As we’ve already established with our review of the larger Philips Airfryer XXL, this is a company that likes to baffle with its product numbers. This model is therefore the Philips Airfryer HD9621/91 Viva Collection in the UK, but there are other very similar relatives in the range it would seem. In the USA the nearest match we can find is the Philips HD9621/96 TurboStar Airfryer. Okay. Just to make it a bit more confusing, the 9621 now seems to have been replaced by the 9721 in the UK. Got that? Good.
No matter, as whatever it's called this compact Philips Airfryer is another cracking, air fryer or health fryer, and it is, of course, a lot smaller than the XXL model mentioned above. While the Big Daddy Airfryer is great if you benefit from a huge kitchen and acres of work surfaces then that’s the model for you. If, on the other hand, space is tight then this variation on the theme is perfect. There is a bit of bad news in that this air fryer can’t handle a chunky whole chicken, unlike it's big bro. You might be able to find a small bird that will fit, but there’s definitely less space inside. Other than that though you’ll find that the Philips Airfryer HD9621 ticks all of the boxes when it comes to cooking food more efficiently and delivers tastier, healthier results too. Baskets of spicy chicken wings are our faves so far.
You’ll need a little bit of practice to really get the best from it, but that’s par for the course with an air fryer. Once mastered, however, an air fryer can be a real must-have gadget for the kitchen and removes the need for using the oven in most cases.
Philips Viva Collection Airfryer HD9721: what is it?
The Philips Airfryer HD9721 is a 1300-watt, mid-sized 800-gram capacity air fryer that can be positioned on a worktop surface anywhere that you can access a mains plug. You’ll need to leave enough space for ventilation though as air fryers can get hot, and they also need space for the hot air exhaust to dissipate from the rear of the unit.
Controls on this model are just about as simple as they come. There’s a dial on the front for the time and a dial on the top for setting the required heat. Pop your food into the pull-out drawer on the front of the unit, slide it back in and you’re good to go. Philips TurboStar technology takes care of the rest by rapidly circulating hot air inside the machine, while oil and grease deposits drip through the cooking grille into the base of the pan and out of harms way.
The Philips Airfryer HD9621 comes with some very basic instructions, so you’ll need to get the better versions via download from Philips website. There’s a handy recipe book too, but there are no accessories. Therefore, in the absence of asbestos fingers, we found a pair of tongs and a wooden spoon proved quite useful in keeping food moving so it cooks evenly.
Philips Airfryer Viva Collection: is it any good?
Philips claims that its Philips Airfryers can produce meals that reduce fat by 80% and, having tested the appliance cooking various dishes, we can certainly vouch for its fat extracting qualities. The usual offenders, such as chicken legs and wings, for example, emerge from the air fryer with the bulk of the oil and fat left inside the unit rather than all over the food.
Fish, meanwhile, salmon in our tests was able to crisp up beautifully on the outside, having the same sort of crust that you get by pan frying in butter. The big difference is that you don't need any oil to achieve the same effect, while the inside remains moist.
Another win for the air fryer is its speed and efficiency. We found the Philips Viva Collection Airfryer is definitely quicker for cooking a pack of assorted chicken pieces (legs/wings/thighs) than firing up the oven. Plus, it’ll do a great job on cooking vegetables too and with practice you can synchronise the production of a whole meal inside the unit.
It does away with a pile of prep dishes, plus pots and pans. As for cleaning the appliance then the removable drawer and food basket are dishwasher safe. The main electrical unit, obviously, isn't, but you can wipe the black plastic casing over with a wet cloth no probs.
Philips Viva Collection Airfryer HD9621/9721: verdict
This Airfryer is another hit from Philips. It’s fast, efficient and quiet too considering how well it’ll cook your food. Of course, we tried chips in it and both frozen and french fries came out tops. You’ll need to remember to take them out and give them a shake though, otherwise they’ll cook unevenly and a bit of spray on oil won’t go amiss either.
Some items can be made to look even more appetizing by brushing with a little oil too in order to increase the browning effect, with chicken thighs being a prime example. Vegetables meanwhile cook impressively, and everything seems to happen way quicker than doing them using an alternative method.
If you're looking for swifter mealtimes then an air fryer is a definite bonus. And, if you hate washing up or don't have a dishwasher then you’ll find there’s hardly anything to clean up after you’ve eaten. Another plus point is the way the Philips Airfryer HD9621 can also be used for baking, but note that you’ll need to shell out for accessories, such as muffin cups or a baking pan for producing cakes and bread. Nevertheless, this is a great little machine.