If you’re keen to eat healthier food then the best air fryers will help you reduce your oil intake, while still applying plenty of crunch to popular staples like French fries and chicken wings. There are dozens of different air fryer models to choose from, starting with budget models that come with little in the way of fuctionality. Head to the premium end of the air fryer spectrum and you’ll probably get more functions, but these machines all work on the same basic theme.
You’re effectively getting a countertop mini oven, powered using a fan and electric element that blows hot air over your food, circulating it inside a basket to create a consistently cooked and crunchy end result that is akin to pan or deep frying.
However, there’s little if any oil present. So, if you’re mad on your fried food or just like a crunchy edge then an air fryer is well worth considering. The Proscenic T21 Smart Air Fryer you see before you is a brilliant middle ground option, which offers a lot of features and functions for not a lot of money.
Proscenic T21 Smart Air Fryer: price, availability and what is it?
The Proscenic T21 Smart Air Fryer might not have the same brand identity as many of the other air fryers out there on the market, but it’s certainly got all of the right cooking credentials. It appears to be great value too as it’s on sale in the UK for just £119 and the US for $129, though doesn't look to be available in Australia.
Considering the price it packs plenty of features and functionality into a design that’s not exactly inspiring but is definitely practical. The lower ticket price does reveal a bit of corner cutting on the build quality front, and long-term durability might be an issue. However, look after it and this is an air fryer that comes with plenty of capability, which is further complimented by a supporting app.
Bear in mind those dimensions too, which at 31.4 x 31.6 x 32.6 cm means it’s another one of those kitchen appliances that requires a reasonable amount of counter top space. The same goes for storing it in a cupboard when the thing has cooled down. It’s a boxy design, which makes the task easier, but this isn’t a compact model and weighs in at 5.9kg too.
Proscenic T21 Smart Air Fryer: features
While the first thing that most people think of task-wise for an air fryer is cooking chips, these machines can do so much more. The Proscenic T21 is no exception as it comes with a raft of features and functions, many of which can be operated using the impressive touchscreen panel that dominates the front of the appliance.
Along this panel you’ll find options including 8 presets, plus customizable options allowing for just about any kind of meal prep configuration. These are divided up into obvious categories, such as Fries, Shrimp, Pizza, Chicken, Fish, Steak, Cake, Bacon and that Customize recipes button. There’s an accompanying recipe booklet that boasts a stack of mealtime suggestions along with many typos.
Thankfully, the attention to detail on the features front is rather better. A neat touch is the app and voice control capability of this machine, which can work in tandem with Alexa and Google Assistant. Quite how much use you’ll get out of it depends on how much easier you might find an app compared to using the touchscreen function buttons.
The app route is quite good for checking progress, scheduling and even customizing settings, but getting food cooked right in an air fryer is a visual thing for many, us included. We definitely prefer to hover around our air fryer dipping into the basket from time to time to check progress using our eyes alone.
Proscenic T21 Smart Air Fryer: performance
The Proscenic T21 packs 1700 watts of power along with an A+++ energy class rating (at least in the UK) and, on firing it up for the first time, sounds like it means business. In fact, starting off with a basketful of frozen French fries we did find that it was a little on the noisy side. However, noise isn't that much of an issue in the kitchen as it’s no different to running something like an extractor. That said; we’ve heard quieter models as found in our best air fryers guide.
Using the machine is simple. All you need to do is select a start time, choose a menu option and then add a time for keeping food warm once it's been heated up. The latter feature is a boon when you’re getting your final mealtime prep in place as it allows you to serve your main ingredients at optimum temperature.
This worked to really good effect on a basketful of chicken wings, and the same goes for other popular air fry staples such as spring rolls and shrimp. The temperature range seems pretty versatile, going from 77°C up to 205°C, so it covers most bases really.
There’s plenty of capacity with this unit too. It can handle 5.5 litres/5.8 quarts, which means it’s more than suitable for family use. We found it easily able to handle a bag of frozen fries, but the appliance was also great for a selection of other foodstuffs, although any sizeable chunks of meat or, say, a whole chicken will probably need to been chopped into pieces for easier access into the basket and more effective cooking.
Meanwhile, the detachable inner basket is fashioned from aluminium, but also features a Teflon coating, so this is dishwasher-friendly. The rest of the machine is easily wiped over with a damp cloth. Thankfully the Proscenic designers have produced a machine that doesn’t appear to have to many cracks and crevices that can trap bit of food, crumbs and grease residue, which is also a bonus if you’re the one cleaning it after use.
So, is Proscenic T21 Smart Air Fryer any good?
This is a an impressive air fryer that is ideally suited for family use thanks to its generous capacity and wide, though standard issue range of cooking functions. While it’ll probably see plenty of use cooking French fries, we’ve been sold on its capacity to crisp chicken wings.
However, while the app seems like a good idea and does have plenty of capability we’ve tended to use its manual controls more and maintain plenty of visual contact with the Proscenic. It’s just better that way.
As mentioned above, getting fried food just right isn't an exact science, especially if you’re picky about levels of crunchiness for things like wings. Therefore, while an app is handy if you’re not prepared to get off the sofa, we prefer to stay in close proximity to an air fryer. Nevertheless, it’s hard to fault the actual results delivered by the Proscenic. Armed with a generous capacity and a very affordable price tag this appliance will certainly suit many households.