As the popularity of the best air fryers has soared over the past few years, there are so many of these appliances on the market that cater to different needs, from single or dual baskets to toaster-oven style models.
The Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven steers away from the ‘traditional’ air fryer which uses baskets and compartments to cook your food. Instead, it’s a miniature oven in air fryer size and form, and uses racks instead of a basket to create crispy chips, succulent chicken and tender vegetables.
To find out how it performs and if this style of air frying is better than baskets, I tried the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven for a month or so, and this is what I found.
Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven review: price and availability
The Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven EK5604 (to give it its full name) is £122.99 and is available to buy at Salter. It can also be found at select retailers, including Amazon and Currys and in some supermarkets, like Asda.
Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven review: Unboxing and set-up
The Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven arrived in a large cardboard box which contained the air fryer, three cooking racks, a drip tray and rotisserie accessories. As the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven has a large capacity, it can be a little heavy to pick up and move around but the entire set-up process was pretty seamless.
To set-up the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven, I followed the instructions manual (which also comes with safety precautions and recipe advice) and started by cleaning the air fryer thoroughly. I wiped down the inside of the chamber with soapy water and gave the racks, drip tray and other accessories a good scrub. Once that had dried, I wiped it down to remove any residue before putting the racks and tray inside the air fryer… and you’re good to go!
Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven review: design and features
As mentioned above, the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven doesn’t use baskets to cook your food, but instead uses racks like the best oven (but in miniature form, of course). The air fryer uses 1800W of power, has a 12-litre capacity and measures 33.90cm width, 36.50cm height and 32.20cm depth. Its compact size means it can be kept out on worktops without taking up too much space but it can also conveniently fit into a cupboard if you prefer to store it that way.
The Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven has a sleek and simple design, and comes with black and stainless steel features, like the handle. Once you plug in the air fryer, the LCD touch display screen will immediately light up to show the controls and options. To save energy, the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven doesn’t need preheating and the display will dim when not in use.
The Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven has 12 preset functions to choose from, including air fry, roast, toast, bake and rotisserie, plus food options like chips and chicken. The touchscreen is clear, concise and easy to use, so if you’re an air fryer beginner, you don’t have to guess at timings and temperatures. Aside from the preset options, the touchscreen has the on/off button, temperature controls and an adjustable timer, making it easy to customise. When the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven is in use, the timer and temperature will flash in blue and it will countdown as it cooks.
Inside the air fryer are shelving slots where you can slide in the drip tray and cooking racks. In the middle of the chamber is a rotisserie holder where you can attach the rotisserie accessory. The door to the air fryer has a clear window so you can peek into the air fryer to check on your food’s progress.
Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven review: performance
Considering the capacity of the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven, I was surprised by how compact it was when it arrived. The style and design of it is attractive and you can keep it out in your kitchen without it being an eye-sore. The drip tray and racks slide into the air fryer easily for cooking and storage when it’s not in use, which is handy if you don’t have much storage space.
My favourite experiments when using the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven was making roasted carrots, chips and chicken. I used the chip function for vegetables and chips which came out perfectly crispy and tender. My air fryer chicken came out deliciously moist and tender, and it took hardly any time at all. One great feature of the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven that I found was its quietness, as it makes hardly any noise when it’s in use. The timer counted down silently and the only sound it made was when it finished and beeped a few times.
As the cooking racks are quite small if you’re cooking a full shelf of food, I did two layers of chips and found that the bottom layer wasn’t as cooked through as the top layer. I put the second layer back in for an extra few minutes, but I did find that the cooking was a little inconsistent. Sometimes my vegetables would come out crispy on the edges but not cooked all the way through, but the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven didn’t seem to have this problem with meat.
Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven review: verdict
The Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven is a brilliant air fryer oven hybrid that makes tasty food in a matter of minutes. The design is sleek and easy-to-use, thanks to the touchscreen display and pre-set controls, and it makes your meals quickly and quietly. The accessories are versatile and simple to clean, although the inconsistency with the racks takes some getting used to and slows down an otherwise speedy process.
I think some people might be put off the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven as it uses racks instead of baskets. However, this method of cooking is incredibly similar to an oven but in an air fryer format, and it does produce delicious food without using too much oil. If it’s a large capacity you’re after, the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven has that, and it performs exceptionally well.
Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven review: alternatives to consider
If you want an air fryer with a big capacity but a more traditional air fryer layout, the Ninja Foodi FlexDrawer is a good alternative to the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven. It has a slightly smaller capacity than the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven (although it's bigger in size) with its 10.4-litre space, but it converts from a dual basket to a single basket for different meals and cooking methods.
Another alternative to the Salter Digital Air Fryer Oven is the Russell Hobbs Express Air Fryer Mini Oven. Both models have a miniature oven format and a similar capacity, viewing windows and pre-set functions, although the Russell Hobbs model is a little chunky and looks more like a microwave!