VonShef Digital Air Fryer
The VonShef Air Fryer is a low to mid end device which is priced accordingly. The build quality is adequate but the unit is underpowered and did not perform well in out chip test. Other foods such as scones, chicken breasts and spring rolls were acceptable albeit slighty unevenly cooked.
- Editor’s Rating 60%
The VonShef Air Fryer allows you to ‘fry food’ in little or no oil (e.g. frozen chips). It is one of many low at fryers now on the market these days. It is priced at the lower end of the market and we believe this is about right. When compared to more expensive and capable equivalents it falls short in certain respects.
It has a mechanical heat setting and timer. The timer will beep when complete and turn of the device. The inside tray is non stick and so can easily be wiped down but is not dishwasher friendly. This is no big deal as it really is a simple case of wiping down with a damp soapy cloth.
The VonShef is at the lower end of power (1,300 Watts) with a decent capacity of 3.0 Litres. This is fine for most things but generally, we would expect this type unit to struggle with hand cut chips and the VonShef Air Fryer is no exception. This means it will take longer to hand cut chips and they may turn out soggy. Read our chip test for more details.
Finally, the build quality is not the best but no real cause for concern either.
VonShef Air Fryer Performance
We carried out our standard tests on the VonShef Air Fryer VonShef which consist of Betty Crocker Scones, Chicken Breasts, Chips (Hand Cut, Frozen Chunky & Frozen French Fries). We also tried out some samosas and spring rolls.
The food is placed into a tray at the front of the device. The tray is made of non-stick material. Once the food is in the device you can no longer see it. You will need to open the draw during cooking to make sure that the food is cooking evenly, and stir/ move it if necessary. This limitation is the same with all front loaders. Only the Tefal ActiFry resolves this by providing a top loader design with transparent lid and rotating paddles.
Despite our best efforts with the VonShef Air Fryer, we found that the food did not cook evenly but it did perform better than some other fryers in the same price band such as the Tower and Salter range.
We have found that all of the low fat fryers we have reviewed produced very good scones and the VonShef Air Fryer was no exception. Scones do not require a high heat intensity so they usually come out well.
Spring Rolls and Samosas
Spring Rolls and Samosas are perhaps a little forgiving. It doesn’t matter so much if they are cooked a little unevenly and so the VonShef Air Fryer produced decent results. The spring rolls and samosas were crisp if a little burnt in places.
As with the Spring rolls and Samosas, the chicken breasts cooked well, if a little unevenly. Noreal concerns here.
The Chip Test is the most challenging of any Air Fryer because chips require a constant flow of hot air. Any uneven cooking will spoil the results leaving some chips burnt and others undercooked. One way to overcome this is to underfill the tray to leave extra rom for the air to flow. However, the Vonshef Air Fryer at 3 Litres is a generous size and so should be able to cope with a full load. However, knowing that Air Fryers normally struggle with a full to capacity load, we usually reduce the load by 20% or so. So, in this case we used 600g of chips in our tests.
Generally speaking, frozen chips perform better than hand cut chips. This is because they are uniform in size, come evenly and pre-coated in oil, and have been thoroughly dried before being frozen. In both of the frozen chip tests (chunky and french fries), the results were adequate. There was still some burning and uneven cooking but with extra shaking during the cooking process this might be overcome.
Where the VonShef Air Fryer fell short was with the hand cut chips. The problem of uneven cooking was more evident with the hand cut chips. It also took much longer to cook than expected which is probably down to the VonShef being underpowered.
The VonShef Air Fryer is a low cost device which does a less than satisfactory job of chips and some other foods. However, for those on a budget it is preferred to Salter and Tower.