Salter EK4548 Dual Air Fryer | £169.99 | Tester: Molly Pickering
Black double drawer air fryer
Dual-drawer air fryers are on many of our want lists, but are they worth the money? We took the Salter EK4548 Dual Air Fryer for a test drive, here's what we thought...
- Sleek design with LED touchscreen display
- Two drawers with 8.2-litre capacity for cooking different foods at once
- Multiple functions including baking, reheating and dehydrating
- Match cook foods to finish at the same time
- Recipe book included
- It doesn’t automatically switch off once the timer has finished
- Takes up a lot of space on the kitchen worktop
- Touchscreen LED was slightly temperamental
- Some foods took longer to cook than the recommended timings
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Salter EK4548 Dual air fryer technical details
Salter EK4548 Dual Air Fryer. Credit: Vegan Food & Living
Ease of setting up
Out of the box, I was taken away by the size of the Salter EK4548 Dual Air Fryer. I was slightly worried that it wouldn’t fit between my kitchen counter and cupboards, but it ended up being ok. It’s a consideration for a smaller kitchen, though.
It’s a proper piece of kit, with a full touchscreen LED display filled with buttons, which is almost intimidating. But thankfully the instructions are thorough and talk you through each of the functions and buttons.
You’re instructed to clean the cooking baskets with hot soapy water and give the outer casing a wash to remove any dust. It is recommended that the air fryer runs for 10 minutes without food before first use, this is to prevent any initial odours or smoke from affecting the food – this is normal.
Presets and functions
There are 12 preset functions for specific foods, as well as manual settings. The majority of the presets are aimed at cooking meat and fish, but the other functions include chips, desserts, vegetables, reheating, and dehydrating.
Each preset automatically sets the time and temperature depending on the food. Additionally, the instructions detail the preset functions’ temperatures and times to give you a recommendation for each of the foods.
If you prefer to manually set the air fryer, you can. You simply need to select which side of the air fryer you want to use by tapping either ‘1’ or 2 and then selecting the ‘manual’ button. You can then set your desired temperature and time.
I did find this to be slightly temperamental. Sometimes there was a slight delay when hitting the buttons, which meant I had to adjust the temperature and time several times before reaching the correct figures.
A handy function is the ‘sync cook’ and ‘match cook’ settings. When cooking different foods at different times and temperatures, the ‘sync’ setting means both compartments will finish cooking at the same time which is a great way to avoid food in one side getting cold whilst the other side is still cooking.
‘Match cook’ sets both cooking compartments to the temperature and time if you’re cooking the same food across both baskets. This is handy if you’ve got lots of friends coming around and want to cook up large portions of food without the need to batch cook.
Additionally, the Salter Dual Air Fryer comes with a recipe book to get you started. Although there are only a few vegan air fryer recipes, the book includes an in-depth chart that gives recommendations on how to cook specific ingredients, including what temperature to use, ingredient amount, cooking time, and how much oil is required.
The foods vary from meat and fish to vegetables and frozen food.
Salter EK4548 double drawer air fryer means you can cook more than one food at once. Credit: Vegan Food & Living
Although it may seem basic, we wanted to put the salter air fryer to the test to cook the humble chip. As one of the most popular foods to cook in an air fryer, we wanted to see if the EK4548 could deliver crispy golden chips only using a small amount of oil.
First, we cut the potatoes into medium strips and soaked them in hot water for 5 minutes to remove excess starch. Once they were soaked, we removed them and dried them with a cloth so that they were dry before spraying them with olive oil spray (we used approximately 6-8 sprays).
Finally, we put the chips into the preheated air fryer and cooked them on the ‘chips’ preset at 200 degrees for 15 minutes.
Perhaps we added too many into one basket, but we had to cook the chips for longer than the recommended preset time, in fact, it was almost double the amount of time (just under 30 minutes total cooking time). But once the chips had cooked they were fluffy on the inside and crispy and golden on the outside. A great achievement considering we used very little oil, making this a healthier alternative to traditional fried chips.
Next up, we wanted to see how the air fryer could handle cooking mock meats.
We used Tesco’s Plant Chef Frozen Meat-Free Chunks and coated them in a sticky soy dressing for extra flavour. These were ready within minutes, under 10 minutes to be exact. We used the sync cook function to cook both the chips and the meat-free chunks, however, as the chips took longer than expected the chunks were ready long before the chips, which defeated the point of the ‘sync cook’ function.
One thing that was missing was an auto-switch-off function that turns the air fryer off once the food is cooked. We find this to be a godsend to avoid food from overcooking.
I suppose you could argue that an auto-switch-off function isn’t available on most traditional ovens and therefore isn’t essential, but we’d still like it.
Sultana scones cooked in the Salter air fryer. Credit: Vegan Food & Living
Finally, we got out baking hats on and made a batch of vegan sultana scones ready to be baked in the air fryer. Baking in an air fryer may seem unusual, but we were pretty impressed with the results.
Once the scone dough was ready, we moulded it into scone-shaped circles and placed it in the air fryer basket, which was lined with baking paper. We gave the scones a brush of plant milk to help give the outside a golden glow.
Using the ‘dessert’ preset, the scones were ready within 20 minutes. I was slightly nervous that they would be hard on the inside, but this wasn’t the case. Inside, the scones were fluffy and light- perfect for topping with vegan butter and jam!
Fluffy vegan scones cooked in the Salter EK4548 Dual Air Fryer. Credit: Vegan Food & Living
Overall verdict of the Salter EK4548 Dual Air Fryer
Despite some missing functions, we were impressed with the Salter EK4548 air fryer.
Not only is it a stylish piece of kit, but its multi-functional cooking capability makes cooking simple.
We were big fans of the dual drawers and the freedom to cook different foods at different temperatures. Although we had to wait slightly longer for the chips to be cooked, we were willing to look past that and overall were pleased with the speed and quality that it cooked the food.
We know that the size and the price of the air fryer may be the deciding factor for many. If you live on your own or have a smaller family, the EK4548 may be considered excessive. Additionally, if your kitchen counter size is limited, this could be impractical.
What’s more, the £169.99 price tag may not be within everyone’s budget. However, we thought that the quality and multi-functionality of the product justifies the cost.
While this may not be the air fryer for everyone, we think that this would be a great kitchen appliance for those with big families who want to keep meal times healthy and fast.
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.
Looking for a smaller air fryer? Check out our review of the Karaca Air Pro Cook 2-in-1 air fryer
Feature image credit: Salter. Feature artwork created by Vegan Food & Living