Deep-frying your food tastes great, but uses so much oil that there’s no way to consider it a means to make healthy meals. The Power AirFryer XL is an As Seen On TV product that promises to fry your foods using little-to-no oil—and up to 80 percent less fat.
It’s brought to you by Tristar products and promoted by Eric Theiss—a culinary expert, author, former chef, and restaurant owner best known for slinging kitchen appliances on QVC, including his own Power Pressure Cooker.
A quick note: Tristar is currently rated at one-and-a-quarter out of five-stars on Consumer Affairs, with over 20 consumer complaints regarding one of their previous products, the Power Pressure Cooker. Complaints range from poor customer service to one individual who received second-degree burns from using the product.
Unfortunately, those satisfaction ratings are fairly standard for As Seen On TV products. To learn more about potential concerns before making a purchase, check out: But Wait, There’s More: Your Ultimate Guide to Buying As Seen On TV & Infomercial Products.
Their previous product aside, how does the Power AirFryer XL work and what does food from an air fryer actually taste like? We’ll take a look at what this kitchen appliance brings to the table, starting with:
The Power AirFryer XL Features & Benefits
The product’s infomercial claims that the Power AirFryer XL offers more than a healthy way to fry up your favorite foods. The appliance can also bake, steam, sauté, grill, and roast meals. It features:
- A one-touch digital panel that allows you to choose easily between different cooking methods, without having to fiddle with multiple settings
- A temperature range that reaches up to 400°, with 1700 watts of power
- An easy-load basket with non-stick coating
- A dishwasher-safe insert, for easy clean up
- A timer with automatic shut-off
One thing that the product’s website doesn’t disclose is what makes the basket non-stick—whether it’s a ceramic or a chemical coating like Teflon is difficult to ascertain from the provided images.
How much healthier is food cooked with the Power AirFryer XL than frying in oil? The product’s official website offers the following calorie comparisons between fast-food and the AirFryer:
- Blooming onion: 1950 calories vs. 380 calories
- French fries: 340 calories vs. 70 calories
- Chicken fingers: 780 calories vs. 250 calories
If those counts are accurate, that means the Power AirFryer XL offers your favorite fried foods at one-third of the calories.
However, it’s worth noting that the company the doesn’t provide any data to support their “up to 80% less fat” claim. Further, while we don’t have evidence supporting or denying this specific model of air fryer, a UK watchdog firm did win in their efforts to get an advertisement for a similar Philips air fryer banned on the grounds that it still needs a small amount of oil to cook food.
How The Power AirFryer XL Works
At first glance, deep fryers and air fryers seem quite similar. Both claim to give regular foods a delicious taste and crunchy exterior. However, the method a deep fryer uses (dunking food into large amounts of hot oil) is much different from that of an air fryer.
Instead of using oil and fat to cook foods, the Power AirFryer XL uses superheated air. This not only reduces calories, but also means chefs are a lot less likely to get burned by sprays of hot oil—a concern when pan-frying foods.
The appliance looks a lot like a large rice cooker, except that it has a chunky tray that can be removed, filled with food, and put back inside.
Once it’s filled up, choosing your cooking method is supposedly as simple as “Load it, set it, and enjoy it!”
How long will it take to air-fry your food? Cooking times are advertised as conveniently short: smaller items such as fries or shrimp are supposed to take only 10-12 minutes, while a whole chicken can be cooked in less than a half hour, and a full turkey will be ready to eat in 35 minutes. Just note that those expecting to use the Power AirFryer XL to air-fry a bird will need to purchase the largest model. (We’ll discuss pricing options shortly.)
The manufacturers claim that this whirlwind of superheated air gives foods the same crispy-fried taste without all the calories. But, do those claims stand up to a taste test?
How Does The Power AirFryer XL Compare?
A study by Professor Shaker, M. Arafat and published by the Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences showed that french fries cooked using an air fryer actually beat traditionally fried french fries in taste, color, smell, crispness, hardness, oiliness—and only were rated worse than traditional fried french fries in appearance.
And, according to Fry the World, the health benefits aren’t all hot air: By using less oil to fry, air fryers become a healthier alternative to traditionally deep fried foods which can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
How does the Power AirFryer XL compare to other models?
When searching for comparisons of air fryers, the Power AirFryer XL is conspicuously absent. We’d normally think that’s because it’s new to market—but that’s not the case, since this product has been around for at least a year.
Because the Power AirFryer XL isn’t sized up side-by-side against reigning champions, mostly made by Philips, we’ll take a look at some key points, instead:
- Air fryers typically require between 800 and 1400 watts. Depending on which model you chose, the Power AirFryer XL requires up to 1700, so it packs plenty of punch—just be sure your kitchen outlet can handle this kind of wattage.
- How much counter space an air fryer takes up can affect your enjoyment of the appliance. Unfortunately, the Power AirFryer XL fails to share exact measurements.
- Temperatures are another concern, with most machines needing to reach 360°, which the Power AirFryer XL exceeds, reaching 400°.
One area the Power AirFryer XL falls short is extra features: The single basket doesn’t allow you to cook more than one type of food at once, unlike other models that come with multi-layered baskets. Then again, how often would you serve multiple fried items in a single meal?
Another area where the Power AirFryer XL appears to come up on top is price. Whereas the previously-mentioned Philips models ring in at well over $250, the AirFryer XL can be purchased for much less.
The Power AirFryer XL Pricing & Refund Policy
Power Air Fryer XL is available in either red or black, and comes in three different sizes—each with two payment options:
- Cooking a meal for one to two? Consider the 2.4 quart option. It offers 1200 watts, and three cooking presets for either three payments of $33.33 or a one-time payment of $99.99, plus $19.99 S&H. Totals $119.98.
- Cooking a meal for three to four? Consider the 3.4 quart option. If offers 1500 watts, with an additional three cooking presets, totalling seven. It costs either three payments of $39.99 or a one-time payment of $119.97, plus $19.99 S&H. Total of $139.96.
- Cooking a meal for four to six? Consider the 5.3 quart option. It offers more power, at 1700 watts, plus the same seven cooking presets. It’s available for three payments of $49.99 or a one-time payment of $149.97, plus $19.99 S&H. Total of $169.96.
Note that state tax will be added to orders for CT, NJ, NV, NY, and PA.
All Power Air Fryer XL purchases come with a 60-day refund policy, less S&H charges. Consider that returning your Power AirFryer XL not only costs $20 in initial shipping charges, but that it’s likely even more expensive to ship back.
If you would like to return your purchase, Tristar’s customer service department can be reached at 973-287-5129.
Is The Power AirFryer XL Right For You?
Before considering whether or not the Power AirFryer XL is right for you, ask yourself: Do you eat fried foods frequently enough to justify a $120 purchase and have counter space to spare?
Next, remember that air-fried items might be just as crisp, but oil and fat give food much of its flavor, and air-fried meals may fall short of your expectations. If that’s the case, are you okay with a potential trade-off in taste?
If the answer to both those questions is yes, then the Power AirFryer XL might be a great addition to your kitchen.
However, consider reading our reviews of alternate brands of air fryers to compare, before you make your purchase. One such model? Big Boss Oil-Less Fryer costs slightly less, offers free shipping, and, at time of writing, has received two positive reviews.