less electricity than an electric convection oven; then you also have more flexibility giving you the option to do something in the oven and this. Compared to my gas oven it is orders of magnitude better for roasting things, both in terms of the results and speed.
COSORI Air Fryer 3.5L Review
Overall - 85%
A must-have for someone wanting to cut fats but still be able to eat fried foods. Well priced, and this unit is compact enough not to take up too much space.