CalmTime Electric Air Fryer Review

CalmTime Electric Air Fryer Review

Buy it at Amazon: CalmTime Electric Air Fryer [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Heats up fast, cooks evenly, budget quality but works as advertised; food comes out great.

This air fryer measures 12" tall and has a 9" diameter. It is 12" wide if you include the handle. The power cable is 4 ft long. The unit comes with an instruction manual, but mine was only in Spanish and is for an air fryer but not this model (the images show a different product than what I received). Luckily the unit is pretty straightforward to use. The fryer bowl is removed by simply pulling firmly on the handle. The bowl is 8.5" diameter and 4" deep. The inner fryer basket is removable. The both the fryer bowl and basket have a non-stick surface. The capacity of the fryer basket is about 2.5 quarts. To me, the fryer basket sits a little too low inside the bowl because the bottom of it touches the raised center of the bowl. I can see some light scuffs and expect it to wear away the non-stick coating relatively quickly; the proximity may also prevent some air circulation.

I like that this air fryer has a mesh screen in front of the heating elements that prevents food like kale chips and popcorn from blowing around and burning on the heating element. On the front of the unit you have two dials, the temperature control and the auto-shutoff timer. The temperature is only shown in Centigrade from 0 to 200° Celsius or about 392 degrees F. The timer has individual minutes from 1-10 and then dots going up to 20 then 30 minutes. It's easy to turn on and has some resistance when shortening the timer. There is no setting for "always on" for safety reasons. On the top of the unit is a quick reference chart with times and temperatures for some common foods you might make in the fryer.

The timer works like a charm for pre-cooked frozen fried foods like french fries, calamari, and chicken nuggets. However, be careful when opening it when it's on because there's no safety shutoff when you remove the bowl from the fryer. This means that after you take the bowl out, the heating element and fan (and timer) will continue to run. On other air fryers that I've used, the unit typically shuts off, although they'll also usually run down the timer (unless the timer is digital). At first I had a hard time getting the bowl to slide in smoothly and get seated correctly. The trick is to hold the bowl up against the top of the inner chamber as you slide it in to make sure the lip of the bowl slides into the slot at the top.

With most breaded foods, they come out dry and crispy on the outside and crunchy, just like fried foods. But they are also light tasting and not greasy at all. I've also cooked meats and vegetables in it and it works very much like a convection oven but cooks food a bit faster. with most foods, you should flip, turn, or stir the food in the basket around the halfway mark. If the basket is very full, you may have to do this several times to ensure good circulation of the heat and even cooking. One thing to watch out for is when closing the cover on the release button, if you pull too far back, the top portion of the handle sometimes pops out. There are no clips on it that keep it securely in place. Overall, the fryer cooks as well as I expected. It heats up fast and the cooks food evenly. It's not as polished a device as some of the more expensive models and it's got some minor design quirks but the function of it seems fine. It would be nice if the vendor could include or e-mail a set of directions for this fryer in English. I love using it though; it makes the best kale chips!

Buy it at Amazon: CalmTime Electric Air Fryer [Affiliate Link]

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