The Salter Dual Air offers two air fryers in one, giving you greater versatility when preparing healthier fried meals for the family. It’s got some useful features, and cooks most foods fairly well, but it’s not quite perfect – it could do with a higher maximum temperature. Still, it’s cheaper than the leading dual-zone fryer, which could make it a worthwhile bargain.
- Dual-fryer flexibility
- Lots of presets
- Useful sync feature helps simplify meals
- 200℃ maximum temperature
- Operation can be fiddly
- UKRRP: £134
- CapacityThere’s a total capacity of 7.4-litres, split between two 3.7-litre drawers.
Standard air fryers can be a great way to cook healthier fried or roasted food using less oil, but you can usually only fit in one recipe. If you want chips and sausages, or chicken breast with corn on the cob, you’re going to need to cook one of them somewhere else. That’s where dual air fryers like the Salter Dual Air come in. With two baskets, completely independent of each other, you can cook two different foods to perfection.
Design and features
- Big, but not too ugly
- Huge touch panel control, but it’s overwhelming
- 200℃ maximum temperature
The Salter Dual Air essentially combines two air fryers side-by-side. You can use either side independently of the other, allowing you to cook one dish only, or to cook two foods – each can have its own different settings if needed. It’s much the same setup as we’ve seen from the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone, currently our favourite all-round air fryer, and that’s a strong starting place.
The Salter Dual Air has two, 3.7-litre non-stick baskets, each with removable food trays. That gives it a generous 7.4 litres of cooking space, but there’s a catch – you can’t put a single large item across both halves. While the two zones between them can cook a huge amount of food, you won’t be able to fit in larger items such as a small chicken.
There’s another catch that’s more specific to this fryer. While the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone goes up to 240℃ in its Max Crisp mode, the Dual Air tops out at a rather modest 200℃. That’s plenty for many dishes but, as my tests confirmed, it’s a little gutless for getting the best browning on chips and other items that need a really good crisping or searing.
And while I’m grumbling, this air fryer’s two baskets feature a dual-skinned front that stays reasonably cool in use, but neither the baskets nor their food trays are dishwasher safe. If you’re as lazy as me when it comes to washing up, that could be a pain. Finally, there’s no shake reminder, which would be helpful to ensure even browning on foods.
The Salter Dual Air is much like any other air fryer to use, although there’s some added complexity given that you need to set programmes for each basket. Like many other air fryers, it offers a battery of preset modes for various food types. While these might be useful once you come to learn them, I generally found it easier to use the manual mode to dial up the temperature and time I wanted.
Like the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone, the Dual Air offers a choice of combined or independent control of its two baskets. By default, you can programme a temperature and time for each, then both will start at the same time. In Sync mode, the longer programme gets a head start so that both sides finish cooking at the same time. Finally, Match Cook mode sets both sides to cook with the same settings, which is useful if you just want to cook lots of the same thing.
- Could do with a higher maximum temperature
- Not too noisy…
- …except the key beeps
In use, this fryer is reasonably versatile, producing decent results across a range of foods. I used it first to cook frozen chips and Quorn nuggets. The latter were perfect, but the former could have done with more crisping, despite having had 20 minutes at the maximum 200℃. As I couldn’t raise the temperature, I cooked further batches a little longer, and was rewarded with better results.
The Dual Air did a marvellous job of roasting some new potatoes to produce rough and ready homemade wedges. I simply cut them in half, tossed them in olive oil, and cooked them at full power for 18 minutes – my children loved the end result.
Some other foods were less impressive. I couldn’t get frozen hash browns to crisp up quite as much as I wanted, for example. Doubtless the limited top temperature is partly to blame here, but I did get perfect results from the Proscenic T22, which only goes 5℃ hotter. And while corn on the cob was fine, it wasn’t browned evenly and as deliciously caramelised as you might get from a grill. Still, it did a good job when cooking Quorn sausages from frozen.
Just as I found with the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone, you’re likely to use the Dual Air’s sync mode a lot when preparing a meal. It’s extremely helpful to dial up two different programmes, then just start the Dual Air running and have it deliver everything ready at the same time. Sometimes you’ll want greater flexibility, though, and this fryer offers it. You can essentially programme each side completely independently of the other. For example, you could bake for 40 minutes in tray two, while you cook a series of other foods in tray one.
Despite having two powerful elements, the Dual Air used a peak of 1,708 watts in my tests, which is considerably less than you’d expect from a standard oven. Air fryers also have the advantage of warming up more quickly than an oven, so they spend less time with the heating element on. Even so, the Dual Air managed to burn through 0.55 kilowatt hours (kWh) when cooking the chip and nugget meal. If you’re paying 30p per kWh, that’s around 16p.
While all air fryers produce fan noise, this isn’t an unduly loud device. I measured 47.6dB from 15cm away, falling to 40.7dB from a metre, which is easily backgrounded in a busy kitchen. I was less enamoured with its key beeps, which are as loud as the food ready reminder, and which can’t be switched off. If you’re hoping to impress someone with a morning fry up, the Dual Air would probably blow the surprise.
Cheaper than the leading dual-zone air fryer, the Salter Dual Air provides dual cooking baskets to double up on ingredients or to cook two different items at the same time. It’s convenient and easy to use, although the lack of higher temperatures means that it can’t quite deliver the same crispy results as the competition. It’s still a great lower-cost choice, although you can find plenty of alternatives in the best air fryers guide.
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Should you buy it?
You want an affordable and versatile air fryer for more than one ingredient, then this dual-zone air fryer is a great choice.
If you want maximum browning, or room for a single large food item, an air fryer with a single larger basket may be better.
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