Thursday, December 20, 2018

**REVIEW** GoWISE USA 5.8-Quarts 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer XL

While I do love my Instant Pot and am so very glad that I got it, it does not crisp foods. If I want to fry something or put a crust on chicken or fish, I have to move them to the oven. Or just fry them in a skillet. (There is a Saute function that browns some foods, but I have to figure out how much oil I can use...)

Until I figure out how to use the IP for shallow frying some foods, someone suggested using an air fryer for a healthier diet. This is the one I snagged on one of the recent Lightning Deals.

looks like something out of a sci-fi movie

That, my friends, is the GoWISE USA 5.8-quart Air Fryer. I'm not thrilled at the "8-in-1" label they slapped on this thing. The 8 they mention is just for the 8 presets on the control panel. What this could correctly be called is a 4-in-1 because it will fry, bake, grill, and roast. So. Yeah.

Let me just say right off that this thing is a lot bigger and -heavier than I thought it was going to be. A LOT. ** On the other hand, the one thing I liked right off was how attractive the unit is. I didn't appreciate this fully until I turned it on.

It's pretty, but so are most "bimbos"

Okay, so with that out of the way, let me go over the Pros and Cons I see after having used this on 2 items today. I cooked fresh cut potato fries first, then I attempted to crisp a game hen that I had already cooked in the Instant Pot.

  • The basket is rather large and roomy. I was able to fit a whole cornish game hen inside - one a small metal rack - and had room for a second hen if I'd wanted.
  • The unit runs fairly quiet. I was able to hold a phone conversation easily while it was running.
  • It's attractive, especially when powered up. For someone with enough counter space, it looks nice enough to leave out when not in use.
  • Air frying certainly seems safer than pan-frying with oil.
  • If cakes turn out well using the fryer, that will be another Plus.
  • I was not thrilled with the results of my fries when cooked to the suggested time and temp. I will probably adjust to a lesser time to get the crispiness I want without drying out the potatoes.
  • The hen did crisp up but didn't look very appealing. I am hoping that battered chicken with come out better. Again, I think the results might be better with adjusted time and temps.
  • I don't think that the presets are very useful and I will need to come up with my own or look to other users for better ones.
  • The control panel can be a bit confusing, especially as to the ones for setting the cooking time and the alarm time. Some buttons seem, in my opinion, to be completely useless. That could be user idiocy.
  • The unit is large, which is a good thing for those with room for it. Because the air vents need to be kept away from walls and things that melt, that adds to the space needed when running the machine. I had just enough space to safely use it. Storage is also an issue for small-space homes.
  • Getting the basket out took a little bit of hand strength. This could be a good thing because I know now that it won't just pop loose when I am shaking food in it, but it was also a bit annoying.
  • The normal price of the unit is, again in my opinion, a bit high for something of a single-function. An oven can replace the fryer in most instances for those that want healthier options to pan-frying.
  • Clean-up is not fun. I even lined the bottom of the pan with foil (which helped) but still had a time maneuvering the big pan around in sink to clean it.
  • I expected better from the fryer as far as appearance and textures of food. 
I'm not sure why appliances that do basically one thing are so expensive. I snagged this one on a deal, but today the price shown is $79.00. Unless I can do get more day to day use from this, I would not spend that amount for the fryer.

You can see that I found more negative than positive about the fryer. However, I have not fully tested all it's supposed to be able to do. I might have to update this when I've tried cooking more foods in it. If this works well on cakes, that might be a huge positive.

And, if I have to be stuck with it, at least it's a quiet thing...

Again, I don't see a huge advantage of using this over using a stove - other than the fact it might cut back on heat in summer months. Frankly, this is not an appliance I am that excited about. I am considering sending it back but that means forfeiting $15 for a return shipping fee... ~sigh~


P.S.: I fried some chicken cracklins (seasoned skin) and some gizzards. These turned out pretty good so I am a little happier with the product.

** NOTE about the size of the product - this is about the same size as the 8-quart Instant Pot, as you can see. However, it is a great deal heavier to lift and store on top of my fridge.