Those that know me well, know how much I love kitchen paraphernalia and get pretty excited when I get something new. Up until recently, an air fryer was not a kitchen appliance that grabbed my attention… after all, it was only for frying. However, since receiving a Swan Air Fryer to review, I have found this versatile kitchen appliance very useful with food I already cook. Cooking food faster and efficiently and, you can roast and bake in this air fryer too.
The word “fryer” sounds like something that uses lots of oil, not so using a Swan Air Fryer. Food is cooked with as little as a teaspoon of oil or non at all and, saving you 80% less oil (and the calories) for foods normally deep-fried. A huge plus as more families and people are choosing a healthier lifestyle. How can you “fry” food using so little oil? With the help of a high-powered heating element and powerful air flow, the food is cooked (air fried) and browned with the force of hot circulating air inside.
Out of the box, the Swan Air Fryer is easy to use and thankfully a kitchen appliance that hasn’t many parts. The design is sleek and compact and the appliance takes up little space on a kitchen work top. Apart from the appliance itself, there are two removable parts, the pan (where oil from food collects) and basket where food is placed. Both used together when cooking and the basket easily removed with a release button. As the pan and basket become very hot, keep oven gloves near.
A temperature control dial (80C to 200C) and power on and heating up light are found on the top end of the appliance. On the front the timer control, letting you choose the desired length of cooking time… up to 30 minutes. The air fryer heats up very quickly and to test this, placed an oven thermometer inside… after about 2 minutes the appliance reached 140C… pretty impressive. So depending on your preferred cooking requirements you can use the air fryer without the need to pre-heat.
Home fries were the first item cooked in the air fryer, I can’t remember the last time I made them. Although we enjoy fried food occasionally, it’s the lingering smell of deep-frying with oil that puts me off, never mind the extra calories, the splattering of oil and clean up afterwards. None of this using the Swan Air Fryer. Floury potatoes are best choice when making home fries and make a difference … even when deep-frying in oil. We have lots of waxy potatoes on the market and usually the floury ones come with a higher price tag. So if you are going to indulge… choose floury (Russet and Yukon gold) potatoes for crisper results.
Followed the instructional leaflet suggested cooking time (180C for 15 to 22 minutes) for home fries, spraying with oil beforehand. My fries took about 18 minutes to cook. The fries browned nicely and although not completely crisp, I increased the temp to 200C for about 3 minutes more for a crisper finish. You also need to shake the fries halfway through cooking for even results. They fries were tasty and a lot more heart and waist friendly as I only used 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Next time I will try home fries with flour potatoes and with little more tweaking, will prefect the ultimate crispy fry.
We love roasted tomatoes with certain dishes and these were a breeze to cook in the air fryer. This time pre-heated the air fryer for 2 minutes. Cut tomatoes in half, brushed with a little olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and cooked at 180C. After 10 minutes and they were done and had a slightly charred look.
I often use roasted red peppers and needing to remove the skin, the air fryer handled the job perfectly, blistering and blacking the skin. This took between 12 to 15 minutes at 200C. As I was testing out the air fryer I kept the skinned red pepper in a small jar and poured over some olive oil. Stored this in the fridge to use later with salads, frittatas and toasted sandwiches. Plus, you can use the roasted red pepper infused olive oil to cook with or add to salad dressings.
Hasselback baby potatoes (30 minutes at 160C increasing to 180C) and courgettes (15 minutes at 180C) are other vegetables we love. Both cooked separately using different temperatures and times. Both were brushed with garlic infused oil. Again results were good.
Needed to roast grapes and walnuts with fresh thyme for a recipe. Guess what… into the air fryer they went. Pre-heated for 2 minutes and cooked at 200C. Ready in 5 minutes, adding the nuts the last 2 minutes. Cutting my preparation time in half… if not more. Love this about the Swan Air Fryer.
Made some small Thai chicken balls to serve as an appetizer with chill sauce. Sprayed with a little vegetable oil and placed them into a pre-heated air fryer, these took 4 minutes to cook. So you could easily cook another batch or two if need.
A visit to the Swan website tells me you can bake cakes with an air fryer… well I had to at least give this a try. Luckily I had a 6 inch cake tin that fitted perfectly into the basket of the air fryer leaving room at the sides. Pre-heating the air fryer and lining the cake tin, baked a cake (standard cake mixture) for 20 minutes at first and then lowered the temperature to 120C for another 10 minutes. The cake was a little over done on top and a tad undercooked in the middle, requiring a further few minutes in the air fryer. Maybe not my preferred way of baking… but the Swan Airfryer can bake a small cake.
Baked a small frittata in the air fryer using the same 6 inch cake tin, this time lined with aluminum foil greased with olive oil. Some tweaking with the cooking temperature and timing needed to cook through. Second time around I handled it better, also per-heating the cake tin as well. Cooking time was 15 minutes, 10 minutes at 160C and a further 5 minutes at 180C. While the friattata was cooling roasted some tomatoes to serve alongside.
Sectioned a small 1kg chicken and cooked the breast with bone in (160c for 10 minutes increasing to 180C for another 8 to 10 minutes) legs with bone (180C for 15 to 18 minutes) separately. Left the skin on and used no oil, seasoned the pieces with sea salt and placed some fresh rosemary underneath. As you can see the chicken pieces browned beautiful and were moist and tender when cooked.
After testing the Swan Air Fryer over this past week I feel very confident this air fryer will successfully cook other foods fast and efficiently. I have yet to try, sausages, breaded chicken, fillet of salmon, steak, roasted broccoli and cauliflower. Of course the list doesn’t stop there. Depending on your needs, you could easily prepare a full meal for one or two people or a side dish of roasted vegetables for up to four people or, use this air fryer for cooking small appetizers for entertaining.
Like any other cooking appliance, temperatures and timings are estimates and used as a guide. The Swan air fryer has no recipe book included but has suggested cooking timings for frozen fries, fresh fries, frozen sausages, burgers, chicken fillet and nuggets, pork chop and pasties on the enclosed leaflet. Also the instructions state not to over fill the basket with food when cooking. So far cooking odours are minimal and thankfully my kitchen doesn’t smell like fried food. Easy to clean too as you can pop the basket and pan in the dishwasher.
Absolutely delighted with the performance of the Swan Air Fryer, complementing other kitchen appliances in my kitchen… all making life easier.
Disclosure: I was given a Swan Air Fryer to review, all opinion and words are my own.