Size: 10 x 12 x 12 inches
Weight: 9.18 pounds
Capacity: 3.5 L
Smart features: None
You can’t beat the Chefman TurboFry Air Fryer for ease of operation. It has no special features, but that makes it uncomplicated to use. It’s also more compact than most air fryers, as well as one of the most inexpensive.
However, as you will see in our Chefman Turbofry 3.5L Analog Air Fryer review, it does take longer to air fry than many models and you will definitely have to stop and rearrange your food several times during cooking to get even results.
Chefman Turbofry 3.5L Analog Air Fryer review: Price and availability
Chefman Turbofry 3.5L Analog Air Fryer review: Design
The Chefman Turbofry 3.5L Analog Air Fryer is shaped like a small keg. The entire machine, including the handle, is made of black plastic.
In terms of controls, there’s one large outer dial for controlling the temperature and an inner dial for setting the time. The numbers are tiny but distinct.
About the size of a small stand mixer, the Chefman takes up less room than most air fryers. Overall, this is a relatively unobtrusive looking product.
Chefman Turbofry 3.5L Analog Air Fryer review: Cooking performance
During our tests, the Chefman TurboFry Air Fryer scored adequately for chicken wings, Brussels sprouts, made from scratch French fries and breaded chicken. However, the results in general just weren’t as crispy or evenly browned as others achieved.
Its performance faltered on frozen French fries, which were soft and pale. However, it was our highest scorer for hamburgers, producing grill-like results.
To get best results when air frying, Chefman suggests you preheat the air fryer by letting it run at your desired temperature for five minutes before cooking. After the fryer is preheated, you place food in the basket and set the timer. There are no preset programs so you have to rely on the manufacturer’s suggestions, recipes, or trial and error to figure out which temperature and time to use.
Although the basket has a 3.5-liter capacity, the manufacturer recommends cooking 1.5 pounds of food at most. If you’re cooking something like fried chicken or burgers, you’re limited to how much you can fit on the bottom of the basket, which has a diameter of 8 inches. And it’s always a good practice when air frying to leave some room for air to circulate around food. The basket isn’t big enough to hold a whole chicken.
In the Chefman, we air fried Brussels sprouts, chicken wings, breaded chicken breasts, and frozen and made from scratch French fries. The majority came out moist and tender. However, we didn’t see as much browning and crisping as we did from other air fryers, even though cooking times tended to be on the longer end of the suggested time range considering its size. Frozen fries were the worst we had seen on test, coming out pale and barely crisp after 20 minutes of frying.
We cooked two 4-ounce hamburgers in the Chefman. After a 5-minute preheat, they cooked in 12 minutes. Browning was excellent; these were the only burgers we cooked in an air fryer that actually looked and tasted like they were cooked on a grill.
Chefman Turbofry 3.5L Analog Air Fryer review: Ease of use and cleaning
Programming the Chefman is completely intuitive. You turn one dial for temperature and another for time. Our only complaint is that it’s not easy to turn when you only want to set it for a short time, like 5 minutes to preheat. The basket has a small rack on which to place food and is easily pulled out and put back in place.
During cooking, the exterior of the Chefman can get very hot, with temperatures ranging from 152°F on the left-lower side to 166°F on the front-lower side. The handle and the controls remain cool enough to use, but you still wouldn’t want to leave small, unsupervised children around it. As it operates, the air fryer has a dBA reading of 59.3 which is just above the average for an air fryer — it’s loud enough to be heard but not obtrusive.
Both the basket and its rack have a nonstick finish for easy cleaning. You can wash them in the top rack of the dishwasher.
With this air fryer, you get a manual that clearly explains how to use it and includes a detailed cooking chart. It also comes with a Quick Start Guide and a booklet with 16 recipes.
Chefman Turbofry 3.5L Analog Air Fryer review: Verdict
The Chefman is not the best air fryer on the market, but it just might be the easiest to use. Those who seek an intuitive design may be willing to compromise a bit on cooking results.
Results were by no means bad, but other air fryers can do better, particularly on frozen French fries. With some trial and error, we think you could get a better performance by fine tuning the amount of food, the number of times you stir or turn during cooking, and the length of cooking time.
We like the compact size and no-frills design of the Chefman and think it would easily fit into even a fancy kitchen without calling attention to itself. Lastly, the price is very reasonable, and will be especially attractive to people who don’t want all of the bells and whistles. We’re dubbing this the “starter air fryer”.
Compared to our best value air fryer, the GoWISE USA 3.7 Quart 8-in-1 Air Fryer, the Chefman didn’t produce dishes as crisp or even, although it came close for its chicken wings, Brussels sprouts and made from scratch French fries. The Chefman scored more highly for ease of cleaning though, as the parts are dishwasher safe.