Performance and taste
The big draw of the Philips Airfryer XXL is its large capacity. In that regard it doesn't disappoint. The machine can cook off massive 3-pound batches of french fries, chicken nuggets and other frozen treats. It also accepts big loads of fresh chicken wings, drumsticks, potatoes, sausages, meatballs and veggies. There's even room for a smaller whole chicken.
The Airfryer XXL took 25 minutes to turn out 23 ounces of frozen, crinkle-cut french fries (no oil). That's roughly the amount that can fit on a large baking sheet. It's also a little faster than what the Black and Decker Purifry air fryer took (27 minutes) to prepare a batch the same size.
Quality was just as good though. Fries came out crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. They didn't have the powdery texture of oven-baked fries either. That said, neither did taste as satisfying as the greasier deep-fried variety.
Homemade fries I cut from a manual press came out better. They had a deeper flavor, pleasing texture and crispness. Of course I used 1 tbsp of oil, as instructed by the manual. They spent longer in the fryer as well (34 minutes).
Burgers I cooked in the XXL were tasty but a bit strange. The patties puffed up oddly like balloons as they fried. While extremely moist and juicy, they lacked the charred flavor of grilled or broiled meat. Sausages though were a surprise hit. I threw a full pack of five uncooked bratwurst sausages into the fryer. After 18 minutes of cooking, I had a plate of brats that were truly epic. Their casings popped and crackled while meat inside was rich and succulent.
The Airfryer XXL whipped up delectable chicken wings too. To achieve skin at its crispiest though, I had to fry them already coated with sauce. Either that or serve them entirely without. Based on my experience, however, I can't recommend frying whole chickens in this appliance.
With my 5-pound bird inside, I set the XXL's temperature to 350 degrees F as instructed by the manual. An hour later, the chicken's internal temperature reached 165 degrees F. Its skin was definitely crispy and nicely browned. Unfortunately, the meat inside though was dry and overcooked.
Of course, my chicken did exceed the weight Philips recommends, which is 2.6 to 3.3 pounds (1,200 to 1,500 grams). Those are scrawny birds in my book. Supermarket chickens I tend to see are 5 to 6 pounds.
Too much fryer for most
So does the $300 Philips Airfryer XXL deserve a spot on your kitchen counter? First, that depends on how much extra space you have. You'll need a lot since the XXL is a monster, and air fryers aren't known for being petite. And if you won't be frying food often or in large batches, spending this much is overkill. That's especially true considering this appliance has confusing controls and lots of parts to care for.
A better alternative is the affordable $70 Simple Chef Air Fryer. Yes it cooks less food but it's also a snap to use and clean. Another option is the $230 that also cooks lots of food at once. The Multifry comes with an automatic stirring paddle too, something the XXL lacks.
Are you curious about all the other air fryers we tested out?.