Philips Air Fryer XXL vs Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1: which air fryer should you buy?

Two very different but equally brilliant air fryers that will transform your mealtimes

Philips vs Tefal
(Image credit: Philips / Tefal)

They might not be the newest kids on the block, but the Philips Air Fryer XXL and Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 still rate as two of the best air fryers money can buy. Why? Both appliances are great for producing copious piles of fries, which are arguably everyone’s favourite savoury snack, but they can do way more than that.

Both can also cook a raft of other dinnertime options, all while adding a healthier edge into the mealtime mix too. Alongside frying duties, these kitchen appliances can roast, grill, bake, reheat and keep food warm, all using just the one machine.

The big bonus if you buy an air fryer is that you can look forward to cooking with less or no oil, but these appliances are also a great and highly efficient way to heat food in much less time. In fact, the Philips Air Fryer XXL and Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 handle the task better than most based on our experience with both appliances.

We’ve been using these air fryers for a good while now and they’ve become such a hit with us that we now rarely put the oven on. Read on to see how our two top choices stack up.

• Buy the Philips Air Fryer XXL at Amazon UK

• Buy the Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 at Amazon UK

• Buy the Philips Air Fryer XXL at Amazon US

Sorry, north America, the Tefal is not available in your nation. So for you, the Philips wins by default.

Philips Air Fryer XXL

(Image credit: Philips)

Philips Air Fryer XXL vs Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1: are they just air fryers?

Both the Philips Air Fryer XXL and Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 are much more than just air fryers. Of the two, the Philips is perhaps the most conventional take on a standard air fryer, with a front-loading basket that is used to heat food up via internal fan heat. The dimensions of this unit make it practical, though it’s not exactly dinky at 322 x 433 x 316 mm, so you’ll need some room on your countertop.

It’s possible to choose from manual settings or 5 different cooking programs using the button pad and dial on the front of the unit. The Philips Air Fryer XXL can fry, grill, roast and bake too while the spacious basket can handle up to 1.4 kilos of fries as a guide to its generous capacity. You also get a keep warm function, which is handy.

The Tefal not only looks different due to its circular, rotund design measuring 476mm x 328mm x 263mm but it also packs in a slightly different way of doing things. In fact, it’s very different to the Philips air fryer because along with cooking dry meals with it the Tefal can take on ‘wet’ challenges. That’s because it’s got a bowl and paddle design, that allows you to create casseroles, curries and other meals that feature more of a sauce in their make up.

Even though the Philips can’t handle wet recipes it's still pretty good at taking on other air frying tasks, as well as roasting and baking chores too. Both appliances are also hugely useful for their ability to keep dishes warm, which is a real plus if you’re ready to serve up food but there’s nobody at the table. It’s handy for keeping leftovers hot if you’re looking for seconds too.

Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1

(Image credit: Tefal)

Philips Air Fryer XXL vs Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1: what is performance like?

It’s fair to say that you can expect excellent performance from both machines. The Philips Air Fryer XXL boasts plenty of capacity for starters, plus it’s got oodles of power. Combine the two things and you can easily roast a whole chicken inside the pan in less than an hour. The great thing with this model is that there are effectively two inner pans, a larger outer one that collects all of the oil. Inside that there’s a basket with a non-stick mesh grill. This pops out for cleaning by the way. Meanwhile, all of the surplus oil drips down and away from the food.

The Philips model packs 2225 watts of power, and uses what the manufacturers describe as a tornado of hot air to melt away fat. That’s actually a pretty good description of events as your chicken, fries or whatever it is you’re cooking, gets blasted by intense heat. This results in that great crispy edge to your food once it’s cooked, which is why an air fryer is so good at cooking fries. However, ease off on the heat settings a little and the unit can bake delicate items such as muffins or desserts too.

Meanwhile, the Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 sports a brilliant specification, with the headline feature being the way it can carry out 2 in 1 cooking. The appliance has a lower pan and a smaller upper tray. Depending on the meal you can cook different ingredients on the two levels ultimately producing one complete meal at the end of it. The potential is actually pretty amazing, with up to 54 smart programmes and 9 core auto programmes that do all of the hard work for you.

The Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 is even handier because in the lower bowl there’s a paddle that automatically stirs the food ingredients, which means more even cooking. With a 1.7kg capacity or the ability to handle around 8 portions it's more than big enough to cater for any kind of family. This machine is quick too, up to 30% faster at cooking meals than other Actifry models in the range. The 1500 watts of power plus that circulating bowl and tray system means the Tefal is really good at cooking crispy food very evenly.

However, the real ace up the sleeve of the Tefal is the way that it can do all of the things the Philips can do, but it's also suitable for cooking those aforementioned wet meals. That means you can cook curries, casseroles, stews and more. This is one of the few air fryers that can do this, which makes it even more useful in the kitchen. Better still, because it's armed with the paddle in the bowl, the workload for making a dish is cut down dramatically. No more standing over a pan keeping things moving so they don't burn. 

Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1

(Image credit: Tefal)

Philips Air Fryer XXL vs Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1: are they good value?

Neither appliance could be classed as cheap, although if you’re on the lookout for a budget model then our best air fryer guide has models to suit all pockets. However, we think either of these machines represents great value for money purely because of the versatility, innovation and build quality that’s on offer. Both brands have been around for a long time and that quality pedigree is worth paying extra for.

You might be able to bag a deal on the Philips Air Fryer XXL, but it’s normally around the £300 mark. If you’re frying chips once a week then that might seem like a lot, but if you plan on making use of the appliance for other mealtimes then it soon becomes better value. Philips throws in a recipe book for you too, although the real value here is in the overall package. Turning the dial or pressing the program buttons tells you this has appliance has been put together properly and should return a good few years service.

The Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 can be had for around £270 and again, that’s quite a lot if you’re not going to exploit its full potential. Shop around and you will most likely get it for less, but it’s still worth the asking price. Considering just how much the Tefal can do it’s probably the better value kitchen gadget. It’s an appliance that can do all sorts and with the minimum of hassle. The Tefal comes with everything needed to get started plus, as an added bonus, there’s a great app, which we prefer to its Philips counterpart.

Indeed, the app is an ideal go-to option if you’re not quite sure what to cook in your new purchase. It’s got lots of ready to go suggestions, over 300 recipes in fact, with full instructions laid out in a simple step-by-step fashion. However, there’s also a natty feature that can come up with a recipe for the machine based on what you’ve got in your fridge. By and large this app really works well, although it does occasionally go a little wonky or doesn't quite make sense. On the whole though it's an excellent supplement to a wonderful machine.

Philips Air Fryer XXL

(Image credit: Philips)

Philips Air Fryer XXL vs Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1: are they reliable?

Get either one of these appliances and you’re buying into a tried and trusted brand on both counts. We’ve enjoyed great service from both devices and the build quality is excellent for each. We were initially worried that both units would be a hassle to keep clean, but they feature dishwasher-friendly components that can be washed alongside your other dishes. The main unit needs to be kept away from water for obvious reasons though.

We’ve been using both air fryers for a while now and so far there hasn’t been anything that might indicate they’re less than reliable. You will find that over time there’s a fair amount of discolouration to things like the basket on the Philips and the paddle on the Tefal. This is hard to stop due to the temperatures involved and the recipes the machines can handle.

Aside from that, we’re impressed by just how resilient both machines have been. The Tefal wins the most reliable award though for having the rotating paddle that has stirred everything from very large stews and casseroles through to pushing chunky baked potato wedges around in the bowl. This is despite the way that sometimes things like chunks of potato or sweetcorn can tend to get wedged in and stop the paddle rotating. If this happens you have to lift the lid and free the jam, but it’s really no biggie.

 

Tefal vs Philips

(Image credit: Tefal / Philips)

Philips Air Fryer XXL vs Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1: which one should I buy?

The Philips machine is a great bit of kit, with its Twin TurboStar performance, power and capacity to suit all kinds of cooking requirements. It’s ideally suited to family, particularly those with a penchant for French fries and other crispy treats on a very regular basis. 

We love its easy to use features, with controls that are precise but flexible if you need to tweak them. The cooking itself is largely excellent, although we have had quite a lot of cooking smoke billow out the back when frying thick burgers. Keeping the unit near a hob extractor takes care of that issue though.

If you want the added benefit of being able to cook wet dishes the Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 is the model to go for. It’s a little more awkward to find a home for, both on a countertop and in a cupboard due to its slightly curious shape. 

Nevertheless, for the sheer diversity of cooking options the Tefal delivers then it’s very hard to beat. The appliance produces excellent French fries, potato wedges, chicken wings and spring rolls, but that is merely the tip of the iceberg. If you want a kitchen appliance that can cover most, if not all mealtime requirements then the Tefal is the one to go for; it’s brilliant.

• Buy the Philips Air Fryer XXL at Amazon UK

• Buy the Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 at Amazon UK

• Buy the Philips Air Fryer XXL at Amazon US

Rob Clymo
Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember...