Air fryers offer a fantastic opportunity to cook a whole host of fantastic foods while on the road. They are also great for students or apartment dwellers who don’t have enough space for a traditional oven.
The NuWave Brio 6 qt Air Fryer is a lightweight, portable, affordable option among air fryers – but how well does it hold up under pressure?
What To Expect From an Air Fryer?
Before we get into what makes this model itself work, and whether it works for you, let’s first take a closer look at what you should be looking for in the first place when it comes to an air fryer.
Our rating: 4.6 / 5
The basic idea of an air fryer is that it uses fast compressed heat circulation to heat up foods in a manner that is both faster and less oil-consuming than fat fryers. That’s good for several reasons, not the least of which being that as much as we may love the taste of them, oil-soaked foods often aren’t good for you. Air fryers, thus, offer the opportunity to enjoy some of your favorite fried dishes in a healthier fashion. At the same time, it also means that you don’t have to deal with the consequences of using so much oil in terms of maintenance and cleanup.
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Then there’s the fact that air fryers are designed to be portable, something which definitely isn’t true of a large vat-sized air fryer. How portable they happen to be, of course, depends on the model’s overall size and weight. While portability is certainly a central point for these models, how much it matters to you personally will depend a great deal on the purpose for which you intend to use it in the first place.
Are you looking for an air fryer you can take on the road with you in your car or RV for camping?
Are you a student living in a dorm who doesn’t have space for an oven and are looking for some other way to heat up food?
Or are you someone who loves fried food but doesn’t have room for a standard frying unit in your kitchen?
All of these reasons lend themselves well to purchasing small, compact air fryers.
Quality over Quantity
At the same time, you’ll also want to make sure you’re purchasing a unit that is up to the task of repeated usage. Nobody likes spending money on an appliance only for it to break a couple of times after first unboxing it. You’ll, thus, want to take care to ensure that whatever air fryer you are purchasing is built to last.
Then there is the interface itself. Nobody likes having to struggle with a unit that is hard or confusing to use. At the same time, recipes often require a fair amount of finesse, which means being able to raise or lower the temperature at will or change the heating settings completely. The best air fryers, thus, enable you to do all of that with ease.
Finally, as anyone who has ever used any kind of cooking appliance knows all too well, frying foods, even with less oil involved, can still lead to splattering and a mess, which in turn means needing to clean the unit. You obviously don’t want to have to spend forever doing this after each usage, so finding a model that is easy to clean is essential.
NuWave Brio 6 QT Features
With all of that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what the NuWave Brio 6 qt Air Fryer has to offer:
- Measures 11 in. x 11.15 in. x 13.5 in., weighs 15 lbs, operates at 1800 watts, holds 6 quarts of food
- Durable stainless steel and sleek black exterior
- Internal temperature-checking features that ensure consistency when you cook
- Superheated cooking chamber that cooks foods from every side at once, ensuring that one side isn’t burnt or undercooked
- A special basket with sturdy walls that allows for the hot air to circulate around the food
- The ability to raise and lower temperatures between 100 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, with the option to adjust the temperature at 5-degree intervals
- Reheat and Preheat buttons that allow for easy preparation of six different dishes
- Large enough to cook a couple pounds of French fries or chicken
- Built-in safety feature that ensures that it shuts off automatically when the basket is removed so as to prevent fire hazards
Several of the features included here are geared toward allowing you to enjoy a more convenient cooking process. For example, it comes with six different presets that allow you to choose from among preprogrammed temperature ranges for different foods. For example, if you are looking to defrost something, you can choose a preset that is specially configured for this. This can be especially convenient for those who are brand-new to this kind of cooking but want to be able to enjoy the kind of succulent crispy-yet-tender food that the frying process can produce.
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This is helped all the more by the vast temperature range offered by this product. Some air fryers are a lot more restrictive in terms of their temperature ranges. If you can’t get the temperature for a fryer up to a certain point, there are certain foods that you simply can’t cook. On the flip side, if the temperature is too hot, you’ll be left with nothing but a charred husk. The Nuwave 6 qt Air Fryer does a good job of not just bringing the heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit but also allowing you to raise and lower the temperature with ease in those aforementioned 5-degree increments. This can allow you to inspect your food and raise and lower the temperature according to how well it is cooking, just as you would with an oven or traditional fat fryer.
In addition, the basket in which the food sits within the NuWave 6 qt Air Fryer is well-designed so as to ensure that the heated air circulates in such a way as to ensure that your food is thoroughly cooked. Too often, ovens and air fryers leave part of your entrée uncooked. Sometimes they can even cook the outside while leaving the inside raw, which in turn can lead to you consuming food that is unsafe to eat. This model’s basket and overall design ensures that your food is cooked thoroughly each time.
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Finally, there’s the fact that at 15 lbs, this is a relatively lightweight model. This in itself is an accomplishment given the fact that while air fryers are naturally on the compact side, they nevertheless have to have a fair amount of equipment packed inside them to generate that much heat and function as they should. It can be hard to balance that need for including the right equipment so the unit works properly with the desire for it to be lightweight, so the fact this model is only 15 lbs is an accomplishment.
Pros and Cons
This is definitely one of the most affordable air fryers on the market, and that’s easily one of the biggest selling points of the NuWave Brio 6 qt Air Fryer. You aren’t going to find a model that is much more affordable than this.
In addition to being light on your wallet, this is also, as mentioned, quite a lightweight air fryer. This, in turn, makes it a great choice for anyone looking to travel.
The control panel is probably the most divisive aspect of this model among users. On the one hand, there are those who find it difficult to use, or simply unreliable. On the other hand, most users seem to be fine with it, and indeed enjoy the temperature control it offers. The ability to choose from preset cooking options or raise and lower the temperature in small increments is a nice touch that many users seem to appreciate.
One thing nobody appreciates, however, is when food emerges smelling or tasting of plastic. However, this isn’t quite fair to pin on the NuWave Brio 6 qt Air Fryer, since it’s actually a complaint that is true for many air fryer models. This typically isn’t due to any overarching problem with the unit per se so much as the sad truth that some units for every air fryer model break down – and when they do, these unfortunate odors and foul tastes are the first indication. Thankfully, this is quite rare, and not at all exclusive to this model.
Our rating: 4.6 / 5
On the whole, the NuWave Brio 6 qt Air Fryer is a lightweight, affordable, dependable model that is easy to use and easier to store and take with you on the road. If that matches what you’re looking for in a portable air fryer, this may well be the model for you.