What reviewers and bloggers have to say about the Philips TurboStar Digital Air Fryer


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Image: Philips

Basket-style air fryers were the first style to really make air fryers pop off in the home market.

But just like the long-standing Crock-Pot fad has been overshadowed by the Instant Pot, air fryers are being streamlined to do much more than air frying. (See also: Instant Vortex Plus and Ninja Foodi.)

There’s something to be said about simplicity. An appliance doesn’t need bells and whistles to be great, and the Philips TurboStar Digital Air Fryer is proof. The straightforward basket fryer consistently wins a top spot in “best air fryer” lists (including number one at Forbes), even over models that claim to do 10 things. Amazon customer Max Nobody asserts that it’s one of those rare appliances that lives up to the marketing hype.

“It is rare that you get an appliance that lives up to its marketing hype. This is one of those rare exceptions. The guys at Phillips are doing something right. Highly recommend.”

Does the rest of the internet feel the same way, or is this traditional fryer too basic for $300? We’ve summed up what customers and food bloggers have said about function, user friendliness, and more.

Which Philips air fryer is the best?

Philips was the first brand to market an air fryer for use by us regular folk. Since 2010, the home tech giant has released an overwhelming number of air fryer models (plus multiple versions of each of those models). The second generation HD9641 model is 20% smaller than the original, freeing up counter space while keeping the same 2.75-quart capacity. (Philips expanded to a 3.5-quart XL version and 4-quart XXL Twin TurboStar version for feeding more than two mouths.) There’s also an analog TurboStar that’s pretty great — just ask Gordon Ramsay.

If you’re wondering what the hell TurboStar technology even is, you’re not alone — even the brand itself has a hard time giving a definitive answer. Here’s how we’ve come to understand it: The bottom of the basket uses a pinwheel-shaped starfish design to swirl hot air around each piece of food rather than dousing it like a vat of oil.

What reviewers and bloggers have to say about the Philips TurboStar Digital Air Fryer

Reddit user TimBoyd appreciated the unique design: 

“I’ve watched a bunch of YouTube vids about AirFrying and note that most of the non-Philips airfryers either have large holes in the main basket or none at all. The Philips baskets have a mesh bottom and a wide trough around the basket, which I believe allows greater airflow to cook the food faster / better based on the fact that I don’t need to toss my recipe ingredients as frequently as with other AF designs to achieve even cooking results. The unique starfish air circulation design doesn’t appear to just be hype.”

The Digital TurboStar is not to be confused with the Philips Viva (HD9621), which has garnered much more mixed reviews.

What people like about it

This automated twist on a classic is a win-win for newbies and hardcore foodies alike, offering nearly 10 years of experience in a device with little learning curve. The sleek screen is a step up from analog models. Being able to clearly read your settings makes less room for error, not to mention the ~modern~ curb appeal. Amazon customer L. Kennedy sums it up:

“I am so glad I chose this. Can’t compare to others as this is my first but I did a lot of research and this one is living up to my expectations. The material seems to be sturdy. I’ll have to give it some time on durability although I did drop the basket once and nothing happened. It is very easy to either wash by hand or pop in dishwasher. I usually didn’t fry foods because I don’t like all the grease and spatter wreaked havoc around the stove area. No longer a concern for either. I’ve cooked legs, pork chops, shrimp, scallops and all come out excellently cooked. I use creole seasoning which seems to marinate into the meat without an hours long marinating time. This air fryer isn’t cheap but for me, it was money well spent.”

Kitchennin’s review, which is headed by “STUNNING” (yes, in all caps), could barely find anything negative to say about it.

Select presets for french fries, chicken, fish, and vegetables by scrolling through with the dial, or simply tamper manually. Though not as spacious as something like the Breville Smart Oven, the TurboStar can also grill, roast, bake, and keep food warm.

What reviewers and bloggers have to say about the Philips TurboStar Digital Air Fryer

Avoiding hand washing is always a plus. The Digital TurboStar’s grease tray and basket are dishwasher safe, and the basket handle is removable for quick wipe downs.

What people don’t like about it

Halving cooking time doesn’t do much good when food is undercooked or overcooked. The Digital TurboStar is locked on temperatures in increments of 25 — what’s weirder is that Philips’ own recipe book calls for temperatures outside of the ones programmed in its devices.

Amazon user kathee1g found the temperature gradients to be a deal killer:

“Unknown to me, the temperature settings on this fryer are limited to 25 degree increments – 200, 225, 250, 300 etc. Not being familiar with this type of cooking, I searched online for recipes and VERY few have settings for these degrees – many require like 230 degrees or 380, etc. The app and documents that come with this fryer only include a handful of recipes. Maybe I missed this detail in the description, but if I had known this, I would have opted for a different model. Too expensive in my mind to be this limiting.”

Some accessories are necessary to fully take advantage of the deep basket and extra functions, but many (like the grill plate or splash lid) aren’t included with the purchase and can be hard to find online. According to Frybetter.com’s review, “you can really only fill the basket half full in order for food to turn out properly.”

Pricing and where to buy

The Philips Digital TurboStar is available at Amazon, Best Buy, Williams Sonoma, and Philips’ official site. It retails at a hefty $299.95 but is almost always on sale for $249.95.



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