convenience of use
The Cosori fryer is available in various colors (black, white and red). For our test, we received the black model, which is probably suitable for most kitchens. However, the CP158 is quite imposing. It occupies a 30 x 36 cm area on the worktop, while the Ninja AirFryer AF160EU, with a slightly smaller capacity, only occupies a 25 x 32 cm area. It is a bit lower though, which can make it easier to slide onto a shelf, for those planning to store it away.
Like most oil-free fryers, and unlike Seb’s Actifry Genius XL or Delonghi’s MultiFry Extrachef FH1394, the CP158 is loaded through a drawer. Its 5.5 liter capacity can hold 4 to 5 people according to Cosori. The manufacturer also mentions the possibility of cooking up to 1.5 kg of French fries, 15 chicken wings, a whole chicken of just over 2 kg or even 2 steaks.
Like the fryer, this basket is quite wide, but low. If this provides a good cooking surface so that food does not overlap, the bird may lack height. As a bonus, Cosori provides a grid. It comes as a support for the skewers, also included, but it can be diverted to cook on two levels. For the rest, we find in this basket a central handle topped by a sliding button to remove it without having to touch the fryer -a good point since it can get a little hot on the outside-, as well as a push-button to separate it from the tank.
Once the food is in the basket, the fryer is turned on and adjusted using a touch control panel. This allows you to manually set a cooking temperature to the nearest 5°C between 75 and 205°C and a duration of up to 60 minutes or select one of the 11 programs offered (Steak, Chicken, Seafood, Shrimp, Bacon, Frozen Food , French Fries, Vegetables, Tubers, Bread, Desserts) in addition to Preheat and Keep Warm functions.
Hotkeys are offered for each with fairly revealing icons, and presets can be adjusted as needed. In particular, it can be useful for shortening the cooking time of small quantities. On the other hand, it is not possible to memorize the changes made as it can be done with Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Air Fryer. In general, the programs mainly give an idea of the settings to adopt when starting out, as well as giving an idea of the foods that can be cooked in a fryer without oil.
Since the CP158-AF does not include a stirring paddle, it is important to stir or turn the food for even cooking, but reminders are provided halfway through cooking. Cooking stops automatically when the basket is removed and resumes when it is replaced.
To further guide the user, Cosori provides a booklet with its fryer containing cooking instructions for certain foods, as well as tips for adapting recipes intended for traditional ovens. A book of one hundred recipes is also provided, but only in English, German and Spanish. The French version can certainly be downloaded as a PDF on the official site, but it’s still a bit misleading.
The CP158-AF’s matte black plastic coating proves to be resistant to dirt, but the same cannot be said for the touch control panel. Bright, it detects fingerprints and cleans quickly after each use. Cosori also recommends cleaning the inside of the cavity with a damp sponge from time to time and, in the absence of a protective grid, the same can be done on the resistance.
Of course, it’s the fryer’s basket and tank that require the most work, as they need to be cleaned after each use. Due to its non-stick coating, abrasive pads should be avoided, but residue comes off easily. On the other hand, it is necessary to take care of the many openings of the basket that can complicate its cleaning. It can also be unwieldy in the sink due to its dimensions, just like the tank. Of course, the rack and skewers also need to be cleaned after each use, but they require fewer precautions in the absence of a coating. Dishwasher owners will finally be pleased to know that all removable items can go through it.
The Cosori CP158-AF fryer is equipped with a 1700W heating element to which a fan is added and can be programmed between 75 and 205°C to cook food or keep it warm after cooking. According to the manufacturer, a technology called ThermoIQ should also offer “more precise temperature control and more uniform circulation of hot air”.
Like Ninja, Cosori recommends preheating before placing food in the fryer basket. All you have to do is press the dedicated button. Depending on the desired temperature, preheating will be more or less long, never exceeding 5 minutes, which is more than enough.
Even to reach the maximum available temperature of 205°C, the CP158-AF only needs 3 minutes. At the end of preheating, the fryer can be loaded and set to start cooking, but this first step can be skipped given the speed of preheating.
As well as being quite fast, although the Philips Essential Airfryer XL HD9270/90 is still way ahead, the Cosori air fryer manages to efficiently distribute heat within the basket. It is also very precise. Whether in our measurement at 200 or 180 °C, the requested temperature is the one inside the basket, plus or minus 5 °C in the center, and plus or minus 10 °C throughout the basket.
So ThermoIQ technology seems to be paying off, if not for keeping warm. With this function, the fryer is set to 75°C, but we notice that the temperature fluctuates more between 80 and 95°C inside the tank. The food can continue to cook.
After the measurements, of course, it’s time to see how Cosori’s fryer fares with the food in the drawer. It’s impossible to try a deep fryer without oil without trying to cook at least one serving of French fries in it. And what a portion! We cook no less than 1.3 kg of French fries in the Cosori CP158-AF, which, however, remains below the maximum of 1.5 kg proposed by the manufacturer. In the absence of a precise recipe in the official documentation, we start by launching the dedicated program without modifying the settings, after warming up.
Unfortunately, the 25-minute cook time at 350°F wasn’t enough, but with about 20 minutes and a few extra wrist swipes, our fries already look so much better. Some even get a bit crispy, but others are still soft and very pale. Mixed result therefore, as with most fryers without oil.
Overall, the Cosori CP158-AF’s cooking performance is still among the best in our comparison. It’s even the most efficient, if we exclude Ninja’s Foodi MAX OL750EU and OL650EU, which are mostly multicookers. It ranks just ahead of Ninja’s AirFryer AF400EU or Philips Essential AirFryer HD9270/90, and well ahead of Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Air Fryer and Delonghi’s MultiFry Extrachef FH1394.
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