Russell Hobbs Satisfry Air Fryer (Medium 4l) | £94.99 | Tester: Sally FitzGerald
4-litre medium black air fryer with 10 pre-set programs and 7-in-1 functions
The Russell Hobbs Satisfry Medium Air Fryer is a basket fryer with a compact form, but will it suit your family's needs? We put it to the test to find out...
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Are you finding it difficult to choose which air fryer to invest in? You wouldn’t be alone.
Should you go for a basket/drawer air fryer? An air fryer oven? Or how about a lid type? There’s just too much choice.
So we’re putting a variety of different air fryers through their paces in our round-up of the best air fryers to see how they cope with cooking our favourite vegan air fryer recipes.
This time it’s the turn of Russell Hobbs’ Satisfry Medium Air Fryer.
What does the Russell Hobbs Satisfry Air Fryer promise?
The Satisfry Medium Air Fryer has a 4-litre capacity, so it’s aimed at those looking for a medium-sized machine.
It has a digital display with 10 pre-set functions, and promises to help you bake, grill, defrost and dehydrate, whilst saving energy.
The temperature goes up to 220°C to help you cook quicker, the shake reminder promises evenly cooked food, and the fact the attachments are dishwasher safe saves time on cleaning.
But despite all the promises on the box, how does it measure up in a real kitchen? We put it through its paces cooking chips, vegan sausages and baking pain au chocolat to see whether the results were worth the investment. Read on to find out what we thought…
- More compact size, so good for smaller kitchens
- Under £100 – it won’t blow the budget too much
- Good for a single person or couple
- Switches off automatically, so you won’t be left with burnt food if you forget about it
- Easy to clean and you can put the basket and tray in the dishwasher
- Simple to use with really responsive digital display
- Not as much functionality as some other air fryers
- The 4-litre version might be too small for larger families
- You can only fry one thing in the basket at a time
- Limited instruction booklet
Buy today at Amazon’s best price (£83.99)
- Dimensions/size: 34cmD x 25cmW x 26cmH
- Functions: Air fryer (fry, bake and grill), dehydrator
- Temperature range: up to 220°C
- Capacity: 11-litres
- Where to buy: Amazon
Ease of set up
One of the benefits of basket/drawer air fryers is that they’re really easy to set up as they don’t have many parts.
For this one, the instructions advise to wash the basket and the crisping plate thoroughly before use, and then slot the handle into the basket if it isn’t already attached. There’s not much that can go wrong here.
The instructions do suggest that there might be a slight odour for the first few minutes of using the air fryer, so to make sure the room is well-ventilated. I didn’t smell much of an odour at all however, particularly compared to some of the other air fryer brands that I’ve tested.
The digital display has 10 different pre-set functions that appear when you turn the fryer on, and it’s also really easy to set your own time and temperature, depending on what you’re cooking.
The only thing I was a little disappointed with was the instruction booklet that comes with the fryer.
It covers the basic things you need to know – such as how to position the crisping plate so that it sits higher or lower in the basket, and what the different preset functions mean – but it doesn’t go into much depth and certainly doesn’t include any recipes.
I think if you were totally new to the world of air fryers, you might be left with a few questions if you want to do anything more than cooking the basics with the basket and crisping plate provided.
For example, it has a bake function, but doesn’t specify what tins you can use with this fryer – or even if you can. It doesn’t actively encourage you to try to get really creative with your machine from the outset.
Chips are the ultimate test when it comes to an air fryer. Image © Vegan Food & Living
Cooking results – cooking chips in the Russell Hobbs Satisfry Air Fryer
As always, our first test as to the proficiency of this air fryer had to be chips.
We pre-boiled the cut up potatoes in a pan of water for 4 minutes, then rinsed and thoroughly dried them.
We then loaded them into the basket in layers, giving them a couple of sprays of oil between each layer. The time was set for 25 minutes, as suggested in the instruction book, and the temperature at 200°C.
One of my favourite functions of this air fryer is the ‘shake’ reminder halfway through cooking, as it not only prompts you to shake the food to make sure everything is cooking evenly, but it allows you to assess the temperature and timings, and adjust your expectations accordingly.
At the halfway point the chips were cooking nicely, but definitely needed the shake because they were cooking slightly unevenly. If the surface of the chip was either touching another chip, or the base of the basket, it wasn’t browning at all.
Once the 25 minutes were up, the chips were all well cooked, and had nice soft interiors, but the browning was still a little inconsistent and some chips were definitely more well cooked than others.
They also didn’t have a particularly crunchy coating to the outside, so I would certainly advise using a little more oil to get that effect.
I was concerned that by using three big potatoes we’d perhaps made too many chips for the medium-sized basket to be able to cope with, but they all seemed to cook fairly consistently.
Sainsbury's Caramelised Onion Shroomdogs cook perfectly in the Russell Hobbs Satisfry Air Fryer. Image © Vegan Food & Living
Cooking sausages in the Russell Hobbs Satisfry Air Fryer
As well as great chips, mock meats are one of the things you want an air fryer to be able to cook well.
So for this test, I used a pack of Sainsbury’s Caramelised Onion Shroomdogs.
The packet instructions said they should be fried for 12 minutes, so I set the air fryer to 180°C for 12 minutes. There were six sausages in the pack and I would say this was probably just the right amount for the basket size to ensure some space around them to cook evenly.
At 6 minutes the shake alert went off, and by the time 12 minutes was up, they were perfectly done.
The result was nice crisp exteriors and they were perfectly cooked through to the middle. They were really evenly cooked too, but didn’t require the same effort and endless turning as you’d need to get that same result in a pan.
The fats that came out of the sausages during cooking mostly stayed on the crisping tray, so it was really easy to clean off.
The pain au chocolat on the left were baked in the air fryer, the ones on the right in an oven. Image © Vegan Food & Living
Baking in the Russell Hobbs Satisfry Air Fryer
I was keen to see how good the air fryer was at baking, so decided to put it to the test with some accidentally vegan Jus-Rol Pain au Chocolat.
Because this is a medium fryer, it wouldn’t fit all six pain au chocolat in on one layer, and I didn’t want to test it unfairly by layering them. So I decided to cook three pastries in the fryer and three in the oven. This would also allow me to see how differently they cooked.
Following the packet instructions, I set the temperature to 180°C and the time to 12 minutes.
When the shake timer went off at 6 minutes, I opened the drawer to find three pain au chocolat that had perfectly puffed up and were already starting to brown quite a lot on top. In comparison, the ones in the oven at this point were flat and very pale.
I turned the air fryer temperature down to 165°C for the rest of the time as I didn’t want them to burn. After 12 minutes they were perfectly cooked. The ones in the oven, however, needed a few minutes longer. Although that could say more about my oven than anything else in truth.
On the taste test, the results were clear. The air fryer had baked the pain au chocolat much more efficiently. They were ready in a shorter amount of time, the layers of the pastry had puffed up better and were more clearly defined, they had a nicer shine to the top, and they were crisper.
My warning would be to watch the baking times and temperatures as I think these could have burnt if I hadn’t turned the temperature down, but that just shows how efficient the fryer is.
Buy today at Amazon’s best price (£83.99)
Overall verdict of the Russell Hobbs Satisfry Air Fryer
Although this air fryer perhaps didn’t cook chips as well as some of the other ones that I’ve tested, and the instruction manual could definitely do with some expanding, it has got many great qualities.
The more compact size fitted into my kitchen with ease and meant that I didn’t have to clear off half a worktop just to be able to use it. This is an important consideration unless you have a massive kitchen.
I also loved the shake function, which encourages you to keep an eye on how your food is cooking, and also makes sure everything is cooking evenly. And the fact it then turns off once the cooking time is up means that you don’t risk burning anything if you’re not concentrating, or don’t hear the timer.
I was particularly impressed with how it cooked the pain au chocolat as it was so much better than the oven. The only frustration was not being able to cook them all at once, but I would certainly try layering them next time to see if the bottom layer still cooked as well.
I also loved how reactive the digital display is. I do find myself getting frustrated with some digital displays as you have to press them two or three times just to get it to work, but this one responds to the lightest of touches, which is very refreshing.
If you have a big family and want to cook more than one thing at once, then in all honesty this probably isn’t the fryer for you. But if you’re on your own or in a couple, and want a simple air fryer with good functionality that doesn’t cost over £100, then the Russell Hobbs 4l Satisfry Air Fryer is certainly worth considering.
How we test air fryers
We thoroughly test each air fryer in order to write an informed, useful review that you can trust.
To do this, we follow the same process for every air fryer that we review.
First we unpack the box, look at what you get with the air fryer, and then follow the instructions that come with each specific air fryer to set it up.
The important thing for any air fryer is how it cooks food though, so we test each one at least three times. Firstly to cook homemade chips, then to cook a mock meat, and thirdly to either cook a baked item, or to test the frying ability, depending on the capabilities.
We judge the air fryers on how well they cook the food, how crisp the finish is, how long food takes to cook, how easy the machine is to use, how easy is it to clean, and how many extra capabilities/functions it has.
Each air fryer is then given a score out of 5, and rated on what purpose it is best suited to.
Want to put another air fryer to the test? Check out our review of the Tower Air Fryer Oven