The new high-end fryer from Philips is impressive. That’s the least we can say, with its dimensions of approximately 33.5 x 44 cm side by 35 cm high. If you don’t have enough space on your work surface to leave it there, it’s better to look elsewhere. It may be difficult to store it in a piece of furniture. Although it is not discreet, it nevertheless has shapes that we find quite elegant and above all a matt finish that is not very dirty.
We would certainly have liked to see something other than plastic on the exterior of the fryer, but the device seems solid and well built. The height of refinement, a telescopic rail accompanies the opening of the drawer. There is therefore no need to take out a trivet or find a heat-resistant surface to place it on at the end of cooking, and the rail also avoids having to support its entire weight. You can simply pull out the bowl and dump its contents onto a serving dish or directly onto the plates. This may seem trivial, but with a capacity of 8.3 liters, you can quickly load the basket without really realizing it.
Philips announces a capacity of 2 kg. During our tests, we cooked a little over 1 kg of fresh fries in it with the impression that this basket could actually accommodate double that, and our 1.6 kg chicken did not look particularly good. ‘narrow either, although you still have to be careful with the height; the basket is just over 10 cm deep. Philips does not provide accessories for cooking on several levels, nor is it possible to simultaneously cook meat on one side and its accompaniment on the other, as with the two drawers of the Foodi MAX Dual Zone AF400EU.
Of course, it is also possible to remove the basket completely if necessary, to tip the fries into a salad bowl, for example. Just take it by the handle. Note also that the Airfryer HD9880 includes a basket and a bowl, the first inserting into the second. It is then kept in suspension, which avoids having to add a perforated tray at the bottom to facilitate the circulation of hot air, as is often recommended to do when there is only one tank without independent basket.
As is often the case with Philips, the bowl has a raised bottom to guide and diffuse the hot air and the basket also has a mesh bottom to let it pass through, which is not so common on fryers without oil. However, this does not prevent the preparations from being mixed, as a stirring paddle would do. Another originality is that markers are written on the walls of the basket. They do not indicate volume or weight, but levels which can be entered when programming the device to adapt cooking times to the quantity of ingredients.
Generally speaking, we can say that the Airfryer HD9880 is very easy to program. It inherits the screen found on the Air Cooker NX0960, and the interface that goes with it. It can thus provide clear and readable information, which is not always the case with very common pictograms. Some fryers, like the Air Fryer MAX AF160EU from Ninja, also have buttons with the name of the function associated with them… but in English. Brief. The screen makes the experience much more accessible and intuitive, even if we are still far from that of a Cookeo with its touch screen. Navigation here involves a button to turn and press.
Above all, the Philips fryer does not integrate recipes strictly speaking. To find one, you have to take out your phone and use the NutriU application, which can also send the cooking parameters to the fryer using Wi-Fi; This at least avoids having to juggle between two interfaces. You can also start the fryer remotely, but there is less benefit there. On the other hand, following cooking remotely can be more interesting.
The fryer screen allows you to adjust the fryer manually, with a duration of 1 to 180 minutes, a temperature of 40 to 200°C and one of two fan speeds, but also gives access to automatic programs. Around thirty are integrated and others are available in the application. They offer predefined settings for fries, meats, dairy products, etc. Unlike the programs of many competing models, they can include several stages here. For fries, for example, cooking starts at 160°C, then continues at 180°C after 15 minutes.
It is also possible to use the probe with meats. The screen shows where and how to insert the probe using small animations, then offers to select a piece or even a recipe – for example, a BBQ chicken – as well as a cooking level so that the duration adapts. The duration, moreover, also adapts to the quantity, by indicating the weight or thickness of the meats. It is also with automatic programs that the benchmarks mentioned earlier in the basket can be used.
The temperature probe can also be used via the dedicated menu, which is nothing other than a manual mode allowing you to set a target core temperature. So it’s a little less practical, but it’s still a good troubleshooting solution if a piece of meat is not in the program list. The probe is in any case a real plus for successfully cooking meats, not always easy to control by eye.
Philips also offers a keep warm mode, a favorites system and a history to quickly find settings, as well as a Cleaning section which we will come back to in the dedicated section. In the meantime, note that the cooking probe and the power cable can be stored in specially provided housings at the back of the appliance when it is not in use.
Like any cooking appliance, the Airfryer HD9880 requires regular cleaning. Philips has also provided a dedicated section in the fryer interface, as it had already done on its AirCooker. But while it allows access to automatic cleaning programs on the latter, this is not the case here. There are simply animations showing how to clean removable and non-removable parts. It’s better than nothing, but we expected better, especially since the oil-free fryer is not a very complicated appliance to clean in itself.
The basket and the bowl can be cleaned after each use. It is obviously better to wait until they have cooled, but it is better not to wait too long either to prevent the fat from congealing. Thanks to their non-stick coating, the bowl and the walls of the basket are easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher. The bottom of the basket can be removed for thorough cleaning. It is also dishwasher safe. The temperature probe is the only removable element that cannot be put in the dishwasher, but cleaning it is very simple. Especially since the absence of coating allows you to use a scouring pad without risk of damaging it in the event of stubborn dirt.
Depending on the dishes cooked, the fryer cavity may also be dirty. Philips has, however, provided a protective grid to prevent projections from reaching the resistance. So simply clean this grid with a damp sponge, or even a scouring pad. You can of course also wipe the outside of the fryer with a cloth, but its matte coating is not very dirty.
The Airfryer HD9880 is equipped with a resistance combined with a fan responsible for diffusing hot air in the tank, whose announced power is 2200 W. To facilitate settings, automatic programs are offered, but it is also possible to enter them manually. The temperature can be adjusted between 40 and 200°C and two fan speeds are available.
The change in speed is noticeable on our measurements, but doesn’t seem to make a major difference. The temperature is just a little more stable at low speed. However, it is never completely stable, and varies with the same amplitude. By setting the fryer to 180°C, for example, the temperature at the bottom of the basket fluctuates between 175 and 185°C regardless of the fan speed. The heating time is also similar.
Generally speaking, the Airfryer HD9880 is fast enough that the user can do without preheating, and the temperature at the bottom of the basket never strays more than 5°C from the requested temperature. Other models do a little better, like the CP158-AF from Cosori or the Foodi MAX Dual Zone AF400EU from Ninja, but it’s still a very good performance. We will add that the hot air is always very well distributed in the basket.
In addition to our measurements, we always make at least one recipe to assess the performance of oil-free fryers: fries of course, and fresh ones at that. The Airfryer HD9880 is advertised for a capacity of 2 kg, but the instructions still advise not to exceed level 4 of the tank for fries, which is equivalent to approximately 1 kg. So we followed this recommendation and got excellent fries. Rarely has an air fryer produced so much crispiness. This is all the more surprising as the dedicated program does not heat above 180°C. The cooking was also quite even, mixing the basket only twice. It’s really an excellent surprise.
In addition, we wanted to test the temperature probe with a roast chicken. Here again, it’s difficult to find fault, except perhaps the skin is not golden enough. It was nevertheless crispy. The flesh remained juicy, in accordance with the level of cooking requested beforehand. In short, the new Philips fryer is perhaps not the most precise in our comparison, but the result on the plate is among the best.