Product reviewed: KRUPS AJ1000 2.5L Air Fryer
Bethany: I’m always keen to try a new kitchen appliance, but few have been as highly anticipated in my household as the KRUPS AJ1000 2.5L Air Fryer. Fried food is a source of comfort, and if a product exists that creates the flavor and texture without an oily mess, I’ll happily be the guinea pig.
Madeline: I was delighted to try this air fryer. It’s a countertop convection oven with a fan that blows air through an electric heating element, around the food, through the mesh basket, and then recirculates air back to the top.
First Impressions — Convenient and Versatile
Bethany: The first observation, and major plus, is convenience. After removing the air fryer from the box, I was pleased to see the manual had a chart with recommended cooking temperatures and times, and was stunned to see quiche and muffins on the list! This kitchen tool has only three main parts: the oven, pan and basket. No assembly is required — hallelujah — and the self-timer appeased my set-it-and-forget mentality.
Madeline: The machine is easy to use and has a 2.5-liter capacity, which is ideal for two or a small family. The temperature range is 300° to 390°F, making it well suited to cook an array of foods.
The Cooking Experience: A+ for Proteins
Bethany: I placed chicken wings into a cold machine — a rookie mistake. Just as an oven needs to pre-heat, I recommend setting the nozzle for a minute to warm the air fryer before adding food. On my second attempt, the result was perfectly cooked wings with tight skin and tender meat that could be served at a sports bar. Equally as successful was marinated pork loin, which stayed surprisingly juicy and took under 25 minutes. Overall, the fryer’s performance with animal proteins was an A+.
Next I had a little fun with frozen pork dumplings and breakfast potatoes. Again, the KRUPS fryer passed the test with flying colors. It was a way to add crunch to my favorite frozen snack foods without the hassle of using oil or the scare of a kitchen fire.
The downside to the air fryer is its performance with fresh vegetables and tubers. Even pre-soaking and drying my fresh potato slices for an hour, as recommended, did not improve the fry. They were edible with good flavor, but the texture was closer to baked than fried. Overall, I discovered that vegetables with higher water content such as zucchini performed poorly, but lower water content vegetables such as broccoli could achieve a crisper texture.
Madeline: My future daughter-in-law wanted me to try fried pickles, and I gave those a try along with zucchini and chicken cutlets. The manual recommends cooking foods half-way, opening and shaking the basket and then turning and cooking the remaining time. Starting with the zucchini, I had a hard time getting the breadcrumbs to stick, and the end result was a crunchy outside with a soft, mushy inside. I tried pickles the exact same way and had much better results — incredibly crunchy and delicious! Lastly, I air-fried the chicken and these were the favorite. They were succulent, crispy, moist and nicely browned.
Bethany: If fried foods are a frequent dinner guest at your home, this air fryer is a convenient way to indulge without the oily mess. It had pluses and minuses, but its versatility makes it a worthy kitchen appliance for your home.
Madeline: Agree — overall this machine is a win-win for anyone who wants crispy, moist fried food without the mess and excess fat. If you have room for one of these small appliances, I would recommend it for its ease of use and clean up.