Chefree Air Fryer Grill AFG01 Review
As an indoor grill, the Chefree Air Fryer Grill AFG01 works especially well, turning out flawlessly cooked meats, crispy treats from frozen, and more – and is definitely one to have on hand should your barbecue be rained off. However, the air frying capabilities are more of an add-on. If you’re keen to make chips from scratch, you may be better off with one of the best air fryers, or Chefree’s standalone air fryer, the AFW01.
- Clearly labelled presets
- Easy to programme
- Fast, efficient grilling
- Shaking during air frying is awkward
- Takes up a lot of worktop space
- No recepies or guidance for different foods
- UKRRP: £219
Grilling food using your oven can deliver mixed results, as anyone who’s ever burnt meat or veggies while using one can attest to.
Chefree’s Air Fryer Grill AFG01 aims to make your dodgy dinners a thing of the past. Instead of just blasting food with heat, it combines grilling with fanned hot air for even cooking without singeing or drying out, resulting in juicy steaks, thoroughly cooked chicken and more.
It also includes the ability to air fry – suitable for those who aren’t sure how often they’ll make chips and other air-fried goodies, but would like the option from time to time.
Design and features
- Six preset programmes
- Variable heat grill
- Family-sized 6L capacity
While not especially heavy (5.7kg), the Chefree Air Fryer Grill AFG01 is chunky, taking up a sizable portion of worktop space. It’s styled in a similar way to other indoor grills, such as Ninja’s Foodi Max – with a chunky handle to lift the lid, like a barbecue, and carry handles on each side.
The fan and element sit within the lid, while a cooking pot nestles in the base (which always has to be used) and the wire air frying basket or grill plate sits inside it. Annoyingly, for storage, only the grill or basket can fit inside, meaning that you’ll need to find somewhere to house the other one. It does have excellent capacity, though, and there’s easily space to grill meat for a family of four
The controls are at the front in a touchscreen panel: there are presets for roasting, air frying, air broiling (similar to grilling), baking, beef and fries, as well as a four-temperature air grill setting, and manual controls for both time and temperature. Beyond the presets, there’s very little guidance on which settings each food requires, so for veggies and poultry, for example, it’ll be a case of trying different programmes out to find the best one.
Cleaning is another mystery: while its online listing states it’s dishwasher safe, the instructions suggest hand-washing removable parts. While the grill is easy to wash by hand, the wire basket tends to have food stuck to it, and is definitely one to pop in the dishwasher if you have one.
- Excellent grilling results
- Alerts could be improved
- Awkward to toss food in wire basket
While overall, the Chefree Air Fryer Grill AFG01 delivered a solid performance, it isn’t without its quirks. When plugged in, the display will show the word ‘off’, which feels rather pointless. Another is that all of the presets and manual cooking require a short preheat before the countdown timer begins. While this means that there’s less chance of food sticking, it can make it tricky to keep track of time if you’re in a rush and starting with frozen food, for example.
In testing, the AFG01 took around three minutes to preheat from cold. Once it was hot enough, it produced only a very quiet noise to alert you when to add food, so you’ll need to listen out for it, or keep checking the display for the word ‘Add’. It’s not always clear from the instructions when to preheat with the basket, pot or grill already in it – sometimes you preheat with it in, sometimes you don’t, depending on the programme.
I started by using the air fry setting to cook hash browns from frozen in the wire basket. The setting was 200°C for 20 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, the hash browns were still soft. After the full time, they had started to brown slightly at edges but hadn’t burnt. They did, however, stick to the basket a little.
Next, I cooked steak using the air grill setting on high, which was 240°C with a default time of 15 minutes. The meat itself was an uneven thickness; however, after seven minutes of grilling, it was very brown on the outside and bubbling, with distinct grill marks on the underside. I turned the meat over. After five more minutes, it was a good medium rare level of doneness – slightly pink in the centre, well cooked at the edges, and still juicy, not dry or chewy.
I finished by making fresh chips using potatoes that had been washed, drained and patted dry before being tossed in a small amount of oil. The AFG01 can apparently handle up to 1kg of chips, so I filled the basket up with potato and chose the Fries setting, which was 200°C for 18 minutes. The difference here is that in a standalone air fryer, to toss the food, all you need to do is pull out a drawer to shake it. However, with the AFG01 it’s necessary to don a pair of oven gloves every time you need to shake the chips, which I found inconvenient.
I shook the chips every three minutes or so. After 18 minutes, the potato started to brown but was mostly still pale. I cooked it for another six minutes before it resembled chips. The programme felt more designed for thin fries, frozen chips or smaller amounts of raw potato – again some guidance as to what it cooks best or recipes would be welcome. Some of the chips I made were crisp but most were quite soft.
There’s also an issue that when each programme has finished, the AFG01 produces a short series of quiet beeps but doesn’t switch itself off. Again, you’ll need to be nearby to take your food out rather than rely on alerts.
Should you buy it?
If you want a small grill:
If you’ll mostly be grilling, this cooker is perfectly designed for turning out juicy steaks, sausages and burgers, as well as griddling veggies, such as corn-on-the-cob.
You have limited counter space:
If you’re short on space, this fryer has a fairly large worktop footprint, it’s tricky to store and you’ll need to find an extra spot for the basket or grill plate.
As a high-heat indoor grill, the Chefree Air Fryer Grill AFG01 works well – it’s efficient, fast, and grills food without burning or drying it out. The controls are easy to use, the capacity is ideal for a busy household, and it’s a great way to cook your favourite foods more healthily.
However, its air frying capabilities are more of an add-on – it’s less convenient to air fry by lifting out and shaking a wire basket while wearing gloves. For those who will be mostly air frying and catering for a crowd, Ninja Foodi’s 7.6L Air Fryer might be a better option, while if space is at a premium, consider the Proscenic T21 or one of our best air fryers.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every air fryer we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main air fryer for the review period
We cook real food in each air fryer, making chips, frying sausages and cooking frozen hash browns. This lets us compare quality between each air fryer that we test.
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There’s 6 litres of space inside, although it’s important to shake food to help it cook evenly.
It can air fry, grill, air broil, roast and it has modes for fries and beef, too.