Think of the Mayer XL Air Oven as a jumbo air fryer with ample room for you to grill, stir fry and bake stuff in. At $188, it's a value-for-money piece that's cooks decently and is well-designed for smaller kitchens.
- Huge cooking capacity
- Glass window for users to check cooking progress
- Effectively uses less oil, resulting in healthier, less greasy dishes.
- Takes up less time to bake/grill/air fry foods, thanks to its top and bottom heating component.
- Not really a con, but the Air Oven does what most air fryers do, albeit with a bigger capacity.
- Interior lighting needs to be improved
Homes with smaller kitchens, homeowners who want an all-in-one air fryer and convection oven.
With a mysteriously vague name like the ‘Air Oven’, you’d be hard-pressed not to stop and wonder about it. Is it an air fryer, convection oven, or both? Might it be some groundbreaking home appliance that you haven’t heard of yet – which could potentially up your cooking game?
Our interest piqued, a quick Google search led us to Mayer's website, which describes the Air Oven as an appliance which uses 'Rapid Air Technology' to fry, roast, bake and grill foods 20% faster - with less oil.
While it sounds pretty much like an air-fryer at this point, what makes the Air Oven different from other air fryers then? Here, we got Yi Man - a homeowner and avid cook - to test the Air Oven and find out what it's all about:
Opening the Box
Yi Man (YM): The package comes with the appliance, a 6L frying pan, a pizza tray, a grill rack, a panhandle and a vertical rotisserie.
Setting Up and Using the Air Oven
YM: It was fuss-free in terms of the set-up – just plug and go! After that, it's about choosing the right accessory for your cooking needs. For instance, I used the pan for frying ikan bilis and the metal rack for grilling some saba fish.
YM: While the Air Oven's interface is easy to navigate, its buttons aren’t sensitive. I have fingers that turn cold easily, and it takes the touchscreen panel a while to detect my fingers. As a result, I had to tap the screen a couple of times to turn the air oven on.
YM: I liked that the air oven also comes with a glass ‘door’ that allows me to look in and check on the progress of dishes. This is different from most air-fryers, which are usually enclosed. Only pity was that there wasn’t an option for adjusting the lighting in the oven. At times, I had to use a torchlight to shine in to view the cooking process.
YM: It does live up to its promise of quicker cooking and using less oil. The Air Oven comes with a top and bottom heating element, which makes it easier to evenly fry or grill dishes without me having to manually adjust the pan/base.
YM: I was able to achieve a crunchy texture for my ikan bilis using the air fry feature. Even though I only lightly coated the uncooked ikan bilis with cooking oil, the end result was still very crispy. The deep, frying pan was able to keep oil from splattering out, and the machine also helps to ‘flip’ and ‘turn’ the ikan bilis during air frying.
YM: While I did not use the Air Oven to roast a chicken, it did have ample space for the job, and it came with a dedicated vertical rotisserie for roasting. Instead, I grilled some saba fish for dinner using the air oven. Likewise, the top and bottom heating helped to achieve a crisp, even texture for the saba skin. It also forced out excess oil from the fish, resulting in a healthier, less greasy dish. In this case, the air oven saved me a chunk of time compared to conventional ovens, where I would have to rotate the grill rack to achieve the same consistency.
Cleaning and Maintenance
YM: With not much oil splashing about, the unit is easy to wipe clean, and its relatively compact body makes it easy to fit into smaller kitchens. However, homeowners should take note of the non-stick coating of the frying pan, which can wear off over time during stir-frying and can be unsafe. It might be better if the pan was made of stainless steel, or if there are add-ons that homeowners can buy to replace.
YM: I would say it does what it advertises to do – which is to reduce cooking time and oiliness in food. Otherwise, the Air Oven works pretty much like an air-fryer, but with a larger capacity and better user features. At $188, I'd recommend it to my friends for being value-for-money. On top of covering a wide range of cooking methods including grilling, frying, baking and stir-frying, its compact design makes it great for kitchens with space constraints.
Rating: 4/5, mainly due to its user-friendly design and value-for-money price.
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