Salter's healthy cooking air fryer has a 1300W power system for handling 3.2 litres of crispy, crunchy foods. The spaceship design and easy to clean basket are a big sell for this air fryer. Coming from an established British brand but looking like many other air fryers, you could wonder what sets apart the EK2818 from the rest. Mostly, for those in a rush, it is the quality of the internal components and the capacity which make it a draw.
Salter are a British company who began making fisherman's scales in 1760, over the centuries they've kept with the times and needs of the consumer. now they make a range of kitchen appliances including the EK2818 air fryer.
Coming in with 3.2 litres of cooking capacity means the Salter EK2818 can feed a hungry family with chips, chicken and vegetables. Air fryers have the trick up their sleeve of baking cakes too. I didn't find it very easy to bake in the Salter, things got a little complex and messy whilst trying to load my sponge in.
Although large, this air fryer is not especially suited to a professional kitchen environment. Deep fryers are still in vogue though, so don't worry on that front. You can still get a healthy, restaurant quality crunch to your chips in one of these things though.
I found that hand cut chips were best suited to a double fry, first for longer, at lower temperature and then for a shorter higher burst. This does require you to use oil, but far less than the aforementioned deep fry. This gives air frying their 'healthy' reputation.
In terms of its design, the Salter EK2818 will sit alongside your toaster, kettle or coffee machine without intruding too much, there's a style to kitchen gadgets and it fits right in. The rotund nature of it means it does take up a little more countertop real estate than the specifications imply, but not too much to cause any grief.
There's room for improvement to the design in terms of its plastic casing to be honest. It is a little cheap and good be prone to fading, chips (not those kind) or deforming.
You're given a timer and a temperature dial to work with, the Salter runs up to 200°C which is plenty hot enough to cook through meats. Nothing tends to take more than 15 minutes to cook in an air fryer, except when you're dehydrating fruits and vegetables. The negative aspect of the Salter, as we explain later, is the short timer duration.
The simplicity of the Salter is not to its detriment. Included in the box is just the machine and its manual. You can plug it in and start cooking straight away, but we'd recommend doing a little 'dry' run or two first, as the Salter needs to get some of that 'new air fryer' smell out of the way, as all new devices tend to.
The basket is coated with a non-stick material and is round in shape. Being round makes the basket easier to clean, you can avoid the mess of burnt matter in the corners, as you might with a square corner one, and pop it in the dishwasher with no worries.
For its size, a slightly larger wattage might make for a better cooking experience. Although adequate, when filled to capacity cook times are a little longer than stated in recipes and guides. Another thing to consider, or more aptly, to remember, is that you're cooking something.
While a timer is included, and more on that later, the Salter doesn't come with a shake reminder as is found on more sophisticated models. Shaking food whilst cooking in an air fryer is essential - unless you're baking a cake - to ensure an even cook.
As the Salter is opaque you have to open the drawer to see how things are progressing. Certain air fryers have a clear bowl style, which makes it easier to follow the state of your chicken dinner.
With regards to the timer, 30 minutes is just not enough for dehydrating. 30 minutes is plenty of time to cook chips or meats, but dehydration can take several hours, or even overnight.
All things considered, the Salter is a decent air fryer. It doesn't offer much in the way of additional features or functionality. And won't make it onto any best of lists. More expensive air fryers tend to come with some handy presets and specific a defrost or dehydration setting. This is not the case here, but the capacity and the cooking power are enough to sait hungry mouths with chips and cakes.