The Tower T17005 is a slightly larger, slightly more powerful version of the T17023 Air Fryer. However, these slight increases in size and power make the T17005 a great choice for families or households looking for a new, healthier way to make their meals.
Typically an air fryer will provide a sous-version of deep-fried foods. The secret to air fryers is that they can do so much more. From dehydration to defrosting, grilling to baking. These gadgets are a powerful little piece of kit, far smaller than a conventional oven, but with much of the same abilities and at a lower running cost.
What you get when you open the box is a black, round egg-shaped machine. The aesthetic shaping and black finish make this a nice looking piece of kitchen equipment. It sits well alongside a coffee machine, and if you don't have one of those it might well be confused for one.
The capacity of the T1705 is 3.2 litres, this is a decent size for feeding a family with. Ravenous eaters might prefer a 5 litre version, but then space starts to become an issue. Tower provides an instruction manual and a little recipe booklet. We'd recommend using some kitchen sense when approaching the recipes, these are almost an afterthought, much better instructions are available, as we'll come onto later.
The machine is front loading, unlike the glass bowl air fryers you may be familiar with, and completely sealed. You can't check up on the food as it is cooking through a window, or indeed the sides of a glass bowl.
Cooking food in an air fryer requires a bit of a shake every now and then, so you can see the progress as you're cooking anyway. A note on chips. Personally, I have kitchen experience, so making chips is sort of my forte, however in researching what others found of the Tower I came across people decrying its ability to cook hand cut chips - I come to the defence of the Tower T1705 here because my chips were great. Those struggling would do better to double fry, at first a low and then a high temperature, for the best results. Don't believe everything you read in the manual.
The basket itself is non-stick and circular. The circular shape is a blessing as it means there are no corners for crispy ends to get stuck in. It is also dishwasher safe, so if you've got one simply stick it in to clean up.
When it comes to baking, you might not have thought an air fryer could handle this kind of cooking. But it can, the air circulation is essentially what happens in an oven, but in the Tower, and other air fryers, this happens on a far smaller scale. Baking in an air fryer is a nice novelty, although it is easier to do in a clear sided version, or one with a viewing window.
Tower provide a one year warranty and they'll extend this to two years if you register your product. Online, Tower have a good presence, their YouTube channel contains recipes and ideas of how to utilise your air fryer to its fullest extent. And their website contains digital versions of manuals, should you happen to have lost your copy.
Personally, the timer is still rather short for my liking, 30 minutes is not enough time to dehydrate foods, and there's nothing to suggest this would be an especially difficult modification. Considering the price leap from the comparable T17023, having the same timer duration seems a bit of a short cut.
A better quality plastic might have been used, but again this is still a relatively budget air fryer from a relatively budget brand. We're not talking about Phillips or Tefal here after all. But Tower can still mix it with the best, they have been in the game for over 100 years after all.
The simplicity of the Tower range is also a weakness, some manufacturers might opt to throw in some digital goodies- like preset cooking options or a specified dehydration setting (in the T1705s case you have to hack this and check third-party online guides).
This iteration of the Tower air fryer contains much of the same components and qualities as the cheaper, smaller, less powerful versions. This is to be expected within the price bracket. The short timer duration and the lack of extra features, such as a shake alert, aren't deal breakers so much as emblematic of the price point.
What's good about the T1705 is the increased in size, the ease of using and cleaning it, as well as the Tower guarantee and support available afterwards.