Philips Essential Air Fryer XL review: a family-friendly air fryer

It's a little unconventional, but the Philips Essential Air Fryer XL performed very well when we put it head-to-head with other market-leading air fryers

 Philips Essential Air fryer XL review
(Image credit: Philips)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

The Philips Essential Air Fryer XL is like no other air fryer on the market, and despite its unconventional preset modes, it's outstanding at air frying.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Reliable, even cooking

  • +

    Allows fat to drain away

  • +

    Generous basket capacity

  • +

    Quality design

  • +

    Designed to circulate air more efficiently

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Unusual and clunky basket design

  • -

    Presets are not necessary for some users

Why you can trust Homes & Gardens Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

When it comes to air fryers, you'll always find Philips among the frontrunners. That's why we have always included it in our guide to the best air fryers, even though it's not a brand that's matching the likes of Ninja or Instant in the pace or innovation of its new releases. 

That said, the Philips Essential Air Fryer XL isn't without its bright ideas. For one, the Philips Essential Air Fryer XL  has a 'starfish' design at the bottom of the basket, designed to maximize air circulation and cook food more evenly. Another standout feature is the cooking insert, which is attached to the air fryer basket and lifts out, allowing any fat to sit at the bottom of the drawer instead of slipping onto your plate. 

We put this air fryer to the test alongside many of the top models from our air fryer buying guide, meaning we could directly compare its performance to others in the lineup, cooking the same recipes at the same settings in each. Despite a few hiccups in the user experience, there is no denying that the Philips Essential Air Fryer XL is a real frontrunner when it comes to sheer quality of cooking. 

Today's top savings

Philips Essential Airfryer XL:  was $179.95 (opens in new tab)

Philips Essential Airfryer XL: was $179.95, now $149.95 at Amazon (save $30) (opens in new tab)
The Philips Essential Airfryer XL impressed us with its quality cooking and quiet operation. It's now on sale for Black Friday at under $150.

Philips Kitchen Appliances Airfryer XL:  was £332 (opens in new tab)

Philips Kitchen Appliances Airfryer XL: was £332, now £306 at Amazon (save £26) (opens in new tab)
For our readers in the UK, you may struggle to find air fryers in stock today. However, we found this deal on the Philips Kitchen Appliances HD9270/91 Airfryer XL at Amazon for 8% off.

Philips Essential Air Fryer XL: specs

Philips Essential Airfryer XL review

(Image credit: Philips)
  • Capacity: 6.5 quart
  • Cooking modes: Frozen snacks, french fries, meat, fish, chicken, cake, veggies
  • Size: 15.1 x 15.1 x 14.2 inches
  • Weight: 12.95 pounds
  • Cleaning: Nonstick trays and basket, dishwasher-safe
  • Temperature: Up to 400° F (200°C)
Millie Fender
Millie Fender

Millie Fender is Head of Reviews at Homes & Gardens. Formerly our editor for all things small appliances, she has tested dozens of top air fryers over the years and is constantly comparing products to bring you her expert recommendations. 

Millie tested the Philips XL for over a month. In fact, she still has it in her home, and has recently used it to make an entire roast chicken. Delicious. 

Unboxing

We always take into account the amount of single-use packaging that comes with a product. Unfortunately, the Philips Essential Air Fryer XL comes sandwiched between layers of polystyrene, which is disappointingly normal for air fryers. Ninja products tend to be packaged sustainably if you look out for recyclable packaging. 

The Philips Essential Air Fryer XL in the box

(Image credit: Future/Millie Fender)

This air fryer is quite heavy. It has a basket that is removed with a simple pull, and the basket also clicks securely into place. You can lift the slatted air frying insert by pushing forward a button with your thumb, and then pressing it down. This leaves just the base of the drawer, which has an unique 'starfish' design that will increase air circulation due to its fan-like shape. It's not something we've seen on other air fryer designs, but (spoiler alert) it does seem to work very well. 

Taking the Philips Essential Air Fryer XL out of the box

(Image credit: Future/Millie Fender)

Another thing that sets this air fryer apart is its control panel. Many come with settings to roast, reheat, dehydrate, or broil, but the Philips Essential Air Fryer XL only has modes that air fry. 

The Philips Essential Air Fryer XL ready to use on the kitchen counter

(Image credit: Future/Millie Fender)

Instead, you can choose from pre-decided settings to cook anything from fish and chicken to frozen treats, or even cake. These settings will bring up a time and temperature that's been chosen to work with each food type, but it is easy to toggle both settings, meaning it may be just as easy to freestyle if you are cooking something other than the specific food that the cooking modes are created for. For example, not all fish will cook in the same amount of time, and some frozen food will be cooked in minutes, not the 20 minutes allotted by Philips. Take these pre-sets with a pinch of salt when using the air fryer. 

Cooking fries