Here’s our Tower T17076 Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Air Fryer review in a sentence: A decent air fryer has to do more than produce crispy french fries and, with its ten different modes, this machine takes on the competition with ease. That’s because it isn’t just an air fryer.
Tower is apparently the largest selling air fryer brand in the UK, which makes me wonder why it hasn’t, as yet at any rate, made our best air fryers buying guide. That’s already packed with a solid portion of competitor brands, including Phillips, Tefal and more.
To be honest, I knew more about them from watching ancient reruns of the gameshow Bullseye on telly than anything more recent from the product portfolio. Hopefully Tower can help bolster its brand name a little with this latest release, the T17076 Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Air Fryer as its credentials immediately got me interested.
I’ve tried more than a few air fryers to date and some have been cracking machines. Little wonder the likes of Philips AirFryer XXL and the Tefal Actifry Genius stand at the top of our guide, as they’re great products. However, the Tower T17076 Xpress Pro Combo offers much more than plain old air-fried chips on its expansive feature menu. Let’s take a deep-fried dive through what’s on offer, shall we?
- A big alternative in a more traditional air fryer form: Tefal Actifry Genius XL 2in1 review
Tower Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Air Fryer: price and availability
You’ll be glad to hear that you don’t need to travel back to the 80s in order to secure a Tower product as they’re widely available at all major, and a few minor outlets in the UK. Stocks of the Tower T17076 Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Air Fryer should, in fact, be reaching the stores by the time you read this, with a price of £139.99. You can order yours from Amazon (opens in new tab) right now actually.
Tower Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Air Fryer: what is it?
There’s no doubt that Tower knows a thing about producing decent kitchen appliances, so this latest machine comes with a very decent pedigree. Crucially, the secret to this particular appliance is its combo credentials.
What that means is you get a whole host of cooking features and functions: rotisserie, pizza, chargrill, kebabs, toast, bake, dehydrate, grill, roast and, natch, air fry. It’s actually more of a mini oven in many ways, especially seeing as there’s a front-loading door, which is different to most traditional air fryers. Tower has previously offered up a 5-in-1 model, but this new edition doubles the cooking functionality, meaning you’ve got a wider array of ways to cook everything and anything.
The packaging gives you a colourful insight into what to expect and this is a reasonably big machine too (33.9 x 32.4 x 38.2 centimetres), as I found while manhandling it out of its large box. It’s quite a weighty thing at 7.4kg, which is hardly surprising given the 2000 Watts of power and 11-litre capacity of the appliance, plus the selection of accessories that come as part of the package. You get a rotisserie fork and handle arrangement, reversible chargrill and pizza plate, a trio of air flow racks along with 10 rotating kebab skewers.
There’s also a wire rack, which is handy for fries and a non-stick oil tray too. Tower even throws in a pair of heatproof finger mitts, which look a little daft but work a treat.
Tower Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Air Fryer: is it any good?
The Tower T17076 Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Air Fryer certainly isn’t light on features and functions. At its core lies the Tower Vortx air frying technology, which allows you to cook your food faster and therefore more efficiently. Tower states it does this 30% quicker than a conventional oven and, naturally, the other big draw with a machine like this is that there’s less oil in evidence.
A definite bonus with this machine is its size. While the appliance is quite big, and therefore requires a reasonable amount of countertop space, the innards can handle that little bit more too. You’ll get a medium chicken in there if rotisserie-style fare is up your street. Indeed, the rotisserie feature is perhaps the USP of this machine.
Why? Well, the appliance comes with a rotisserie fork and handle that fits inside the unit. This duly rotates with your speared meat cuts of choice suspended on the accessory, thereby cooking it just right. It's a mesmerising sight to see your pork or chicken joint going through the motions. In fact, the experience is one of high-end deli, but in your kitchen. The aroma is similarly authentic too. Crackling anyone?
Similarly, there’s enough depth and width to accommodate a midsize pizza too. Anything else, such as cuts of meat, sausages, fish and vegetables too are therefore easy to load into the machine. Management of said items is also a cinch thanks to the glass-fronted door.
Tower has done a decent job with the accessories needed to cook all these things too, including the rotisserie attachments mentioned above. There are wire trays, baskets and a three-tier stacking system that makes it wonderfully versatile. We spent more time cooking other things than our air fryer staple of french fries. But that is, of course, because this is a combination appliance. In that respect it’s actually a little more versatile than some of the more basic air fryers out there. It’s brilliant if you’re looking to use your oven less too.
Adding to that point, the Tower is easier to clean because it’s up on a countertop compared to an oven where you invariably need to stoop down to delve into the darkness with a squeegee.
Tower Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Air Fryer: performance
We fired up the Tower T17076 Xpress Pro Combo and tried the usual selection of options, starting with a tray of frozen french fries. The appliance is a little different in this respect, compared to conventional air fryers, in that there’s no basket or receptacle for your chips. The Tower unit, with its front-loading door, needs you to slide your fries in on a wire tray. This does work fairly well in that there’s really decent air circulation, which results in very respectable, not to mention crunchy chips in no time. But this alone will not be pulling me away from my current Philips machine. The other cooking modes, though, certainly will.
Selecting one of the 10 different options is a doddle, with the Tower being much more intuitive than, say, the Tefal Actifry Genius I have. That’s great, but I still have to revert back to the curled up manual to remember how all the modes get triggered. Not so with the Tower. Controls are located along the top of the unit, which offer precision tweaking of temperature using up and down arrows along with a host of other options. In fact, I’ve loved using the manual controls on this machine. With practice these allow you to fine-tune food times so that it’s cooked to suit your own taste.
I have to say, I cooked a smallish chicken really well. Again, the heat circulating right the way around the bird works a treat, allowing thorough penetration into the meat, while browning the outside to great effect. My team of taste testers, aka, members of the family loved the crunch factor of the chicken. This was tempered with the fact that the organic meat wasn’t too greasy. A thumbs up for roasted chicken then.
I got a similarly enthusiastic reaction to my homemade lamb kebabs, which are often swimming in oil, but much of it dripped off thanks to the way the food is suspended in the unit. The added attraction of the Tower is its raised position, plus the window, which allows you to keep an eye on things that burn with annoying ease. Case in point was a frozen pizza, which I also managed to cook to perfection thanks to its lofty position on the worktop and the way I was able to track its changing colour on a gentler heat setting with minute-by-minute accuracy.
Naturally, where there’s heat and oil you will get some mess, but I found the Tower pretty good for cleaning up oily residue and the odd bit of blackened chicken skin or roasted veg. The inner casing has some undulations that you’ll need to work at a little more come wash time, but the trays and basket accessories are easily tackled with some super hot water. The exterior casing can be swiftly wiped over too, emulating the ease and convenience of owning a regular air fryer.
Tower Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Air Fryer: verdict
I like the Tower T17076 Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Air Fryer a lot, especially when it comes to cooking meat evenly. The best example of that is the way it can roast a decent chunk of chicken or pork to perfection via the rotisserie accessories. There’s also plenty of appeal for families who want an express lane route for cooking multiple meals in one go. By making use of the trio of cooking levels and various baskets and trays it’s easy to throw lots of things in then serve them all up hot and at the same time.
I’m slightly less convinced about the Tower’s ability to air fry chips – it does the job brilliantly, with ready-to-serve fries emerging in around 20 minutes depending on how you like ‘em. However, the downside is the lack of a container, which makes the process a little less slick than if you’ve got your chips in a tray. Using the wire basket works, but moving the fries around midway can, and did, result in several ending up on the floor.
That’s a minor gripe though, because aside from that this is an appliance that does lots of things really well. And nine out of ten ain’t really that bad, is it? So we'll have to get the Tower T17076 Xpress Pro Combo 10-in-1 Air Fryer into our best air fryers guide in time - it deserves to be there.